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Does my body hurt due to fit, or other?

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Does my body hurt due to fit, or other?

Old 05-12-16, 12:55 PM
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presh223
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Does my body hurt due to fit, or other?

Hi All,

After sustaining a multitude of knee injuries from daily running (5 miles). I have decided to start cycling for exercise. I am 6'0 tall with a 34.25 Leg inseam, and 76.5 reach. Something of note: I have a visibly short torso. I purchased a 58cm Fuji ACR 2.0 Roubix. I find that I am really stretching out to reach the handlebars. My current stem is 110MM, and I just changed it to a 100MM with a 7' Rise. Not sure it made a big difference. I was talking to a rider on the trail the other day and he is 6'3" on the same size bike. Should I move down to a 56cm? My seat position is at it's maximum fore position. I ordered a 90MM stem and am hoping this will help. Although I have long legs and arms, my torso is relatively short, and so I suppose this is relevant to my reach.

<b>OTHER</b>
I don't appear to have very much bend in my elbows at all. I gravitate towards my handlebar tops frequently due to discomfort. My neck, lower back and hips ache. I've logged 5 rides in thus far at 133 miles total. My average ride is 30 miles at 16mph. I'm a fit person whom has ran, lifted, and done MMA for a long time, so I could ride longer even, but my butt hurts too much after 2.5hrs.

Anyway, overall I just want to ensure that I am not cultivating over-use injuries by being on the wrong size bike due to my shorter torso. When a fellow rider at 6'3" is riding the same bike, I grow suspect.
Any 6'0 riders on 56CM?

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Cycling_5.jpg (94.6 KB, 82 views)
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Cycling_3.jpg (98.2 KB, 84 views)
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Old 05-12-16, 02:10 PM
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That seems to be newish-looking bike and the pic I see on the web shows a slack head tube angle which should help contribute to a better fit... if, you can get the top of your bars up. Going to a 60mm stem might help but the shorter the stem the less benefit you get our to of the stem's rise. If so, you might consider choosing one of the many stem raisers for ahead stems that are available, to go with the 90mm stem that you have on order. The bike does not appear to have a tall head as do the comfort/endurance bikes so it probably makes more upright seating harder to accomplish but I think you probably do have the correct frame size. If you have setback seatpost, going to a straight post might help to dial in the seat position without running into the stops.

See, e.g.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfasH6kTTLg

Last edited by McBTC; 05-12-16 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 05-12-16, 02:41 PM
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I've never heard of stem raisers before, thank you for that video. Could my general discomfort be more related to high mileage for a novice rider? Perhaps my body is adapting to cycling in general. I just see others on the trail and most look much more comfortable than me. I don't think I've ever touched the lower bars once while riding, it's an impossible position, and yet I see people riding on them for miles comfortably. So obviously I need some correction. I'm apprehensive to go any shorted on the stem than 90mm as I've read lots of stories regarding handling difficulties. I'm still very much entertaining that I need a 56CM bike vs. the 58. My previous bike I had years ago was a 58CM Cannondale Synapse, but I think it was a different style bike because the handlebars felt much more comfortable on that bike; I think it's more of an endurance bike.
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Old 05-12-16, 02:53 PM
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You've ridden barely 100 miles.

I'd ride a bit more before making any drastic changes. Perhaps try to bend the elbows a bit more when riding. Support the weight with your torso and not the elbows.

Ok, so I tend to ride with straight elbows a bit, but it is probably safer for the elbows to have a bit of a bend in an accident situation.

You may find that the bike is much more comfortable after 1000 miles.

Often it takes a bit to get used to a new seat. But, if the seat continues to be uncomfortable after a few weeks and a few hundred miles, then look at different seats. There may be a bit of voodoo to finding the right one. But, when I was younger, I could adapt to just about any seat.
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Old 05-12-16, 03:32 PM
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Thank you for your input. I'm having a ton of fun riding, so I'll be logging plenty of miles. I'm getting used to the seat. Cycling shorts (with padding) is a godsend.
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Old 05-12-16, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by presh223 View Post
I've never heard of stem raisers before, thank you for that video. Could my general discomfort be more related to high mileage for a novice rider? Perhaps my body is adapting to cycling in general. I just see others on the trail and most look much more comfortable than me. I don't think I've ever touched the lower bars once while riding, it's an impossible position, and yet I see people riding on them for miles comfortably. So obviously I need some correction. I'm apprehensive to go any shorted on the stem than 90mm as I've read lots of stories regarding handling difficulties. I'm still very much entertaining that I need a 56CM bike vs. the 58. My previous bike I had years ago was a 58CM Cannondale Synapse, but I think it was a different style bike because the handlebars felt much more comfortable on that bike; I think it's more of an endurance bike.
Looking at the spec the effective top tube length is 10mm shorter but you give up 20mm of head tube length (164 to 144) -- when going from 58 to 56 --and, the frame angles are identical. A comfort/endurance geo in size 58 would have a head tube length more like 175mm so you're only giving up ~1/2" there that you probably need to deal with.


