Cycling knee pain explained – formation reasons and solutions

Cycling knee pain explained - formation reasons and solutions.

Riding is a kind of hard work and experience. Cycling has infinite charm.

As an aerobic exercise, it not only strengthens your body, but also allows you to enjoy the scenery, relax your body and mind, and enjoy the feeling of flying in the wind.

As more and more people join the cycling team, the atmosphere of cycling becomes more intense.

Those who often follow races know that knee injuries are the most common occupational disease for professional riders, affecting many riders’ races.

For cycling enthusiasts, cycling knee pain is also one of the most common problems.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Compared to sports like running, cycling is less strenuous, which is why many people are just starting to choose to ride.

    Although cycling causes relatively little damage to the knee, repetitive movement over a long period of time can still cause some damage to our knees and does not mean that there is less wear and tear on the body.

    There are some simple ways to relieve cycling knee pain found early on, but for those with chronic pain that accumulates over time, it may take more time to recover and more patience to wait.

    Riding requires high-speed pedaling of the legs. If you do not pay attention to the best riding position or the bike is not set properly, it is easy to cause damage to the body, especially the knees.

    Possible causes of cycling knee pain

    The fit of the bike

    It is important that the bike fits well. A cheap but well-fitting bike is far more important than an expensive but ill-fitting bike.

    These include frame size, seat, handlebar height, etc. It is important to go to a store to pick/adjust a bike that fits well.

    If it doesn’t fit well, it will cause you to appear the cycling knee pain problem.

    The intensity and duration of the ride

    The most common mistake newbies make is getting too excited and wanting to ride farther and faster.

    No gear changes, no breaks to catch up. Personal riding ability should be gradually increased, make a suitable plan for yourself, and slowly improve your ability towards the plan you have made.

    Only in this way can you reduce the load on your knees, and at the same time be more durable.

    The intensity and duration of the ride

    Frequency of riding

    Any part that is used for a long time will have wear and tear, so will the human organ, and every day we walk on the knee joint will have a certain wear and tear.

    The general wear and tear of our knee joints at rest or when sleeping secrete a lubricant-like fluid (synovial fluid), will self-repair knee joints, but the wear and tear is too serious.

    The body’s self-healing system can’t keep up with the speed of wear and tear, natural problems.

    Cycling should be done in moderation, step by step, combined with their own strength to ride, do not blindly increase the distance of cycling, from time to time to maintain the rest of the knee joint, gradually enhance the tolerance and strength of the knee joint.

    Riding environment

    Many people have this misconception about the riding environment.

    It is said that in cycling, the knee generally does not need any protection and will not get rheumatism, because the knee joint is in constant motion and will naturally generate heat.

    Riding when it rains is absolutely devastating to the knees, and no knee joint can withstand the rain and wind because the knee joint is in a head-on position and is directly exposed to the elements.

    However, most rheumatic diseases are autoimmune diseases, in which immune cells attack joints for unknown reasons, causing joint pain, deformity and later disability, as well as viral triggers, endocrine triggers and genetic factors, although the sample of these three diseases is very small and most of them are autoimmune causes.

    Riding environment

    However, although humidity and low temperatures do not cause rheumatism, high humidity and low temperatures can make the symptoms of rheumatism, which are already occurring, more severe.

    So try to reduce the chances of riding in the rain and if you are going to ride, please protect your knee joints first.

    Incorrect pedaling frequency

    Some riders have good physical strength, especially climbing, in order to reflect the speed and physical ability, in order to fly faster than others, pedal as hard as possible. 

    And they do not care about the pedaling frequency, do not know that the human knee joint after all, the strength is limited, too much power output on the knee joint has a very big impact.

    Knee joint damage is usually serious for those who have good physical strength and have been riding for a long time.

    When riding, try to use a small gear ratio, improve the pedaling frequency, do not gear ratio is too heavy, use light and fast pedaling. Start riding with light gears, and use even force on both legs, not too hard.

    Incorrect pedaling frequency

    Acute knee pain or chronic pain

    If you are cycling and suddenly feel knee pain, this is an “alarm” and if these “alarms” occur, you should consider making an adjustment and try to shift to a lower gear or ride at a lower load.

    For those with chronic pain, it may take 2 to 3 weeks to recover overall and then begin a gradual recovery.

    Focusing on nutrition and sleep during recovery is a good thing for your knee.

    Acute knee pain or chronic pain

    Other causes of cycling knee pain

    Cycling may seem like leg exercise, but in fact, the glutes, abs, and core muscles work in concert throughout the exercise process.

    If they don’t work, it can cause pain and you need to exercise to get them active.

    Take gluteals, for example. Muscle weakness is a common cause of knee pain.

    Cycling is done with the cooperation of many muscle groups, and if the gluteal muscles are weak, then it forces the other muscles (hamstrings and quadriceps) to work overtime, which will naturally lead to pain over time.

    Solution of dealing with cycling knee pain

    This table summarizes the solutions of dealing with cycling knee pain:

    Pain in the front of the knee Pain at the back of the knee Medial and lateral knee pain
    Possible causes: the seat position is usually too low Possible causes: the seat position is usually too high Possible causes: wrong position of locking shoes
    Solution: try to raise the seat or move it back 1-2 mm Solution: try lowering the seat or moving it forward by 1-2 mm. Solution: correct the position and promptly checking the locking shoes for wear or crookedness

    The above methods can regulate joint pain caused by improper posture.

    But how many cyclists, not only in the process of riding, but also in daily life, are aware of cycling knee pain, but ignore these signals?

    The normal life span of the knee joint is about 60 years, reaching a peak around the age of 30, after which it begins to enter a natural aging degeneration period.

    In many everyday sports, joints are subjected to stress loads that are more than 50 times the pressure of a car tire!

    Solution of dealing with cycling knee pain

    In order to withstand such loads, the joint tissue must be extremely stable, strong and perform optimally, and any discomfort can easily cause cartilage damage.

    Scientific and effective protection and strong muscle strength are the best protection in all sports. However, it is worth noting that even with strong muscle strength, without scientific and effective protection, knee injuries can still not be completely avoided.

    Not to mention professional athletes, are cycling enthusiasts around, cycling knee pain still less?

    This is because the knee joint is supposed to have a life span, and degenerative osteoarthritis almost sweeps through 90% of men and women over the age of 65, with varying degrees of severity.


    Cycling knee pain does not make us give up the sport, but tells us to make the right adjustments.

    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
    Related posts

    SAMEBIKE electric bike blog, where you will find all articles about cycling tips, as well as some reviews and newsletters about e-bikes.



    Video Gallery
    Contact Form Demo
    Scroll to Top


    Complete control over product allows usto ensure our customers receive the bestquality prices and service. We take greatpride in everything that we do.