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Old 20th September 2021, 11:42   #31
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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You hate the bike so I won't tell you
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No I don't hate the bike. That was just a moment of catharsis when you told me you no longer owned it.
Wait, what? You don't have the blue Triban anymore?
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Old 20th September 2021, 11:58   #32
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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Wait, what? You don't have the blue Triban anymore?
Says who

The reveal shall be done soon!
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:24   #33
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

I have a question, on a flat bar bike what should be the angle of my hand with respect to forearm? Do you guys keep your fingers on the brake lever?
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:38   #34
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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I have a question, on a flat bar bike what should be the angle of my hand with respect to forearm? Do you guys keep your fingers on the brake lever?
It depends on what height you keep the seat wrt to your handle height and the geometry of your bike. As for me, my current hybrid seat height is just about a few (~5 inches) inches above the corresponding handle height - this allows me to keep my palms on the handle without too much of a 'drop' (like a road bike rider would do), but still having an angled body shape towards the front.

And no, I don't keep my fingers on the brake lever.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:47   #35
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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It depends on what height you keep the seat wrt to your handle height and the geometry of your bike. As for me, my current hybrid seat height is just about a few (~5 inches) inches above the corresponding handle height - this allows me to keep my palms on the handle without too much of a 'drop' (like a road bike rider would do), but still having an angled body shape towards the front.

And no, I don't keep my fingers on the brake lever.
Same for me. About 4-5 inches above the handle bar. I noticed that when I am riding in city or crowded streets with my fingers on the brakes, I have numbness in both hands. If I leave levers and just stretch fingers in a straight line with my forearms, the numbness goes. I'm thinking I'll change the angle of the brake levers and point them more towards the ground.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:55   #36
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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I have a question, on a flat bar bike what should be the angle of my hand with respect to forearm? Do you guys keep your fingers on the brake lever?
It helps to have foam or anatomic handgrips. Orient your brakes in such a way that whichever is the default (most common one you find yourself employing throughout the ride) grip position of your hands, the fingers naturally cover the brakes without having to change position.

To answer your question about do you ride with finger/s covering the brakes, it depends on the riding situation. If I'm doing miles on an open highway with free road and traffic then no not always. But when I'm descending a steep ghat, or cutting through heavy close traffic, then yes always.

With a fixed stem, you can either move it up or down, or flip it. Still a lot of variations are possible. With an adjustable one you can bring it in or out as well (towards or away from you). A good position is one where you don't get pain or soreness or tingling and numbness anywhere in the body. Simple. There are no rules. If the body adapts without injury it's good. Otherwise it's bad.

You don't need to get an injury to find that out luckily, because the body gives you warning signs. However, always make only one change in position setup at one time, never more. Then ride that for at least a week or two (actually I personally tale a call to change or keep only after 1000 km) before taking a call. Or making the next change. That gives the body enough time to adjust and adapt to the new position.

On a cycle, changes in a few degrees or millimetres have big impacts. For saddle height and bar reach, 5 mm at a time is the max you should try. Once you reach your optimal setting, from there the changes are a mm or two or three at a time max (for saddle). Flipping the stem gives you an instant change of 2.5 cm. Huge. Each spacer us usually 0.5 cm, so one or two spacers max at one time.

The most common old school way of knowing if you are riding a bike and/or stem length that's the right size for you is look down when riding. If the handlebar blocks the view of tge front hub, you are spot on or near about. If the hub is in front of the bar, the bike or stem is too small. If the hub is behind the bar the bike or stem is too large.

On my ACT for instance, when the adjustable stem was oriented like a normal non flipped 6 degree road stem, the handlebar perfectly lines up with the front hub. But since I have angled the stem upwards (and towards me) for a more comfortable saddle to bar drop (4-5 inches of drop like for Ninja and you for a flat bar hybrid is a LOT, road bike territory), the hub is seen in front of the handlebar when I look down while riding. But this has been my default position on this bike for closing on 18,000 km now.

So golden rule. Listen to your body and do whatever it takes to be able to go long and strong on the bike. There are rules, but the most important one is that there are no rules more important than that prime one.

Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?-img20210921wa0009.jpg

My default ACT position.

Cheers, Doc

Last edited by ebonho : 21st September 2021 at 10:21.
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:04   #37
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
The most common old school way of knowing if you are riding a bike and/or stem length that's the right size for you is look down when riding. If the handlebar blocks the view of tge front hub, you are spot on or near about. If the hub is in front of the bar, the bike or stem is too small. If the hub is behind the bar the bike or stem is too large.

Attachment 2209846

My default ACT position.

Cheers, Doc
All excellent points as always, doc. I did not know this trick. I will check this out right away.

