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  1. #1
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    Lower back pain after long 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?

    Thanks!
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  2. #2
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    Every persons back problem is an individual one. Some people respond to differing tweeks to their ride position. You can tilt yourself forward by moving the saddle forward and relieve a bit of weight off the back, but put more weight onto the bars/arms/shoulders. You might need to remove spacers to get the position right in this format. This worked for me, but does not work for others. Swap out your seat stem for a carbon one as they absorb the vibs better which can trouble a bad back. Use an elastic back brace, do back strengthening exercises. Experiment with tyre pressures, there are lots of things to look at.

    You have a default ride position now, measure it and record it so you can return to it if any changes don't work out for you.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  3. #3
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    Good suggestions from Eric.

    One question: Have you heard of forward hip rotation? If not, I'd suggest starting there ... because it changes everything else. The term is a little confusing but basically it's a shift in your pelvis angle which allows you to ride with a flatter back. In practical terms, you simply stick out your butt and grind your junk into the saddle.

    Good info, here:
    Joe Friel's Blog: Road Bike Posture

    Once you straighten your back, you'll lengthen your torso and change your reach. That's why I suggest starting with posture.

    There's some debate as to what's the best way to ride (arched or flat) but I fall into the flat-back-is-better-for-power camp. After all, if you're going to do some squats or heavy lifting, a straight back is always recommended to minimize lower back injury.

    The other HUGE benefit to a flat back is that you can raise your head a lot easier. That definitely makes the drops more useable and will allow you to achieve a more aero position if you want to ride like Wiggo

    Lower back pain after long rides?-wiggins_2270877b.jpg
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  4. #4
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    In practical terms, you simply stick out your butt and grind your junk into the saddle.


    To add to the constraints of this positional change, I use ISM's Breakaway saddle, and recommend it. Why not eliminate that issue as well....!

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  5. #5
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    I've been going though LBP the last couple of months and did a lot of reading on the causes and (hopefully) cures. YMMV, but the conclusion that I came to was that the bike wasn't the cause of my back pain as it was the effect, if that makes sense.

    After analyzing my movement patterns it became clear to me that I putting a lot of workload on my spine that should have been taken care of by my posterior chain of muscles and riding bikes just exposed this chink in the armor, if you will.

    It's caused me to rethink the way I move, how I work (moved to a standing workstation), and fitness program in general. Years of focusing on the front part of body have left my posterior underutilized and underdeveloped, and my spine was left pulling the slack.

    Again, YMMV but I've been working on engaging and developing the real core (posterior chain) which is helping to remove a lot of strain that our spines simply aren't designed for.

    Part of that is learning how to pivot at the waist, rather than 'rolling' the spine. As mentioned above, this has gone a long way towards reducing my LBP on bike rides. You may be interested in Eric Goldman's and Peter Park's, Foundation Training. They have some youtube videos that elaborate more into the the importance developing the posterior chain as a means to eliminate back pain.

    Best luck. Over the years I've suffered a number of injuries and I can honestly say nothing is more deflating than chronic back pain. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
    2002 Giant Rincon
    2012 Diamondback Podium 3
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  6. #6
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    Get fitted somewhere else.
    Lose fat if you have any.
    Work on your core.

    Ridleys are known for wonky sizing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stop619 View Post
    You may be interested in Eric Goldman's and Peter Park's, Foundation Training. They have some youtube videos that elaborate more into the the importance developing the posterior chain as a means to eliminate back pain.
    Thanks for the leads for this videos very interesting...

    Last edited by patineto; 07-25-2013 at 09:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    You might want to check this out too:
    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/lo...pain-solution/

  9. #9
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    I know this is a late reply, but thanks for the info.

    I moved my seat forward about 10mm, and worked on better posture. I recently did a metric century and felt much better.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

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