Question: I was just diagnosed with chondromalacia. I’ve been riding 15-18 hours a week and also lifting weights three days. I had my bike position reviewed by an experienced coach here in Austin, so I don’t think that’s the problem. Any suggestions? — Mike D.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: You’re riding a lot of miles, especially in the off-season. When combined with the stress of weights, it’s no wonder your knees are protesting. I’m familiar with riding in Austin. I’m sure those hills are taking a toll, too!
Ice, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (Advil) and rest are the best solutions at this point.
You might also get checked to see if your feet pronate or your pedals allow too much foot rotation. Either might lead to the problem you’re experiencing.
Chondromalacia is one of the eight serious knee ailments discussed in the RBR book, Andy Pruitt’s Medical Guide for Cyclists. Knee pain is also addressed in Dr. Alan Bragman’s eArticle Cycling and Knee Pain. Their advice may help you solve the problem.
But if the pain continues, get an evaluation from a cycling-knowledgeable physician or physical therapist.