Why is last nights ride effect me as much as it is?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by scarleton, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. scarleton

    scarleton New Member

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    I am back riding after being away from around 10 years. Back on the 4th of July I did an organized 100K ride with a total acsent of about 1800 feet, according to my computer. Generally speaking the next day I was fine. We did stop 4 times through out the ride.

    Saturday I did 48 miles, 20 on the road, 28 on a bike trail. Ascended about 1800 fee again. I did take a 20 minute stop at one point and later about an hour stop for dinner. Again, the next I was fine.

    Last night I did 49 miles. The first 28 where on the road, stopped for 20 minutes to eat, then did the last 22 on a bike path, mostly a bit down hill. I only ascended about 1200 feet.

    Today my hands/arms are all messed up, I do a lot of typing, being a programmer, and my fingers are not responding as normal. I am totally feeling it in my arms too!

    So, what is up with that?

    Sam

    P.S. I have had some other long rides earlier, too. Like 60 on the bike trail and a few 25 milers on both road/bike trail.
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    No idea why you're feeling it now and not on the earlier rides but it sounds like a bike fit problem and too much weight on your hands. I'm assuming by bike trail you do not mean actual off road mountain bike riding which can of course put a lot of load on your hands and arms if it's a rough or technical trail. But for normal road and non-technical path riding you really shouldn't have sore arms or hands post ride. If you do you should have your bike fit evaluated as you should not have that much weight on your arms and it usually indicates a fitting problem.

    -Dave
     
  3. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like a bike fit, positioning issue. What style of bike are you riding (road drop bar, flat bar, mountain, etc.)?

    Hand issues can be caused by excessive extension and/or too much pressure, locked elbows when riding. The effects of a bad position can be cumulative, you may not notice it the first time but keep doing it and you will have problems.

    If you want assistance from the anonymous masses on the net, you will need to provide more details. A pic or two of you riding position would be a good start.

    Better yet, would be to find someone knowledgeable to discuss this with in person. Head over to a local bike shop (LBS), bring you bike. They may be able to suggest adjustments to alleviate your problem.
     
  4. scarleton

    scarleton New Member

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    [​IMG]

    here I am, on my bike, does this help? Sounds to me like I need to take it in and get fitted correctly, personally.
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Not the best view for fitting analysis but from what you've posted it doesn't look bad. You've even got some reasonable flex in the elbows which a lot of less experienced riders don't have.

    Definitely have someone knowledgeable look at your fit and explain what's going on with your hands and arms. You might also consider some MTB bolt on bar end extensions as they'll give you more places for your hands so you can move them around during your ride. Something like these: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/mtb-bar-ends

    BTW, that's one advantage of road drop style bars, there are a lot of positions for your hands. While riding we a lot of these positions and keep moving our hands on longer rides which helps. I'm not suggesting you swap to road drops but there are ways to increase the number of useable hand positions and that can help.

    -Dave
     
  6. scarleton

    scarleton New Member

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    Dave,

    If you click on the image, you will see a larger version where you will see that I do have bolt on bars to give me some more hand positions. Looks like I really need to get the bike fitted:)
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Ah yeah, missed the bar ends in the photo. Well if you're using them periodically and changing up your hand positions then that gets back to fit and too much weight on your hands. It could be a stem height or reach issue or even a saddle fore/aft issue or a combo of both.

    -Dave
     
  8. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Is it possible that you are gripping the bars tightly when you ride, causing tension in your hands and forearms? On smooth roads, you don't really need to hold the grips at all, just let your hands rest on them. Are you comfortable sitting up and riding no-hands? If so, you can give your hands and forearms a break every few minutes by letting them relax and shaking them out for a few seconds. Start doing this early in your ride, say every 5-10 minutes, and you may find your issues are gone.

    For a guy just coming back to riding after a 10 year layoff, seems to me your rides are pretty long. If a 48 mile ride takes you close to 4 hours, that's a long time in the saddle. I'd suggest limiting your rides to maybe two hours for a month or two, whatever it takes to avoid the hand and arm pain. Your goal for your first season back should be to ride pain-free, not push to see how quickly you can build up the long-ride mileage. Ride for enjoyment and let the progress come at it's own pace.
     
  9. scarleton

    scarleton New Member

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    After two days of pain in my forearms and hands, I think you might be on to something:) This IS suppose to be enjoyable, so time to adjust a bit:)
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. With the understanding that setting up a bike for an individual isn't set-in-stone ...

    I think that your problem may be due to the width of your current handlebars which might be adversely affecting the circulation to your forearms & hands ...

    That is, you may benefit from wider handlebars ...

    The longest bars that I am aware of are from FSA & Truvativ (68cm) ... but, maybe ZINN has longer handlebars ...

    • that is, install the longest bars you can find (68cm minimum!) UNCUT

    • unfortunately, you will probably need a new, OS (31.8mm) stem & possibly a stem adapter if your bike currently has a threaded steerer
    • if you currently have a threadless stem (?), then you will probably need a shim for the new stem

    BTW. Let me suggest that whether you choose to keep your current bike (which I think would be a good idea because a steel frameset is hard to destroy unless it is rusted out, run over by a vehicle, or experiences some other calamity ...) that you NOT buy a new bike until you get the current problem with your hands/arms sorted out.
     
