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  1. #1
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Pain in arms on road bike, question?

    Hello all again,

    As you might know I started riding my trek 2100 and I have a question in regards to pain in my lower arms, hands. Due to my leg size I have to saddle quite high and the handle bars are at the raised posistion (I believe it is + 12 deg). I do not mind the leaned over posistion but I am having pain in my hands and arms after riding a short distance. It is aliviated by switching posistions but it comes back in the hoods and partially in the drops. Is this normal or should I be changing something. I could lower the saddle slightly but that is going to put more strain on my legs.

    Thank You
    Just your average club rider... :)

  2. #2
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Can you post a picture of your setup? This will help to better understand the relationship between your seat and bar height.

    55/Rad

  3. #3
    An un-oiled squeaky wheel kaisersling's Avatar
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    Are you riding with your arms in the "locked" position. I was doing this without even realizing it and my arm and shoulders were getting sore. I positioned my self better on the bike so that the bulk of my weight is on the ass bone. I then keep my arms bent and gripping the bars loosely with almost no weight put on them. (when i grab them tight i tend to tense up) Worked for me and I have a spine that is shaped like a noodle
    "Gravity is a harsh mistress."

  4. #4
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    The handlebars are about 1 to 2 inches below the seat. It seems like all the pressure ends up on my hands which hurt more than my arms do. I have my elbows bent and that seems not to help. It just seems like do to the seat height that all my weight goes forward... Should I be tiping the saddle a little back to try and shift my weight back?

    Thanks
    Just your average club rider... :)

  5. #5
    World Champion, 1899 Maj.Taylor's Avatar
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    How much do you ride? (Miles? Daily? Longest weekly ride?) How long have you been riding? My seat/bars differential is more than yours, but I've no problem once my arms acquire the necessary fitness. Arms that simply aren't fit enough is often the problem. To strengthen them, try both normal and reverse push-ups, at least 50 of each once or twice a day.
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  6. #6
    An un-oiled squeaky wheel kaisersling's Avatar
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    I think if you tip the seat back , you will have other, more sensitive "issues"
    "Gravity is a harsh mistress."

  7. #7
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    From about 1895 to 1985, the average cyclist rode with his hands higher than his saddle. Only the Pro racers used ultra-low positions. Then, around 1985, the combination of Greg LeMond, and "marketing hype" got "Joe Average" riding with his hands lower than his saddle. And, the "Be Like Lance" thing, and more "marketing hype resulted in today's bikes where it is impossible to get your hands higher than the saddle without buying a new stem.

    Grant Peterson, of Rivendell Bicycles, places "bike fit" as the top priority for a cyclist. As Grant says "Handlebars too low cause 90 percent of the discomfort people suffer"..."Sore neck, sore lower back, sore hand..."

    The "cure" for pain while riding a bike is to study, and follow, Grant's system for fitting a bicycle:

    http://rivbike.com/html/bikes_framesize.html


    Hand pain can be eliminated by getting the weight off your hands. Bringing the stem closer to your body, and getting the bars a tad higher than the saddle will take care of it. A new stem will do both of those things. Buy the cheapest one that will do the job, because you might try out two or three before you find the one that is perfect.

    A higher stem rotates your pelvis toward the upright position. Your weight will be on your "sit bones", and not on your crotch. For the $30 price of a stem, you eliminate hand pain, neck pain, and a numb crotch. Many bikes come with saddles that are perfect for 140 "pros" pound with tiny rears. Heck, those guys don't really sit on their saddles anyway...much of their weight is on their pedals and hands.

    A more upright position shifts your weight onto your sit bones. Your saddle must be wide enough to provide a stable platform for YOUR rear end. My own "deluxe" size rear requires saddles that are six inches across at the widest point (these saddles taper to narrow quickly toward the nose).


    Pro riders might ride on the drops jsut the last ten or fifteen seconds of a race. And these are the guys who are paid "to suffer". No one is going to pay you for the pain you suffer on your bike. Raise your bars.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 10-21-04 at 07:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I am riding about 60 to 70 miles a week on the road bike. I used to ride a MTB and still do 110 a week and I do not have the problem (of course the handlebars are higher). I think it is probably just getting used to riding on the new bike and getting my arm strength up. I suspect that this is the major problem then.

    Thanks again
    Just your average club rider... :)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    \Moving the saddle forward a bit may help. Some people don't like their saddle forward, but I find "saddle forward" a comfortable postion in "stop and go" urban riding.
    Moving the seat forward will effectivly rotate the postion forward, making it more agressive, and putting MORE weight on the hands. If anything he should move the saddle back, though, I would be hesitant to mess with the knee/pedal relationship, becuase if he isn't having any knee pain, I wouldn't want to cause any.

    That said, I think you might want to let your arms get a bit stronger. try riding like this for a little while, and if you have serious, "omg I cant stand it type of pain", then try raising the bars a pinch to get the weight back onto your butt. this might cause other problems, though, like ass pain...

  10. #10
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    Your setup reminds me of my own on the Maillot Jaune. I purposely bought the frame slightly smaller for a more aggressive setup but found I had a hard time getting the bars up high enough for my comfort. What I found earlier in the year, when I was less fit, was that a lower bar height setup put more weight on my hands and was causing numbness and pain. By raising the bars a bit, I was able to ride longer distances more comfortably, which resulted in better fitness in the arms and abdominals, which in turn allowed me to return the bars to their lower, more preferred position.

    I'd suggest either a stem with a higher rise or an adaptor that allows your current stem to be raised an inch or so. This would be a temporary fix at worst, so don't go crazy spending a bunch of money. Throw some extra situps and pushups into your regimen and before long, you'll be riding without pain on your current setup.

    This picture shows the Maillot Jaune when I tried raising the bars but couldn't quite get it to where I really needed it. Nowadays, the stem is down to a normal height.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...chmentid=17647

    Good luck.

    55/Rad

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by my58vw
    I am riding about 60 to 70 miles a week on the road bike. I used to ride a MTB and still do 110 a week and I do not have the problem (of course the handlebars are higher). I think it is probably just getting used to riding on the new bike and getting my arm strength up. I suspect that this is the major problem then.

    Thanks again
    Something is amiss in your fit. It doesn't take much arm strength to sit on a bike. Your weight distibution should be approx 60% to the rear wheel. If you post a picture of you on the bike (I know it's embarassing - just wash out your face), a reasonable solution may be found.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Don't change anything if you have just started riding the road bike!!!!! (Unless you have knee pain)

    When I shifted from MTB to road my hands killed me for a couple weeks. It will take a few rides to get used to the new position. If you are still having trouble, then adjust.

  13. #13
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I am going to give it a few weeks and see it happen.
    Just your average club rider... :)

  14. #14
    World Champion, 1899 Maj.Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan
    Something is amiss in your fit. It doesn't take much arm strength to sit on a bike.
    As has been stated, leave all alone--at least for now. There may well be absolutely nothing wrong with your fit. In fact, if you are fitted properly to a road bike, your arms will be bearing approximately one-third of your body's weight. How many times have your arms been loaded with at least 50 lbs for even one-half hour without a break? That's what I thought--and that's probably why your arms hurt. "Use it, or lose it."
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