1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    Level 5 Rider!
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    New to this feeling a little bit old BS

    Hey guys I just got into riding and I am finding that being active isn't as easy as it once was. I used to not have to do anything and my muscles would be fine in a day or two. Now getting into mtb I find that my legs are sore all the time. I am not doing anything crazy just decent distance (for me) once a week with one or two short easy rides in between.

    I am just wondering what I need to do to help my muscles recover. I haven't been in sports since high school and back then I didn't have to do anything.

    I don't have the money for a message and my wife sucks at messages so that's not really an option. What other things should I be trying? Do things like A5-35 actually work? Is there any other things I can be doing to get them to feel better sooner and ready for getting back out there again?
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  2. #2
    Two Wheeled Terror
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    Bananas...and drinking fluids is a good portion of the solution for me.

    Stretching afterward will also he'll you out and a warm up(ie not pushing anything) Take your time. It will come back


    Hand typed and Telegraphed

  3. #3
    Total Goober
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    Check out a product called The Stick. Looks like a bunch of marshmallows on a stick. Good for quads and calves, but hard to hit the hammies with it. Rolling your arse on a lacrosse ball is good for the piriformis/glutes, if they are also a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  4. #4
    Level 5 Rider!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kryptoroxx View Post
    Bananas...and drinking fluids is a good portion of the solution for me.

    Stretching afterward will also he'll you out and a warm up(ie not pushing anything) Take your time. It will come back


    Hand typed and Telegraphed
    LOL what's in bananas that helps?
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  5. #5
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    How much are riding/climbing? Did you ease into it? Are you fueling adequately? Are you replacing lost electrolytes? Are you getting enough protein? Are you taking rest days? Tons of different things you could look into.

  6. #6
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    I don't ease into anything much... but I figure only going once a week hard plus the running I did last year seems like it shouldn't be too bad.

    I usually eat some meat with every supper. Electrolytes... no idea, I dislike the taste of sports drinks what else has electrolytes? Yes I have rest days, usually two days after my go hard trail days.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desidus View Post
    LOL what's in bananas that helps?
    Potassium.

  8. #8
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    I'm not familiar with this soreness thing of which you speak as I am on an ibuprofen drip. Works great.

  9. #9
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    Fluids, stretching and rest. As you build up endurance, you will notice the problems decreasing. I started mountain biking again this year after a ten year hiatus. My first few rides this summer were just like you describe. Went for an hour long ride over the lunch hour today and feel great. My Saturday morning rides where I push myself harder I can still feel for a day or so, but my shorter rides don't bother me at all anymore.
    2013 Salsa Horsethief 2

  10. #10
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    Lots of water. Also, I find the best way to get rid of sore muscles is to work them out again. Yea, it sucks at the beginning but after a minute or two it goes away and you just keep on pumping. Sore feels good!

  11. #11
    Tactical Nightmare
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    Time. If you are just jumping into it, it will take time to build up to the level you want.....or at least a level better than you are now. All these other thoughts from these guys are dead on too. But the more you do it, the better you will be. I know I was like that. Not that I am where I want to be yet, but I am in such a better place physically than I was a year ago, it has truly amazed me. You'll get there. I know it.
    - "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
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  12. #12
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    Got to ease into it. Try some cross training. Sportlegs also works, but not like rest and not over doing it.

    And always remember my favorite quote, "It never gets easier, you just get faster". Wish I knew who said it.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The quote was Greg LeMond, in reference to climbing hills, IIRC.

    OP, it's all about pacing yourself. Maximum efforts cost all of us. Don't do big efforts until you're warmed up. Accept that your real max will always leave you sore - that's part of what a maximum effort is; either accept it or ride a little more moderately. Don't immediately plant yourself in your car if you drive to ride - cool down some first. Stretch afterwards. Etc. If your technique (either cadence or handling) sucks, try to fix it.

    Most training plans try not to have any one ride that's much, much harder than the rest. Evening things out through the week should help if it's feasible.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desidus View Post

    I usually eat some meat with every supper. Electrolytes... no idea, I dislike the taste of sports drinks what else has electrolytes?
    Forget that electrolytes nonsense. The ingredient you're missing is beer. Add beer post workout and pre meals and you're good to go. Plus you won't need rest days.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    Forget that electrolytes nonsense. The ingredient you're missing is beer. Add beer post workout and pre meals and you're good to go. Plus you won't need rest days.
    Cheers to that!
    The overwhelming majority of the thousands of rides I've gone on in my life have involved beer either before, during, after, or some combination thereof. It's a magic elixir.

