Triathlon - Numb shoulders...why??
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07-19-05, 09:22 PM
I've got a 61cm P3 with tri bars--I'm 6'4". Riding down on the tri bars makes me ache intensely across the base of my neck and between my shoulder blades. The forward extension of my tri bars is a little short but workable. I constantly slide toward the tip of my seat (I'm using the 78 degree seat angle). I feel like the handle bars are too low, but when I mentioned this to the guys who sold me the bike, they insist that I'm in perfect tri-position and that lifting up the handle bars would expose more frontal surface area to the on-coming wind. I get to where I want to look straight down at the asphalt because it hurts to bad to lift my head to see forward. I was even thinking of installing a mirror on the frame between my knees so I wouldn't have to look forward--I could just rest my forehead on the handle bars. What's wrong?? Is it the steep seat angle that slides me forward maybe making me having to brace my shoulders too much? Obviously, I'm going to have to manipulate this bike around and see what works, but I'm hoping someone out there will give me some hints as to what to manipulate first...that is, should I get longer tri bars(I currently have an integrated handle bar/tri bar/shifter/brake set...it won't be cheap to replace)? Raise the handle bars higher? Change the seat tube angle to 74 degree? When I'm tucked in the current tri position, I can cruise at 26mph for miles on a flat surface(so I figure the bike guys are right about it being "right"), and it's not my legs or lungs that finally cause me to quit the effort--it's the burning between my shoulder blades. I can't imagine this is normal. Please tell me there's a fix for this.
07-20-05, 09:33 AM
Are you new to this position? When I first got into tris, using areo bars hurt my back, I wasnt very flexable. Maby try to strech your back, and sholders....i'm not sure. Maby try bringing up your handle bars 1 or 2 spacers.
The thing is that where the pain is, it seems like it is from the areo bars, maby you can widen the pads a little?
07-20-05, 12:39 PM
its probably not the seatpost angle but the SADDLE angle. If the nose is pointed down then you might simply be sliding down on the saddle. If tilting it up is a problem in the nether-regions, don't be afraid to switch around saddles. I recently went through 3 before I found one I can stand and it was well worth the research.
Shoulder pain tends to be from the handlebars being too far out. When they are close enough, most of your weight is centered over your hips so your shoulders don't do too much work. Your arms guide the bike. They shouldn't bear too much weight.
Minimal frontal area is worthless if you're in so much pain that you keep sitting up. Raising the bars a little will not slow you down nearly as much as you might think. You could try raising them until you are comfortable. Build up core strength so you are comfortable and lower the bars back down slowly. I used to ride with my handlebars pretty high and have worked my way down over time.
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