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Problems with my Back

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Problems with my Back

Old 07-31-02, 02:43 AM
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Problems with my Back

I have recently purchased a new road bike and I have done about 350kms on it so far in about 6 rides. My back has started to hurt while I ride it. Sometimes it only hurts for a short time and then the pain goes away but other times I have to stop and stretch to get rid of the pain. The bike fits me properly; I was measured up by the bike shop owner (who happens to be a former national rider/pro). Yesterday my back hurt so bad I had to stop and rest for five minutes. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions as what could be causing this?

Thanks,
Stew
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Old 07-31-02, 03:09 AM
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You may have been set up with the position of an experienced racer , rather than someone new to a road bike.
What is the vertical drop between the saddle and the handlebars ?
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Old 07-31-02, 06:14 AM
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The drop is about 14 cm. Here is the website with a picture of the frame. https://www.fondriestbici.com/inglese/megalu/megalu.html
My bike is a bit different in the fact that it has a full carbon fork, a centaur gruppo and ambrosio wheels.
hope this helps.
Stew
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Old 07-31-02, 06:59 AM
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The drop is way too much for someone starting on road bikes. Its OK if you have grown up racing but you need time to adjust.
Start with the bars about 3cm below the level of the saddle, and take them down over the weeks or months as you feel comfortable.
You may need an adjustable stem to help you.

Low bars are really a marketing gimmick, to show how sporty the bike is. The problem with this is that the fork steerer tube is usually cut down very short, making a high bar harder to achieve. Most non-competative riders would benefit from a more upright touring-style position.
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Old 07-31-02, 08:13 AM
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OK, I have not been fit yet, but was very puzzled by this. I have a new bike, with the steerer tube uncut. The stem was set at the highest point when I got it. Several rides of short distance (~15-20 miles) revealed that I was experiencing lower back pain as if I was too stretched out. I know the frame's not too big. Perhaps I need a shorter stem though. In the initial position, the bars and seat were about even. The stem also has a little rise to it.

As an experiment, I lowered the stem all the way to the head tube - as far down as I could put it. I have 5 inches of seat tube showing, so it is now several inches below the saddle.

This position almost completely eliminated the lower back discomfort. Does that make sense?


Dax
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Old 07-31-02, 08:37 AM
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I'm amazed that you were fitted by a pro shop owner/rider and someone that has never seen you thinks the setup is all wrong.
Go back to the shop and talk to the guy that fitted you. He may have some insight into why your back is hurting.
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Old 07-31-02, 09:00 AM
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Ok, maybe this is an oversimplification but
could it be you're just not used to doing this
kind of riding (350 kms in 6 days)?
How much riding had you done before you
bought the bike?
I'd give the muscles in you lower back some
time to stretch out and get used to supporting
you on the bike before I started messing
with positioning etc.
I'd tend to believe that an ex pro knew
something about setup, and its just
a matter of time to get used to the
bike/position.

Marty
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Old 07-31-02, 09:37 AM
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Lower back problems when riding road bikes is not at all unusual - especially for the new rider or the casual rider.

As your muscles develop to fit your new riding position, the back pain will go away.

Until then, the fastest and easiest solution is to get a saddle with springs - forget about gel seats. Get a saddle with springs.

Right now, every bump and shake from the road is transmitted from those rock-hard road tires up through the frame and into your spine. Put a spring between your spine and the road.

Another solution might be to use a suspension post. I have never used one, but the roadies who have tried them tell me they didn't like the suspension posts.

Go for the spring saddle. I think it will solve your troubles.
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Old 07-31-02, 01:34 PM
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Just as a cross-training idea, I think that swimming is a GREAT exercise. Especially having potential problems with your back it will strengthen and relax the musculation in a gravity free environment.

Give it a swim.
Cheers,
Chris
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Old 07-31-02, 09:49 PM
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Thanks for all the replies guys, i am going to go down at the weekend (i have to take the bike in anyway) and talk to him about it. I didn't do the 350km in 6 days in a row, i have done it over a period of about 3 weeks or so. I use to mountian bike alot so its not as though i just started riding heavly. I think it has more to do with me not being use to the postion on the bike.
Thanks for all the help
Stew
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Old 08-03-02, 02:47 PM
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Check this out. This might help
https://www.geocities.com/raschultz_2000/
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Old 08-03-02, 03:08 PM
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I've found that my daily 10k jogs really help strengthen my back and abs. It's a tradeoff though - my legs/knees get punished for it
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Old 08-03-02, 10:02 PM
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That website is great, i am going to try to do some of those exercises to strengthen my lower back.
Thanks again
Stew
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Old 08-05-02, 07:58 AM
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Assuming you have a threadless headset and stem with standard -10 degree drop, try flipping the stem over to achieve +10. This is a free, quick and dirty way to raise the bar. If your back feels better. Ride it this way for a few months then try flipping it back over. If you want a more gradual and still pretty inexpensive approach you can get an adjustable stem that allows you to change the rise/drop. These are generally 1 1/8" but you can get a shim if you have 1".

Of course both of these options assume you have the self assurance to withstand the peer pressure of the roadie style police.
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