View Full Version : Swelling Knees

01-28-2007, 05:15 AM
I have a been having a problem with my knees swelling on the bike. It seems to be related to the cold, but I just can't figure it out.

Yesterday we rode in weather that was low 60's, but a 20 mph north wind. It felt cooler than the 60's. I wore shorts and felt a little cool at the start of the ride. By 8 miles in my knees were really puffy and painful. I was only able to average 13.8 mph (low for me even with the wind).

This also happened a few weeks ago when it was much cooler and I was wearing tights that probably aren't heavy enough for the temp. They are the only ones I have due to being in Texas.

Does this sound like a possible circulation issue due to my legs being so cold? I really don't want to keep cutting my cold rides short!

01-28-2007, 06:25 AM
Amanda -
I can't speak to your swollen knees problem, but - the general rule of thumb (one that I've been following for years) is that you should have your knees covered when the temperatures are below 65 (Fahrenheit). Your ride in the low 60s with the added wind chill certainly falls in this category.

In those temperatures, I wear knee warmers. I'd recommend getting a pair that has some insulating value - not just lycra. I've been using Pearl Izumi knee warmers for a number of years, but I just checked the TE site and there are a number of choices over there.

--- Denise

01-28-2007, 06:27 AM
Some folks with sensitive knees keep their knees covered in all weather, even hot california summers. (I'm thinking of Trek420 here.)

01-28-2007, 07:22 AM
And I had 3 layers on my knees yesterday! and didn't regret it.

According to an online wind chill factor, you were in an equivalent of 42 degrees

You might try wearing some close fitting pants over those tights if you don't want to spend a fortune on bike gear.

01-28-2007, 10:42 AM
Well I picked some thermal tights at our new Performance today. I am headed out in a 42 degree wind chill with:

Baclalava (not fleece though)
Sports Bra
Pearl Izumi Compression Top
Arm Warmers
Light Jacket
Thermal Tights over the shorts
Long finger fleece lined gloves
Wool Socks
Toe Warmers

I think I should be warm. Come on knees, help me out!

01-28-2007, 10:49 AM
Aggie, sounds good, let us know!

01-28-2007, 11:03 AM
According to an online wind chill factor, you were in an equivalent of 42 degrees.
Actually, if you look at the National Weather Service wind chill chart and explanation, wind chills are not calculated for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And if it was, given that at 40 degrees with a wind of 20 mph, the wind chill is 30 (a drop of 10 degrees as compared to the 20 you came up with at a higher temperature), well whatever calculator you used - I think it wasn't a very good one.

Here's a link to the National Weather Service wind chill chart, explanation, and calculator: http://www.weather.gov/os/windchill/index.shtml

01-28-2007, 02:46 PM
37.98 miles, no knee pain. At times I was a little cool, but overall very comfortable. Never hot. There was less wind today and more sunshine, much better ride overall. :D

Thanks for the tips/insight ladies. As a thin-blooded Texan I don't know what to do when it is below 60!

01-28-2007, 03:39 PM
sounds like you did just great!