Question about Cokering and Knee pain.

I have been putting more miles on my Coker lately, and have been dealing with some knee pain issues.

Here is what I am experiencing. My right knee is bothering my when I ride for any length of time. It feels like my foot should be further away for the frame, but my foot is in a normal position on the pedal. It feels like my leg is being pulled in toward the frame at my foot while the knee up wants to be wider. My left leg tracks fine and I feel no pain or discomfort at all.

Has anyone else experienced this? What did you do to resolve the issue? Thanks.

This might be obvious, but is your wheel and frame centered? Shortly after I started riding my first 36er, an N36, I discovered that the wheel was a bit dished to one side. Truing it seemed to help me feel more centered.

Where does your knee hurt? I’ve had pain on the tendon that runs down the outside of my knee before from spinning fast on too much downhill. I always stretch my legs before and after long rides, and I’ve seen and heard a lot of people recommend running to help your knees align after long rides.

I don’t know if this will help

I never had much knee trouble. What I did notice when I switched from a setup with heavy steel cranks and pedals, to light alum sugino’s and superlight plastic pedals, was a lot less stress in my knees when braking- slowing. I don’t have a brake, I guess I mean back pedaling to balance or slow down.

So perhaps if you have heavy pedals you might try switching them out.

I totally love these pedals for most riding ( I have 3 pairs ) None have broken yet. They have hard sharp toothed nylon teeth that grip well wet yet usually tear off only the top layer of skin, so you can ride them without leg gear.

The price doesn’t hurt, and they are close to the lightest pedals you will find.

I am pretty sure my wheel is true. I have the “World’s Strongest Coker Wheel” built by Dave Stockton. It is pretty solid, and the time and detail that he put into it building it should ensure that it is dead on. I will check it though.

It is indeed the tendon on the outside of my knee. Only on the right side. I just feel like my leg is forced in that position and not tracking correctly. My left seems to track great with no pressure. It’s like my knee wants to be in a position further from the frame, but my foot position prevents it. :thinking: I can’t recall if it did this with my other seat. I am going to switch back and see if that makes a difference. I’m not sure why it would, but you never know.

Currently I have 140mm Aluminum Crank arms. The pedals are also plastic/nylon pedals. So I don’t think that is the issue. I may have someone follow my with a video camera to see if I am sitting in a strange position. I just can’t figure it out. Of course on a bad mount the other night after riding 12 miles, I came off after about 6 revolutions on a downhill with my leg locked straight out. I seriously thought I broke my leg. It is feeling much better today, but yesterday had me wondering if I would be riding anytime soon. If I feel the way I do now tomorrow, I should be able to work on this issue. Of course it was the opposite knee that I injured. :roll_eyes:


You don’t need new equipment. You need new knees. I’ve been riding on one with no cartilage for a few years. For some reason it’s not improving. I don’t think changing pedals, cranks, or tires will help. Try changing your ibuprofen dose.

Rode with Reid yesterday. He’s a riot. He told me more about your “bad boy” experiences and your helmet-cam design. He also said that you treated his house and the bugs fled in fear before you arrived as if they sensed your presence and power.

I wonder if your trouble might be related to the side-slope of the road? In my Coker riding over the last 6 months I’ve noticed that I need to compensate for side-cambered roads in my riding. It results in me at times riding with one knee a bit out of the plane of rotation. I don’t have knee pain from this, but i thought i’d bring it up for you to consider. I’ve found that since I’ve started using a handlebar I can steer upslope with the bar and it has made things easier.

It could be from road camber too, like mentioned.

(I’m not a doctor but) you might be experiencing Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka Runner’s Knee. If you don’t have a stretching regimen already, you might google for some relevant stretches and try them.

When I experienced outer knee pain I think it was partly due to increasing my mileage too fast, and it definitely hurt more when I rode bigger wheels, especially the 36er.

Some people just get knee pain. Like harper says it might just be that you’re one of the damned (so to speak). Hopefully not though.

If you sit on your saddle whilst holding onto something, and have a look at what your leg looks like - does it look like the leg is bending inwards or outwards or what?

