Achilles tendon pain - need to recover in 2 weeks!


To all the pusies who get injured riding bicycle: I’m joinning the club :smiley:

I have had the Achilles tendon fucked up since CNY due to (I think):

  1. having changing many times the seat post height, and probably have ridden the bike with the saddle too high and without cleats, making hard for my short legs to reach the stupid pedals

  2. having walked with cleats

  3. too much climbing for my legs? may be, not sure about this one

I have a stupidly long ride in two weeks and I’m not sure if my tendon can take it. All these last weeks I’ve had over 100 km rides and my tendon has been bugging me in all of them. So it seems that I’m doing SOMETHING bad for the tendon :smiley:

I’m wondering what I should do in addition to taking the following measures:

  1. lower a couple of mm’s the saddle

  2. not to walk with cleats

  3. drink more chocolate milk

Any insights or advices are very welcome.



I injured my foot in a beer drinking injury involving a misstep on the patio when I was 18. In Taiwan, decades later, it flared up every few months or so. So painful, I need tensor bandages and even crutches when it flared up (even walking from the bed to the bathroom was extremely painful to the point of tears!).

What ended up working in Taiwan:

Traditional Chinese medicine – they stretch your foot and then apply some stinky black herb shit. It stinks but works.

Orthotics…helped out a lot.


Somehow my brain wanted to twist your words to the point of making beer the solution to my problem. I might try the Chinese herbs instead…

Something I forgot to mention is that I do need to train at least a bit these two weeks. I was thinking of making shorter rides but more often and see what happens.


Don’t lower the seat, counter-intuitively achilles tendons like high seats, raise the seat. This is an overuse injury. Fuck the long ride, climb off the bike and rest the tendon. 2 weeks total rest with stretching every day then flat rides with high cadence. Likely the issue is tightness in the calves, if you can find a physio you need deep tissue massage of the calves as well as ultrasound on the tendons.

If you ignore this issue it will become chronic and then you’ll be 6 months off the bike. Believe me I’ve been down this road, 400 km in a 2-day event and 3 months in rehab.


Chronic doesn’t sound good. Deep massage MIGHT sound better :smiley:

My theory is that it’s something to do with the seat height because I think I set it too high after bagging the bike for taking a train, and because the tendon that hurts is the one in my shorter ( :frowning: ) leg. Also I believe this pain became accute after using the bike for commuting in the city without bicycle shoes, which makes “harder” to reach the pedals…


Cancel those long ride plans! Decent rest is really your only long-term cure. Do not let an Achilles tendon over-use injury screw the rest of your life.

and get a proper bike fit before you ride again.

walking with cleats on is not such an issue, proper bike fit is. cant say if the saddle is too high or too low over the internet, but it can result from a seat that’s too low.

if you do have one leg shorter that the other, definitely get professional assistance from someone who can help with orthotics (shoe inserts), and maybe a stack cleat under the shoe to even the stroke length.


Also, cleat placement. You’ll want to move the cleat back on the shoe I think so you’re not pulling on the tendon at full extension. But yeah, bike fit.


Then look at your fit.

6 months ago I had a 2 meter fall landing directly on my bare heel. Achilles tendon f**ked. 1 month of crutches. At intervals I would try to get back on the bike, but have pain. When I finally did get back to training recently it was helped with application of kinesio tape and anti inflammatory chinese medicine every night.
Another thing, stretch and roll your ankle before getting out of bed in the morning.


Have no time for a proper reply now but I’ve to say you guys are scaring me. I really want to make that ride…

Re the fitting, I never had this problem before in the several years riding my current bike, nor with any of the others in my pre-roadie life… so I think there shouldn’t be any problem with the fitting.



I forgot to thank you all for these scary, unmotivating messages. Thanks!


:doh: It’s supposed to be hands, feet, side of the chest and around the head, man! What’s with this pagan nonsense about your ankle?

Well, best wishes for your recovery… :head_bandage: :four_leaf_clover:


When it’s a chronic tendon problem you have to start looking at somewhere else besides the tendon. Rest is important but it will keep coming back. It’s one thing is you injured it once like torn it and it’s causing you problems after and another when it’s a chronic issue without a serious prior injury. All of your body in connected in a kinetic chain like a train track. It’s all connected and work together. So something is off causing you to have to use that particular tendon with more workload to make up for something. It can be a weak muscle group, tightness in other parts of your muscle thats causing immobility.

For example, 2 problems I consistently have is lower back pain and patellar tendinitis.

I learned over the years and especially more and more the older I get that these issues flair up more and more as I’m a heavy guy and taller then average. When I have lower back pain, it’s 90% of the time from something else like tight hips that or upper glutes that pull on my lower back. Or my knees, sometimes I get foot massages to relieve the pain, even though most would think it’s silly how can problems with the foot cause knee pain. It’s all connected, tightness in the arch of my foot muscle can really pull on the other muscle groups and cause me to use the patellar tendon more.

