Author Topic: Pain after riding bike  (Read 9633 times)

Mega

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Pain after riding bike
« on: September 08, 2013, 05:55:02 PM »
In the interest of mustachianism, I have started riding my bike again... I last rode it like 12 years ago in high school.

I now remember why I stopped riding. My butt hurts. More specifically my tailbone. My wrists are also somewhat sore.

What am I doing wrong? It is possible that the bike is too small for me, but I dont know how to check.

davisgang90

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 05:56:52 PM »
Your bike may not fit you well, or may need to be adjusted.

http://bicycling.about.com/od/howtoride/ss/Frame_size.htm


m8547

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 08:25:11 PM »
Your weight on the saddle should be mostly carried by your "sit bones", the bones that you sit on if you are seated on something hard like a wooden chair. 

Make sure that your saddle is nearly level front-to-back. You can try adjusting the tilt slightly to see if that helps, and you can also slide it. Also make sure the height is good. Your knees should be just slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke, not locked out. Most people have the saddle too low and don't get optimal efficiency.

The riding position depends on the kind of bike you have. A rule of thumb is that your back should be at about a 45 degree angle from vertical, and your elbows should be slightly bent. On a commuter/comfort bike, you will be a bit more upright (more pressure on your rear), and on a road bike you will be a bit more stretched out (more pressure on your wrists). You can adjust a bit by sliding the saddle on its rails, or changing the angle or height of the bars. You could also try a different stem if you need to adjust.

For frame size, I recommend checking to see if there's a size recommendation from the manufacturer. For example, a large frame might fit people 5'10 to 6'. You can probably up or down from the one that's recommended for you, but comfort might not be ideal if you go too far from your size.

The handlebars should be about as wide as your shoulders. It's easy to move the grips in a bit to see if that helps, but moving them out requires a wider bar.

You might want to look into getting a different saddle that fits you better. There are different widths and levels of padding. Sometimes a firmer saddle is better because then your weight is mostly on the sit bones instead of you sinking in and putting more pressure on softer areas.

If your wrists are sore it could be from bad riding position (see above) or just from shock from the road/trail. If you have a rigid fork, try riding on smoother roads for a while. If you have a suspension fork you might be able to adjust the preload so that it absorbs bumps better. You could also try padded gloves, but I find that they don't help and give me blisters. Softer grips might be more useful.

I'm not an expert in bike fit, but I don't think there are any one-size-fits-all recommendations since everyone's body is different. Don't be afraid to try adjusting things and see if the changes help or make things worse.  If you don't know how make adjustments, look it up (there are lots of good resources online) or ask here.

It might help if you give us some more info, such as what bike do you have (including frame size), your height and weight, what kind of riding you are doing (roads, trails, sidewalks, or bike paths) and how far you are riding.

You could also post a picture of you on the bike from the side, if you don't mind putting pictures of yourself on the internet.

Finally, I'd like to add that you should stick with it! With some adjustments and some more time on the bike you should be able to ride pain-free.

Kira

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 08:38:34 PM »
I am no bike expert but I just wanted to chime in and say that my butt hurt for about six or seven rides and now I don't notice it really at all unless I hit a bump.

Mike

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 02:11:51 AM »
Padded shorts are a great way of combating ass pain.

naners

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 04:49:41 AM »
Are you carrying anything on your back? Don't! Even a light backpack can make you much more uncomfortable. Get a pannier or basket.

davisgang90

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 07:02:19 AM »
Are you carrying anything on your back? Don't! Even a light backpack can make you much more uncomfortable. Get a pannier or basket.
Love my pannier.  Best purchase I've made for my bike.  Highly recommended.

GuitarStv

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 07:06:42 AM »
The way that your bike is setup will drastically effect how sore your butt gets.  If your seat is lower than your handlebars and you sit upright, you will be putting most of your weight on your bum while riding.  I find that putting the seat up at least as high (or higher) than the handlebars helps to distribute your weight better.

