After a long hiatus I’m dusting down my 36" but suffer a bit from creaky knees these days. Does anyone use knee braces? Looking for something comfy and unobstructive that helps with the strain when you brake.
I don’t recommend braces for any joint unless recommended by a doctor. They will not only recommend a brace (if necessary), but also exercises to strengthen the joint to a point where you don’t need a brace.
Also, try playing with your seat height a bit, apparently that can make a big difference when it comes to the load on your knee.
Jumping on a 36 without recent riding would challenge anybody’s knees. Ride something smaller for a while first. Or at least get a brake to save your knees on the downhills.
Ultimately, exercise is the only solution to weak knees and it doesn’t come better than unicycling.
Be careful as you build up the muscles again. They are prone to clumping and getting tight. You will feel it around the outside of the knees. A debilitating clump of the calf muscle right behind the knee is also common.
Stretches are essential.
I tried different braces but came to the conclusion that a good 5 min warming was what I needed to avoid a certain kind of knee pain.
Basically I do very partial squats with one leg while stretching the other and slowly increasing the amplitude. (from 5 degrees to 80-90).
When I ride any kind of unicycle without doing my warming protocol before I take the risk of suffering from knee pain.
Also lowering the saddle’s height is what fixed another kind of pain I had been suffering from few years ago: ITB syndrome.
I found the same thing. I do a variety of stretches but it wasn’t until I introduced a warmup before my ride that I eliminated my knee pain. I go on a fast paced 10 minute walk while wearing knee pads (which I also wear on the trail).