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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 07-28-10, 08:03 PM   #1
Pat_RI
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Leaning too much on Handlebars

So tonight I went for a ride of about 16 miles (may be one of the longest yet) and I noticed that I was really leaning hard on my handlebars is there anything that I can do or adjust to change this? I noticed that my neck was also beginning to get sore also. I did recover pretty quick which was a surprise but I am sure my legs will be hurting tomorrow. I have a Cannondale Bad Boy and got it fitted at my local bike shop. I am thinking I have to raise my handlebars but that is just a total guess.

This ride was my first time on a bike path and what a zoo that was between the walkers and the dogs it was crazy. The reason I hit the bike bath was because where I live there is too many hills and I get tired before actually spending much time on the bike. I tried today to downshift and to keep pedaling when I got tired so my legs were always moving. I only stopped once to get a drink of water which was cool usually I have to stop multiple times.

Thanks again for any help you can give me about leaning heavy on the bars.

Pat
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Old 07-28-10, 08:45 PM   #2
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I don't know - but I have a hybrid too, and I lean quite a bit on the bars. I think that is why they say a diamond frame will work out your whole body. I bought some dumbells and have started lifting in addition to riding - I figure I need to get a little stronger to hold myself up for farther. I did raise my bars for a minute (flat bars) - then I put them back. What I found is when I raised them, I but more weight on the saddle - which hurt there more. Given the choice between sore shoulders and sore !#$#& I decided - sore shoulders. I also have ordered some gel gloves - have no idea if that is going to help.
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Old 07-28-10, 08:57 PM   #3
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I was thinking you were relatively new to riding...but you've been a member for two years? Curious...how much do you ride? The reason I ask is that it sounds like it could be a couple of things...one, you could simply need to build endurance, or your fit needs to be adjusted. Or perhaps, a little of both. I know that after taking nearly eight consecutive years off the bike (with only a few rides here and there) it took me a little while to really get comfy on my bike again and build up not only my ability to put in some miles, but also to get my back, shoulder and neck muscles back into the groove as well. One thing, don't be afraid to tinker with your position a little bit at a time, it's a good way to find what works best for you.
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Old 07-28-10, 09:12 PM   #4
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I joined two years ago but really haven't really ridden the bike until the last month or so. I try to get out 2 to 3 times a week if possible but it feels like I am putting too much weight on my hands. The only way I can describe it is like my weight is not distributed correctly it is almost like I am putting my weight on the bars instead of the seat.
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Old 07-28-10, 10:51 PM   #5
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Is your saddle forward or level?
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Old 07-28-10, 11:44 PM   #6
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This could be a fit issue, but it could also be core fitness. I also put too much weight on my hands, and it's not because the fit of my bike is wrong.

Try this: While riding try to hold a normal body position while unweighting your hands or even hovering them a fraction of an inch above the grips on your bars. What muscles are working hardest? You body will tell you where you need more strength.

16 miles! That's awesome! If you keep riding 2 to 3 time a week you'll be doing much more than that very soon. Keep it up!
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Old 07-29-10, 04:03 AM   #7
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mind if I ask how big you are? Over the coarse of losing 44lbs I have found it ever easier to lean forward and found positions that used to be painful now comfortable or more bearable. Do you stretch after warming up?
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Old 07-29-10, 04:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by episodic View Post
Is your saddle forward or level?
Yep, this would be the first thing I would check... you would be amazed at what a difference sliding the your seat forward, even a fraction of an inch can make!
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Old 07-29-10, 06:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtires View Post
I was thinking you were relatively new to riding...but you've been a member for two years? Curious...how much do you ride? The reason I ask is that it sounds like it could be a couple of things...one, you could simply need to build endurance, or your fit needs to be adjusted. Or perhaps, a little of both. I know that after taking nearly eight consecutive years off the bike (with only a few rides here and there) it took me a little while to really get comfy on my bike again and build up not only my ability to put in some miles, but also to get my back, shoulder and neck muscles back into the groove as well. One thing, don't be afraid to tinker with your position a little bit at a time, it's a good way to find what works best for you.
+1 It is probably just getting used to the riding position, certainly the sore neck is due to not being used to the position and pulling your head up so far and if you are wearing a helmet, the weight of the helmet will strain the neck muscles for a while. You didn't mention sore or numb hands, does this happen?

Since you have a Cannondale bad boy, to raise the bars you will need to replace the stem with one that has a steeper angle.

Also bike paths are multi use paths (MUP) that are intended for walkers, runners, ect. These paths normally get really crowded. The one I ride on has a mile stretch through some farms and less populated areas so normally only bikes are in this stretch with the occasional jogger. I think that this is because it is so far away from anything.

