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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I guess I have to start dialing in...or do I?

    Well, with about 170 miles on the new bike, I think I might have to start dialing it in a bit. Then again, perhaps not. I ask for your input:

    I'm getting some lower back pain, in the same area I've had lower back pain before, but only when I'm on the bike. (My previous back pain was not bike related whatsoever.) The pain isn't severe by any means, more of an ache. It ached throughout my 15 miler today, and then, at about mile 13, it stopped. Go figure. It also doen't bother me at all once I've put the bike away.

    I'm getting some mild discomfort on the saddle, but a quick stand for a few yards seems to do the trick here.

    I get a bit of tingling in each foot (independently) but it only lasts for a mile or two, and then goes away.

    A bit of tingling for the boys, as well.

    All of these things seem to come and go, but then again, I wasn't getting them on the Cypress after I got used to that bike and tweaked everything.

    Oh -- and more of the palm pain, which also seems to evaporate if I change hand positions. Flares up when I ride the hoods, stops when I give them a shake and ride the top like a flat bar for a while.

    So...do I need to dial in or is it more of a matter of just getting used to the new bike? And, if I should start dialing, what's the correct order of things to do so (or is there no correct order)?

    I can adjust my seat height, my saddle fore and aft, and my handlebars in terms of their paralellism to the ground.

    Both the salesperson at the LBS and I thought we had it pretty darn close when I left the store, and he was reluctant to tweak much more until I came back in and put clipless pedals on the bike (which may not happen right away).

    Suggestions?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Get rid of that loser bike is all that comes to mind right now. But if it was mine I'd try moving the seat a teensy bit forward, that helped me with hand AND back pain. But of course I'm not riding a conventional road bike and that might be the completely wrong move for you. On the other hand.... it is an easy try.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    Get rid of that loser bike is all that comes to mind right now.
    I considered that.... NOT!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    Gary,
    Hate to see a fellow 50+ Forum member suffer. I will actually pay for you to ship the Roubaix to me in No. Cal in exchange for a decrease in your symptoms Seriously, I know you have been putting on more miles lately -- think that may have something to do with it?
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  5. #5
    Happy Rider
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    welcome to the world of road biking.

    when you bend over more, your hands support more weight. your rear and "boys" are in a different position. changes can create discomfort.

    however, this does not mean the bike can't eventually be comfortable. a reputable LBS could check out the fit for a nominal fee and recommend changes. if you purchase the alterations there, you may even get a better break on the charge for checking out the fit.

  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Get ready for a long process. You pretty well covered the list of things that can be fiddled with. Start fiddlin'. But be sure to change just one thing at a time, try it, decide if it helped or hurt. If it helped, leave that and try a different part. If it hurt, either put it like it was or move it the other way. You may find that after you get your seat dialed in and then change your handlebar tilt, the seat is wrong again. After about 30,000,000 combinations, you'll either have it all dialed in or go nuts and start buying replacement parts - or both. But don't distress, it's not as much fun as it sounds like.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
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    It took me months to dial in some of my bikes.
    I,m guessing,(with regard to your back pain) you need to raise the bars up a bit.Do they use spacers on the stem for that model,Ruby-Boy?
    As for size,(we both have that Mel Gibson build right?),the Specialized Indie saddle is the most comfortable on 2hr.ride for our age and weight.Found it on sale for $29.This may be just the ticket for "your boys".I,ve noticed a relationship between seat styles and a person,s weight.
    Looks like a nice weekend in Ohio coming up,hope its the same for you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Gary, that's what I've been doing sense I got my Jamis.I took it to a fitter, and I think he screwed me up, more than I was already. The good thing, or maybe bad, you don't have the clipless to screw around with yet. The first thing I started with was the saddle adjustment and that opened another door to do something else. I read a lot about fit, and how to adjust by small moves, and I mean small. I was ready to go to another fitter and decided against it, because I'll have to make adjustments down the road, so I may as well learn how to do it myself. Everytime I go into there shop they ask if I'm ready yet, and I say maybe next week.I wore out the velcro on one wedge bag I had it off so many times making adjustments. Anyhow after a truck load of beer and whiskey, I think I'm pretty close, at least the way I'm standing it looks that way. I did lose a lot of sleep thinking about ways to do things and the results of the things after I did them. Anyhow, after all that time working on the fit, I don't think a bike shop could help me much more. From what I read, it will be something or another to play around later as well. One morning I jumped out of bed and I got in a crouched down position like a downhill skier and told myself, this is what I need. I would still like to get more weight off my hands, but I like the way it feels now, so I'll play with that later, ha ha So have fun and good luck with Ruby, you know your in love.
    George

