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Off topic: About knees and gear-inches

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  • Al
     There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 27 5:44 PM
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       There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me?  The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!

         Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
    • dr2chase@mac.com
      Your reasoning about the selection effect is sound, but the high gears bad for your knees was always accompanied by the excess of authority and lack of
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 27 6:23 PM
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        Your reasoning about the selection effect is sound, but the "high gears bad for your knees" was always accompanied by the excess of authority and lack of actual data that supported such pronouncements as "stress causes ulcers" and "cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis". And also "fat tires have higher rolling resistance" (I've measured this two different ways, fat tires have lower rolling resistance, at least for the two tires in my sample. Fat tires have higher wind resistance).

        So, speaking as an old guy who has often mashed (and who thought it was fun, as a teenager, to push 750 on the lever-action "leg press" and then doodle the whole stack with one foot, or to do 100 repetitions at 300 lbs as fast as I could), how sure are you that this is true? And the leg press nonsense didn't make my knees hurt -- it made my shins ache.

        And I'm still skeptical about no recumbents in RAAM. How many mountain ranges are we talking, versus an awful lot of flat, some of it windy? Are recumbents so bad at climbing that they cannot make up the difference in all the flat?

        David

        On 2012-09-27, at 8:44 PM, Al <k3eax@...> wrote:

        >
        > There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me? The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!
        >
        > Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
        >
      • Zach Kaplan
        ... Lots of recumbents have been ridden on RAAM and done well. Personally, I ve been riding recumbents for over 20 years and have ridden numerous hilly double
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 30 2:23 PM
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          > And I'm still skeptical about no recumbents in RAAM. How many mountain ranges are we talking, versus an awful lot of flat, some of it windy? Are recumbents so bad at climbing that they cannot make up the difference in all the flat?
          >
          > David

          Lots of recumbents have been ridden on RAAM and done well. Personally, I've been riding recumbents for over 20 years and have ridden numerous hilly double centuries and brevets on them. In my experience as long as the recumbent is reasonably lightweight and aerodynamic, it will be overall faster than a traditional road bike on a hilly course. This is assuming the rider's muscles are acclimated to producing power in the horizontal position, something that can take 5,000 km or more. Most but not all production recumbents are fairly heavy and not much more aerodynamic than a road bike. Here is an example of the type of recumbent I have found to be overall faster on a hilly ride:

          http://bacchettabikes.com/bikes/performance/carbon-aero-2.0

          -------------------------------------------------------------
          Zach Kaplan Cycles
          510-522-BENT (2368)
          zach@...
          http://zachkaplancycles.com
        • simonw1967
          That is a very provocative assertion? Your statement that certain cyclists are not members of this list and therefore implicitly have knee problems is very
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 4, 2012
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            That is a very provocative assertion?
            Your statement that certain cyclists are not members of this list and therefore implicitly have knee problems is very rash.
            70+ years ago the average person was physically a lot smaller, and nowhere near as strong, the average bike and its components were much less sophisticated, and certainly much heavier.
            Trolling though my local club achieves shows that average speeds and times are far better now-a days than 'back then' across ALL age groups.
            Nor least due to fact that Bike design and build has come a long way since WW11, and that training and coaching programmers are far more sophisticated. Those active member in the club of similar age (60-70) to you are riding bikes with MUCH taller gearing than there predecessors, and still making better times. Knee problems and other muscular skeletal issues that accompany aging are a fact of life.
            The underlying reason why some suffer biomechanical degradation earlier may be due to congenital factors, others may be from simple over use.
            The reason why you knees are allegedly still fine will more likely be due to you having never ridden as far, or as hard, or as for long?

            Simon.


            --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@...> wrote:
            >
            >  There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me?  The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!
            >
            >    Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
            >
          • Al
            Dear Rip van Winkle, pleased that you ve awakened and are now able to reply to my months-old posting regarding tall gears and their affect on knees. I
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 5, 2012
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              Dear Rip van Winkle, 'pleased that you've awakened and are now able to reply to my months-old posting regarding tall gears and their affect on knees.

