bung knee from riding 170s


Has anyone else given themselves sore knees from riding a 24" with a really low seat and 170 cranks? I had this pain for the first time last weekend and it’s been a problem for all my rides since. Duno how to describe it really except it’s not from any impact, it’s just when I use my right leg its pretty painful.

Can’t really notice the problem when I’m not riding except a bit when I’m going up or down stairs.

Any tips on how to get over it? It’s a bit worrying coz I’m only 23 and I shouldn’t be getting injured from doing nothing extreme. And I would’ve thought my body would be used to the cranks since I’ve been riding with them fairly consistently for 2 years now.


If you walk along the road with your knees bent, your legs will hurt, and you will eventually damage your knees.

Likewise, if you walk along the road on tip toe, with your knees locked straight, you will hurt your ankles and probably your hips.

If you walk normally, you won’t hurt anything unless you really overdo it.

Apply these principles to riding a cycle. 170 mm cranks are the same length as you would have on a touring bicycle. On a touring bicycle, you would put the saddle at the right height, so that your legs would be comfortably straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If you lowered the seat by another 2 or 3 inches, you would expect pedalling to become more difficult and less efficient, and eventually to make your legs ache.

You have identified the problem yourself: your seat is too low.

A low seat presents some advantages for certain skills; hops, drops, seat out etc. On the other hand, it forces you to pedal in an uncomfortable and inefficient manner.

You could deal with the problem by raising the seat to the proper height, or by compromising with shorter cranks, or by unicycling less.

If the seat is so low that your pedal stroke is uncomfrortable and inefficient, then you are not getting the full benefit of the long cranks anyway.

I agree with this. I’m 28 and I’ve been riding 170s on my Muni for over two years… the only time I get knee pain is when my saddle is not at the right height. When my riding doesn’t demand a lower saddle height I raise it such that my legs are nearly straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I drop the saddle when doing intense downhill, but if I drop it too much I get the knee pain.

Save your knees and get into the zen of saddle adjustment. It’s adjustable for a reason! There will be different heights for uphill & downhill riding, so get to know them, then mark them on your seatpost for easier adjustments.

Yeah I guess what it all comes down to, with all my riding is that I need an 05 KH20! I might even go as far as offering up my KH24 for sale to help finance it, then again it’d be great to have both.

Just out of interest, what’s the biggest unispin anyone’s done on a 24" MUni? I’ve done plenty of 180s but nothing more, it’d be cool to see a 540 or 720 done on one!

I have naturally bad knees, so getting a brake definetly helped.
I too have considered switching to 160’s for the sake of my knees.

However, I ride with my sadle tilted and my seatpost pretty high.

You might have an overuse injury or repetitive use injury. It happens from using a joint through the same range of motion over and over and over again. It can happen from activities like running and cycling and unicycling. You’ll want to get it checked by a doctor to identify the cause. If it’s an overuse injury you can get advice on how to best keep it from happening again. If you just keep on doing what you’ve been doing the injury will come back and be worse each time and become more chronic.

There are lots of knee info sites for knee pain and overuse injuries. Here’s some to get you started:
Yahoo Health: Knee Problems and Injuries
Yahoo Health: Iliotibial band syndrome
Yahoo Health: Patellar Tracking Disorder
Wikipedia: Iliotibial band syndrome
Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Get it checked out by a sports medicine doctor. They’re the best source to diagnose things like that and tell you how to get better and tell you how to keep it from happening again.

I seem to have my seat higher than most unicyclists would do for muni/trials. I’m just not used to such lower seats. It makes me fall off.

THE dave has really bad knees, he hurt them bad in a skiing accident, and he rides 170’s and a really low seat, (which I can’t ride) but I don’t think it bothers him.

I dont think it matters what the crak lenght is. If you have your seat too low, no matter what you could have the same problem. I like the seat about an inch lower than what I would have it when not doing any hopping, muni, etc.