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  1. #1
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    New geometry pain?

    l recently upgraded to a more racey geometry bike, and it is one of the first times l have ridden with such a large drop between the saddle and the handlebars. Due to the steerer tube being cut short, l can not raise my handlebars any higher.

    When l rode the bike in this geometry for the first few times last week, my lower back starts to get sore after about half an hour. ls this normal for people who start riding true XC bikes after riding for so long on a relaxed geometry? Will my body get used to a new geometry or will l have to put risers handlebars on or even replace the steerer tube to deal with this problem? l am also more stretched out on this new bike.

  2. #2
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    Did you get fit on the new bike? I don't think just transferring the measurements from the old bike to the new are going to cut it - because of that geometry.

    Assuming you were fit (by a shop you trust)... and not knowing a few other factors, e.g. flexibility, weight (and if it's optimal for your age/height, etc.), other training... I'd say, well I'd guess you'll get used to it.

    I'm convinced (at least as we get older), that doing core and upper-body work is huge. I ride only XC hardtails (one has about a 6" seat : bar delta) and never have back pain - even on 50+ mile rides. BUT, if I've been slacking in the gym (back and core) then I can feel it when I'm on the bike.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
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  3. #3
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    The first thing I notice if my bars are too low is that my lower back bothers me.

    What about risers, or a higher-angle stem? You might be able to do enough core work to make the new position work, but if it's hurting you, it's doing no favors for your lap times.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    Quote Originally Posted by a.brasington
    l recently upgraded to a more racey geometry bike, and it is one of the first times l have ridden with such a large drop between the saddle and the handlebars. Due to the steerer tube being cut short, l can not raise my handlebars any higher.

    When l rode the bike in this geometry for the first few times last week, my lower back starts to get sore after about half an hour. ls this normal for people who start riding true XC bikes after riding for so long on a relaxed geometry? Will my body get used to a new geometry or will l have to put risers handlebars on or even replace the steerer tube to deal with this problem? l am also more stretched out on this new bike.
    so curious what a lower and more streached postion does for you?

    because IMO the percieved gain for pedaling still isnt a good as being confindent in technical sections and turns.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
    so curious what a lower and more streached postion does for you?

    because IMO the percieved gain for pedaling still isnt a good as being confindent in technical sections and turns.
    For me, it's climbing. When you're pointed up a hill, you're still in a great pedaling position with solid power transfer - not unweighting the front end too much.

    But I also agree that too much makes downhill handling suck. This is my old hardtail. Only switching to a more relaxed geometry (still an XC hardtail) and going back to this bike occasionally, really showed how bad it is on steep decents.

    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  6. #6
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    I've been racing awhile now and have ridden an Epic since 2004. It's a pure race bike. I've had zero issues transferring SOME of my road bike fit measurements to my mountain bike. I was professional fitted to road bike but MTB is different given how much you move around.

    I lift weights A LOT and focus on my core a lot. However, this year I'm having HORRID lower back pain. I"ve only changed handle bars going from 1.5 riser to .75. Maybe that's it (I just thought of that while typing this.hmmm). Anyways, I had a race yesterday (30miles) and today I'm living off of advil. A race last month had me almost bed ridden. I've NEVER experienced this before.

    My bike shop wants $200 for bike fit (takes 3 fking hours). I don't know what else to do. Could it possible be just a small change in handlebar height?

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    Could it possible be just a small change in handlebar height?
    I noticed a pretty significant change in how my back felt when I made a pretty small change in bar height on my 'cross bike. It was either flipping the stem (about a 26mm change, actually) or reshuffling the spacer stack a little bit. I think 3/4" seems reasonable, especially if the new bar is also less swept or something.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    in all honest some of you guys should time yourself on other wise the same bikes one with a so called 'race fit" and one with a more relaxed trail like fit and see whats faster.

    I am mid pack Cat 1 and find that my times have been way faster using a 90mm stem and bars that are roughly .5 inches lower than saddle height, heck they are 27 inches wide as well. Bike fit is personal thing but I think alot of people set up a bike to hurt instead of actually be comfortable and fast. I doubt the time you make up climbing beats the time made up everywhere else. My own testing has semi scientifically proves it but Id go out yourselfs and test it.

  9. #9
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    29er problem

    Same thing here. My 29er's bars are about 1/4" above the saddle (maybe I should have gone with a small instead of a medium), and I can't drop them any lower without the levers taking out the top tube. When I went out on my cross bike for some longer rides, I immediately started having stiffness and pain I hadn't had in quite some time. I decided to flip the stem to the +6 degree side and put some spacers on top. Since my road bike, 26" hard tail, and cross bikes are similar in saddle-bar drop, I thought I would work on that for a while and go back to the 29er a few rides before the next race. That's a quandry for me--love riding my 29er, but it is just too big of a change to go back to the road/cross bikes that I will be riding more of now.

  10. #10
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    Yep....

    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    I've been racing awhile now and have ridden an Epic since 2004. It's a pure race bike. I've had zero issues transferring SOME of my road bike fit measurements to my mountain bike. I was professional fitted to road bike but MTB is different given how much you move around.

    I lift weights A LOT and focus on my core a lot. However, this year I'm having HORRID lower back pain. I"ve only changed handle bars going from 1.5 riser to .75. Maybe that's it (I just thought of that while typing this.hmmm). Anyways, I had a race yesterday (30miles) and today I'm living off of advil. A race last month had me almost bed ridden. I've NEVER experienced this before.

    My bike shop wants $200 for bike fit (takes 3 fking hours). I don't know what else to do. Could it possible be just a small change in handlebar height?
    I guarantee you that's the problem. 3/4" is a BIG change. Try your old bars for a while and see if the pain doesn't take care of itself. You should know about 1/2 hour after you start riding if that is the problem.

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