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Lower back position on road bike

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Lower back position on road bike

Old 02-24-21, 06:23 AM
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Lower back position on road bike

May I ask, what's your lower back position on your bike? Is it concave or convex?
I'm asking because if it concave, then I seat on my soft tissue and it's hurt.
But If it's convex, then I feel preasure on my lower back and the lower back is hurt.
What am I doing wrong?
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Old 02-24-21, 07:05 AM
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Straight if possible. Try to rotate forward with your pelvis/hips, not your back.
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
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Old 02-24-21, 08:44 AM
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Taken this summer; I may have moved the saddle a couple of milimetres rearward or such (I can't remember), but that's basically it.

Here's a recent one:

​​​​​​Saddle is angled downwards by about 8 deg and that keeps my dangly bits happy when in the drops and it's really very comfortable.

Last edited by Branko D; 02-24-21 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:07 AM
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It should be straight, if your back is curved, then you're not bending enough at your hips (or bending too much I guess if it's concave, but that's not usually the problem for most people, usually they bow their back out instead of keeping it straight). If your lower back is hurting, then it probably means you need to strengthen your core in order to be able to hold a proper position.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:19 AM
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If you are having your soft tissues smashed when you lean your pelvis forward, then something ain't right with your saddle. Might be it's angle, might have something to do with your reach to the bars which can be several things, including the wrong size bike.

Might just be you have the wrong saddle for you. Too much cut out can be just as bad for some as too little cut out. Some people don't need any.

As for my back, I try to keep it straight. But I don't know that I even have a picture that shows me what my actual position of it is. It's just all in my head! <grin>
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Old 02-24-21, 12:00 PM
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I've never read of a concave back. Some people have a relatively flat back on the bike, but most don't. Lance Armstrong's back was curved. I'm sure mine is too. I don't think you can choose. I use a 10cm saddle to bar drop, which is plenty for a 73cm saddle height. I never have any back issues and I'm 67 years old. If I have problems it's upper back/shoulder pain in the early season, caused by not being used to holding my head up for 3 hours or more. Neck strengthening exercises will fix that.
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Old 02-24-21, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I've never read of a concave back.
I see concave (lordotic) backs, hunched shoulders, and locked elbows on riders, who are trying to sit upright on road bikes, maybe because they lack the hip strength to cantilever and need to support all their weight on their arms. Tends to go with a choppy, up-and-down pedal stroke.
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Old 02-24-21, 04:47 PM
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I try to ride with a straight back. I can tell when I haven't been because my neck starts to hurt from having to bend farther to keep my head upright.
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."
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Old 02-24-21, 07:27 PM
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Many long distance cyclists ride with gently rounded backs with a bit higher handlebars. Here is Mark Beaumont on his around the world in 80 days record ride. Even on aero bars he has a comfortable, non-extreme position. Having handlebars at a height that allow you to keep your elbows bent when riding on the hoods is important. Saddle set-back and angle is also important to help find comfortable position. I found this blog post by the amazing frame builder David Kirk to be helpful. Riding tip | Kirk Frameworks

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Old 02-25-21, 01:31 AM
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With aerobars you want the handlebars a bit higher than you would without them to achieve the same torso angle. Looking at the angle Mark's body actually makes, it's pretty similar to what most bike racers would be without aerobars on more "slammed" setups.

As for slightly curved back, you can't tell if yours is like that without someone photographing you "in the moment" or recording yourself on a trainer. My back doesn't feel curved, but when someone takes a picture of me, it invariably is.

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Old 03-01-21, 09:18 AM
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from my experience, not necessarily limited to bike riding, a curved back leads to intervertebral discs compression especially in the lumbar area which after a certain time always ends up in low back pain. When bending, I make sure to keep my back straight, but pelvis needs to be flexible, there are stretching exercises for that. If that position causes uncomfortable feelings on soft tissues or other parts of the body, it could be the saddle form or height, the bike size or geometry, etc.
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