New rider - questions about setup and posture

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by MichaelPatrick, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. MichaelPatrick

    MichaelPatrick New Member

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    Hi everyone! I am new to the world of road biking and recently brought my dad's old Fuji Royale back to the city with me. It has been tuned up and I took it on my first ride last weekend. I put in 25 miles and by the 15th or 20th mile, I noticed a few things:
    • soreness in my shoulders/traps
    • some serious discomfort on my bum.
    • Two days later and my lower back is also pretty sore.
    I went on a short ride today to a bike store to shop around for a new saddle and I'm feeling pretty good, but I think some adjustments are in order.

    I've done a ton of reading and I've come to realize that my bars might need to be raised. I'm also wondering if I should be adjusting the hoods should be adjusted and I want to address that before I re-wrap the bars with new tape (a guy at a local bakeshop thought it the hoods might be more comfortable if they're pushed a little forward. I also think it might make it a little easier to grip the breaks which, even with large hands, is a bit difficult with the way the setup is). I'm also planning on getting a new saddle because It think the current one is actually from the 80s when the bike was purchased!

    My hope is that adjustments like this will ease the shoulder and lower back pain. Toward that end, I'm posting some photos that show my posture (which may also need fixing), as well as how I currently fit on the bike.

    Thanks everyone!

    Mike 1F672905-A71F-40D3-9AEE-54B5D605EFFD.jpeg 34EB656D-E41F-4C48-9504-90115845B819.jpeg
     
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  2. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert but pretty comfy on my bike and lots of reading set up threads over the last 20 years on cycling forums. :D

    I'd say your arms are too straight. There should be a slight bend. I have swapped stems on my bikes to shorter ones at times. I had a 130 on one bike and at the end of a 40 mile ride, felt like I was on a medieval torture rack all day. I took it down to a 90 and a bit of a rise on it.

    Also, you can remove the tape, loosen the brake levers, and slide them further up the bar too so that they are easier for you to reach. Just make sure to keep them in a serviceable position. Meaning they work for you and don't look like a sobriety bike. :D

    Also I would say you should post a pic of your leg extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke. There should be a slight bend when it is at 6 o clock. Also, I have read and it works for me, that placing the heel of my foot over the spindle of the pedal, at 6 o clock, my leg should be fully extended. It supposed to put you in the ballpark. It works perfect for me. Full extension with heel on pedal straight down.

    Just my input.
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    So you’re ”new to the world of road biking”, but how much other riding do you do regularly?
    And on what kind of bike?
    25 mile would have taken me about 1h15 or so. If I were to do that after having been off the saddle for awhile, I’d be sore too.
    You may well ending up wanting another saddle anyhow, but unless you already are a regular rider, one ride is not enough to judge a saddle on.
    Since your bike is old enough to have downtube shifters, it probably also have the old style drop bars with one big radius bend forming the drop. There’s a limit to how comfy you can get on those, particularly in combination with the old-style brake levers. Consider investing in a modern bar with a tighter radius upper bend, perhaps a pair of ”aero” brake levers too. Regarding raising the bar, pay attention to the minimum insertion mark you should have on your quill stem. Thoroughly nasty accidents can happen to those who overextend their stems.
    Unless you already are a regular rider, shoulder and butt soreness will (also) lessen as you get stronger. The more power you push through the pedals, the less weight you’ll carry by the saddle and shoulders.
    Lower back is tricky. When riding you use the weight and the forward lean of your upper body as leverage for pushing down at the pedals.
    There’s a fitness element to this as well.
    And while you do need core strength to ride, riding is a poor way to build strength.
     
  4. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Active Member

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    I can’t tell by the picture but on your most extended leg stroke is your knee just slightly bent or over-extended or even not enough. That could be as simple as a saddle height adjustment or even a new crankset with longer arms.

    I agree on the extreme extension of your arms, should slightly bend a tad in that position but many things can adjust that including leaning in a bit. Or it could be a shorter stem length.

    Wow, just noticed you have down tube shifters!!! Classic. Love it.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You need to take a pic of yourself on the bike with your feet at 6 O'clock and 12, then with the foot at the 6 position put your heel on the pedal and not clipped in.

    One thing I noticed is that you said you are new to cycling, so welcome to the world of cycling, but you said you put in 25 miles on a ride, that's a lot for a first time rider, and thus I think your pain is simply going to far to soon. I would cut it back to 8 miles, yes I know that sounds strange and not very far, but you have to slowly work up to whatever your goal is. So I would start with 8 miles, and then increase your mileage by about 10% a week and see what happens.

    On top of that you might want to do some core exercises to strengthen your body, this well help you in the long run anyways whether you were in pain or not. And just like riding the bike by starting slowly you have to do the same thing with the core workouts.
     
  6. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Active Member

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    Froze is right. When I first started riding I did like 5 milers and such and that killed my arse. I worked it up and metrics do not seem overworked. However, I hardy ride over 30 miles in a session anymore. I more try to get a mix of climbs and straights as well as downhills to get a mix of riding in. Centuries do not interest me one bit and never have.

    Update us to your progress since your post.
     
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