Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-03-09, 11:33 AM   #1
driftwork
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
MTB riser bars an answer to wrist and back pain?

Hello folks,

I've put another 75 km's on my XC mountain bike this past long weekend and I'm still experiencing back pain and wrist pain.

All of the riding I do is up moderately steep to wicked steep paved roads through the low mountains around the city I live.

Heres my bike:

http://www2.merida-bikes.com/en_INT/...-3000-V-13.pdf

My bike has basically straight XC racing bars.

I've had the bike for a year now and I've always had some wrist pain and back pain while riding it through the mountains.

I've put ergonomic grips on my handlebars which seem to help a bit.

PLEASE folks. I really need to know. Should I consider putting some riser bars on my bike.

What are riser bars designed to do exactly?

A more open and upright riding position?

What are the drawbacks of using riser bars on an XC bike on steep paved inclines?

I've posted several times on this topic and people just suggest that I suck-it-up and do more riding.

I've put hundreds and hundreds of klicks on my bike to test it out but I'm still in pain.

Is there anyone who has more constructive answers?

Please understand that advice on mountain biking here in Taiwan (where I live) is fairly limited because most shops are in the business of selling bikes .......not supporting riders.

If I lived in Boulder, or Vancouver or Calgary or Vermont or Eugene, I might just wander into my local mountain bike shop for advice. As I live in Taiwan, that kind of advice is simply not around.

Have a heart eh.

Would really appreciate it.


Thanks in advance.
driftwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-09, 11:41 AM   #2
NormanF
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 5,370
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have an Albatross bar from Rivendell installed on nearly all my bikes. A swept back bar should put you in a more upright position and alleviate back and wrist pain. When you reach a certain age and your back stops being as flexible, then its time to trade in an aggressive position for a comfort one. Nothing wrong with it if you're not planning on racing.
NormanF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-09, 06:31 AM   #3
JonathanGennick 
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Bikes: Gary Fisher Hodgepodge 26er Rigid
Posts: 2,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you are having wrist-pain, then by all means experiment with some different bars and stems. Sometimes just a small difference pays off big-time in comfort. I'll share two stories:

In 2008 I bought a Gary Fisher HiFi 29er. That bike came with pretty much a flat bar. My wrists would hurt after only a mile or two of road-riding, which is not good when you're headed to a trailhead seven miles out. I also felt a bit too stretched out on the bike. I went to a shorter stem and threw on a riser bar. Now I can ride 20+ miles in comfort. It took me a few tries to get just the right bar & stem combination, but the result is worth it.

Same story with a mountain-style commuter bike I bought in 2007. Took me several tries to dial in the fit, but eventually I got it nailed. For some reason on that bike I am very sensitive to small differences. I tried two riser bars. One was comfortable; one was not. The difference in rise is maybe 1/4 inch.

It helps to get yourself in the frame of mind of being willing to spend some money and experiment. In both cases above, it took me several tries before I got to a comfortable setup. I eliminated much angst by just convincing myself that it was ok to buy a few different bars and stems.

Good luck. There's probably a solution somewhere to your fit problems. Don't settle for wrist-pain.
JonathanGennick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-09, 12:41 PM   #4
ed 
.
 
ed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The Summit of Lee
Bikes: Hecklah
Posts: 10,932
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwork View Post
MTB riser bars and answer to wrist and back pain?
Yes. More of a trade-off really. You will lose the wrist and back pain, but gain other torso pain and bruises from the "Gnar" that you will be shredding because if increased confidence and all around attitude from pimpin' proper MTB bars.
ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-09, 07:46 AM   #5
driftwork
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the responses folks. I think I'm going to try some XC riser bars this weekend.
driftwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-09, 08:25 PM   #6
tilumisteel
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Are you sure you have the correct frame size? I have a friend that had similar issues on Fisher Xlarge frame. When he switched to a frame with a shorter top tube problem solved. Had nothing to do with bars and stem in his case. If the top tube is too long, you will be forced to lean forward more, and put more weight on your hands.
Just a thought.
tilumisteel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-09, 06:00 PM   #7
Pocko
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Under the Downunder
Bikes: MTBs, BMX, Pocket MTB
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are different amounts of "rise" and various degrees of "sweep," and various "widths." See if you can ask your LBS to try several before making a choice. I have used a variety of handle bars over the years and they do make a difference, but what's right for me may not necessarily be right for you. Wrong bars can give you, neck pain, lower back pain, wrist or thumb joint pain and elbow pain. Buying too many handlebars will also give you wallet pain!

.
Pocko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-09, 06:03 PM   #8
ed 
.
 
ed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The Summit of Lee
Bikes: Hecklah
Posts: 10,932
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilumisteel View Post
Are you sure you have the correct frame size? I have a friend that had similar issues on Fisher Xlarge frame. When he switched to a frame with a shorter top tube problem solved. Had nothing to do with bars and stem in his case. If the top tube is too long, you will be forced to lean forward more, and put more weight on your hands.
Just a thought.
Can it, sister...riserbars are the beezneez!

He can get a shorty stem to go with it if he's too far forward...then he'd be "da pimp".
ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-09, 07:07 AM   #9
alcanoe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=NormanF;8117281 When you reach a certain age and your back stops being as flexible, then its time to trade in an aggressive position for a comfort one. [/QUOTE]

Not true. I'm 69 and I'm more flexible than in my 20's. What's all to often attributed to age is due to lack of adequate and proper physical activity. It's a lack of use thing. I have several cycling friends about the same age and they have zero problems as well.

