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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all

As the title states, I've been recently experiencing incessant quad pain! It's so bad that I've had to cut my riding frequency down to less than 1/3 of usual. Ouch!

This has been going on for two months, since I went from a 24 lb HT to a 33 lb FS. My previous bike was also a bit smaller.

I do not notice any more pain than before while riding, but afterwards I ache for days! Before this, for about 18 months, I'd ride 3-4 times per week, 8-15 hilly techy miles per ride, at a good quick pace, maybe one longer ride in there somewhere. Because of summer weather I've been biking longer, less-techincal trails, but only once or twice a week because of the pain in my legs.

Any suggestions???

I returned to riding about two years ago, after a 6 year lay-off, and have kept the schedule above. I'm 36, fit, and use protien suppliments because I don't care for meat much.

A personal trainer friend suggested this is due to the new bike's additional weight. He also suggested doing sets of 50 on the leg press / leg extension to get my muscles used to the weight. But if I have to wait 4 days between rides for my legs to recover now, the last thing I want to do add more stress by lifting weights!
 

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Maybe it's lack of potassium

Rollin'in'Zona said:
Howdy all

As the title states, I've been recently experiencing incessant quad pain! It's so bad that I've had to cut my riding frequency down to less than 1/3 of usual. Ouch!

This has been going on for two months, since I went from a 24 lb HT to a 33 lb FS. My previous bike was also a bit smaller.

I do not notice any more pain than before while riding, but afterwards I ache for days! Before this, for about 18 months, I'd ride 3-4 times per week, 8-15 hilly techy miles per ride, at a good quick pace, maybe one longer ride in there somewhere. Because of summer weather I've been biking longer, less-techincal trails, but only once or twice a week because of the pain in my legs.

Any suggestions???

I returned to riding about two years ago, after a 6 year lay-off, and have kept the schedule above. I'm 36, fit, and use protien suppliments because I don't care for meat much.

A personal trainer friend suggested this is due to the new bike's additional weight. He also suggested doing sets of 50 on the leg press / leg extension to get my muscles used to the weight. But if I have to wait 4 days between rides for my legs to recover now, the last thing I want to do add more stress by lifting weights!
salt or some other mineral or maybe it's the hex I put on you for dissing me in the political forum (just kidding) on the bright side quad pain seems better than having knee or joint pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bike Nazi said:
salt or some other mineral or maybe it's the hex I put on you for dissing me in the political forum (just kidding) on the bright side quad pain seems better than having knee or joint pain.
Sorry about that. I know better - I know I should stay out of policitcal discussions.
Spending my teen years living in diplomatic circles all over Europe and North Africa w/ a father who spent 30 years in the State Dept. has disposed me to a perspective on international relations that is quite different from many Americans born and bread at home in the states. A picutre is worth a thousand words - an experience worth a bazillion... I wish I could transplant expereiences, but I can't, so I just avoid politics.

Thanks for the salt idea.
 

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Legs take forever to recover from lifting especially when you start. So start really light and then add on a little every week. Maybe you can avoid a lot of the soreness. Also make sure you stretch, not just before and after you ride or lift, but throughout the day. You want to open those muscles up and get some circulation going to carry away all the toxins left over from working out that are making you sore. Don't forget to spin with little resistance before and after lifting too.
 

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It sounds like the two bikes aren't set up the same. The extra weight isn't going to make your legs hurt that much more.

Have you made sure that the saddle height, reach to the bars, height difference between saddle and bars and particularly the distance you sit behind the bottom bracket are the same on both bikes?

Even small changes in geometry and setup can cause big differences in comfort.

Try and make the new FS bike as close as possible to the HT setup.

If you're more stretched on the bigger new bike then your hips will rotate forwards to compensate working the quads in a different way and changing the balance between quads and hamstrings for pedalling. Sitting nearer/ further away from the bottom bracket will affect how you push through the pedals too.

As a general rule if you slide the saddle as far back on it's rails as possible you'll climb better whilst moving it forwards is better for pushing big gears on the flat (e.g. time trials, triathlon).

Hope that helps.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

The HT was actually a bad fit for me - too small - but as it was the only bike I rode my body adjusted! The bigger bike feels much better on my body (though I have a more difficult time throwing it around), except for the quad pain.

I do believe that stretching, or insufficient stretching rather, is a magor part of this. Having low back issues, I always stretch the lb, hams and calves, but only touch on the quads. I'll just have to add time to quad stretching!
 

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It's better to have a bike setup so you can ride it 3-4 times per week rather than once a week. At a very rough guess I'd try moving the seat further back on it's rails to try and use your glutes more and possibly fit a more laid back seatpost with a shorter stem to compensate.

Rollin'in'Zona said:
I do not notice any more pain than before while riding, but afterwards I ache for days! Before this, for about 18 months, I'd ride 3-4 times per week, 8-15 hilly techy miles per ride, at a good quick pace, maybe one longer ride in there somewhere. Because of summer weather I've been biking longer, less-techincal trails, but only once or twice a week because of the pain in my legs.
If you're happy with the bike setup then it's just a case of getting used to it. Longer, easier trails mean you're probably working harder for longer than on a short stop/ start technical ride and overdoing it. Start at a level where your legs don't hurt and build up from there.

Try half your normal ride distance and only using low gears: You should be getting off the bike feeling completely fresh and hopefully able to ride again the next day.

The weight training is a good idea too. Squats with a light barbell 20-40kg at high reps 50-100 work really well for cycling and aren't that tiring either. Remember to put a block of wood under your heels so your feet are in a similar position to riding and imagine yourself tapping out the pedal revs whilst doing them.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JerryBoneJr said:
I hope you've still got the hardtail. Ride it for a few weeks. Then report back.
Nope - had to disassemble the HT to salvage parts for the FS and to build my girlfriends new bike. It was too small for me anyway. But I just (totally unexpectedly) picked up a 2002 Stumpjumper frame from a rep that's a perfect fit! I have everything I need to build it into a single speed except for the fork - maybe in September. Don't know how I'll handle the challenges of one speed, but all I can afford is one gear ;) - and the simplicity is sure appealing!

As for the quads, I took 6 days off, then did a decent ride (7 hilly miles) at a low intensity, slow, easy, aerobic pace. No pain! Did another today (8 miles) the same way. No pain yet!

I also increased my protein intake to 1.5 to 1.7 grams/kg body weight - the level that always worked for me while weight training. Seems I've underestimated the protein demands this type of cycling places on ones body! It seems like such a "low intensity" activity in comparison to power-lifting for maximum strength... For those interested, check this out: http://www.cptips.com/protein.htm

Also been stretching before, after and during the ride, not just in the am and pm, which has been my routine.

I've said this before, but I must express again my appreciation for the input of folks on this forum! The goodness of humanity to give enough of a shyte about someone else's issue to take time and offer suggestions, advice, experiences.. Very cool! :p

Thanks all! Any more ideas? I'd love to hear 'em! Hopefully I'll be able to contribute elsewhere along the way...
 

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I've had deep quad pain from when I over do it playing volleyball...lots of jumping. I find that a combination of failing to stretch properly, diet and overuse without proper training will cause this muscle ache that I can't seem to stretch out and takes a month to get over. i end up using a thigh wrap, one of those neoprene velcro things for compression which seems to help.

Yeah, I'd say it's over use, so you've essentially injured the muscle.
 
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