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Discomfort after dropping stem

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Discomfort after dropping stem

Old 04-20-14, 08:50 PM
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cnguyen0320
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Discomfort after dropping stem

So I dropped my stem about 20mm more this week (dropped it 10mm last week) and I'm feeling a bit of discomfort in the bum region. I was told and have heard multiple times that dropping the stem will require adjustments in flexibility, namely in the back, neck, etc because of the increased reach but I'm not getting any discomfort there. All my pain seems to be on the sit bones. Particularly today, I've had to shift around a lot while riding. I have, however, spent more time riding this weekend than I normally spend in an entire week.

Basically, do you guys think that dropping the stem was the cause of the discomfort or do you think it is because of the increased time riding? Is there any reason why my sitbones would be hurting after a stem drop?
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Old 04-20-14, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cnguyen0320 View Post

Basically, do you guys think that dropping the stem was the cause of the discomfort or do you think it is because of the increased time riding? Is there any reason why my sitbones would be hurting after a stem drop?
Yes to both questions.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
Yes to both questions.
care to elaborate? your answer doesn't exactly do me much good.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:07 PM
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Big changes with little saddle time is probably not ideal. Make a small change, ride a bunch, change again if it doesn't seem ideal, rinse, repeat.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
Yes to both questions.
Sounded like 3 questions. So, yes to all.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:22 PM
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If you don't have the increased flexibility, then you are probably rotating your hips forward too much which is probably causing some of the sitbone discomfort
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Old 04-20-14, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cnguyen0320 View Post
care to elaborate? your answer doesn't exactly do me much good.
Think about how lowering your hands changes the angle of your hips/sit bones.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:37 PM
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I dropped a total of 30mm, 5cm at a time until the stem was properly slammed.

Last edited by SirHustlerEsq; 04-20-14 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:58 PM
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Changes were too rapid. What's the rush?
I recommend 5mm at a time.

S
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Old 04-20-14, 11:10 PM
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I hope you mean mm, or did your bike have ape hangers?
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Old 04-20-14, 11:39 PM
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A few points from personal experience:

1. You dropped 3 cm in 1 week and changed your riding habits. Your body needs time to adapt, try something like 1 cm max every two weeks (assuming you ride regurlarly, i.e. 5-7 days a week).

2. The dirty truth about "ideal" saddle fit is that your effective sitbone width depends on your position, an aggressive position feels better on a narrower saddle... But really, don't jump to conclusions until your body has had enough time to adapt (at least 2 weeks).

3. There is a point where too much drop results in an abrupt loss of power, you normally want to stay just above that threshold... And no amount of time or equipment will change that fact... If your amount of drop is anything like the drop of a pro rider, there is a good chance you're past that point...
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Old 04-20-14, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kc0bbq View Post
I hope you mean mm, or did your bike have ape hangers?
300cm
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Old 04-21-14, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by never_recover View Post
A few points from personal experience:

1. You dropped 3 cm in 1 week and changed your riding habits. Your body needs time to adapt, try something like 1 cm max every two weeks (assuming you ride regurlarly, i.e. 5-7 days a week).

2. The dirty truth about "ideal" saddle fit is that your effective sitbone width depends on your position, an aggressive position feels better on a narrower saddle... But really, don't jump to conclusions until your body has had enough time to adapt (at least 2 weeks).

3. There is a point where too much drop results in an abrupt loss of power, you normally want to stay just above that threshold... And no amount of time or equipment will change that fact... If your amount of drop is anything like the drop of a pro rider, there is a good chance you're past that point...
In bold OP. Slamming the stem and maintaining good posture requires that you rotate your pelvis which narrows the touch down on the saddle. You may in fact have to change saddles. As it turns out sometimes slamming the stem actually increases saddle comfort because it take direct pressure off the sit bones as you rotate your pelvis forward. But apparently not in your case which maybe a function of the saddle a bit too wide which is creating chaffing during the pedal stroke.
I would first experiment with saddle height and tilt. Tilt has a huge affect on sitbone pressure. Rotate the saddle back or tip the nose up...this will place more pressure away from the sit bones.
Try different saddles.
Other than that if you neck and back don't complain...I can't ride with low handlebar because of neck (not back or saddle) issues. I would stick with it as you should be able to resolve your saddle pressure issue with adjustment or a different saddle.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:28 AM
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Because of the extra reach you might be scooting forward so that your sit bones are coming off the wide part of the saddle, and that can be extremely uncomfortable. As you develop more core strength (back muscles) you'll generally want the stem lower but that's a gradual process, and as you drop the stem you'll also have to adjust the saddle forward and raise the seatpost a bit to keep you in the correct-fit zone. The difference in reach between having the stem level with the saddle and having it about 3 inches lower is around 15mm.

I like to imagine the bottom bracket as a pivot the rider is attached to (by your feet) and when you're weak and fat you have to pivot backwards but as you become strong and thin you pivot forward.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 04-21-14 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 04-21-14, 11:48 AM
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Slamming the stem is overrated and often unnecessary.

If you aren't particularly flexible - and it sounds like you aren't - putting the stem too low is just a recipe for long-term discomfort and possible injury.

Improve your flexibility and then fit the bike to your flexibility level - not the other way around.
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Old 04-21-14, 12:04 PM
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When you dropped it, did it land on your foot? Is that where the discomfort is? If so, then yes, dropping the stem may have caused it.
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Old 04-21-14, 12:07 PM
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I took my belt up 2 notches now my pants are uncomfortable. Can anyone tell me what the problem is?
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Old 04-21-14, 12:17 PM
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ride a bike that is properly fit to your abilities. don't listen to the wankers on a forum. Feel free to ignore this post as well. but the fit of your bike is far more important that the look...
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Old 04-22-14, 08:21 AM
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"But apparently not in your case which maybe a function of the saddle a bit too wide which is creating chaffing during the pedal stroke."

I had that exact problem when I lowered the stem to a more aggressive position and going from a 143mm to a 130mm solved the problem. Unfortunately I rode for a year in discomfort before listening to someone who knows better....
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Old 04-22-14, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SirHustlerEsq View Post
I dropped a total of 30mm, 5cm at a time until the stem was properly slammed.
There's your problem! No such thing as properly slammed. Fit must be made appropriate to the rider's dimensions, not the other way around!
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Old 04-22-14, 11:06 AM
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I tried lowering my stem yielding to the slam-it peer pressure (no pun intended). It made me more uncomfortable in my neck, shoulders, and on the saddle and I was in fact slower in average mph.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
I took my belt up 2 notches now my pants are uncomfortable. Can anyone tell me what the problem is?
Likely unrelated. Try tightening another notch and that should fix the problem if they are related.
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Old 04-22-14, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Likely unrelated. Try tightening another notch and that should fix the problem if they are related.
And drop down a couple of pant sizes if you truly want to look pro.
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Old 04-22-14, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
There's your problem! No such thing as properly slammed. Fit must be made appropriate to the rider's dimensions, not the other way around!
You are forgetting fitness and increased flexibility that come with training. Most people don't ride slammed stems straight from the beginning. People that seem to have the most issues make adjustments without putting in the corresponding work first.
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Old 04-22-14, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
You are forgetting fitness and increased flexibility that come with training. Most people don't ride slammed stems straight from the beginning. People that seem to have the most issues make adjustments without putting in the corresponding work first.
I guarantee I am not! I fit people for a living and am well aware of the relationship between training and (usually) enhanced flexibility. The OP seemed to suggest he had made these changes out of a desire to look the part, and did not base his actions on data. That is what I meant by no such thing as "properly" slammed. It's either appropriate for the rider, or it isn't.
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