              I commend your club archivist for keeping such meticulous records! However, those records do not speak to my assertion as there seems to be no indication of  the number of years individual member rode in such high gears, etc. Also, you seem to be speaking of competitive cycling. Now we all know that such cyclists rarely stay on their bikes after age 30, this perhaps for reasons of knee difficulty or more likely the deleterious affects of  the long-term usage of performance enhancing drugs!

              I think what is needed here is a longitudinal study of a group of high-gear riders.

              By the way, I've cycled daily since the age of seven, have daily commute of fifteen miles, and cover 50 to 70 miles on Saturdays with my club. And of course all riding is done in gears under 70". 

                Al in Philadelphia,  

               
              From: simon 1967 <simonw1967@...>
              To: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:34 PM
              Subject: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Off topic: About knees and gear-inches
               
              That is a very provocative assertion?
              Your statement that certain cyclists are not members of this list and therefore implicitly have knee problems is very rash.
              70+ years ago the average person was physically a lot smaller, and nowhere near as strong, the average bike and its components were much less sophisticated, and certainly much heavier.
              Trolling though my local club achieves shows that average speeds and times are far better now-a days than 'back then' across ALL age groups.
              Nor least due to fact that Bike design and build has come a long way since WW11, and that training and coaching programmers are far more sophisticated. Those active member in the club of similar age (60-70) to you are riding bikes with MUCH taller gearing than there predecessors, and still making better times. Knee problems and other muscular skeletal issues that accompany aging are a fact of life.
              The underlying reason why some suffer biomechanical degradation earlier may be due to congenital factors, others may be from simple over use.
              The reason why you knees are allegedly still fine will more likely be due to you having never ridden as far, or as hard, or as for long?

              Simon.


              --- In mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@...> wrote:
              >
              >  There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me?  The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!
              >
              >    Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
              >

            • Frank
              I tend to be a bit of a maverick in my thinking, and I often challenge long-held beliefs about the facts. What I don t think is wise is simply to ignore the
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 5, 2012
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                I tend to be a bit of a maverick in my thinking, and I often challenge long-held beliefs about the facts. What I don't think is wise is simply to ignore the advice and beliefs of those who have been performing well over a long period of time. I believe that in order to challenge long held beliefs successfully, one must respect the experience behind those beliefs and develop a model of how your approach to a problem does not conflict with long experience.

                I do not agree with Al that a longitudinal study would show any results. That is because we have not attempted to distinguish the mode of harm from pedaling tall gears. There are lots of ways to hurt your knees, and most of them have nothing to do with pedaling tall gears. I don't think any advocate of short gearing would suggest that ACL tears have anything to do with typical gearing, for example. Once someone has an ACL tear, he or she tends to walk with the knee at a funny angle, and does great harm to cartilage in everyday activities.

                Further, I know in my case my knees were battered by basketball, skiing and bicycling in tall gears when I was younger. My knees generally function well, but every so often something will make a knee click and become painful. In a more general study, the problem is the cyclists most likely to have knee damage from other activities are the ones least involved in coached activities such as bicycle racing.

                The only way to sift out those kinds of affects would be to hypothesize a mode of damage not likely from any other activity but repetitive motion, such as pedaling, under greater load. That sounds like a wonderful study, and I eagerly await the results when Rip conducts the study.

                Until such a study is completed, I maintain that we will never be able to know whether tall gears really hurt knees. I do know that pedaling in shorter gears does not diminish the quality of a ride, and that very experienced cyclists recommend relatively short gears. If they are right and you reject their advice, and ride in a tall gear, you will ruin your knees. If they are wrong and ride in a taller gear, congratulations, but I don't see what you have gained. If they old hands are right and you ride in a shorter gear, you will enjoy riding and save your knees. If they are wrong and you ride in a shorter gear, you will enjoy riding, and won't lose anything.

