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Bike Set Up Question

Does anyone know what part of my bike set up would lead me to suffer from back pain across my shoulder blades?? I think I need to do some tweaking, but not sure what to do first?


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    not sure, how high up the shoulders is it? are you on a road bike or a tri-bike or mtb/hybrid/penny farthing?

    it might be a case of too much weight being taken through the hands so some posture alteration might help, or adjusting the handlebars/stem.
  • ithurtsithurts Posts: 37
    i agree with ris' comment.

    could be that you are taking too much of your torso weight on your arms or also using your arms to push you back up into your riding position. could indicate that your bars are too low or too far forward.

    could also be that your saddle angle is too low at the front. put a spirit level on your saddle (front to back) and initially set it so the saddle is level as a start.

  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    This is a detailed article,
    http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/ ... kefit.html

    This one more basic
    http://www.cliftoncc.org/static.php?con ... bike_setup


    Also try getting a friend to take pictures of you on your bike, the problem may become immediately obvious. If all else fails you can post the pix here and I am sure one of our little groupette could help.
  • Thanks for the responses. The pain is at the top of my back, basically where my neck joins my back, then gradually moves across the shoulders. I should have said it happens whilst riding my road bike. I normally rest my hands on the hoods, so perhaps they're a little too far away? I'll also see if I can raise the bars a little bit as well. Thanks again
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    How long have you been riding the road bike? Neck and shoulder pain aren't unusual when starting out and can be part of the adjustment to riding a road bike.

    How long does it take for the pain to start? One fairly easy adjustment that might help is to flip the stem over. It will make the bars a little higher, you can also rotate the bars a little so that the hoods are closer to your body.

    The other really important thing that can help is engaging your core to hold you up, rather than propping yourself on your arms. If you use those core muscles and keep elbows bent then it should reduce the pressure on the shoulders.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Sounds like tension. Is it evenly distributed, or on the side that you brake most with? Or the side that your turn your head most when changing road position?

    Does it happen fairly soon after starting a ride? Do you shift position much. Try rotating road the three positions (drops, hoods, bars) on a regular basis.

    Your lower back, stomach muscles my not be supporting as much of your weight as they should be - so that you are leaning on your hands, rather than supporting yourself from your core muscles - with a relatively light touch on the bars. Investigate some lower back/stomach strengthening exercises. Concentrate on supporting your weight with your core, and being relaxed with your upper body and shoulders.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Without seeing any pictures we could be throwing darts in the dark,but if the pain is at the junction of kneck and shoulders it could be caused by the front bars being too low and the seat being too high forcing you to look up to face forward as you cycle.
    If the seat is at the correct height,then raise the front bars by adding a spacer,and possibly get a smaller headstem,this will also reduce the pressure on your wrists.
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Personally I would go to a decent bike shop to get your position looked at.
    Tinkering with it yourself could lead to a lot more pain before you find a comfortable position.
    Whereabouts are you? I'm sure between us we can recommend a decent bike shop...
  • Thanks for all your responses. I've been gradually increasing the amount of road riding steadily for about 5 years now. I often swap between road and mountain biking and so the different positions may be causing my back some grief. I'm really interested in having my bike fitted properly. I'm in the Cheshire area and so if anyone can give me ideas of someone 'in the know' and a rough idea of how much this is going to cost, that would be great.

  • Thanks Conehead, sounds like a plan!
  • bulletbullet Posts: 115
    Hi Lady P

    Have a look at this , hope it helps ?

    http://www.roadcycling.com/cgi-bin/artm ... w.cgi/3/67

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