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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Cramp in hamstring? help.

    I've recently gotten a chinese carbon frame build and pretty much got it set up as best as I can. The bike had tri bars, but I replaced them with regualr drop bars. I am not 100% sure on my bike setup (fit), but I'm sure I have it very close. My saddle height is correct. The frame is a large size (can't remember the cm off the top of my head, but that fits me and is also what I ride on in MTB.

    I do not ride clipped in because of a leg injury. I ride on platforms.

    When I first started riding it, my boys (aka reproductive organs) were getting numb mid ride. I tilted the saddle down slightly and corrected that.

    I was riding a loop that was 6 miles. After this, I noticed a slight ache in my left leg hamstring..the very back of my leg directly in the center between my waist and knee. I started riding a longer 10 mile loop the other day, and when I got home on both occasions my hamstring was cramping like crazy...Not sure what might be causing this. Low potasium was my first thought -but I eat a banana almost every day so I don't think it should be an issue.

    Details on the injury..A motorcycle accident has resulted in several orthopaedic operations to my right leg. I only have 20% of my calf muscle remaining. My ankle is fused at 90 degrees, and does not bend at all. I stil ride with the ball of my foot on the pedal, although it doesn't quite give me the force exertion on the pedal that my left leg does. I have full range of motion in my left leg because it is normal with no injuries. My right leg does just as much work, although I am sure it doesn't put out quite as much power as my left. My quad is noticeably larger on my left leg than right.

    For what it's worth, I don't get this cramp after prolonged MTB riding.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    If you're just starting road, then give it a few more weeks. Your cadence is probably higher on the road, which mean your legs are also working harder, and they are not up to road speed yet. A prolong mtb ride at an easier/slower cadence may not cause cramp, but a shorter and more intense road cadence may.

    Somtimes cramps don't mean you're short of electorlytes, it just means your muscles have not been given enough time to adapt to the workload yet.

    I assme that with your injuries, you're quite atuned to your body and what works and what not, so I don't doubt your fitting. But road fitting is a little different than an mtb fitting. Road fitting tends to put you in a more aggressive pedalling position, and your legs/quads will get more worked. You might have to experiment with your seat position a bit more.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Ok. I figured it might be a setup issue, but what you are saying makes sense. When I moved up from 26" MTBs to 29", I had a similar issue. My legs were awful for about the first month. I think it may just be a different gemoetry that - like you say - my muscles just are not used to. I'll keep riding and see if it starts to lessen up. I definitely feel like I'm going run out of gear sometimes at speed..wish I had a little higher gear as well.

  4. #4
    festina lente
    Reputation: runabike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post

    Somtimes cramps don't mean you're short of electorlytes, it just means your muscles have not been given enough time to adapt to the workload yet.

    I agree with this. The only time I've ever cramped is when I was pushing beyond my fitness levels. Take some time to get used to it and then see where you stand.

    If nutrition is a concern, I always found calcium to be pretty beneficial if I was going into a hard race I didn't think I was quite ready for. That could have been coincidence/placebo or something, but a few friends have had similar results and calcium is used for contraction of muscles, so might be worth a shot.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    agree with others it is probably to early to tell and it seams like you have a lot going on with surgeries etc. fwiw I used to get leg cramps during long hard rides mtb and road. Then I would wake up with my hamstrings in full spasm.. my wife loved that ;)

    anyway, I focused on hydration and I started taking hammer nutritions endurolites before, during and after long rides. I also use their recoveright product.

    I have not had a cramp after making these changes, hard to say what made them go away. I am just happy they went. good luck!
    Last edited by tturner; 07-06-2013 at 08:21 PM. <-- hit the link & check out our IT Band Video and save 15%. low back pain? sore neck after riding? we have tools for that too.

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