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I am an recreational cyclists and I like training, but on my last training ride I developed pain in my right buttock, I also got a bit of swelling, the area is on the back of the thigh just under my right buttock.

My background as a cyclist: I ride for several years mostly in the summer season, this season I have around 160 hours over the last 4 months and around 5000 km.

I must mention that in the same area I had saddle sores which now are solved because I am lubing the area before each ride with some sort of sports cream.

I suspect something is off with my riding position since it puts too much pressure on particular area, but it is strange as on the previous training ride I haven't felt any problem. I would like to avoid fiddling around with my saddle position as I haven't changed in the last 2 years at all.

Any idea what could cause this and how to manage it?

  • I am suspecting muscle pain. How well did you warm up, and did you ride harder than usual? – andy256 Jul 8 '15 at 7:24
  • I start my rides at endurance pace for at least 30 minutes and then do the main workout. Last time I rode for about 40 minutes at top of endurance pace then had 20 minutes all out effort for the duration. I felt pain during warm-up however I was able to do my 20 minute effort and set a Personal Best. Is this harder then usual? Yes because it was an all out effort for 20 minutes, however I also do VO2MAX intervals which I ride harder but for 3 to 5 minutes. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 8 '15 at 8:23
  • One more thing, I did hard efforts on the previous ride also, actually my last 4 training rides were all high intensity efforts ranging from all out 5 minutes efforts to 1h15m efforts. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 8 '15 at 8:29
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    Ok, so now we have a better idea of what's going on. Certainly bike fit could be an issue, as @super suggests. But I'm thinking you got a bit enthusiastic on the earlier ride, and over-worked that muscle. Give it a couple of days to recover. Thoroughly warm up on the next ride, and explore how much work it can take. Also consider whether you're pedaling with equal effort in both sides. Since you don't report any changes to the bike, make bike fit changes very cautiously, or get a pro fitting. – andy256 Jul 8 '15 at 8:57
  • Switch to Aquafor. I'm told it's a wonder-cream. – MrBoJangles Jul 8 '15 at 23:09
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I would check your saddle. They can and do wear out and collapse. I had the same issue and it was solved with a new saddle.

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  • How do I check the saddle? The leather seems worn out but I don't see any issues with the shell or the padding. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 9 '15 at 3:17
  • I had a brief look at the saddle and looks like the right part is a bit lowered at point where the sit bone contacts the saddle, however I am not 100% sure. The saddle is very used anyway as it came with the bike and I rode it around ~20000 km. I will try riding my offroad bike and see how the pain feels, if is not made worse I will try replacing the saddle on the road bike. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 9 '15 at 5:51
  • Usually the sides break down, no longer supporting you correctly. It sounds to me lime you need a new saddle, good luck! – bikeguy Jul 9 '15 at 14:59
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From here:

If You Have: Numbness/pain from saddle

Then: Position or saddle needs to be changed

Some causes: Handlebar too low, causing you to rotate pelvis forward to reach bar. Saddle tilted too far up or down. Saddle too far back, so you're riding on the nose. Your saddle doesn't fit your anatomy

Possible fixes: Raise handlebar with spacers. Level your seat. Check saddle setback. Try a different saddle—your weight should be supported on your sit bones, not the soft tissue

These links might also help you, here and here. Play with your ergonomics on the bike should make a big difference.

If working with saddle/stem position does not help, or if even after finding your most comfortable position you're not still ok, I think you are on the market for a new saddle.

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  • Bike fit could be the problem, but my question is why is it bothering him now? What's changed? – andy256 Jul 8 '15 at 8:23
  • Nothing really changed, I had two weeks of high volume high intensity training then had one lower volume week which was mostly high intensity and then I had this problem. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 8 '15 at 8:51
  • Probably it was all that intensity training. I always ride the same bike on the same road to work. I am always ok, but occasionally my left knee hurts a little. Your body is a very complicated machine and sometimes these small things just happen, or at least that's how I see it. And also I think this is different than having knee pain every time I get on a bike, which would indicate something wrong. – super Jul 8 '15 at 17:48
  • You know manuals and guides always say: persistent pain somewhere, contact your doctor. It's not because your elbows hurt after that one time you did pushups that you should be concerned, it's when they hurt every time you do pushups. So I think OP should take a look at saddle position, but see this as an isolated event. If this starts happening every time than there is something wrong. – super Jul 8 '15 at 17:51
  • I think bike fit has something to do with it because I was getting those saddle sores, they weren't bad but I always had them until recently when I started to lube the area. I must say I was overly enthusiastic after finishing the hardest training block and being in the reduce volume phase with fresh legs it felt very good to open the legs... – Bogdan Petrica Jul 8 '15 at 20:17
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If your saddle has been the same and nothing really changed, maybe it was something you did prior to that bike training on that day or before.

  • Did you warm up as usual prior the training?
  • Did you drink enough water prior the training?
  • Change of diet might have something to do with it.
  • Change of clothing?

It looks like just a pull on your butt muscle. I suggest you rest a few days and observe.

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  • The warm-up was the same, get out of the door and ride at my top of endurance pace, same for diet and clothing. About drinking, I don't really remember it was a ride in the morning at 7am, I suppose I drank some water as I woke up, but can't tell for sure. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 8 '15 at 20:09
  • One more thing, the pain is in the area that makes contact with the saddle ( the sitbone ), I am not sure if that is clear from my original description. It might be a muscle pain, I don't know as I never had one, however I suspect a tendon/ligament problem is more likely as that area doesn't have muscles. I must mention that I have bad flexibly of the hip, I think is backwards rotated and because of that but I don't know if this has any influence. – Bogdan Petrica Jul 8 '15 at 20:13

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