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  1. #1
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    Ok..still have fit issues...I think...

    Ok...as you all know I had my Serotta fitting and am far more comfortable than I was previously. The problem is, is still have numb hands and alot of stiffness and pain in my upper back right below my neck.

    I have gone over 600 miles so far since mid March both on the road and on the trainer. The other weekend I did my first 50 miler and this weekend I did 20 on Sat and 50 on Sun. I thought that the upper back pain migh be lack of time on the bike but I'm kind of ruling that out now. The numb hands I am at a loss for.

    Where do I go from here? Is it time to look for another bike? The fit tech said there wasn't much more to do than what has already been done.

    Some basics:

    54" Felt F80
    60mm stem installe dby the Serotta tech
    5'8" 174 lbs 31-32" inseam.

    If in fact I need to look for another bike, what do you guys suggest? Should I go with a compact geometry? I'd like to stay with a minimum of 105 componentry.

    I really dont think riding should be this uncomfortable.

  2. #2
    . botto's Avatar
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    from the upper back and neck pain it sounds like you're all tensed up while you're riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    from the upper back and neck pain it sounds like you're all tensed up while you're riding.

    Well not really...I relax as best I can. If I am tense might that be a result of poor fit? Shouldnt being relaxed be a by-product of proper fit? I wouldnt think you'd have to try to relax.

  4. #4
    . botto's Avatar
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    over the years I've seen PLENTY of newbie cyclists who are tensed up when they ride. usually all you have to do is look and see if their elbows are locked up. if they are, they're not relaxed.

    when i'm in good form, it doesn't matter if i'm going 15 MPH or 30 MPH, my arms are loose and relaxed, and so is my upper body.

    that said, i'm not sure if that's a fit issue, or core-strength issue, or both

  5. #5
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller2
    Well not really...I relax as best I can. If I am tense might that be a result of poor fit? Shouldnt being relaxed be a by-product of proper fit? I wouldnt think you'd have to try to relax.
    Having the proper fit would help you to get relaxed but it wont MAKE you relaxed...if you have a death grip on the bars and still decide to lock out your arms you will get the pain you say you are experiencing.

    How high are your bars? What was changed in your fitting and did the fitter say that you COULD do other things but you didn't have to? When I got my fitting the fitter liked most things about how I was setup when I went in. We did move my bars just a little and my saddle position...he did add that IF I was getting hand pain I could raise my bars a bit more but if I felt good it was fine. I since have ridden some bikes with higher bars and it really does take the pressure off. If you have too much drop for your fitness level (specifically core strength) you will get the back and neck pain and the weight on your hands will get you the numbness. You’re basically not supported properly and are putting too much on your arms.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Having the proper fit would help you to get relaxed but it wont MAKE you relaxed...if you have a death grip on the bars and still decide to lock out your arms you will get the pain you say you are experiencing.

    How high are your bars? What was changed in your fitting and did the fitter say that you COULD do other things but you didn't have to? When I got my fitting the fitter liked most things about how I was setup when I went in. We did move my bars just a little and my saddle position...he did add that IF I was getting hand pain I could raise my bars a bit more but if I felt good it was fine. I since have ridden some bikes with higher bars and it really does take the pressure off. If you have too much drop for your fitness level (specifically core strength) you will get the back and neck pain and the weight on your hands will get you the numbness. You’re basically not supported properly and are putting too much on your arms.

    Nope...I am relaxed. Elbows flexed and shoulders relaxed. If I do catch myself tensing I immediately relax. When climbing I dont even grip the bars, I just drape my hands over them

    The only thing the fitter said was I could handle some more drop. As it stands now there is little drop. My core is strong.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I don't see how more drop would help, it will just require more upper-body muscle to support your weight. Can your wiggle all your fingers while riding?

    ALthough it's possible to have tense shoulders and neck even though the arms are relaxed with bent elbows and loose grip. We had this one girl on the team that was doing a turtle-impersonation. Her shoulders were bunched up by her ears so that the neck wasn't visible at all. No wonder she had shoulder pains.

    Maybe some stretching exercises? Yoga?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    I don't see how more drop would help, it will just require more upper-body muscle to support your weight. Can your wiggle all your fingers while riding?

    ALthough it's possible to have tense shoulders and neck even though the arms are relaxed with bent elbows and loose grip. We had this one girl on the team that was doing a turtle-impersonation. Her shoulders were bunched up by her ears so that the neck wasn't visible at all. No wonder she had shoulder pains.

    Maybe some stretching exercises? Yoga?

    Yea I can wiggle all my fingers. I have to keep them moving as they numb up despite the position they are in.

    I do stretch although I am by no means what one would call wildly flexible!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member gluckster2's Avatar
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    I am by no means an expert, but these two things helped me tremendously when I was going through the same thing earlier in the season.

