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Back pain

Old 03-25-20, 01:37 PM
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N2motorsports
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Back pain

My son and I are just starting out cycling and he's been complaining of soreness in the back after a 20mile ride.
He's a shorter human at 5'3" and we got him a late 80's puch in a 48 to 49cm range. Top bar gives him 1.5in clearance and I've repositioned handlebar height so that he isnt riding too horizontal. The boy is fit and bikes to school daily, so me at 45 y.o and 3 herniated disc felt no pain. What other factors might cause back soreness?
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Old 03-25-20, 01:56 PM
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unterhausen
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Back soreness usually signals core strength issues. A lot of people have weak lower backs, I don't think youth is a guarantee that isn't the case. Cycling uses the lower back.

Those bikes were really long IIRC. Shorter stem might be a better fix than raising the handlebars.
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Old 03-25-20, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Back soreness usually signals core strength issues. A lot of people have weak lower backs, I don't think youth is a guarantee that isn't the case. Cycling uses the lower back.

Those bikes were really long IIRC. Shorter stem might be a better fix than raising the handlebars.
Thanks for the quick response, I'll look into it, now that I think of it, not sure how bent his elbows are. So yes, if his arms have no bend then We'll def need a shorter stem.
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Old 03-25-20, 05:06 PM
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His muscles are adjusting. From the way you're wording it, that's what I'm understanding.

Sit ups and stretching the hamstring will go along way. Break a good sweat before stretching.
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Old 03-25-20, 06:36 PM
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Lower back? Or upper back between the shoulders? I'm assuming a Puch road bike, but they made a BMX and other stuff too.

On a road bike, sitting too upright is a mistake in my opinion. That will put more weight on both your shoulders and upper back as well as the saddle. For me, leaning forward lets the power my legs are developing lift some weight off the saddle and the fact my body won't bend much more takes some weight off my wrist and arms.

As for his pain, I don't know. But when doing longer rides than your body is used too, muscles will squawk for awhile till they get used to the new norm.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:49 PM
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If I don’t stretch after I ride my back will bother me. Why I don’t stretch after every ride, don’t ask me.
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Old 03-25-20, 08:04 PM
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Oh you have that!

Let's say for arguments sake. Do 40 or 50 jumping jacks. Now you're sweating.
Your muscles are hot. Now you can stretch and don't bounce. After that continue
with your workout.

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Old 03-31-20, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by N2motorsports View Post
My son and I are just starting out cycling and he's been complaining of soreness in the back after a 20mile ride.
He's a shorter human at 5'3" and we got him a late 80's puch in a 48 to 49cm range. Top bar gives him 1.5in clearance and I've repositioned handlebar height so that he isnt riding too horizontal. The boy is fit and bikes to school daily, so me at 45 y.o and 3 herniated disc felt no pain. What other factors might cause back soreness?
Have someone check the fit, just to be sure; however, I've learned all people who fit seem to have different opinions. Perhaps riding more upright using a different stem? As others mentioned, improving the core helps. I have a bad back issue which derailed be from cycling last summer. Since then I've been doing TRX which has helped a lot with core improvements.
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Old 03-31-20, 08:42 PM
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Here's my primer on how to check a fit: https://www.bikeforums.net/21296948-post3.html

Fit doesn't have to be exact, but the above guidelines should prove helpful, just to see if anything is obviously amiss One thing not mentioned there, but useful in this case, is to check that he is not rounding his back. The back should be more-or-less straight from the top of the shorts to the base of the neck.

The real issue, as has been stressed above, is fitness. Many people think the perfect bike fit will eliminate pain. It will not. The only thing that eliminates pain is perfect fitness. And even that doesn't work forever, just take a google and look at the faces of RAAM finishers.

How to get the back fit? The best way is to ride lots. Ride until it hurts, rest it for a day, then do that again. After not all that many repetitions, the pain won't start for many more miles. That can be eventually increased to 100s of kilometers.

Of course off-bike exercises help too, and will shorten the time to fitness, but nothing makes your back as fit as cycling, lots of it.
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