https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...s/acr2_geo.gif
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Old 05-12-16, 07:08 PM
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IMO looking at your pics, the bike size looks ok for you.
You're a new rider, so the position is going to take a while to get used to.
Which to me, means some of your current pains should go away with time and good position of your body.

If I were you, I'd go straight away into wearing padded shorts and clipless shoes/cleats.

Your seat looks too low at the moment. Seat could also be the wrong width for your bones.

You are not engaging your core (this will take a while).

The hoods seem about level with your seat. Perhaps there needs to be a bit of drop here.

I think If you're going to stick with it, you would really benefit now
from getting a thorough bike fit from someone who knows what they are doing.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 05-12-16 at 07:15 PM. Reason: text
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Old 05-12-16, 08:32 PM
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Ibuprofen .. may help.. bike fit seems adequate..
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Old 05-12-16, 09:36 PM
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I think you're going to be fine. You're probably not going to keep or want to keep that straight up of a posture for long. You'll get comfortable bending at the waist and likely already have the core strength and lack of upper body weight (no pot belly) that make it comfortable.
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Old 05-13-16, 05:49 AM
  #10  
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You need some anterior chain strength.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iowm57ngAk

Most bikes come with crap saddles. As the others have suggested, let your butt toughen up first, but this is what I like in a saddle.

https://selleanatomica.com/products/x-series

A little stretching after a ride can help sometimes. Take your shoes off when you get home, put a foot on the kitchen counter, and lean into it a little. Switch sides, each time moving the rear foot back about a half inch.

Here's another one, squat. Just put your hands on the floor and get as low as is comfy. In a regular squat, the range of motion is from standing down to your butt just a couple inches off the floor. If you are tight, move in the middle of that range, teasing the tightness out.
Vary the amount of lean.

And another, sit on a bed, tuck a heel up close to your groin and lean forward. Then slowly swivel side to side. If you have to problem there, there will be a small tight muscle. A small tight hard muscles that is pressing into a nerve bundle full of pain receptors.
There are a number of ways to stretch the piriformis, this one is easy to do. You can also use a tennis ball and roll on it to massage it.
If it's real tight, that can be quite the sensation.

Last edited by late; 05-13-16 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 05-13-16, 06:14 AM
  #11  
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Fit looks ok to me. I agree with the guy above that says maybe move your seat up a bit -- I'd do 1cm. When you swap to cleats (depending on the type, figure another 1-2cm then as well)...I went from a pretty upright position on my Crossrip (the frame was a little large for me -- 54 measured 56 for some reason) -- and when I got on my Roubaix, it was a pretty big difference. Long story short, I didn't try to raise my bars or anything, I just trucked along and got used to it pretty quickly.

I will say that I do enjoy getting out of the saddle when I have the chance -- even train on a stepmill to make my body more efficient at that motion. So on an hour ride, spending even 10 minutes out of the saddle really helps to freshen everything up throughout. When I'm out of the saddle and sit back down, I always feel a bit refreshed.
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Old 05-13-16, 01:21 PM
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I feel your pain.

I just went in to my local bike shop for a fit assessment based on the bike being set up like it is in the photos from my thread. Seat height was dead on, nearly perfect, and no adjustments were made there.

HOWEVER. We ended up lowering the stem to have only 10mm of spacers, lengthenened it from 110mm to 120mm, and rotated the bars forward a bit so my wrist angle had more of a natural extension of my arm. The other thing we did was move the saddle up (fore) about 8mm.

What this has done is put me in a more classic road riding position and has stretched me out a bit. I'm not over extended at all, but I am riding lower, and less weight is being put on my shoulders and upper back. It has also allowed me to open the back up a bit and spread out the shoulder blades and even engage a set of muscles I wasn't using.

Like you, I thought I needed to go shorter shorter shorter on my stem, but in the end I believe that is what caused all of my upper back/neck pain. I'm going to put several hundred miles on this new posture and see if it makes a difference.

Bottom line, go get a fit assessment. It's worth the price, and can probably get you into a better position faster than you can find it here.
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Old 05-13-16, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
IMO looking at your pics, the bike size looks ok for you.
You're a new rider, so the position is going to take a while to get used to.
Which to me, means some of your current pains should go away with time and good position of your body.

If I were you, I'd go straight away into wearing padded shorts and clipless shoes/cleats.



Your seat looks too low at the moment. Seat could also be the wrong width for your bones.

You are not engaging your core (this will take a while).

The hoods seem about level with your seat. Perhaps there needs to be a bit of drop here.

I think If you're going to stick with it, you would really benefit now
from getting a thorough bike fit from someone who knows what they are doing.
Thank you for your insight, this is the seat I have currently. It's extremely low-profile (not robust like the Selle itallia SLR) It's about half the size of their current offering. So this could certainly be changed I suppose.
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Old 05-13-16, 03:25 PM
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With each ride it is getting a little bit more comfortable. My neck was killing me last time I rode, but it didn't hurt at all the following day which is good.
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Old 05-13-16, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by late View Post
You need some anterior chain strength.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iowm57ngAk

Most bikes come with crap saddles. As the others have suggested, let your butt toughen up first, but this is what I like in a saddle.

https://selleanatomica.com/products/x-series

A little stretching after a ride can help sometimes. Take your shoes off when you get home, put a foot on the kitchen counter, and lean into it a little. Switch sides, each time moving the rear foot back about a half inch.

Here's another one, squat. Just put your hands on the floor and get as low as is comfy. In a regular squat, the range of motion is from standing down to your butt just a couple inches off the floor. If you are tight, move in the middle of that range, teasing the tightness out.
Vary the amount of lean.

And another, sit on a bed, tuck a heel up close to your groin and lean forward. Then slowly swivel side to side. If you have to problem there, there will be a small tight muscle. A small tight hard muscles that is pressing into a nerve bundle full of pain receptors.
There are a number of ways to stretch the piriformis, this one is easy to do. You can also use a tennis ball and roll on it to massage it.
If it's real tight, that can be quite the sensation.
Thank you for your thorough stretching recommendations, some of those seem like they can really help. I do 30 mins of static stretching daily and do MMA, so I can literally kick to the ceiling, I love the kitchen counter stretch, that's my favorite position
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Old 05-13-16, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by deapee View Post
Fit looks ok to me. I agree with the guy above that says maybe move your seat up a bit -- I'd do 1cm. When you swap to cleats (depending on the type, figure another 1-2cm then as well)...I went from a pretty upright position on my Crossrip (the frame was a little large for me -- 54 measured 56 for some reason) -- and when I got on my Roubaix, it was a pretty big difference. Long story short, I didn't try to raise my bars or anything, I just trucked along and got used to it pretty quickly.

I will say that I do enjoy getting out of the saddle when I have the chance -- even train on a stepmill to make my body more efficient at that motion. So on an hour ride, spending even 10 minutes out of the saddle really helps to freshen everything up throughout. When I'm out of the saddle and sit back down, I always feel a bit refreshed.
I was hoping someone would notice the intentional leg-extended illustration, I will take your advice and raise the seat slightly. I sensed that I could raise it, but thought this would exacerbate discomfort, so at the sacrifice of my legs, I was willfully promoting back pain .
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Old 05-13-16, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
I feel your pain.

I just went in to my local bike shop for a fit assessment based on the bike being set up like it is in the photos from my thread. Seat height was dead on, nearly perfect, and no adjustments were made there.

HOWEVER. We ended up lowering the stem to have only 10mm of spacers, lengthenened it from 110mm to 120mm, and rotated the bars forward a bit so my wrist angle had more of a natural extension of my arm. The other thing we did was move the saddle up (fore) about 8mm.

What this has done is put me in a more classic road riding position and has stretched me out a bit. I'm not over extended at all, but I am riding lower, and less weight is being put on my shoulders and upper back. It has also allowed me to open the back up a bit and spread out the shoulder blades and even engage a set of muscles I wasn't using.

