Author: Sorting Last Post on Top ↓ Message:
BELLOYA's Photo BELLOYA SparkPoints: (3,275)
Fitness Minutes: (1,888)
Posts: 295
2/7/10 10:01 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm sorry! As I was reading over my post i realized that I hadn't put down the thoughts that were in my head apparently thinking everyone here could just read my mind. Mountain bikes of course don't cause knee strain, just because they are mountain bikes. They are excellent bikes and outsell road bikes because they are sturdier and easier to ride. But if this rider is using knobby tires and isn't using the gears right she is going to hurt. My point was that she needed to use her gears and swap out tires.

Dear God, Please help me not to gag and tie up my children.


 current weight: 232.0 
 
239
229.25
219.5
209.75
200
BLJORDAN's Photo BLJORDAN Posts: 58
2/5/10 8:49 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
A very cheap alternative to mountain bike tires are 26" slicks. Mountain bike do not cause knee issues, if that was the case mountain bikes wouldn't out sell road bikes every year. I have been mountain biking for 22 years now and I have knee three screws in my right knee from a motorcycle accident and I have a single speed mountain bike and my knees feel great. If I have knee pain it is because I pushed to big of gears that day and that includes on the road bike. The biggest thing of knee pain is seat and cleat positioning. Something to remember is this, some of your greatest road cyclist are mountain bikers and in some case they were mountain bikers first.

BELLOYA's Photo BELLOYA SparkPoints: (3,275)
Fitness Minutes: (1,888)
Posts: 295
2/5/10 5:18 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I am a big advocate of use what you have but in your case you might be causing yourself more strain on your body. While you may think that those big knobby tires are just slowing you down they aren't. They are causing your body to strain the tendons in the back of your leg more than they are working your muscles. Your tire doesn't eat up as much ground with each push of the pedal. The exercise comes from a steady pace and correct form. Pedaling twice as much to get the same distance only adds pain to your knees. The best way to get cardio on a bike and develop strong sleek muscle is to keep a continuous pace. I do a count a breathe method to make sure my pedaling is even and consistent. Use your gears and keep your body safe. And totally get your seat adjusted calf pain sucks sooo bad. Also most REI stores that sell bikes will offer a free fitting.
-Bell

Edited by: BELLOYA at: 2/5/2010 (05:19)
Dear God, Please help me not to gag and tie up my children.


 current weight: 232.0 
 
239
229.25
219.5
209.75
200
BLJORDAN's Photo BLJORDAN Posts: 58
1/31/10 7:38 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
There are a few things that will affect your calves. Are you running clipless pedals? If so, to calculate the correct seat height measure your inseam and mulitple by .772. From there measure from the bottom of your pedal stroke(from the top of the pedal) to the top of your seat, you will have proper height. If you have regular pedals, measure by .777.

Second, do you have a trainer? If so, video tape yourself riding for approx. 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you forget the camera is there and you start to pedal like you normally would. Watch the video and determine where you knee is located when the pedals are at 3 and 9 o'clock. Imagine a vertical line, is located in front of the knee with the pedal stroke at 3 o'clock, is the knee in front of the pedal axle, behind or in line? If your knee is in front of line, your saddle is to far forward.

If you don't have a trainer, sit on the bike, lean against the wall with both feet on the pedals, move the pedals at 3 and 9 o'clock and use a plumb bob to determine the vertical line from the knee cap to the pedal axle. It should be either inline or behind, but never ahead.

Third, watch the video and watch your heel movement. Is your heel pushing down in the stroke or is it the ball of your foot? If you are pedaling with the heel down, you calves are stretching, which is fine, your calves will strengthen. If you pedal with the ball of your foot, your calves are under constant tension. This is also fine, your calves will become stronger. I pedal with the ball of my foot and my heels never drop. As a result,I have big calves.

Last and not least, if you have clipless pedals, make sure the cleats are set up to match your walking stance. Usually if they are off your knees will hurt, but I have seen pain issues in the back knee down low, near the calf.

If the soreness continues, then you can look into a fit kit. Fit kits are great when it comes to hand numbness, neck issues and sore back. I rarely did a fit kit on people with knee or calve issues. Because in most cases it was cleat and saddle positioning and fit kits will only tell you saddle height and not placement.