                --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Rip van Winkle, 'pleased that you've awakened and are now able to reply to my months-old posting regarding tall gears and their affect on knees.
                >
                > I commend your club archivist for keeping such meticulous records! However, those records do not speak to my assertion as there seems to be no indication of  the number of years individual member rode in such high gears, etc. Also, you seem to be speaking of competitive cycling. Now we all know that such cyclists rarely stay on their bikes after age 30, this perhaps for reasons of knee difficulty or more likely the deleterious affects of  the long-term usage of performance enhancing drugs!
                >
                > I think what is needed here is a longitudinal study of a group of high-gear riders.
                >
                > By the way, I've cycled daily since the age of seven, have daily commute of fifteen miles, and cover 50 to 70 miles on Saturdays with my club. And of course all riding is done in gears under 70". 
                >
                >   Al in Philadelphia,  
                >  
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: simon 1967 <simonw1967@...>
                > To: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:34 PM
                > Subject: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Off topic: About knees and gear-inches
                >
                >
                >  
                >
                > That is a very provocative assertion?
                > Your statement that certain cyclists are not members of this list and therefore implicitly have knee problems is very rash.
                > 70+ years ago the average person was physically a lot smaller, and nowhere near as strong, the average bike and its components were much less sophisticated, and certainly much heavier.
                > Trolling though my local club achieves shows that average speeds and times are far better now-a days than 'back then' across ALL age groups.
                > Nor least due to fact that Bike design and build has come a long way since WW11, and that training and coaching programmers are far more sophisticated. Those active member in the club of similar age (60-70) to you are riding bikes with MUCH taller gearing than there predecessors, and still making better times. Knee problems and other muscular skeletal issues that accompany aging are a fact of life.
                > The underlying reason why some suffer biomechanical degradation earlier may be due to congenital factors, others may be from simple over use.
                > The reason why you knees are allegedly still fine will more likely be due to you having never ridden as far, or as hard, or as for long?
                >
                > Simon.
                >
                >
                > --- In mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@> wrote:
                > >
                > >  There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me?  The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!
                > >
                > >    Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
                > >
                >
              • dr2chase@mac.com
                I thought (but now I wonder if I misread) Al s original comments to imply a selection effect; that people who were driven off from cycling, for whatever
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 5, 2012
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                  I thought (but now I wonder if I misread) Al's original comments to imply a selection effect; that people who were driven off from cycling, for whatever reason, would not appear here to comment on the issues that drove them off cycling.

                  I've never quite made sense of the no-tall-gears thing, because with rare exceptions cycling has always made my knees hurt less, regardless of whatever silly-ass gear I chose. I've always been much more sensitive to issues of leg extension. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I get the impression that the force applied to the pedal is less than my weight (after all, I am not bouncing up in the air) and therefore many alternatives to cycling ought to be expected to do more damage than "tall gears".

                  Note that when I was a wee lad, I also engaged in single-ski water skiing and marching band, and thought that pushing 500lbs with one foot on the leg press machine (and 750 once the 500 was up in the air -- again, extension issues) was good sport. And when doing those silly stunts, it was not my joints or muscles that ached, but the shins. I may not be typical. There's no way in hell I'd try anything like that now.

                  David
                • Frank
                  I think I understood an implied selection bias as well, in that those who used taller gears tended to drop out of the population of bicyclists at a greater
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 5, 2012
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                    I think I understood an implied selection bias as well, in that those who used taller gears tended to drop out of the population of bicyclists at a greater rate. I think this is likely true, albeit because I think cyclists who are more involved in the sport are more likely to adopt the informal norm of rapid cadences and shorter gearing, and that those more involved in the sport are less likely to drop out.