  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George
    good luck with Ruby, you know your in love.
    Now I'm blushing.
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  10. #10
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    DG - Save some time, money, and frustration and buy your boys a Brooks saddle. You've already found the solution to numb hands - change your grip position. A good pair of gloves (ironman) also helps. As you ride more your core will get stronger and you'll be able to take some of the weight off the bars. If you can adjust the handlebars upwards by flipping the stem - try that.
    Korval is Ships
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  11. #11
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    This might be a bit premature, maybe you will come to be comfortable on your French bicycle (sounds French, anyway) but can you spell R-E-C-U-M-B-E-N-T?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I think I might have to start dialing it in a bit. Then again, perhaps not.
    Golly, Digital, I never thought of that. I never considered that there might be some people who don't constantly fiddle with their bikes.

  13. #13
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George
    Gary, that's what I've been doing sense I got my Jamis.I took it to a fitter, and I think he screwed me up, more than I was already. The good thing, or maybe bad, you don't have the clipless to screw around with yet. The first thing I started with was the saddle adjustment and that opened another door to do something else. I read a lot about fit, and how to adjust by small moves, and I mean small. I was ready to go to another fitter and decided against it, because I'll have to make adjustments down the road, so I may as well learn how to do it myself. Everytime I go into there shop they ask if I'm ready yet, and I say maybe next week.I wore out the velcro on one wedge bag I had it off so many times making adjustments. Anyhow after a truck load of beer and whiskey, I think I'm pretty close, at least the way I'm standing it looks that way. I did lose a lot of sleep thinking about ways to do things and the results of the things after I did them. Anyhow, after all that time working on the fit, I don't think a bike shop could help me much more. From what I read, it will be something or another to play around later as well. One morning I jumped out of bed and I got in a crouched down position like a downhill skier and told myself, this is what I need. I would still like to get more weight off my hands, but I like the way it feels now, so I'll play with that later, ha ha So have fun and good luck with Ruby, you know your in love.
    I really don't drink, but sometimes, I think I should.
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  14. #14
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Probably just a bad bike choice

    Wow, since you are having all those physical problems clearly being caused by your new bike, I can only say that the Roubaix was a bad choice. I have had none of these problems with my Buenos Aires, which must mean it is a far better bike.

    Seriously DG, I think card and BluesDawg have it right. Fiddle and fuss and make it right and you will be, as they say, good to go. My lbs says that the issue with sore/numb hands can be cured by doing lots of crunches and strengthening trunk/stomach muscles so that one doesn't support all of one's upper corpulence with one's hands, but rather uses those six-pack abs take the pressure off your hands.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Wow, since you are having all those physical problems clearly being caused by your new bike, I can only say that the Roubaix was a bad choice. I have had none of these problems with my Buenos Aires, which must mean it is a far better bike.

    Seriously DG, I think card and BluesDawg have it right. Fiddle and fuss and make it right and you will be, as they say, good to go. My lbs says that the issue with sore/numb hands can be cured by doing lots of crunches and strengthening trunk/stomach muscles so that one doesn't support all of one's upper corpulence with one's hands, but rather uses those six-pack abs take the pressure off your hands.

    That answered my question, thanks
    George

  16. #16
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    Just as most of them say I agree, it must be the bike. Maybe you should trade it off. I have a nice steel Sirrus I might consider trading if you throw in a pair of bibs or something. Just kidding, you were right, it is time to start making small adjustments. I had 4 or 5 seats on my Lemond before I got one I liked and then it still wasn't quite right and one day I moved it about 1/4" and that was it. I marked the rails with a majic marker so I would never lose it. I also agree that you should not make too many moves at once. Get the seat right up and down, then front and back, then handlebar height, then roll them a little one way or the other and you will get it. If none of this works see my first suggestion.

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    My lbs says that the issue with sore/numb hands can be cured by doing lots of crunches and strengthening trunk/stomach muscles so that one doesn't support all of one's upper corpulence with one's hands, but rather uses those six-pack abs take the pressure off your hands.
    This is about 90% of my problem with hand pain. No doubt about it.

    But I have no plans as yet to address it in a serious way. Especially now that I've adjusted my bike to nearly eliminate my hand pain - at the expense of performance.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  18. #18
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM
    This might be a bit premature, maybe you will come to be comfortable on your French bicycle (sounds French, anyway) but can you spell R-E-C-U-M-B-E-N-T?
    OK, who had #11 in the "how long will it take for some bent geek to rise to the bait?" pool?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    I don't see how you can dial in a bike unless you go clipless. Your position on the saddle depends on the position of your feet on the pedals.
    IF you've checked that saddle and cleat position are correct and the back pain persists, it's most likely lack of core strength. Don't forget to do those sit-ups!

