churning big gear uphill bad for back?

evsy
evsy Posts: 111
edited December 2011 in Road beginners
hey every1

just wondering if churning a bigger gear whilst climbing could cause back trouble?

i usually climb hills in a bigger gear rather than a lower one with a higher cadence but have noticed i have started to develop lower backache. i have had a professional bike fit done so i know its not the fit of the bike. just wondering if pushing too bigger gears whilst climbing could be doing it as it only really aches when i am towards the top of a climb.

thanks for any advice

evsy

:D

Comments

  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    The norm is to use lower gears and keep the cadence up rather than mash up a hill in a high gear. Each to their own but if you're suffering aches you've nothing to lose by trying the small ring.
  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    You'll not be doing your knees any favours - thats for sure!! You'll be putting a lot of opposing forces into riding a big gear (pushing on one leg and probably pulling on one side of the bars at the same time) so this certainly wont help your back.

    How long ago was the bike fitting? I had mine done and it took some getting used to - not helped by my knee packing up on me now!

    Simple answer is try a higher cadence and see how it feels.
  • andyrr
    andyrr Posts: 1,822
    I think it will certainly not be a positive help - I also get sore lower back and am pretty sure sometimes it is worsened by sitting trying to continug pushing a big gear. the leg are stressed more and that carries through to the back.
  • evsy
    evsy Posts: 111
    thanks for the replies. i think i will try a higher cadence, just will take some getting used to.
    had the bike fit at end of august so dont think it can be that.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,626
    Climbing, esp. out of the saddle, puts a lot on your lower back generally.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    What cadence are you at for climbing ?
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Perhaps you might look at some stretching and strengthening exercises for your back muscles, it might just be that they're not used to the work.
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  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You're working two groups of big, strong muscles and if they're not 'balanced' you're putting a lot of strain through the lumbar / sacrum which can also be complicated by tight ITBs. As well as the muscles, the tendons and ligaments take time to develop to take the strain too. Any prolonged or chronic pain is generally an indication of something that's wrong - if you don't address it long terms that it'll likely get worse.If you're seated on the climbs, then saddle height is critical - hyper-extension (too high) can make lumbar pain worse as well as reducing power output.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Zoomer37
    Zoomer37 Posts: 725
    Constantly pushing a big gear up a hill may cause the lower back muscles to overwork and spasm. The heavy forces going through your pedals are also going up into your torso so unless you have fairly strong back and abdomen this could be a problem.

    Pushing big gears up hills is great for a one or two hard training sessions a week, but not all the time(especially now in the winter). Spin more and your back, legs and fitness will love you. Also maybe worth checking your saddle height. Just because you've had a 'pro fit' does not mean they got it right. Up to high and that will cause all sorts of problems.
  • evsy
    evsy Posts: 111
    thanks for all the replies.
    will defo try and change the way i climb and use a higher cadence instead of trying to churn a bigger gear.
    hope i can get used to it.

    what stretches really work the lower back? i have looked online but most seem to be for upper back.


    thanks

    evsy

    :D
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    I went through a phase of trying to ride everywhere in the big ring until my knees came a knocking. :)
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • Peddle Up! wrote:
    I went through a phase of trying to ride everywhere in the big ring until my knees came a knocking. :)
    perhaps because your old :lol::D
    Coveryourcar.co.uk RT Tester
    north west of england.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    edited December 2011
    evsy wrote:
    what stretches really work the lower back? i have looked online but most seem to be for upper back.

    Scared cat/Happy cat! As in, after work out, go onto hands/knees, head down and arch back as much as poss (hold for 20 secs) then try and get you stomach to touch the floor (obviously you will be miles off but hopefully you can see what I mean, head up as high as you can, hold for 20 secs), repeat the sequence a few times.

    Finish by staying on knees, curl in as much as poss, bum touching heels and get your head to touch your knees then stretch out your arms as far as you can, hold for 30 secs.

    For all stretches, make sure you don't hold your breath (kind of a natural reaction which sounds bizarre).

    I also do the classic of slowly touching toes (widen legs if you cannot keep legs together and straight) and hold for 20 secs, repeat 2-3 times.

    Never do or hold a stretch that's painful.

    Got those from my physio, hope that helps. My lower back tends to seize on one side so I need to do regular stretches (have quite a few more I have to do) which keep me away from the Osteo/Physio.
  • siamon
    siamon Posts: 274
    It's always better to get these things nipped in the bud rather than risk a long lay off.

    If I get an ache or pain in the same place more than once then I am inclined to go see my physio. Could be any number of reasons your back is hurting some of which may have nothing to do with cycling. It may be that when the a muscle group (i.e glutes) is getting tired at the top of a hill, it is providing less support than it should, putting pressure on something else etc.

    Better safe than sorry.
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Peddle Up! wrote:
    I went through a phase of trying to ride everywhere in the big ring until my knees came a knocking. :)
    perhaps because your old :lol::D

    Nail. Head. :cry:
    Purveyor of "up" :)