                    I suggest the mode of harm from pedaling in tall gears is that there is more deformation of the knee cartilage as more force is applied with more damage per unit of work, so that the cyclist in the taller gear climbing a hill will do more damage climbing the same hill at the same speed as a cyclist pedaling a shorter gear. I would also suspect that a major risk factor is a fixed pedaling position, so that the force is applied at exactly the same point on each pedal stroke. I think that was behind the move toward more "float" in pedals a few years ago.

                    --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, dr2chase@... wrote:
                    >
                    > I thought (but now I wonder if I misread) Al's original comments to imply a selection effect; that people who were driven off from cycling, for whatever reason, would not appear here to comment on the issues that drove them off cycling.
                    >
                    > I've never quite made sense of the no-tall-gears thing, because with rare exceptions cycling has always made my knees hurt less, regardless of whatever silly-ass gear I chose. I've always been much more sensitive to issues of leg extension. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I get the impression that the force applied to the pedal is less than my weight (after all, I am not bouncing up in the air) and therefore many alternatives to cycling ought to be expected to do more damage than "tall gears".
                    >
                    > Note that when I was a wee lad, I also engaged in single-ski water skiing and marching band, and thought that pushing 500lbs with one foot on the leg press machine (and 750 once the 500 was up in the air -- again, extension issues) was good sport. And when doing those silly stunts, it was not my joints or muscles that ached, but the shins. I may not be typical. There's no way in hell I'd try anything like that now.
                    >
                    > David
                    >
                  • dr2chase@mac.com
                    ... For that, my experience is exactly backwards. Starting around age 26, I had a knee that would sometimes hurt, and I noticed that cycling would make it
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 5, 2012
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                      On 2012-12-05, at 11:07 AM, Frank <frankroskind@...> wrote:
                      > I would also suspect that a major risk factor is a fixed pedaling position, so that the force is applied at exactly the same point on each pedal stroke. I think that was behind the move toward more "float" in pedals a few years ago.

                      For that, my experience is exactly backwards. Starting around age 26, I had a knee that would sometimes hurt, and I noticed that cycling would make it feel better. Knee doctor then suggested that it was probably torn meniscus or bursitis, he could easily treat me for bursitis and if that worked that was probably it, but if it kept hurting, and I didn't want him to cut me knee open, perhaps I should keep riding my bike.

                      And ever after, that's what I've done. For years I used SPD, no particular float, and the effect of the bike was to run my leg through a series of known-good movements, and even if it started with some creaks and pops, those would rapidly work out, and then I'd be fine.

                      My understanding, from talking to friends with much worse knee problems, is that bicycling is an anti-point load on the knee, and serves to both improve circulation to/around the cartilage, and to help smooth things out. They make post-surgery devices that move your knees (with no load) for pretty much exactly that purpose.

                      David
                    • David Dannenberg
                      For some purposes cycling is considered non-weight bearing exercise--which goes to the point made that biking in any gear is better on the knees than other
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 6, 2012
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                        For some purposes cycling is considered "non-weight bearing" exercise--which goes to the point made that biking in any gear is better on the knees than other forms of exercise or sports--running, basketball, etc.

                        I read an article a year or two ago that cautioned against engaging in too much cycling without mixing in some weight bearing exercise because of evidence of osteoporosis among some top cyclists--guys in their early 30s were suffering fractured hips in relatively mild cycling accidents. Mountain biking according to the article does provide more weight-bearing exercise I suppose due to varied terrain and time up out of the saddle.

