protect your knees

How to Protect Your Knees in Indoor Cycling Class

When it comes to activities that are easy on our joints, cycling is near the top of the list. And without the inherent risks that come with riding a bike that actually travels on terrain, indoor cycling is definitely one of most gentle-on-the joints activities available to us.

But the potential for injury does exist in cycling, and our knees are particularly vulnerable to injury when we don’t use some common sense in our indoor classes. Fortunately, most cycling injuries are preventable. To help us understand how to protect your knees from pain and injury, we consulted with Peter Donaldson, MD, of Michigan Orthopedic Institute in Southeast Michigan. Dr. Donaldson is board certified in sports medicine and emergency medicine, and specializes in sports-related injuries. He sees athletes and active individuals of all ages. We’re thrilled that he agreed to consult with us for this article.

Set up for Safety

The three most important considerations in injury prevention are bike setup, bike setup, and bike setup.

More about Dr. Donaldson

Dr. Donaldson has worked as a United States Team Physician for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England; the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico; and the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. He has worked at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid, New York, serves as a physician for USA Hockey, and has worked with the under-20 U.S. men’s national team and the gold medal–winning 2010 sled hockey team.


  1. Question on saddle set up and knee pain. In “Set Up for Safety” the 3rd para. says “The main etiologies for posterior pain are excessive stress on the hamstring tendons caused by the saddle being too high or too far back.” While the 4th para. says “When the pain is in the back of the knee, the seat is likely too low or too far away from the handlebars.”. This seems to be a contradiction or typo? Shouldn’t both cite the saddle being too high as a cause of posterior/back of the knee pain?

    1. Fixed! thanks Ed. Just a mistyped word. You are very observant, I appreciate the heads up!!

      1. Thanks! Sometimes it’s a fault 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *