Originally Posted by Lew.
Would stretching (as in during the week, rather than part as my warm-up) help this? I'm often told how 'aggressive' my saddle to bar drop is, but I warm up on the tops or hold where the hoods would be...
Stretching during the week (best to do it after riding, when your muscles are warmed up) is a VERY GOOD idea. if you are a Youth rider and can't touch your toes, you are very (surprisingly so) unflexible - you are setting yourself up for injury, forget the cramps.
But yes, although its not the only factor, or a conclusive factor, when it comes to cramping, muscles that are tight to start off with are instantly pre-disposed to cramping. its all got to do with how muscles work on the cellular level (which i won't go into here).
Especially for cycling, where you are using your muscles in a 'shortened' position as well (unlike running, which lengthens the muscles out).
I'd say the stretching thing is more of an issue than the warm up, since you roll the gear slowly to start off with, but there is a bit of a combined factor if your tight muscles start 'tightening' more to get the big gear going before they are properly warmed up, so definitely get a lighter gear and take it slower before you are at top speed/ power part of your warm up.