Sore hips & quads only on the turbo

I’ve been riding for years and years, but only started using a turbo over the last 12 months. Over the last few weeks I’ve developed painful hips and sore quads (more on my left, but does partially affect both legs) which don’t seem to be getting better. I’ve ramped up my Suf use over the winter, doing on average 3-4 workouts a week (mostly fairly intense), and practically zero outside riding.

I’ve never had similar pains from high volume outdoors riding (inc on this bike), so was wondering if anything particularly different for the body from the demands of riding on a turbo? I do tend to sit almost exclusively whilst on the turbo, and hold on average a lower cadence than when outside especially on threshold efforts, but I’d be interested to hear of any similar experiences out there, any advice, and any adaptations in their riding style people have had to make to suit the turbo. I’m looking for an excuse to get a smart trainer, but not sure if they offer any more of a dynamic ride experience than my rigid mag one. Maybe a rocker board… Hopefully it’ll warm up soon and I can brave some outside riding to mix it up a bit! I’m also very bad at stretching/mobility work and am as flexible as plank most of the time.

I know the answer is probably to take some rest, stretch more, look at mobility exercises, etc, but I’m interested in whether others find turbo use more taxing on their bodies. Plus I need an excuse to buy a smart trainer, so if that’s a silver bullet, I’m all ears.

@Rydercon Sorry to hear! Are you using the same bike inside and out? The issue could certainly be related to bike fit. However, maybe check out the strength and yoga plans and try a warm-up and post ride routine to see if that addresses the problem. Riding on a trainer is definitely different than being outside - the bike doesn’t really move much when on most trainers - whether turbo or otherwise so an upgrade may not solve the issue.

I think bike fit is less forgiving on the turbo simply because it is a rigid position. On the road your bike is much more free to move around. Some trainers do have a little flexibility and there are rocker boards, but I’ve never used them.

I would take a look at your bike fit and start doing some basic mobility training. Increased mobility makes bike fit less critical.

Thanks for the replies - I’ve been using this bike to commute on for years without trouble and the fit has always been pretty good. I think there’s definitely some work to do on my mobility as the rigid setup on the turbo does seem to be causing me some issues. Perhaps warming up more would help too, as it’s been super-cold in the garage these last few weeks.

I wonder if a rocker plate would help much with this, or of they’re more of a boost to the overall indoor experience rather than benefitting physiologically?

Maybe it’s more a winter/summer thing? I’m not an expert, it’s just a personal experience.

I had muscles like “blocks” after normal outside winter rides. A blood test showed a lack of vitamin D3 (which I was told to take together with more magnesium than I usually take) and a lack of B12.

D3 could be an idea, since you produce more of it in the summer and it affects muscles. Wouldn’t take it without a blood test, though. Just an idea to think in a different direction…

Thanks @Phinchen, that’s really interesting, and I wonder if there’s something in this. With lockdown ongoing in the UK and missing out my usual outdoors cycle commute, I’m definitely not getting as much daylight as I would normally get even in winter. I’ll look into this a bit more and perhaps a vit d supplement is worth a go (along with the stretching, etc I always find en excuse not to do!)

Good luck! I do stretching after every SUF workout, do easy spinning the day after a hard workout, use my foam roller and also do Pilates… so unfortunately it‘s not only vitamin D3 :wink: