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Old 07-06-09, 01:32 AM   #1
greybum
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Newly bent - achilles tendon pain ("tenonitis")

Hello!,
About 6 weeks ago I met "Chip" who was riding an HP Street Machine up a steep hill (Torrey Pines - the "scenic" route) near San Diego. My wife waited patiently as Chip willingly shared his enthusiasm for the bent. A week later I bought a used Haluzak Horizon but was surprised/annoyed/worried when, after my first 55 mile ride (including Torrey Pines), I started experiencing pain in my left heel. It was from the achilles tendon rubbing inside its "sheath" (the "paratendon") -- I think the symptom is called [achilles] "tenonitis".

Chip had warned that bents tend to invite leg strain, and some googling suggests this is especially true for the newly bent (like me.)

Has anone else experienced this - or similar - symptom?

Thanks/Cheers!
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Old 07-06-09, 05:10 AM   #2
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I just started riding fairly recently, and I am also feeling some leg strain, although I can tell they are getting stronger. I don't feel it in my heels though, just my legs; and some soreness on the bottoms of my feet from the pedal pressure.
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Old 07-06-09, 06:02 AM   #3
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I tweaked an achilles tendon pretty well once, and it was swollen for weeks. The cause was 1) too much extension for the pedals and 2) riding hard on a cool morning without a warm-up. I've had small flare-ups before and since, but I just take some aspirin and go easy on them for the rest of the day. You should definitely pay attention to gearing down and spinning, rather than mashing the hills. I've been on that Torrey Pines hill, and it's a toughie.
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Old 07-06-09, 11:45 AM   #4
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Hi Onus, BP,
Thanks for responses. In spite of a having bike-legs already, I'm a bit sore too!

BP
I'll shorten pedal extension which was "tuned" with seat was upright, then seat was reclined moving hips away from pedals. Pedal adjustment will be relatively easy, breaking the tall-gear habit is gonna be very tough - will probably search here for tips.
Kinda curious about your riding in So Cal though you're from Michigan(?)

Thanks/Cheers!
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Old 07-06-09, 12:14 PM   #5
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You might also try having your feet a little farther forward on the pedals, i.e. with cleats move the cleats back on the shoes or with toeclips use longer ones. Back in the pre-clipless days I always found that I got achilles tendon pain when using shorter toeclips.
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Old 07-06-09, 02:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greybum View Post
Kinda curious about your riding in So Cal though you're from Michigan(?)

Thanks/Cheers!
Just because I live in Michigan doesn't mean I've never left here! I have a brother in Mission Viejo, and one time when I visited, I took a side trip to ride with an internet acquaintance. It was a great way to spend an afternoon while the brother had to work and the wife and SIL went shopping.
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Old 07-06-09, 04:33 PM   #7
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Was a hard 55 miles your first significant ride on your 'bent?
You need to acclimate gradually.
Bike-legs and bent-bike-legs are not exactly the same thing.
Care for some Vitamin I?
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Old 07-06-09, 10:14 PM   #8
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Was a hard 55 miles your first significant ride on your 'bent?
You need to acclimate gradually.
Bike-legs and bent-bike-legs are not exactly the same thing.
Care for some Vitamin I?
Hey JanMM, Seems you're right about over-doing the milage on newly-bent legs, though, am hoping it was pedals being slightly too far out. Yes, Vitamin I! - used to use it lots (for headaches), but became IbuPhobic after reading/worrying about cumulative side-effects. Switched to aspirine.

Hi prathmann, I looked at the shoes/clips and there seems to be room to move them back - toward heel - a few milimeters. I'm mainly worried it won't "feel" right -- having put 5 or 10 K miles on them as they are (commuting to work.) A quick search on the subject backs-up your advice; definately food for thought - especially if problem keeps occurring - thanks. Hope I won't need two sets of shoes - one for upright and one for bent!(?)

