Not the butt or crotch area but the groin muscles, left upper inner thigh. Could be borderline hamstring.

This is really weird issue for me because I have a long background in bike racing. I no longer race but still ride a lot, do some hard group rides and play ice hockey 2-3 times a week.

I'm fit in general. I do LOADS of various leg exercises so my groin is solid for hockey. I still ride lots in the summer so my legs are still strong and I'm used to the miles. But as soon as I try to ride longer than 30 minutes on my bike in a trainer, my left groin muscles start to really bunch up.

I don't think this is a bike fit issue, this is the bike I use on the road. It's not a seat issue. Yes, there is a thick book underneath my front wheel. I stretch a decent bit so I don't think this is a flexibility issue, but maybe.

It's such an odd issue to have and I've had it for the past few years. I always assumed it was from bearing down on the seat in a weird way but I don't really feel uncomfortable. (Although all cyclists have a loose relationship with the concept of comfort.) Certainly doesn't feel different than riding on the road.

I'm just at the point where I want to try to sort it out so I can put in some solid basement miles this winter.

Any thoughts?

  • I would suggest seeing a PT or sports doc. We can't diagnose a long time pain, unfortunately.
    – JohnP
    Oct 1, 2014 at 16:16
  • Just curious .. if your left groin was hurting, on which side did you put the shim?
    – user25292
    Apr 7, 2017 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


Sounds like its your hip adductors, which consists of several muscles that make everything tick. In regards to doing "LOADS" of leg exercises, I see guys who do a lot of by-the-science strength training, but I also see a lot of guys hanging out on isolation machines doing various things.

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I raced USCF category 2 back in the day, and I'm assuming you're not talking about general pressure from the seat itself and are using normal high end cycling shorts/pants/bibs.

Personally I would ensure that I'm able to do barbell squats for my bodyweight (the weight on the bar totalling your bodyweight) comfortably with a good stance. That puts a lot of load on your adductors: if you haven't trained up your barbell squat you definitely want to start at a lighter weight and dial it up over time.

Progression wise I'd try something like this:

  1. Just your body weight squat (3 reps of 8).
  2. Empty bar back squat (45lb bar) (3 reps of 8).
  3. Ramping up to at least novice level strength standards. Maybe you're already at this level. If you are and have sufficient strength at this level, but are still having a problem, you're a good candidate for professional evaluation.

There's certainly nothing wrong with going and seeing a doctor or physical therapist, but I think it's a little ridiculous to imagine that every athlete that encounters anything greater than DOMS should go get professionally evaluated.

  • I do lots of squats but with minimal weight because I have some back issues. I do lots of core work but as soon as I start loading on some weight I end up getting tweaked.
    – Trent Baur
    Oct 7, 2014 at 13:04

So Eric's response was excellent and thorough and appreciated. But I don't think that's the problem since I've spent a lot of effort working on sorting out my adductors/gluts and I don't run into this problem when skating or cycling outside.

The answer dawned on me the other day. My basement floor is slightly tilted and once I shimmed my trainer, I have had zero groin discomfort after riding the past two nights. Such a small little variation but I really think that's it.

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