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Lower Back Ache after Long Rides

snhardingsnharding Posts: 23
Can anyone advise what my problem might be?

I count myself as reasonably fit (for a 47 year old, that is ), and every weekend, I will cycle up to 50 miles on an outing. I am not a member of a cycling club, so all these trips are solo.
Once a fortnight, I'll go out on a longer ride (up to 100 miles), and it seems that, for any distance over 60 miles, my back begins to ache quite painfully. The last few miles are always a "mind over matter" exercise.

Is it because I'm too old, is my bike set up incorrectly or have I just got a dodgy back?

I ride Trek road bikes (a Madone 5.2 and an aluminium 1.5), but I have never been "fitted" to the bike. I love the long rides, but I'm worried that my back simply isn't up to it.


  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    I found that when I borrowed a friend's larger bike when climbing my lower back would hurt because I was streched out too far.

    Might be worth looking at your position to check that you're not too stretched out. Maybe move the seat forward - get a shorter stem - raise the stem, or any number of other things.

    As said above, a stronger core should allow you a lower comfortable position.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    I'd been having lower back pain like you described when using my tt bike when climbing, I wasn't getting it in the aero position which I found strange. I was quite stretched out so I moved my seat all the way forward, result, lower back pain gone (well it kicks in at about 5hours rather than the 1 hour I was experiencing.)

    I couldn't understand why being stretched would cause lower back pain. I could understand being too bent over or a too high/low seat position but not being stretched.

    Anyway I've just bought a new bike(2nd hand, normal road bike) and once again lower back pain and probably worse. I rode on it for about 3 weeks then couldn't stand it any more. I measured and copied the reach measurements of my tt bike and found that I was only about 3-4cm more stretched. I put the seat forward again to get exactly the same measurements. Guess what, no lower back pain!

    As I said, don't know why but for me a few cm too much extension causes real problems (for me).

    The lesson I've learnt is to keep on trying new positions, but when you find one that works make sure you note the measurements so you can always come back to it, subtle changes can make a big difference.
  • weak core and/or hamstring flexibility and itb tightness.

    Try regular stretching and do some core exercises, if you don't see any improvement then go see a sports physio
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    smithy1.0 wrote:
    many thanks smithy without a doubt thats the only useful information ive ever seen about core training.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Core work required...

    Wii Fit is good for this. (Seriously)
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I agree with smithy that the likely cause is weak core

    Also the site he gives a link too is good

    I took up yoga for a while to improve core strength that was good
  • Bill DBill D Posts: 62
    I'm 61 and I also get this on rides over about 60 miles. I used to get it at 40 miles or thereabouts but I rotated my bars back so as to bring the hoods up about 2cm and that gave me the extra 20 miles. I carry ibuprofen gel and rub it on when the pain sets in: that usually does the trick. I'm hoping that by being sensible I'll gradually extend my pain free mileage. Good luck.. :)
  • Thanks Bill D. I will certainly try this, as I fancy doing the London to Paris next year, but was concerned that my back would give up before the legs...!! :lol:
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