Common Knee Pain On Peloton And How To Relieve

“We hope you love the products we recommend! When you buy through links on Feltracing.com, We may earn an affiliate commission.”

BY Chery Donald
Updated on 06/09/2022
10 min read

Peloton bikes encourage a lot of your knee workout. But unfortunately, you may feel pain in your knees after a ride. What are the causes?

You are not the only rider experiencing this problem. But don’t worry! This post points out the most common knee pains on Peloton. We also include some tips for relieving your pain. So, let’s read on to discover!

Why Does Peloton Hurt Your Knees?

A Peloton bike shouldn’t hurt you. However, mishaps may occur because of the following reasons:

Improper bike setup

If you adjust your Peloton bike correctly, there will be less pressure on your knees. Then, the low-impact cycling exercises can perform their jobs at strengthening your muscles properly.

However, if the bike setup is incorrect, your knees will suffer. In this case, you will need to adjust the bike seat and Delta cleat.

Seat adjustment

Peloton bikes allow you to adjust the seat height and distance until you feel comfortable with your posture. Yet, this feature may come with a drawback if you don’t know how to do it right.

  • Seat height: A low seat imposes pressure on your anterior knees. However, if you make it too high, there will be problems with your posterior knees and hyperextension. 
  • Seat distance: There will be more pressure on your medial knees if you set the seat too far from the handlebar. Otherwise, adjusting the seat too close may lead to pain in your lateral knees.  
Incorrect seat setup

Incorrect seat setup

Delta cleats

The pedals of a Peloton bike have Delta-compatible cleats. Hence, your cycling shoes should be compatible with Peloton cleats.

The Delta cleats help secure your feet while working out. However, if the cleat placement is incorrect, your medial and lateral knees will get hurt.

Peloton bikes need special shoes

Peloton bikes need special shoes

Overuse

If you are confident about your bike setup but still feel the pain, it must be because of overuse.

Cycling is a low-impact exercise. However, the Peloton bike features a resistance knob for you to set the intensity level of your workouts. If you cycle for hours with a high resistance degree, your knees will overwork and get hurt afterward.

Types Of Knee Pain You Can Get From A Peloton Bike

Common knee pain type

Common knee pain type

You can feel the pain in different parts of your knees. Each position comes from different causes and shows different symptoms. Yet, they share the treatment methods.

To treat knee pain in the short term and right after you realize it, you can try these tips:

  • Stop your workout
  • Take some rest for a short period
  • Apply ice packs to the affected areas
  • Take painkillers if your feel too painful
  • Visit your doctor if the pain lingers for too long

Now, we will dig into each type of knee pain. Please take notes as you may have the same problems in the future.

Anterior pain

Anterior knee pain occurs at the center and front of your knees, including the quadriceps tendon, patella, under the patella, tibia, and iliotibial band.

Quadricep tendon 

  • Position: at the bottom of your front thigh
  • Symptoms: tightness or swelling
  • Causes: the too low seat, overuse, or incorrect warm-ups
Quadricep tendon

Quadricep tendon

Patella

  • Position: on top of your knee
  • Symptoms: thigh and kneecap pressing against one other excessively
  • Causes: too low seat
Patella

Patella

Under the patella

  • Position: below your kneecap
  • Symptoms: tightness under your patella
  • Causes: overuse or too low seat
Under the patella

Under the patella

Tibia and iliotibial band 

  • Position: the tibia (between your ankle and knee) and iliotibial band (between your knee and hip)
  • Symptoms: overpressure on the tibia and iliotibial band
  • Causes: too high seat
Tibia

Tibia

Illiotibial Band

Illiotibial Band

Posterior pain

It’s a posterior pain if you feel hurt in certain parts of your knees, such as the hamstring or upper calf.

Hamstring muscle

  • Position: between your thighs and your knees
  • Symptoms: painful tightness
  • Causes: too high seat
Hamstring

Hamstring

Upper calf muscle

  • Position: below your knee
  • Symptoms: calf pain and knee pain
  • Causes: too high seat
Upper calf muscle

Upper calf muscle

Medial pain

The medial knee, also known as the medial compartment, is the closest area of your one knee to your opposite knee.

  • Position: inside your knee
  • Symptoms: pain and strain inside your knees
  • Causes: too far seat or improperly placed cleats
Medial knee pain

Medial knee pain

Lateral

The lateral ligament is the tissue band running along the outer side of your knee. It connects your fibula to your thigh bone.

  • Position: outside your knee
  • Symptoms: pain and strain inside your knee
  • Causes: too close seat or improperly placed cleats
Lateral knee pain

Lateral knee pain

How To Adjust The Peloton Bike To Avoid Knee Pain?

The main reason for getting hurt from Peloton bikes is improper setup. Here are some solutions for this problem.

Adjust the seat height

The ideal seat height should be the one that helps you extend your knees comfortably with an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. It will also relieve tension on your knee cap.

The extension angle of our knees differs depending on our height.  When you are standing next to the Peloton bike, its seat should be at hip level. After setting the height, get on the bike and take some rides to make sure you feel OK with the setup.

You can learn more tips to adjust the Peloton bike seat from this video:

Modify the seat distance

The perfect seat distance helps you reach the handlebar at ease. Place your elbow on the handlebar, and your fingertips should meet the seat’s nose.

