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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Bicycle setup and hamstring issues

    I've changed road bicycles from my custom steel Marinoni (Machak) to my compact frame, aluminum Giant ... and, of course, there are some subtle differences in set up.

    I've ridden that Giant before without these sorts of problems, and I thought I had the two set up pretty much the same, but evidently not. After a short 25 km ride yesterday on the Giant, I've got some serious hamstring pain today.

    I've never had hamstring pain from cycling before, so I'm not sure what I need to adjust to fix the problem. Should I raise the saddle? Should I move it back a bit?

    Has anyone experienced this problem before and what did you do?

  2. #2
    Rubber Side Down soccerismylife's Avatar
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    I've never had pain but I have had soreness. After sliding my saddle back I noticed that my hamstrings were utilized more and therefore they got really sore. Also, it could be your bar height in relation to your saddle height. Can you touch you toes?
    "Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike, busting my ass, six hours a day. What are you on?"
    -Lance Armstrong

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soccerismylife
    I've never had pain but I have had soreness. After sliding my saddle back I noticed that my hamstrings were utilized more and therefore they got really sore. Also, it could be your bar height in relation to your saddle height. Can you touch you toes?

    I did slide my saddle a little bit further forward, but maybe I need to take a closer look at that.


    And ... can I touch my toes? No, not even close. I've taken a couple yoga classes which have improved my flexibility to some degree, but there's still no way I can come anywhere near to touching my toes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I did slide my saddle a little bit further forward, but maybe I need to take a closer look at that.


    And ... can I touch my toes? No, not even close. I've taken a couple yoga classes which have improved my flexibility to some degree, but there's still no way I can come anywhere near to touching my toes.
    you should probably work on that.

    I messed up my hamstring recently, and the most important thing to do is to rest, dont do ANYTHING for a week. be like that lazy ****** you see in the car next to you on the commute, dont even walk for too long. the hamstring is under so much tension, it is just about impossible to heal it unless you do some intense rest.

    once you get back on the bike, lower your seat a bit. that puts less bend in your leg.

    you should start doing some hamstring stretching, its important. wait until your week of laziness is done though. slowly but surely, you'll be able to move your seat back up to where it was, but keep the stretching up.

    thats what I did anyway, and I've been fairly pain free.

  5. #5
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    Hiya,

    I'm not sure what changes to make to saddle height or orientation. I have a Giant OCR2 and have had no issues that way.

    However, from reading your posts and looking over your website, I do know that you ride a ton of miles. You might consider adding some hamstring bench work to your routine. Your quads are likely stronger than heck and that can create an inbalance overpowering the hammies. This was precisely the kind of solution that I used. I found that my hammies were often sore or tight, particularly after doing my lunch time runs. Since I work at a high school, I spoke with the trainer who suggested I hit the bench.

    Since I have been doing a once a week session at the gym (light weights but many reps), much of that discomfort has gone away. Just a thought.

    Sheldon
    [insert clever quote here]

  6. #6
    Rubber Side Down soccerismylife's Avatar
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    In terms of flexibility, yes lowering your saddle would be benefficial because it creates more of a bend in your leg which would put less strain on the hammy. Also, raising your handlebars could help in roughly the same reason.
    "Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike, busting my ass, six hours a day. What are you on?"
    -Lance Armstrong

  7. #7
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    Lower the saddle to take pressure off the hamstrings. Also, try stretching more. Take a small warm up to get the muscles and tendons warmed up, then get off and stretch.

    Koffee

  8. #8
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    Go to www.wrenchscience.com and get your correct bike measurements.

  9. #9
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Another vote for lowering the saddle.

    When setting up the Giant, did you transfer measurements from the Marinoni? What I have to do is start from the center of the bottom bracket, and work from that... with the old bike on a level floor (garage floors usually aren't), use a level or plumb bob to get the location of the center of the crank on the top tube. Use that as the reference point to measure to h-bars and saddle. Repeat with the new bike, using the BB center as the reference. Then adjust saddle height based on distance from center of cranks, etc. Even this only gets you in the ballpark. There are still a bunch of variables... a different saddle or saddle tilt will change where your hips wind up, etc. And you can't adjust h-bar reach w/out a different stem extension. The idea is to get you close enough to your old set-up that it's easier to feel the difference and tweak as necessary. Good Luck!

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