so this past Saturday I did my first ever real gravel ride in western MA/Hudson Valley (NY). It was a converting experience. We were out for almost 4hrs, and did 1200m in 80km. I had a 32 in the back but wish I had a 34 at points.
Anyway, the fit is 98% dialed in when compared to my road bike. Because I ride slightly more upright on the gravel, it surprised me that I heard nary a peep from my lower back.
I woke the next day sore, but in a weird way. My groin muscles (adductors) were in discomfort. Still rode my road bike for close to 2hrs before packing and driving back to Boston.
For the fit specialists out there, what should I look for on my fit? I never had my groin be sore like that. I still feel it right now, when i go up the stairs.
If anyone had similar experiences and how it was handled, let’s hear it.
Are you using the same saddle on each bike? Because you’re sitting more upright, you may be stretching/ straining those muscles.
Also, is the saddle in the same place (fore/aft) as your road bike? (Further setback would require a lower saddle.)
Any soreness I get down there is usually a sign that I have not been stretching my hip flexors often enough.
It’s possible your gravel bike is set up with a wider Q factor, which might lead you to use your leg muscles a bit differently than on your road bike. For example, Shimano GRX cranks have a Q factor 5mm wider than the Shimano road group cranks. If so, might just need to ride your gravel bike more before the next big gravel distance. Depending on your feet and pedaling style, you might also be able to offset the wider Q factor with shorter pedal axles, such as with short axle Shimano XTR pedals. Of course, stretching is also a good thing to do.