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Thread: Elbow Pain

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    Elbow Pain

    Bought my Trek Fx bike a few weeks ago. After the first week, I was complaining about hand and arm pain. I adjusted the seat fore and aft and the angle a little. I also purchased gloves. My hands and arms feel a lot better, but the weird thing is my left elbow(or the muscles around it, Im not sure) hurts like hell the next day when I go to extend my arm fully. I can feel it startimg to hurt during my ride. My LBS cant figure it out. I think my arms are to fully extended when riding. If I were to raise the handle bars I would have to get a new stem they said. Would that work?
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    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Try a more relaxed grip on the bars first. If you are "death gripping" the handlebars, you'll cause a dynamic tension in those as well as other muscles, leading to pain issues like you describe. If that doesn't work, then try the stem change.
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    Is it hurting at the point or in the general area? I can't think of anything other than a really odd position for your elbow that would lead to pain in the joint, but the muscles may just be shifting stress from your hands and wrists up the arm. I would try repositioning what you have before buying new parts, but I'm cheap.
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    I guess the pain is right above the joint, not the joint itself.
    "You can do a lot in a lifetime
    If you don't burn out too fast
    You can make the most of the distance
    First you need endurance -
    First you've got to last..." -- Rush

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    Perma-Clyde (51)'s Avatar
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    What kind of handlebars do you have? Are they the right size (Your shoulder width)?
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    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    When I ride dirt bikes, I sometimes get the "Death Grip" going, and I have to make my mind tell everything to relax. I can do the same thing on the bike, but it is so much easier to relax on a road bicycle compared to a dirt bike for me. I think that can be some of your problem as I have seen all of those same things happen on dirt bikes and road motorcycles, but by relaxing your body you help everything else out. It will also make you ride better and faster in most cases.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (51) View Post
    What kind of handlebars do you have? Are they the right size (Your shoulder width)?
    I dont know what size they are. They are stock on a Trek 7.3 FX. I do have pretty wide shoulders. Is there a rule of thumb here on how wide they should be in relation to your shoulders?
    "You can do a lot in a lifetime
    If you don't burn out too fast
    You can make the most of the distance
    First you need endurance -
    First you've got to last..." -- Rush

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    jcm
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    Your ulnar bone is trying to slip out of the notch in the trochlea, causing some localized tendonitis. That's the main problem with straight type bars: they cause un-natural wrist rotation which is exacerbated by being too stretched out on a road bike. The wider the bars, and the farther away from the rider, the more pronounced the tendency for this mild dislocation because the elbows are straighter. I hear this complaint alot. My opinion only.

    EDIT NOTE: For drop bars, the general rule is to match the width with the shoulder socket - roughly. I don't know about straight bars for road bikes, but off-roaders like 'em wide for maximum control leverage, which roadies don't really need.

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    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Are you sure that it is related to bicycling and not something else you are doing in your normal life or something else new that you have been doing? Just another thought, but it is worth looking into.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    Are you sure that it is related to bicycling and not something else you are doing in your normal life or something else new that you have been doing? Just another thought, but it is worth looking into.
    Definitely from bicycling and definitely related to this new bike. Before this bike, I rode a KMart special mountain bike with straight bars and I never had this problem. So it is something with how this bike fits me(or doesn't)
    "You can do a lot in a lifetime
    If you don't burn out too fast
    You can make the most of the distance
    First you need endurance -
    First you've got to last..." -- Rush

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    As you have the pain only on one side I would suggest you make sure that the bars and forks are in perfect alignment. If the bar is twisted slightly to one side you will have more weight on one arm when you are riding in a straight line.
    Trying to align the bars and forks is a hard thing without the proper alignment tools as your mind plays tricks on you when you try to sight down the stem.

  12. #12
    Perma-Clyde (51)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dveary View Post
    I dont know what size they are. They are stock on a Trek 7.3 FX. I do have pretty wide shoulders. Is there a rule of thumb here on how wide they should be in relation to your shoulders?
    They should be your shoulder width.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    It kind of sounds like tennis elbow, which would mean that it didn't start with these bars -- it just got acute with 'em. Your LBS can help with adjustments, but they're not doctors, and I'm guessing since you have next-day pain that the adjustments alone may not cure it. Tennis elbow, if that's what it is, takes some time and diligence to get over (I had it in both elbows), and can be really problematic in your daily life (picture not being able to pick up something the size of a dictionary without a lot of pain), so if an adjustment doesn't clear it up quite quickly, think about getting a doctor to have a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    Your ulnar bone is trying to slip out of the notch in the trochlea, causing some localized tendonitis. That's the main problem with straight type bars: they cause un-natural wrist rotation which is exacerbated by being too stretched out on a road bike. The wider the bars, and the farther away from the rider, the more pronounced the tendency for this mild dislocation because the elbows are straighter. I hear this complaint alot. My opinion only.

    EDIT NOTE: For drop bars, the general rule is to match the width with the shoulder socket - roughly. I don't know about straight bars for road bikes, but off-roaders like 'em wide for maximum control leverage, which roadies don't really need.
    I've researched this a little and I believe you are right with the tendonitis. My question is how do I correct the problem. What new bars will help with this. Keep in mind my bike is a hybrid.
    "You can do a lot in a lifetime
    If you don't burn out too fast
    You can make the most of the distance
    First you need endurance -
    First you've got to last..." -- Rush

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    Quote Originally Posted by dveary View Post
    I've researched this a little and I believe you are right with the tendonitis. My question is how do I correct the problem. What new bars will help with this. Keep in mind my bike is a hybrid.
    have you tried bar ends? they can allow you a "handshake" grip position (similar to riding on the 'hoods).

  16. #16
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I had a Trek FX 7300 and I got so much road buzz from it I gave it to my kid. That's about the story with a lot of aluminum bikes. Before I gave it to my son, I put barends on it and gave it a double wrap of gel tape and he says it doesn't bother him. So I guess that worked, good luck.
    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by e0richt View Post
    have you tried bar ends? they can allow you a "handshake" grip position (similar to riding on the 'hoods).
    I do have bar ends. The angle that I have them is up and forward almost like holding ski poles. Im not sure they help much. My elbow still hurts after 10 miles.
    "You can do a lot in a lifetime
    If you don't burn out too fast
    You can make the most of the distance
    First you need endurance -
    First you've got to last..." -- Rush

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