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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm prone to both Achilles tendinitis and patellar pain (chondromalacia) in one leg. I've been able to control the Achilles problem with judicious taping and moving the cleat back to reduce stress on the tendon..
Proportionally, I seem to have long legs and a short torso and have been running my saddle setback more forward than the standard recommendations. I'm wondering if moving the saddle back and getting a shorter stem (90mm) would have any effect in reducing (or increasing) the stress on my knee.
I'd just go ahead and try it, but my knee is finally starting to calm down and I don't want to irritate it again.
FWIW, my saddle height gives me a 25 degree leg angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke, so I've minimized the shear forces on my patella in that regard.
 

· waterproof*
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Well, I think it's worth a try, in your quest for a long-term position that's right for you.

Since your knee is calming down, at least you'll know what caused it if it flares up again - keep the old stem so you can switch back.

I think with long thighs and a short torso it may be the best direction for ya.

.
 

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I have a similar condition ric426, with the longish legs and shortish reach. My 3 way fit calculations want me on a c-c seat tube of 59.4 - 61.1 and top tube of 54.6 - 56. I have to bring the saddle pretty well forward to get my knee cap over the pedal shaft.

I suggest you make sure your seat to pedal relationship is good before you mess with your stem. If you get your cart before your horse, you might have to get a new cart after you get your horse.

Someone will be along soon to lecture you about the importance of getting fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Getting back to my typically wordy post, does increasing or decreasing saddle setback relative to the pedals (assuming that saddle height is correct) have any affect on knee stresses?
I guess another way to ask the same question is does an aero position like on a time trial or triathlon bike, where the rider is more over the bottom bracket, cause any increase or decrease in knee stresses compared to a more conventional position?
 

· Matnlely Dregaend
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Try shorter cranks. I found this helped more than anything else.
 

· eminence grease
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I've only had knee problems when I have set my bike up improperly with the saddle too far forward. I can take whatever backwards adjustment I make with impunity. Well, at least as far back as I can jam the saddle on a reasonably set back post with the saddle set to the proper height. My settings are either spot on or slightly greater than what I have found using on-line calculators.

The bad news is - it takes experimentation and the only feedback is pain.
 

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If I have this right...pushing your saddle back will in effect raise the height, so you will have to compensate and lower it. Also pushing your saddle back will lengthen your stroke, so it will have an effect of how you pedal. I had Achilles tendon problems years ago and was advised not to stand. How you pedal will make a difference also, flat footed or toes down. I fractured my hip a couple of years ago and had a ti rod implanted in my femur. I had to push my saddle back as a forward position would aggravate the heck out of my leg. In the meantime my stroke suffered.

You might be a candidate an over-the counter foot support such as Specialized Body Geometry High Performance footbeds. Specialized shims go inside of you cycling shoes and are to be used with the Specialized Body Geometry High Performance footbeds. They are supposed to align the foot-knee and hip. LeWedges are shims that go underneath your cleats and to work right you should be fitted by a trained technician.

The Specialized shims worked for me but there was a transition period. I could not wear them all the time when I started using them. Maybe an hour at a time then take them out. Gradually increasing the time. Now they work great.

You could also get professionally fitted by someone who knows what they are doing.

Or if everything is o.k now. maybe leave well enough alone. Knees don't like changes, whatever you do make changes in very small increments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
terry b said:
I've only had knee problems when I have set my bike up improperly with the saddle too far forward.
There's a solid vote for moving my saddle back. I did move it back a bit last night, going by the plumb bob from the knee method, I'm still a little forward from standard. On my ride today my knee was a little happier, but I know better than to draw any conclusions from one ride. I did feel that any more setback was going to make the reach too far, but I've got a 90mm stem I can try. It makes sense to get the saddle position right first, then adjust the bar reach accordingly.

terry b said:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"
You a JA fan too?

Dinosaur said:
You might be a candidate an over-the counter foot support such as Specialized Body Geometry High Performance footbeds.
Have 'em in all my cycling shoes.

Dinosaur said:
You could also get professionally fitted by someone who knows what they are doing.
I was when I got my current bike 3 years ago, but lots of stretching and riding has improved my flexibility since then. Maybe it's time for another pro fitting.
 

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How far back?

ric426 said:
There's a solid vote for moving my saddle back. I did move it back a bit last night, going by the plumb bob from the knee method, I'm still a little forward from standard. On my ride today my knee was a little happier, but I know better than to draw any conclusions from one ride. I did feel that any more setback was going to make the reach too far, but I've got a 90mm stem I can try. It makes sense to get the saddle position right first, then adjust the bar reach accordingly.

How far back are you taking a measurement from the tip of your saddle to the center of your bottom bracket? I'm 8cm back on one bike and 9cm on the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dinosaur said:
How far back are you taking a measurement from the tip of your saddle to the center of your bottom bracket? I'm 8cm back on one bike and 9cm on the other.
I'll have to check that measurement tomorrow. I've just been going by the recommendations in Andy Pruitt's book, measuring from my knee to the crank/pedal spindle with a plumb bob and I'm still slightly forward of his recommendation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dizzy812 said:
You'll know you're too far back if you start getting pain behind the knee . . .
So if I'm too far forward and the pain is in the front of my knee and too far back will move the pain behind my knee, I'll know it's right when the pain is centered! :idea:

:skep:

:shocked:

:wink5:
 

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What saddle are you using?

LouD-Reno said:
ummm... you're obviously to smart to be a cyclist.....:p

"

Saddle selection has a big affect. I controls your control and efficiency as well"

This was taken out of Zinn And The Art Of Road Bike Maintenance. I have tons of saddles. I like my old Fizik Arione as it offers different positions. It's long and I can move around, forward or aft. The only thing I'm worried about is that it's getting old and I worried about it cracking, which I've read about with the Arione.

Yeah, Pruitt likes a high saddle height. I jack my saddle up as far as I can. If it's too high I can tell. I think my knee bend is something like 92-93%. I have long femurs. If I use a 250mm seatpost I will run it up to the max insertion mark.

Your issue is probably saddle position. I'm lucky, never have had knee problems (knock on wood). Old riders use high gears.
 

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Will increasing saddle setback affect knee stress?

Increasing saddle setback decreases the effective seat tube angle.

Back in the 80's, Phil Anderson from the 7-11 team was troubled with lots of knee pain. He had a new bike built up with a 68 degree seat tube, and used it in races for two months until the pain was gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MR_GRUMPY said:
Back in the 80's, Phil Anderson from the 7-11 team was troubled with lots of knee pain. He had a new bike built up with a 68 degree seat tube, and used it in races for two months until the pain was gone.
Thanks. That's more solid reasoning for moving my saddle back. I checked my bike this morning and it looks like I'll need to get a new seatpost to achieve it. I've been using a Thomson post with no setback.
I hope switching to a 90mm stem won't affect the handling too badly, but there's only one way to know for sure.
 
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