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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Totally NNC, but more on emotions and experience vs other NNC stuff)
So, why didn't you loungers ever tell me that hills were so freakin' fun???
I did the MS150 (or MS80, depending on how you look at it) and this was my first experience with hills. Wow, that was a blast!! My knee completely disagrees, however - it HURTS.
2 weeks ago I did my first century with 1/2 of it being very windy. Yesterday, I did almost as much, but with some seriously steep climbs, and all too few speedy descents. Then on the last part was semi-hilly with a strong headwind.
Got scared near the end - someone a few feet in front of me on the last big road going down overcompensated steering around a cone and lost control. He weaved a bit before he went down. I was going about 34 and was hard on the brakes. To the left of me, a woman which was also behind the guy that went down, but was going much slower, also slowed down yet did nothing to steer out of the way. She ended up nipping a tire with hers and fell down too. By the time I stopped, I was about 50 feet downhill, and there were already about 10 people around the guy who had fallen to help him. I continued on, cause I wasn't sure how much longer my knee would hold out.
I've had my right knee hurt, but this time it was my left knee. Maybe it was the new saddle, seat position, and stem that changed it.
 

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Bacon!
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9,190 Posts
They are fun aren't they!? Flat roads get boring in a hurry. Hills add some excitment and, as you saw, terror sometimes :).
 

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Climbs like a sprinter...
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6,976 Posts
I used to be a total speed demon, gravity bikes, street luges, all that, but since I've gotten older (I'm 47) I don't like going down hill fast all that much anymore. When I get over 40 mph I start stressing and then I have to really force myself to relax because when I tense up I get some nasty speed wobbles. Then I forget for a second to pinch the top tube with my knees and I get all freaked out. The weird thing is that if I just try to ease into the speed is when I get tense and the speed wobbles start. If I just say "eff it!" and slide back on the seat and go into the tuck I'm fine but my sense of self preservation doesn't allow me to say "eff it" until I'm forced into it. The other weird thing is that if I'm chasing somebody then I feel fine and can even start cranking on the 53-12 to get more speed but if I'm out front by myself and picking up speed I get all paranoid and tense and go back into the speed wobbles. I've hit 53 mph on this bike chasing somebody but I get freaked out at around 40 mph by myself.
 

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Clear Lake, TX
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3,269 Posts
I'm glad you got to ride the second day of the MS, as it is more fun. I haven't ridden the MS since '87. There are too many different levels of ability mixed together for me to risk riding it anymore. Come to think of it, it wasn't all that safe back then with only 3700 riders!
I'm guessing you rode "The Space Race" century a few weeks ago. I missed it due to illness.

Once you get your bike fit situated, try some more hills. There are some good rides starting out of Bellville and Cat Spring, north of Sealy you should check into. Go further west past Austin or San Antone for the good stuff. For local basic climbing training, I do repeats over the Kemah bridge, or for a little more duration, over the Baytown bridge.

A general rule is if the knee pain is in front/knee cap, your saddle is too low. If pain is behind the knee joint, your saddle it too high.
For a professional fit, I suggest you contact Ronnie Strange of RPM Sports in Friendswood: stixstrange AT hotmail DOT com
Tell him Doug Ford from Team Tilson Homes sent you.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tig said:
I'm glad you got to ride the second day of the MS, as it is more fun. I haven't ridden the MS since '87. There are too many different levels of ability mixed together for me to risk riding it anymore. Come to think of it, it wasn't all that safe back then with only 3700 riders!
I'm guessing you rode "The Space Race" century a few weeks ago. I missed it due to illness.

Once you get your bike fit situated, try some more hills. There are some good rides starting out of Bellville and Cat Spring, north of Sealy you should check into. Go further west past Austin or San Antone for the good stuff. For local basic climbing training, I do repeats over the Kemah bridge, or for a little more duration, over the Baytown bridge.

A general rule is if the knee pain is in front/knee cap, your saddle is too low. If pain is behind the knee joint, your saddle it too high.
For a professional fit, I suggest you contact Ronnie Strange of RPM Sports in Friendswood: stixstrange AT hotmail DOT com
Tell him Doug Ford from Team Tilson Homes sent you.
Are you reading my thoughts??? I was thinking of calling RPM ( you mean the one on El Camino, right?)
The Fred Hartman bridge scares me. I used to work in Baytown, and rode over it a lot - I'd always see them working on making the structure stronger. I guess it beats the Baytown tunnel for drive time.
The pain is all right around the kneecap - just behind it and right above it. I have it higher than I used to, but when I spin fast I feel as if my hips rock. My legs are close to straight, but I really do need a pro fit. Budget is my biggest concern though. And yes, I know it's cheaper than in injury.
I've also heard Chappel Hill is a great place for hills.
 

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Clear Lake, TX
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3,269 Posts
Peanya said:
Are you reading my thoughts??? I was thinking of calling RPM ( you mean the one on El Camino, right?)
The Fred Hartman bridge scares me. I used to work in Baytown, and rode over it a lot - I'd always see them working on making the structure stronger. I guess it beats the Baytown tunnel for drive time.
The pain is all right around the kneecap - just behind it and right above it. I have it higher than I used to, but when I spin fast I feel as if my hips rock. My legs are close to straight, but I really do need a pro fit. Budget is my biggest concern though. And yes, I know it's cheaper than in injury.
I've also heard Chappel Hill is a great place for hills.
I forget Chappel Hill... my memory is losing the battle against the mad cow disease!

