After several flirtations with the hobby (eg: looking at my expensive bike sitting in the garage and reading bikeforums, while riding about once a month), I am going to finally dedicate to cycling regularly. I "started" Saturday, and had a good ride of 50 miles. I felt significant enough pain on Sunday to keep me from riding, and today I did only 20 miles and am in the same kind of pain that I was on Saturday.
I do not ride hard. I am interested in the leisure and adventure aspects of cycling rather than the sport of it. Eventually I'd like to become a regular century rider and maybe do some bicycle camping or touring.
I try to spin in a low gear, high cadence, but I am not exactly good at it yet.
I need help determining what is a fit issue, and what is just due to me being new to cycling and doing long rides. Basically, what pain will still be there when I get more used to riding?
The pains are, in order of most painful to least painful:
1.) Pain of the butt on the saddle. Only really a problem when I am riding, not much residual pain afterwards. Really hurts when I get out of the saddle to stretch.
2.) Lower back pain on the left side. During and after riding. Feels like I am sitting in a broken computer chair that we used to have. Not searing pain like #1, but very uncomfortable.
3.) Knee pain. Slightly above the knee. I am a marathon runner so I know all about ITBS, Chondromalacia, Patello-Femoral, etc. This feels more like it's acute muscle pain. Worse the day after I ride.
4.) Numb left foot. (Area where I am clipped in).
Here's my bike:
I use Shimano SPD clipless pedals with the float all the way loose and the cleats in the middle of the well. The saddle height is such that I can stand on my tip toes, although my knee is at about a 30 degree angle when the peddle is fully downstroked. It seems that the higher I raise my saddle, the more my knees hurt.
I use padded shorts. The saddle is very cushy (I don't really like this...it's just the saddle that came on the bike).
My handlebars are like these: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=9756 And I am thinking about getting them replaced. I think that the significant shortening of the cockpit caused by the closer primary hand position is a significant cause of my back pain. I am open to handlebar suggestions, and am looking at On-One Mary bars.
I think this bike just might be a size too small for me, but I would really like to avoid buying a new bike until I can prove to myself that I won't blow off cycling again.
I'm 6'2", 235ish lbs. But I have short legs. And the frame on this bike is 18.5"
What are some (hopefully free or cheap) things I can do to alleviate these issues? I signed up for a 62/100 mile ride in two weeks, and I feel like I can do the 100 if I can get the fit sorted out.
Thanks for the help bikeforums =)