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Calf muscle pain after cycling

Hi, Im returning to cycling after a bit of a break, so Ive probably lost a bit of cycle fitness. However I run regularly so Im not unfit.
Ive noticed that the next day after a cycle ride, my right calf muscle feels stiff. My left one feels fine.
Any ideas what it could be? I was guessing cleats but I havent moved them from when I cycled regularly.
"The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby

Posts

  • NcovidiusNcovidius Posts: 138
    edited 11 August
    I always advise a bike fitting for anyone thinking of taking up cycling for more than just popping down the shops / to the local pub / station etc. It’s money we’ll spent in the long run. Once that’s done, if you still have an issue, it’s always tricky to nail down an exact reason, but this sort of thing can be caused if you don’t warm down properly, after a decent exertion. I tend to try and work in a short period ( say 10 minutes )of relatively low effort riding after having been on a reasonable effort ride, for a couple of hours or so. Something like a typical club ride, for example. I’ll ride home from the set route at a steady and lower H.R. zone than I was during the main ride. That usually works as a warm down. Or spin slowly on a turbo for a few minutes when you get home. Make sure you’re eating and drinking sufficiently whilst riding too, as that can have an effect on post ride aches and pains as well.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,377 Lives Here

    Hi, Im returning to cycling after a bit of a break, so Ive probably lost a bit of cycle fitness. However I run regularly so Im not unfit.
    Ive noticed that the next day after a cycle ride, my right calf muscle feels stiff. My left one feels fine.
    Any ideas what it could be? I was guessing cleats but I havent moved them from when I cycled regularly.

    You may not have noticed it before - I don’t know much about running but afaik it can make quite sensitive calves.

    I suspect you are right it is to do with your cleats, else you might want to slide your saddle back a fraction and see if that helps.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,386
    Realistically - short of a bike fit - the best you can hope for is to make minor adjustments to saddle fore/aft or up/down and see it any of that makes any difference. Or just keep riding and see if it goes away on its own..
  • I did suspect a bike fit issue. But bizarrely when I was frequently cycling I never had that problem.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • WheelspinnerWheelspinner Posts: 5,446
    Running has probably changed the relative flexibility of your legs, and/or induced a slight leg length discrepancy from alignment changes.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,377 Lives Here
    Can also do lot of calf stretches before you go riding see if that makes a difference
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,841

    Can also do lot of calf stretches before you go riding see if that makes a difference

    So there is somebody still out there who hasn’t learnt that you shouldn’t stretch before you exercise.
  • lochindaallochindaal Posts: 467
    Depends where the pain is?
    The lower calf could be over-stretching and saddle too high or maybe the achilles (in which case more likely to be run related as cycling motion would give the correct rehab type action). The upper calf could be too much pressure at top of the downstroke therefore saddle is too low or cranks too long. And all this is speculation without seeing what you look like on your bike!
    Any changes just make small adjustments as a large one likely to cause an injury assuming you are on the same bike you were riding before...and you're not 16 and grown 4 inches :-)

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,386
    'Ncovidius' looks familiar. Reminds me of someone...
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,358
    webboo said:

    Can also do lot of calf stretches before you go riding see if that makes a difference

    So there is somebody still out there who hasn’t learnt that you shouldn’t stretch before you exercise.
    Sorry, you are totally wrong in your statement.
    Before exercise you do dynamic stretching. It is part of the warm up process.
    After you include static stretching.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,841
    So you exercise before you stretch then. That’s hardly stretching before you start.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,386
    Dynamic stretching is definitely a thing. But I can't really see it as being a cure for what seems like either a functional or positional issue in this case however...
  • I had similar issues last year after taking up cycling again.

    I run a lot and thought it was related. In my case it was very simple, my Saddle needed adjusting. It was too low, once I raised it I then had to adjust the fore/aft slightly (think I moved it forward a touch).
    They weren't even big adjustments, surprising how tiny adjustments can change the feel of a bike!

    Could be co-incidence but ever since then I've not had any Calf problems at all.

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