A possible cause for pain at the upper/superior side (towards the thigh) of the kneecap is weak quads. If they don't work together, as in unequal strength, that can cause this kind of pain. RPM has exercise physiologists, too. If you have med insurance, and the pain lasts too long, a visit to the doc would be a good idea. Pain under the kneecap isn't good. If it goes away in a day or two, maybe not a big deal.

Ronnie is an up and coming Cat 1 racer with one of the meanest sprints in the US. He's beaten many of the pro's last year.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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40,916 Posts
Peanya said:
Maybe it was the new saddle, seat position, and stem that changed it.
you changed the saddle, the position and the stem before a 2 day ride.......YIKES....and why?

Hills are harder on the knees, no doubt about it.....gear down and spin, if you want to stand, kick it up a gear or two for more resistance, when you get back in the saddle, shift down again.

edit, bring that saddle down, knee bend at about 15 degrees at the bottom of the pedal stroke....hyper-extending is a GOOD way to wreck a knee....
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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bmxhacksaw said:
I used to be a total speed demon, gravity bikes, street luges, all that, but since I've gotten older (I'm 47) I don't like going down hill fast all that much anymore.
I'm about your age and I've had to temporarily quit racing because I had a nasty crash on a downhill a while back and although the body healed nicely, I've lost my nerve for going balls-out.
 

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Registered
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15 degrees??

Touch0Gray said:
you changed the saddle, the position and the stem before a 2 day ride.......YIKES....and why?

Hills are harder on the knees, no doubt about it.....gear down and spin, if you want to stand, kick it up a gear or two for more resistance, when you get back in the saddle, shift down again.

edit, bring that saddle down, knee bend at about 15 degrees at the bottom of the pedal stroke....hyper-extending is a GOOD way to wreck a knee....
I had mine at abou 15 degrees and felt like I was losing power. I dropped the saddle about a cm and instantly increased speed and power. Now I am at about 30 degrees and that allows me to get my heal on the pedal. With 15 degrees, I couldn't get my heels on the pedals while sitting in saddle. My LBS says 30 degrees is about what you should aim for and that a lower saddle would provde more power...btw, I had a very little bit of pain in my right knee with higher saddle height, now I have none. And I did the MS150 yesterday including the park. Took a little over 4.5 hours due to the wind. Good ride.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Touch0Gray said:
you changed the saddle, the position and the stem before a 2 day ride.......YIKES....and why?



edit, bring that saddle down, knee bend at about 15 degrees at the bottom of the pedal stroke....hyper-extending is a GOOD way to wreck a knee....
I changed the seatpost a while back. The new saddle, however, is the same one I used to use on my last bike - which I regretfully left on when I sold it. So I was going back to something I knew.
That degree is what I've tried to go for, and I'm fairly sure it's close to that. Been calling a few other places to find a good and affordable fit (yeah, I know I shouldn't skimp, but budget is limiting me - I just HAD to get the lounge bibs!)
I'm expecting to pay around $100 instead of 200 to 400. I've ruled out the shop I go to typically, as they seem to generalized. Why should I pay money for a KOPS and "Does it feel goood?" when I've done that for free. RPM as mentioned above does the RETUL fit, and they guarantee it. But it's out of my price range.

I've gotten advice on spinning down so you don't have to work as hard on the way up. And all save one hill, I did follow. I don't think I'd have made it had I not followed that advice.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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MCF said:
I had mine at abou 15 degrees and felt like I was losing power. I dropped the saddle about a cm and instantly increased speed and power. Now I am at about 30 degrees and that allows me to get my heal on the pedal. With 15 degrees, I couldn't get my heels on the pedals while sitting in saddle. My LBS says 30 degrees is about what you should aim for and that a lower saddle would provde more power...btw, I had a very little bit of pain in my right knee with higher saddle height, now I have none. And I did the MS150 yesterday including the park. Took a little over 4.5 hours due to the wind. Good ride.
I actually use between 18 and 25 degrees for me, depending on the bike.....keeping in mind when out of the saddle, seat height is a moot point!
 

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Frog Whisperer
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kykr13 said:
What are these "hill" things you speak of?

Yer not from Illinoize, is ya?
silly flatlanders......'cmon up to Madison.....
 

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Frog Whisperer
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In my opinion, if you are un-used to hills, and spent 2 days riding hills, it's not a real surprise that the knees took a beating..
 

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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MCF said:
I had mine at abou 15 degrees and felt like I was losing power. I dropped the saddle about a cm and instantly increased speed and power. Now I am at about 30 degrees and that allows me to get my heal on the pedal. With 15 degrees, I couldn't get my heels on the pedals while sitting in saddle. My LBS says 30 degrees is about what you should aim for and that a lower saddle would provde more power...btw, I had a very little bit of pain in my right knee with higher saddle height, now I have none. And I did the MS150 yesterday including the park. Took a little over 4.5 hours due to the wind. Good ride.
I was thinking of you, when I got passed by someone on a Cervelo. He was a total fred though (his was blue, so I know it's not you). All high-end stuff on the bike, but you could tell 2 obvious things - he didn't know how to shift and never maintained his bike. He passed me, then I passed him as his chain wouldn't catch the cogs. You could see the chain hadn't been lubed in either a long time or never.
 
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