    1: Through some research and some luck (okay... more luck) I discovered that my stem was too long. I was over extending my elbows and too much weight was being put on my hands because I was leaning to far forward. Yeah. Numbness City. I went from a 130 stem to 100, which put me much more upright. To counter the "aerodynamic problem" that could come along with that, I... (gasp) flipped the stem. This particular stem was a +/- 6 degrees, so it wasn't a drastic drop, but enough to get me a bit more sleek.

    2: I know you may laugh when reading this, and are probably thinking "what a joke... these look like some kind of scam to get newbies to buy more crap...", but I promise you man, these are the best things ever invented:

    http://www.bontrager.com/Road/Parts_...ries/22929.php

    AS SOON as I put those on, the numbness disappeared. I mean gone. Gone and Gone. They're like 15 bucks, and look so insignificant, but seriously, these are the best things I have ever bought for my bike. I couldn't believe the difference. It sucked so much vibration out of my handle bars, it felt like I switched from a Jeep Wrangler to a Cadalac Escalade. I went from 15 miles and numbness to 50 plus miles and a big 'ol smile. I can't even tell you how great these little things are.

    Well, good luck to ya. I hope it all works out.
    You'd better sit down before you fall down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gluckster2
    I am by no means an expert, but these two things helped me tremendously when I was going through the same thing earlier in the season.

    1: Through some research and some luck (okay... more luck) I discovered that my stem was too long. I was over extending my elbows and too much weight was being put on my hands because I was leaning to far forward. Yeah. Numbness City. I went from a 130 stem to 100, which put me much more upright. To counter the "aerodynamic problem" that could come along with that, I... (gasp) flipped the stem. This particular stem was a +/- 6 degrees, so it wasn't a drastic drop, but enough to get me a bit more sleek.

    2: I know you may laugh when reading this, and are probably thinking "what a joke... these look like some kind of scam to get newbies to buy more crap...", but I promise you man, these are the best things ever invented:

    http://www.bontrager.com/Road/Parts_...ries/22929.php

    AS SOON as I put those on, the numbness disappeared. I mean gone. Gone and Gone. They're like 15 bucks, and look so insignificant, but seriously, these are the best things I have ever bought for my bike. I couldn't believe the difference. It sucked so much vibration out of my handle bars, it felt like I switched from a Jeep Wrangler to a Cadalac Escalade. I went from 15 miles and numbness to 50 plus miles and a big 'ol smile. I can't even tell you how great these little things are.

    Well, good luck to ya. I hope it all works out.
    Interesting.......anyone else tried these things? I'm now hesitant to put more money into what may be a losing proposition.

  11. #11
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gluckster2
    1: Through some research and some luck (okay... more luck) I discovered that my stem was too long. I was over extending my elbows and too much weight was being put on my hands because I was leaning to far forward. Yeah. Numbness City. I went from a 130 stem to 100, which put me much more upright. To counter the "aerodynamic problem" that could come along with that, I... (gasp) flipped the stem. This particular stem was a +/- 6 degrees, so it wasn't a drastic drop, but enough to get me a bit more sleek.
    unfortunately the OP can't get his 6 cm stem any shorter, unless he wants to flip his bars around.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gluckster2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto
    unfortunately the OP can't get his 6 cm stem any shorter, unless he wants to flip his bars around.
    HA! ooops... my bad. Sorry about that.

    In the old days, they used to flip the fork so they could get closer to the pace car.

    Maybe that's what he needs... a little old school action! HA!
    You'd better sit down before you fall down.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rufvelo's Avatar
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    What's your athletic background? 600 miles is OK, but often just not enough.

    I've been riding 30 yrs but after a winter of very little bike time, it still takes me 1000-2500 miles to get up to speed. Sure we may have different performance goals, but you get the point. 600 miles won't condition your body to endure 50 mile rides with no discomfort at all, even executed at moderate speeds.

    Giving the Serotta guy the benefit of the doubt, I'd say the fitting was probably good, all they could do for you at this point. I'm curious about the 60cm stem, I think it may be too small or bike too big, since for a well sized bike, a 100cm is the usual length. Are your arms/upper body shorter compared with lower?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufvelo
    What's your athletic background? 600 miles is OK, but often just not enough.

    I've been riding 30 yrs but after a winter of very little bike time, it still takes me 1000-2500 miles to get up to speed. Sure we may have different performance goals, but you get the point. 600 miles won't condition your body to endure 50 mile rides with no discomfort at all, even executed at moderate speeds.

    Giving the Serotta guy the benefit of the doubt, I'd say the fitting was probably good, all they could do for you at this point. I'm curious about the 60cm stem, I think it may be too small or bike too big, since for a well sized bike, a 100cm is the usual length. Are your arms/upper body shorter compared with lower?

