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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-31-07, 03:38 PM   #1
mander
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Back Pain and Climbing

I wanted to start a thread about back pain, but not the kind of pain you get from b123's down lower than the top of your wheels. I ride a conversion with a 2" saddle to handlebar drop, 69 inch gear and i like to climb big hills. Of course I have to stand and pull on the bars. But this just kills my lower back! Has anyone else experienced fixed-gear-climbing-related pain? Do you know of anything I can do about it besides taking it easy for a while, then building up strength slowly?
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Old 01-31-07, 03:45 PM   #2
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I would recommend taking it easy, and building up strength slowly.

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Old 01-31-07, 03:53 PM   #3
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tweaking how you are pedaling/pulling can help with the pain too.
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Old 01-31-07, 04:16 PM   #4
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How well does your frame/bar setup fit you?
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Old 01-31-07, 04:56 PM   #5
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Maybe some lower bars so you aren't pulling on them in such an "upright" position.
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Old 01-31-07, 05:35 PM   #6
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I switched from 48:16 to 48:18. It was just enough to stop the pain, yet still allows me to spin down hills easily.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:13 PM   #7
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I get it whenever I stop riding for a few weeks and start back up suddenly. In my experience, it goes away the more I ride, but I'm young and invincible so that may not work for everyone. Switching to a bigger rear cog helps to, if only because you're not getting out of the saddle as often.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:41 PM   #8
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I can get that sometimes on long hilly Audax rides, to ease it I alternate in and out of the saddle riding.

On a long steep climb where staying in the saddle isn't an option I alter my position pedalling by bringing my hips forward or arching my back up more just to try and stretchor use slightly different muscle groups.

Of course steadily building up training for hills is the best option
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Old 01-31-07, 06:49 PM   #9
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Too many fit variables at play to give much of an answer, but if you are relatively new to riding I would suggest taking it slow at first on the hills.

My other major piece of advice is to relax. If your hands are griping the bars while climbing, you are too tense. Tensing up your core muscles can waste a lot of energy and stress your back, I find. Keep your hands lightly on the bars, concentrate on your breathing and try to stay loose. You don't have to sprint up them all.
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Old 01-31-07, 10:41 PM   #10
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+1 on strong abs. Lot of back pain stems from really weak abdominals coupled w/ overly tight hamstrings/glutes. Stretch your posterier chain (calves, hams, glutes, lower back), and strengthen abdominals, preferably w/ weight training (weighted situps, etc).
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Old 02-01-07, 12:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwhalin
+1 on strong abs. Lot of back pain stems from really weak abdominals coupled w/ overly tight hamstrings/glutes. Stretch your posterier chain (calves, hams, glutes, lower back), and strengthen abdominals, preferably w/ weight training (weighted situps, etc).
i like this advice because

it seemed to work for me

post a picture of your abs

so we can give responses
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Old 02-01-07, 01:10 AM   #12
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Thanks for the advice everyone. It was kind of an ass kicker to figure out that I have this problem because I have been very carefully building up my knees.
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