So, find a competent physio that doesn’t just put heat on it and say rest. Resting it doesn’t solve the issue in my experience. I sometimes get worst pains from resting because I’m not using my muscles and they become tight, or weak. You need to find why you are having to use your achilles to a point they are causing you chronic pain.


Ditto. urodacus is right and if I did not sound like a broken record in my previous posts to your bike fit problems, get a proper bike fit.

I’m talking about the kinds that you can’t get at the local Giant store. They are pricier, but I think with the issues that you keep having, it may be worth the price tag.

I’ve heard good things about this guy and he seems to be very well certified.

Yes, keep going out to ride and seeing where the issue starts to happen. Make sure you get a proper warm up of 6-10km, or whenever you break a sweat and get a good stretch going. Keep the pace sustainable and just try to remember when your tendons start to feel any kind of pain.

I would also suggest to cancel your trip, however, you know your limits and conditions best, we can only make suggestions.


Right, so thanks again for all the advises. Several of you point out problems with the fitting and even asymmetries (I think) in my body.

Well, first of all I do not have problems derived from bad fitting. This pain is something that has appeared now, and right after messing with my saddle height, and riding without proper shoes, and walking with biking shoes and other shoes that are not really good for biking. So I guess that after riding for years without having this problem, this is not coming from bad fitting but probably just tendon overuse + bad seat height.

I will follow the advice of stayaing away from the bicycle for a while, although this will be not without sadness :frowning: . I was in the middle of getting better!

I will start to use some antiinflammatory ointment I have at home, and will see a “good” doctor tomorrow evening.

Before getting back to the saddle I will probably go to some shop and ask about the seat height. This height is always going to be subject to… subjective opinions, besides one’s body. Now, I just don’t trust most of the clerks in Taiwan. I believe that bicycle shops don’t have much better professionals than the average scooter shop has…

Will update on this. I hope my foot won’t fall apart…


Thanks for the link. I might visit them, but I’m afraid that they will try to change pretty much everything on my bike to whatever they thing it’s correct (at least from their business point of view :P).

I’d like to mention again that I do not have issues derived from the fitting. My issues, in all these years of riding can be summarized in this list:

  1. pain on my knees long time ago, due to too aggressive MTB riding and well, bad joins all over my body
  2. back fucked up after jumping over two tree trunks, bad landing and flying over my handle bar for falling over another trunk…
  3. tendon fucked up during CNY, after messing with the saddle and perhaps riding a lot


Personally I never take anti inflammatory meds for this. Inflammation if your body getting blood to the area to heal.


If it’s more than just mild tendonitis go to a doctor and get it checked properly, utrasound etc. There’s not much point in doing anything until you know exactly what the problem is.


Winston doesn’t sell bikes or bike parts, he sells a proper bike fit. He wouldn’t be as successful as he is if he simply changed your fit to sell you something else. Most bike fit professionals are the same.

Also, it’s funny you always hear people talk about not needing a professional fitting, its a waste of time, wast of money, etc., but I can’t recall anyone who’s actually done it say such things. Quite the opposite.

Much of what you say points exactly to someone who could benefit from a proper fitting. You have had injuries in the past, you have one leg which is longer than the other, you recently started riding longer distances more frequently/ regularly and now are starting to feel pain, you are sensitive to seemingly small changes in seat height, you are getting older.

I don’t know why getting the advice you asked for is scary and unmovtivating, but I’m in the same camp as the others. Seem to be a candidate for a proper fitting and the suggestion of a scan to confirm its just tendonitis, not more serious structual damage, is a good one.

Good luck, I hope you get the problem settled.


I don’t quite understand why you think that the fitter is just out to make it harder for you to be on the bike when his job is to make your time on the bike to be more comfortable.

The fitter has certifications that he has to uphold and also a reputation to keep. I personally haven’t gotten a fitting from him, but have had plenty of friends gone through the detailed process, none of them have regretted spending the time and money for it.

If adjusting your saddle height because it doesn’t FIT you properly, I don’t know what else it could fall under.

Your solution is to go a bike shop in which their main purpose is to sell bikes and components and on top of that, you do not trust their opinion because they are unprofessional. Please tell me how this doesn’t coincide with you saying how bike shops and professional bike fitters alike are just there to make a sale and can’t give you any professional advice.

I missed the part where you mentioned your feet are different lengths. I didn’t see it in your OP, but @squall1 mentioned it and you could consider a longer crank length on whichever leg is longer or a shorter crank length for the shorter leg. You could also look into making adjusments to your clips. It could be a cheaper option. I recently rode with a cyclist who had the shop custom make a set of clips for her because her leg measurements were different.


The one thing in your favor is if you’ve had this injury since CNY and if it doesn’t hurt once you get off the bike you might be able to avoid serious injury. But if you push yourself any further with it you wont be able to walk let alone ride. David Hang at Shin Kong is good at Achilles diagnostics but unfortunately his physios are mostly students and mostly muppets, shame because he used to have some great physios.