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Hip Pain - Is it my bike?

powerful pierrepowerful pierre Posts: 9
edited April 2009 in Road beginners
Hi There

Im 63, overweight and a complete newbie to road biking.
Up until august last year i had not ridden a bike for about 40 years.
In august i bought a trail bike and apart from finding it hard work it wasn't too bad except for the usual numb bum and sore thighs.

Have just now changed for a brand new Giant Defy 4 and have to make it work for me cos i cant afford another change. I did change the saddle for a Selle Royal Freccia Premium.
Think i have saddle height and forward position set up ok although i am getting some tightness and cramp behind my upper calfs.
Saddle is only about 40mm above bar stem.

Before going any further i have to say that i know i am not fit and and am well over weight (which is why ive started cycling and dieting).
Got the Defy 6 days ago and been out on it only 3 times (its so much faster than a trail bike....wow). Longest ride was yesterday at 14 miles (im still learning) and took in 5 or 6 good hills that i must admit i struggled with.
During this ride and obviously on the hills my hips (actually i think its the muscles in my hips) hurt and felt on fire......after a couple of minutes break the burning subsided and i could carry on. And so it was for the rest of the ride.
Today my legs were still aching so i only did a quick 6 miles mostly on the flat, but a few gentle hills brought on the hip burn again.

NOW TO THE POINT...Is the burning hip muscle a normal thing to expect especially bearing in mind my lack of fitness and need to get some miles in.....have other people suffered with it and more to the point will it disappear with practice or do you think that there might be something wrong with my bike set up?? I really want to enjoy my riding and so this is very important for me.

PeterG

Posts

  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    At the bottom of the pedal stroke is your leg almost fully extended? If your knee is too bent or you are having to stretch to the pedals that could cause it. With the pedal at 90deg (forward) is the front of your knee over the axle of the pedal or is it forward/back of it?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Sounds like you have the saddle setback wrong. Without seeing a picture of you on the bike it'd be hard to recommend any changes.
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  • guilliano wrote:
    At the bottom of the pedal stroke is your leg almost fully extended? If your knee is too bent or you are having to stretch to the pedals that could cause it. With the pedal at 90deg (forward) is the front of your knee over the axle of the pedal or is it forward/back of it?

    Leg is almost fully extended in fact i might just try lowering the saddle a couple of mm before i go out again!
    As close as i can judge my knee is over the pedal pivot at the horizontal position.
  • Sounds like you have the saddle setback wrong. Without seeing a picture of you on the bike it'd be hard to recommend any changes.

    Assume you are referring to getting my knee over pedal centreline but i have already done this.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Sounds like you have the saddle setback wrong. Without seeing a picture of you on the bike it'd be hard to recommend any changes.

    Assume you are referring to getting my knee over pedal centreline but i have already done this.

    That might be your problem then, KOPS isn't necessarily what you need.
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  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    Try getting to the point of having a 10deg bend in your knee. If your kneecap is over the axle of the pedal then it sounds like you have roughly the right pedalling position. How bent are you in your normal riding position? Is it a stretch to reach the hoods? May be worth turning the stem over so it becomes a risen stem, lifting the bars a touch, meaning your hips aren't as flexed when you are riding.
  • Sounds like you have the saddle setback wrong. Without seeing a picture of you on the bike it'd be hard to recommend any changes.

    Assume you are referring to getting my knee over pedal centreline but i have already done this.

    That might be your problem then, KOPS isn't necessarily what you need.

    Scuse my ignorance but what is KOPS ?
  • guilliano wrote:
    Try getting to the point of having a 10deg bend in your knee. If your kneecap is over the axle of the pedal then it sounds like you have roughly the right pedalling position. How bent are you in your normal riding position? Is it a stretch to reach the hoods? May be worth turning the stem over so it becomes a risen stem, lifting the bars a touch, meaning your hips aren't as flexed when you are riding.

    Am going to check out what you have suggested but in the meantime im wondering if ive got my saddle TOO high. Thinking back on things i only started with the cramps and the hip burn after raising my saddle height..something to check on.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    KOPS = Knee over pedal spindle.

    Just because someone said that it's true, or you've read it on the internet, doesn't mean it is true.
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  • KOPS = Knee over pedal spindle.

    Just because someone said that it's true, or you've read it on the internet, doesn't mean it is true.

    Started with saddle back position and then saddle forward position but to be honest it didnt seem to make much difference.
    Currently with saddle forward which puts knee over pedal.
  • guillianoguilliano Posts: 5,495
    What I've recommended is just the default optimum position.... it will vary from person to person. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable riding the bike. If you can get a pic of you in riding position for people to see I'm sure you'll get better advice than I can give
  • guilliano wrote:
    What I've recommended is just the default optimum position.... it will vary from person to person. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable riding the bike. If you can get a pic of you in riding position for people to see I'm sure you'll get better advice than I can give

    Cheers mate, taking the pic's no problem but posting it .....now that's another thing. Will check it out.
  • Hi Pierre

    You might have a hip flexibility problem here. Are you leaning forward more on the Giant than your previous bike, are the cranks the same length?

    You might like to try this to check your hip flexibility:-

    Sit on your bike on a turbo trainer or leaning against a wall. Unclip your left foot and position your right foot on it's pedal at full extension (down). Try and lift your left foot over the top of the left pedal. Flexible people will have at least 10cm clearance. If you struggle it means your hips are getting to their end stops.

    If so, stretching and shorter cranks may be the answer.

    Best Regards

    BikeDynamics.co.uk
  • Hi Pierre

    You might have a hip flexibility problem here. Are you leaning forward more on the Giant than your previous bike, are the cranks the same length?

    You might like to try this to check your hip flexibility:-

    Sit on your bike on a turbo trainer or leaning against a wall. Unclip your left foot and position your right foot on it's pedal at full extension (down). Try and lift your left foot over the top of the left pedal. Flexible people will have at least 10cm clearance. If you struggle it means your hips are getting to their end stops.

    If so, stretching and shorter cranks may be the answer.

    Best Regards

    BikeDynamics.co.uk

    Thanks for that...will be away a few days now but will defineately check it out when i get back.

    Peterg
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,163
    Try a few stretching exercises - esp hamstrings and lower back - are you on the drops that much ? - try riding on the top. - or perhaps you could post few pictures somewhere - so a few experts could look at your position.

    I might be freaky - but I always have to alter my position during a season. This time of year I whack the saddle up a couple of cm - to get a bit of extra performance - but then find the need to lower it in the winter or else I get back twinges - all down to flexibility I think.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    to add to the stretching, hip flexors and your ITB.
  • on the roadon the road Posts: 5,631
    The next time you go out on the bike, notice whether you're swaying from side to side as you're pedalling. Some cyclists do that when they have an ill-fitting bike or have the saddle too high, because as they sway from one side to the next, they are stretching their hip muscles.
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