lower back pain-new stem on order?

l_a_l_z Posts: 19
edited November 2009 in MTB beginners
as it says in the title when i ride XC say after about a mile or so my back starts to really ache. i think i might be reaching too far. is a 100mm (i think) long stem to a 60mm change too much of a change? or is there any thing else i can do.?


  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Try sliding the saddle forward on the rails.
  • had same problem, friend commented that i looked too stretched out and to adjust saddle, moved it forward and no more back pain!
  • oh great that will be a cheaper option! how much did you move it by?
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Well its a very personal thing, suggest you try about 20mm at a time.

    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    l_a_l_z wrote:
    is a 100mm (i think) long stem to a 60mm change too much of a change? or is there any thing else i can do.?
    I went from 100 to 40 to 55 and it felt weird for the first 10 minutes but now I wouldn't have it any other way. You could also try a higher-rise bar - cheap ones are good to experiment with.
  • i got the same thing, just went from a 100mm stem to 40mm and high rise (50mm) bars and its perfect :D
  • I used to get a niggling back ache and no matter what I tried I just couldn't seem to nail it down. 90mm stem to a 60mm, flat bars to riser bars, seat forward and then seat back, still experienced it. It wasn't crippling, but it was there, like a dull toothache. Then a chance meeting with my friends sister, a sports physiotherapist for a local football team, who I hadn't seen for years led to her giving me advice on increasing my core strength, especially my back. It's still something I have to work at, and it wasn't an overnight cure, but my advice would be to seek out some professional advice on how to build up core strength.
  • birchy
    birchy Posts: 309
    +1 for core strength it makes a difference crunches work for me also laying on the floor arms apart raising your legs 4" off the floor hold upto 45 degrees hold back down to 4" open legs apart back together rest if need be and repeat plus i chuck a few press ups in as well. doing this has helped me.
  • birchy
    birchy Posts: 309
    There is that too :) but there is a bit of pain to go with it too, Ahh well they do say no pain no gain :!: :lol:
  • +2 for core strength training. However if your bike set up is wrong the effect will be to tire out your core postural muscles more quickly. One mile is pretty soon even for someone with a slightly weak core.

    If your saddle is too high your pelvis will rock, which can cause back pain. Make sure that while sitting on the saddle you can touch the pedal with your heal while the crank is in line with the seat tube of your frame. Do it for both sides, your legs might be different lengths?

    If your saddle is too far back it can also cause you core to be over worked supporting your upper body. Make your self a plumb line and sit on your bike on a level floor, put your cranks level with the floor, for your forward foot hold the plumb line in the little indentation on the outside of your knee cap. The plumb line should go down and line up with the spindle of the pedal.

    If these two things don't work you could look at getting a shorter stem. 100mm must feel a bit like driving a lorry, 60 or 70 mm would make a huge difference to the speed of steering and might help your back too.

    For me, I race XC and adventure races, and when I get tired, my core is the first thing to go.

    Hope this helps?

    Oh and one more thing, make sure your saddle is level, nose down or nose up can also cause problems.
    Astounding Adventures
    Hill Walking - Mountain Biking - Climbing - Team Building
    Call free: 0333 121 2125
  • zedhead
    zedhead Posts: 109
    jweston wrote:
    Do it for both sides, your legs might be different lengths?

    But what do you do if your legs are different lengths? :roll: :lol:

    Core strength is critical for me - I don't get to do much riding nowadays, but I know within a week if I do no exercise or no core exercises! For me, regular ridnig helps, along with ensurinmg that I'm not over-reaching, either with legs or arms...
    Early Orange 5, Felt Z85, Scott Thicko, modified Giant full suss (both nicked)- beat-up single-speed rigid 1992 Saracen (scrapped), and various 2-wheelers with big engines
  • You need to sort you back problem out first, find out what the problem is by seeking professional advice. Then learn to live with it and look after it and you must do back stretches prior to getting out on your ride. Then sort your bike out. 100mm stem is crazy you'll end up over the handlebars!