I ride about 17 miles each session. After the ride, the outside of my hips sore: only the parts near the outermost joints, most likely the tendon (although this is only a guess). My knees are fine, my ankles are fine, etc.

The only thing that might not fit perfectly for me is the seat height. I'd rather have a longer post so I can lift the seat up an inch or two. Do you think this might create the soreness in the area of the outer hips?

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    I have some professional experience with this. From your description, most probably it is a Trochanteric Bursitis ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_trochanteric_pain_syndrome ): "The symptoms are pain in the hip region on walking, and tenderness over the upper part of the femur, which may result in the inability to lie in comfort on the affected side." Just a suggestion, see if it is similar to what you have. Mar 11, 2012 at 2:47
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    Very likely the too-low seat height is at least part of the problem. Mar 11, 2012 at 3:33
  • How soon after riding do you experience the soreness? Mar 11, 2012 at 3:54
  • Do you have toe clips or cleats on your pedals? Mar 11, 2012 at 21:29
  • I don't have clips or cleats. And the soreness is definitely there an hour or so after the ride. I suspect some sort of bursitis but am more interested in finding out what might have caused this problem.
    – RJIGO
    Mar 12, 2012 at 1:23

7 Answers 7


I have personally experienced that precise symptom, from mountain biking rides or from commuting rides.

Although I am not sure what causes it, I have observed that when it happens to me, I have ridden up steep inclines in "too high" gears while remaining seated or seated too far back on the saddle. For these reasons I have changed my pedaling technique a bit, using a lot more gearshifts.

I can also recall that my problems appeared when I changed my saddle for a narrower one, so later I found that to accommodate my sit bone, I tended to sit further back, so I could catch a wider part of the saddle. No doubt I changed my saddle's fore/aft position by half an inch towards the front.

In some rare occasions I have gotten hip pain from riding in too tight, non stretching pants, like jeans, specially carrying objects in my pockets. I suspect the problem here is the pressure the clothing excepts over the hip joint while flexing up the leg. Objects like phone, keys or tools in the pockets make this worse.

Check if any of these issues is affecting you and, if you find so, try changing one thing at a time, to see if something helps.

  • I've been doing exactly what you describe in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. I'll make some adjustments to see if they help. Thanks.
    – RJIGO
    Mar 14, 2012 at 19:23
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    @RJIGO: Please come back to tell us the result of your changes!
    – Jahaziel
    Mar 16, 2012 at 14:54
  • I'm right there with everyone else...seems like a common problem!
    – WTHarper
    Aug 19, 2012 at 14:13

I might be inclined to try out a different saddle, look for a smoother route, or invest in wider tires (if your bike will accommodate them). If heltonbiker is correct (above), your bursae may be absorbing more shocks than they can handle, causing the pain you're feeling. If you're a woman riding on a man's saddle, consider looking for a women's saddle, as women's sit-bones are usually further apart than men's.

If you're able to consult the medical establishment, it may be worth trying for a referral to a physical therapist. Lacking that, a good massage therapist can be a wonder-worker.

Good luck! I hope you can get back to biking pain-free.


Hip pain is often a result of too much hill climbing in too high of a gear, whilst standing on the pedals.

Years ago, an old friend of mine (who is a fanatic) described this unfortunately common malaise amongst those who clock in 100+ miles minimum per week in the mountains. I am now daily towing two children in a burley on protracted mountain climbs. The total weight I'm pulling is about 100 lbs, and often it is steep. Lately, when I hit the hill initially I stand and use my momentum in higher gears, but this is WRONG! And precisely what's currently giving me hip pain (esp with the heavy weight), since that's the only change in my riding habits.

This is common knowledge among mountain riders. The mantra here is: sit and spin (low gear), don't stand like the Tour de France riders in the alps ... seat height and length are also factors.

Obviously, bike fit is always paramount!

  • The trailer adds a disproportionate load to the climb - no only are you towing more, you're also lifting another 50 kilograms vertically for the height of your climb. You cannot climb with a trailer like you can without it, so pace yourself more. Spin in the lowest gear you have.
    – Criggie
    Aug 5, 2016 at 6:58

The only thing that might not fit perfectly for me is the seat height. I'd rather have a longer post so I can lift the seat up an inch or two. Do you think this might create the soreness in the area of the outer hips?

The saddle height might be your issue. You say, that you'd rather raise the saddle height up an inch or two. Apparently, you don't feel comfortable with your saddle height. Why don't you change your saddle height by increments? See if the pain goes away, if so, you solved your problem.

If your pain issues are not solved by adjusting your saddle height, you may be running into other bike fit issues or personal physical issues.

Another thing. You never mentioned that you have done any sort of "bike fitting". Poor bike fit can cause numerous pains...shoulders, neck, hips, knees, etc... But, a good bike fit can mean that you arrive home with no pain at all.

Just realized this:

I'd rather have a longer post so I can lift the seat up an inch or two.

Perhaps you need a longer seatpost, but perhaps your frame is too small for you?

  • I've raised the seat as high as the post can be safely raised. I'll look for a longer post. The frame is probably OK for me because a larger frame would not give me enough clearance. Thanks.
    – RJIGO
    Mar 14, 2012 at 19:18

I have the same problem at the moment... I am not too sure what causes it but I do notice the pain happens when I power up hills whilst seated in a high gears. I do a 3.5 mile commute everyday with a couple of short uphill bursts. I might try and use a lower gear in a standing position. I am also experimenting with different seats and seat post height, I think since I have lowered the seat height the pain is not as bad. I have also experienced some knee pain

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    You know, pain is nature's way of saying "Don't do that!!" Mar 19, 2012 at 12:13

The web site Bike Dynamics has an online guide that could help you find the right fit. To me it sounds like you're going hard. If the thigh is swelling raising the seat could make it worse. Lowering the seat would affect knees so you need to find exact spot. You may also want to look at a roller for your Iliotibial Band, you could develop chronic ITBS if your bike fit remains poor.

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    Check out the formatting options available using the icons above the answer box. Formatting can make what you write much easier for others to read. I'll make an attempt at editing you answer; check it out as a guide, and make sure I have retained your meaning.
    – Gary.Ray
    Feb 24, 2015 at 14:09

I am not sure if you are clipping in, but a pedal adjustment might be of help here as well as that seat height. A spacer of a millimeter or two at the crank might make the difference; it did for me.

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