Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Drop Bars causing you back pain?

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Drop Bars causing you back pain?

Old 07-01-23, 10:49 PM
  #26  
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 2,533

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Speciale Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 929 Post(s)
Liked 1,289 Times in 486 Posts
Drop bars are just a very small part of the bike fit equation. There are many other things to figure out before you start worrying about the shape of the bars. I'd suggest looking at saddle height, saddle fore-aft position relative to the cranks, stem height, stem length, etc before even thinking about the bars. Also note that drop bars have many more positions than flat, cruiser or (horrors!) mustache bars, which can help you shift to find a comfortable position, which is why bike tourists use them almost exclusively. If you're inexperienced, you might want to seek out a seasoned bike fitting veteran to help you (not a young guy who just finished the bike fitting class).

Last edited by davester; 07-02-23 at 09:32 AM.
davester is offline  
Old 07-02-23, 08:52 PM
  #27  
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,971
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 644 Post(s)
Liked 1,044 Times in 667 Posts
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes
I swapped out the drop bars on my bike for flat bars with bar ends. I am so much more comfortable now. The drop bars were old style which weren't very comfortable at all, and I constantly felt like I was going to fall forward. Plus it caused a bit of pain in my hands. Switching back to flat bars made riding a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.
Yeah, I have made the touring bar setup on my old MTB increasingly clever to the point that I am now rather disenchanted with the vintage levers and drop bars on the other bike.

My back is fine, but the touring bar setup has such a consistent and better geometry where my hands rest on the bars over a long range of the bar sweep. Just no comparison and so much more apt for riding an old MTB on our glorious trail system.

Really no position on the vintage drop bars works anywhere near as well for my hands. In general those positions want me to bear weight in my grip between thumb and forefinger and that just isnít gonna happen.

So, then, what for the drop bar bike? Not planning to do brifters per se, but to my point of view, the one tolerable hand position on drop bars is on modern brifter hoods. Much like the forward position I get on the touring bars. I may just use another set of those touring bars but probably set the bar a bit lower.

Alternatively, I do have a set of those TRP RRL levers and angled in they might be pretty good but Iím thinking with a shorter reach bar than the Nitto 115. So probably I will switch to the touring bars in the short run and then maybe shop for a short reach bar to try with the RRLs.

Otto
ofajen is offline  
Old 07-02-23, 11:27 PM
  #28  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 229 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by rsbob
Congrats on figuring it out. I followed the same road when I relaunched back into cycling with a vengeance about 5 years ago. I had such stabbing pain, I ended up seeing a physical therapist. He prescribed core and shoulder exercises as well as stretches targeting quads and hamstrings. Between core and stretching, I am now pain free and still using my drops, but donít ride down on the lower drops often.
Would a Chiropractor help?
My quads are pulling my spine and pelvis out of position. It wasn't the drop bars. By riding so much. my quads were out of proportion to the rest of my body and by not doing exercises for my hamstrings I am in real pain. I joined a gym Saturday and did hamstring curls, back exercises and situps all weekend.
AJW2W11E is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 10:50 AM
  #29  
Grupetto Bob
 
rsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 6,189

Bikes: Bikey McBike Face

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2571 Post(s)
Liked 5,600 Times in 2,907 Posts
Originally Posted by AJW2W11E
Would a Chiropractor help?
My quads are pulling my spine and pelvis out of position. It wasn't the drop bars. By riding so much. my quads were out of proportion to the rest of my body and by not doing exercises for my hamstrings I am in real pain. I joined a gym Saturday and did hamstring curls, back exercises and situps all weekend.
Unfortunately I seriously doubt that a chiro would help. What you most likely need is to strengthen is your core and shoulders to balance the increased strength of your quads. All your muscle groups should be in equilibrium. A physical therapist, IMO would be the best course of action as well as continued stretching for your legs. Am not a medical professional but have experience in your issues and it took me two years to work my way out of it. Takes patience and perseverance. Good luck
__________________
Road 🚴🏾‍♂️ & Mountain 🚵🏾‍♂️







rsbob is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 04:39 PM
  #30  
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,280
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 608 Post(s)
Liked 382 Times in 288 Posts
Normally I stay in the saddle and grind my way up long grades but currently with severe back strain I have decided that I need to stand in the pedals when going uphill and not lean forward to minimize stress on my back muscles, especially the oblique muscles.

I am doing planks to strengthen my core over time. But for hills riding keeping my head centered over my butt is important
Calsun is offline  
Old 07-03-23, 06:50 PM
  #31  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Illinois
Posts: 344
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 292 Times in 155 Posts
Hip flexors sound like they need stretched.
streetsurfer is offline  
Old 07-04-23, 06:09 PM
  #32  
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,971
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 644 Post(s)
Liked 1,044 Times in 667 Posts
Plans changed. I did have some shorter reach/shorter drop bars on hand, so I tried out the TRP RRL levers and it was much better for my hands.

Still, not having ridden the drop bars for some weeks, I was feeling it toward the end of the ride in terms of the various back and core muscles that need to hold me in place. But definitely a successful attempt.

Interestingly, the bars are a good bit narrower, about 41.5 cm in the drops and more like 39cm in the hoods. And I tilted the hoods in a fair bit which feels great.

Weird that it works ok since my shoulder bone measurement is 50cm. Took a little while to feel at home with less leverage but it was very comfortable in the drops, hoods and ok on the ramps.

Bar tops not so good today, these are old rando bars I guess and they seem to want forearms angling in and down, which I am not used to. Not sure what the comfy position is there.

Anyway that is an encouraging step.

Otto
ofajen is offline  
Old 07-07-23, 09:04 AM
  #33  
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,696

Bikes: 82 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1946 Post(s)
Liked 2,004 Times in 1,105 Posts
Strengthen your core (many exercises work.) even when your back doesn't hurt.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Old 07-13-23, 04:36 PM
  #34  
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,280
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 608 Post(s)
Liked 382 Times in 288 Posts
In the past when I had "racing" bikes with frame geometry best suited for criterium racers I was bunched up and this affected my hill climbing ability. Going to a larger frame with more length at the top tube allowed me to make better use of my torso and to open up my chest to breathe more efficiently. In the old days riders would often be on the smallest possible size frame and try to compensate with longer seat posts or stems but this did not fix the problems caused by these frames. In some ways it is better now with small, medium, and large frames where people are less likely to be on a frame that is too small for their body.

I often will stand in the pedals on hills just to straighen out my neck and this also helps my lower back as a side benefit.
Calsun is offline  

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.