Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

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willhub
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Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby willhub » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:00 am

As above, I've tried so many, many, many, MANY different positions, and none are ever 100% comfortable, get ars* ache, leg ache, back ache, neck ache, always something, so I've found it's best to just focus on getting the best position to get out power, then at least if I can do that I can hammer out a 50-100 mile ride fast enough before the pain sets in.

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GiantMike
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby GiantMike » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:05 am

Gentleman's numbness relieved by getting a more comfortable saddle (only really apparent on steady-state rides or long turbo sessions).
Occasional back ache relieved by stretching while coasting (only happens on long rides).

I don't normally get other aches until after a ride.

Have you had a bike fit? I haven't BTW.
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willhub
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby willhub » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:11 am

I have, it was not very good, it was more of a touring fit, not what I want. I find I'm comfortable in group rides ticking over and as then if there are any efforts I find I've got some immense amount of power that I don't have on solo rides, it's like I'm a different rider. But on solo rides I tend to start aching from a couple of miles in, sometimes on inner thighs and round bum.

I do plan on getting a proper full on bike fit, but it's expensive and my road bike is in a sorry state at the moment, that will cost nearly £100 to get back on the road after this Winter.

If I do a hard ride pushing the power down then I usually get bad back ache where when I get home I'm unable to really walk or stand up, and I get an awful sort of dull pain through my legs, sort of straining pain but not related to the pain of pushing hard like lactic buildup that does not bother me.

I find in summer I get the odd day where I feel ok and do well, but it's not regular.

http://willhubtech.com/ See on my webpage that picture, that's similar to how my bike position is now, that expression on my face, is just pain, pain in my legs, back and neck.

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daviesee
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby daviesee » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:15 am

Two road bikes. Comfortable on both. Never had a "bike fit".

The trail bike gets uncomfortable on longer rides but that is just because I have the bars set too low.
This is easilly adjusted. If I think about it in advance. :wink:
None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.

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Jez mon
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby Jez mon » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:16 am

I've never had any discomfort on bikes which have been "properly" set up, either by a proper bike fit, or by a helpful coach with the aid of a plumb line and an experience eye.

Having said that, I have suffered from a sore back after races, caused by a lack of flexibility, and exacerbated by the extra effort of racing, solved it by stretching my hamstrings every other day. It's suprising how much your hamstrings tighten up due to cycling.
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theuncharmed
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby theuncharmed » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:17 am

I think you need to stretch more; on and off the bike.

I've recently started focusing more on stretching (back, shoulders and legs) and the bike feels a lot more comfortable. Even sitting on chairs is nicer. Also means I can get lower down for more 'aero'.

ChrisAOnABike
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby ChrisAOnABike » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:19 am

Not exactly doing 50-100 mile rides yet, but my only issue so far is a bit of stiffness across the shoulders, and some soreness in my lower neck.

Legs and back absolutely fine - had a bit of patellar tendon inflammation early on, due to grinding in too high gears before my legs had strengthened up, but that went away with a few days off the bike followed by more use of lower gears and higher cadence. Everything must have strengthened up now, since I can push as hard as I like with no soreness coming back.

I've taken to stretching my neck out (think 'looking down and back between legs') periodically on the ride - any time I get a clear bit of road where I'm not going to ride into anything. I just bend my head/neck down, stretch a bit to look back between legs - I do this a couple of times whenever I remember, and it's made a huge improvement to the neck soreness.
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junglist_matty
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby junglist_matty » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:27 am

When I bought my current road bike in the summer, I adjusted the saddle height and off I went, 2000 miles and no pains.

Have suffered from numb toes / fingers / balls thanks to the cold weather a few times, but no ars*, back shoulder or arm pains, even for long rides.

The only pain I get is from my muscles if I do a monster ride, like I did a 200km ride in the summer which was fine until the final 10-15 miles when my legs decided they'd had enough for the day and slowed to about 12mph.

Tom Dean
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby Tom Dean » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:35 am

Your frame looks too small.

willhub
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby willhub » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:40 am

But if the frame is too small it can be compensated for, it's when it's too large the problem is I've come to believe, and I used to use 56cm, and everyone was like "oh that's way too big!", so I went 54, can't win.

