Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

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PimpMan
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Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by PimpMan » Feb 08, 2018 7:45 pm

I am experiencing pain in the lower back and in the rear of my neck. Perhaps my bicycle frame is too small, however i am not sure this is only problem - see street bikes riders ride facing down a lot like in swimming you keep your head down, i cannot do that, i tend to look ahead of me 100% of the time (sometimes i ride on sidewalks, also there's holes in the road i want to spot to ride around) it just feels natural to me to know where i am going.

I currently have mountain bike, but handle bars are flat, i was thinking of installing medium hi-rise handle bars but it might look stupid plus not sure how it will affect steering.

Currently i am in the market for new light weight bicycle 15 pounds, so road bicycle is the number one choice, i obviously don't need a drop down handle bars just straight or medium hi-rise.

Need more info how to select correct size frame also and any advice on the situation with the pain i get after several hour ride.

My ride style is commuting, i am doing food delivery on a bicycle, i don't care much about, top speed and aerodynamics, usually i ride for 8 hours a day.
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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by marty » Feb 08, 2018 8:39 pm

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efMX Trials Electric Freeride
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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Feb 14, 2018 12:37 pm

wow 8 hours a day riding a bicycle is a long time.. i would try a more upright riding position with a riser bar and maybe an adjustable handlebar stem.. i wouldn't be concerned with the looks as long as it works for your needs.. hybrid bikes, townies and beach cruisers all have an upright riding position so I don't think it would be too detrimental to steering unless you're racing.. an upright riding position combined with a long time in the saddle may shift the pains to your posterior and nether regions but then you could try a comfy saddle and maybe a suspension seat post..
PimpMan wrote:
Feb 08, 2018 7:45 pm
I am experiencing pain in the lower back and in the rear of my neck. Perhaps my bicycle frame is too small, however i am not sure this is only problem - see street bikes riders ride facing down a lot like in swimming you keep your head down, i cannot do that, i tend to look ahead of me 100% of the time (sometimes i ride on sidewalks, also there's holes in the road i want to spot to ride around) it just feels natural to me to know where i am going.

I currently have mountain bike, but handle bars are flat, i was thinking of installing medium hi-rise handle bars but it might look stupid plus not sure how it will affect steering.

Currently i am in the market for new light weight bicycle 15 pounds, so road bicycle is the number one choice, i obviously don't need a drop down handle bars just straight or medium hi-rise.

Need more info how to select correct size frame also and any advice on the situation with the pain i get after several hour ride.

My ride style is commuting, i am doing food delivery on a bicycle, i don't care much about, top speed and aerodynamics, usually i ride for 8 hours a day.
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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 15, 2018 7:04 am

BMX type handlebars is what you need. This means you also will have to lengthen all your cables in most cases. To fit them, you will need a shim on the stem. This can be cut from a tin can. It won't hurt steering. It will also help with numb hands, if you are getting any of that.

Worth it, as an urban rider you need to sit up straight, and see everything, let alone take a better position for your neck.

It will help your neck, the back itself might be more a matter of just how hard work makes a back feel. Increasing your core strength should come with the work, but riding in a more straight up position will help too. It will not help if you let your body slump too early in the day. As long as your core can stand it, sit up with a good posture, actually decompressing your back with your core muscles. Just ride along trying to be taller.

If possible, improve the bike when you can. Full suspension, cushy tires, thudbuster seat post, or at least some better springs in the seat. Whatever is possible. I do understand that weight matters if you are not riding a motorized bike, but sometimes you need what makes the work easy on the whole body, not just the legs.

For example, I was a pro carpenter. We used a very heavy saw, because it cut easier. We did not give a shit that it weighed a ton, that was easy to fix with bigger muscles. Making every cut harder to do all day was not worth it. You might find the hard tires and stiff ride of a road bike not worth it for an 8 hour day.

