Hip pain

Hi everyone.

I have been working at riding my Coker and I keep getting pain in my left hip
and low back. Turns and hills really seem to aggravate the problem. I usually
have to jump off and relax a minute or two and then start riding again. Does
anyone have any suggestions for minimizing or eliminating the pain? I don’t seem
to get any pain on my right side. My left leg is my dominant leg and takes most
of the stress. I also get the pain riding my smaller Semcycle, so it’s not just
the Coker.



Re: Hip pain

Jim, How’s it going? I also get some light pain in my left hip (my dominant
leg). It comes and goes but is usually worse when it’s cold and seems to go away
when I’m riding more (spring,summer & fall). I thought it was just because I was
riding too much (which I probably am). It could have something to do with a very
high seat post. When I ride with the seat post lower, my hip pain goes away.
Then the knees take more of a beating and that’s worse. BTW-when I say lower
seat post I’m talking about fractions of an inch. I also tend to sit more on the
right side of the saddle and that could have something to do with my left hip
pain too. Later -Mark

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Re: Hip pain


Visit your doctor to have a check up see there is nothing going wrong there also
get him to have a look at yr foot type do you know if you have a high arch
profile or low do you get this type of pain when exercising eg running do you
also get knee pain, it could be due to a bio mechanical problem but that would
only follow if you have symptoms at other times as well if you are in the states
and doc has given you the ok , then a visit to a podiatric doctor (dpm) looking
at limb length differences, foot type, might shed some light

it could be the way you are riding I am not experienced enough to comment
on that yet

don’t ignore the obvious , and don’t worry about it

Good Luck

Hope you get it sorted

Paul podiatry student

Ps the opinions in this are not given as any form of medical diagnoses

Jim Stover <stoverje@alltel.net> wrote in message
> Hi everyone.
> I have been working at riding my Coker and I keep getting pain in my left hip
> and low back. Turns and hills really seem to aggravate the problem. I usually
> have to jump off and relax a minute or two and then start riding again. Does
> anyone have any suggestions for minimizing or eliminating the pain? I don’t
> seem to get any pain on my right side. My left leg is my dominant leg and
> takes most of the stress. I also get the pain riding my smaller Semcycle, so
> it’s not just the Coker.
> Thanks,
> Jim

Hi. Similar problem here. I started commuting 7 miles to work each way once a week a month ago or so. I am on a KH29, Oracle hub with moment 150/125 cranks, with the pedals on the 125 holes. I have a KH Freeride saddle. I notice that my left hip cramps up maybe 10 mins into the ride and then sort of goes away.

However yesterday when I rode it was worse than normal and didn’t go away. After the ride and today I notice that it’s hard to lift my leg past a certain point without pain. It’s almost like my muscles don’t want to support raising my leg. I tried some stretches, with my right knee on the ground and leaning forward. That’s the muscle right there. I’m worried this will get worse. The pain is similar to shoulder pain I get when I do pushups–thus I no longer do pushups.

I think I should raise my post a bit, but also I wonder about the Q-factor given what I’ve read in some other posts. Could it be that my legs are being forced in too much given my natural stance? I do notice that sometimes, esp. on the 125 holes that my heels strike the cranks, like my feet want to be out more.

I was about ready to pull the trigger on an Oracle 36 with a street saddle and KH cranks, but want to make sure this issue won’t be a problem on the 36. I don’t notice this problem on my KH20, but then again I never ride it for longer than say a half mile at most.

Suggestions? ideas?

There’s a tendency to pedal harder with the stronger leg.Over distance ,this would put stress on that side of the body.Check and see does your wheel twitch more when you press your left pedal. Road camber can also cause back disomfort.On the medical side,you may have scoliosis,a sideways curviture of the spine.This might cause one leg to hang longer than the other or it might cause your torso to twist or lean to one side.You might want to talk to your doctor,just in case.

Hope this helps.

Ok I’ll try to pay attention to see if I pedal harder on one leg. 2 days later my hip feels fine. Do you think a 36 will hurt or help? How do the venture and spirit cranks differ in q factor and do you think q factor may be related to this pain?

I think the 36er might help because it’s generally a smoother ride. The Venture cranks have a zero Q factor and the Kris Holm cranks have a 10 mm Q factor.I find the venture cranks uncomfortable because of their sharp edges.The Kris Holm cranks have rounded edges making for better ankle clearance as does the 10mm Q factor,which you might find more comfortable. Using shorter cranks, reduces hip movement,due to shorter pedal strokes.Check your saddle height.If it’s too high it will cause your body to rock,causing hip discomfort.Also check your posture.If your a feeling nervous you might tense up your body,leaning over as you cycle. I personally use Quax light 100mm ISIS cranks on my 36er.They have a zero Q factor but they are nicely shaped with rounded edges.They dont catch my ankles as I cycle.

