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Lower back and shoulders pain with first drop bar

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Lower back and shoulders pain with first drop bar

Old 09-17-18, 04:58 PM
  #1  
filaton
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Lower back and shoulders pain with first drop bar

Hi all,

I just bought a new bike, which has a much bigger frame than my previous one and also, it has drop bars. When I ride it on short distances, it's fine but I rode it 200km last Saturday and after an hour riding, I had really strong pain in my lower back. I kept going anyway and then my shoulders also started hurting. It's not the kind of pain which prevents me from riding but it is really uncomfortable.
I saw that lower back and shoulders pain is very often due to incorrect fitting but I think getting a complete professional fitting doesn't make sense at my level so I thought I would ask here for some coarse fitting advice.

I can't post pictures yet so you can find them there (don't forget to insert the dot before "com"):
  • dropbox com/s/3nqcg7o4sv1lumq/position1.JPG?raw=1
  • dropbox com/s/3ga9hrikocjh6bf/position2.JPG?raw=1

If I interpret my pictures correctly, I would say that I don't have enough reach as the angle between my torso and upper arm is slightly under 90° but I have the feeling that if I increase the reach, it'll be even more painful as I'm really not flexible.

My questions are:

1. What fitting decisions can I take which would improve my riding comfort?
2. Can it also be just that my muscles are not used to the position yet and that it was hurting me just because it was the first time I rode with drop bar on a long distance?
3. Also, I got quite some pressure on my perinea during this 200km. Will changing the saddle help or does it ultimately boil down to a fitting/position problem?

Thank you in advance for your input!
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Old 09-19-18, 10:48 AM
  #2  
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Question

Are toe touch stretches comfortable? or is back just not so flexible.. ?

I have long rotated my hips back, saddle level, flexing my back to reach the bars ..
posture adapted (drop bar touring bike not a go fast racer)

You get a race bike emulating the ones the racers in their 20's ride..
extended seat post, low bars?

a C&V type (level top tube) bike can be set up with much higher handlebars , to be more comfortable..
bars same height as your saddle top.

Using uncut tall steerer tube, , up angled stem, stem raisers, etc.

[I only get a loop back to this page with your picture link]







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-19-18 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 09-19-18, 10:57 AM
  #3  
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What I have found is that when leaned over, your *stomach* muscles are the ones that can best hold you up. Give it a try - when riding, purposely let your arms relax yet keep your upper body leaned over the bars. You will feel your stomach and other torso muscles take up the slack. Once those core muscles get stronger, you should be able to ride farther with much less (if any) discomfort.

(A bike fit is always a good idea too.)
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Old 09-19-18, 06:59 PM
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Looking at the second photo, it looks like your saddle is too high. Do your hips rock from side to side when pedaling? Does it feel as if you are reaching for the bottom of the pedal stroke? Lower back pain has been associated to a too high saddle position in some riders. Your shoulder pain may be in response to that as well.
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Old 09-20-18, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Looking at the second photo, it looks like your saddle is too high. Do your hips rock from side to side when pedaling? Does it feel as if you are reaching for the bottom of the pedal stroke? Lower back pain has been associated to a too high saddle position in some riders. Your shoulder pain may be in response to that as well.
I'm glad you said it. I was going to, but figured someone would jump on me for it. To me, the saddle does look too high, and that will cause back pain. I would start here and get the seat height sorted out. At least then you will know if it is too high or not. https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/
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Old 10-17-18, 08:18 PM
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If you're regularly doing 200km rides and spending 7+ hrs in the saddle in a day there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't get a professional fit done, no matter what level you are.
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Old 10-18-18, 09:36 AM
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Saddle may be a bit high, but it's WAY too far forward. Your comments about back and shoulder pain and perineal discomfort raised a red flag and the photos confirmed it. Slide that saddle back as far as it'll go. You'll probably need to lower it a touch to compensate.

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OC, OR
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Old 10-18-18, 11:59 AM
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The recommendation by people who understand these things is to maintain a flat back and it works on my old bod. Power lifters don't bend at the waist to lift but bend at the knees and look straight ahead maintaining a straight back. On the bike, rather than bend at the waist, instead fold at the hips, like a jack knife.
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Old 10-18-18, 03:46 PM
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Also, your arms look like they're close to being locked at the elbows, which transmits jostling directly from the road to your shoulders. If you bend your elbows, they should act as springs and reduce shoulder stress. Rounding your back/bending at the waist puts a lot of stress on your lower back - I, too, recommend rolling your hips forward rather than bending at the waist. I'm another vote for 'Seat looks too high,' too.
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Old 11-11-18, 06:11 AM
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Hard to really see much from the pics since you're not in the riding position, but I agree you appear too far forward and the saddle might need to go back a bit. I'd also menion that 200km on a bike is a significant distance even on bike that fits well, imo there will always be some discomfort/soreness after riding a distance like that. My bike fits well well, but on days I knock out 70-100 miles I definitely get a bit sore here and there by the end of it.
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Old 11-19-18, 11:08 AM
  #11  
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I can't see the pictures, but you should absolutely get fitted by someone who knows what they are doing or get a fitting done by a professional. It has nothing to do with ability level and everything to do with being comfortable on the bike. If you are comfortable you will ride more, you will ride longer, you will be more efficient. Look at it this way....you wouldn't wear shoes that were too big or small would you? Your bike is no different.
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Old 11-20-18, 12:02 PM
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Yeah, pretty hard to tell from the photos of you not in riding position. Redo with you in your long distance riding position, leaning against the wall. One photo pedals level, one with pedals in line with the seat tube.

Preliminary, your reach looks maybe a little too short, but again can't really tell. The bike is certainly not too large. It looks like you have your brakes on. Don't do that for photos. Rotate your bars counterclockwise as seen in the photos until your bar tops (ramps, technically) are level or pointing slightly down. Then adjust your brake lever positions, if necessary, so that the levers are vertical.

Agree with you that pro fit is not necessary. I've never had one in 65 years of riding.

Oh - lower back and shoulders sore. Normal. That'll go away with more riding in a good position. My dictum is "get fit" not "get a fit."
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Old 11-20-18, 06:57 PM
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Where are you seeing pics? I don’t see anything.
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Old 11-20-18, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Where are you seeing pics? I don’t see anything.
In the OP. The dropbox links don't show as links because he left out the dot for some reason. One has to put the dot in manually to create working links.
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Old 12-03-18, 04:00 AM
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Everyone, thank you for all your answers! I didn't take the time to write back until now, sorry.

Since the time I asked the question, I have changed my saddle to a Specialized Avatar, put it lower and most importantly, I have now ridden quite some kilometres with this bike and I'm happy to report that I have no pain anymore!
I think I'll try to get a proper fitting done next year and see where that gets me.

(Also, for those of you who were wondering why I left the dot out of my Dropbox URL, it's because I'm not allowed to post URL on the forum yet)

Thanks again for you help!
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Old 12-05-18, 05:51 PM
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Glad to hear things have worked out well.
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