  16. #16
    Hi There!
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    Besides all the great advice above, is it possible his bike is not set up well for him?
    NTFTC

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desidus View Post
    LOL what's in bananas that helps?
    Potassium

    Potassium And Muscle Aches | LIVESTRONG.COM


    I went from touched a bike like 6 times in 15 years to commuting 4-5 days a week...bananas are your friends.

  18. #18
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    I think the ideal recovery drink would be beer will added electrolytes. Why hasn't someone though of this?
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  19. #19
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    I am fortunate to never really get sore from riding, but I do get sore from running. The best thing I did to run father and not get very very sore was to stretch. Stretch a lot both before and after. The key is to target the right muscle groups and to build on it. Meaning that you start shorter distances and then push to longer ones.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  20. #20
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    You have to build it up. But yes, bananas are great. If you don't like them plain make it into a strawberry smoothie or something. It's not always necessary to buy a $50 tub of Hammer recovery powder.

  21. #21
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    Preload so you need less recovery is how I do it. Complex slow release carb/protein from grains, beans, rice, etc. that has been batch cooked once every 2 months and frozen in containers. One is in the frig and 60 seconds from consumption. I never have sore muscles for under 4 hours.

  22. #22
    Now, THAT'S gonna hurt!
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    Not sure of your age. I'm 51 and just getting back into it after a few years away from it and I wasn't hardcore by any means back then. Now it's about getting my legs back after Cervical Spine fusion as I lost all my muscle mass in my legs and ass and about 25# because of it.

    I ride almost every day. With rest periods, I average no less than riding 4 days a week and that's a combination of 20+ mile road rides on a hard tail MTB with Kenda Kross tires or shorter but more exertion on single track on my squishy bike. I like to mix it up. I dove in feet first and now realize I just blew myself up. I really struggled. I was exerting myself way too much and I found I was constantly riding in a heart rate zone and mashing in the 80-90% range and even above. I bought a $100 Timex heart rate monitor watch. WHAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE! I'm now getting much more from my rides then before by working in the aerobic range and bouncing to the next stage above and my endurance has increased as well as muscle mass without as much pain and suffering. You gotta stay hydrated and eat right as mentioned in the above posts, though.

    I still get some glute and thigh muscle pain but I now use one of those rollers. Similar idea to the "marshmallow stick" mentioned above but this roller is about 24" long and maybe 8" in diameter. There are exercises you do that help roll the muscle and it was literally immediatelyeffective for me the first time I tried it.

  23. #23
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    Thank you for all the suggestions! I will try them out and let you guys know if I find any success. I will be trying to get out on Sat, since today's ride got kiboshed.

    I have a foam roller for my back... I am sure I can figure out a way to use it on my thighs and calves. I like bananas so I will give that a try. Am I supposed to eat them before or after or both? lol.

    Not too much I can do about making the effort balanced without overexerting myself throughout the week. The place I ride on my days off is just a lot harder than anything around here, but it is getting easier with every time.

    I will start stretching before and after as well to see what difference that makes and I will try to park in a place that I don't have to climb a hill right off the bat, which I also noticed the other day pretty much killed a ride. Was soooo tired after just one hill, maybe it was just because I hadn't warmed up.

    Again thanks for all the tips everyone!
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  24. #24
    Now, THAT'S gonna hurt!
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    This chick is full-on bimbo but if you get through her annoying small talk, she does show great use of the roller on the IT Band which gets nutted up pretty good from mashing the pedals.


    NikkiFitness: How to use a foam roller for fitness! - YouTube

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    This chick is full-on bimbo but if you get through her annoying small talk, she does show great use of the roller on the IT Band which gets nutted up pretty good from mashing the pedals.


    NikkiFitness: How to use a foam roller for fitness! - YouTube
    My favourite kind of gal!

    Seriously though to the OP part of any new exercise regime is getting the muscles used to the new load you are putting on them. I just got back into mountain biking this summer (Southern Hemisphere so that's Oct - Mar) and I wasn't too bad. I took it gradually and eased my way into it. By the end of March I was feeling pretty fit so I decided to go and hike a small mountain nearby that I have been intending to hike for about 5 years. I thought I had gotten pretty fit with the Mtb'ing so figured it would be no problem. Long story short I coped with the cardio aspect just fun but at the end of the hike my legs felt like a pair of lead weights and were sore for several days afterwards. The Mtb'ing had got me fit for Mtb'ing but not for hiking up and down a mountain. Totally different muscles. I'm sure if I'd eased my way into it and done lots of shorter hikes and built up to it it would have been a different story.

    I'm sure it's the same with your biking. Just gradually make incremental increases in your rides and I'm sure the soreness will decrease.

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