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Pain.

Old 06-07-11, 01:23 PM
  #1  
sparklecard
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Pain.

Well, I'm new to cycling and I have pain and numbness in my hand. I used the search function and saw that I could get ergonomic grips to help solve it. My handle bars are straight. Would that be right? I'm not sure how to do seat adjustments and so forth which I read might be part of the issue as well.

I'm also not too sure about the proper posture. I ride a hybrid bike and sit straight up. I was reading an article on Sheldon Brown's website and was a little confused on the proper way to sit on my bike.

I've also been having unbarrable butt and crotch pain. I have a pair of Trek cycling shorts and I don't go very far. Only a few miles up to the grocery store. It hurts so bad on the bike and hurts getting off of it. Is it normal to have that much pain? Is there anyway to fix it or just get a new seat?

Thanks!
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Old 06-07-11, 01:43 PM
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no, that much pain is not normal. if it was, no one would ride. go here. Using that, I was able to adjust the bike almost perfectly. You can also go get a bike fitting. Mine was $25 but they just moved my saddle a centimeter. It's good to be able to adjust it yourself. Experiment. Learn your bike.

Also, just google whatever body part is hurting and it should lead you to some BF threads about how to fix that.
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Old 06-07-11, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sparklecard View Post
Well, I'm new to cycling and I have pain and numbness in my hand. I used the search function and saw that I could get ergonomic grips to help solve it. My handle bars are straight. Would that be right? I'm not sure how to do seat adjustments and so forth which I read might be part of the issue as well.

I'm also not too sure about the proper posture. I ride a hybrid bike and sit straight up. I was reading an article on Sheldon Brown's website and was a little confused on the proper way to sit on my bike.

I've also been having unbarrable butt and crotch pain. I have a pair of Trek cycling shorts and I don't go very far. Only a few miles up to the grocery store. It hurts so bad on the bike and hurts getting off of it. Is it normal to have that much pain? Is there anyway to fix it or just get a new seat?

Thanks!
Outside of a gross mis-fit on your bike your posture is the most important feature. All else goes towards getting your posture more comfortable.

Since you're having hand pains there is but one solution.........Get your body weight OFF of your hands,wrist and arms!!! Doing this will take new handle bars and maybe a different seat. Start by trying a set of "North Road" bars then work from there to find bars that don't let you lean forward onto your hands!!

http://www.amazon.com/Touring-North-.../dp/B0010VZFJO

All else is adjustable so take it one step at a time just get your weight off your hand before your do permanent nerve damage!!
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 06-07-11 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 06-07-11, 01:53 PM
  #4  
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I suggest you and your bike go to your LBS ( local bike shop ) and let them take a look , I'd think they'd be happy to help. A bit of hand numbness is not unusual, severe seat pain is , and I'm rather sure it can be corrected.
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Old 06-07-11, 02:04 PM
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Lots of issues here.

I too have a hybrid bike in my line up.

Bought it as a new father with pulling a baby trailer in mind and using it on dirt roads and urban adventures.

It is the least comfortable bike I own but I have made some changes that help.

I find hands flat on upright bars quickly give me pain and numbness. At first I added "bar ends" and soon moved them inward to the stem like short aerobars. That was an improvement but because they were close together I didn't feel I had a lot of control. Recently added these moustache-like bars from Rivendell:



And I like them. I've used this old bike more in the last six months than I have in the nearly eighteen years I've owned it. Oh, and I flipped them so The have a little drop rather than rise so my weight is distributed better.

This leads to the other contact point problem you have.

Could be a few things. Riding upright tends to put most of your weight on one of the tenderest parts of your body. Granted there is a "break in" period for your tissues to adapt to this new pressure but some of the problem could come from having too much padding and stuff down there.

One of the most counter intuitive things about bike riding is position.

Most non cyclist want to sit up so they can see and they think it's going to be more comfortable than being stretched out over the bike.

Actually by moving some of your weight forward onto your arms takes some of the pressure off the peritoneum.

Getting the bike to properly fit you is a combination of several things. first is proper saddle height. You pedal with the ball of the foot. A properly adjust saddle height allows you to extend your leg so that at the bottom of your stroke you still have a slight bend in the leg.

Then you want the proper set back on the saddle. There are rails under saddle that allow it to be moved fore and aft. When you have your saddle in the right spot the front of your knee will be over the ball of your foot when the pedals are at 9 and 3 o'clock.

When you have these first two set properly you can bend at the waist and drop forward down to a point where if your handlebars are placed properly you are supporting yourself by your butt, your feet and your hands fairly equally.

Pictures of your set up may help here.

Did you buy your bike from a local bike shop (LBS) and did they try to help with a fit?

