Friday, August 22, 2008

Weak Kneed

Department of Bicycles, Dept. I've been been exploring some of the roads around our house on my bicycle. This is a lovely place to ride. I've noticed that I'm experiencing pain in the medial (inner) sides of my knees when, and after, riding my Jamis mountain bike, whereas with my road bike I don't get the pain. My handy ruler showed that the cranks on the mountain bike set the pedals farther apart by nearly an inch (pedal-to-pedal) than those on the other bike, and I read on various sites that medial knee pain is caused by pedals too far apart.

So I went down to two nearby bike stores (Hutch's on Galveston and Bend Cyclery on Century) and what I was told is that the wider spacing of the pedals on mountain frames is so the cranks can clear the chainstays which are farther apart due to having to clear fatter tires.

The cranks on my mountain bike clear the stays by nearly half an inch but neither of the shops had anything on hand that could fit the bike and with narrower spacing.

I might have to give up riding on that frame and find something better suited to my needs. I can't do any real mountain biking anyway because of a metal knee which could easily be torqued out of my femur if I take a bad fall, so I tend to stay on pavement and other smooth places to ride, meaning I don't really need a mountain frame anyway, but I'd like something that would work on something besides pavement.

Cyclocross seems to be the category of bicycles I'm looking for: they have narrower spacing on the chainstays so I can keep the pedal-to-pedal spacing small, but they also support disc brakes and can handle fatter tires (35 - 40mm). They're not your full fat mountain bike tires, but at least they're fatter than my skinny road tires.

Requires research. Need to find a place in town with a good selection of reasonably-priced cyclocross frames.

Bend is a beautiful place to bike and I plan to enjoy it as long as my legs will permit.

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