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Thread: SS & back pain

  1. #1
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    SS & back pain

    Okay, so I've re-set my geared bike (Voodoo Bizango) that I've had for years back to a SS using a singleator. All well and good, rides great. A 34x18.

    But after long/hard climbs I may clear the thing, but I end up sore as heck in the lower back.

    I'm loving this SS thang, but worried that I could be headed for trouble. Do I need to reconfigure my seat/bars/everything before I ride again? Or am i trying too hard?

    Welcome any and all feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheaminator
    But after long/hard climbs I may clear the thing, but I end up sore as heck in the lower back.
    I've gone through the same thing. I rode the summer "geared" and after racing season I switched to single speeding. At the point of the switch I was as fit as I ever am, but I still spent a couple of weeks with my lower back tightening up at the top of climbs and after the ride was over. A couple of hundred SS miles and the back is now in shape -- you really use the muscles in your back when mustering up a climb in a gear bigger, much more so than when you're riding smaller gears. If you're not getting sharp pains, my opinion is you can ride through the soreness. I would do as many crunches and hyper-back extensions as you can stand to further strengthen your back, and absolutely stretch your back on a daily basis while you're working your way throught he soreness. Get a good stretching book if you need to, it will more than pay for itself in saved chiropractic sessions...

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    Handlebar height is the big thing for me, whether I'm on an SS or the gearie. I've got a sacroilitic strain (chronic lower back condition) and I can only handle about 1/2 an hour stretched out and head down before my back is too painful to ride - the upright position on my main SS (Marys level with the seat) will let me ride for hours.

  4. #4
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    Back pain is typcially tight, imbalanced muscles.
    You need to stretch your psoas, quads, and hamstrings regularly.
    Good bike fit can help, but overdoing it is more likely the culpret.
    -Marshall Hance
    EndlessBikeCo.

  5. #5
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheaminator
    Okay, so I've re-set my geared bike (Voodoo Bizango) that I've had for years back to a SS using a singleator. All well and good, rides great. A 34x18.

    But after long/hard climbs I may clear the thing, but I end up sore as heck in the lower back.

    I'm loving this SS thang, but worried that I could be headed for trouble. Do I need to reconfigure my seat/bars/everything before I ride again? Or am i trying too hard?

    Welcome any and all feedback.
    My lumbars get worked more an the SS than on a geared bike because I'm standing more. Moving my bars up and back a bit helped, as did some physical conditioning.

  6. #6
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    i went through this with help from the old SS board.
    your legs are stronger than your back. back will strengthen...
    in the meantime...
    i found an 'excersize ball' helped stretch and strengthen.

    pull along your back, not across it when yanking on bars during a climb. think about pushing your hips forward and making a straight line from your shoulders, through your hips to your legs/pedals. sort of like bending your knees to pick up an object, not bending your back.

    a lower gear helps, too.

    if your back hurts, it's not good.
    Only boring people get bored.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheaminator
    Okay, so I've re-set my geared bike (Voodoo Bizango) that I've had for years back to a SS using a singleator. All well and good, rides great. A 34x18.

    But after long/hard climbs I may clear the thing, but I end up sore as heck in the lower back.

    I'm loving this SS thang, but worried that I could be headed for trouble. Do I need to reconfigure my seat/bars/everything before I ride again? Or am i trying too hard?

    Welcome any and all feedback.
    I was having some back pain before I swapped to wider 710mm/31.8mm FSA DH carbon bars. Immediately my backpain ended as I'm assuming the wider stance allowed me to get more leverage on the bike.....decreasing the amount I had to pull with my lower back.


  8. #8
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    I recently went through the same thing, three things have eliminated the problem for me.

    Went from a 32/16 setup to 32/18.

    Stretch back muscles after every ride.

    Really focus on keeping my back as flat as possible when standing and cranking.

    I think the biggest factor in working through it was the gear change, I was straining way too hard on the tough climbs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbaSS
    I recently went through the same thing, three things have eliminated the problem for me.

    Went from a 32/16 setup to 32/18.

    Stretch back muscles after every ride.

    Really focus on keeping my back as flat as possible when standing and cranking.

    I think the biggest factor in working through it was the gear change, I was straining way too hard on the tough climbs.
    I moved from 33/20 down to 32/18 gearing and didn't notice any back pain now that I'm using my nice wide 710mm bars.

  10. #10
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    Ah Ha!

    Gang, thanks for the feedback. I now covet wider handlebars. And a shorter stem. And. And. And.

    I think I'll stick with the 34-18; I threw on a 34-20 at one point last week and just didn't like spinning out at every flat spot.

    For now, I just did a couple rides with better posture, and back is much happier. Still tired, and legs still need some help, but that's all well and good.

    Great tips, and thanks.

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