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Just started road cycling, a lot of aching and pain...

jamiecalverjamiecalver Posts: 3
Hi there,

I am a 15 year old lad who wants to start cycling 'properly'. I've always been out on a MTB but I wanted to get fit and start doing this cycling stuff for real - my biggest inspiration was being overtaken by a road cyclist and trying to keep up with them, it never worked :P

Anyway, I got used to biking a few routes around my town and built up the courage to purchase a second hand Carrera Virtuoso off my best friend because he has a carbon. It's a nice bike, thats for sure! Following this purchase, what does everyone like to do when they get a new toy? They like to play with it, a lot. So that's exactly what I've done, I thought I'd start out lightly to get used to the gear changers, when to hold the handle bars in certain places and just the general way to ride a road bike. In the 3 days of having this bike, I've done one 24 mile ride that absolutely killed me (this is before my friend recommended Strava to me), two 10 mile rides and around nine 5-10 mile commutes to school and around town.

Now, whilst writing this post, I'm sitting here with thighs that are aching and a lower back that makes it hard to bend over and stuff. My goal is to do at least 70 miles a week (which may not seem much to a lot of you out there, but its a start for someone who's literally owned a road bike for 3 days). My aches are bearable, I could easily do a 15 mile ride right now if it was laid back and chilled (which I'm probably going to do soon) but I also have a goal to do at least 27 mph per ride (which I believe I have done on every one I've done so far).

My question to you is that should I carry on with my daily rides (link below) even though I have these pains? I read in another post on a different website that the pain is my body recovering my damaged muscles thus making them stronger and I don't want to persue any long term injuries of course. I had hopes of doing another 25 mile ride with a friend this weekend or should I sit this one out?

Daily ride route:
25 mile ride:
Dailt bike ride:


  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    The answer depends on whether or not your bike setup is correct (I'm guessing not if you can't bend down).

    There is lots of information about bike setup online (youtube is a good place to start).
  • The answer depends on whether or not your bike setup is correct (I'm guessing not if you can't bend down).

    There is lots of information about bike setup online (youtube is a good place to start).

    Thanks for the reply! No, I can bend down just fine, what I'm talking about is that my lower back is left in discomfort after a ride, if that makes sense?
  • KheSanhKheSanh Posts: 62
    The best thing you could do is to get in touch with a local club or ask at your local bike shop for some contacts.

    Then see if any of the guys at the club or bike shop can help set up your bike to fit you properly.
    Ask about at the club for a training and diet plan.
    And see if there are other folk you can do rides with as well.
    And don’t beat any of the old guys in sprints, wait until you’ve been at the club a bit. Cycling egos are fragile. ;-)
  • Leg pain or just 'dead' feeling? I was off the bike for a few years until I took it up again with a vengeance -the first couple of rides I did, I was amazed at how leaden my thighs felt, even on the flat. Had never noticed that before - but it didn't last long.
    But yeah, check the bike is right size for you, and if it is, you might wanna raise the handlebars as much as you can till the back gets used to being in what's a pretty unnatural position...
    Job: Job, n,. A frustratingly long period of time separating two shorter than usual training rides
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Bike fit is a massive subject. But watch this to get you started
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    At your age you should recover quickly, and also see rapid improvements in how far / fast you can go.

    Try to use your gears wisely; don't be going everywhere in the hardest gear. Choose a gear that allows you to spin the pedals fairly briskly, and keep changing gear as the gradients change.

    Also try to pace yourself so you take it easy at the start of a longer ride so that you can still finish strongly rather than going off like a hare and running out of energy half way round.

    But as others have already said, make sure the bike is the right size for you and it's set up properly.

    Very rough way of getting to a starting point:

    Saddle height: set it so that with your heel on the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke your leg is nearly straight. That way when you pedal with the ball of your foot over the pedal spindle you'll have a slight bend in your knee. Check both sides. If your pelvis is rocking as you pedal it probably means the saddle's too high.

    Saddle fore / aft: set it so that with the pedal in the forward position the point just below your kneecap is vertically over the pedal axle. Do both sides. See how it feels when riding. I have a personal preference for the saddle a bit further forwards of this point, it feels like I can get more power through the pedals.

    Saddle tilt: absolutely horizontal is the best starting point. All mine stay that way too. Flat ground and a spirit level (or an iPhone with the requisite app for you youngsters)

    Having got the saddle right you can then faff with handlebar height, reach, rotation etc.

  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    Trying to maintain the cycling position while gauging where your body is with respect to the bike and assessing what adjustments are required, is not the easiest task. It's useful to have someone reasonably experienced to help look at your position when stationary on the bike.

    Everyone has their favourite ways of doing things but I like using the 109% saddle height rule (Google it). I found it quickly put me into the ball park area without any faffing about and thereafter, all it took to finalise the saddle height was a couple of minor adjustments.
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