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  1. #1
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    Am I putting my legs under too much work?

    Hi,

    A year ago i worked as a chef, i used to cycle to work on my mtb; when ever the weather was good, I never had a problem with aching legs EVER!

    then i left work for 3 months and never rode a bike within that time, now im back to riding 10 miles there and back and standing on my feet 12 hours a day and at the end of work i always get an awful aching feeling in my legs that i never had before!

    Ive got a new CX bike now, which is so much faster. I dont understand why my legs are hurting so bad, I always take protein supplements and im only 19yo

    Could it be the bike is not the right size for me? i know ive got the seat adjusted to the right height, but the handlebars arent cause my hands hurt when i ride in the proper position

    Or is it just that my body isnt used to it yet?

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Has anything changed at work in those three months? Do you have different shoes? Did they put down new mats that you stand on? When I worked at a diner (as a waitress) I remember once the manager bought new mats in a different brand for the kitchen staff to stand on and they all immediately started getting lower back pain - she had to buy new mats in the old brand a week or two later.

    The gearing is probably also different on the new bike, but I'd bet it's something at work that changed.
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

  3. #3
    Meta-Whiner gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
    Could it be the bike is not the right size for me? i know ive got the seat adjusted to the right height, but the handlebars arent cause my hands hurt when i ride in the proper position
    Woah...............the time to find the right size bike is before you buy it.

    Use a fit calculator to get your theoretical ideal dimensions, seat height is but one of them. Get as close as you can. Saddle setback from bottom bracket and saddle nose to handlebar distance are two that I find make a difference in comfort and power that I can actually feel.

    Get help from someone to help you measure yourself, measure three times and use the average to plug into the calculator.

    There is a Fit Your Bike forum here where there are folks that know a lot more than I do about bike fit and can go a lot further to getting your bike right for you. But, you can't just say "My legs hurt, is my bike adjusted wrong?" and expect them to do anything but tell you to use the fit calculator and current bike measurements to know what to change.

    Good luck.
    "Lower sodium" only means that you can put mom in front of your cardiologist on speed dial.
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  4. #4
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    If things haven't changed at work, definitely look at fit. My road bike was a real torture rack until I realized that the seat, handlebars, even the shift levers were all wrong. After futzing with those things and doing some research the bike is much more comfortable and I have no pain.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bluegoatwoods's Avatar
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    It might not even be very easy to find what's wrong systematically. As in kookaburra's example, the culprit might be some component that appears to be normal and working properly. But in the end it just doesn't feel good.

    But the bike ride should feel good. My example; my job is not really all that strenuous but it does involve a lot of walking. At the end of the day I'm foot-sore. But the bike ride home still feels very good simply because the stresses of feet, legs, hands, etc., are all different than they were during the day.

    Your experience should be the same. If it's not, then I'd start playing around with handlebar position and seat height and things like that. Anything that's adjustable at all. If that doesn't do it, then you might try different handlebars or seat. I wouldn't suggest high cost items, either. But if you find the right low-cost item, your troubles will be solved.

    Best of luck with it.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like the bike doesn't currently fit you. Saddle height is only part of a good fit, and if that's the only thing correct you could be putting a lot of strain on certain parts of your body.
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” - Jiddu Krishnamurti

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 View Post
    Has anything changed at work in those three months? Do you have different shoes?
    I think you hit the nail on the head there, I have stopped wearing proper chef shoes actually and that is probably why, i could ride my bike all day and i dont think i would have a problem with my legs, hey thanks, time to invest in some proper shoes

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxpowers View Post
    I think you hit the nail on the head there, I have stopped wearing proper chef shoes actually and that is probably why, i could ride my bike all day and i dont think i would have a problem with my legs, hey thanks, time to invest in some proper shoes
    Stay away from Croc Bistros. They are awful! Comfortable, but not slip resistant at all. Nearly broke my back the first day I wore them to work.
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” - Jiddu Krishnamurti

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
    Stay away from Croc Bistros. They are awful! Comfortable, but not slip resistant at all. Nearly broke my back the first day I wore them to work.
    Thanks, i was advised that by many chefs as well, from what i heard its Birkenstock Boston all the way

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    As somebody who works standing on concrete, the first thing I thought of were "Shoes,get some good shoes." Just like a bike, go to a store that specializes in the product instead of going to a big box store. The extra money is well worth it. Personally, I wear Red Wings. Expensive, but well worth it.
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  11. #11
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    depends is it an ache limited to the muscles... then you just need to get used to it... if its a general ache, it could be that you are experiencing mild sciatica... standing can aggravate that and if there is tightness in the hips (possibly from cycling)...

  12. #12
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    Good idea about the shoes. On the bike, I'd also concentrate on higher cadence-- get your normal pedaling cadence up to 90 or 100 rpm.

  13. #13
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    it also depends on how you ride. i suffer pain (and muscle cramps -- and yes i know it's the damage not the lactate) because i'm always pushing myself beyond my lactic acid limit. it hurts good.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  14. #14
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    With respect i hate reading about all that cadence crap, its probably important cause people never stop talking about it, but im going to ride what i think is comfortable, sometimes its best to do things your own way rather than following the book

  15. #15
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    It could simply that you're riding more, and maybe the better bike is encouraging you to push harder.

    Any time you have a serious exercise program, you have to have some rest and recovery time. Try skipping one day mid week, or change your habits, mixing fast days, with slow days for the ride.

    Also try to do a few minutes of walking when you arrive at work, so you're not standing on tired muscles that haven't had a chance to recover.

    I ride daily, and often have to spend the day on my feet. I make it a point to walk or shift weight between my legs because just standing becomes torture.
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