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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I am a brand newb.

I find I am MUCH more comfortable (wrists, hands, and back) if I sit up straighter but cannot really reach the bars this way, only with my fingertips. This equates to about 2-2.5 inches. I have looked at some options for doing this, but I cannot figure out the pros/cons of each.

I have a Giant Escape 2 with a threadless headset and it appears all my spacer rings are already being used.

Do I need a different stem, or a stem riser? Why is one better?


As an aside: I am a fat 40-year-old guy that really just sits around most of the time. Now I find I want to ride all the time, think about riding while at work, and leave my lovely wife behind in the evenings to go ride. My first ride was only 2 weeks ago. What is happening to me?!? It's pretty much weirding me out!
 

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You probably need a different stem, and it would probably be wisest to get help at a local shop.

It's great that you're getting so excited about cycling; it could be very good for you, and a lot of fun.

But don't neglect your wife ;-)
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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Did you buy the bike at a shop where they fitted it to you? Take it back there and explain what you want.

Or take it to any shop and tell them what you want.

You can buy stems or extensions but since you're new at it the sport you could use some expert guidance.

Newbies do all kinds of crazy things like this: View attachment 282892
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I bought the bike used so I could get into the hobby and then figure out what I really needed, learning as I go. I would never have started if I went with the recommendation of $650+ bikes I got from several stores, even though I saw the value the LBS provided.

So, no, I have not been fitted. I am riding about 10 miles each time and the only discomfort is my "sit bones" feel bruised and my wrists and hands get fatigued if I ride too frequently. I assume my butt will toughen up, its not excruciating or squishing any of the...significant bits.

After more reading, I am thinking of getting an adjustable 100mm stem and experimenting.

Thanks for your feedback guys.
 

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First, I am a brand newb.

I find I am MUCH more comfortable (wrists, hands, and back) if I sit up straighter but cannot really reach the bars this way, only with my fingertips. This equates to about 2-2.5 inches. I have looked at some options for doing this, but I cannot figure out the pros/cons of each.

I have a Giant Escape 2 with a threadless headset and it appears all my spacer rings are already being used.

Do I need a different stem, or a stem riser? Why is one better?


As an aside: I am a fat 40-year-old guy that really just sits around most of the time. Now I find I want to ride all the time, think about riding while at work, and leave my lovely wife behind in the evenings to go ride. My first ride was only 2 weeks ago. What is happening to me?!? It's pretty much weirding me out!
Take it to your local store. They should fix it for you...
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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So, no, I have not been fitted. I am riding about 10 miles each time and the only discomfort is my "sit bones" feel bruised and my wrists and hands get fatigued if I ride too frequently. I assume my butt will toughen up, its not excruciating or squishing any of the...significant bits.
Sure, it will take a while just to get used to riding a bike again. Your butt hurts and your wrists/arms/shoulders/neck ache for a while, that's all normal.

Take your time and don't push yourself too hard; don't hurt yourself.

I'm glad that I didn't have this forum when I got back into cycling because I didn't know that people were riding 20 hours a week or riding centuries every weekend. I just took it easy and had fun riding and exploring the town and got better and faster and stronger at my own pace. Within six months I was in the best shape I've ever been in and I was over 40 years old.

An adjustable stem can be a good idea because you can slowly tilt it downward to adjust your position.
Eventually you will want a road bike with drop bars. That position is more efficient (not just aerodynamically) and actually more comfortable once you get used to it. Your sit bones hurt now because almost all your weight is on them when you sit upright.

The bike handles better, too, with your weight distributed more evenly on the bike than when you sit upright.

Edit: And buy a bike for your wife!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm glad that I didn't have this forum when I got back into cycling because I didn't know that people were riding 20 hours a week or riding centuries every weekend. I just took it easy and had fun riding and exploring the town and got better and faster and stronger at my own pace. Within six months I was in the best shape I've ever been in and I was over 40 years old.
That's kind of how I am doing it. I was rolling around on with the kids on one of their bikes and had no idea I went 6 miles at such leisure. I decided to get a real bike.

Your sit bones hurt now because almost all your weight is on them when you sit upright.
In retrospect, it wasn't until my rear was really feeling bruised that I started experiencing the wrist/hand issues. Maybe I will just wait until I have "broken in" my backside and I won't lean unduly on the bars.

Thanks for the advice guys!
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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That's kind of how I am doing it. I was rolling around on with the kids on one of their bikes and had no idea I went 6 miles at such leisure. I decided to get a real bike.
That is exactly how it happened to me 20 years ago.

My son was 4 when I bought him his first real bike and he loved it. Rode it all day, every day; wouldn't even get off to eat lunch.
We were divorced and when I'd get him on the weekend he'd insist on bringing his bike and I'd take him to the park and watch him ride around for a couple of hours every day.
So I went to ToysRUs and bought the best ($200) mountain bike they had and started riding with him. We both had helmets and stayed on the sidewalk but it was really fun. I'll never forget seeing his little legs spinning like crazy on those short cranks.
One day we rode 7 miles; he was really an athlete for a four-year-old!

I found the fun and started riding every day. Bam, I was hooked!
 

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Recycle King
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Sounds like your bike saddle, handlebar and stem are not fitted to your riding style. I would recommend taking the bike to your LBS and have it professionally fitted. Not only will your pain disappear but you will pedal more efficiently and maximizing your effort.
 

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I agree with the recommendation to take it to LBS, tell them what you are looking to do, and seeing what they recommend. A stem riser or different stem may the answer, but they may have other suggestions as well. It's hard for us to diagnose what's wrong over the internet. Also unless you have some mechanical and the right tools (e.g. a torque wrench) you don't want to replace the stem yourself as a failure could be catastrophic.

By the way, I think you made a great decision to take up biking for exercise. I lost 65 pounds through a combination of biking and changing my eating habits. As you get into better shape you will gain more flexibility and the reach that may be difficult for you now won't be in a few months if you stay with it.
 

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Welcome aboard jmmarquis ! Sounds like another member of the Old fat fookers cycling club I would like to start. :D

+1 on the adjustable stem.

Note on back discomfort, I herniated a disc in my back in feb, I have tried with success sticking with biking just shorter distances. I have a Scott commuter with riser bars and I had just started building my roady. To my surprise I was more comfortable on the roady than the commuter. The only thing I can contribute it to is that with the bars higher you are actually putting more stress on your back and sit bone area versus on the roady or in your case lowering the bars you are more leaned with less direct pressure on the spine. It is harder on the arms but hey what doesn't kill us makes us stronger right ?
 
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