Cycling, especially road cycling leads to an imbalance in muscle development and muscle strength which can cause problems. Also, flat bars or even riser bars do not allow the multiple hand positions and wrist/back angles of drop-bars used on a road bike. I never ride my mountain bike on the road and much prefer my road bike. The mountain bike is like torture in comparison.

A good weight training program may help. Weight training strengthens the joints, increases endurance and flexibility and can correct the imbalances caused by cycling. It can also increase power depending on the exercises chosen.

I just got a new book on the subject: Weight Training for Cyclists, second edition, by Doyl & Schmitz. It covers it all.

Push-ups are highly recommended for back, shoulder and arm issues for cyclists. I've been doing them for decades.

Riser bars might help some depending on how it changes your riding position. I use 1" risers as does the wife, but I cut them both to the width of flat bars as we didn't like the hands spread further apart. They come in different wrist angles as well as bend heights.

I use them only because my steering tube was a little too short, so they allowed me to get that extra inch. For the wife, it was more of "the look thing".

I set my bikes up for about a 50 degree back angle form the horizontal. If you go too vertical, you lose pedalling power which is important for an old guy like me in hill climbing. I'm comfortable for something like 3 to 4 hour (actual pedalling time) off-road and I'm good for 60 to 70 miles on the road bike.

Getting out of the saddle on climbs helps a lot to get rid of stiffness, especially on roads where you don't use any body-English.

I suspect anyone would experience pain riding a mountain bike 75 km/46 miles on roads. I know I would.


Al
alcanoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-09, 09:55 PM   #10
MuddyPaws
Lovin the dirt!
 
MuddyPaws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Bikes:
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Check out the TiTec Bar
MuddyPaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-09, 10:16 PM   #11
AaronAnderson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 535
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
handlebar conundrum
AaronAnderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-09, 05:14 AM   #12
vyper005
Jr member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Delaware
Bikes: 07' Trek 6700 Disk
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's my thread over at MTBR...

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=337595
vyper005 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-09, 05:49 AM   #13
Esteban32696
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have had neck surgery & have lower back problems, & tried to ride the same style bike. I swapped out the stem for an adjustable [ don't laugh ] one & used it in several positions til I got the right one. I can ride now w/o pain for a much longer distance.
Esteban32696 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-09, 05:49 AM   #14
driftwork
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks again for all the great advice.

I'm probably going to pick up a set riser bars.

Perhaps these ones:

http://www.dabombbike.com/pro_tribal_d6.html

I've actually seen a pretty snazzy adjustable hinged-stem.

That will be my last resort.

It makes sense that a lot of bike-related-back-pain might be because of a lack of core-strength.

I am in the gym lifting weights at least three days a week but perhaps, not enough core work.

I think my top-tube length is ok.

I'm 170CM tall (5,7ft) and I ride a 16inch frame. I find it very responsive and nimble when riding.

I spent about 3 months shopping for bikes here in Taiwan and being reassured a bunch of times by shop owners that a 16 inch would be the way to go and that its always better to get a frame that is slightly too small than too large. The logic being that you can always adjust a slightly small frame a bunch of different ways but a too large frame cannot be adjusted for mountain bike comfort.

Cheers
driftwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-09, 05:36 PM   #15
Esteban32696
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Some are the adjustable stems are not well made, but others are. Mine is solid . You could try one in different positions til you found the right angle, & buy that size stem
Esteban32696 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 09:56 AM   #16
driftwork
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Which one is yours?
driftwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 04:38 PM   #17
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
Posts: 13,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwork View Post
It makes sense that a lot of bike-related-back-pain might be because of a lack of core-strength.
Given the same strength, a bike that's the wrong size -- specifically with the wrong bar-to-saddle reach -- WILL make me hurt. I can ride for hours on one bike and feel fine; on a different size, I have to turn home after fifteen minutes because my back is killing me.

Bars are one thing. Trying a different stem length may help, too.

And, as far as wrist pain goes, I'm pretty sold on Ergon grips (there's a recent thread somewhere around here about them).
BarracksSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 06:02 PM   #18
Esteban32696
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwork View Post
Which one is yours?

From this page, 5th one down on the right. I am very satisfied with it for my riding which is mostly roads & light trails.

http://www.bikepartsusa.com/cgi-bin/...Fstems&start=0
Esteban32696 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 06:23 PM   #19
dminor 
Moar cowbell
 
dminor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: The 509
Bikes: are awesome.
Posts: 12,427
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
I would recommend against traditional 'hybrid' bike adjustable stems on a mountain bike. If you really want to play with bar positions and get a variety of heights/reaches with a stem that stands a chance of being secure, you might try the Syntace VRO. You can run flat or a riser bar with it and tweak it to your heart's content:



http://www.syntace.com/index.cfm?pid=3&pk=389#
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Twain
"Don't argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."
dminor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 06:58 PM   #20
Pocko
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Under the Downunder
Bikes: MTBs, BMX, Pocket MTB
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^ Oh niiiice!!!!
Pocko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-09, 08:43 PM   #21
driftwork
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thats very cool.
driftwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-09, 09:44 AM   #22
driftwork
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just wanted to say that I've switched from XC straight bars to XC riser bars giving myself a couple additional inches of length as well.

My wrists have never been more comfortable.

I do loose a little bit of tire 'grip' on really steep grades but the wider grip has given me more chest expansion room and the more upright riding style has made things easier on my wrists and back.

Thanks to all the folks who recommended riser bars.

They are really the way to go for me.


Cheers
driftwork is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:55 PM.