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New Rider

Old 11-23-15, 12:30 PM
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Sprocket Monkey
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New Rider

Ex Footballer trying to get started. Recently purchased Cross Check and been on a few rides. I enjoy riding but at 57 my back begins to hurt and of course I'm not in great shape. I'm currently using drop bars but thinking about converting to a flat bar in order to have a less aggressive position to relive stress on my back.
Suggestions. Thanks in advance. Riding on pavement/bike lanes etc
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Old 11-23-15, 12:37 PM
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BikingZombie
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Monkey View Post
Ex Footballer trying to get started. Recently purchased Cross Check
Hooray!!! I also ride a CC

Originally Posted by Sprocket Monkey View Post
I enjoy riding but at 57 my back begins to hurt and of course I'm not in great shape. I'm currently using drop bars but thinking about converting to a flat bar in order to have a less aggressive position to relive stress on my back.
Boo

Where is your back hurting? You don't always need to ride down no the drops, so does it hurt whether you're on top or below?

Oh yeah, and welcome to biking

Also, have you checked with a doctor or chiropractor about the pain yet?
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Old 11-23-15, 12:47 PM
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Sprocket Monkey
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Yeah, cleared by Doc. Lower back pain. Surly stock, I ride with upper part of handle. Thought about adding break to the flat part of the handle. It's just a more comfortable position for me because right now I can't do longer rides using drop bar. Thx
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Old 11-23-15, 01:46 PM
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themp
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When I started biking at 62 this Spring on a flat bar, I had back pain and my right hand would go numb on any long ride. The guy at the LBS said to give it time and your core muscles will start to kick in. Sure enough he was right for me. I also move my hands around a lot and try and hold the grips like I was playing a piano. This relieves the numbness and makes my core muscles hold my back up. But, I do see lots of older folks on the greenway I ride that are basically sitting straight up while they are pedaling.
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Old 11-23-15, 01:52 PM
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A few rides? Give it some time. Did you go the LBS for pro fit? Bike sized for you? Try a taller stem?
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Old 11-23-15, 02:19 PM
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Sprocket Monkey
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The lbs sized the bike for me. Sent me out on a short ride etc. When I was purchasing my bike I was jacked....now that I've rode it for a bit I'm wondering about a few adjustments. I will continue to pound the pavement and see if I can't workout the pain. I want be able to build up to feel comfortable to go on club rides etc. Thx for the input.
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Old 11-23-15, 02:29 PM
  #7  
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Threadless stems are super easy to replace since they have open face plates and slip off the steerer tube,

once you remove the top cap ..

re install the top cap and then readjust the bearing preload, then tighten the stem around the fork.

Extensions and up angles are some of the many variants of stem shapes ..

It is possible to just replace the fork Since its a common Surly , and have the whole steerer to use

should its cut length seems too low.. .. spacers above and below the stem are fine..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-23-15 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-23-15, 04:05 PM
  #8  
North Coast Joe
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Maybe give it more time, as Leebo mentioned. I have some severe old school track drops that were initially uncomfortable. After a couple of seasons, it feels sooo good to stretch out in the drops now.
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Old 11-23-15, 04:34 PM
  #9  
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Get the flat bar if you want, or maybe even a MTB riser bar; but definitely look into a new stem WITH MORE RISE, measured in degrees. I've seen them as high as 40 deg, but that's crazy. 20 deg should help you a lot. (HINT: a lot of road bike stems are listed as "-17", and can be flipped to get 17 deg of rise.)

A higher bar will ease the back...from another one with back issues.
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Old 11-23-15, 04:45 PM
  #10  
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I would try a new stem, and maybe new more ergonomic bars (something with a flatter top section) as well as a nice set of cross levers and it should help greatly. Head back down to your LBS and they should be able to help out in ordering some for you or if they have them in stock picking the right ones from their stock!
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Old 11-23-15, 04:46 PM
  #11  
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+1, try a "riser" stem. Your shop should have several around that you can try on for size. It takes ~10 minutes to swap stems with a threadless steerer.

40 degrees is not crazy, especially since your stem may already have 17 degrees of rise.

