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Thread: Elbow pain?

  1. #1
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Elbow pain?

    At the beginning of this year, when I restarted cycling, I began with a Electra Townie. With the upright position, I was constantly pulling back on the bars as I rode. About April or so, I began noticing that my elbows had started hurting on the outside of the joint!

    At first, I ignored the pain, assuming that I was just having "teething pains" on my bike, but the malady persisted & got worse. I finally noticed that my elbows hurt less on days that I didn't ride. The light came on! Maybe the pulling on the bars and the elbow pain were related?

    As an experiment, I deliberately began riding without pulling on the bars. The pain improved but didn't go away. I finally sold the Townie & bought a Kona with drop bars on which I don't pull back at all.

    The pain has gotten somewhat less, but still persists. Am I just getting arthritis, or is there some other possible explanation? If anyone has had a similar experience, I'd be interested in hearing what helped you.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I think that the older we get the more important proper fit truly is. I think a properly fitted road bike provides less stress on the body than any bike around. I think a Townie appears to be a very comfortable, upright ride but you found the stress it causes on your elbows to ride in that position. My guess is that the healing process will be slow and only finding a bike that has been professionaly fitted to you will provide the long lasting relief that you are looking for.

  3. #3
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Your condition sounds a lot like tennis elbow. A pain and tender to touch right in the outside crook of the elbow. I have been going throught that for a few months. Still riding and playing racquetball. The intensity flairs now and then, but it's not much more than annoying.

    You should however, be relaxed as much as possible while riding. I have ridden with the Providence College bike coach and he is constantly correcting me telling me to relax my grip and bend my elbows. Being stiff requires around 30% more work, according to the professionals.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

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    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Check if you are riding with arms straight rather than bent. If arms are not bent the vibration is transmitted directly up the arm and could give the symptoms desscribed.

  5. #5
    jur
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    If you can find a particular spot that when you press on it, it reproduces the pain, it is most likely tendonitis (that's what tennis elbow is). That can easily turn chronic if you don't watch out. You will have to find a different riding position that does not bring the pain on. On a townie it could be that the arms are pulling up and out a bit instead of towards you as you put some effort into pedalling and bend your trunk forwards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    ...You will have to find a different riding position that does not bring the pain on. On a townie it could be that the arms are pulling up and out a bit instead of towards you as you put some effort into pedalling and bend your trunk forwards.
    Exactly so. That's why I sold my Townie.

  7. #7
    Old but trying AnnaInVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capejohn
    I have ridden with the Providence College bike coach and he is constantly correcting me telling me to relax my grip and bend my elbows. Being stiff requires around 30% more work, according to the professionals.
    How interesting. I have been trying to ride (on a Drifter - pseudo Townie) with my elbows relaxed but for some reason, I cannot keep the bike "controlled". For instance, when we are on a narrower trail, I get very nervous when I see another biker coming at me on the opposite side. I cannot seem to keep my bike straight. Wonder if that is just psychological.......

    Any input appreciated.

    Thanks much,
    AnnaInVA

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