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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-08-08, 08:02 PM   #1
femsh
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New biker - legs burn and butt hurts!

I am pretty much a new biker. I've had bikes before, but never put a ton of miles on them. I recently borrowed a 'cross bike from a co-worker who had one to spare, and I've done my 8-miles each way commute twice now. I'm finding that the limiting factors so far are the seat ( I can barely sit on the seat since the first ride, my *ss is so sore) and my legs. When I'm going up even a pretty mild hill, my quads (especially around the knee) get this rising, lactic-acid burning feeling that stops me before I even notice my lungs. I remember this being the case with my other bikes more or less, too. Has this happened to anyone else? Does it typically improve pretty quickly with training? What about the seat? Will my butt toughen up, or does this sound like a bad seat fit? BTW, I'm 6'0", 210lbs, 34 y.o.
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Old 07-08-08, 08:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to riding and those pains let you know. Anyway I have been riding for around 3 months now and the butt part I definitely recall and it still bothers me after a long ride. Their are 2 bones (one on each side) in your butt called your sit bones. Those are what is hurting and getting a pair of shorts with padding in them will definitely help. Their are still days they will be a little sore after a very hard ride but 95% of the time it dose not bother me. Your legs can be several factors though that would cause them to be sore. The first being that if you just start riding they are getting used more so they will hurt as they develop. However it can also be that the bike is not the correct size for you or you are not fitted correctly. I took me about 3 weeks of testing and tuning to get my bike just right (mostly my saddle height to get it higher to maximize my peddle stroke but also make sure it is not over extending it.) I am not a expert nor what I would call a season rider so that is going off what I have heard/experienced so far

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Old 07-09-08, 08:48 AM   #3
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If "recently" means just a month or so then just keep riding. Otherwise there are many other varibles that could cause this. Mainly bike fit. It wouldn't hurt to have a LBS or someone in the know to check your fit.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by femsh View Post
When I'm going up even a pretty mild hill, my quads (especially around the knee) get this rising, lactic-acid burning feeling that stops me before I even notice my lungs. I remember this being the case with my other bikes more or less, too. Has this happened to anyone else?
it happens to EVERYBODY else

yes, it gets better the more you do it, but you have to be patient. And climbing always hurts a little no matter how long you've been at it. They say it never gets easier, you only get faster.

Your butt will also get used to the wear and tear, too.

so hang in there
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Old 07-09-08, 10:36 AM   #5
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Yes it does get better. Make sure you have the seat front to back distance set correctly and the seat height is correct for you. I have loaned several bikes to friends new to the commute or just for exercise. Lost a couple to pain before I remembered to tell them it's OK to play with set up.
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Old 07-09-08, 11:13 AM   #6
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The bum is going to hurt for a while, that is sort of a given. Get padded pants. They make padded underwear if you aren't ready for the "look" quite yet. The seat can make a big difference too, but there is no single silver bullet, that's why there are so many for sale.

The burning legs may just be from discovering some muscles you've not been using. However, the knee pain is something to be concerned about and incorrect seat height may well be the culprit. Check out this article: http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html. Also, learn to "spin" rather than "pump" the peddles. This seems counter intuitive, but a fast cadence with light resistance is easier on the legs and will let you go much farther/faster in the long run. You will end up working your legs less and your cardio system more. It is easier to catch your breath than recover from the burning legs.
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Old 07-09-08, 11:16 AM   #7
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I always recommend buying aftermarket saddles that have a gel layer and a cutout in the middle.

As far as your legs hurting- make sure your saddle is at the right height. You could be causing
unnecessary strain with weird legs positioning.
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Old 07-09-08, 05:32 PM   #8
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My backside appreciated the switch to a Brooks saddle.
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Old 07-09-08, 07:10 PM   #9
femsh
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Thanks for the advice. I think the sat height's ok. I'm pedaling on the balls of my feet and my legs are just slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke. Sounds like the verdict is out-of-shape legs and the cure is more miles!
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Old 07-14-08, 01:15 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I think the sat height's ok. I'm pedaling on the balls of my feet and my legs are just slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke. Sounds like the verdict is out-of-shape legs and the cure is more miles!
It sounds like we are about in the same boat. I just started about 2 weeks ago and ride 18 miles round trip to work. My butt was killing me the first few days and it seemed to be more than just getting used to it. Turns out that while my seat height was good it was set too far back, I moved it forward about 3/4" and magically the pain stopped.....needless to say I am definately a believer that bike fit means everything.

As far as my burning legs....I think it's punishment for for being a marshmellow for too long. Starting week 3 and they burn as much as they did the first day....but now i get to work 5 minutes faster.

ryan
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