I know some people have more knee pain with the wide hub than the narrow hub, or with cranks that go out away from the wheel as opposed to straight cranks (q-factor). Presumably they are less cowboy legged than your average person. Maybe you are more cowboy legged. Do you have cranks with q-factor? If not it’d be worth trying them. If you do, maybe worth trying some straight cranks just in case you’re misdiagnosing the direction things need to move in.

Also, this is really stupid and I’m sure you’ve checked, but the seat is on straight and as high as you can comfortably ride it? I know either a very slightly too low seat, or a slightly off straight seat can cause something that sounds a bit like what you’re describing.

Again a silly thing, but you do have a decent pressure in the tyre? I find that really makes a difference to road crown, every so often on my commuter I spend a week thinking that I’ve completely lost the ability to ride before realising that the pressure has got back down far enough to need pumping up again. It’s the way it gradually goes down over about 3 months that catches me out.


That’s what most people seem to say, but I actually find the opposite. If I run my 36" tyre (TA) at more than about 30psi it feels like it’s trying to throw me into the ditch on cambered roads. With lower pressure it’s much more stable. Weird.

For knee pain in general, I don’t tend to get too much trouble on unicycles, but from my bicyclist’s point of view it’s often because people are trying to push too high a gear. Spinning a slightly lower gear is both more efficient and easier on the knees. So on a unicycle the equivalent would be to use a smaller wheel or longer cranks, to take strain off the knees. Longer cranks would also have the side-effect of making spinning harder, unfortunately.


In all seriousness, find a decent sports physio and get him to check you and your muscle development over. One of the best things I’ve ever done, we worked out a decent cross-training and weight regime which has helped!

Respect you knees, you will miss them when they are gone :slight_smile:

I think your right. I probably could use at least one new knee. Interestingly, it is my left knee that will need to be replaced. Hopefully I can hold that off for another 20 years. I actually eliminated ibuprofen from my diet last year. I may need to start supplementation again.

I am glad he was able to hook up with some of the Seattle crew. We’re all slugs out here, and he is the Energizer Bunny. Finally he can ride with people that are better matched to his riding ability. He will be missed, but on the upside, I am now the best rider. :smiley:

Not many will show up with a Ruger Mark III to kill a few roaches. Word has way of getting around in the bug community. :wink:

I’ll try riding on the yellow line. That may help. I did just switch to the Niterider tire. It rides nice, but it seems to have a bigger contact patch than the Coker tire. I wonder if that could be causing some of this. I upped the tire pressure to 60lbs after initially riding with it at 45lbs. Seemed better, I may go up another 5lbs and see if that helps. I have my GB4 handle, but unfortunately it is attached to my air saddle, which I have never gotten used to. I like a more solid platform to plant my butt on, and push my legs into. So back to the gel saddle it is. I may look into the Niterider bars since I don’t have to dissect the seat to install it.

I definitely need to do more stretching. I will check out the site. Thanks for the info. I am really pleased with all the feedback.

My knees never seem to bother me while sitting behind my desk, or in front of the TV. Maybe all this exercise stuff is overrated.

I don’t know if this will help, but I screwed up one of my knees shortly after getting my 36". I’m fairly sure that it was because my seatpost was too high. I haven’t had any knee problems since lowering my seatpost.

I’ll give it a shot as well. I unfortunately have changed the seat, seat hight and tire all about the same time. In addition to riding more.

my knee problems a couple of years ago were directly linked to sitting unevenly and holding the handle with just one hand and not switching hands at all. My sports physiotherapist saw my riding and posture was uneven and after a while I had no problems (with my knees, anyway!).

True for me as well. I think a tyre with lower pressure accommodates the sideways adjustment you make while riding on cambered roads.

Last year I also had knee problems. I also have the world’s Strongest Coker Wheel built by Dave Stockton. Nothing wrong about the wheel. For mee it was that I was going harder than my knees could takle. The World strongest Coker wheel feel for me so responsible, stiff and strong that it sometimes feels like a 29" unicycle in tecnically sections. It was the fast descenting who destroyed my knees. This is what helped mee to get rid of the knee pain.

  • only riding with 150mm cranks for a long time
  • eating much fat fish (Omega 3 is luberication for your body)
  • training in the gym with weights (strengten the legs)
  • lowering the seat, and try to cycle with your legs a little out for a while

This year I have no knee pain. I think when you get rid of the pain your knees have been stronger.