Will changing to a higher head stem correct back pain ?



105k

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Aug 8, 2008
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Will changing to a higher head stem relieve back soreness by allowing me to ride in a more upright position ? Is there any problem with this ?

Im only new to cycling and could do with a more upright position until I get my fitness up, weight down and core strength up. Otherwise im strongly considering going back to a flat bar as a training fitness bike. Then I can use the race bike on the weekends 1-2 a week until iv sorted things out.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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105k said:
Will changing to a higher head stem relieve back soreness by allowing me to ride in a more upright position ? Is there any problem with this ?

Im only new to cycling and could do with a more upright position until I get my fitness up, weight down and core strength up. Otherwise im strongly considering going back to a flat bar as a training fitness bike. Then I can use the race bike on the weekends 1-2 a week until iv sorted things out.

You mean a stem with more rise, i.e. points up at a higher angle? It could help. Depends on your bike fit and the cause of your discomfort.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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Yes, or it could make it worse. You have two choices ,you can experiment until you get everthing dialed in by trying different combinations on your bike or seek out someone who has bike fitting knowledge that can observe you actually on your bike.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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105k said:
Will changing to a higher head stem relieve back soreness by allowing me to ride in a more upright position ? Is there any problem with this ?

Im only new to cycling and could do with a more upright position until I get my fitness up, weight down and core strength up. Otherwise im strongly considering going back to a flat bar as a training fitness bike. Then I can use the race bike on the weekends 1-2 a week until iv sorted things out.

Big maybe. Back soreness can be from anything. Pedal/cleats thru stems, seat height. Sometimes raising the stem places MORE weight on your lower back, making it more sore, not less. Go see somebody that can do a good, stem to stern, anatomic bike fit on you.
 

oldbobcat

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Aug 31, 2003
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105k said:
Will changing to a higher head stem relieve back soreness by allowing me to ride in a more upright position ? Is there any problem with this ?

If I've been fiddling with my position, like trying a new saddle, and I start getting lower back pain, I move the saddle back to maintain saddle-to-crank reach. You may need to lower it to maintain saddle-to-crank stretch, too. So far this has worked for me every time. If the pain is in the neck or shoulders, though, I'd definitely consider stem height.
 

dkrenik

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Dec 5, 2003
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105k said:
Will changing to a higher head stem relieve back soreness by allowing me to ride in a more upright position ? Is there any problem with this ?
You've got lots of good advice on this. There's so much "it depends" that you really should see an experienced fitter who understands back pain issues. BTW, you don't say whether your back pain is lower, upper, or middle.

I've found the fitting advice of Steve Hogg to be helpful in addressing my lower back pain issues:
cyclefitcentre further reading

Again, there's only so much can/should do yourself. You would be doing yourself a great service in seeing an experienced fitter. Also keep in mind that as your fitness and flexibility change, so will your preferred position.

Dave
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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105k said:
Will changing to a higher head stem relieve back soreness by allowing me to ride in a more upright position ? Is there any problem with this ?

Im only new to cycling and could do with a more upright position until I get my fitness up, weight down and core strength up. Otherwise im strongly considering going back to a flat bar as a training fitness bike. Then I can use the race bike on the weekends 1-2 a week until iv sorted things out.

First step isn't to mess around with your bike position - it would be to figure out where the cause of the pain really is and the work from there.
 

alfa011

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Feb 19, 2006
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I only can speak out of my experience. As an old cyclist (55) who loves road bikes for non racing purposes (long rides mostly) I do not have the flexibility to be in an aggressive racing position for extended periods of time. Having a higher head stem has helped me a lot to reduce discomfort for being in a bike for periods longer than two hours.

Velociclo.
 

alfa011

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Feb 19, 2006
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I forgot to mention that the riding position is directly proportional to the type and or width of the seat.

Velociclo
 

alienator

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alfa011 said:
I forgot to mention that the riding position is directly proportional to the type and or width of the seat.

Velociclo

What is that supposed to mean?
 

alfa011

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Feb 19, 2006
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Obvious.. The more erect the rider is, the more weight is exerted on the seat and as such the more surface area is needed for comfortably carry the weight and vice versa.

Is not that correct?

Velociclo.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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alfa011 said:
Obvious.. The more erect the rider is, the more weight is exerted on the seat and as such the more surface area is needed for comfortably carry the weight and vice versa.

Is not that correct?

Velociclo.

Oh? You're the expert, so you tell me. This is a good opportunity to make a defining statement for which cyclists have been waiting. Of course, don't let that whole thing about saddle's being a personal choice bug you. Instead, let's just make a blanket statement that applies to everyone, despite their personal morphology and preferences.

What width saddle should I get?
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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alfa011 said:
This is something that the local "know it all" can easily answer.

Velociclo.

Well, then give us the answer, Fit Master. Come on. Indulge us with your ocean deep knowledge of what seat is appropriate for everyone. Come on. Give us the beans. Please! There's nothing better than blanket statements, so feed us some more.
 

alfa011

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Feb 19, 2006
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alienator said:
Well, then give us the answer, Fit Master. Come on. Indulge us with your ocean deep knowledge of what seat is appropriate for everyone. Come on. Give us the beans. Please! There's nothing better than blanket statements, so feed us some more.

Dear Robert.. what's your problem? You are the local pain in the butt in this forum?
Velociclo?
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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alfa011 said:
Dear Robert.. what's your problem? You are the local pain in the butt in this forum?
Velociclo?

Robert? Pain in the butt? Are you a wee bit sensitive? I'm sorry I didn't swallow your generalization. I promise I'll bite on the next ort of cycling knowledge that you bestow upon the forum. Really, I promise. No one should ever dare challenge blanket statements. I apologize for my temerity. Henceforth, I do swear I will honor all of your pronouncements.

I'm not a Robert. Are you?
 

alfa011

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Feb 19, 2006
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alienator said:
Robert? Pain in the butt? Are you a wee bit sensitive? I'm sorry I didn't swallow your generalization. I promise I'll bite on the next ort of cycling knowledge that you bestow upon the forum. Really, I promise. No one should ever dare challenge blanket statements. I apologize for my temerity. Henceforth, I do swear I will honor all of your pronouncements.

I'm not a Robert. Are you?

Thank you. Apologies accepted.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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alfa011 said:
Thank you. Apologies accepted.

Oh goodie! Now, tell us more about your in depth bike knowledge! Maybe you could tell each forum member how wrong their saddle width is! Oh, it is so much fun having a saddle expert in the room!
 

tonistsma

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Dec 13, 2009
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You mean a stem with more rise, i.e. points up at a higher angle? It could help. Depends on your bike fit and the cause of your discomfort.