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Sore Back(6 posts)

Sore BackdeHonc
Oct 30, 2002 3:16 PM

I have just got myself a road bike (less than 1 week old) and have done around 250km on it so far, usually riding around 50km each morning. I've done 7000 odd km on my MTB so far this year so I'm relatively "Bike fit" but on my road bike I get sore lower back muscles. If I stop for even a minute, get off and stretch, I'm right again for another 25km.

The bike was fitted for me and is otherwise brilliantly comfortable. Can you folks remember first getting into road riding and is my sore back "normal " - ie - will I get used to the riding position with more time in the saddle?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Regards from Brisbane,

re: Sore Backbsdc
Oct 30, 2002 4:11 PM
In addition to the obvious ... stretching your back ... you should stretch your hamstrings. This will help you adapt to the more flexed position of a road bike.
Try standing once in awhilefiltersweep
Oct 30, 2002 5:57 PM
...especially on hills. Worked for me.
A couple of things..DINOSAUR
Oct 30, 2002 6:56 PM
It's not unusual for mtb's to experience fit problems when switching over to a road bike. I experience lower back pain from time to time. First check your position, a saddle that is too high can cause low back pain. Just a drop of a couple of mm's can make a world of difference. Make sure that your saddle position is set up the way you like it using what ever method you use (KOPS, 5cm back or whatever). Then dial in your stem length. You might be stretched out too far, or not far enough. Saddle tilt is also important. I like to level mine out using a small carpenters level, then I tilt in back a couple of degrees. I started to experience some lower back pain a couple of weeks ago and discovered that my saddle had crept back in it's rails about 1cm, enough to mess up my position. Stretching is important also, sad to say that I don't, but when I lifted weights I never had lower back problems.

It could be one simple little thing, or a bunch of stuff that contributes to lower back pain.

I do stand on occasion when climbing, it helps give the muscles a rest and you work muscles from a different angle. I do stretch while riding also, by standing and sretching out the hamstrings, alternating one leg at a time.

Road bikes were not made to be comfortable, but for speed.
But things should settle down after awhile. Just keep track of changes in your set up and don't change things too often or that will cause injury also..

Also make sure your bike fits,(goes without saying)...
Good suggestions so far. Also strengthen your ab'sTig
Oct 30, 2002 6:58 PM
Over time your back will naturally strengthen with more riding. You will gain flexibility too. After a while, you may want to lower your stem slightly. At first you may want to have the bars level or slightly lower than your seat until you have ridden a while. You can test a lower stem position without having to adjust it by simply bending your elbows more.

Your ab's support your lower back, so they should be strengthened. If you happen to belong to a gym that has a "Roman Chair", use that to strengthen your lower back (unless you have a back injury history). It is just a pair of padded uneven bars a few feet off the ground used for back raises. Facing down, your hips rest on the forward bar, while the backs of your knees hook under the other bar to keep you from falling forward to the ground on your face. Bend forward until your head is close to the ground and lift your back until it is aligned strait with your body, holding that position briefly. I worked my way up to using light weights and have had a strong back for years afterward.
Do you have a fax?BowWow
Oct 31, 2002 4:11 PM
I asked this very question several threads ago, and Gregorio faxed a set of lower back exercises that his physical therapist gave to him. I've just started them (one includes a hamstring stretch exercise), so I can't report on their effectiveness, but if you want a copy drop me a line with your fax number

Steve ("Paying it forward", I guess...)