Flat bars and drop bars have different outer diameters, so changing to flat bars requires lots of changes, including:
different brake levers, probably new cables and housing
different shifters (and possibly, a different FD to match the shifter), probably new cables and housing.
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Old 11-23-15, 05:40 PM
  #12  
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It's a common misconception that you need a flat bar to get a higher bar. While it's true that most flat bars are set up higher than drop bars, the shape and the height are independent variables. So, as others have said, try a new stem first.
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Old 11-23-15, 05:48 PM
  #13  
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^ Agree....Even for more upright I prefer drop bars. I just don't much use the drops. I might also suggest getting an adjustable stem. It should help figuring what will work best for you. Then just leave it or get a fixed one to replace it.
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Old 11-23-15, 06:46 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
It is possible to just replace the fork Since its a common Surly , and have the whole steerer to use should its cut length seems too low.. .. spacers above and below the stem are fine..
How many mm's of spacers under your stem? Surly forks are not expensive. Ultimately a higher rise stem and a new fork with a longer steer tube might be the best solution. The CC is a great bike but it probably has the shortest head tube to longest top tube ratio for a given size in the industry.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:18 PM
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Perhaps your reach is too far?
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Old 11-24-15, 03:46 PM
  #16  
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Agree with many here, I'd suggest keeping the drop bars and play with the stem length/angle. I started back riding 2 years ago. Got a bike fit, new stem installed angled up to raise the bars. A couple months ago, after 2 years and 10,000 miles, I flipped my stem over to lower the bars since I am now in better shape and more flexible.
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Old 11-24-15, 04:10 PM
  #17  
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Higher stem angle, stronger core ... one benefit from the drop bar is that it offers more hand positions than a flat bar.

I'd expect some discomfort in various places as your body develops to its new demands. If you have a history in sports, you will be able to tell the difference between pain/soreness and injury/damage.
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Old 11-24-15, 06:28 PM
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I appreciate all the comments and replies. Thanks to everyone. Stopped by my lbs and they were pretty much on target with your recommendations and want me to bring my bike in to offer adjustments/solutions. Still nursing back but looking forward to getting back on the road again ASAP.
That Brooks Saddle looked pretty good on the slatwall but that's for another time and another dollar.
Thanks once again.
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Old 11-24-15, 06:33 PM
  #19  
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For me, simply doing 5 minutes of non-impact core exercises helps keep back pain away...if I stop doing them for a week or so, pain comes back...strong core muscles will help immensely.
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Old 11-24-15, 07:14 PM
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Give it some time and let your LBS adjust the bike to help ease the transition while you're getting back into shape.

I began riding again in late August after a 30+ year hiatus. Never thought I'd ride again at all, let alone enjoy it, after a car wreck busted up my back and neck, including a permanently damaged C2 vertebrae. I got a comfort/hybrid style bike with upright bars, which suits me for now.

Took a month of riding 1-5 miles three or four times a week just to begin to feel like I was making some progress. Just as I thought I'd plateaued and wasn't going to improve in conditioning, I began some steady improvements after about five weeks. I knew it was gonna hurt, but I was careful to avoid too much stress on the joints. I used granny gears a lot on hills, and got off to walk up when my chest was about to explode. So I've managed to make it to three months without much serious pain in the joints, back or neck - just the usual sore muscles now and then, and a couple of days with spasms in the back and neck.

Now I'm at the point where I get antsy if I don't have a chance to ride at least 20-30 minutes a day, even if it's only a circuit around the block or a couple of errands. And if my conditioning improves I might reconsider lower bars next year. But for now I'm better off sticking with upright bars - although occasionally I'll lean forward and rest my forearms across the bars to reduce my profile into the wind or on long and/or steep climbs.
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Old 11-28-15, 05:16 AM
  #21  
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Also ex-football player now age 69. Went to college on a football scholarship. I'd suggest giving your body time to adjust. I prefer drop bars because of the variety of hand positions. If you get a proper fit, stay at it for awhile and it doesn't work for you then I'd look into alternatives.
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Old 11-30-15, 06:28 AM
  #22  
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Welcome to biking.

Chances are, your back will get used to cycling and the soreness will disappear. If not, you might want to consider getting a recumbent bike. No sore backs with 'bents.
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