I'm a guy with banged up knees. I'm trying to decide if it is worthwhile for me to splurge for a high-end bike fitting or go with a more ordinary fitting or skip getting a fitting altogether.
- One of my knees is missing a whole lot of articular & meniscal cartilage.
- I'm experiencing knee pain while going for relatively short distances (at the beginning of the ride & after 10-12 miles).
- I ride with Speedplay Frog pedals. I'm turning 49.
- haven't had a fitting since January 2012.
- I don't race or do group rides.
- If my knees were solid, I'd like to do social rides or even go touring.
- I ride a Surly LHT & use it for commuting & shopping.
It is more accurate to say I "used" the bike for those purposes. I'm pretty much not riding now because doctors have told me that knee pain=fresh damage. I have the option to get 1) a run of the mill fitting similar to the 2012 fitting from a well-regarded bike shop or 2) get a fitting from a physical therapist who works with racers, triathletes, etc. I've been to a lot of physical therapists & surgeons without much result at this point. (Most seem have expertise with runners but none have any background with bikes.)
My last fitting was useful but I can't say it was ever quite right. I had joint issues back then which likely made the fitter's job impossible. I went back to the fitter a few times without much success. I mean, there are only so many adjustments you can make to the seat position right?
At this point, I'm looking to avoid throwing more good money & time after bad. Maybe I should just get platform pedals? I keep seeing posts pointing to clipless pedals as causes of knee issues.
Perhaps I should just get a recumbent to limit knee strain?
Hi everybody, Thanks for the rapid & thoughtful responses. I was very interested to read about Power Cranks and Highpath engineering's split cranks. Here is some more background & some responses to the recommendations:
- I have 150 mm crank arms mounted.
- I am slow on the cadence. My core is weak so my pelvis wobbles at higher RPMS.
- I’m sure I need work on my pedaling technique. When I try to pull up on the pedals, I end up with tendonitis behind the knee.
- I’m happy to warm up with a gentle beginning to a ride but I’m getting pain pretty much pulling out of the driveway, before I have a chance to start the warmup.
- I don’t really trust the physical therapist/fitter I found. He works with a sports medicine doctor I found & both run a “factory” practice. They move you in & out on the clock. I have some complex medical issues & neither showed any appetite for exploring them during a recent evaluation. My sense is they are there to make money & serve racers. I won't get either of them any publicity & so am not useful. I've run into providers like this before. They have the skill to help but maybe not the will.
- I’d be happy to see someone other than the PT/fitter but have had little luck in finding someone with expertise in both bikes & rehabilitation.
- I did find a fitter at the bike shop who worked for a couple years as a physical therapy assistant. I could see him as well. Based on the above do any of you have further thoughts?