Lower back pain on longer rides?
So I've started doing longer rides, as I want to do a century by the end of August. Currently I've done two 50 milers as my longest rides.
I'm good on my shorter rides (20-30 miles), but on the long ones noticed that I started getting a sore lower back.
I was fitted for the bike, but I think it needs more adjustment.
With all the spacers under the stem, my seat is slightly higher than the handlebars.
I think I have too long a reach, and am hunching over too much, which gives me the soreness over time.
I rotated the bars up a bit, which brings the hoods slightly up and closer, which seemed to help a bit. It still doesn't feel ideal, and I don't want to rotate them anymore as I think my wrist would be at a weird angle when riding on the hoods.
Right now the bike has a 90mm stem with a 6 degree rise. I was thinking of going to a 80mm stem with more rise.
OR, there's still some adjustment in the seat, I could slide it forward a bit.
What's the better way to go about this?
Also, will a shorter stem negatively effect handling?
EDIT: OOPS, just realized I posted this in the wrong forum. I could have sworn I clicked on the CX forum. Mods, please move this to the appropriate forum.
'15 Charge Cooker Maxi 2
'13 Salsa Horsethief 2
'12 Trek 6000
'11 Ridley X-Ride
'11 Santa Cruz Driver 8
Move the seat forward 10mm. Its free. You will be surprised.
Originally Posted by StuntmanMike
Get your bike properly fitted at your LBS.
Opinions are like buttholes - everyone has one and they all stink. That is my way of saying that I would disagree with squareback. While every geometry change affects something else, saddle fore/aft position should be used to mainly set the knee-over-crank position. You change stem length/height to set the reach.
To fix my lower back pain (tendonitis not muscular) on the road I went with a LONGER reach. It had the effect of flattening out my back. With the shorter reach, I let my back get curved which created problems. Don't let your back get too arched.
A lot of back problems on a bicycle are caused by muscle weakness. Cycling is great for building up legs, but lousy for the upper body. Weak abs force the back to do more work. Arms should never be locked at the elbow. I try to keep my elbows about 45 degrees past a right angle (about 45 degrees from locked). That engages more upper body muscles to hold your position rather than just engaging the back and hips.
If the only way that you can reach the handlebars is by locking your elbows, then your reach is too far.
If you're not doing regular core and upper body strength workouts, add them and see if they help.
I prefer oxycodone. I will take some hydrocodone if that's all that's available, but the oxy really takes all the lower back pain away. YMMV
I think that if you trust the people who fit the bike to you, then the issue is your core strength or you are at your lactic threshold too much early on. After you add up the miles you will start to fatigue and you will loose proper form. If your core isn't able to support you then its left to your lower back and it doesn't like the job
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