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Should My Knees Be Closer to the Bike?
Posted by shawny mack on May 14 2013 06:21
An excerpt from Road Bike Rider newsletter:


I recently rode with an experienced racer. He said my knees are too far out to the side as I pedal, and I would benefit from bringing them closer to the top tube. “Think of holding a ball between your knees,” he said. I'm quite bowlegged (thanks Mom), so for me to make my knees touch the top tube is almost impossible. So what should I do? -- Randy S.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies:

I see quite a few riders with knees splayed outward. This can be caused by anatomical characteristics or bad bike fit -- or a combination.

Narrower knees are certainly better in terms of aerodynamics. Watching the pros on TV, head-on camera shots make some riders even look knock-kneed.

But it’s a common misconception that pedaling with knees nearly brushing the top tube increases power. Knee position is determined by your anatomy. Ideally, your knees will be directly over the pedals. But if you're bowlegged, they will tend to be fairly far from the top tube.

Trying to pull them in is likely to strain and ultimately injure ligaments and tendons in your legs.

The best advice is to get a professional bike fit. Using one of the various systems available, a coach or a bike shop's fit technician can set your saddle position and cleat location to accommodate your anatomy. Then let your knees do what they want to do, naturally. That's the best way to avoid injury and produce the most power your body is capable of generating.
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08-20-2017 08:49

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