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Newbie getting back pain.

kevinzeplinkevinzeplin Posts: 11
edited November 2013 in Road beginners
Hello All
Please be kind as only second post. I have cycled to work for over 30 years on Hybrids and Mountain bikes without any problems but from the moment I took a test ride on a road bike have experienced back pain. I purchased a Trek road bike for weekend leisure rides and fitness but find my back tender after riding it. I paid careful consideration to sizing and am happy that I have the correct frame size as well as watching countless videos on bike fit, I am approx 5ft 6-7inches and have a 54cm size.
I am going to give myself a bit longer to adapt and may do some strengthening exercises on my back but as a last resort may consider changing the stem for an angled / elevated one. Has anyone out there got any advice or been in the same situation.
Thanks in Advance :D


  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,368
    Post a pic of you on the bike.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    One thing to watch for is most bike fit examples / guides tend to be for a racier rather than comfortable bike fit. I am over 6ft6 , most bike fits suggest about a three inch saddle to handle bar drop, my road bike has a drop of under an inch due to flipping the stem to the upright position. Also check you are not overly stretched out and have a little bend in you arms. Road bike fit / setup guides are only a starting point that you adapt to your body and preferred riding style.

    I had lower back discomfort for the first few rides until my body adjusted and also tweaked the setup to suit me. Road bike fit / setup needs to be a lot more accurate than on a mountain bike.
  • Would gladly post a picture of me on the bike but haven't got a clue how to do it, anyone wanna tell me how it's done. Sorry for being a numpty.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,368
    Would gladly post a picture of me on the bike but haven't got a clue how to do it, anyone wanna tell me how it's done. Sorry for being a numpty.
    Go to reply and at the bottom is upload attachment, click on it, browse your folder where the picture is select it and click add file.
    Make sure it is sized small enough for the forum. :)
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Having the saddle too high is one of the most common causes. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I'm also 5'6" and for most road bikes I seem to feel comfy on a 51 or 52, and even then I need something like a 90mm stem. A 54 frame feels too stretched out for me unless the top tube is unusually short.

    I do have longer legs / shorter torso than average though, so a 54 may still be right for you. Do you feel unnaturally stretched out on the bike? Is there a slight bend in your arms when riding on the hoods? What kind of drop do you have from saddle to bars (tops)?
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    Was wondering what you mean by careful considerstion to correct sizing?
    I'm 5 8 with a 30" inside leg. I have a Trek Domane road bike, I was fitted at a Trek store and opted for a 52 frame. I found that I was stretching too much on the 54 and would imagine this wouldnt be comfortable on a long ride. The online information was suggesting a 54 frame would be for me, but riding it was the only real way to tell.
    My bro, same height as me, opted for a 54 and he now regrets it.

    As other members have suggested, check your set up isnt too racey with the seat being on the high side.

    Good luck with it.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Given your height, a 54cm frame is possibly too big forcing you to over-reach to the handlebars, putting a lot of stress on your lower back. There are plenty of online bike fit calculators - enter your body dimensions and see what figures pop-up and compare that to your existing set-up. Possible fixes are a shorter stem, short-reach handlebars and maybe fitting an inline seatpost if your's has an offset - it's all a bit of a compromise, but to make the most of a bad job. Don't discount the need to do some core body exercises / stretching - your MTB/hybrid probably has a more upright riding position and therefore it will take time for your muscles to adjust to the new position, hence the discomfort.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    If you got your bike from a decent bike shop they should have offered a basic bike fit to get things like saddle height/position and stem height/length right. If not then get down to Sigma Sport (Kingston) or Velosport (Putney) for a proper bike fit which will include cleat positions, saddle angle, bar height/angle and plenty of other stuff. They'll quiz you about the kind of riding you do and tailor the fit accordingly. People seem happy to spend a lot of money on a bike but then overlook the investment to ensure it fits you well and you'll be comfortable on it for the kind of riding that you'll be doing.
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  • Many thanks for all who took the time to respond, you have given me some good things to ponder over and look at again.I never knew there was such a think as a on line bike size calculator and will check what they come up with.
    I did try to post a pic of myself on the bike but am not PC savy enough to make the resolution the correct size, shame.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Core stability exercises. Seriously this will solve all of your issues once you have the bike fit about right...

    Tom Danielson's Core Advantage is an excellent book, I'm following it and I've never felt stronger on the bike and get zero aches and pains even on a 6 hours straight ride (apart from the under carriage ;))
  • Best way in my experience, is to stretch the hamstrings etc regularly. This has significantly helped my lower back by reducing the stress on it and helping to ease me into a better riding position.

    I also had a professional bike fit which means I know that I'm in a good position and it's my body flexibility that might be stopping me...

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