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I have been an cycle enthusiast from my school days and I got a merida scultra 901 road bike recently. However I am facing difficulties while I go over 60-70kms in a single go. Though i complete a 130km ride I end up getting a bad headache, neck pain and muscle cramps in my calf(when I rotate at high cadence).

In order to counter attack the neck pain, I did get a 60mm stem but the issue though mitigated has not resolved.

I'm 175 cms in height and I own a 52 cm frame size. I ride about 40 kms on my hybrid everyday without any problems.

Any info/guide for the above problems would be greatly helpful. Thank you.

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    I'd go see a professional bike fitter, not the free fit at the shop that wants to sell you a bike. There are professionals who in a couple of hours can assess what the best geometry is for your riding style. If it's possible they'll make your bike fit you. I don't understand people who splash out on a bike then scrimp on the fit (I'm not saying this is you pratster, just in general). – DWGKNZ Oct 15 '14 at 9:21
  • After a ride of that distance you're going to feel it. And the symptoms you describe are somewhat suggestive of a genetic metabolic disorder (myoadenylate deaminase deficiency). If that's your problem there is a safe, inexpensive "dietary supplement" you can take that helps a lot. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 15 '14 at 11:43
  • @DWGKNZ : I do understand.. I less knew about this fit stuff and I went ahead and got a bike. Even now when I ask the shopkeeper who is a professional cyclist himself, he says u need to get adjusted to the new riding position and the pain is common among all cyclist. :( – thepeleton Oct 15 '14 at 12:00
  • @DanielRHicks : The MADD you have suggested correlates to me.. But I'm not sure how to tackle it !! Should I stop cycling with that high intensities?? Please let me know if there are any counteracts with natural vegetarian food that I can supplement it with. – thepeleton Oct 15 '14 at 12:13
  • MADD symptoms are based on the total energy expenditure in the muscle over a period of a few hours -- brief intense periods (sprints) are not as problematic. The only symptomatic relief comes from D-ribose, which is available as a "supplement" and which is also present (at relatively low levels) in "organ meats" and in lentils. The symptoms are exacerbated by statin drugs. If you have the condition the symptoms generally vanish (except perhaps for local areas of damaged muscle) within two hours of taking a several gram dose of D-ribose. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 15 '14 at 12:21
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I would suggest your frame may be a bit small for you. I'm slightly shorter than you and I have a Scultura 906 in a 54 cm frame (size on the frame sticker says S/M). The longer stem may assist, however it may put you in a more race position which could lead to the neck pain. As for the calf cramps this could be a couple of things; 1) seat height too low, 2) lack of magnesium.

To check the seat height, hop on the bike and put the pedals at 12/6 o'clock. Rest your heel on the 6 o'clock pedal. If your leg is fully extended your saddle height is probably correct. If your knee has a bend then I'd suggest raising the saddle height until the bend is gone.

As for the magnesium, that comes down to trial and error.

On the neck pain, I'd suggest seeing if you can lift the stem (if your fork steerer is long enough) or maybe flip the stem to give yourself a little more height at the front of the bike.

As always, when doing a longer ride, make sure you're staying hydrated, as that is the only thing that causes me headaches when I ride a long distance. Too much heat, and not enough fluids. Let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you Dan, will try this out for the long ride this weekend and keep you posted! – thepeleton Oct 15 '14 at 5:59
  • Further to my comments about fit I came across this article today. bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/… might be worth a read, but not as good as a paid fit service. – Dan Oct 16 '14 at 19:34

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