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Thread: I need help

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    I need help

    Ok, so I'm new. I started riding about a month ago. At first couldn't even ride a mile...sad...I know. But I kept going and within a week or two I was riding 8 miles a day. My problem is the burning in legs. Just above the knee on the inside. I know riding uses muscles and exercise tears down muscle fiber etc. But there was no soar muscles the next day. I thought maybe I was trying to do much to fast so I eased off and only rode three miles day. Same thing. So I thought maybe I'm starving the muscles so I started eating more complex carbs especially an hour before a ride. Same problem. Is there something I'm no thinking of? I was under the impression the more I rode the easier it would be. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoosta View Post
    Ok, so I'm new. I started riding about a month ago. At first couldn't even ride a mile...sad...I know. But I kept going and within a week or two I was riding 8 miles a day. My problem is the burning in legs. Just above the knee on the inside. I know riding uses muscles and exercise tears down muscle fiber etc. But there was no soar muscles the next day. I thought maybe I was trying to do much to fast so I eased off and only rode three miles day. Same thing. So I thought maybe I'm starving the muscles so I started eating more complex carbs especially an hour before a ride. Same problem. Is there something I'm no thinking of? I was under the impression the more I rode the easier it would be. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Have your position on the bike checked by someone who is knowledgeable about bike fit. From what you are describing, I bet your seat is too low, and you're pointing your legs outward as you pedal. Proper bike adjustment will help you ride more comfortably for longer distances.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Have your position on the bike checked by someone who is knowledgeable about bike fit. From what you are describing, I bet your seat is too low, and you're pointing your legs outward as you pedal. Proper bike adjustment will help you ride more comfortably for longer distances.
    Good advice--a low saddle can cause that. You've also progressed pretty fast, something you might overlook if you read about people riding 50 miles at a pop. What you can do is what you can do; don't judge yourself against anybody else. Rest days and easy days are important--you'll actually develop faster if you give the muscles a chance to recover than if you hit it hard every day.

  4. #4
    tsl
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    Everyone is different. I returned to cycling at age 49 after a 35 year hiatus. I led an extremely sedentary lifestyle during that time. Here's how it worked for me.

    My first ride, home from the LBS, was only 2/3rds of a mile. I had to stop and rest halfway.

    After a month or so I could ride 20 miles with four or five rest stops. Then a three-hour nap afterward, and resting the whole next day.

    It was months before my legs didn't hurt 24/7. Then I discovered BikeForums.

    I learned the importance of bike fit in ride comfort and prevention of repetitive motion injuries. I also learned I needed to pedal at a faster cadence.

    I had a fitting done. Nearly everything about the saddle and handlebar locations was changed. That helped a lot.

    I bought a cyclometer with a cadence function and found I was pedaling at under 60 RPM most of the time. While everyone's natural cadence is different, you'll hear that what works best for most folks is between 85 and 95 RPM, or 1.5 times as fast.

    This was harder to do than it sounds. When I first tried pedaling faster instead of harder, at 72 RPM I thought my legs would fly out of their hip sockets. It took a whole year before I found the cadence that works best for me is around 95 RPM. By then I could ride 10 miles between rest stops.

    So I'm with Jeff and Velo Dog. Start with a fitting--professionally done. Plan on $50 to $150 for this. Ask the fitter too about your cadence. That's what worked for me, though YMMV.

    Oh, and one more thing, Greg LeMond was right: It never gets easier, you just get faster.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member twinquad's Avatar
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    tsl's post pretty much tells you all you need to know - proper fit, higher cadence, don't worry about progressing too fast. I'd just add that, although a professional fit is an excellent idea, if you're put off by the expense, you can make the most important adjustment - seat height - on your own. The starting point is to adjust the seat so that your leg is fully extended when you put your heel on the pedal, making sure your hips are level on the seat. Ride a mile or two so you know how that feels. Next time you ride, adjust it up or down a half inch or so, and note how that feels. Iterate until you find the sweet spot. You might not find the same spot a professional fitter would, but it'll probably feel a lot better than it does now.

    If you don't like having the seat this high because you want to reach the ground easily while seated, realize that bikes just don't fit this way. When stopping and starting, you need to come off the seat. Here's a good summary of this process.
    -----------------------------
    2008 Salsa Casseroll (commuter)
    2002 Dean el Diente (road)
    1996 Trek T100 (tandem)

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    Many thanks for your help. I have bought a new bike with a proper fit and I has made a world of difference. I was riding a 12 year old mountain bike from walmart. Now I'm on a trek 1.1....NIGHT AND DAY, let mentell you. But on the new bike I'm more comfortable. I have been paying closer attention my cadence and it really does make a difference. I didn't realize that I was pumping hard when I should have pedaling faster. Again thanks for the advice.

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    Good to see another convert.
    Imagine that: buy a product/service from an established local professional and experience better results.
    Too bad you had to injure yourself to help you discover that; pass the word.

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