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New bike questions(8 posts)

New bike questionsUrban Girl
Jun 25, 2002 6:33 AM
Bought a 2002 C-dale R900si from a great guy on this site. First longer ride this morning, 30 miles. Bike was fit at pro shop, good cut-out saddle, Speedplay pedals, I'm set up just fine. It's pretty comfy, I'm really liking it. Couple questions, though.

1. Saddle sores. I have raw patches under my butt. Didn't happen on last bike (and I have the same saddle). I have good Shebest bike shorts... Thoughts?

2. Left kneecap and hammy (just under my butt) sore. I don't think I want the saddle higher- I'm barely touching the ground at lights as it is, and the I trust the bike shop set me up correctly. I'm trying to move around during the ride, stretch my leg out, but wondering why it's only one leg?

3. Neck and traps are sore as heck. Try not to hunch over, try to move around as much as I can, try not to put too much weight on my arms, but ouch. I'm not too stretched out, I don't think, like I said, the bike shop manager fit me for the bike before I bought it. Why the soreness in the neck/shoulders?

I'm a semi-newbie biker who just started doing triathlons last year. Haven't paid as much attention to the biking because, frankly, it kinda scared me. This is my season to get goooood. Willing to put in the time and effort, need some tips, please! Wondering how much of this stuff can be attributed to the simple fact that I have very few miles logged? Thanks, Melissa
Some suggestions...Uncle Tim
Jun 25, 2002 6:50 AM
1. Good cycling shorts are important, but they will not guarantee that you won't get saddle sores. There are a number of good ointments you can use before and after you ride. A&D ointment is a good choice that will help alleviate the rawness. Use it BEFORE you ride.

2. If you have knee pain, saddle height could be off. On the downstroke, there should be a slight bend in your leg, but your hips should not be rocking as you pedal. It could be that your saddle is too low. The tippy-toe thing is a poor way to judge this. When you come to a stop, clip out with one foot, come off the saddle, and slowly but gracefully glide to a landing on the free foot. Be careful to not drag the shoe.

3. Continue to check and recheck your fit, and work to dial it in. If everything is correct, your body will adapt and the pain will go away. As you indicate, the problem with the soreness and stiffness in your shoulders and neck likely relates to the fact that you haven't ridden many miles yet. Keep at it, be smart, and be careful.
Can only answer number oneMcAndrus
Jun 25, 2002 6:50 AM
I know there are answers to two and three but I don't have them. As to the saddle sores, even with the same saddle, moving the saddle's position can cause new sores.

The skin on your butt is like anyplace else on the body. If it finds a new source of irritation it will develop sores and eventually callouses.

Make sure the sores are kept very, very clean. Use a chamois cream if you don't already. If I get a sore I dab some antibiotic ointment on it as well and they clear up in a day or two.

Once your butt adjusts to the new position you should be fine.
Jun 25, 2002 7:34 AM
1. Saddle sores resemble zits or blisters. The ones that look like zits are best prevented by getting out of your riding shorts as soon as possible after riding. The best product for preventing blisters or chafing that I've found is called Body Glide. Ultra-runners use it more than cyclists, but I think it's way better than greasy stuff.

2. Until these pains persist, I treat mine as a short term result of a specific trauma and try riding though it.

3. Some shoulder soreness is inevitable. I'd try any of these changes, one at a time and in very small increments. Tip the front of your saddle up a little bit so that your arms aren't stopping you from sliding forward. Raise your handle bars. Rotate your handle bars in the stem so that the brake hoods move a little closer and higher.

We all want our new bike to feel better than the old one, and it's disappointing when it doesn't happen right away. It's almost always worth a little tinkering.
Bike should fit you, not you to the bike.Paul
Jun 25, 2002 9:25 AM
Colorado Cyclist use to post a fit article. Check to see if it's still there. Your inseam (x .883) determines your seat height as measured from the center of the crank axle to the top of the seat along the seat post. Inseam is measured by standing barefoooted against a wall with a 2" book up against yourself to simulate a saddle. With your feet 6" apart, mark the wall where the book meets it, that's your inseam. Use a lever on the book for best accuracy, and on your saddle. Ex. my inseam is 34 X .883=30.02 inches seat height.

Another way is just put you heel (shoes on) on the pedal with your leg fully extended at the 6 o'clock position. Leg should be fully extended, but not stretched to meet the pedal.

a rule of thumb, is after doing fore/aft, 1"drop from saddle to top of bar. Elbow against seat, fingers fully extended, you should be 1" from center of handlebar. Now, for racing, it's up to you. This is jiust for general riding position except the seat height measurement.

Good advise from others, I just don't trust LBS to do my fitting, unless you really know the person.
Don't worry about a thingNo_sprint
Jun 25, 2002 9:37 AM
Firstly, regarding the butt thing, use some Assos or Sixtufit cream. Shouldn't be a problem once you've got a bunch of miles under your belt.

Second, regarding muscle soreness, if you're just into biking coming from a somewhat non-athletic lifestyle, you're bound to get sore. You might be using the sore leg more than before. Riding forces symmetry, rarely does one leg do much more work than the other.

Lastly, riding, regardless of setup forces you to hunch over and turn your head up to look at what's in front of you. Once again, after you've got a bunch of miles logged, this will no longer be an issue.
Couple of ideasMelMo
Jun 25, 2002 10:38 AM
1. You don't mention where you live, but if it's recently become hotter, this may explain your raw butt. It's only recently become truly warm here, and I suddenly discovered that shorts that are comfy and require no cream, etc. at 60 degrees, stick to my butt and chafe at 75-80 degrees.

As to the rest, it is possible for a bike to "fit" according to the shop and still be uncomfortable. You don't mention what size you have, but many small frames (I'd say 52 cm on down) have fairly steep angles so they can use 700c wheels. I had a bike that "fit"--reach was the right distance, etc.--but my shoulders and hands never stopped hurting because the steep seat tube angle put so much of my weight forward. I hope this isn't the case with your new ride--it's very true that shoulders and necks take awhile to adapt to road bike position. Also, since you say you're do triathalons, the bike shop may have set you up for a pretty agressive (long and low) position on the bike for speed, not taking into account your current training level. Raising the stem (or getting a different one with more rise, since I would guess your Canny is threadless) and then gradually lowering it as you adapt to the bike might solve your problems

Best of luck,
re: New bike questionszray61
Jun 25, 2002 6:48 PM
Your former bike could have been set up all wrong but your body got use to it. Going to a proper fit brings in new muscles and they will hurt.

Also seat angle of Cannondale could be steeper then your previous bike. The Look Ergopost which allows 60mm of fore to aft adjustments of the seat can be a big help but - the post cost $167.00. It can be found a EBAY for about half but is still very pricey.

My wisdom comes from recent costly experience.

Stay with it, we all have problems dialing in our new bikes.