I’d agree totally with this. pushing a ‘hard’ gear with older/weaker knees is a pretty sure fire to create issues. this is no different to any other physical issue… im not a gym person but you wouldnt walk into one and immediately go to the big weights if you havent done any weight work for years and then be surprised if you get hurt.
I’m nearly 32, riding fixed for 4+ years and had mild knee (and ankle) problems up until i started riding fixed regularly. ive had at least 2 friends who have found that riding fixed strengthened reconstructed/bad knees.
position, position, position… get yourself setup right by someone who knows what they are talking about. not by your mate who built a wheel once… :roll:
also dont be afraid to play with your post height, saddle fore-aft adjustment and bar height.
i remember seeing a stat from a physio saying that the vast majority of riders have their seat height lower than it should be. also remember that if you bring your seat up noticeably, you should consider sliding your seat forward to adjust for the shift backward with height increase.
i’ve not had knee pain that i havent been able to tweak my position to fix, i try and act as soon as i notice there’s an issue. it tends to happen after ive switched a component (bars, seat) which is obvious, and i know to expect it.
having said all that… fixed simply doesnt seem to work for some people. either their knees dont like the constant higher spinning required to support a lower gear or they simply dont build up the strength to support a mid-range gear. this could be physical or mental… its no shame, but having met 60-70yr olds commuting on fixed gears who claim 25+ years on the bike i find it hard to believe the stories about “all fixed gears ruining your knees”.
as they say in the classics “if pain persists, please see a doctor [or health professional]”