  20. #20
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beethoven
    I don't see how you can dial in a bike unless you go clipless.
    It never stopped Eddy Merckx.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  21. #21
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Get ready for a long process. You pretty well covered the list of things that can be fiddled with. Start fiddlin'. But be sure to change just one thing at a time, try it, decide if it helped or hurt. If it helped, leave that and try a different part. If it hurt, either put it like it was or move it the other way. You may find that after you get your seat dialed in and then change your handlebar tilt, the seat is wrong again. After about 30,000,000 combinations, you'll either have it all dialed in or go nuts and start buying replacement parts - or both. But don't distress, it's not as much fun as it sounds like.
    +1, just want to add to tweak in baby steps...1/4 - 1/2" tops. Also, the tweaks are not limited to the bike...your clothing and gear has an effect. For example, I found a long time ago that the usual thick padded gloves bother me and make my hands go numb, I do better with little or no padding. One some shoes I've had to add shims to the cleat because the tread of the shoe was being compressed against the platform portion of some of my pedals...or that some of my most comfy 'walkable' shoes did not have stiff enough soles for platformless spd pedals. Some short/chamois combos are better than others - again, for me less padding is best.

    Also keep in mind that if you don't move around a little, you will experience some discomfort on longer rides. Change hand positions, get out of and move around on the saddle, etc. Looser shoes or sandals let you flex your piggies some when they get to tingling. Finally, spinning is easier on your feet than mashing.

    Edit - I see you ain't gone clipless. I hope you are at least using power grips or cages/toeclips. It will help you spin rather than mash and increase your pedalling efficiency. If you are using some kind of binder, pressure and fit might need tweaking there if your feet are going numb. Are you using stiff soled shoes or sneakers?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  22. #22
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    OK, who had #11 in the "how long will it take for some bent geek to rise to the bait?" pool?
    OK. I want half the winnings.

  23. #23
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    Definitely try moving the saddle forward, especially for the back pain. I experimented with moving my saddle back as part of my (seemingly) never-ending effort to get rid of 10 mile numb fingers syndrome and very quickly started to get lower back pain (my knees didn't much like it either), which, like yours, would go away if I got up off the saddle and moved back and forth a bit. Moved the saddle forward again (moving it back didn't help the hands anyway) and the back pain disappeared. Very slight upward tilt on my saddle (nose about 1 cm higher than rear) keeps the boys happy. Strangely enough (or so it seems to me), saddles with more padding are actually less comfortable--they tend to produce more inner thigh chafing for me. I've done a lot of experimenting to address the finger issue. Got the Aztec gel padding for bars, which helped some, but really isn't any more effective than a double layer of bar tape in the drops, which is where I spend 90+ percent of my riding time. Also tried several different length and rise stems and found that stem length made more difference than bar height for me. Bar angle is also fairly critical--straight wrists and bent elbows are essential. Just ordered a carbon fork--I'm hoping that will be the magic bullet that softens the ride of my all aluminum Klein just enough to keep the fingers happy.

  24. #24
    jcm
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    DG, your Roubaix is much like my 06 Sequioa Elite in terms of geometry - just fancier. Scoot the saddle forward a tad and see about getting the bars higher and back toward you. Rotate the bars so the ramps are level with the ground, and at or slightly above the saddle. Never mind the innertube wrap on the drops. That's there because I need to get a set of Nitto B115's or Noodles. They have a 5" drop that is just right for a bad lower back.

    My Sequoia came with a 130mm stem that was nearly flat, and was killing me. The one in the pic is a 90mm at 16degrees. Mo Betta.

    You can see by my sig how a feel about Brooks...

    http://i3.tinypic.com/6cg03di.jpg
    http://i17.tinypic.com/4zivk1v.jpg

  25. #25
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    I'm with ya, Deeg... after 2 weeks and 175 miles (it would be more but I've been out of town for the past couple of days) I've come to the conclusion that I need to nudge the saddle forward a skosh on the Reno.
    We got it "close enough" at the LBS but I figured on some tweaks after living with it for a few miles, after we settled in. I'm still thinking about a Brooks.. the Bontrager is feeling less and less comfortable toward the -dare I say- tail end of my 25 milers. I've got my plumb bob all set up and ready to go
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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