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  1. #1
    Fat guy on a bike
    Reputation: Mordy's Avatar
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    Pain below elbow

    I'll ask this here as i am definitly in the clyde category and maybe someone else has had similar issues.

    I've been getting this pain from my elbow down almost a third of the way to my wrist. I was looking at my bike and riding position and came to the conclusion that i was putting too much weight on my arms. So i bought a new shorter-higher rise stem.

    This seemed to help a little bit and definitly fixed my wrists getting numb, but i still get this pain. I am sitting up more and my arse is a litte more sore after a long ride, but thats ok. Still i get the pain, even if it might be not as bad.

    So i've been thinking and i am considering maybe a different handlebar. I still have the stock one with some rise and 6 degree sweep. The reason is the sweep seems too much for my wide shoulders, my hands don't rest comfortably at that angle. So i am thinking maybe a wider, straighter handlebar to match my wide(r) shoulders.

    Anyone have any advice? I have asked several LBS and they've only been sorta helpful, except for suggesting a new stem.

  2. #2
    Brackish
    Reputation: carbuncle's Avatar
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    You have several axis' of adjustment to work with in your cockpit: rolling the bars forward and backward (which changes the relationship of your hand-to-wrist position), shortening or lengthening the stem, and changing the angle of rise on the stem and bars. My wife had pretty much the same problem you do. Several things contributed to her pain: stock grips that were too thin, which I replaced with big, handfilling cushy Lizard Skins North Shore lock-ons. She was too stretched out on her FSR XC, so I put a shorter stem with a slightly greater rise on it, and adjusted her bars back so she wasn't reaching too far forward and unconsciously stretching to maintain control. Lastly, we determined that she was white-knucling the handlebars with her two outside fingers or just her pinky while trying to maintain a two or three finger grip on the brakes at all times, then heavily overbraking. Check to see if you are doing this, and if you are fix it by taking your bike out to a nice quiet spot and seeing just how little force you can get away with to make you and your bike stop. Start with one finger on each lever and see what it takes to stop from a medium speed roll on flat ground or pavement. If that isn't enough, try two fingers, but start as gently as possible and work your way up to a greater force. Keep the fingers gripping the handlebars loose, but in control. Disk brakes and V-brakes take suprisingly little squeeze to result in a positive stop when they are set up correctly. Finding this was the last piece in my wife's arm pain puzzle. Now, no pain!

  3. #3
    Fat guy on a bike
    Reputation: Mordy's Avatar
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    Actually as far as grip goes, i don't even grip, i just rest the heal of my palm on the grips and bar-ends for the most part. Actually holding the grips is not very comfortable as i feel like i need to pull my elbows in.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: logbiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordy
    Actually as far as grip goes, i don't even grip, i just rest the heal of my palm on the grips and bar-ends for the most part. Actually holding the grips is not very comfortable as i feel like i need to pull my elbows in.
    a bar with more sweep may be the ticket (ie on-one mary). there's been lots of threads on it (singlespeed & 29er board mostly). I used to think 7-11 degrees was more comfy than something like 3deg, but when I tried the mary, I found nirvana. Used to have problems with elbow pain as well.

    if in doubt, try some bars at the LBS, holding arms in front of you w/ hands, wrists, elbows in a natural position, you'll find out pretty quick what's more comfy.
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  5. #5
    R.I.P. DogFriend
    Reputation: jeffj's Avatar
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    Moving your seat back will also take pressure (weight) off of your arms, but be careful not to move it back too far or you may feel some pain in your knees.

    Truthfully, you should have the shop that sold you the bike "fit" it to you by adjusting all the things that can be adjusted to make you more comfortable.

  6. #6
    Fat guy on a bike
    Reputation: Mordy's Avatar
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    OK i seemed to have solved the problem by rotating my (riser) handlebar forward, which seemed to have opened up my grip and it all feels more comfortable. I was on a bouncy trail mostly today so the real test will be tomorrow as i go endurance on the paved paths.

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