And as to the shorts gel inserts are horrible in my opinion. They create more pressure than relief.

Sorry for the long answer but, like I said, you've got a lot of issues going on here.
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Old 06-07-11, 04:57 PM
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"Actually by moving some of your weight forward onto your arms takes some of the pressure off the peritoneum."
While true ,to a point, the more of your weight you put on your "sit bones" the more comfortable you will be. This takes a saddle change along with bars ( and longer stem maybe) to get the bars where you can just lay your hands on the grips without leaning forward.

Brooks sprung saddles will do that along with several models of "noseless" saddles. With Brooks , since they are 100% leather you'll need to be sure never to get it soaking wet. Try a seat adjustment AFTER you get new bars on then buy a new saddle. Saddles that come with most generic bikes are pretty cheap for the rider who spends little time riding. A good saddle and the right bars & stem do wonders for any bike!!

Note: Brooks are expensive to buy but not really since a Brooks becomes molded to your sit bones saddle that can be moved from bike to bike for a very long time.

http://www.brooksengland.com/en/
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 06-07-11 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:34 PM
  #7  
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Well, I'm going to call some local bike shops and see about fitting. I'll definitely look into a new handlebar set. Thanks for the tips. North road handlebars look nice, but what about dropped? Is there any other companies to check out along with Brooks?

Here is my bike:



I don't mean to be post ***** and post a billion pics of my bike everywhere. I just want some help.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:38 PM
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Without knowing anything more in this thread it's difficut to diagnose..

Unless you are 4 foot tall, I'd say you have to raise the seat to get proper leg extension, then go from there..
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Old 06-07-11, 05:40 PM
  #9  
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@Nightshade:

I really don't know where to start.

So let me just say I agree with : " A good saddle and the right bars & stem do wonders for any bike!!"

That's sort of like saying "poverty sux but being rich is cool"

If the bike and the components don't fit and there isn't proper rider weight distribution the "wonders" aren't gonna help the OP's stated problems.

Read the OP again.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lunchbox1972 View Post
Without knowing anything more in this thread it's difficut to diagnose..

Unless you are 4 foot tall, I'd say you have to raise the seat to get proper leg extension, then go from there..
No kidding.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sparklecard View Post
I don't mean to be post ***** and post a billion pics of my bike everywhere. I just want some help.
Oh no. WE like a billion pics.

Seriously.
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Old 06-07-11, 06:05 PM
  #12  
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I really don't know what other information I can give that would be useful. I'm 5'1.
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Old 06-08-11, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by sparklecard View Post
Well, I'm going to call some local bike shops and see about fitting. I'll definitely look into a new handlebar set. Thanks for the tips. North road handlebars look nice, but what about dropped? Is there any other companies to check out along with Brooks?

Here is my bike:



I don't mean to be post ***** and post a billion pics of my bike everywhere. I just want some help.
By "dropped" I assume you mean drop bars. Drop bars are great, but converting your bike would be expensive.

At 5'1" you may not need to raise the seat (but check your position and leg extension), but that has to put you in a VERY upright position. From the picture it looks like you have an adjustable stem (but I'm looking at it on my phone so I can't tell for certain). You may want to adjust your stem lower. Imagine straddling a saw-horse, if you're upright and raise one foot you either have to pivot your hips to brace your weight on one leg (which will cause rubbing) or support more of your weight on your crotch, but if you're in crouched position you can move your center of gravity without shifting, or supporting your weight on, your crotch. How far forward you should bend depends largely on your physical condition (range of motion, strength, any joint problems) but the maximum should still allow you to straighten your back without bracing your weight on your arms. If you need to lower the bars farther most north road bars have some raise/drop, so you can flip them for more adjustment than your stem offers.

I wouldn't worry about reducing the amount of weight you support on your arms (for now, based on limited info), but would definitely try for a more neutral shoulder and wrist position (which north road, mary, drop, dirt drop, rando, or H bars should provide).
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Old 06-08-11, 03:38 AM
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If the seat is not to low then you need shorter cranks. The seat probably is to low, but crank length may still be an issue.
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Old 06-08-11, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sparklecard View Post
Well, I'm going to call some local bike shops and see about fitting. I'll definitely look into a new handlebar set. Thanks for the tips. North road handlebars look nice, but what about dropped?
Drops are totally wrong bar for your pain concern. If anything drops will make MORE pain than you have now. GET YOUR BODY WEIGHT OFF OF YOUR HAND,WRIST AND SHOULDERS!!!!!
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 06-08-11, 08:21 PM
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It's OK to share the spread the load between arms and seat when riding upright bikes.
That written by a man whose butt and back share all the load on his not-upright bikes.
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