I've got about 5-8cm drop from saddle to bars, and that does not seem like a lot compared to some, so sometimes I think I should raise the bars but I'd be less aero than I currently am.

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daviesee
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby daviesee » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:09 pm

Raise the bars and use the drops when required?

I am sure that I know people who have never used the drops. :?
None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.

BuckMulligan
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby BuckMulligan » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:40 pm

theuncharmed wrote:I think you need to stretch more; on and off the bike.

I've recently started focusing more on stretching (back, shoulders and legs) and the bike feels a lot more comfortable. Even sitting on chairs is nicer. Also means I can get lower down for more 'aero'.


+1

Tom Dean
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby Tom Dean » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:54 pm

What I notice was, in the picture you are in your most stretched out position, with hand right out on the hoods. Your knee is still overlapping your elbow. This suggests a cramped position to me. Saddle possibly on the low side too. For myself I would need to reduce TT/stem length >5cm to see that overlap and I'm sure I would get some back pain as a result.

pigeontoes
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby pigeontoes » Thu Dec 20, 2012 13:23 pm

I had a bike fit at Worcester Uni a week ago, not cheap but good value. They didn't make many changes (inverted the stem and changed the saddle height a bit) but they have made a significant difference. I now feel 'planted' on the bike, much more in control and the power transfer seems much better. I have only done a 30 miler but didn't get any of the shoulder/back pains I normally get, and it didn't trigger a knee problem I have been expereincing.

I liked there approach, they didn't just blindly follow the data they were getting. They confirmed my flexibility is rubbish and explained the root cause which wasn't tight hamstrings which the physio had told me but tight sciatic nerves. The exercises they gave me are already helping. £130 well spent.

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Hoopdriver
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby Hoopdriver » Thu Dec 20, 2012 13:35 pm

Totally comfortable on all three bicycles. Best though is a bespoke Enigma tourer I was measured up for - it feels like a natural extension of myself.

vs
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby vs » Thu Dec 20, 2012 19:26 pm

I used to get some lower back issues - then I got a bike fit. I had the saddle lowered (a lot) and the stem lengthened (a bit). I now have the same set up on two road bikes and a cyclocross bike, I'm 100% comfortable each one.

edhornby
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby edhornby » Thu Dec 20, 2012 19:57 pm

is there anyone else in the wheelers who is the same height/weight/inside leg as you ?? check your bike measurements against theirs

also compare your numbers against the online bike retailers, I think orbea has a pretty comprehensive one..

post your geo measurements on here and height/inside leg and see if there is correlation with everyone elses
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willhub
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby willhub » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:56 pm

The thing that annoys me is when I get a position that feels really good and fine, at some point in the near future, I find I'm suddenly struggling with the position and it's not right and never is right again, and I have to fiddle with it.

I'll see next time I see some cyclists I know, I've not ridden with people for quite a while so not had chance to see what their measurements is.

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fossyant
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby fossyant » Sat Dec 22, 2012 18:46 pm

Fine on all 4 bikes. The two road bikes are as near on identical in set up, the MTB isn't far off (bear in mind these three are 20 years old) and the newer fixed, the difference is slightly more saddle bar drop, but shorter reach, so about the same - the fixed was shorter for a slightly more up-right position in traffic.

Measurements - set up was by me using the Bernhard Hinault Racing and Training Techniques book from 25 years ago - quite advanced in it's time, but the set up works. Quite stretched out, but works well for racing. Professional fits were not widely available, and my custom built bike was 'adjusted' from a bike I already had and had made the best adjustments I could - was slightly too big, so ideal frame was 1 cm shorter, and was built. I then adjusted stem size over a few years (TT set up).

Quite happy to do upto 120 miles in that position, but aches and pains have to be accepted now I'm in my 40's but don't have an issue after the bikes, other than just general muscle stiffness because I don't often go over 40 miles, but I can just ride the same bike for 3 times that distance.

Only ever change position a few mm at a time.

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Peddle Up!
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Re: Is anyone really 100% comfortable on their road bike?

Postby Peddle Up! » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:05 am

Bike fit. Worked for me. :)
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