I see that in your default position your wrists are at an angle. When I ride like that (city/down hill) there is a numbness after a while. When I straighten, it goes away. The brake levers force me to angle my wrists. I shall change their angle so that I don't have to twist my wrist while clutching them.
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Old 21st September 2021, 11:24   #38
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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But since I have angled the stem upwards (and towards me) for a more comfortable saddle to bar drop (4-5 inches of drop like for Ninja and you for a flat bar hybrid is a LOT, road bike territory)
Current saddle top and bar top heights and saddle to handlebar drop for both my ACT and CAAD setups -

ACT - Saddle top 39" , Handlebar top 39" - 0" drop

CAAD - Saddle top 38.75" , Handlebar top 35.75" - 3" drop (7.6 cm)

Cheers, Doc
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Old 21st September 2021, 12:11   #39
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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All excellent points as always, doc. I did not know this trick. I will check this out right away.

I see that in your default position your wrists are at an angle. When I ride like that (city/down hill) there is a numbness after a while. When I straighten, it goes away. The brake levers force me to angle my wrists. I shall change their angle so that I don't have to twist my wrist while clutching them.
The golden rule is that there are no rules. Do whatever it takes to make yourself comfortable on your bike. If it goes against what some "guru" says or against what you pick up from GCN etc on the net, so be it.

The general consensus is that the ACT is small for me. When I got into cycling many "gurus" badgered me about it. Painting horrific images of debilitating lifelong injuries if I continued riding her.

Then I did my first century. Then 150. Then 200 on her. People kept quiet. The grumblings continued. But lower in tone. Like a slow puncture the air was leaking out slowly from these inflated guru balloons.

When I did my first BRM, finishing under 10 hours, in front of the pretty large pack and definitely one of the fastest hybrids, they said great, but 200 is the limit. Beyond this it gets exponentially harder. Now change your bike.

Then I did the tortuous hilly Strawberry Fields 300 finishing just behind the fastest road bikes and an expert hybrid Super Randonneur, in under 17 hours. Tough.

The gurus clicked their collective tongues. See how tired you are. Change your bike. Arre but what about the 98% of the field that finished hours after me on "perfect" bikes?!!! No, change your bike.

One apex big name guru and ex national racer now working for a big brand instead of appreciating the efforts of a newbie rider captioned a photo of me climbing the long Pasarni ghat (in 5th position at the time) as the worst bike position he had ever seen of a regular seasoned long distance cyclist. Personally, I have no time in my life for negative gyaanbaaji. Regardless of the credentials of the source. Call it ego. Call it stubbornness. Whatever.

I am still riding the same bike 5 years and 18,000 km later. In near identical position of saddle and handlebar. And about 90% of those self proclaimed gurus have disappeared from the cycling scene. Not just Strava. The Apex guru having moved to greener pastures where he can actually bully newbies who give a you know what.

So go ahead and play around. It's your bike. It's your body. Road sabka hai. Enjoy.

Cheers, Doc
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Old 26th September 2021, 14:51   #40
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Re: Cyclists: Tips on managing pain & cycling further?

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Anyway, re: my injury: Actually it was the same bike on which I'd been higher a couple weeks earlier, but you're right, I had just raised the seat and moved it rearward to a position that technically according to fit standards, was closer to "correct".

I realise that "they" also say it comes down to individual physiology and what "feels" "right"... So apart from immediately turning around when I felt the pain, it might have been advisable the next morning to go back to the original ("incorrect"?) position and see how that felt. I'd always heard that we should have only a slight bend in knee at the bottom (or 5-o'clock, max extension), and have ridden comfortably (/modestly) like that on my other cycles... but came across another site saying 30-40-degrees bend, which doesn't sound "slight" at all! I have a feeling I may do better with a bit lower seat. Was out for a brief spin this morning and it felt alright, better when I lowered it an inch. No perceptible pain/discomfort, so whatever was injured, hoping it will not be a long recovery.

Any recovery advice/ suitable exercises for this stage would be appeciated. Also re: process of fine-tuning the fitting, towards future prevention.

Pain seems mostly under the kneecap and represents a cumulative effect at this point - fine in the mornings and becoming prominent after whatever daily exertions by evening. X-ray shows (according to one interpretation) "early osteoarthritis" but as I don't normally have pain/trouble here (even with fairly vigorous mountain-trail descents on foot), I feel any decrease in the cartilage thickness should be possible to overcome with proper cycling-specific conditioning /strengthening / fitting adjustments.

-Eric

P.S. mods: if others would be better served by moving this to the "pain" sub-thread, please feel free to re-locate it).
I have similar pain, excruciating over a few days and then gradually wears off. I cut down my riding to 30kms tops per event, and i also started performing the following exercises.

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