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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

After every ride, i feel tension (stiffness) in my lower back when i get off the bike and stand up straight. On the bike, i feel no discomfort whatsoever, despite my lower back problem. it is only when i want to stand up, that i feel this tension and it takes around 30 seconds to "re-adjust" and become lean in the lower back. I do stretching twice a day, and I do back and ab excercises 5 times a week. I have been fitted at a reputable bike shop, and will be going back soon for readjustments. However, before I do that, I need to get somethings straight so as to be as informed as possible when discussion time comes:

Is one option to raise the stem a bit, which would reduce overstretch? although it might be theoretically right, I have a feeling that it is not what i need.

can i put my seat forward 1 - 2 cm? how would this affect bike set-up? will my peddaling be affected? will i need to change any other settings on the bike, such like raise or lower seat?

all feedback appreciated
Thanks in advance

(NB i have posted this also on beginners forum, but am desperate for as much feedback as i can get. thanks again).
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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Don't adjust your reach by moving your saddle on the rails. Saddle fore-aft is really about pedaling dynamics and should be driven by where you want to be in terms of your cranks.

How much drop do you have between your saddles and bars? Your instinct to raise the bars may very well be a good one. Do you have room to merely add a spacer or will you need to swap stems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i can flip my stem to get a higher stem and play around with spacers. I am not sure about the the amount of drop. i'll measure it tonight when im home. but i noticed yesterday, that i can see the hub when i am in the drops, an need to push myself back on the seat to have my eyes, the stem and the hub all aligned.

thanks for the feedback. keep it coming
 

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Ok, feedback. Blocking the hub when in the right position is a rule of thumb that does not apply to all people. The problem you are experiencing is a classic one of having a bike with racing geometry when your back requires a more-sensible upright position. Get to a good bike shop with your concerns; one who has an expert on fit, and let them dial you in to protect your back.
 

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Okay, one piece at a time. FIrst off, if you change anything - just change one thing at a time and record where whatever was so you can put it back if the change turns out to be not needed.

The conventional wisdom on stems leans to higher - but there is only one correct position for you, and there's nothing that says it has to be like anyone else's. I suffered for years from the old British standards of frame sizing and positioning, finally figuring it out just before I quit riding for nearly 30 years. At 56, am now riding a bike and position pretty close to what I had figured out when I was 21 - okay, the bars aren't as way down as they used to be, but they are a fair bit lower than my saddle height.

Wisdom says it shouldn't be so, but I ain't going to put my bar tops above my saddle height for a long while yet.

Do you feel like your body is correct with reference to your pedals? If so, back away from your saddle region with that wrench and diddle with your stem instead. Your saddle fore and aft is largely dictated by your thigh length, for example - mine, to use an example I know well, are pretty short and prefer my new frame's 74.5 deg STA and zero setback seatpost to having my saddle somewhere aft of the back wheel.

However, some like it further back or forwards than others...

Your stem flip is the first easy try-out - I'd suggest you park your bike against a wall and draw around your bars, to give an easy reference to re-setting them at your prefered position in the flipped stem. If you don't refit your bars at the same rotational position, you've introduced a whole slew of changes you don't need right now.

Your next observation after that is to ascertain if the higher bars have helped, or would you prefer the same bar height, but with a shorter stem - which, unless you can borrow one off a ride buddy (we all have one who has more stems than Nashbar, if we ask around!), costs money.

Good luck with your re-positioning - but remember that in the end, you are the only one who can define your riding position.

Hope that helps

Dereck
 

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fouadaswad said:
i can flip my stem to get a higher stem and play around with spacers. I am not sure about the the amount of drop. i'll measure it tonight when im home. but i noticed yesterday, that i can see the hub when i am in the drops, an need to push myself back on the seat to have my eyes, the stem and the hub all aligned.

thanks for the feedback. keep it coming
FWIW, "See the hub" as a rule of thumb isn't for in the drops, it's for on the hoods, and is only a general guideline at best.

First guess would be trying to flip the stem. Second might be a slightly lower seat - if it's set too high and causes you to rock, it can strain the back. But there's really nothing we can tell over the internet, so taking your concerns to a good fitter or coach is the best thing.
 

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The first thing...

that you might want to do is to do a long search of all posts concerning back problems. There have been several thoughtful threads on back problems in recent months. You will notice that I said "back problems" and not "overstretch". You might want to talk to people who have had back problems about do's and don'ts, and re-think the situation before things get much worse. You cannot stretch your back as a way out of this, or strengthen your back as a way out of this. You just need to stop doing damage to your back.

I have been fiddling around with saddle position, height, stem height and length, and bikes with shorter tt to start with. This has made my post-surgery return to cycling possible.

fouadaswad said:
Hi

After every ride, i feel tension (stiffness) in my lower back when i get off the bike and stand up straight. On the bike, i feel no discomfort whatsoever, despite my lower back problem. it is only when i want to stand up, that i feel this tension and it takes around 30 seconds to "re-adjust" and become lean in the lower back. I do stretching twice a day, and I do back and ab excercises 5 times a week. I have been fitted at a reputable bike shop, and will be going back soon for readjustments. However, before I do that, I need to get somethings straight so as to be as informed as possible when discussion time comes:

Is one option to raise the stem a bit, which would reduce overstretch? although it might be theoretically right, I have a feeling that it is not what i need.

can i put my seat forward 1 - 2 cm? how would this affect bike set-up? will my peddaling be affected? will i need to change any other settings on the bike, such like raise or lower seat?

all feedback appreciated
Thanks in advance

(NB i have posted this also on beginners forum, but am desperate for as much feedback as i can get. thanks again).
 
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