Severe cramps in quads.

thebluevoice Posts: 31
edited April 2018 in Health, fitness & training

I'm suffering from ride stopping cramps and spasms (looks like my leg has things under the skin crawling around!) in my upper front thighs (that's the quads right?) :(

Getting them after 10-13 miles. If I ride a lot easier then I can get further before they kick in.
I never had cramps in my life until a ride last year when I was about 20 miles in.

After getting the cramps I then have to manage my legs for the rest of the ride walking anything more than a gentle incline and easy gears to keep exertion level low or the cramps return..

This is riding in the peak district with about 2-5k feet of climbing..

The thing is my legs don't feel particularly tired so I'm not sure if I'm just overdoing it and my fitness level isn't up to what I'm asking of my legs (didn't really do any exercise over winter and only been out a dozen times or so this year) or is it something else. I'm male 47, 147lbs and 5' 8" if that makes any difference..

I recently got a dropper post and have been having my seat maybe an inch higher on flat and climbs than I did before. Could this be it? (Although that wouldn't explain the same cramps last year before I got the post).

I drink several litres of water with electrolyte tablets and also bananas during the ride.

Cheers, Justin.


  • Thanks oxoman, i am hoping it's just my unfitness level....
  • Increase your intake of magnesium and potassium. Now normally, it's recommended to go the natural route, simply because, but in your case I would go straight for the supplements, at least until you're able to ride without cramping. Get in touch with your local drug store. Magnesium and potassium are quite common supplements and are cheap. They also should be able to provide you with a recommended dosage if you tell them you're getting it to prevent cramping during sports.

    I used to take both as supplements when I was kickstarting my sports life (had hot flashes after falling asleep, random cramping during the day, muscle pain and more). I take them to this day when doing high effort rides on several consecutive days (3 and more). Not really to fight any problems, but simply to help myself keep up with the task. Aside from fighting cramping, they decrease recovery times and help keep up an effort for longer.

    Aside from that, I can't overstate how useful it is to stretch. Stretch before a ride, after a ride, and when you make a stop during a ride, do a bit of stretching as well. And it's not a bad habit to have a short stretching session after getting out of bed.
  • Cheers Gary, I'll pop to the local "health foods" shops and discuss tablets with them :)

    I know i should do more stretching, gave up running due to problems with short tendons when it came to hills (family genetic thing)..
  • Well a year on and lowering the seat by around 20mm stopped the hyper-extension and no more cramps :)