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Back pain training on a Dawes Touring bike

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Back pain training on a Dawes Touring bike

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Old 01-02-14, 01:02 PM
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kaptech
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Back pain training on a Dawes Touring bike

Hi,

I have started getting ready for some touring after 5 years off bikes. I have picked up a small back injury over the years from martial arts (over used joint).
I'm getting back aches, a little on flats, but quite bad when cycling on routes with a lot of uphill.

I have a Dawes Galaxy 97, 19 inch frame, I'm 5' 5", 30" inside leg, according to Dawes this is the right size for me.

Do you have any tips for me to reduce back ache, eg core exercises, cycling techniques ...

Many Thanks
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Old 01-02-14, 01:23 PM
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antokelly
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could be your set up wrong on bike,
are you by chance pushing to big a gear.
as for pain relive DRUGS thats what there for,i'm not been funny honest what ever works for you.
but try and get a proper bike fit it will help greatly.
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Old 01-02-14, 01:37 PM
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Go see a Doctor or Bike Mechanic. Which would be best for your situation?
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Old 01-02-14, 03:01 PM
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kaptech
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Thanks for the replies.
I have seen a physio, and I will always have the backache, just need to keep excising to minimise it. Any tips for modifying the setup, this is my first drop bike. or should I go straight to a mechanic.
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Old 01-02-14, 04:38 PM
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CAn you post a picture of your bicycle as it is right now? Things to consider if you have a bad back ; not all need to be done, just things to consider:

- As your doctor about riding in a 'bent-over' position; will that put too much strain on the area of your back that's giving you problems?

- Try raising the handlebars. If the top of the handlebars are below the seat level, try to raise them so they're at-or-above (a little ) the seat. Might be easy to do, just have your bike mechanic flip the bar stem.

- How s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d o-u-t do you feel while riding the bike? Too much? MAybe have your mechanic put on a shorter barstem to bring your arms/upper body back towards the saddle.

- Saddle position relative to pedals. MAybe you need to move the saddle forward (or backwards) so you are better postioned over the pedals. This'll depend on the angle of the seat tube.

- Put different handlebars on the bike - maybe flat (MTB) type bars, or riser bars, to get more height so you can sit up a little straighter and relieve pressure on your back.
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Old 01-02-14, 06:39 PM
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Working blind unable to see what people have, in person, does Kill a lot of time ..
asking questions back and forth..

you dont Have to ride on a wedgie seat at all , there are Recumbents .. sit like in A chair..
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Old 01-02-14, 10:11 PM
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Two years ago I re-entered bicycling with a fully loaded touring bike and almost gave it all up the pain was so bad, I couldn't get out of the tent one night to pee. Keep riding, gradually adding up weight and distance. Stretch a lot. Drink lots of water and favorite sports drink crap. Keep riding. Raise your bars a bit if needed. Shift down to easier gears for a while, don't strain so hard. Eventually you will feel better. Or not.
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Old 01-03-14, 05:31 AM
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Not saying your wrong or anything but that sizing sounds strange.
I'm 5"11' and my last Touring bike was a 19 and my current bike (Surly Ogre) is a 20 (with a very short 50mm stem and bars with a large back sweep).
The 19 frame sounds large for someone your height.
How much seatpost do you have protruding and what length is your stem?
A pic would be great.
Also a pic of you riding on it as well (so one on and one off).
Hard to tell without the pic but from what I'm hearing, I suspect your bent over forwards a bit too much to compensate for the large frame.
A stem with a short throw and maybe steep angle upward may alleviate this if correct.
Bars equal to but preferably higher than the saddle, for me, makes the most comfortable ride.
I've a bad back and hate being stretched forward whilst riding but everyone is different.

Last edited by rifraf; 01-03-14 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 01-06-14, 04:41 PM
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as mentioned, if you really want some informed advice, put up some photos, along with measurements of this and that.
you dont have to be in the photo if you dont want to, but at least show the bike, along with toptube length and all that rigamarol.
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Old 01-08-14, 07:36 AM
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Everybody's back pain issues are different (localized vs shooting-down-leg, etc, etc). I've lived with (and troubleshot) back pain for 25 yrs. I converted from running to biking because of back pain. Pro fit might help. Physical therapy has always been somewhat effective for me. NSAIDs are modern miracles. In the end you'll need to work it out yourself with lots of trial and error and professional advice. I also have the most trouble with hills. On steep hills you end up pulling up on the bars similar to repeatedly lifting a load --which is usually not good for back problems. On steep hills I'll sometimes get off and walk even though I'm pretty sure I could gut it out --just to avoid aggravating the back.
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Old 01-08-14, 10:01 AM
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A proper bike fit is very important!

A proper fitting saddle is also important. You want your sitbones to be supported by your seat. Many times people think a bigger saddle will offer more support, this is not always correct.

Core strength is also very important for cycling. Back pain is very individual and each will have a different solution. Personally planks were my best option. Strong core muscles improved my back pain immensely!
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Old 01-08-14, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
Not saying your wrong or anything but that sizing sounds strange.
I'm 5"11' and my last Touring bike was a 19 and my current bike (Surly Ogre) is a 20 (with a very short 50mm stem and bars with a large back sweep).
The 19 frame sounds large for someone your height.
How much seatpost do you have protruding and what length is your stem?
A pic would be great.
Also a pic of you riding on it as well (so one on and one off).
Hard to tell without the pic but from what I'm hearing, I suspect your bent over forwards a bit too much to compensate for the large frame.
I am 5'10+ and ride a 19in mtn bike frame, so I agree that for someone who is 5'5", this bike is too big for you. My bike does not have drop bars, it has mtn bike type handlebars that rise up a bit and angle back towards the seat a bit, so if your bike is a drop bar bike, then your brake hoods are going to be even further away from the seat than my 19in mtn bike, and I am over 5 inches taller than you.

measure the top tube from middle of seat post to middle of the headset. My mtn bike distance of this toptube is about 23 inches, the handlebar grips are probably another 1.5" further forward.
My drop bar bike toptube length is about 21.5in or 55cm, but then the drop bars extend out more.

Hope these numbers are a reference for you, although everyone is different they should give you an idea because it certainly seems that this frame is too big for you.
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Old 01-08-14, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
Not saying your wrong or anything but that sizing sounds strange.
I'm 5"11' and my last Touring bike was a 19 and my current bike (Surly Ogre) is a 20 (with a very short 50mm stem and bars with a large back sweep).
The 19 frame sounds large for someone your height.
How much seatpost do you have protruding and what length is your stem?
A pic would be great.
Also a pic of you riding on it as well (so one on and one off).
Hard to tell without the pic but from what I'm hearing, I suspect your bent over forwards a bit too much to compensate for the large frame.
A stem with a short throw and maybe steep angle upward may alleviate this if correct.
Bars equal to but preferably higher than the saddle, for me, makes the most comfortable ride.
I've a bad back and hate being stretched forward whilst riding but everyone is different.
It could be a fine size. Dig up the specs on the bikes and compare top tubes, if anything the bike might be small for him.
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Old 01-08-14, 02:31 PM
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LeeG
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Originally Posted by kaptech View Post
, this is my first drop bike. or should I go straight to a mechanic.
People without back injuries get sore backs. If this is your first road bike with drop bars I'm going to take a wild guess that you may not be aware what proper posture on a road bike is and that your cycling technique involved standing on the pedals to go faster?

Anyway assumptions aside and onto more wild guessing maybe you're pushing too hard for too long and you need to go slower up hills and incorporate more awareness into how you're putting out power. Maybe you're stiffening up as a way to grind your way up a hill. Maybe your back is arched. Maybe your arms are stiff and straight. Maybe you need to schedule rest within the ride. Maybe your back is cold. Maybe you're getting old. Maybe it takes time to develop a comfortable posture. Who knows. My guess is you're pushing it and your back is letting you know.

Last edited by LeeG; 01-08-14 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 01-08-14, 05:05 PM
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kaptech, as you can see, its very easy to have different opinions from people on the internet (myself included) who dont see you and your bike in real life, as well as who are not you and not experiencing your back issue from riding.

All I can say is please use my measurements as a reference, but better yet, if you can, take your bikes measurements and if at all possible ride a bike that has less reach from seat to bars. At least this way you can actually see yourself if your back or whatever discomfort is helped by a bike with less reach.
Do be aware that it is fairly easy to change a handlebar stem, the bit that attaches the bars to the bike--for a stem that can be shorter in length and/or has a different angle so as to bring the bars up (as well as closer). A well equiped bike store will have diff stems and can give you an idea of what changes can be done.

good luck with being more comfortable, and to be very frank, if your body is telling you something, dont listen to what others say. Make changes so that the bike is comfortable for you.
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Old 01-08-14, 05:51 PM
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I am sort of shooting in the dark, but you might be experiencing a muscle imbalance. You inquired into possible "core strengthening" I don't know how old you are, but i have struggled with degrees of cycling back pain for about 33 years. I recently discovered that i have been living what i call a "forward" lifestyle, in that eating, work, sitting at a computer, driving a car and of coarse cycling. All using forward leaning back muscles. I recently discovered bridging exercises that work the various back muscles, especially what i call the reverse handstand bridge. I almost went into shock the first time i tried it, because i had not used those muscles for what felt like 30 years because of the "forward lifestyle."
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Old 01-08-14, 06:13 PM
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Djb, if he has a '97 road bike with horizontal top tube the seat tube will be longer than a mtn bike with sloping top tube for similar sized rider. In other words someone riding a 19" road bike with 20.5" top tube is riding a much smaller bike than someone on a 19" mtn bike that has an inch taller bottom bracket and 3" longer top tube.
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Old 01-08-14, 06:33 PM
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Lee, thats why I dont like frame measurements referring to the seattube length, as you say the toptube slope affects things. My mtn bike is from 1998 and doesnt have a real slope to the toptube.
My main reason to encourage him to measure the toptube is at least a reference, much more useful info in my opinion than "frame size" which nearly always refers to the seat tube length.
As his bike is a drop bar, we then also get into the stem length, plus the actual drop bars and their "depth". Some drop bars have much longer "reach" than others, so to me it is really necessary to measure from the midpt of the seatpost to the actual front of the drops, and even then taking into account the additional distance to the hoods (where we ride so often).

in any case, if the fellow doesnt give some numbers, its all a moot point. And even then, its his back and his back pain. Always hard to help with such personal issues, ie we could give good advice but if his back is such that he needs an extender that puts his bars 2, 3 or 4 inches above his seat...well thats what he needs (plus all the additional side of things, how much has he ridden a bike, age, general shape etc etc etc etc)
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