Protect your knees with these four tried and true training tips.
“PATELLOFEMORAL SYNDROME IN CYCLING results from the undersurface of the knee cap, which is rubbing too hard and for too many repetitions against the femur. That’s grinding away the smooth cartilage on both,” says Brian Prax, a physical therapist based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Stay in the saddle and out of Prax’s office with this knee-saving advice.
Raise Your Cadence A low cadence (fewer than 60 rpm) not only taxes your muscles but also puts extra stress on your joints. Spin above 80 rpm.
Find the Right Float The wrong foot positioning can cause knee pain. Your cleat angle should mirror the natural angle of your heel. While no-float pedals have been linked to knee problems, too much float can be just as damaging. Most riders should be comfortable with a maximum of 4.5 degrees of float.
Move Back When in doubt—and in pain—try moving your cleat back a couple of millimeters. This tiny adjustment can drastically reduce the impact on your knees.
Pedal in Circles While maintaining a circular pedal stroke, make sure your knees aren’t jutting outward or inward.