  11. scarleton

    scarleton New Member

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    As more and more time goes by, some parts are healing faster than other parts... My thumbs seem to be the worst off, and the forearm muscles that help move the thumbs around. Here is a picture of my shifters:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Call me crazy, but I think my thumbs are warn out from pushing these things around. The left hand one is even bent because of the force I have to use to get it to shift into highest gear.

    Back in the day, I HATED the original shifters so back in the late 90's I had these put on. The derailers are Exage 400LX. Could this be my problem? If so, what would you recommend I do about it? I simply HATE how hard it is to shift this bike, thought I love the frame. It is all a bit crazy!

    As far as getting a new bike, I want one to complement this one. Oh, and time frame, not for a few months yet, I might wait until next season, it all depends on if I opt to ride throught the winter here in Southern Ohio. They are not too bad, more rain then snow and cold. With fenders and the right gear, I think winter riding around here would be just as fun as summer riding:) Thus maybe my new bike will be my Christmas present to me!
     
  12. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Regarding your shifters, something along the same line of discussion came up a while back in the middle of a discussion on downtube shifters ...

    The bottom line is that 'I' must be the clumsy one because it just never occurred to me to try to flick the levers of a down tube shifter with just my thumbs or another, single finger AND I always grabbed the shift lever between my thumb & index finger whereby I was essentially using my whole hand to move the lever ...

    Which is MY way of saying that while you can certainly flick the levers between positions as if it were a small joystick which you are toggling to-and-fro, it will undoubtedly be easier to ignore the NAME & actually grab the levers between your thumb & index finger when you want to move them to a new position.

    REGARDLESS, it appears that there is something wrong with the guide of the left shifter on which the cable adjuster is attached ...

    The non-tangential guide means that the cable must surmount an unnecessary ~30º hump which wouldn't otherwise be in the cable's path ... in other words, the hump is creating a bottleneck of sorts which manifests itself as binding ...

    • I don't know how the guide is attached to its clamp ... a small screw may have fallen out OR the piece may have cracked due to unexpected pressure ... it can probably be repaired with a minimal amount of effort

    BTW. Most cables benefit from being lubed ...

    • lubed cables (I use ANY light petroleum based grease which is handy -- e.g., White Lithium, etc.) have remarkably less resistance than un-lubed cables ...
    • IMO, lubing is even beneficial for pre-lubed cables-and/or-housing.

    After setting the chain on the inner-most chainring, just detach the derailleur cable from the front derailleurs, slip the housing which is between the LEFT shifter & the cable stop on the frame out of the stop ... slip the housing away from the shifter to expose the cable ... put a dab of grease between your thumb & index finger AND apply a THIN coat of grease to the cable by running the cable between the fore mentioned, greased finger tips (or, your greased finger tips across the cable)... slide the housing back over the portion of cable which was greased ... refit the housing into the end of the shifter & the cable stop on the frame ... reattach the cable to the derailleur. You should feel less resistance ...

    • if it appears as though there is evidence of LIGHT corrosion (which could simply be varnishing + non-ferrous crud), then after greasing, wipe the grease off with a clean paper towel AND re-grease ...

    Do the same for the rear derailleur's cable.

    Also, ensure that your rear & front derailleurs are not rusted ... if you see rust, then apply some 3-in-1 oil to the pivots ... wait & repeat as necessary.

    ----​

    BTW. I think that more than the bikes, per se, that are out there which you might test ride and/or purchase, you want to try the different shifters + possibly differentiate the response to a "regular" rear derailleur & a "Rapid Rise" rear derailleur.

    • the benefit of a Rapid Rise rear derailleur is probably most obvious when shifts are made while the bike's drivetrain is under a load (e.g., going up a hill) when using "Trigger" shifters
    • I am the only person I know who admits to preferring GripShifts -- I guess that I still like the idea of being able to move the chain across more than one Cog in the rear at a time vs. "Trigger" shifters which allow the movement across only one Cog at a time ...
    FYI. You can use 8-speed shifters with a 7-speed Freewheel-or-Cassette if you feel a need to change your current shifters.
     
  13. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Your arms are too stiff on your downhill's.
     
  14. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Recommend you don't ride again until the pain is gone, because you don't want to start chronic problems that could keep you off the bike for a long time or even permanently. When the forearms and hands feel fine, start back with a short ride, maybe 30 minutes, and concentrate on relaxing. If you can't ride comfortably no-hands, practice that. Get the feel for how the bike continues in a straight line without any steering input from you, and how just a slight shift of your bodyweight will allow the bike to turn.

    If the short ride doesn't cause the pain to return, add 10-15 minutes at a time to your ride duration. At the first return of the pain, back off. Be patient, concentrate on relaxing your upper body, and get this issue behind you. If your pain doesn't go away in a few more days, may be time to see a doctor or PT .....rather than rely on me or any other free advice here.
     
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