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Lower back stress - bad posture?

CantdosleepyCantdosleepy Posts: 122
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
I'm just getting into commuting on a battered old fixie. After riding my lower back often feels a little strained. It's not painfuly exactly - I'm just aware that I've been using the muscles there in a different way than I'm used to.

The question is, is this fine? After a few weeks will I have built up some lower back muscle and this tiredness will disappear? Or am I riding in the wrong position and causing future problems for myself?

If it's a back problem waiting to happen, what's the likely culprit? Saddle too high or low? Handlebars to distant?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Posts

  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Were you physically active before you started cycling ?

    I always have backache after cycling but then again my back is cream crackered.

    It could be bad posture/poor set up or it might be as you said, your body reacting to not being exercised.

    Check out the 'bike set up' videos on you-tube.
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
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  • CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
    It's also likely to be that your core muscles around your spine are not very strong. Pilates is brilliant at targeting this area, so try a few classes and see if that helps.

    I speak as one who also suffers from lower back ache - it's partly them not being used to being in that position for a while as well, and does get a bit better. But I do recommend Pilates.
  • Thanks for the tips, guys!

    I've not been massively physically active before the commuting, no.
  • Could be just that you're getting used to cycling again, or that your seat is too low which places more pressure on your spine and spinal area as you'e leaning back more. It's a common occurrence for many riders' seats to be too low, so look up some info on that, a fairly quick fix, may be the solution :)
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Or am I riding in the wrong position and causing future problems for myself?

    If it's a back problem waiting to happen, what's the likely culprit? Saddle too high or low? Handlebars to distant?

    How tall are you and what's the length of the top tube? This and/or stem length could be the problem.

    +1 for the points about core strength though and getting the muscles used to it.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,842
    Coriander wrote:
    It's also likely to be that your core muscles around your spine are not very strong. Pilates is brilliant at targeting this area, so try a few classes and see if that helps.

    I speak as one who also suffers from lower back ache - it's partly them not being used to being in that position for a while as well, and does get a bit better. But I do recommend Pilates.

    Pilates +1

    have a lower back problem courtesy of an Oxford taxi driver, pilates helps when I can get to a class

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • cjcp wrote:

    How tall are you and what's the length of the top tube? This and/or stem length could be the problem.

    +1 for the points about core strength though and getting the muscles used to it.

    I'm about 180cm tall. The top tube is 59cm (centre of seatpost to centre of head tube) and the stem is 13cm (centre of head tube to centre of handlebars). Is this okay?
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    cjcp wrote:

    How tall are you and what's the length of the top tube? This and/or stem length could be the problem.

    +1 for the points about core strength though and getting the muscles used to it.

    I'm about 180cm tall. The top tube is 59cm (centre of seatpost to centre of head tube) and the stem is 13cm (centre of head tube to centre of handlebars). Is this okay?

    Sounds a wee bit big. I'm 182cm on a 56cm, with a 13cm stem. My commute bike is a cm longer and when I took that out on a 40 mile run earlier this year, my lower back really did ache. Might be worth going to your LBS and trying some 56cm frames out for size.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
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