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Feb 25, 2007
Having completed two 6 hour rides this weekend :D I am feeling a little stiff, which is not to be unexpected as I normally limit myself to 3 to 4 hours when solo.

After completing yesterdays ride, Down to Kamakura and back along the coast route, I experienced for the first time, very sore shoulders and neck, to make matters worse this morning my left knee is inflamed and very sore.:eek:uch: I am at a loss as to the reasons why.
The shoulders I can probably attribute to road buzz (some of the surfaces left a lot to be desired), maybe carbon forks would help here. As for the knee problem I have no answers. I didn't alter anything in my setup and made no major efforts (sprints) to cause a strain.

If anybody out there has any bright ideas on what can cause an inflamed knee and as to the benefits I could expect from carbon forks I'd be interested to hear them.

I refuse to accept age as the reason so lets not go down that road.


Sorry to hear of your injuries. Perhaps it's just an accumulation thing or a repetitive strain injury? Are there any major hils or climbs on the Kamakura route? Perhaps the excessive heat or humidity has take its toll. Plenty of rest and ice might help.

Hope you're fit for the weekend!
Fit for the weekend


no major hills encountered en route - just minor humps and I don't think I attacked any of them with intent just sat in and spun the pedals. maybe the repetitive strain is a consideration, which, as it is just the left knee would perhaps indicate that my foot position is a bit off, I'll have to check the shoe plates when I get home to see if there has been any movement.

As for the weekend ride, I don't think this is anything serious so I should be fine, but I'll be taking it easy as it's Fuji the following weekend and don't want to risk missing out there due to injury. Maybe a run up the Arakawa just to spin out the legs will be in order.

Shoulders are just something that will go away and you'll get stronger muscles there the more you ride.
Check your posture while riding. Bent elbows will cushion the bouncing and take the strain off your back & shoulder and put more pressure on your forearms, triceps.
However if you are well balanced there should be little pressure at all on your fingers, palms, arms , neck, shoulders or back. The balance is where your arse meets the saddle... The best rider in my club can sit on his bike, no hands and wriggle the bike back and forth...you'd swear the bike was an extra appendage...

Your knee may be a saddle height problem.

You probably also need to get your position set up re-measured.
Sitting in the saddle, pedal at 6 o'clock...shoes off... see if your straight leg and heel fits in the center of the pedal. (or do a google search for other techniques).

When in a crouch position (comfortably) can you see the front axel over the handle bars? If not the frame top bar may be too big or your seat too far back.

Stopping every 30, 40 or 50kms and stretching out will help as well. There are some stretches you can do on your bike if you are confident enough to try. Take one foot out of the pedal... bend your leg back so that your heel is near your butt and put the shoe on the saddle. Then bob up and down slowly to stretch your thighs...

A short light recovery ride will help all the pain go away too...

If my advice does not suffice seek help from an expert.
Sound advice,

having had an early finish in the office 6:00pm (early for Japan anyway), I have done the basic seat height checks as you detailed and a few others that I found in various cycling magazines I have here in the apartment.
It would seem that you're right, the seat height appears to be around 5mm too high.

So a quick adjustment and I'll see how it feels this week.

Thanks again for the suggestion, it needed to come from outside as I believed that I had set the bike up to my norm and wouldn't have questioned it.
sorry to hear

Because you've raced in your teens and have had custom frame built, I suspect that unless you recently changed something on your bike, its probably not the usual suspects (saddle height, saddle fore/aft, bike size, stem length, etc...). I also would not change too many things at once....

I suggest you try the following site.. Reasonable approach to isolate source of knee pain...

Other thoughts from the peanut gallery....
- Cleat angle/position may have slipped/changed
- Maybe our bodies need more recovery time when we push beyond normal patterns (trying hard not to use the age angle)
- Had IT band issues? It may be getting inflamed, causing other pain. If so, strongly suggest investing in foam rollers and stretching.
- Any biometric issues? If so, stretch, chiropractor, wedges, yoga, might help.
- Rest... Could be the body's way of telling us that its about to have a real bender if you don't back off a bit
It is quite amazing how just a minimal change in seat height or position can effect your posture. Moreover, the strain it can place on your knees and other joint areas. A day does not go by that I stop a recreational cyclist and help adjust their seat to an optimum setting. There is a plethora of information on Cyclingnews.com site under fitness about saddle height, muscle soreness, etc. Usually,I take an hour to read over some of the questions.

I am big believer in correcting muscle imbalances to fix sore areas or strains. For example, I have been injury free for running for about 8 years now once I learned proper running mechanics, corrected muscle imbalances in my lower legs and core, and purchased appropriate footwear. I believe the same can be said for cycling. Correct bike setup is critical to avoid injuries to your joints. Once your bike is in check, the next is to tackle known muscle imbalances. Now, I am not talking about throwing up large amounts of weight but using enough weight to build strength into areas like your lower back, trapezoidal area, hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, etc. As such I found a great product Cyclo-Core to attack and maintain common weak areas. Additionally, adding yoga has increased my flexibility, usually performed after riding. Finally, riding mechanics, specifically the pedal stroke. There are a number of drills that can be performed to correct deficient riding technique, even the smallest. Just my two cents on the topic.

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