                        David Dannenberg
                      • Samantha Eastman
                        I had an accident and was run over by a car on my left leg and knee in May this year.  I fell sideways and it did not break the knee but the car tyre itself
                        Message 11 of 13 , Dec 7, 2012
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                          I had an accident and was run over by a car on my left leg and knee in May this year.  I fell sideways and it did not break the knee but the car tyre itself rolled over the joint and leg itself.  I have anterior tibialis tendonitis which means dodgy tendon issues and some joint annoyance still.  But in this time I was also without a car, another issue from June till August.  I actually found that walking and going up stairs, because of the pronation of the foot was the most painful weight bearing things that I had to do daily.  As I was used to walking on average 4 miles daily I found this troublesome.  But having to then take up the bicycle when without a car actually helped the area heal and strengthen whilst being able to still keep fit, and support the areas needed.  I would say some terrain was better; uphill was always an issue more as this was more pressure with the knee and leg and would obviously cause exacerbation.  But I definitely noticed that the regular  ten mile to twenty daily cycle ride was helpful.  I now have a car and have gone down to a more leisurely pace again but am keeping up with the cycling due to the benefits I noticed when having to cycle for the commute and school runs, not just to get fit and mental time out.  

                          Anyway that's my thoughts on knees and cycling.  

                          Samantha
                        • freetobike2012
                          Ok...I read the posters comment on most competitive cyclists being out of the game by their mid 30s Unsure whom you ride with or where sir; but club racing
                          Message 12 of 13 , Dec 8, 2012
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                            Ok...I read the posters comment on 'most competitive cyclists being out of the game by their mid 30s'
                            Unsure whom you ride with or where sir; but club racing is a large sport attracting hundreds of cyclists many well into their 50s and 60s. And these folks DO climb.
                            If you want to know who the former club racers are on a meet, simply look for the folks with braces on a knee or the ones who walk like ducks out of water (due to knee issues).
                            (no offense intended to the OP..just an observation from someone who wishes we'd had compact cranksets and close spaced 10 cog gearing 30 years ago.)
                            Rich mc


                            --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Dear Rip van Winkle, 'pleased that you've awakened and are now able to reply to my months-old posting regarding tall gears and their affect on knees.
                            >
                            > I commend your club archivist for keeping such meticulous records! However, those records do not speak to my assertion as there seems to be no indication of  the number of years individual member rode in such high gears, etc. Also, you seem to be speaking of competitive cycling. Now we all know that such cyclists rarely stay on their bikes after age 30, this perhaps for reasons of knee difficulty or more likely the deleterious affects of  the long-term usage of performance enhancing drugs!
                            >
                            > I think what is needed here is a longitudinal study of a group of high-gear riders.
                            >
                            > By the way, I've cycled daily since the age of seven, have daily commute of fifteen miles, and cover 50 to 70 miles on Saturdays with my club. And of course all riding is done in gears under 70". 
                            >
                            >   Al in Philadelphia,  
                            >  
                            >
                            > ________________________________
                            > From: simon 1967 <simonw1967@...>
                            > To: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com
                            > Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:34 PM
                            > Subject: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Off topic: About knees and gear-inches
                            >
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            > That is a very provocative assertion?
                            > Your statement that certain cyclists are not members of this list and therefore implicitly have knee problems is very rash.
                            > 70+ years ago the average person was physically a lot smaller, and nowhere near as strong, the average bike and its components were much less sophisticated, and certainly much heavier.
                            > Trolling though my local club achieves shows that average speeds and times are far better now-a days than 'back then' across ALL age groups.
                            > Nor least due to fact that Bike design and build has come a long way since WW11, and that training and coaching programmers are far more sophisticated. Those active member in the club of similar age (60-70) to you are riding bikes with MUCH taller gearing than there predecessors, and still making better times. Knee problems and other muscular skeletal issues that accompany aging are a fact of life.
                            > The underlying reason why some suffer biomechanical degradation earlier may be due to congenital factors, others may be from simple over use.
                            > The reason why you knees are allegedly still fine will more likely be due to you having never ridden as far, or as hard, or as for long?
                            >
                            > Simon.
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > >  There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me?  The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!
                            > >
                            > >    Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
                            > >
                            >
                          • stephen lewis
                            Thanks gentlemen. Had my annual medical yesterday with a fit looking doctor half my age. Apparently I need to lose 10kg - that s 20lbs! That was my weight 30
                            Message 13 of 13 , Dec 9, 2012
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                              Thanks gentlemen.
                              Had my annual medical yesterday with a fit looking doctor half my age. Apparently I need to lose 10kg - that's 20lbs! That was my weight 30 years ago...
                              Anyway, he was expecting to see more wear and tear on the knees after all these years in the saddle, but apart from a bit of creaking all's well - thanks to the degree of movement that shimano spd pedals allow this old bloke. maybe that's more important than gear inches???
                              When I told him though that I needed to have another surgery to get rid of 2 trigger fingers, he did not blink! Any of you - er -  older gentlemen - suffer from " sticky fingers"? Any hints to ease the problem?
                              Please ignore me if this is too far off topic!
                              Thanks for all the wisdom
                              Stephen

