1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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Thread: Back hurting

  1. #1
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    Back hurting

    So I do not have a great back, but I am still young, 23 years old. But form lifting heavy things and being a skinny person, my back is not the best.

    But after biking on local trails my back hurts sometimes. Am I sitting too low? Normal? Bike wrong size? I probably am going to ask the local bike shop so I can actually show them, but wanted to get other opinions too.

    I find myself standing a lot, and I do keep my seat a bit lower than I should because I don't want it in my way.

  2. #2
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    I ride outta the saddle alot too. Focus on keeping your hips loose and your shoulders engaged and back in the 'center of the socket'. You wanna keep your energy going down the back of your legs all the way down through your heels, which you should focus on keeping as low as possible. Keeping the heels low will engage those big muscles in your butt, hammies and calves rather than riding on tip toes and catching the pressure up the leg bones into the spine.

    Lunges are a good way to stregthen the muscles involved.

  3. #3
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    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Could you please expand on this?

    What area of the back is sore?
    Is it stiffness?
    Is it a sharp pain?
    When do you realize pain, i.e. what motions cause pain?
    Have you ever injured your back?
    Did you start cycling recently?
    What kind of trails do you ride and for how long? e.g. hour-long rides on easy unpaved trails with a good mix of climbs and fast downhills, nothing too technical ....

    Lower back muscle soreness is common for someone just starting. It has less to do with saddle height and more to do with the fact that you haven't used those muscles as intensely as you do now. A saddle set too low often produces knee soreness.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  5. #5
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    You are on the right track by talking to a shop. It's important that your bike is fitted to you. I take care of a number of mountain bikers in my practice and find that most cases of bike related spinal pain can be addressed by the proper fitting of their bike. Joe is also correct in that a lot of folks will experience mild low back pain when just starting out. Good luck.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  6. #6
    BMW 2002, Dodge A100, etc
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    +1 on bike fit. Longer / Shorter / more rise on the stem helps. Riser bar helps some too. Might want to bring your seatpost up where you get just a slight bend in the knees when pedaling is optimal. One thing to think about is technique and overall core strength. If your core is weak, your technique goes when your are tired and you'll start to flail. Also, maybe shift a little more and get your pedal cadence up where you spin your pedals more. Might want to rest a little and let your back recover if it's a nagging injury that you feel while riding. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Back pain is not uncommon given the long-held positions that come about during riding. I am a running coach and deal with this often with clients and myself. At your young age you need to still be cautious at how far you go before getting an evaluation by a doc. In the meantime I can tell you that conditioning your core, stretching, and possibly some rolling out of the back using a foam roller can bring about some good results. Don't let it go to far should the pain not let up, increase in severity, etc.

    David

  8. #8
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    I rode a bike that was a bit too small for me for many years (approx 19). About 45 minutes into my rides, my back would get sore. I just figured it was the rough trail and a weak back. However, I finally bought a new bike a month ago, my lbs recommended the size and fitted it for me. Now, I have had zero pain on my rides - and I am riding the same trails.

    Your pain may or may not be related to your bike size and geometry, but I would recommend taking it to your lbs to evaluate its fit to you. See what they say.

  9. #9
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    Well I strongly suggest instead of asking people on the internet go visit a doctor because it is a big possibility that it's not the height of the seat that causes the back pain. I ride in several different seat heights (depends on the terrain) and never had back pains.

  10. #10
    Gears... I hate gears
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    I don't have a good back either. My problems started when I was 11 and now I'm 16 but I don't even notice anymore thanks to a trip to the chiropractor a couple years ago. The last ride I went on my water bladder gave out on me so I had no water. My back started hurting after about 45 min and it was the first time from riding my bike. When I got home I did a search on this site and found out that most back pain is caused by a lack of hydration. So drink water and lots of it. My friends joke that I'm a camel because of how fast I go through water. I try to drink only water because gatorade and other stuff I find doesn't hydrate me as well as water.

    Another big cause of back pain is a weak core. Work on that if that area is lacking. And the problem persists then definitely go see a doctor because your back is not something you want to play around with.

    My mom thought I was faking because of how young I was but after I couldn't play tennis anymore she decided I wasn't. I went to the chiropractor and took some x-rays and found out I had a short leg by 1/4 inch. I got some inserts and my back felt 1000x better overnight.

    1. HYDRATE!
    2. Get a six pack. Your back will notice and so will the ladies.
    3. If that fails then see a doctor.

    Hope I could help.
    Last edited by reedfe; 08-02-2012 at 07:07 AM.

  11. #11
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    The first thing you need to do is to put your saddle in the proper position for riding. Without you in the proper cycling position, we are just guessing as to how your body is sitting. Once you're in the proper cycling position then we can start saying, "well your lower back hurts, you're probably leaning too far out" but without knowing exactly where you are then we can't even begin to know where you should go.

    You also need to get strong, work that core.
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  12. #12
    Go Speed Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by monopolybag View Post
    So I do not have a great back, but I am still young, 23 years old. But form lifting heavy things and being a skinny person, my back is not the best.

    But after biking on local trails my back hurts sometimes. Am I sitting too low? Normal? Bike wrong size? I probably am going to ask the local bike shop so I can actually show them, but wanted to get other opinions too.

    I find myself standing a lot, and I do keep my seat a bit lower than I should because I don't want it in my way.
    I had similar issues when I got back into riding. I implemented a LOT of the advice / workouts recommended by James Wilson and back pain is a thing of the past. He has a TON of free information on his site. Mountain Bike Strength and Cardio Training Tips and Programs

    Specifically check this out: Here is a simple 5 exercise routine I use to address low back pain caused by mountain biking. | Mountain Bike Training Programs helped me greatly.
    Last edited by mtbdennis; 08-02-2012 at 09:41 AM.

  13. #13
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    Like everyone is saying : there are too many variables to make a good judgment.

    But...

    If you feel if it's your back muscles, get off your bike and stretch. This can help alot. But go to your lbs and figure this out. The last thing we want is to give bad advice and you end up injuring yourself.

    Good luck!
    Mountain Biking is not a hobby. It's a lifestyle.

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