Change the position of Delta Cleats

The Peloton cleats must be straight, fit the balls of your feet, and hold your feet in place perfectly. A slight mistake in placing the cleats may lead to changes in your entire cycling posture.

Peloton seat adjustment

Peloton seat adjustment

Best Peloton Exercises For Weak Knees

Peloton bikes may cause discomfort or pain in your knees, but it’s not their fault to blame. On the other hand, many of their exercises can even strengthen your knees.

Pro Cyclist Ride

  • Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Recommended instructor: Christian Vande Velde

Christian Vande Velde, the champion of the Tour de France, can help relieve your knees effectively with her lessons. The exercises don’t impose tension on your knees while being intense enough for weak knees.

There are two options in terms of duration: 30 minutes or 45 minutes. The extra 15 minutes is for some off-the-saddle activities. If you find these exercises challenging, go for the 30-minute classes first and work on your way to the longer ones.

Pro Cyclist Ride

Pro Cyclist Ride

HIIT Ride

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Recommended instructor: Christine D’ercole

Although HIIT should include standing and saddle positions, Christine D’ercole will give you new experience. She doesn’t show you how to stand off the saddle. Instead, she relieves your pain by making you too busy to care about it.

Peloton HIIT Ride has heavy exercises to maximize your productivity and performance. And because of their high demand for strength, each class only lasts for 20 minutes.

HIIT Ride

HIIT Ride

Low Impact Ride

  • Duration: Depending on your need
  • Recommended instructor: Any on the instructor list

Low Impact Ride is a good starting point for every beginner. It allows you to work out at a slow pace. Then, you can move up to the next level gradually.

Peloton offers a lot of Low Impact Ride classes. You can filter the wide selection by choosing the “Lo Impact” section in its library.

There are many choices for duration and instructor. We highly recommend 45-minute riding classes offered by Peloton. Pick longer classes if you want to challenge yourself or are confident about your endurance.

Low Impact Ride

Low Impact Ride

Power Zone Endurance Ride

  • Duration: 15 to 90 minutes
  • Recommended instructor: Any on the instructor list

This type of Power Zone Ride classes offer tons of benefits for your health, such as fat-burning, muscle endurance, and stamina. They are also the best options for burning calories provided by Peloton.

Another advantage of the Power Zone Endurance Ride is multiple choices. Feel free to select the instructor, intensity level (intermediate to advanced), and duration ( 15 to 90 minutes).

Power Zone Endurance Ride

Power Zone Endurance Ride

Climb Ride

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Recommended instructor: Jenn Sherman

Jenn Sherman works on the resistance, not the speed. Hence, you can strengthen your leg muscles effectively.

Since speed is not an important factor in such exercises, the instructor doesn’t rush at any part. Instead, she tries to slow anything but the intense activities will make you sweat for 20 minutes.

Working on resistance is not a simple task. As a result, beginners shouldn’t go for it. You can try simple lessons before challenging your endurance.

Climb Ride

Climb Ride

Other Pains You Can Get From A Peloton Bike

The pain after cycling on the Peloton bike also comes from other parts. Let’s see what they are and how to handle them.

Type of pain Cause Solution
Back pain – Wrong position and saddle angle

– Muscular fatigue

– Adjust the bike setup

– Choose the right exercises for your endurance

Leg pain – Wrong cycling posture

– Improper Delta cleat placement

– Adjust the Delta cleats

– Correct your cycling posture by setting the seat height and distance to your comfort point

Foot pain – Wrong shoes

– Improper Delta cleat placement

– Choose the right shoes

– Add a cushion to your shoes

– Adjust the Delta cleats

Wrist pain – Improper seat distance

– Overuse in one position on the handlebars

– Set the right seat distance from the handlebar

– Alternate hand positions on the handlebars

Shoulder pain – Incorrect posture

– Improper seat distance

– Correct your cycling posture

– Improper seat distance

Arm pain – Improper seat distance – Adjust the seat
Butt pain – Tough saddle

– Wrong pants

– Use extra padding for your butt

– Wear padded shorts

 

Conclusion

You can blame the incorrect bike setup and overuse for your knee pain. The short-term treatment is to rest, apply ice packs, and take painkillers. And to prevent this incident, you need to adjust the seat height, seat distance, and Delta cleats correctly.

We hope that Peloton bikes can strengthen your knees instead of hurting them. For any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you get hurt on a Peloton?

Yes. If you improperly set up the seat and Delta cleats, you will have a wrong posture and suffer from knee pain or even serious Peloton seat hurts afterward.

2. Is Peloton hard on joints?

Peloton cycling exercises are low-impact activities. However, you can adjust their resistance to higher levels. The high resistance may be hard for your joints.

3. How do I protect my knees at Peloton?

Follow these tips to protect your knees:

  • Warming up before exercising
  • Setting the seat and Delta cleats correctly
  • Choosing the right exercises for your endurance

4. Can you overdo it on a Peloton bike?

Avoid overdoing it on a Peloton bike because your muscles will exhaust, leading to severe pain. It would be best to follow Peloton workout classes since they have set suitable duration for each exercise.

Related Posts

How to Get a Peloton Membership Discount

How to Get a Peloton Membership Discount

Peloton offers thousands of classes for its members to enjoy multiple workout methods at home. However, you have to pay a high price for Peloton equipment and monthly Peloton membership. Fortunately, you can adjust this expense by taking advantage of Peloton...