Cycling works every muscle in your legs. The quadriceps, glutes, and calves seem like the only muscles that work when you cycle. But even though they are the muscles that exude the most energy, every muscle in your legs works to keep the "spinning" motion going. When the quadriceps are sore, which actually means that they are torn, cycling becomes much less enjoyable. Every time you pull up to complete another rotation, it becomes more painful the longer you cycle. However, there are ways to minimize the pain.
Cycling With A Sore (Torn) Hamstring
Seat height and leg length are the greatest factors. If somebody has a sore hamstring, it is essential to have proper height so the legs are in a comfortable position. The legs can't be bent too much, but they can't be stretched to a point where your leg is at a 90-degree angle with the calves extending to meet the pedal. The body has to be in a position in which the legs are right under the body rather than in front of it, which is the case of cyclists with lower seats. When the pedal is at the lowest point, the legs such be at an 80-degree angle.
The most important factor is the pedaling motion. Many cyclists like to use their hamstrings to pull backwards while pushing with the quadriceps, alternating with both legs. That method has not proven to be the most effective and is, by far, the worst way to cycle with a sore hamstring. Cycling the traditional "push" way is the best way to cycle when the hamstrings are sore.
Football players, as well as many other athletes, cycle as a treatment for hamstring injuries. However, they do not cycle as most "real" cyclists do. They keep the effort at a minimum, but try to maintain a high cadence. This helps heal the hamstrings by keeping them in an active state, effectively speeding up the healing process. Unless you want to go to a race with a sore hamstring (bad idea), you should cycle to help heal the hamstrings. Cycling at a higher cadence has also been proven to be the most efficient and effective way to cycle. In fact, professional cyclists like to keep their cadence rate above 100 rpm.