I have been riding a single speed bikes over the last few (8) years in both flat (Perth, Australia) and hilly terrain (Brisbane, Australia). I love riding single speed. It has become part of my identity. I used to joke that I'll get gears when I'm 40. I am 39 now.
I estimate that I ride 5000km/year now.
I am considering switching to a geared bike in big part because I'm concern that it affects my knees and the symptoms will appear in few years.
I don't have knee issues of any kind at the moment and I can get to top 10% of riders on Strava on many segments. Top 20% is often easy. What I am trying to say here is that I like to push and ride as hard as my abilities allow me and that I am fit.
My daily commute involves few >10% gradient short hills (<60s effort) and I like riding these hills up. I go longer way to work to ride more hills.
Ocassionaly I ride a 7% gradient hill with about 9 minutes of effort. It's hard and rewarding.
I often take pleasure (after) riding hills seated with low to sometimes very low cadence.
There is quite a lot of opinion out there about knees and the effect of low gearing.
What is the truth about knees and using low gears (i.e. low cadence, high pressure)? Is there a consensus about its negative effect on knee health especially long term?