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Old 08-02-2022, 01:05 PM
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Back Soreness

So thought I would pulse the collective here.. I will say it sucks being off the bike for ~10 yrs and then coming back with all of your preconceived notions of how your fitness, etc should be..

Up front, I will say I realize I need to ride more and gain more core strength..

Having said that, I had an observation that led to a "am I doing it right?" question..

At 5'9" with a true 31" inseam, I have short legs for my height.. most traditional saddle height formulas have me around a 68cm saddle height. When I have my saddle at 68cm, I will typically get soreness in my lower back, right above/at where I bend forward. If I lower my saddle height, the pain goes away..

so that's good you say, the pain is gone! well, at that saddle height I have, what I assume, is too much knee bend at the bottom of my pedal stroke..

could I just have a wonky body mechanics thing going on? Do I just need to ride more and gain core strength and eventually raise my saddle back to ~68cm?

The other weird thing is I tend to have to push my saddle pretty far back on the rails (with a set-back post) to get to a point where I don't get numbness in my hands.. again, I realize some of that is core strength..

Thoughts?
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Last edited by fourflys; 08-02-2022 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 08-02-2022, 01:17 PM
Turkle Turkle is offline
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Here's been my experience, with saddle and back:

Saddle too low: lower back hurts, quads activate too much, not enough glutes and hamstrings firing during pedal stroke

Saddle too far back: middle and sides of back hurts, possibility of obliques hurting right under the armpits from pedaling motion

Saddle too far forward: feeling of falling forward onto the handlebars due to lack of support from saddle over the pedals, neck and upper back pain

Saddle too high: too much leg extension causes rocking motion, this one is really obvious

So for me, back issues have been because I'm too far back or too low. Recently I went out for a ride and my back was bothering me. I whipped out the multitool and raised the seat 1 cm or so. All issues stopped and had a great ride.

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2022, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkle View Post
Here's been my experience, with saddle and back:

Saddle too low: lower back hurts, quads activate too much, not enough glutes and hamstrings firing during pedal stroke

Saddle too far back: middle and sides of back hurts, possibility of obliques hurting right under the armpits from pedaling motion

Saddle too far forward: feeling of falling forward onto the handlebars due to lack of support from saddle over the pedals, neck and upper back pain

Saddle too high: too much leg extension causes rocking motion, this one is really obvious

So for me, back issues have been because I'm too far back or too low. Recently I went out for a ride and my back was bothering me. I whipped out the multitool and raised the seat 1 cm or so. All issues stopped and had a great ride.

Good luck!
interesting.. thanks!
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Old 08-03-2022, 09:42 AM
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there's gotta be some other thoughts on this as well?!
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Old 08-03-2022, 03:16 PM
mcallen mcallen is offline
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I can't help too much with fit (see my recent post), but I'll just say that it's hard to go wrong with building core stability. After my back injury, I started doing daily core stability work (McGill's Big 3, planks, bracing, and Foundation training), and stopped doing "gym bro" core strength for abs like sit ups and Russian twists.
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Old 08-03-2022, 03:57 PM
Peter P. Peter P. is offline
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Originally Posted by fourflys View Post
The other weird thing is I tend to have to push my saddle pretty far back on the rails (with a set-back post) to get to a point where I don't get numbness in my hands.. again, I realize some of that is core strength..

Thoughts?
I say it's your saddle setback. Your hip angle is too closed.

This was my problem for over 20 years.

Once I slid my saddle forward from full rear to roughly mid-span, all that pain was gone.

Adjusting your saddle fore/aft to treat hand numbness is wrong. Raise your stem, get a higher rise stem, get a frame with a taller stack height.
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
I say it's your saddle setback. Your hip angle is too closed.

This was my problem for over 20 years.

Once I slid my saddle forward from full rear to roughly mid-span, all that pain was gone.

Adjusting your saddle fore/aft to treat hand numbness is wrong. Raise your stem, get a higher rise stem, get a frame with a taller stack height.
that would make sense as I know my saddle should normally be roughly in the middle of the rails on a properly sized bike..
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:47 AM
derosa_guy derosa_guy is offline
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My recommendation...do 2 weeks of basic core exercises and stretching before messing around with your position. Everytime my back starts to bother me when I ride, I realize I've been slacking off on my core. Couple of mornings of exercises and I'm good to go.
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Old 08-05-2022, 07:02 AM
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Mr B Mr B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcallen View Post
I can't help too much with fit (see my recent post), but I'll just say that it's hard to go wrong with building core stability. After my back injury, I started doing daily core stability work (McGill's Big 3, planks, bracing, and Foundation training), and stopped doing "gym bro" core strength for abs like sit ups and Russian twists.
^This, plus consider riding with your pelvis rotated forward more (if you can) to alleviate the load on your lumbar, lift your chest and protect your spine. This might cause you to go on a journey to find a new favourite saddle (as it did for me), and perhaps use a longer stem.
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:43 AM
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^This, plus consider riding with your pelvis rotated forward more (if you can) to alleviate the load on your lumbar, lift your chest and protect your spine. This might cause you to go on a journey to find a new favourite saddle (as it did for me), and perhaps use a longer stem.
I totally plan to start working on the core for sure, and your other points above are well taken.

Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:04 PM
Peter P. Peter P. is offline
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I totally plan to start working on the core for sure, and your other points above are well taken.

Thanks!
Report back and tell us if any advice worked.
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