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Thread: Bike fit or get fit...?

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    Default Bike fit or get fit...?

    I had a bike fit back in 2011 and had a couple of custom frames made up to those number since. All good for the most part but in the last 6 months or so I've started to get numb hands and stiff back after 2-3 hrs riding, like I used to get before I had the fit done. The annoying thing is I've made good progress in general fitness over that time, taking up swimming and a bit of running and pay much closer attention to diet, and have also lost maybe 5 or 6 pounds...

    I was 36 then, and am now 42, so I'm wondering if I just need to harden up / work on my flexibility / or is it reasonable to expect that my cycling position may have shifted enough to warrant having another fit done...? Could my body have changed that much in just a few years? I know there are plenty of people that believe a bike fit is unnecessary, but it really worked well for me at the time, and for most of the time since. Is there anything else I could try?
    Colnago Master LX21 (Mapei) / Mason Resolution Disc

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    Going through a similar transition and have been wondering the same. Some numb hands, numb feed, achy back... didn't used to happen as much before. Something really strange happens between the mid-30s and 40+... for many people, this is where eyesight starts deteriorating very rapidly. Muscle mass starts going down (have to work out just to maintain). The gut starts expanding. Joints and ligaments hurt more than they used to. I'm now shifting my saddle further back and using shorter stems. Starting to lift weights, which is not something I ever did much of –always got away with general pushups / pullups / climbing / tennis...

    Anyhow, if you discover a remedy, let us know!
     

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    Your back is sore because those muscles are doing work they aren't qualified to do and trying to hold up your torso. Your hands are numb, because the back muscles cannot support the trunk effectively and so you have more weight on your hands. Strengthen your core muscles. That's why the gut expands. The muscles that keep all your giblets in place are losing tone. Take several pilates lessons to learn the right way to do the series of 5 routine, then do it every morning. If you are doing them correctly, you should notice improvements after a few months. Pilates exercises are not quick impact. They are set up to be done repetitively over time and strengthen the muscles while minimizing possible injury. But it is important to do them correctly, so lessons, preferably one on one, are the way to do it at the beginning.

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    +1 for adding in extensive core work. I started started feeling better and had far less discomfort when I started rock climbing and worked my way up to 5 - 10 minutes total of plank-type exercises a few days each week.

    (Disclaimer: I'm in my mid-to-late 30's, but I think this still applies. At least I hope it does!)
     

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    Thanks all for the thoughts so far, I feared it may be fitness related :-) At least the fix is cheaper than having a bike fit done!

    I did do the plank challenge a few months back, so will pick that up again along with the workout on the video - thanks Jorn
    Colnago Master LX21 (Mapei) / Mason Resolution Disc

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
    Thanks all for the thoughts so far, I feared it may be fitness related :-) At least the fix is cheaper than having a bike fit done!

    I did do the plank challenge a few months back, so will pick that up again along with the workout on the video - thanks Jorn
    If you do try some of those exercises in the video, she looks like she is curling her neck. She is actually lifting the very top of her chest and then raising her neck to be in line with her upper spine. The head just comes along with the neck. The hands should not pull on the head. The spine should be in contact with the floor up to the base of the shoulder blades, and the sacrum/hips slightly tilted forward so that the distance between the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips is lengthened. So not crunching the stomach but stretching the stomach and lifting/moving the legs. Once you have that figured out, do the exercises. The position concentrates all the work on the core muscles, and it makes the exercises a lot harder because the position of the upper spine and hips reduces your ability to rely on the weaker back muscles. You have to use your stomach, and the legs are the weight they are lifting.
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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    What you may lack in speed you've still got endurance so ride, enjoy, repeat for I think you'll look back in a decade or two and call bollocks on 42
     

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    Pilates convert here. Best thing I've done in ages.
     

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    You should buy a new bike anyway...
    A reward for all the new core strength.
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    my experience: I am 35 and recently got a new mountain bike frame. the geometry is a little different from my old frame, but about that time, I suddenly could not ride my bike for more than 60 minutes without subbcumbing to excruciating lower back pain. I tried a few things with handlbar and saddle position but nothing worked.

    on the recommendation of at least four local mountain bikers (singlespeeders, at that), I visited a particular chiropractor. he's a rider as well and has a full-time physical therapist in the office who supplements his spinal adjustment techniques with strength and flexibility training. x-rays showed a variety of things out of whack in my spine and we started working on that. the physical therapist/ trainer has me doing a difficult range of excercises that are strengthening and balancing all the screwy stuff that exacerbates my back pain. after a few weeks of help from his office, I am riding pain-free.

    my suggestion is to get an assessment from a medical professional of some sort to rule out the possibility that your woes are from your body. no amount of bike parts is going to make up for the fact that your body is in some way sub-optimal for riding. once your body is squared away, you can focus on the bike itself.

    I am in a similar situation now though. I don't know that my bike fits me like it "should" and I don't know if a professional fit will help much, considering it's a singlespeed AM hardtail with platform pedals. I could be convinced, but I don't spend money like that until I am confident that it's a worthwhile investment.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    I've found the two things that make the biggest difference for me in terms of numb hands are core strength and tires. I was able to eliminate a significant portion of hand numbness when I was doing planks consistently. Recently I spent a week riding 32c tires at low pressure on the road and noticed the numbness had all but vanished...too bad my bike at home only fits up to a 28...more planks it is.
     

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    Default Re: Bike fit or get fit...?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Your back is sore because those muscles are doing work they aren't qualified to do and trying to hold up your torso. Your hands are numb, because the back muscles cannot support the trunk effectively and so you have more weight on your hands. Strengthen your core muscles. That's why the gut expands. The muscles that keep all your giblets in place are losing tone. Take several pilates lessons to learn the right way to do the series of 5 routine, then do it every morning. If you are doing them correctly, you should notice improvements after a few months. Pilates exercises are not quick impact. They are set up to be done repetitively over time and strengthen the muscles while minimizing possible injury. But it is important to do them correctly, so lessons, preferably one on one, are the way to do it at the beginning.

    She is a Goddess: her lines are perfect and harmonious and she can speak while doing some hard stuff without losing her breadth,
    I came here for the socks.

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