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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-07-07, 07:58 PM   #1
dveary
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Arms and hands hurt

I just picked up a Trek 7.3FX on Sunday. The LBS fitted me and said all was adjusted properly. I rode for 10 miles Monday and felt a little pain in my arms, but tonite I went for about 16 miles and I had to stop around 10 miles for a break because my hands and arms were really uncomfortable. Now for my question..
Since the seat is adjusted for the proper bend in my knee, can the bars be raised as well on this bike? I am looking at the stem wondering how. It feels like I am putting an awful lot of downward pressure on my hands and arms.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:06 PM   #2
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Yes that sounds like a reach issue. Should be relatively easy to correct by adjusting stem, height, length, angle. Your LBS should be able and willing to help you with this, if not, tell them you want your money back and go elsewhere.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:27 PM   #3
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They have a riser you'll probably need. It's called a Heads-UP and it has spacers that you put on the bottom and as you get better you can switch them around an start lowering your bars a little at a time. It's called a Satori Heads-UP riser and it cost about $25, good luck.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dveary View Post
I just picked up a Trek 7.3FX on Sunday. The LBS fitted me and said all was adjusted properly. I rode for 10 miles Monday and felt a little pain in my arms, but tonite I went for about 16 miles and I had to stop around 10 miles for a break because my hands and arms were really uncomfortable. Now for my question..
Since the seat is adjusted for the proper bend in my knee, can the bars be raised as well on this bike? I am looking at the stem wondering how. It feels like I am putting an awful lot of downward pressure on my hands and arms.
Thanks in advance.
Well, the LBS should have put the bars in the correct position, which on a hybrid should be higher then the saddle. One thing is riding position, your arms should always have a slight bend at the elbow, if your elbows are straight and locked, then your going to get hand and arm pain. While riding, you should be able to let go of the bars without falling forward, if you can't then you have too much weight on your hands. The only bikes where this doesn't apply, and racing and time trial bikes, where the riders typically have a flat back for wind resistance reasons.
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Old 08-08-07, 06:30 PM   #5
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Move your center of gravity back

You might want to try moving your seat back. This will move your center of gravity away from the hands, more to the center. Your arms will hang just a little bit at the elbows, and not stiffen out. You should be able to sit in the seat, take your hands off the bars, and not fall forward at all. If you can't move back far enough, a larger frame would solve this too (assuming you are not riding the right size) because you would get a longer top tube.
A simple trick to size the bike is place your elbow against the saddle and hold your arm straight toward the head tube. For a mountain bike, your finger tips should just touch the head tube bolt. For a road bike, your finger tips should reach halfway up the stem of the handlebars.
Good luck. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-07, 06:57 PM   #6
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Sounds more like a seat angle issue. Adjust the nose of the seat up a bit, maybe just 1 notch. The angle of the seat changes your weight distribution. Nose down, weight on arms, hands, and shoulders. Nose up, weight on back and rear end. This will not affect seat height. Ideally, the saddle should be level, but many saddle and seatposts will not get a level seat not matter what you do, as the notches are just a bit off from the saddle's construction. One notch forward puts the nose down, one notch back puts the nose up with no middle ground.

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Old 08-08-07, 07:25 PM   #7
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You might want to try moving your seat back. This will move your center of gravity away from the hands, more to the center. Your arms will hang just a little bit at the elbows, and not stiffen out. You should be able to sit in the seat, take your hands off the bars, and not fall forward at all. If you can't move back far enough, a larger frame would solve this too (assuming you are not riding the right size) because you would get a longer top tube.
Eddie
I've always thought seat fore and aft positioning was done to position the rider properly to the pedals, not the handlebars. Frame size, stem length, angle, and height, as well as handlebar angle, and probably a few other things would then control the rider's position relative to the bars. In addition, it seems that moving the rider backward, or putting them on a larger frame, would cause them to lean further forward, which I would think would put more weight on their arms, not less.
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Old 08-08-07, 07:29 PM   #8
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Increasing the distance between my butt and hands (handlebars forward, scoot back on the seat) helped the pain in my hands/wrists significantly. So did gloves - sweaty hands tend to use death-grips just to hang on.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:42 PM   #9
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Sounds more like a seat angle issue. Adjust the nose of the seat up a bit, maybe just 1 notch. The angle of the seat changes your weight distribution. Nose down, weight on arms, hands, and shoulders. Nose up, weight on back and rear end. This will not affect seat height. Ideally, the saddle should be level, but many saddle and seatposts will not get a level seat not matter what you do, as the notches are just a bit off from the saddle's construction. One notch forward puts the nose down, one notch back puts the nose up with no middle ground.
What do you mean, "notches"? Are seats supposed to click or something as they tilt?

