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Lower Back Pain

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Lower Back Pain

Old 08-12-07, 09:24 AM
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Lower Back Pain

I took delivery of my 06 Rubaix RC and haven't been fitted, and I'm trying to avoid the fee...so maybe you could help. I searched, but I hate the search here so forgive the new thread. After about 10 miles, my lower back felt really tense and tight, and was in some pain. My wrists hurt a little too. I need a new saddle, the stock Fuji one just isn't cutting it. Do you think I need to raise the pitch on the saddle? The seat post height is fine, my legs feel great, it's just my lower back. Any input would be awesome. Thanks!
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Old 08-12-07, 10:09 AM
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It is possible that your stem is too long or the drop from the saddle to your handlebars is too much. Try putting more spacers underneath your stem to decrease the difference between saddle and handlebar height.
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Old 08-12-07, 01:07 PM
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Flip it!
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Old 08-12-07, 01:18 PM
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It takes time for a new riders body to adjust. Also, it will take some time and miles to adjust to any other fitting change you make.
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Old 08-12-07, 01:28 PM
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make sure ur hamestrongs are stretched...also make sure ur saddle is in the right place...center of knee should be over the spindle on the pedals...
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Old 08-12-07, 04:01 PM
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is it also possible that raising the angle of the drops would also help? i also have the same issue and my handlebar stem is maxxed out. I dont want to lower my saddle any lower than it is, any other suggestions?
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Old 08-12-07, 04:53 PM
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First, get a good baseline fit. It's worth the cost. Once you're home, when you get a chance and before you change anything, mark everything, measure everything, so you can always go back to your "default" fit. Second, no matter who you talk to, no matter what website you read, don't expect to feel great right away on a road bike. The position is more efficient and it feels a little unnatural at first. The seat will feel hard and narrow at first. It takes a while to get used to it, but oh it's so sweet once you do. It feels like you're just gliding. But if you have back pain, something might not be quite right, like you are sitting too far back, too bent over, etc.
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Old 08-12-07, 04:58 PM
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Raise Dat Stem!

by Bob Gordon

A flat back is one of the hallmarks of an experienced cyclist, particularly a racer, and over the years I have seen the prevailing attitudes towards rider positioning devolve to the point where if you don't cycle with your back parallel to the ground, you're cast off as a beginner.

But like many other concepts recreational riders adopt, the low back originated in the professional ranks after extensive research in aerodynamics proved this would help the fast go faster. Competitive athletes routinely sacrifice both their short and long term health for the express purpose of winning, but you may have a different agenda.

Lower back disc problems peak the ages of 30 and 50. There are many causes, but if your back pain is exacerbated by riding, it's a good bet the cause is bouncing around on your bike while your lower spine is extensively flexed (loss of lower back arch). A low, forward torso causes the inner portion of the disc (the nucleus purposes) to press back against the outer restraining fibers (the annulus fibroses). This pressure eventually causes the disc to bulge or herniate. The nearby nerves get squeezed, and the next thing you know, someone like me is telling you you have sciatica.

Cycling mitigates some of the problems of a habitually flexed lumbar spine because of the "bridge effect" that's created by resting some of your weight on your hands. But the lumbar region and its soft tissues are still at risk just by being continuously hyper flexed, and if you sit all day at your job, the danger is compounded.

On the flip side, cycling entirely upright does not solve the problem either. True, the inter-vertebral discs and spinal ligaments are in a more neutral position and absorb shock better, but the load is now transmitted axially, which is fatiguing and jarring. Also, in a bolt-upright position you can't use your gluteus or hamstrings to great advantage, which means your thighs (quadriceps) get overworked, you lose a lot of power, the unused hamstrings and gluteal muscles go flabby, and you catch all that wind. It's hard to be happy about all that, racer or no.

There is, however, a position that allows good performance while minimizing risk of lower back injury. I like a stem height and length that puts your back about 50 degrees from horizontal, while your arms and legs bend slightly at the elbows, as shown in figure 2 up there. To achieve this, you'll probably have to raise your bars, and assuming you want to keep the same bar style (as opposed to riding with stingray bars or something), that usually means getting another stem, one with a taller quill or a steep rise to it. If you hit the sweet spot, a photo of you from the side will reveal a nice pyramid composed of top tube, torso and arms.'
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Old 08-12-07, 05:08 PM
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A little core conditioning will also help
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