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Hand numbness and lower back pain

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Hand numbness and lower back pain

Old 07-21-21, 11:03 PM
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djdelarosa25
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Hand numbness and lower back pain

Hi all. I would like to ask for suggestions from you guys on how I can improve my bike fit.

First of all, about me. I'm 164 cm tall with a 77 cm inseam. I'm unsure of my proportions but I think I have a short torso, long legs, and long arms(?).

My bike is a 2021 Giant Contend 2, size XS. Here's the product page of my bike where the geometry chart can be found if you scroll down a bit.

Here's a video of me on the trainer. My saddle height was set to 66 cm on the video, which some people on ****** have commented I could raise a bit. Now I have raised it by 1 cm. My saddle was also positioned forward on the video, but not maxed out (about 10 mm from the edge of the clamping area).

I swapped out the stock 80 mm stem with a 100 mm from a friend when I first got the bike (seven months ago) because of naivity. I don't have any neck and shoulder pain when riding, and it seems like I do have a slight bend on my elbows at all times when on the hoods, so I guess it's fine(?). What I do experience on long rides, however, is numb hands and lower back pain, the latter especially noticeable when going hard. I also notice the left part of my butt hurts early on in a ride, possibly due to rubbing against the saddle. It does go away as the ride progresses.

Based on the video and my comments, what would you guys suggest? Do you think I should try a shorter stem, or do my problems lie with other things such as improper saddle setback and lack of core strength? Maybe a combination of all things?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-22-21, 04:58 AM
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Branko D
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Saddle height looks good on the video (I wouldn't raise it, especially if you feel just one side of your butt hurt, because that indicates an imbalance of some sort which are usually made worse by raising the saddle).

How do you feel when you try to raise your hands from the bars while pedalling on the trainer? If you feel excessively like falling forward and having to pedal much faster, try sliding the saddle back a bit and try again and see how you feel. Saddle setback can influence balance and weight distribution on the bike pretty dramatically. A shorter stem might be of use, especially if you change the setback some. Experiment with setback on the trainer and see how it feels when you slightly increase it.

As for lower back pain, all my little aches and pains when it comes to long all day rides disappeared after I started lifting weights. Best thing I ever did for bike comfort.

Last edited by Branko D; 07-22-21 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 07-22-21, 08:07 AM
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Saddle looks too low to me. If you raise it, you will have a lower body position on the bars but your core strength may and should take over to reduce your weight on the bars. I'll run my saddle heights between 106% to 109% of my inseam. Measure from saddle where you sit to the top of pedal when furthest away from the saddle.

If you raise your hands off the bars and fall forward, that's really not an indication to move your saddle back, IMO, it's an indication to do more exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. You'll give up some power into the pedals every time you push your saddle further back. Also IMO.

Do you keep your hands on the hoods all the time? Change your hand position every so often. Where is the palm of your hand when on the hoods? I do better when my palm is on the side of the hoods and the pad below my thumb is on top of the shifter body.

Are your wrist staying straight? If not maybe you need narrower bars. So be sure your hand numbness isn't starting out as wrist numbness. My stock bar width on my new bike was too wide for me, and going 4 cm narrower let me keep my wrist straight on long rides eliminating all the wrist numbness I was getting on 40 mile plus rides.
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Old 07-22-21, 09:00 AM
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Andrey
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Saddle seems slightly lower that needed on the video. When you take off your hands of the bars I would bring them behind your back(do it on the trainer). It is called a balance test. If you keep falling/sliding forward I would tilt the saddle up and maybe slide it slightly back, experiment with it. You should be able to ride on the trainer without sliding forward with your hands behind you back and still keep the normal riding cadence. It should help with the pain in your hands. As far as lower back pain when riding hard most likely core strength is not enough as mentioned above.
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Old 07-22-21, 09:11 AM
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djdelarosa25
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Thank you all for your responses. I'll get back on the trainer and get my saddle setback sorted.

As for my stem length, do you guys think I should stay with 100 mm? In the video, I was on 100 mm. My frame has an endurance geometry and I'm done with trying to make a race bike out of it lol. How about handlebar drop?

Last edited by djdelarosa25; 07-22-21 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 07-22-21, 11:33 AM
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IMO... race road bikes are endurance geometry too. They just let you get a lower more aero position. Typically by having a lower stack height.

As for stem length, try every stem length you have available to you. Use what is more comfortable. It might be with a stem at the extremes of one direction, you might need to consider if something else needs to be changed also.
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