Becky, I wouldn't go putting the front of the seat up until you're going 20 miles or so solid. You'll find at that point your saddle will become more important. I never understood the need for bike shorts until then. From what I've read, a lot of men put the nose up, a lot of women put it slightly down. Haven't read of any woman who can tolerate it up.
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Old 08-08-07, 09:10 PM   #10
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If I'm reading this correctly you only have 26 miles on a brand new bike? If so then it might be a little soon to start changing things. Thing are going to hurt at first because they aren't used to the position and activity. For me personally I usually like to put in 100 miles(about 4 rides) before I adjust major things like stems and bar height.
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Old 08-09-07, 06:32 PM   #11
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What do you mean, "notches"? Are seats supposed to click or something as they tilt?

Becky, I wouldn't go putting the front of the seat up until you're going 20 miles or so solid. You'll find at that point your saddle will become more important. I never understood the need for bike shorts until then. From what I've read, a lot of men put the nose up, a lot of women put it slightly down. Haven't read of any woman who can tolerate it up.
I'll just shut up then. I've only been repairing and fitting people to bikes for only 15 years.
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Old 08-09-07, 07:02 PM   #12
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I'll just shut up then. I've only been repairing and fitting people to bikes for only 15 years.
No, sorry! That was a sincere question... I've been trying to do it to my saddles, and I haven't heard any clicks or felt notches and I got worried.

About the nose down, it's true. I don't know of a single female with her nose up... not that there aren't any...
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Old 08-09-07, 07:39 PM   #13
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No, sorry! That was a sincere question... I've been trying to do it to my saddles, and I haven't heard any clicks or felt notches and I got worried.

About the nose down, it's true. I don't know of a single female with her nose up... not that there aren't any...
I tried tilting my nose up to get rid of wrist fatigue and ended up with the chafing of my life in a place I had no desire to be chafed. This was on my road bike, so I tilted the seat down to be level and scooted it as far back on the seat post as it would go. End of wrist fatigue. For what it's worth, none of my saddles have the nose tilted up. They are either level or very slightly down.

dveary, I hope you figure out the right combination to end your hand and arm discomfort.
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Old 08-09-07, 08:15 PM   #14
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No, sorry! That was a sincere question... I've been trying to do it to my saddles, and I haven't heard any clicks or felt notches and I got worried.

About the nose down, it's true. I don't know of a single female with her nose up... not that there aren't any...
I didn't mean put the nose up.. my seat slipped today and tilted back.. OUCH! I just sit as far back on the seat as I can.

As for clicks, my seatpost has grooves inside the part that holds the seat on... but it doesn't click when I move it.
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Old 08-09-07, 08:39 PM   #15
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As for clicks, my seatpost has grooves inside the part that holds the seat on... but it doesn't click when I move it.
Those are the notches I'm talking about.

If you ever upgrade the seat post, get one with two adjusting screws. Those allow you to fine tune the angle to exactly where you want it.
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Old 08-09-07, 09:07 PM   #16
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Those are the notches I'm talking about.

If you ever upgrade the seat post, get one with two adjusting screws. Those allow you to fine tune the angle to exactly where you want it.
I have two adjusting screws. I have a Thompson, I think... I'm not sure I'm seeing where the notches are in that image. I'll have to go digging around and find some close-ups. I thought it was more of a "loosen back screw, tighten front screw" 1/8 inch kind of adjustment. In other words, more like friction shifters instead of indexed shifters.
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