    Athletic background:

    Runner for 25 yrs. Switched to mtn biking about 4-5 yrs ago when my hip went bad. Hip replaced in Jan of this yr. Only started road biking 8 weeks after the surgery. Have been lifting weights in various forms since I was 16 or so. Right now use a Bowflex/Soloflex for strength training.

    I have no doubt the fitting was accurate. The 60mm stem was the shortest he could get based off the fit on the Serotta fit bike. He didnt say the Felt frame was to large or to small. He just said if the fit didnt work the only other option was to try a different bike/frame.

    I would say my body is proportionate.

  15. #15
    Bananaed Brillig's Avatar
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    The numb hands are especially odd of you are as relaxed as you say. Where is the numbness? Does it feel like it's from pressure.

    Numb hands are either from too much weight on them (either bad fit or tense arms) or (extremely rarely) pinched nerves or blood vessels from your position. If you're DEFINITELY ruling out the bad fit and tense arms...
    If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
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  16. #16
    a blend of wit and charm Moochers_Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller2
    Interesting.......anyone else tried these things? I'm now hesitant to put more money into what may be a losing proposition.
    I had them and I loved them. They helped my same problem with neck pain. I also switched to 28mm tires and that's helped.

    BEWARE that the BuzzzKills tend to buzzz right out of your bar ends and someone on BF suggested pushing them into the bars and then replacing your bar end caps over them. One of mine fell out and that's why I don't use them anymore. I think I'll put one in and see if I can feel a difference between each side. I had the brass ones. It's sort of odd that Bontrager's site doesn't really even try to sell you on why the brass ones are (presumably) better and why they are $10 more than the aluminum.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brillig
    The numb hands are especially odd of you are as relaxed as you say. Where is the numbness? Does it feel like it's from pressure.

    Numb hands are either from too much weight on them (either bad fit or tense arms) or (extremely rarely) pinched nerves or blood vessels from your position. If you're DEFINITELY ruling out the bad fit and tense arms...
    I'm not ruling out anything at this point!! I'm guessing it is from pressure. What else could it be? All I can tell you is my arms are relaxed and elbows bent.....

  18. #18
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Do you wear gloves? If not try some...specifically some of the ones that have padding specific to relief of the nerves in your hands. I know Specialized and Pearl Izumi both have a Gel glove marketed this way...if you are using gloves...are they of this style?

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqP...jsp?spid=15805

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=1140#
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Do you wear gloves? If not try some...specifically some of the ones that have padding specific to relief of the nerves in your hands. I know Specialized and Pearl Izumi both have a Gel glove marketed this way...if you are using gloves...are they of this style?

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqP...jsp?spid=15805

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=1140#

    Yep..I have the Pearl Izumi Gel Vent and a pair of Scott Gel gloves I got Friday. Doesnt matter...numbness remains.

  20. #20
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Hmm...have you tried a recumbent? There is some guy in that post about quitting road bikes forever saying they are way more comfortable.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Hmm...have you tried a recumbent? There is some guy in that post about quitting road bikes forever saying they are way more comfortable.

    HAHA....ummmm..not going the recumbent route....

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    As much I appreciate the replys, and I do, let's move beyond the obvious things such as core strength, gloves, and relaxed upper body. I'm a pretty fit guy so I think the problem lies beyond my general fitness.

    Coould it be a simple fact that I do not fit the frame properly? What are my options for different frames that might address the issue?

  23. #23
    Senior Member reef58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller2
    As much I appreciate the replys, and I do, let's move beyond the obvious things such as core strength, gloves, and relaxed upper body. I'm a pretty fit guy so I think the problem lies beyond my general fitness.

    Coould it be a simple fact that I do not fit the frame properly? What are my options for different frames that might address the issue?
    You probably have your seat more forward than you are used to. The Serotta fitter likely aligned you knee over the pedal spindle. If this required the seat being moved forward then you now have more weight on your hands. Try this, go for a short ride at 10mph maybe 5 miles or so. See how you hands feel. Then go for a 5 mile ride as fast as you can. I am willing to bet the slow ride will cause more pain in the hands and shoulders.

    Good luck,
    Richard

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by reef58
    You probably have your seat more forward than you are used to. The Serotta fitter likely aligned you knee over the pedal spindle. If this required the seat being moved forward then you now have more weight on your hands. Try this, go for a short ride at 10mph maybe 5 miles or so. See how you hands feel. Then go for a 5 mile ride as fast as you can. I am willing to bet the slow ride will cause more pain in the hands and shoulders.
    Good luck,
    Richard

    Why would the speed I ride make a difference? FYI...the Serotta fitter moved my saddle back.

  25. #25
    Senior Member reef58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller2
    Why would the speed I ride make a difference? FYI...the Serotta fitter moved my saddle back.
    Because as you pedal harder the weight on your hands lessens. It is for this reason I hate recovery rides. They are painful in relative terms. Since the saddle has been moved back is the pain in your hands better or worse?

    Richard

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