Hope this helps.

Think low back, very common in “older adults”, try some daily stretching, hamstrings, quads, piriformis, etc…

If it’s a new problem, then don’t think of it as an evolving chronic back/hip issue, more than likely it’s a result of new stressors induced by unicycling, possibly worsened by old age and reduced flexibility.

I have a chronic back problem, developed during my teens, thirty plus years and still going strong, so I wouldn’t worry too much, maybe alternate your on and off ride days for a bit, try changing seat height/angle, make sure you aren’t causing yourself a problem by compressing anything (blood, nerve) by sitting on your seat.

Q factor is only a problem if you run clipless and can’t move your feet in or out. My opinion is that a wider stance is better for your hips and knees, so I run super wide hubs AND high q cranks.

You could also add in some prophalactic NSAID’s, my fav is naproxin, but it really comes down to what works best for you.

And you get the award for responding to the oldest thread of the year!

12 years old and still kicking it’s heels!!

Nice to see that people use the search function :slight_smile:

I ran into problems with my hip flexor when I started running last year. Luckily for me I was able to do an exercise regimen an mostly take care of the problem. I ran into this problem basically because I did ‘Too much too soon’.

You might mention it to your doctor when you have a physical or perhaps you can go straight to a sports medicine doctor.

  • Tom

The KH Moment have a 10mm Q factor and the Spirit have a 12mm Q factor.

The zero Q factor cranks give a feeling to pedal “straighter” because as too are closer to the wheel, you wooble slightly less while pedaling.
However, on a KH29 with 100mm cranks (or even with 125mm in steep downhill roads), it forces a bit on the knees and I had a couple of time a pain sensation in one knee for a couple of days after a ride.

YMMV but it is good to be careful. If you have other uni riders not too far away, the best is to try and swap cranks to see how it feels (however my knee example too a while before being noticeable).

I don’t believe in starting new threads about the same topic. It makes it harder for people to search and find as much info as possible in one post.

So, I do think a 36 would help because there would be less frenetic pedaling. So, which cranks are best for someone in my situation, or is it all just personal preference. I only have experience with Moment cranks and very old cranks on my sem.

I’m not so sure I buy that argument, esp since I have been riding a super wide hub on all my unis and do not have any problems with spinning fast and going straight. However, I do find that having a wider stance helps my seat comfort and allow a more relaxed foot position, so for some that could be an advantage.

Based on measurements taken on a KH hub with KH Moments, the width that KH uses for their unis is about the same as an average width of a mtb crank, so the Nimbus Ventures or any other low Q crank makes your stance quite narrow.

There was a time when I blamed my knee pain on going to a shorter low q crank, so I played with crank lengths and widths, ultimately ended up on the same length cranks with a wider stance. My knee problems have since resolved.

For sure, leg problems will act up if you don’t gradually increase your work load. I developed ITB issues when I did a long trail run with inadequate training, the retraining and recovery after the injury took six months, so propre training is always faster and better.

You will make fewer pedal revolutions, but you may find that you pedal harder, a 36er is just a very different beast. If you get the stock Oracle, it comes with Ventures and a super wide hub, so foot spacing will be the same as a Nimbus or KH wide (normal) hub running Moments. If you want to go wider, try the Oracle with a set of Moments; I ride mine with 150/125 Moments.

Thanks Nurse Ben. In terms of hip flexor stretching, is it more optimal to stretch before or after a ride (if one had to choose)

Everything I’ve heard lately (the past few years) has said that stretching before exercise isn’t needed, and you can actually injure yourself by stretching cold muscles. This is of course contrary to everything I was told in the prior 35 years. I think a few exercises to warm up before you ride is probably a good idea, then stretching afterwords, and maybe even take a break mid ride and stretch a bit.

I do very little stretching, I know I should do a lot of it because I’m getting old and get really sore after almost everything I do these days… I seem to injure myself fairly often now and a regular stretching routine would probably help a bunch.

I’m also interested in this topic and would like to hear what others have to say about it.

I am almost 40 and during the last few years have gotten some annoying lower back pain. I solved a lot of it by doing intensive Pilates. I stopped doing the pilates, but do daily stretches, mostly taken from pilates. It has helped a lot.

I am thinking of taking up some yoga too. I do know that trials type riding really irritates my back, so I avoid too much hopping around and have given up on my dream of being Max Schulze and am now content with my dream of learning some more freestyle and flatland tricks, along with my commuting and monthly muni jaunts.

Problem has gone away since adjusting seat to be quite a bit higher than MUNI. I adjusted until my leg is nearly straight on the down stroke, and now no problems. Also less cramping in my glutes.