But if you do go road bike, then put the bmx bars on it. 8)

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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by The fingers » Feb 15, 2018 1:03 pm

Try rotating the handlebars up 180° until they face backwards. Braking will be a little tricky until you get used to it, (talking about the style of bike in the "pain" picture illustration) :wink:
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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by Chalo » Feb 15, 2018 3:18 pm

PimpMan wrote:
Feb 08, 2018 7:45 pm
Currently i am in the market for new light weight bicycle 15 pounds, so road bicycle is the number one choice,
[...]
My ride style is commuting, i am doing food delivery on a bicycle, i don't care much about, top speed and aerodynamics,
These two things are absolutely inconsistent with each other. First off, any bicycle within five pounds of the 15 pound figure you cite is going to have exactly the riding position you're trying to avoid, and it will be limited to tires so narrow that they're not streetworthy.

Here's what you do to get reasonably close to what you describe. Find a carbon MTB frame that's the tallest size you can stand over comfortably, and add a rigid carbon MTB fork. To have close to a racing road bike total weight, you'll need carbon wheels and cranks too. And probably carbon seatpost, stem and handlebars. Use bars that have rise built in, but to get an upright riding position you'll probably need a threadless stem riser:

Image

When it's all said and done, your bike will be nice and light, but not cut out for a working life on the street. Carbon parts don't tolerate nicks and scratches at all well. Also note that super light frames don't usually have any mounting points for racks. So if you're using one of those big Favor backpacks, you can make it work, but otherwise you'll have to capitulate and get a real bike frame.

If you are using a backpack for deliveries, that's where you should start to work on your back and neck pain. Put the load on the bike instead. That might be all you need to do.

For what it's worth, the worldwide consensus about what shape of handlebars works best for utility and delivery cycling is more or less this one:

Image
dogman dan wrote:
Feb 15, 2018 7:04 am
BMX type handlebars is what you need.
Not for eight hours a day-- they don't have nearby enough rearward sweep.

On the plus side, BMX bars allow quite a bit of reach adjustment by tilting them slightly forward or back. So they're great for finding a workable amount of reach. But for endurance riding, you gotta have sweep between about 20 and 75 degrees, or else you need a multi-position bar.

One of my friends rode from Austin to Virginia and back on a mountain bike with BMX bars, but I had added clip-on aerobars to the top crossbar. That gave him another place to hold on, with important position changes not only for his hands and arms, but also his back and shoulders.

When I went touring with BMX bars, I added ski bend bar end extensions to give me more positions. But I still hurt my hands on that tour-- didn't get all the feeling back in my thumbs for several weeks after.
The fingers wrote:
Feb 15, 2018 1:03 pm
Try rotating the handlebars up 180° until they face backwards.
That's called "DUI bars", and they come with the corresponding reputation attached.

Back when MTBs were the only kind of bike anybody wanted, all the $10 pawnshop and thrift store bikes were ten speeds. So a rotten alcoholic who had lost his license and probably also his car would go buy a ten speed for ten bucks, slam the seat down all the way to the frame, flip the handlebars over, and ride the thing on the sidewalk at 3mph while smoking a cigarette. That's the cultural memory you evoke when you flip drop bars upside down.
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dogman dan
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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 17, 2018 11:30 am

True enough, a back sweeping bar will be a lot better than a bmx bar. But I find riding with them tilted far enough up to clear my knees uncomfortable too. This tilt will be needed if hes on a kid size bike, like a Walmart mtb.

Once he gets a frame the size he needs, then cruiser bars would be even better.

Today, he might be able to afford ten bucks for the bms bars though, so I still suggest start with that. They will still have a lot more sweep than most mtb bars. He might also be needing a longer seat post too. Cheap bike steel seat posts can be stacked, by cutting the bottom end off one, stacking it on top of the other, and then putting a screw in to lock them together. ( weld better of course)

Carbon mtb frame converted to beach cruiser does sound like a great idea, when money allows. Run a narrower but still tough street tire on it.

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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by Tats » Feb 17, 2018 11:18 pm

Have you considered going for a bike fitting such as retul - fixed my hip/back pain with zero additional parts to the bike - I was going in completely the wrong direction with my adjustments.

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Re: Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Post by amberwolf » Feb 18, 2018 5:07 am

Chalo wrote:
Feb 15, 2018 3:18 pm

For what it's worth, the worldwide consensus about what shape of handlebars works best for utility and delivery cycling is more or less this one:

Image
That's basically the type I use on my cargo bikes and trikes, though mine are installed more vertically oriented because of my seat position, to keep my hand/wrist angle to them basiclaly the same as if I was riding a normal bike.

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