Mountain bike knee pain

Posted by Paul​ Walton on May 16, 2009 0 comments

Mountain bike knee pain knee pain in my left leg associated with mountain biking
Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with knee pain in my left leg associated with mountain biking. When I first started riding mountain bikes like any other newbie mountain bike rider, flat pedals was the way to go. As I got deeper into riding and pushed myself much harder I made the transition to clipped/cleats.
When I first started using cleats getting them set up for me was a pain in the butt. But however, when the set up job was complete my riding seamed to improve 100%.
I never suffered with knee pain for a least 2 years of using cleats. So when the pain struck, I was completely taken aback by it and I could not fathom out how and what would sort it!

After lots of cusses and tantrums I decided to go back to flat pedals, this was a bold move as I did not know how this would effect my riding. To my amazement my speed did not decline, but efficiency did. I found that my left foot would move outwards whilst road riding, and both feet would not stay on the pedals over rough ground. Again lots of cusses and tantrums followed,,,OMG, "I sound like a 5 year old!"

My pain in my left knee has gone since using flat pedals and now I find myself at a crossroads with which route to take,,, I could get a pair of "Five ten high shoes" As these would keep my feet glued to the pedals, so they say! The reason I say Five ten high is because they would give me some ankle support and stop me from rolling my feet.

The other route would be to go back to cleats, but with my DX shoe and pedal combi! So far I have tested the DX route due to the fact that I already have them in my possession and the Five tens cost £75. Not a route I'm prepared to take whilst I'm on a 3 day a week at work!
Yesterday I went out on my full susser with the DX combi fitted. I had the cleats all the way back on the shoe and my seat quite high. I spent about half an hour riding leisurely before feeling pain in my left knee again, so I stopped and went home!

When I got back home I decided to move the left cleat nose out which should result in my heel inward toward the chain stay. I found this relieved the pain whilst shifting my left foot inside the shoe, and when I was using flat pedals I found that my left foot would point toes outward naturally anyway. This felt weird as it feels like I am stomping on the left pedal and my right leg is just doing no work!

As things stand, my plan is to go out again today and see if any more pain occurs. If more pain occurs then I will ditch the cleats forever and buy a pair of Five ten high shoes instead! But then again it's my birthday in June so all the ear ache I have caused and dropping "Five ten high shoes" in there too, may get me a pair! We never really grow up do we?? ;-)


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