There's also a certain amount of getting used to a sore butt that you get when you start riding after a long break . . . it does get more comfortable after a few rides.

BlueMR2

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 07:21:53 AM »
Padded shorts are a great way of combating ass pain.

I've noticed that most serious cyclists go with a super hard seat and then use padded shorts.  That seems kind of silly to me.  I bought a padded race seat and where regular shorts...  I get the same results (can cycle for long periods without pain) and I only had to buy one specialty items instead of several.  :-)

lackofstache

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 08:38:03 AM »
Congrats on getting on the bike again, riding is a wonderful thing.

Bike fit is a complex thing, however, most shops, IME, set you up like a racer because that's what they know. Butt pain is sorta expected for a while, riding helps develop preferences, but I've found no need for padded shorts (tried 'em for a year) or a padded saddle (you sit IN seats). I went w/ a Brooks leather saddle and now they're on all my bikes. My wife now uses them too. I keep my handlebars at or slightly above saddle height, which helps with wrist pain, but depending on reach to the h'bars, there can still be odd positions. Your saddle tilt will in many ways determine where your weight is shifted & for me, changes depending on where the h'bars are in relation to the saddle. Unfortunately, there's a lot of trial and error, but if you're riding a bike, you should know about SHELDON BROWN. Remember the name, he's gone now, but his extensive knowledge is still available and remains untouched by any other singular force.

Read this for better info than anyone (including me) on this board could have: http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html

Mike

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 04:34:14 AM »
I've noticed that most serious cyclists go with a super hard seat and then use padded shorts.  That seems kind of silly to me.  I bought a padded race seat and where regular shorts...  I get the same results (can cycle for long periods without pain) and I only had to buy one specialty items instead of several.  :-)
I go with padded shorts *and* a padded seat.  My ass lives a life of luxury when I'm on the bike.

Mega

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 06:27:48 AM »
Butt update:

After two days, it is still tender. I think the root of the problem is my seat moves when I am riding, so I rarely sit on a level seat. I will fix this problem first.

I wish I could ride to work, but as a consultant, my destination changes quite regularly, and is often rather far. Oh well, at least I can stop driving to drop off the mail :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 07:09:03 AM »
A seat that's moving around on you will lead to soreness!  It might be handy to keep the tools needed to change your seat angle and height handy for a few weeks of cycling so that you can get it dialed in to exactly the spot you prefer . . . minor seat angle/height changes make a huge difference to comfort for me.

m8547

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 04:27:41 PM »
If the seatpost has a single bolt to adjust the position of the seat, you can (and need to) put a lot of torque on it to tighten it correctly. Something like 200in-lb. That's about 33lbs of force on a 6" wrench, or 17lbs on a 12" wrench. It probably takes a 6mm hex key, and with a regular length 6mm hex key (about 6" long) it would be difficult to overtighten it.

Mrs WW

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 03:45:19 PM »
I second the brooks leather saddle. You will be sore for a couple of rides, but then youve broken it in and it will be very comfortable! Also, if your wrists hurt, take that seriously and get yourself an upright bike where you put no weight on the wrists. Switching from a mountain bike/hybrid to an upright dutch style bike, lets me ride in style and comfort, and i go fast as well.

Good luck, and keep riding!

Ps. Walking is great for bike-sore buts, sitting on your behind in a car is not. So maybe get in the habit of walking and dropping off your mail on the days when your rear feels too tender to ride?

Mrs WW

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Re: Pain after riding bike
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2013, 01:59:32 PM »
Mega - Google Burgers Dutch bikes. Thats the style im in to. Mine is an 7 speed and i take big hills on it, its a great ride! Not heavy at all, and once my legs got strong I dont really get passed by anyone but the real race type riders (you know the serious types that live 50km away from work) the ones just dressing the part i just ride along side or pass on my pretty bike wearing my pretty skirts. Riding will be hard in the beginning, but shortly you will have strong legs, strong lungs and your ass wont hurt anymore. Before you know it daily riding becomes a necessity.