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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

My wife got a bike for Christmas (along with both my daughters!) so we could enjoy riding together. She started complaining about her right arm hurting a few weeks back, in the tricep, and she thinks she may have done it loading one of the bikes on the rack. We're doing about 8-10 miles as a family once, maybe twice a week, and the riding aggravates it. She now complains about some tingling up her arm. She's got a Giant FCR (straight bar), and she's noticed she locks her arms when riding. I'm thinking of bumping the seat back a little bit...good idea or bad? Suggestions?

Thanks,
Steve
 

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arm pain

Three thoughts, for what they're worth:
1) Putting bar ends on a straight bar would give her more arm positions, and would allow her to bend her arms more easily (like riding on the hoods or in drops, taking some rotational stress off the arms).
2) I used to get arm pain/numbness riding more stretched out, shortened my stem, so that I ride more crouched and now no more arm pain. It's a little less aero, but I've dropped my bar height, too, to compensate.
3) Conversely, if she's riding more recreationally, raising her bar height to allow her to ride more upright will take more pressure off her arms. I suppose if it's a persistent problem, she might consider using one of the adjustable position stems to experiment. I'd be leery of altering a correct saddle position to deal with arm pain.
Minstrie
 

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Alien Musician
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4,542 Posts
Locking her arms = probably a bad habit she picked up that isn't helping.

The other advice in this thread is pretty sound. She might need to be fit
properly and is so used to riding in a non-correct position that it will take
some getting used to riding in a position more likely to let her ride without
pain.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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3,113 Posts
38Chevy said:
All,

My wife got a bike for Christmas (along with both my daughters!) so we could enjoy riding together. She started complaining about her right arm hurting a few weeks back, in the tricep, and she thinks she may have done it loading one of the bikes on the rack. We're doing about 8-10 miles as a family once, maybe twice a week, and the riding aggravates it. She now complains about some tingling up her arm. She's got a Giant FCR (straight bar), and she's noticed she locks her arms when riding. I'm thinking of bumping the seat back a little bit...good idea or bad? Suggestions?

Thanks,
Steve
It's not quite that simple. Many new riders are not comfortable with riding a bicycle in the first place, so as a result tend to stiffen up their joints. So best case, it could be as simple as just waiting for her to get more comfortable with cycling. However, it could also be her posture, in which case there are many wivestales floating around such as that more upright == more comfort. This is not true in general, and a more upright posture may actually end up putting more pressure on her back, which is just trading one problem for another.

Tell you what though, try changing the width at which she places her hands on the flat bars. After the last comprehensive fitting that I had done on me, I was recommended to switch to a wider drop handlebar and it's done wonders to my comfort. The effect was to rotate my upper arms slightly, and encourages less pressure on my hands overall.

Another thing to consider is saddle tilt. Many people tilt their saddles upwards, I tilt mine slightly downwards, and it changes the way that my back muscles react to my puting a lot of torque when pedaling.

So see, lots of factors to try, and the key is self-examination and decorrelating multiple factors.

Anyways, best of luck and enjoy the rides!
 
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