Hi BP: Thanks for satiating curiosity. Once flew with bike to Raleigh-Durum N.C. (when contract-work took me there); carted a bike to Moab for the Slickrock trail. I'm no professional [rider] but am familier with the concept of cycling out-of-[home]state! (It was a pain packing road-bike into box...) However, am loving the "bent-view" of countryside (not to mention "eye-candy" along Coast Hwy), might even consider an overseas adventure!

Thanks/Cheers!
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Old 07-07-09, 12:45 AM   #9
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+1 on shortening the boom slightly. On a recumbent, legs are usually bent more at the knee than they would be on an upright. Rule of thumb for setting bb distance: Place your heel on the pedal at maximum leg extension, then pedal with ball of foot and the distance should be about right (or very close).

The advice regarding temporarily dialing back the mileage & spinning is on the money. With the Haluzak you'll be slower on hilly sections, so don't kill yourself (and your knees) over it.
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Old 07-08-09, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
+1 on shortening the boom slightly. On a recumbent, legs are usually bent more at the knee than they would be on an upright. Rule of thumb for setting bb distance: Place your heel on the pedal at maximum leg extension, then pedal with ball of foot and the distance should be about right (or very close).

The advice regarding temporarily dialing back the mileage & spinning is on the money. With the Haluzak you'll be slower on hilly sections....
Thanks for sharing "rule of thumb" - applying it forthwith!

"With the Haluzak you'll be slower on hilly sections..." Please elaborate!

Thanks/Cheers
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Old 07-09-09, 04:11 PM   #11
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+2 on shorting the boom. Recumbomatic said it right for getting an approximate setting. Leg should be slightly bent. BTW I am in San Diego area also.
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Old 07-10-09, 12:01 PM   #12
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Follow-up, Newly-bent, better now

After applying rule-of-thumb, did the same ride without having tendon problem afterward. Thanks again for this tip, Recumbomatic! BTW: did you also imply the Haluzak is slower than other recumbents??? Anyway, it's embarassing to admit something as basic as extension was the problem - now I know!

Hi Pockets,
We'll probably see each other if you ride Coast-Hwy(?) Lately, about twice a week, I'm starting/ending 5 miles inland at Oceanside, turn-around at Torrey Pines.

Cheers!

Last edited by greybum; 07-10-09 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:27 PM   #13
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Greybum, it's an unfortunate fact, but most recumbents tend to be slower on climbs than road bikes. The Haluzak is no different in this respect. If, however, you're used to mountain bikes or hybrids, then it won't seem so bad.
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Old 07-11-09, 10:18 PM   #14
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Greybum, it's an unfortunate fact, but most recumbents tend to be slower on climbs than road bikes. The Haluzak is no different in this respect. If, however, you're used to mountain bikes or hybrids, then it won't seem so bad.
Thanks for clarification, BP - guess I'll hang on to the Horizon a bit longer!
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Old 07-26-09, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greybum View Post
Hello!,
About 6 weeks ago I met "Chip" who was riding an HP Street Machine up a steep hill (Torrey Pines - the "scenic" route) near San Diego. My wife waited patiently as Chip willingly shared his enthusiasm for the bent. A week later I bought a used Haluzak Horizon but was surprised/annoyed/worried when, after my first 55 mile ride (including Torrey Pines), I started experiencing pain in my left heel. It was from the achilles tendon rubbing inside its "sheath" (the "paratendon") -- I think the symptom is called [achilles] "tenonitis".

Chip had warned that bents tend to invite leg strain, and some googling suggests this is especially true for the newly bent (like me.)

Has anone else experienced this - or similar - symptom?

Thanks/Cheers!
The two major causes of Achillies tendon injury are
1) weakness
2) lack of flexibility (due to a lack of regular stretching)

Bents don't cause this any more than an upright does or walking around every day. There are tons of sources on the net for stretching and strengthening regimens and achillies injuries will be history.
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