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When I go on longer rides (i.e. 2 hours plus), I start getting pain in my lower back from who knows what. I switch my hand position as much as possible, but it really doesn't help. Any suggestions for on the bike remedies? I can stop and stand and that helps, but I'm working up for a longer ride and would like to be able to stop the pain.
 

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Standard advice

screem3r said:
When I go on longer rides (i.e. 2 hours plus), I start getting pain in my lower back from who knows what. I switch my hand position as much as possible, but it really doesn't help. Any suggestions for on the bike remedies? I can stop and stand and that helps, but I'm working up for a longer ride and would like to be able to stop the pain.
On-bike stretches can help. While coasting and standing on the pedals: 1) push your pelvis as far as you can toward the handlebars and hold, 2) twist your torso and hold, 3) push your hips to one side and hold. Anything that feels like a stretch will probably be a relief.

You may want to raise your handlebars until you get used longer rides. Sometimes it's simply a matter of needing time to adapt.

Do core strengthening exercises. Beyond the standard crunches, two great ones for the lower back are the "superman" (lay on your stomach with arms outstretched, lift arms and legs and hold) and laying on your back and pressing the small of your back "into the floor". You can find lots of other core exercises if you Google the topic.
 

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Meow!
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This may not seem like the most obvious solution, but I would suggest stretching your hamstrings before, during and after rides. Tight hamstrings often manifest themselves as lower back pain. If I reliously stretch them, my lower back pain miraculously disappears.
 

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Previous posters have recommended stretching and core exercises and undoubtedly these are good.

Also and equally important is fit. Many times fit problems don't show up in shorter rides and show up lots in longer ones. Some things to look at in no particular order are:
seat angle --- if it's causing you to 'slide forward' you will have big time lower back problems on longer rides.
reach -- look for either too short (causes back to be curved rather than flat) or too long (stretching to bars too much).
seat height -- too high could cause both knee problems and back problems as could too low.
cleat position -- moving cleats back could help (recheck seat height after)
seat fore/aft position -- affects reach, but be sure KOP is right for you (is not the same for everyone) and don't use this to correct reach problems.

Fit is very very subtle and small changes can have big effects (both good and bad). Also as you improve fitness and flex fit changes and needs (small) adjustments.

Had a recent issue with lower back pain and a very small seat adjustment (angle) fixed it right away. Hope you find your best position.
 

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Man, I'm Awesome
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You need to raise your bars. I bet they are much lower that the height of your saddle, causing you to have to bend over too much. If you get the bars up to at least the height of the saddle you will be much better off.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Longer stem is also a solution. "Stretching out" usually fixes a lot of back problems. Not comfy, but no pains afterwards since you're flexing.
 
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