Edited by: BLJORDAN at: 1/31/2010 (19:39)
IRISH98's Photo IRISH98 SparkPoints: (18,717)
Fitness Minutes: (35,633)
Posts: 1,187
1/6/10 11:41 A

Reply
As was previously mentioned, seat height and foot placement could definitely have an effect. I wish fittings were free around here, but they usually cost ~$60. I had problems with my calves/shins, and then finally got fitted and it all went away.

The problem with the knobbies for fitness is that if you have to work too hard, you may actually be counterproductive (e.g. if you have to go up hills, and your heart rate gets too high, or you have to strain you legs to get up it). Make sure you are riding in a comfortable gear and are not trying to power through, and that your heart rate does not get too high (HR for biking is lower than running). I speak from experience, because I felt like I was not getting any fitter while I was riding(when I lived in Seattle). Then, once I changed out my knobby tires, it was so much better!

Good luck!

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)


 current weight: 139.0 
 
186
172
158
144
130
JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
1/6/10 11:38 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Theresa

Yes it is true that knobby tires are harder to pedal makes you go slower.

Since I'm not sure of your cycling experience or base; but if you are new you may want to switch. If you are riding alone than leave things as is. However, if you are riding with others and you are trying to keep up, this may be the culprit as well.

 current weight: 229.0 
 
238
226
214
202
190
THERESAT858's Photo THERESAT858 Posts: 1,682
1/6/10 11:30 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Seat height. That is something I never even thought of - and yes, probably the culprit...because I know that I tend to have the seat higher than it is "supposed" to be. I never associated that with the calf pain before, though - and there is a bike shop nearby, maybe I should take it in and see what they say about where the seat should be.

And yes, I know it isn't ideal to use knobby tires on the road, but that just makes it a little harder/slower, right? (I figure this is o.k. for me since the whole point of my riding is fitness, so if it takes longer to go the same distance, that's not really a problem).

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" ~Beverly Sills

"Having it all doesn't necessarily mean having it all at once" ~Stephanie Luetkehans


 current weight: 144.4 
 
145
142.5
140
137.5
135
GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,608
1/6/10 11:03 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Yes, definitely take the bike to your local bike shop and get fitted. It sounds like your seat is not properly set. I can't remember if calf pain is from a seat being too high or too low, but that's generally what causes it. Your seat might be tilted incorrectly, too.

Most shops will do a fitting for free.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
1/6/10 8:12 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Theresa

A few things to consider and perhaps follow p on:

1 Have you had a bike fit done at a local bike shop (LBS)?

2 Are you using clipless pedals, clip pedals or the standard flat pedals? This may be a cause to improper pedal technique. The technique and what you should strive for is a fluid stroke with equal pressure all the way around from each foot. It should feel like you are scaping mud off the bottom of your shoe when you start coming through the down stroke.

3. Are you riding on pavement or trails? If you are riding on pavement do you still have your knobby tires on the bike? If you do you may want to change the rubber to a more friendlier road type tire for mountain bikes.

4. Are you stretching before and after the rides? Are you warming up before you increase the intensity of the ride?

Hopefully some of these will address the calf issue.

Jim

 current weight: 229.0 
 
238
226
214
202
190
THERESAT858's Photo THERESAT858 Posts: 1,682
1/5/10 11:04 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm new to this forum (intro below), and I have a question that probably sounds silly to some of you: Is it possible to ride a bike "incorrectly"?

The past two times I've gone on long rides (long being relative and meaning 10-16 miles, mountain bike on a pavement surface), the next day and day after that I have had an intense soreness in my upper calves - it's almost a cramp but not quite, slightly below the back of my knees. Everyone I have talked to says that this is a weird kind of soreness to get from biking - sore quads would make sense but calves? But my other muscles are all fine...

Is it possible that I am somehow pedaling incorrectly, causing extra stress on these muscles that shouldn't be there?

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" ~Beverly Sills

"Having it all doesn't necessarily mean having it all at once" ~Stephanie Luetkehans


 current weight: 144.4 
 
145
142.5
140
137.5
135
Page: 1 of (1)  

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Cycling - Road, Mountain, Fun, Racing General Team Discussion Forum Posts


Thread URL: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=0x1670x30809830

Review our Community Guidelines