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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-23-11, 05:49 PM   #1
Chadlay
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Pain in my Quads. Any Advice.

Hey everyone thanks in advance!

Okay so whenever I bike I seem to be getting more pain/cramps/burning in my quads then I should be getting. It prevents me from riding longer then 5 miles in one ride. I ride then midway through my 5 mile trips it starts. My breathing seems strong (not panting or tiring out),my other leg muscles are fine (glutes/everything below the knee), and I stretch before riding. No pain or burning anywhere but my quads it is almost like a cramp but no actual spasming of the muscle. Not sure if it is because I only recently started cycling and my muscles are building / recovering / tender (2 weeks). Stretching after riding seems to make the sensation more pronounced. To sum it up it is only in my quads everything else feels good. The pain/sensations sticks with me all day until I sleep and recover. When I have this quad pain it seems like my legs will fatigue easily. Any ideas/wisdom/remedies for this type of pain. Should I be worried or is this sensation just with the territory and my body will should adjust?



P.S

The pain is in the front of my thigh slightly above the knee feels like it is a rather deep muscle that is being pained.
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Old 02-23-11, 05:57 PM   #2
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A rule of thumb is: if the quads burn, seat is too low. Pain in the hammies, too high.

Too low would be like doing a ton of squats. Riding the bike should consist of getting a good extension of the leg. Leg should be nearl full extension at the bottom of the stroke with a slight bend. If not, the seat is too low.

I find that placing my heel on the pedal (no shoes fully extended) is a pretty good indication that myseat height is correct when I am on the bike, shoes on and pedaling.


5 mile rides makes itsound like you are a new rider. Many new riders make the big mistake of placing the saddle so low that he can place the feet on the ground while sitting in the saddle. This is not correct, way too low!
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Old 02-23-11, 06:03 PM   #3
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Guessing your seat is too Low.
The only stretching I have done is walking.
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Old 02-23-11, 06:47 PM   #4
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Beanz and 10wheels know much more than I but I wonder what cadence you're running? You say you're quads are burning but aerobic capacity is OK. Could you be turning too low of cadence?
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Old 02-23-11, 06:58 PM   #5
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i run 75-85
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Old 02-23-11, 07:48 PM   #6
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I had a similar problem when I first started. I had worked my way up to a 10 mile daily commute with longer rides (16 to 20) on the weekends. I felt like I had knifes in my quads all the time. I read about Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness and it seemed like that was it. I had ridden everyday for over 20 days. I took 3 days off and the pain was actually worse on day 2. The pain went away and now I don't ride more than 6 consecutive days.
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Old 02-23-11, 07:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
I had a similar problem when I first started. I had worked my way up to a 10 mile daily commute with longer rides (16 to 20) on the weekends. I felt like I had knifes in my quads all the time. I read about Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness and it seemed like that was it. I had ridden everyday for over 20 days. I took 3 days off and the pain was actually worse on day 2. The pain went away and now I don't ride more than 6 consecutive days.
I have been riding nearly every day that might be my problem + the low saddle.

Just had my bro help me measure my saddle and set it at better height. Will ride in 2 days and see how my peddle stroke feels and if it causes the "sensation" again.


@ everyone who posted thx in advance I think it was the saddle issue mainly and not letting my self recover. (Think I got ahead of myself by riding without any days off. Couch potato to riding everyday probably not a bright idea)
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Old 02-23-11, 08:14 PM   #8
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Couch potato to riding everyday probably not a bright idea)
More true than it sounds too. You need to let your body recover or it just beats itself up more and more. If you start getting pain in your knees, definately take some rest days. Then think about getting a fit at the LBS, and if pain persists see a doctor. Might thing about picking up a book at the library about cycling. Sounds over the top, but it can help you build a good foundation for long term, injury free riding.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:42 PM   #9
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Saddle height.
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Old 02-25-11, 10:03 PM   #10
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I'm going to differ from everyone else. I recommend you go talk to a doc about your leg pain.

I have blown disks and I get pain in my thighs like you described. Pain that feels like a strained or pulled muscle yet it doesn't feel like the muscle is tired and there is no burning from lactic acid buildup. Stretching does not make it feel better. In fact, sometimes it feels worse while stretching. A LOT worse.

So, if you're having a physical pain sensation after mild exercise, you should go talk to your doctor about it. There are LOTS of things you should be thinking about other than saddle height.
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Old 02-26-11, 04:17 PM   #11
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Just got back from a ride and I must say raising the saddle made a huge difference the pain in my quads literally would not happen even when tackling hills and pushing low cadence power intervals.

@ everyone thanks for the input and responding. Saddle height appears to have been the main issue with my quads and I actually feel much better post ride then I usually do. Thanks!
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Old 02-26-11, 04:25 PM   #12
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Many, many, many folks start out with their saddles way too low. Glad you got it figured out quickly.
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Old 04-10-11, 09:54 AM   #13
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Having read this thread, I'm going to try resetting the height of my saddle - after a few days rest that is!

I went spinning on Thursday last week for the first time, and on Friday afternoon my quads really ached and felt very stiff and sore.

Probably foolishly , I went on a 6 mile bike ride yesterday. While I was cycling I didn't feel too bad, and my quads felt a little better, but last night I could hardly move, my quads were so sore. They are a little better today, but still quite sore.

I have now come to the conclusion that I need to rest (shame I didn't work THAT one out earlier! Doh!) but I think raising my saddle height a little might help. I'm pretty new to cycling so everything is trial and error at the moment.

On the plus side, my quads are feeling very strong - but I'll rest them a while to prevent injury.
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Old 04-10-11, 11:34 AM   #14
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Don't forget bannanas! A small calorie hit for big potassium bennies, and muscles need potassium to recover! Eat 2 a day at least!
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Old 04-10-11, 03:02 PM   #15
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Great! I love bananas!
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Old 04-10-11, 04:47 PM   #16
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Good to hear that you're figuring it out before hurting yourself. I'm assuming that you've Googled "bicycle saddle height adjustment" or something to that effect? There's a Clyde worth of videos and illustrations on the web tackling the topic;
like this one-
http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-seat/
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Old 04-10-11, 05:28 PM   #17
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I think it's really easy to overdo it when you're just getting into cycling. We got our bikes just yesterday, went for a 6 mile mostly flat ride, felt ok after w/ some soreness, then today set out on a shorter by hillier ride, and I just didn't have any gas. Was fatigued much faster, and didn't have much power in my legs. I needed a rest day, so we cut the ride short and headed home. Sometimes the enthusiasm takes over, but we need to build up our fitness over time rather than push it too hard at the beginning.

We plan to do this for a long time, and all those rides we're excited to do will still be there when we've recovered enough to ride them.
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