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I’m 29 years old and I have bought a hybrid bike 5 days back. I’m a beginner in this field and last time when I rode a bike was 15 years back. From last 5 days I’m covering 21 to 23km in approx 1 hour and 15 minutes with an elevation of around 250-300m. I want to ask that can it hurt my knees if i ride daily with this same scenario or I will get use to of it? Please note that i’m coming in this field straight out of couch.

Secondly, I’m 5’8” and I’m riding 17 inches bike. Is it perfect for my height?

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    How high is your seat? A big mistake that is often made is to set the seat too low, placing extra strain on the knees. The seat should be set high enough that your leg goes almost straight at the bottom of the stroke (but not so high that you rock in the saddle as you pedal). – Daniel R Hicks Apr 24 at 20:36
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    I'll add that it's probably best to not ride that distance every day, but maybe every other day, until you become more accustomed to it. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 24 at 21:01
  • So what should i do now ? Should i stay home until i feel relax or I should continue cycling with 20 to 30 minutes ride? – Junaid Ashraf Apr 24 at 21:06
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    In addition to seat height, the gearing you use can cause knee pain. If you're pushing too high a gear, that will be hard on your knees. Try using an easier gear and pedal faster. – Adam Rice Apr 24 at 21:10
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    FWIW, biking with higher cadence, less gear effort is about the best physical therapy you can have for meniscus damage in the knees. Properly done biking can improve your knee mobility and reduce pain. – Fred the Magic Wonder Dog Apr 24 at 21:20
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If you are going from a level of inactivity to 21 to 23km a day, yes, you may experience some aches and pains. As you get fitter and more used to the activity these issues may go away. If issues persist see a doctor.

Something you should do is check your saddle height and fore-aft position.

A commonly used 'rule of thumb' for setting saddle seat height is to sit on the bike wearing the shoes you ride in, put your heel on the pedal, you leg should be just straight.

For setting saddle fore-aft position, sitting on the bike with the cranks flat, foot on the pedal in normal position, your kneecap should be vertically above the pedal axle.

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¿Why are you covering 23 km a day? ¿Are you commuting?

Conmmuting 23 km a day can be done perfectly fine if you keep the effort reasonable.

I've been part of a bike delivery group, and as such, I had to cover 60 km a day, hauling 20 kg aprox of parcels. I don´t know how much did the racks and other gear weighed.

I never got a knee pain out of that, but a few of my mates did. They where all younger (low 20) than me (low 30's) except for one. My assesment is that they where pedalling too vigorously all the time. One of them used to brag he could carry the biggest loads using the heavies bike. The other one was a youn man getting in love with his fixie. They both loved to tell all others how fast they where, etc... These two that I mention where injuried bad enough that they bot got medical prohibition to use the bike for a time in order to heal. The rest of messengers who kept theyir loads whithing limits and had reasonable travel (and delivery) times, never complained about knee pain related to the job.

In my case, I never experienced injury due to overwork, just the expected tiredness. I was not a novice when I started, but came from a time of almost complete inactivity. I think the experiendce I had as a MTB rider (and a few multi-day long road rides) helped me a lot. The following points are the ones I consider most important:

Extensive use of gear shifts: I was doing delivery on a flat city, nonetheless i used a lot of shifting. Used easier gears to accellerate and only changed to harder gears when I got speed. AS others mention, keep a good cadence, never too low. Using harder gears in low cadence puts a lot of strain on knees and hip joints.

Good bike fit: Adjusting saddle height, and handlebar relative position is crucial. Having the correct height allows for more efficient tranfer of power, overall you'll feel less tired for a given travelled distance, less sore muscles and less joint fatigue. Some bikes may have trouble keeping the saddle height, so constant checking is a must (or solve the problem once for all). In my case the bike had some cheap components so I had to check twice a week until I upgraded the seatpost clamp.

Your body is not a machine: Some days you'll need to take it easy. If you are commuting, consider starting with only some days of bike commuting (use public transportation or car one or two days a week). As your body gets accustomed to the effor add more biking days until you reach the fitness level for commuting all week with the bike. Another alternative is that you take more time to travel on a couple of days, so you don't have to pedal at a hard pace.

And in general, observe good bike maintenance practices: Keep tires properly inflated, transmission gear clean and properly lubricated. Brakes properly adjusted, etc.

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    Well i’m not commuting. I actually decided to go for a ride for atleast 1 hour and i have to pass through steep paths as well. Yeah its true that i was focusing more on average speed by pushing hard the pedals. – Junaid Ashraf Apr 24 at 23:34
  • @JunaidAshraf: In that case, most of the tips are applicable but then you also have an option to reduce the route if need arises, You can plan to allow yourself more time to ride at a softer pace one or two days, or take a less demanding route for some days, even if it has the same length. The idea is to get some "active resting" days until your body is fully adjusted to hard excercise every day. – Jahaziel Apr 25 at 18:17
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    i took off from cycling for 2 days and went for a walk in these two days. Knees aren’t hurting anymore. So i think i was going to hard on bike after a huge time span of inactivity. – Junaid Ashraf Apr 26 at 20:08

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