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How to stop the aches

EyonEyon Posts: 623
edited August 2010 in MTB beginners
Hi guys and girls.

Did my first major cycle today, 21.4 miles, longest ive done so far since i started MTB about 3 weeks back. However, i have beginners questions regarding aching body parts and how to change the bike setup to suit.

The main one for me is neck/inner shoulder ache. I assume this is from looking up for hours at a time, or is it handlebar position? Seat height? Seat reach? What can i do to remedy this?

Second, and certainly the one which slows me down a lot when it hits (though it doesnt happen as often as the above), is lower back. Whats this normally down to and how can i adjust my bike to help?

Had a great time out today, and apart from the two above problems and a cut up leg from stacking it on a corner, it was good. Hopefully if i can fix the above two, i can spend more time breaking myself on corners than slowing down from the aches.

Ian

Posts

  • Frodo1095Frodo1095 Posts: 252
    Some aches and pains can just be down to using muscles that you dont normally use and in ways you wouldnt normally use them, others are from poor posture (bike posture) and others are due to setup.

    1 - Go to a good LBS who will help you with saddle height / position, stem / handlebar set up etc.

    Then ride for a bit (few weeks). Has this helped, do things feel any easier or are they worse.

    If better it was your bike set up.

    If slightly worse or same then it is your muscles / position, keep on riding for a few more weeks to see if it gets steadily better, then it was your muscles getting used to cycling, if not get yourself into a skills clinic to help with body position.

    Just my thoughts, hope it helped
  • solsurfsolsurf Posts: 489
    It will get better over time, honest, untill then muck around with saddle heights etc. one thing at a time so you can find out what works. Also paracetamol helps :)

    Keep it up
  • How tall are you and what size is your bike? This might have something to do with your lower back pain when riding.

    I had the same problem until I changed my bike to a larger frame which has given me a better riding position.

    Br
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    Thanks for the responses.

    Jason, I'm about 6 foot 1 (even though i keep telling myself I'm 6 2, sounds better). Running an 18" frame with a high saddle position. I've got quite long legs so need the saddle high, but my reach isnt so good the smaller frame does suit me, that saying ive yet to try another size.

    I was considering a handlebar with more rise? but maybe ill try lowering the saddle. I'm out for a short ride today, ill take my 5mm allen key and try some new seat hights.

    Maybe if it doesnt stop i can blame the bike and give myself a great excuse to buy an Anthem X4
  • Eat a banana.. the potassium can help stop cramp and aches :)
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    I would try bar ends... not because they are 'better', but because they will allow you to vary your riding position and reach during your ride at minimal cost - giving you a chance to learn from your own experience whether or not your cockpit is too cramped for comfort.

    You can also try wider/narrower bars as your neck/shoulder ache could be influenced by this element of your riding position. For me, the wider bars give me a more open and comfortable riding position.

    There was an article on cockpit set-up in a recent WMB issue, I think...
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • I tend to get some pretty bad aches at the top of my legs after only a short distance, but i'm just mr unfit, bananas do help though :D
  • vanameesvanamees Posts: 74
    You just started, your body reaction is perfectly normal. Keep going.
  • According to this chart you should be on a 21-22 inch frame. I think this maybe the problem of your lower back pain. Hope this helps. More information on evan cycles website on sizing.

    Rider Height Frame Size Suggested
    Feet and Inches Centimetres Inches Size
    4' 10" - 5' 2" 148 - 158 13 - 14 XS
    5' 2" - 5 '6" 158 - 168 15 - 16 S
    5' '6" - 5' 10" 168 - 178 17 - 18 M
    5' 10" - 6' 1" 178 - 185 19 - 20 L
    6' 1" - 6' 4" 185 - 193 21 - 22 XL
    6 '4" - 6' 6" 193 - 198 23 - 24 XXL
  • AtzAtz Posts: 1,383
    Usually lower-back pain is core strength (assuming your bike isn't massively wrong). As the above said, go see your LBS and ask for some setup advice if you're not sure. I usually find if I've been off the bike a while (say a month or two over the worst bits of winter), it takes a few good rides before my lower back, shoulders and neck are strong enough again so if you've only been at it 3 weeks, don't expect miracles.

    You can also exercise at home to improve core strength, just google for some ideas.
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    Eyon wrote:
    Thanks for the responses.

    Jason, I'm about 6 foot 1 (even though i keep telling myself I'm 6 2, sounds better). Running an 18" frame with a high saddle position. I've got quite long legs so need the saddle high, but my reach isnt so good the smaller frame does suit me, that saying ive yet to try another size.

    I was considering a handlebar with more rise? but maybe ill try lowering the saddle. I'm out for a short ride today, ill take my 5mm allen key and try some new seat hights.

    Maybe if it doesnt stop i can blame the bike and give myself a great excuse to buy an Anthem X4

    Possibly bike too small, however, try a few more 20+ mile runs and see what happens. It takes a few weeks to adjust to biking.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • EyonEyon Posts: 623
    The Northern Monkey
    Will do!

    Bartimaeus
    I have looked into bar ends. I remember when i was about 12 my old Raleigh bike had them, and with the new bikes I have been really needing them it seems on longer rides. It just seems more comfortable to have my wrists vertical and not always on the handlebars. Ill see if I can grab a set in my LBS. How come they arent something you see on any top MTBs?

    I also had a play around with my handlebars tonight, slightly rotated them and adjusted the brakes/gears to be more comfortable, gave it a try for about 1/4 a mile before my bike "broke down" :?

    Jason3000
    I like your thinking, I can see a nice new Anthem on the horizon very soon :mrgreen:

    Atz
    Will visit my LBS soon. Core strength isnt too bad so I cant see it being that (used to do a lot of gym work before i injured myself), something is telling me its either an inappropriate sized bike or a badly set up bike.


    Thanks all who responded, much appreciated

    Ian
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    ive been doing it for a month, only aches im left with are my wrists, touch of the cyclists palsy. been trawling the internet and tried messing with positions and made it better but not cured. Best advice ive had, as above, bar ends so you can slip your wrists into a more natrual position.

    mind you did a 47 mile ride yesterday in the sun, there is a small patch on my left elbow and its here that is the only part of my body that isnt aching :D
  • Having completed Dalby Red Route for the first time on Saturday, I found my legs were OK since I have been doing a lot of roadcycling. Infact I went out on my road bike on Sunday for 22 miles including a couple of stiff climbs without any problems.

    However after Saturday I found my shoulders and arms sore. I'm convinced it's because I was too tense on some of the decents (grip of death!). I know I do tense up and constantly have to remind myself to relax my arms and shoulders.

    So some of your upper body soreness could be due to tension when riding rather than just new muscle use.

    Just a thought.
  • Do you ever go swimming? I find that helps to stretch out stiff and ore muscles. :)
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