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scruffy nerf herder
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Earlier this year I developed a knee issue that seemed to be ... bear with me... somewhat underneath the outside edge of the inner top corner of my right kneecap. So, I was told I had some type of patellar tracking issue. So, this is really strange. Ive not had one single positional type change (shoes, cleats, pedals, seatpost, saddle, or handlebars in the last 3 years). But yet suddenly I developed a recurring knee issue. Why, I have no clue.

As Ive become a bit more fit...Ive apparently (without any specific effort of my own) changed my riding style in the past few years and now tend to mash a bit more than the old days. It seems, that for whatever reason, when I start to get tired, I have a tendency to pedal toe down. Could that be throwing my knee into a weird position? If I focus on pedaling heel down, I feel less power, but the pressure is reduced on that part of my knee. Im not sure what to do about it though. Any ideas?

One more thing would a worn/pedal or cleat exacerbate any type of knee issues? My right crank is making a peculiar popping sound over the top and Im having difficulty chasing it down. I pulled out the BB and relubed it and reseated it, and retightened the crankarms, and still getting a pop sound that is there when seated or standing, but sometimes lessens when I'm pushing pretty good.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Try a slip-on knee brace to support the patella and joint.

Also, try switching out to another set of pedals to see if that's what is popping.

When I used to race hard many years ago, as we got along in the season, my knees would just start getting sore. It took a month or two off (casual off-road fat-tire riding time) at the end of the season to recover.
 

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funknuggets said:
Earlier this year I developed a knee issue that seemed to be ... bear with me... somewhat underneath the outside edge of the inner top corner of my right kneecap. So, I was told I had some type of patellar tracking issue. So, this is really strange. Ive not had one single positional type change (shoes, cleats, pedals, seatpost, saddle, or handlebars in the last 3 years). But yet suddenly I developed a recurring knee issue. Why, I have no clue.

As Ive become a bit more fit...Ive apparently (without any specific effort of my own) changed my riding style in the past few years and now tend to mash a bit more than the old days. It seems, that for whatever reason, when I start to get tired, I have a tendency to pedal toe down. Could that be throwing my knee into a weird position? If I focus on pedaling heel down, I feel less power, but the pressure is reduced on that part of my knee. Im not sure what to do about it though. Any ideas?

One more thing would a worn/pedal or cleat exacerbate any type of knee issues? My right crank is making a peculiar popping sound over the top and Im having difficulty chasing it down. I pulled out the BB and relubed it and reseated it, and retightened the crankarms, and still getting a pop sound that is there when seated or standing, but sometimes lessens when I'm pushing pretty good.
That popping sound in your crank is actually just your creaky old knees....:p

Seriously though...I'd look into saddle height, position (fore/aft) and cleat position/angles. I've had some slight knee issues in the past, nothing serious, just little nagging aches from time to time.

What I've found is my left leg is a fair amount shorter than my right leg. So my left leg was always being stretched and my right legs was always a bit compressed. So I picked up some Lemond Wedges and put a good centimeter of spacers under my left cleat...which helped immensely.

I still had some really minor issues and recently have been playing with the angles a bit and now have one extra spacer that leans the shoe to the outside just a bit...Knee problems are all gone now.

It could also be a problem with getting tighter and stretching could help. If you started out riding when you were out of shape and have built a lot of muscle without stretching and kept the same body position, your hamstrings could be tighter than they were when you started. This would cause some knee problems until you either changed your riding position or worked on stretching your hamstrings again.

In the end, there could be numerous things that are causing the knee problems and without having somebody there to look/help you narrow it down...it's almost impossible to diagnose over the internet.

Best bet...find a good fitter and start from scratch...or fiddle with your position, cleat position, etc...until you figure it out on your own. A pro bike fitter will probably yield much faster results :D Just make sure it's a comprehensive fit from the cleats up.
 

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Humanity...or....Vanity?
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I saw a physical therapist about a year ago for the same problem and found that I needed to strengthen my inner quad and do stretches on my groin and hip areas to help relieve the tightness on my knee. May be the mashing (low cadence) is part of your problem and causing more pressure on your knee. Try stretching a couple of times per day and spinning a higher cadence (85+ rpm) to see if this changes things.

I didn't mess with anything on my bike and I haven't had anymore problems.

Do you get a popping/cracking sound from your knees when walking up steps? If so, that could be chondromalacia, an irritation behind the knee cap causing pain while spinning at a low cadence.
 

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You might trying a fresh fitting. Write down the current setup you are using and then start from scratch and see how it goes. Be sure to go to someone who is very experienced and tell them the issues you are currently having. I have a really bad left knee that continues to bother me after surgery a few months ago. I have to use pedals with lots of float and do all sorts of PT and stretching routines nearly every night and post every ride. I am lucky to live near Seattle where Erik Meon did my bike and cleat fittings as well as made me some custom insoles. I have been lucky enough to be able to ride as much as I would like to currently, but in the past I have been limited to a day a week which really sucked. Listen to your body as something has changed. If it is your knees, listen very carefully as it could be an issue that can worsen over time. Not to go all doomsday on you, but you should have it looked at by either a dr, a PT, a fitter, or all three. Good luck!
 
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