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New Bike: Shoulder, Elbow and Lower back sore - advice please?

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New Bike: Shoulder, Elbow and Lower back sore - advice please?

Old 04-04-21, 08:52 PM
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New Bike: Shoulder, Elbow and Lower back sore - advice please?

Hi All,

Hoping I can get some advice on some issues I am having with my new road bike.

I recently purchased this bike and have been on a couple of rides. I find that my shoulder, elbow and lower back are quite sore after each ride. The rides lasted only about an hour and a half each, about 20-25 KM so nothing crazy.

Things I've adjusted:
  1. Saddle height - I might need to go a smidge higher
  2. Saddle setback - Set it based on the KOPS method
Things I am wondering about:

Shoulder & Elbow:
  1. I have a feeling my arms are a bit too extended, the bike has a 110mm stem, maybe I need to get a new shorter stem?
  2. I also think the shift levers are too far for my finger, this one I am going to have sorted soon. Just need to find those rubber shims. Its possible that this may be contributing to the shoulder/eblow pain.
Lower back:
  1. The lower back pain may just be from having a weak unused core, as its been about 6 months since I last rode a bike. However, I don't recall ever experiencing this pain at beginning of the riding season in past years. But then again, I've never been as sedentary as I have over the last 6 months (Gym's closed, Work From Home, Canadian winter, general couch potatoeness).
Please let me know what your thoughts are or things I should look at. I've uploaded some videos here of me riding here imgur.com/a/1UissKd

Appreciate the input!
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Old 04-05-21, 09:05 AM
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What previous and recent experience have you cycling?

KOP's is only relevant if your body has all the same dimensions and your you bike has all the same geometry and tube lengths the person that came up with the myth used to make their proclamations of KOP's.

Saddle height is most important. Slightly high worse than way low. Fore aft position of saddle depends on where your power put into the cranks wants your body to be. But you have to also have your reach to the bars correct to really tell if you need more or less setback.

Shift levers, Shimano sometimes have an adjustment to change the levers distance or angle that it is so you can reach them easier if you have short fingers like mine. And in some tier groups Shimano has STI's made for small handed persons.

You pain might be just needing to get used to cycling and not keeping your muscles so tense in your upper body and just relax them so your body moves a little and shares the force with other parts of your body. Instead of keeping stiff arms and letting arms and shoulder take it all.

If you are experienced riding, then maybe the bars are too wide or you just have the wrong size bike. Changing up reach with a stem might help, but it might not.
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Old 04-06-21, 07:16 AM
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As Iride01 has pointed out, KOPS is not really a thing worth bothering with. Instead, the idea is that under moderate effort your weight is centered on that saddle, you figure that out by doing test rides and seeing if you slide forward or aft under such effort when you remove your hands from the bars while leaving your core relaxed. Most folks will find they slide forward and need to move the saddle back a bit. Being unbalanced means your back and arms are always working to keep you in place, becoming sore over time and using up energy that could otherwise propel you down the road.
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Old 04-06-21, 07:35 AM
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I'm working on similar fit issues as well, primarily elbow/tendon pain I caused by what I think was an out of balance seat position. I started putting hour long trainer rides in, and started getting prolonged soreness in my elbow tendons. I've since read about Steve Hogg's views on balance and seat position, which seems to make a lot of sense. I found due to my size and body proportions I need a really setback seat to get balanced, and there is a big difference now in the reduction of weight I put on my arms. Still fine tuning the bar position, but getting some balance in the seat is a huge deal imo. Try his balance test, so far that's helped me more than anything.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by immsk View Post
  1. I have a feeling my arms are a bit too extended, the bike has a 110mm stem, maybe I need to get a new shorter stem?
  2. I also think the shift levers are too far for my finger, this one I am going to have sorted soon. Just need to find those rubber shims. Its possible that this may be contributing to the shoulder/eblow pain.
1. Yes, try a shorter stem. I've got a drawer full of them in various lengths and rises. Just give each one a few rides before deciding; it takes a bit to know what works.

2. Some levers (both brake and shifter) have reach adjustment screws you can use to bring them closer to the bar. See if that's the case with yours.

Also, seek out handlebars with a shorter reach from the tops to the hoods, or that have tops that sweep back slightly. Velo Orange Nuevo Randonneur bars work well for me.
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Old 04-10-21, 07:46 AM
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Are you sure the saddle and bar positions are the same as on your old bike? (If the new bike has a different saddle, the same height and setback probably won't work, so that may be part of the problem.)
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Old 04-10-21, 03:49 PM
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For weight on hands, stem length, etc., my bike fitting primer is here: How can I fitting my bike

What you probably need to do most is pushups every morning. You do a set of 30 every morning, problem gone. Riding lots will fix the back issue.

It wouldn't hurt to do a set of stretches in the morning, before the pushups, these stretches: IT Band pain (during ride)
Results matter
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Old 05-27-21, 10:09 AM
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Try working on the specs of your road bike in the first place. Road bikes usually demand an aggressive riding position. Try to keep an angle on your elbows, to avoid strain on your shoulders . If still the pain persist , try working on strengthening the lower back muscles . if they are still stiff , visit a massage therapy center who can help you sort this out .
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