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elbow pain

Old 07-19-21, 07:19 AM
  #1  
Awesomeguy
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elbow pain

Hello,

I started back up cycling frequently again, and i am noticing i experience some elbow pain, i have a fitness bike with flat handlebars, could anyone advice what might be causing this?
the bike is a size large trekfx3, 2020 model, and i'm 5'11 231 lbs.

I never noticed it while riding, but it seems to happen in between randomly like little pain here and there. I just started riding about a week ago, almost everyday for about 8-10 miles (30 to 40 minutes)
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Old 07-19-21, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
Hello,

I started back up cycling frequently again, and i am noticing i experience some elbow pain, i have a fitness bike with flat handlebars, could anyone advice what might be causing this?
the bike is a size large trekfx3, 2020 model, and i'm 5'11 231 lbs.

I never noticed it while riding, but it seems to happen in between randomly like little pain here and there. I just started riding about a week ago, almost everyday for about 8-10 miles (30 to 40 minutes)
You’re probably locking your elbows on the bike.
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Old 07-19-21, 07:56 AM
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Don't overlook the possibility of referred pain from your cervical spine. Look into the C6/C7 region, as pinching that nerve can refer pain to the elbow. Is your upper body relaxed and your head in a neutral position when you ride? Do you really relax your upper body, or are you fighting the bike?

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Old 07-19-21, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Don't overlook the possibility of referred pain from your cervical spine. Look into the C6/C7 region, as pinching that nerve can refer pain to the elbow. Is your upper body relaxed and your head in a neutral position when you ride? Do you really relax your upper body, or are you fighting the bike?
I would say, they only time i might have some tension is when i'm riding out of the saddle, going up hill, but usually, i feel ok, but naturally, i do have some weight on my handle bars, but i feel like, everyone has that some what, and by hands are not numb or anything.

I was thinking, if it had to do with flat handlebars, or is that theory not true, since mountain bikers ride for 3 hours at a time in one hand position?
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Old 07-19-21, 08:34 AM
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Mountain bikers might more constantly be flexing their elbows on the type terrain they ride. On the road you won't have that elbow action going on and there might be a tendency to lock your elbows or at least just remain with your elbows in one position too long.

But this is just conjecture on my part to justify my utter disdain for flat bars on bikes that otherwise only ride the paved road.
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Old 07-19-21, 08:38 AM
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Exercise the elbows and see if it helps. I get elbow pain from my arms being folded up while sleeping. I have to do something to keep them active.

https://chiropractic.ca/blog/6-ways-...golfers-elbow/
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Old 07-19-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Mountain bikers might more constantly be flexing their elbows on the type terrain they ride. On the road you won't have that elbow action going on and there might be a tendency to lock your elbows or at least just remain with your elbows in one position too long.

But this is just conjecture on my part to justify my utter disdain for flat bars on bikes that otherwise only ride the paved road.
so you are implying it is , or it is NOT having to do with the FLAT handlebars?
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Old 07-19-21, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
so you are implying it is , or it is NOT having to do with the FLAT handlebars?
Depends. If you ride your bike in off road terrain and are constantly yanking on the bars to get weight off the front wheel to go over obstacles then probably not the bar. I suppose if you constantly hop curbs and road furniture, then maybe it's not even a problem on the paved road.

However simply changing to another bar type might not solve the issue or it might create another issue or two for the one solved. Bikes designed for flat bars are going to have their geometry figured out for your hands being at a certain reach from the saddle. That is not going to be the same as what you'll have with a drop bar or most any other bars. So your bike may no longer fit you with a simple bar change.

If it were me, I would probably try some of those old style swept back bars that they use to put on 3 speed english racers or old roadsters from the 1950's. Then you might still be able to use your current shifters and brake levers. Don't go too wide either. That just braces you up and puts most of the forces from bumps and stuff into your arms and shoulders.

All just IMO. I'm not an expert, these are just things that I perceive as the reasons for some of my experiences in the past.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:04 AM
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i watched a video about bike fits, and one of the things they said, once in position of riding, when looking down , the front wheel's hub should not show, and the handle bar should cover the sight of the hub, is this true ?
in addition, if when looking down the hub shows in front of the handlebar, bike could be too big, if it shows behind the handlebar, bike is too small.

