First road bike - painful hamstrings in left leg

BDFun Posts: 67
edited August 2010 in Road beginners
Hi all,

Yesterday I bought my first road bike - Trek 1.2. I had myself measured and everything so the bike should fit my body.

I cycled to and from work today with the new bike and I'm getting quite a bit of pain in my hamstrings on my left leg. To be more specific, it is in the area just above the back of my knee. This morning I assumed that perhaps my seat might have been too high so I lowered it, and I'm still having the same problem.

I have had pain in my hamstrings in the same leg before which was resolved with a sports massage. I was told this was due to tight muscles in my legs.

Am I getting these pains because my body is adjusting to cycling on a proper road bike after cycling on an ill-fitting/adjusted cheapo mountain bike? Could it be my muscles are still too tight? Just strange I was fine before on my Giant Rock.

Much appreciated if someone could help


  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Stretch, stretch and more stretching!

    Never before, always after.

    Get a few decent stretches off the web and pick a couple of different ones. Start by holding for 15 seconds but slacken off if you feel any pain whatsoever. Build up to holding for 1 minute and repeat a couple of times.

    I had hamstring problems with my right leg and it took a good few months to clear up completely (combination of bikefit, regular cycling and stretching).

    I suggest you set the sadlle at the right height (plenty of advice on here if you search) rather than one that is wrong since that won't help anything.

    Good luck.
  • BDFun
    BDFun Posts: 67
    Thanks, I've been trying to do more stretches after cycling but I worry that it'll get worse and result in me not being able to cycle to work!

    What stretches did you use?
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Hi BDFun,

    Cycling tends to shorten your hamstrings so avoiding stretching (if you need to) is a downward spiral.

    Stretching should not damage your hamstrings if you are doing it right, so they will not get worse, you should only ever stretch to the point where mild discomfort starts. In addition, if your hamstring is actually painful you shouldn't be cycling or stretching IMHO.

    One of the stretches I do is a bit tricky to explain but one is a simple leg up on a sideboard (that is hip height) and then touching toes. I spent a few weeks just managing to get to the base of my leg and holding for 15 seconds, 3 times. Now,after gradually increasing over a couple of months, I can easily reach my toes and hold for a minute, 2 times each leg.