Like you, I thought I needed to go shorter shorter shorter on my stem, but in the end I believe that is what caused all of my upper back/neck pain. I'm going to put several hundred miles on this new posture and see if it makes a difference.

Bottom line, go get a fit assessment. It's worth the price, and can probably get you into a better position faster than you can find it here.
Your reply is promising. I am happy to learn that your adjustments appear advantageous. I'm so foreign to this environment that I suppose I could be all mixed up, as you previously were. My LBS are elitist's, and don't really respond well to novice riders whom are already equipped with a bike. I'm sure they are the exception, I'll go to Seattle to find another shop.
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Old 05-13-16, 04:00 PM
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Aches in lower back and hips could well be from the newness of the position and you not relaxing enough. I find I do my best when I think about stretching like a cat, trying to gen my back in tension, not compression. You neck could be sore simply because holding you head forward and up is new (especially if you are supporting most of a pound of helmet). If that is the case, more riding will solve the problem. I like absoludicrous's post. I was thinking the same thing before I read it.

Seats are very personal. Fuji gets this and in line with their marketing strategy of lower priced bikes with good frames and drive trains, they go cheap on items you will almost certainly change out soon anyway. Fuji has supplied their bikes with cheap seats the past 40 years. My '76 race bike had a cheap seat. I immediately took the seat of my previous racing bike and put it on. (I would have done this whatever Fuji provided. Fuji didn't do Italian stuff and I wasn't going to race on anything but that particular Italian racing seat which worked so well for me.) The exception has been Fuji's touring bikes. The leather Brooks Pro copies were really good seats.

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Old 05-13-16, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by presh223 View Post

Your reply is promising. I am happy to learn that your adjustments appear advantageous. I'm so foreign to this environment that I suppose I could be all mixed up, as you previously were. My LBS are elitist's, and don't really respond well to novice riders whom are already equipped with a bike. I'm sure they are the exception, I'll go to Seattle to find another shop.
If this doesn't get resolved, and time will often do just that, you can have a professional fitting done.
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Old 05-24-16, 10:54 PM
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You don't look stretched out. Your back is straight. The saddle height is about right. With your hands on the hoods the angle from back to humerus is a little less than 90 degrees. Your legs and arms are somewhat longer than average for your height.

The symptom I'm looking at is your neck. While your back is straight between the pelvis and shoulders, your head hangs down and forward, as if you're trying to urge more power out of your body, but your back angle isn't cooperating.

I suggest lowering the handlebar with a flatter stem, probably the same length or a cm shorter, with a -6 degree rise. Then, if you feel this position puts too much weight on your arms, move the saddle back to where you can maintain your hands-on-the-hoods position without actually putting weight on the hands. You will put weight on the hands, but you want to minimize it. You also want to be balanced where you can pull up or back on the bars for power when you need it.

On a performance bike, whether it's road or trail, long-armed guys need some drop to the handlebar to keep from sitting upright "in the back seat."

As a data point, I'm a whisker under 6', my legs are 35", my reach is 76" (I finally measured it), and I ride a 58 cm Trek Madone (57.3 cm top tube) with a 12 cm stem, -10 degree rise, no spacers. with a handlebar with 80 mm reach. I've been doing this for almost 40 years, so I'm not insisting you emulate my position but just understand the trend. Riding a bike with a handlebar that's too high and too close puts my wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck in extreme pain.
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Old 05-24-16, 11:33 PM
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Way too little reach, probably saddle too far forward. I'd start by putting the saddle all the way back or almost so. You can tell if your saddle is back far enough if you can lift your hands briefly off the bars while pedaling and not slide forward on the saddle. Then try a -17° stem that's long enough so that when your hands are on the hoods with forearms horizontal, your elbows are forward of your knees by ~1". That's a good starting point. I'm in favor of getting into the proper road position and then modifying the body to fit, rather than the reverse. IOW stretch and ride. That'll fix it.

More forward lean is more comfortable than less. Your upper arms should make a 90° angle with your torso. Now they do not.
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Old 05-25-16, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm in favor of getting into the proper road position and then modifying the body to fit, rather than the reverse. IOW stretch and ride. That'll fix it.

More forward lean is more comfortable than less. Your upper arms should make a 90° angle with your torso. Now they do not.
Tough love here.
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