Congrats on the 16 mile ride, it will get better with more riding.
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Old 07-29-10, 07:59 AM   #10
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I would also suggest that you look at bar ends, for different hand positions, and try not to grip the bar so tightly. Learning to relax on the bike, is a skill not often written about, but IMO is very important. As your fittness improves, so will your riding skills.

You are on the right track, spinning 16 miles will improve your overall fitness. Good job and keep it up.
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Old 07-29-10, 08:49 AM   #11
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Pat, One thing to learn is to use your abs to support some of your weight.

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Old 07-29-10, 10:26 AM   #12
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I have the same issue. It is getting better little by little so some of it is acclimation. Fit is dialed in. I really need a saddle to help but $$$ is that tight so I must endure the a$$ hatchet that now resides on the bike. After paying close attention I use my feet and hands to take load of the butt/seat connection from the discomfort. Core strength plays into it as well. That comes slowly. I cannot ride more than 6-7 miles before certain areas begin painfully going numb (how is that possible to do both?) and I must either rest or end the ride. Anyone got a Brooks B-17 they'd like to donate to a good cause?
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Old 07-29-10, 03:00 PM   #13
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hope you getting it sorted!! i had the same but seems to be gone now and the only thing i can think of is my core is stronger from swimming and what not. if you're not used to cycling it does take a while for the body to hold itself up. i find i get a sore neck and its due to my wearing glasses. when i have contacts in i get no neck pain but yours could be due to helmet or anything. you said the bike shop fitted you so give them the benefit of the doubt but if you happen to pass a good shop no harm popping in and telling them whats wrong. you never know oh and if you are adjusting your saddle and bars etc do one at a time and in very small increments
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Old 07-29-10, 03:19 PM   #14
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The only problem with moving the saddle around might be knee problems. I've found if my saddle isn't set up right, that's where I feel it. Wouldn't hurt to tweak it for a ride and see what happens, though.
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Old 07-29-10, 05:29 PM   #15
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Wow thanks for all of the info guys I'll try and answer everything here:

1. My saddle is even
2 I weigh 238 and I am 5'11 (short legs and long torso)
3 My hands did hurt until I bought a pair of gel gloves.
4. I think I may try two more rides this weekend and see if it gets better, worsens, or stays the same.
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Old 07-29-10, 05:38 PM   #16
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One more thing. If you have a springed saddle - try a non springed or non plushie. I had no idea a narrow saddle would be so comfortable for me vs the hybrid comfort saddle that shipped with my bike. I'm heavily considering a brooks saddle now.
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Old 07-29-10, 06:08 PM   #17
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more setback on the seat, + raising the handlebars, the more weight bias on to the backside
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Old 07-29-10, 06:12 PM   #18
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you aren't that big. sounds like flexibility, core power or fit. Try getting off the bike and really stretching after warmup and then stretch every time you get off the bike. A good, lazy stretch I do is to straddle a bench, keep my legs on the ground and hips in an upright position then slowly lower my upper body on to the bench. It looks kind of nerdy but really helps with reach.
By the way there's nothing wrong with stopping your bike and taking a breather. I know it feels good to do long rides but sometimes you need to get off the bike for a minute, this ultimately ends up in you doing longer rides

P.S. I'd try some of this but not move the seat around (except maybe tilt) and if it's still a problem go to the bike shop and tell them your bike is uncomfortable, get them to check your angles and make sure the fit is right. then you can get advice on small tweaks.

Last edited by garethzbarker; 07-29-10 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 07-29-10, 06:22 PM   #19
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You say the saddle is level, try slightly angling the nose up may help in the short term until you strengthen your core.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:03 AM   #20
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My solution was for someone with arthritis in his hands... (Me!)
Also I'm 72, 5'10" tall, and go 210 lbs. (And I'm about ready to change that!)

I found I could not put any significant lean pressure on my hands w/o having severe thumb pain afterwards!
Still, loving to ride, I got my (very good) local small shop bike dealer to change the stock bars on my Trek 7k over to a set of aluminum bars with more pullback, that he had left over from supplies for a shaft drive bike. I also raised the bar stem a bit higher, rotated the bar ends down a bit more, and got me a Brooks B68 saddle that I ride setup in a level position.

Now, while I'm neither the fastest or longest (or prettiest looking?) rider on the block, I can nevertheless still do a good deal of pain free riding... I think the trick is to experiment (a lot!) with your bar and seat setup and their position... -Change things around until you get less discomfit, and don't worry about what 'looks good' or is 'the right' (or trendy?) way to do it!

Namaste,
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