Longer Stem, Knee Pain?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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hlvd
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:54 pm

by hlvd

I changed my stem from a 110mm to 120mm the other day as I was feeling a bit cramped and felt I could go longer.

First ride it immediately felt like my hands were in the perfect position and more comfortable, so going to do a few rides and see how things go.

One unusual consequence of this change was that I got knee pain during and after the ride which I find puzzling.

I guess that by going more forward my rear end might be also going further back as a counterbalance, which also resulted in a feeling of better saddle contact due to my pelvis rotation further forward.

Still can't explain the knee pain though, any ideas?

Thanks

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

I don’t want to diagnose knee pain without seeing your dynamic angles, but you shouldn’t be adjusting your seated position backward. If anything you should be raising your saddle and pushing it forward slightly to adopt a more aero back angle while also opening up your hips.

by Weenie


hlvd
Posts: 281
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by hlvd

TobinHatesYou wrote:I don’t want to diagnose knee pain without seeing your dynamic angles, but you shouldn’t be adjusting your seated position backward. If anything you should be raising your saddle and pushing it forward slightly to adopt a more aero back angle while also opening up your hips.
I've probably worded the title incorrectly, I've not adjusted the saddle it's just this new knee pain from a 10mm stem increase.


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TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

I know what you meant. You said you might be sitting farther back on your current saddle position to balance your CoG. I wouldn’t do this except in technical situations where I would already be sitting more upright like gravel. In most situations just live with the fact that your weight is shifted slightly foreword.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

It is possible that the longer reach tightened the posterior chain. Increased hamstring and back flexibility may help. Tight hamstrings can affect knees. Still, that's a wierd response. 10mm means almost nothing. A bit less elbow and shoulder angle, torso lowered a tiny bit, and you're there. Shouldn't cause your knees to go to hell. Maybe just a bad day for the knees.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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posaunemeister
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by posaunemeister

Mr.Gib wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:31 pm
It is possible that the longer reach tightened the posterior chain.
I might've done this a few months ago in my attempt to experiment with long stems (130mm), which I thought was what I needed. I ended up getting pinched nerve sensations in my lower back for the last 60% of the ride -- absolutely annoying. I eventually settled on an 80mm stem AND lowered the height of the stem (not entirely slammed), which has proved to be the best combination for aggressive riding and long distance comfort.

Perhaps you should look into getting lower instead of the longer stem?
"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

hlvd
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by hlvd

Mr.Gib wrote:It is possible that the longer reach tightened the posterior chain. Increased hamstring and back flexibility may help. Tight hamstrings can affect knees. Still, that's a wierd response. 10mm means almost nothing. A bit less elbow and shoulder angle, torso lowered a tiny bit, and you're there. Shouldn't cause your knees to go to hell. Maybe just a bad day for the knees.
I've not been able to ride after that due to rain so might be a one off.



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hlvd
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by hlvd

TobinHatesYou wrote:I know what you meant. You said you might be sitting farther back on your current saddle position to balance your CoG. I wouldn’t do this except in technical situations where I would already be sitting more upright like gravel. In most situations just live with the fact that your weight is shifted slightly foreword.
I've not purposely ridden further back.

it's like a car scissors jack, lower it goes the further out both ends go if that makes any sense.

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

I had severe knee pain which threw me back months of riding.
I still don't know if it was due to too much setback and/ or (playing with position) lowering saddle height.
I still fear that i will "tear up" this when i bike several days in a row.

Perhaps when you reposition yourself, changing some angle which possibly affect a trigger mechanism.
What happens if you go back to same position as before?
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
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Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


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zefs
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Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

wheelsONfire wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:03 am
I had severe knee pain which threw me back months of riding.
I still don't know if it was due to too much setback and/ or (playing with position) lowering saddle height.
I still fear that i will "tear up" this when i bike several days in a row.

Perhaps when you reposition yourself, changing some angle which possibly affect a trigger mechanism.
What happens if you go back to same position as before?
More saddle setback doesn't cause knee pain (unless you don't lower the saddle and overextend), it's actually easier on the knees because the quads are not overloading.
@hlvd what cleat position are you using, is the center of the cleat behind your 1st metatarshal and if so by how much?
Maybe you just went harder than usual that day?

numberSix
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by numberSix

-where- on your knee hurt?
Front below the kneecap implies the distance from your sit bones to the bb is too short.
If it’s the back between the tendons the distance is too long.

Saddle position: how do you level the saddle? Front 2/3 level? Tip-tail level, like a hammock?

The most common thing that happens when reach increases is the rider slides forward. Depending how you level the saddle this can shorten the distance to the crank.

hlvd
Posts: 281
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by hlvd

numberSix wrote:-where- on your knee hurt?
Front below the kneecap implies the distance from your sit bones to the bb is too short.
If it’s the back between the tendons the distance is too long.

Saddle position: how do you level the saddle? Front 2/3 level? Tip-tail level, like a hammock?

The most common thing that happens when reach increases is the rider slides forward. Depending how you level the saddle this can shorten the distance to the crank.
Saddle's level like a hammock, can't ride with any tilt as I slide forward..

As for the knee pain, more of a general area, but if I had to specify it would be front inside.


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zefs
Posts: 438
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by zefs

If it's only on one knee you can try moving the cleat out a bit to bring the foot closer to the cranks, which is recommended when you have pain on the inside of the knee.
Last edited by zefs on Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChiZ01
Posts: 331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:20 pm

by ChiZ01

hlvd wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:51 pm
feeling of better saddle contact due to my pelvis rotation further forward.
As pelvis rotate more and more forward, the less stable the pelvis will be. If you look at the anatomy, the more forward you rotate the narrower it gets.
The decrease in stability could cause your knee to take up more load to stabilize you, thus result in knee pain.

One way to counteract this instability is with strong core muscle to take up the load. This is why pro cyclist spend hours every day to work on their core.

numberSix
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:53 pm

by numberSix

My standard answer based on your reply is mark the seatpost with tape, and raise the height 3mm. Don't bother adjusting the saddle-tip vs bar measurement.

Diagnosing bike fit over the internet is like playing darts in the dark. We're operating on the assumption the fit was good prior to the reach change. Does your saddle choice and position hold you in one spot, or do you move forward/back based on effort/climbing/TTing? Where are you on KOPS? What is the saddle height vs BB c/l, and your leg length? What cleat position; ball of the foot or mid-foot? Shoe size?

by Weenie


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