For me personally it shows in front, just a hair like an inch when looking down, but my elbows are not fully locked.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:30 AM
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i watched a video about bike fits, and one of the things they said, once in position of riding, when looking down , the front wheel's hub should not show, and the handle bar should cover the sight of the hub, is this true ?
No, we are all different.

If you watch the pro tours, you'll see some on bikes that look too large and others that look too small and their head completely past that sight line. And the Goldilocks' on on bikes that seem just right don't win any more than the others that I've noticed.

And they ride a lot further, faster and longer than I do. I'd think they'd demand the same comfort that I do.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-19-21 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:53 AM
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You also need a strong core so you're not relying too much on your arms to hold you up.
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Old 07-19-21, 10:10 AM
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Enjoy
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Old 07-19-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Depends. If you ride your bike in off road terrain and are constantly yanking on the bars to get weight off the front wheel to go over obstacles then probably not the bar. I suppose if you constantly hop curbs and road furniture, then maybe it's not even a problem on the paved road.

However simply changing to another bar type might not solve the issue or it might create another issue or two for the one solved. Bikes designed for flat bars are going to have their geometry figured out for your hands being at a certain reach from the saddle. That is not going to be the same as what you'll have with a drop bar or most any other bars. So your bike may no longer fit you with a simple bar change.

If it were me, I would probably try some of those old style swept back bars that they use to put on 3 speed english racers or old roadsters from the 1950's. Then you might still be able to use your current shifters and brake levers. Don't go too wide either. That just braces you up and puts most of the forces from bumps and stuff into your arms and shoulders.

All just IMO. I'm not an expert, these are just things that I perceive as the reasons for some of my experiences in the past.
one thing I should add , it is only the left elbow
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Old 07-19-21, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
one thing I should add , it is only the left elbow
Are both your elbows identical mirror copies of the other?
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Old 07-19-21, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Are both your elbows identical mirror copies of the other?
aye maybe
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Old 07-20-21, 12:50 AM
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You just resumed riding. It'll take awhile to get back into shape.

Meanwhile, do some range of motion exercises to strengthen the arms and torso. If you don't already do full floor pushups, etc., start out easy with wall push-offs. Then countertop push-ups. Take a couple of weeks or more before trying full floor pushups.

I have chronic pain from various injuries, including a busted up neck and shoulder. Periodically I'll get lazy and skip my usual full body home physical therapy exercises. Recently my shoulders, neck, lower back, wrists, elbows, etc., have been a bit achy. But I haven't done any arm or core exercises in two or three weeks. Usually I'll do those exercises midway through my usual 5-7 mile jogging route, stopping at the top of a climb to do some exercises on grass under a shady tree, but it's been so hot and humid I've skipped those mid-jog exercises. So I'll start back easy, with countertop pushups, etc. Then resume floor pushups after a week or so.

When I'm jogging I always carry water in summer. Usually a hydration backpack but occasionally a water bottle. If I carry a bottle I'll use the weight of the bottle to work both arms, shoulders and elbows for warmups during the first mile. It's only about a pound of weight but enough to help loosen up the arms and shoulders.

In cycling we never approach the effort needed for floor pushups, so it really isn't necessary to do more than angled pushups off a countertop, or wall push-offs if we're really out of shape.

There's planking too, which I find incredibly boring, and it tends to duplicate the position we're already in on the bike. Even if I plank for a minute I don't try to stay rigidly still. I'll vary between elbow/forearm supported planks, hand supported planks, and flex the hips, along with easy range of motion exercises for the legs.

My physical therapist feels the same way about planking. He thinks long planks are pointless for cyclists because we're already doing similar exercises merely by riding a bike. When he had me doing neck exercises, he suggested avoiding the types of exercises that duplicate working the muscles already being worked by cycling. So we focused on working the muscles that are usually neglected in cycling. It helped.

Ditto, those workout rubber bands. I have several but seldom use them. They do help if I remember to use 'em.
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