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Pain when Cycling

Fozzy279Fozzy279 Posts: 7
Hi all -

I've got back into cycling as a form of exercise after 2 back operations. Cycling is the only form of excercise I can do without hurting my back even more, but I'm getting several problems elsewhere!! :D

1. I can pedal for miles at an average 20mph no problem. First hill or slope I come to, my legs turn to jelly - I have to turn the lowest gear and my legs are really burning. This happens on my road bike or mountain bike so I think its "me" thats the problem

2. I know how to set up a bike, but despite padded gloves, extra padded bar tape, my hands go numb after about 10 miles - even changing positions doesn't help. I just have to dangle my arms down by my side every few minutes to stop it.

3. I don't get saddle sore or "numb", but after replacing the narrow saddle that came fitted to my bike with wider, anatomic ones I get a really painful backside after about 20 miles - no saddle seems to help.

This is really spoling my riding and limiting me to what I can do - The main problem is the lack of stamina in my legs - after several weeks it doesn't seem to be improving and steep climbs are out of the question for me - which is awkward as I live in a mountainous area!! Can anyone suggest anything?


  • bmwonerbmwoner Posts: 4
    Bit more background on you?

    Could be some technique, weights, eating, breathing, all kinds of issues. Though if you eat well, sleep well, get out and practice hills you will get better.
  • roddixonroddixon Posts: 100
    1. Practice makes perfect and all

    2. Does your position lead to you putting lots of weight on your hands? Maybe, despite knowing how to set up a bike, you should get a bike fit done, professionals are exactly that.

    3. A thinner, hard saddle can actually be more comfortable than a wide, thickly padded one. Have you tried the one your bike came with? If in doubt get your "censored " measured whilst at the bike fit... :oops:

    After several weeks you won't see that much improvement, but stick at it and the effort will pay off. Stamina doesn't come by itself.

    If it is spoiling your riding then definitely look into a bike fit, or tinker with it yourself till you find a better position.
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    roddixon wrote:
    If in doubt get your "ars*" measured whilst at the bike fit... :oops

    I loved that one :D:D:D:D:D:D Should solve so many riders problems :D:D

    Fozzy279.. there's something about what you said.. I can pedal for miles at an average 20mph no problem. You have got to be an experienced rider to do that in a mountainous area.

    Anyway, I would suggest that you slow down a bit by getting into a more relaxed touring style of riding. Raise the bars, softer seat (after careful measurement :D )etc.. May even suit you better at the moment to fit straight bars and bar ends if you not in to getting on a heavy MTB. I have found fitting bar ends inside the brake levers a very comfortable position and climbing on bar ends is magic. Also, if you haven't one all ready get a Granny gear going on the road bike.

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • Fozzy279Fozzy279 Posts: 7
    Hi All - thanks for your input so far - a bit more background:

    I'm rather "porky" at the moment (18 stone) due to about 18 months of inactivity, hence my cycling campaign to get fit. My bike doesn't have any adjustment to raise the bars any more - maybe another stem? and although I don't "feel" like I'm putting pressure on my hands, I obviouly am (my weight doesn't help). My lowest gear is a 39/23, although I find I use the 39/21 most. I've just bought a new cassette with a 27 tooth sprocket on it - although I prefer trying to turn a bigger gear than peddling like mad.

    First ride out about a month ago, 10 miles - avg 15 mph on the flat - gasping for breath up the very moderate slopes, legs like jelly - now progressed to 30 miles avg 20 mph - breathing hard but regular during moderate climb, legs still like jelly (Even though I live in a hilly area there is one flat-ish course, but its getting a bit boring now!)

    My bike came with a narrow carbon fiber saddle which, when using it on rollers at least, caused serious numbness after only a couple of mins in the tackle area, so after researching I bought a new anatomic one, with cut out etc which was better, but didn't solve the problem completely. So I had a lightbulb moment - my old circa 1985 road bike which I still have - had a great saddle so I bought one of them and it worked - numbness gone! but the bony bits around the "ars*" area very sore.

    I've tinkered with the positioning, saddle height, for/aft, bar angle etc and I think its as good as its going to get, so maybe a proper fit due.

    Thanks for advise.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I think the hill climbing can be explained by your weight - drop the weight and it'll feel so much easier. I'm about 12st10 but I know if I can drop half a stone off that I notice a fair difference - drop 3-4 stone off your weight and you'll be flying up those hills.

    The sore censored might be due to too much weight on the saddle - new cyclists often have the bars quite high and quite an upright position with more weight on the saddle - there's also a case for saying you will just get used to it with time.

    As for the sore hands - could be too much weight on them but if the bars are quite high as it is sounds unlikely - need to see your bike really to offer advice on that. Might be you are just too tense and holding on too tight - I used to get numb hands in road races but never normal riding - I think it was just in a race I was subconsciously gripping the bars too tightly.

    edit - just read your last post - re. the saddle if it's just pressure on the bony bits now I reckon that's something that your body will adapt to over time. Very impressive average speed by the way - when you shift a bit of that weight that should transfer to hill climbing.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
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