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  1. #1
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    Bike frame size to protect tendonitis wrists

    Hello Biking Friends!
    This is my first post on Bike Forums.

    I just purchased a Biria Citibike 700c, and I chose this style because of the upright riding stance. I have had tendonitis in my wrists that kept me from riding a bike for many years, and it's so much better now, that I thought I could resume riding.

    I have found, however, that I have to lean forward to reach the handlebars so I'm still putting weight on my wrists. I was hoping to be able to support all or almost all of my weight on the bike seat and just use the handlebars for steering. My wrists still really hurt during and after riding, and I think it may be because the frame of the bike is too big.

    Also the seat is very comfortable, but it feels like it's tilting down a bit, pushing my weight forward to the handlebars. I would love to tilt it back but I don't see any adjustment.

    I am 5 feet tall with a 27" inseam, and i think the bike I bought is a 19" frame. This bike also comes in a 17" and 16" frame. Should I return the bike and get a smaller frame? Is there a similar bike that might work better? Is my hope to ride again a pipedream?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!
    BriteYellowBike

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I've got carpal tunnel and RSI in my hands, I ride a 'sport comfort' bike, whatever that means. Jamis Hudson DLX.

    I've eventually moved the seat post up where I'm sitting pretty much level with the handlebars. Having ergonomic grips at a supporting angle is huge for me. As are padded gloves. I use the ergon 5 grips with big bar ends, and place my hands a few different ways on them for variety.

    You should be able to adjust the seat. Unscrew the single bolt, until there's some play, tilt the saddle up a few notches, tighten back up again.

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Unfortunately people buy "city bikes" for exactly the reasons you state, and unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Road bikes are the way they are not because riders are aping their betters, but because they're the most comfortable thing one can ride. The problem with city bikes is that there's only one hand position and it is a little hard on the wrists. Upright stance is also the worst for your back, counterintuitive I know, but that's how it is.

    Your bike size is probably just fine if something like 4" or more of seatpost is sticking out of the frame. If your saddle is sitting almost down on the frame, your bike is either too big or your saddle is much too low. Hopefully your bike shop set the bike up correctly for you. You're about the lower limit in height for being able to ride a stock frame. I would think that the smallest size would be right for you.

    Look under the saddle. There should be a bolt with an allen head between your saddle rails. If you loosen it you can adjust the tilt of your saddle. Sometimes there are two bolts, one in front and one behind the seatpost. In that case, loosen one and tighten the other. You want the main part of the saddle to be level, say from 3/4 of the way back to the nose.

    How to hold the bars:
    Numb Hands

    You may also need to move your saddle back further. You should be able to lift your hands off the bars while pedaling (or at least unweight them) without feeling like you're falling forward.

    Good gloves help a lot. I use Bontrager gel gloves, any model with the InForm padding.

    Wrist pain relief exercises:
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises
    Do them 3 times a day. They worked for me.

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