Stiff groin muscle for long distance rides

Anyone else out there experience a sore groin muscle in the dominant leg after riding long distances on your uni?
This is a relatively new phenomena for me and I am not sure how to prevent it. Any ideas?

I don’t know if this is same thing you are experiencing but I did notice a nagging sensation in the inside leg, groin area, after my recent coker training and riding the Chilly Hilly. I also get sore there in the early ski season.

It is probably a muscle that doesn’t get used much in everyday activities but you feel it when you start to use it.

Maybe someone with better physiological understanding can explain but I think it may be the vastus medialis muscle in the quadiricep group.

Like any conditioning, stretch it and strengthen it. You might also try riding with your seat a little higher for distance riding.

This has happened to me before, and I fixed it by straightening the seat. And I raised it a bit too, so UniBrier could be right.

Re: Stiff groin muscle for long distance rides

General tendency is to stretch before a ride, but the muscles will stretch better after 5 minutes of use. One thing you might try if you know you’re going to do a long ride is ride about 5 minutes first, then dismount and do some stretches while the muscles have new blood in them and are fired up a bit.

Good suggestions guys. Thanks

Yes, I do often stretch before riding but you are right to say that it would likely to be optimum to stretch a bit into the start of the ride.

Yeah, could be vastus medialis. Interesting, I was wondering at first if it was the top end of the illiotibial band.

Slightly higher seat, ok, I’m going to try that out to…

<Erin heads off to find her allen key to start loosening the KH seat …>

might want to check with a good road bike shop. Someone that fits roadies, can check seat height, ETC. I have noticed that I have problems going from my mt bike to road bike because of the space between pedals(not crank length) but total width of my pedals. That was causing some knee problems. Jeff Prado at our local shop got me all fixxed up. Its ok to get advice from the guys on training wheels every now and then!

Yeah good point. Today I did my commute with the seat slightly raised beyond the height I had been riding with. It did seem to make a difference.

Now pedal width…that’s something I hadn’t thought of before. So how did the bike shop guys help you out on that one?

I find it is best to take very short stretch sessions during all parts of the ride (and before going to sleep). It solved the problem for me (that muscle starts to burn on the ride).

Pedal width was a bigger problem on my knees, I ride with SPD pedal, and we adjusted the angle of the shoe. It fels much better than it did, but still gives me problems every now and then.

Is it right on your inner thigh that hurts? And does it hurt more on the downhills?

I think had exactly the same thing when doing the Karapoti Classic on the weekend. It was always worse on the downhills because I wasn’t using any brakes and it was very steep. As a result, there was always a degree of tension on my hamstrings to control my decent.

I think if you’re getting it more on the inner thigh, and worse on the descent, then it’s likely to be one of your adductor muscles (quick look at anatomy book- Adductor magnus/minimus). These muscles pull your leg towards the midline. I think they is under tension probably for controlling the direction of the unicycle on the downhill.

I guess the quadriceps are also under a lot of tension when descending, but I’ve always found the pain on the inner thigh, feels too medial to be the Quads.

The only solution I can see is to get some brakes to help control the descent.


Or it could be the semimembranosus muscle- one of the hamstrings. I think it’s medial enough to be a possible cause of the pain.


Stretching is good.

My experience with my own 29er is that the KH saddle being bulky, and the hub relatively narrow, resulted in a Q that was too narrow for me. This resulted in early fatigue and excessive pressure and friction on the groin muscles, as well as the hateful tendency of my feet to wander off the pedals. The muscles that pull my legs towards the wheel (the adductors, Ken?) were working overtime.

I wanted to keep using the KH saddle instead of getting rid of it, so I put in pedal spacers, which increased the overall Q by about 1.5". This helped a lot by providing a more neutral placement for my feet.

Using a narrower saddle may have accomplished the same thing.

I hear the newer KH saddles are not as bulky in front, and may be narrower too.

Everyone’s hip and leg structure is unique, and sometimes we have to make special provision cycle-wise.

Hi Dave,

I’ve been using the cut down KH Fusion saddle- I find there is much less rubbing than the old KH saddle. So I’m not entirely convinced it’s the rubbing causing the pain. Unless we’re talking about different things here- the pain I get feels very deep inside my thighs, always with pressure as I control a descent.

I will definitely put brakes on my 29’er :stuck_out_tongue:

Well I’m certainly not in the same league riding-wise, but I experienced both. First, extra rubbing because of the saddle bulk. The major thing I solved with the spacers, though, was that the saddle, and perhaps my natural hip width, forced my legs outwards, so that their natural position was off the outside edge of the pedals. So my groin muscles were working hard against the saddle, and probably my natural leg motion, to keep my feet on the pedals. Using really grippy pedals didn’t really help because, as soon as my foot shifted, it went outwards. It was the unnerving feeling of constantly fighting a losing battle. The pedal spacers placed the pedals out more where my feet would naturally fall. This position would be less biased muscle-wise.

I had the same thing with my Coker until I switched to the wide hub, which is about 1.5" wider than the Suzue and a even more than the stock hub.

Bicyclists work with Q quite a bit, so I would expect that most unicyclists have a Q/saddle combo that is incorrect for their body geometry.

Solving this issue by giving unicyclists better control over Q is one of the things on my list, but there is a long way to go. Until then, saddle selection, legwear, footwear, crank and pedal choice are all things that affect a cyclist’s “Q-experience” and are worth playing with.

Using a super-wide hub on a 29er might be unnatural wheel-strength-wise, but would be a valuable tool in adjusting a cycle’s Q to a given cyclist.

Perhaps this is a source of your pain, Ken. Trying wider pedals or a crank that angles out more (or less) may help you.

On a roll here…

Recently, starting riding regularly again on my mountain bike after about 10 months of injury, I had a lot of foot pain in my right foot. The answer turned out to be this: the cheap pedals on my cheap mountain bike are typical Wellgo-ish pedals. They are decent for the price, but are much narrower than the A-frames on my unis. My foot was flexing around the pedal, so that stress was transferring improperly through my feet. I had solved this problem with my feet on unis three years ago, and here it was again. Switching to the A-frames, which are wider, gave better support for my entire foot. Since I have bad feet, and use orthotics, this turned out to be very important. After a couple of weeks on the A-frames instead, the problem is gone.

reading this seems to suggest that having the pedals further apart should be better. I’ve just got a Qu-ax 24 muni and have started having minor groin problems after a total of three hours on it. The Qu-ax has angled cranks which I am not sure about yet, think I might prefer straight cranks.
But I have been trying to get in longer rides on my 29 recently and have been having trouble with veering left all the time, seem to be puling the seat handle furiously to keep straight.
Not sure how to deal with this problem, I do know I should be able to raise the seat on the 29 5mm no problem. Not sure how high the seat should be on the muni yet.
Any ideas would be welcome.