Badly aligned cleats can be responsible for causing knee pain in cyclists.
If you do have knee pain cycling you need to make sure your cleats are set to allow you to be in the middle of your float.
Learn what cleat float means and how to adjust your cleats to avoid knee pain.
Knee pain is one of the most common reasons that cyclists come to The Body Mechanic for either physiotherapy treatment or bike fitting.
There are a lot of different reasons why knee pain can occur, and the pain can be felt in different parts of the knee. Determining where your knee pain is located, can help determine the cause of your knee pain.
Where is your knee pain located?
1. Pain in the front of the knee (anterior knee pain) is often related to saddle height and position.
If your saddle height and position are not set correctly, there can be additional stress and loading in the patellofemoral joint (where the back of your kneecap rubs on your thigh bone). If your pain is in the front of your knee, we recommend you read this article on how to set your saddle position.
2. Pain on the inside of the knee (medial knee pain)
This can occur slightly above your knee where your quad muscle (VMO) inserts into the kneecap, or slightly below the knee where your hamstring muscles insert into the shin bone (Pes Anserine area).
Pain in both of these areas can be caused by an incorrect saddle position, or incorrectly placed cleats.
3. Pain on the outside of the knee (lateral knee pain)
This pain can also be related to cleat setup.
How far forwards or backward your cleats are positioned on the shoe is important, and the rotation of the cleat on the shoe is also important as this is what affects your float. By float, we are referring to the ability of your foot to rotate inwards or outwards (toe in Vs toe out) whilst still clipped into the pedal.
Incorrectly fitted cleats restrict your movement
As part of our bike fitting process, we ensure that we allow adequate float in both directions which allows your hips and knees to move in a position that is natural and comfortable for you.
It is important to note that everyone’s body moves and functions slightly differently. Your knees don’t have to travel in a perfectly straight line in order for you to be comfortable and injury-free.
If your cleats are set correctly your hips and knees will travel in a position that is natural for you. Certain cleat and shoe combinations allow more float than others, so make sure you choose them carefully.
If your cleats are not fitted correctly and your cleat float is reduced, the movement pattern of your leg can be restricted. This often results in you using the muscles around your hip and knee in a less than optimal way.
Learn how to set your cleats to avoid cyclist knee pain.
Watch this video to learn about cleat float and why it is so important.
Tight quads can also cause knee pain
One great way to reduce tension in your quads, and therefore reduce knee pain, is to use a foam roller.
Using a foam roller regularly is the key. If you can put aside 3-4 minutes a day for foam rolling it will be far more effective than only rolling once a week for a longer time. The foam roller will help to reduce tension and adhesions in your muscles and fasica (ITB).
If you are having knee pain and would like to know more about how we can help you with either your body or your bike – please give us a call on 9955 5842.
Learn more about our bike fitting service.