                              From: freetobike2012 <freetobike2012@...>
                              To: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sunday, 9 December 2012, 0:34
                              Subject: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Off topic: About knees and gear-inches
                               
                              Ok...I read the posters comment on 'most competitive cyclists being out of the game by their mid 30s'
                              Unsure whom you ride with or where sir; but club racing is a large sport attracting hundreds of cyclists many well into their 50s and 60s. And these folks DO climb.
                              If you want to know who the former club racers are on a meet, simply look for the folks with braces on a knee or the ones who walk like ducks out of water (due to knee issues).
                              (no offense intended to the OP..just an observation from someone who wishes we'd had compact cranksets and close spaced 10 cog gearing 30 years ago.)
                              Rich mc

                              --- In mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dear Rip van Winkle, 'pleased that you've awakened and are now able to reply to my months-old posting regarding tall gears and their affect on knees.
                              >
                              > I commend your club archivist for keeping such meticulous records! However, those records do not speak to my assertion as there seems to be no indication of  the number of years individual member rode in such high gears, etc. Also, you seem to be speaking of competitive cycling. Now we all know that such cyclists rarely stay on their bikes after age 30, this perhaps for reasons of knee difficulty or more likely the deleterious affects of  the long-term usage of performance enhancing drugs!
                              >
                              > I think what is needed here is a longitudinal study of a group of high-gear riders.
                              >
                              > By the way, I've cycled daily since the age of seven, have daily commute of fifteen miles, and cover 50 to 70 miles on Saturdays with my club. And of course all riding is done in gears under 70". 
                              >
                              >   Al in Philadelphia,  
                              >  
                              >
                              > ________________________________
                              > From: simon 1967 <simonw1967@...>
                              > To: mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com
                              > Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:34 PM
                              > Subject: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Off topic: About knees and gear-inches
                              >
                              >
                              >  
                              >
                              > That is a very provocative assertion?
                              > Your statement that certain cyclists are not members of this list and therefore implicitly have knee problems is very rash.
                              > 70+ years ago the average person was physically a lot smaller, and nowhere near as strong, the average bike and its components were much less sophisticated, and certainly much heavier.
                              > Trolling though my local club achieves shows that average speeds and times are far better now-a days than 'back then' across ALL age groups.
                              > Nor least due to fact that Bike design and build has come a long way since WW11, and that training and coaching programmers are far more sophisticated. Those active member in the club of similar age (60-70) to you are riding bikes with MUCH taller gearing than there predecessors, and still making better times. Knee problems and other muscular skeletal issues that accompany aging are a fact of life.
                              > The underlying reason why some suffer biomechanical degradation earlier may be due to congenital factors, others may be from simple over use.
                              > The reason why you knees are allegedly still fine will more likely be due to you having never ridden as far, or as hard, or as for long?
                              >
                              > Simon.
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com, Al <k3eax@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >  There have been several interesting replies to my contention that those who use high gears will ultimately damage their knees. Interestingly enough all of these replies counter my contention. Where then are those who are in agreement with me?  The answer is quite simple: they are not members of this group and are no longer cyclists because of knee problems!
                              > >
                              > >    Al in Philadelphia, who rarely uses more than 70 gear-inches and is still painlessly cycling daily at 70
                              > >
                              >

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