Dropper posts and dodgy knees? Not a dream combination? Woe is me content
So I finally dragged myself into the 21st century* and got myself a dropper. And what a revelation its been. Its changed my life. Don’t know how I ever managed without one. I now ride downhill like Steve Peat etc, etc, and so on and so forth….
However, since having my seat now down at every available opportunity, I’m not half feeling it on my knees after a ride. Which has now culminated in getting back from a jaunt in the Marple Alps on Saturday with my right knee now feeling completely borked!
Now my body generally looks like its had a pretty bad paper round. But my knees are even more nackered than the shabby and well-worn bodywork on the rest of the unit. Mainly as a result of a youth spent playing rugby league against huge, incredibly violent, northern psychopaths who seemed intent on breaking my legs at every opportunity. Regularly lobbing motor bikes down the road hasn’t helped matters either.
So… has anyone else experience similar problems? Is this just a temporary thing while I adjust to descending in a slightly more full on fashion? Any hints on Improving matters? Should I admit defeat and get some knee support for my right knee? Should i reign the (relative) GNAAAARRRRRRRR in a bit? I’m not going back to one of those primitive non-moving alloy tubes 😉
Any experiences, advice, orders to MTFU or big hugs gratefully received oh wise ones.
* still got the ‘wrong’ sized wheels, obviously 😉Posted 4 years agonickjbSubscriber
I think they are good for knees as I can pop mine up to a good height to climb. I still forget sometimes and end up mashing up climb with my seat way too low. I do find it more tiring to be stood up for long periods but as you mentioned it really helps with the Gnarr factor. Pumping rather than pedalling helps a lot but my technique needs a lot of work.Posted 4 years agowwaswasSubscriber
I’ve foudn I spend a lot more time stood on the pedal with a dropper than I do with a normal post.
Even on wooded singletrack there’s often short bits where I would sit down and pedal with the seat up where I now have to stand. I end up with the saddle in a ‘compromise’ position where it’s partly down so I can still sit and pedal but it’s a bit out the way.
Maybe try just dropping it a bit so you can rest your weight on it rather than your legs for less technical sections?Posted 4 years agoletmetalktomarkSubscriber
Any advice would be wasted on a man whose trails don’t come alive under his mid sized wheels …..
…. That aside – I experienced similar and for that matter still do when I use my dropper. I’ve never really dropped my saddle before so just chalked it up to a change in riding position that my knees aren’t used to.Posted 4 years agoJunkyardMember
have you considered not pedalling with the seat down?
Its what I do tbh for similar reasons – though of course I did not damage mine playing rugby for even as a child i was not a fat bastard* 😛
* i accept now they are the picture of physical perfection but they were no tin the 1980’s it wa s a sport for fat kidsPosted 4 years agoMukeMember
having my seat now down at every available opportunity
I may have this wrong but are you not just riding with your saddle too low most of the time then ?
I though the idea of a dropper was to be able to drop the saddle, allowing you to move your butt back over the rear wheel on technical descents/drops etc and put it back up to efficient pedaling height easily for the rest of the ride afterwards.Posted 4 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
Your body position isn’t different because you have a lower saddle. You can just move around more easily.
Are you now squatting a lot with the seat lower, because you can? This is very tiring and limits your leg-suspension! Still ride with your legs fairly extended as if your saddle was up and just use the extra saddle clearance to let the bike come up to you when it needs to, or flip easily from side-to-side without worrying about catching your bits.Posted 4 years ago
Muke, thats exactly what I’m doing. I’m popping it straight back up when I’m climbing or on the flat. I just find the faster, seat down descending is hammering my fragile knees
And OI!! JY!!! I resemble that remark. I don’t know where you went to school, but the lads I played rugby against were man-mountains rather than bloaters. I wasn’t however. Hence the problemsPosted 4 years agoteamhurtmoreSubscriber
Binners, I don’t have a DP but can sympathies with the symptoms. I got into a habit of leaving my seat post down too long and generally having my “compromise” position too low. Result => sore knee. Over past two months or so. I have adjusted to a much higher saddle (a few hairy descents!!) and dropping my post less and less often. Result, knees are much better.
Not scientific but may help – at least it doesnt have to be permanent.Posted 4 years agoD0NKSubscriber
personally I found my knees were better coz I don’t ever have to pedal with a low saddle, with a normal post I didn’t stop halfway down a hill to put my saddle up for short flat/up bits. Anytime you are pedalling the saddle should be up.
Maybe it is down to more time spent crouched in the attack position?Posted 4 years agomessiahMember
Are your knees just more tired because they have had a bit more of a workout than they usually get because your standing on the pedals more on the doonhalls? Were you having more fun?
If it’s just tiredness from doing more your body will get used to it… or you will have to go back to normal post and mincing.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks for all the replies (and JY’s frankly scurrilous comments!). I think it must be because my legs are getting a lot more of a workout, and as its still a real novelty, I’ve been getting a bit carried away. I’m sure my usual mincing style will return shortly 😀Posted 4 years agolapierreladySubscriber
It might help to support the patella to stop the knee cap rotating? If you have pain under the patella this could help. Also, if you are moving around over the bike more, maybe stretching the itbs/quads/hamstrings after a ride to keep everything loose and supple?Posted 4 years agocampkoalaMember
Quite the opposite experience of dropper posts for me. I used to think nothing of riding for 2hrs with my mtb saddle completely slammed, never ever even thought of sitting down while descending and rode a lot of BMX. My core fitness was my biggest strength and never ever felt knee pain. Fitting a dropper was a huge mistake, for one thing 125mm below optimum pedalling height is nowhere near as low as my usual slammed saddle height and just gets in the way riding very steep technical descents or jumping. But worse than that, the ability to raise the saddle on the fly made me very lazy, to the point I even found myself raising it mid descent. My core fitness and strength suffered and BMX began to hurt my knees much more.
Dropper post is removed again now and will only be fitted for rides where I feel there will be a real benefit from now on.
To answer your question though, YES you will become stronger the more you ride stood up, sounds like you never did this enough with your saddle at full height anyway. Do you ride a full suspension bike? I find a lot of riders use their suspension to aid sitting down comfort rather than utilise the extda grip,stability and tracking that it’s designed to give.Posted 4 years agochrispoSubscriber
When I got a dropper post, I found I was squatting/hunching down really low on descents, I thought it was what you were supposed to do, but it was probably equal parts fear at the new speeds I was attaining.
As I understand it now, you just want to be able to let the bike rise up towards you here and there rather than be permanently crouched low on the bike, which may well be what’s putting strain on your knees.
Now I have a bike that fits me and I can do all the same descents without the seat down, but that’s another story.Posted 4 years ago
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