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  1. #1
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    flat pedals and hamstring injury??

    I've been dealing with a bad hamstring for well over a year. I rode nothing but clips for nearly 10 years prior to switching, so I'm wondering if changing the role my hamstrings play has caused an issue? My injury didn't come on right away, in fact I rode nothing but flats for well over a year before this happened. There may be zero correlation and my bad hammy is due to age and chronic use? Anyone else experience this?

  2. #2
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    Depends on what it is: say if a minor strain then classified as a grade I tear, whereas a complete rupture, or tear, is classified as a grade III tear. Grade II tears are partial ruptures and you should look at treatment.

    Usually it heals without surgery. But in rare circumstances, a complete rupture at the ischium or where significant piece of ischial bone is jerked away then inevitably surgery is needed.

    The right treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). It's important that you understand: Rest refers to avoiding offending activities and oftentimes includes immobilizing.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info wallstreet.My question isn't so much about rehabilitation, but whether or not riding flats has brought it on?

    I've done a lot of research over the past year, it's grade one I'm pretty sure. It started as a stiff muscle and escalated to a rip that had me limping and forced me off the bike for a month. That happened last December, and has been an on going thing ever since. No more pain, but the muscle isn't right and I know if I pushed it hard it would rip again. My other leg muscles are strong and resilient. I'm wondering If riding flats has created an imbalance? I'm 37 and have been riding often for 13 years so this may just be my body showing the wear. That's kind of what I'm hopping for because I prefer flats. I'll be back on clips in a second if flats are the root of my issue though.

  4. #4
    dwt
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    This might be totally irrelevant, but I sustained a grade 2 tear left leg waterskiing 2 years ago. It hurt to walk but I could ride my bikes, road and mtb just fine, with some discomfort up high near the glute. All my bikes are clipless. IOW, injury not sustained while riding, but did not impede riding clipless.

    Damned if I know whether that helps you.

    Note it took more than a year for that sucker to heal, though I pretty much
    never rested it. Not a recommended injury


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  5. #5
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    Perhaps it is an issue with saddle height or fore/aft position? Both factors are affected by different pedals. I ride flats and experience hamstring pain, but only if I do not stretch properly before and after a ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Perhaps it is an issue with saddle height or fore/aft position? Both factors are affected by different pedals. I ride flats and experience hamstring pain, but only if I do not stretch properly before and after a ride.
    I've wondered that. I've been running my saddle moved as far up as possible to negate slack seat tube angles for many years now so I don't think that would all of a sudden cause issues? Saddle height may be an issue? I used to work at a shop and had my saddle height dialed in when I was clipped and found I was running my saddle a hair too high. I've been on flats for 3 years now, no longer work at a shop, and have changed frames, pedals and cranks a few times since I was fit. I've assumed I can just tell where the right saddle height is after being fit, but I may be reverting back to my old tendencies to run a slightly higher than perfect height. I went to one of the shops in town and asked for advice. I was dissuaded from getting fit because of flats. Like most on this forum, I run my saddle a little low for pedaling tech, slam it to the rails for DH, and jack it up for dedicated climbs, and because of flats, my feet may not be in the exact position all the time like clips. A pro fit only goes so far when that's your riding style.

  7. #7
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    Point of rest is that perhaps you need to Heal longer. Followed by plenty of stretching, wait until the next season before you bike again. It took me 2 years to heal from an injury and often we want to run before we are able.

    Its interested to read others stating to stretch and warm up properly. Stay safe and hope you get better soon .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    I'm wondering If riding flats has created an imbalance? I'm 37 and have been riding often for 13 years so this may just be my body showing the wear. That's kind of what I'm hopping for because I prefer flats. I'll be back on clips in a second if flats are the root of my issue though.
    Pretty similar to you. I'm 36 rode clipless for years. Switched to flats only for over a year and started having lower back/sciatica issues. I tried a few PT's before I found a good one who is an avid cyclist/racer and the sports doctor for his team. He felt that since I was only on flats and rode 3-4 times a week. My hamstrings had weakened and my quads over developed causing my pelvis to tilt forward from the pull of the quads. He told me that over developed quads can cause all kinds of issues, lower back, knee, hip, sciatica.
    I was told that riding flats is fine, but needed to switch it up and ride clipless to and focus on hamstring strength to. The muscles had to be in balance.
    He also gave me some stretches to do before and after rides, he said it was a must. I still ride flats, but now also mix it up with clipless and have to say my back issues have almost gone away completely. My recovery felt stalled, but after following his advice my recovery made huge improvements.
    I know I had a different issue than yours, but maybe it was also related to over developed quads and weak hamstrings?

  9. #9
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    thanks for sharing that fuenstock. I have a feeling I've over developed my quads while under developing my hams. For at least 10 months I've been using a hamstring machine at the gym to help address this but it's not helping. Both hams seem really weak.

    THis is an interesting read for flat and clipped riders. The author makes a case for flat pedals fostering proper use of the hamstring while clips cause you to use your hamstrings in an unnatural way.

    I love pinkbike, but I feel that being a flat pedal lover and listening to their views on flats is akin to being a Republican and getting my news from Fox.

    Which Muscles are Really Used During the Pedal Stroke? - Pinkbike

  10. #10
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    Great find, Wilson summed it up"
    "I am not anti-clipless pedals, I am pro flat pedals. I think that both have their place in riding, specifically I believe that flats make you better and that clipless can make you faster."

  11. #11
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    Slim, have you tried other hamstring exercises? Usually after 4-6 weeks of training without switching it up the muscle will plateau and you won't make any more significant gains. Look into stiff leg deadlifts and goodmornings. These 2 target your hams and lower back specifically. I can post up links to site later when I am not on my phone.

  12. #12
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallstreet View Post

    flats make you better and that clipless can make you faster."
    +1.
    Great quote. Very tempted to steal it as new sig, attributing source of course
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  13. #13
    3diver
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    I'd say clipless put more strain on my hamstrings for sure...

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