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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I find that on short 5 mile technical trails my arms are getting extremely fatigued, i only weigh 180lbs and was curious if this is a geometry problem, or if its a riding technique problem. I currently run a 90mm 10 degree stem with a 1" riser bar, 19" hardtail, and manitou black elite 100 front fork.
 

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I love Pisgah
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Hard to say with the geo question. The frame steertube height/seat tube/post height all can impact that. Yes, too much weight on the arms can really pump the arms up fast. I HAVE found that using this simple tool for training has all but eliminated any forearm pump. The finese required to input steering, shifting, and especially braking 'correctly' thru technical can really pump up ones forearms fast if ones arms aren't trained as well. Downhill especially. This tool is from my MX days in the 70s. Worked good then, and it still works good now. Yes, that the 70s. Been using it ever since from superbike to mtb racing. A 5lb weight, tied to a 5' piece of rope, and pulled thru and knotted(thats a bgass washer you see for the knott) to that piece of round 1" dia wood. While standing..extend ones arms out horizonal..lower the weight to the floor..now roll it up. I let it back down, then roll it up the other direction(CW/CCW)..repeat back and forth. I keep my hands outside the red tape. Your forearms WILL pump up bigtime after 2 times each way at the beginning. I do this most everyday a few times. When I race now, my forearms NEVER pump up. At least I don't have that to worry about I guess. Just one more edge, is all. hehehe

Simple to make, and the benefits are killer.

 

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Arm pain

just a few thoughts -

arm fatigue can also be related to seat position - if your seat is too far forward your arms do too much work supporting the upper body in a bent over position. try this - put your bike on a wind trainer, nmaking sure it is level. slide back & forth on your saddle & notice how the effort in the arms, abs, & lower back change to keep the upper body supported. now you gotta be careful b/c seat position also affects pedal efficiency & leg kinematics. generally moving the saddle back is not a problem from the standpoint of knee strain though.

also is your lower back strong enough? again if it is weak the arms have to compensate.

Karl
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks

thanks for all the tips, its mainly my forearms that are tired, if i had to say specifically, id say the outer muscles. I am gonna try to keep my elbows more bent, thanks. I also think i possibly bought a stem that is too short. I traded in my freeride bike for an XC one so i guess i was biased towards the shorter stems. 90mm 10deg rise 1" riser bars. Another possibility, i never cut my bars, could it be that my hands are too far out on the bars? is this a likely scenario?

My bike's geometry is as follows..

frame size 20"
22.5" TT length
120mm HT length
71 degree HT angle
73 degree ST angle

I am 6'2 with a long torso, 180 lbs. I dunno if any of this info helps, but hopefully it will clue you onto my problems.
 

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I already answered this this morning

on another forum I just made the case for bar-ends on riser bars. Look it up, good reading.
Pick up a bucket full of water, let it hang with your arm straight. Hard on your fingers from gripping after awhile, but not so hard on your arm, since it's just hanging straight.
Now pick up the bucket and bend your elbow, lots harder on your arm muscles.
The combination of a riser bar, which sweeps the grips back towards you, and a silly short stem like you got, puts the grips much closer to you than would a typical low flat XC bar on a long low stem. When you're climbing with the XC setup, your arms are pretty straight so they're not straining to hold your position while countering your legs' efforts. With your setup, your arms are bent because the bar is higher and closer, so when pedaling hard, especially uphill, your whole upper body and arms are tensed to hold your position on the saddle as your legs try to push you backwards.
The solution: Add bar-ends, so you can resist your legs with straighter arms. A longer stem wouldn't be a bad thing either. Your current bar and stem have you all hunched up on the bike, rather than stretched out like you should be.
 

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It was lack of upper body strenght for me

nufenstein said:
I find that on short 5 mile technical trails my arms are getting extremely fatigued, i only weigh 180lbs and was curious if this is a geometry problem, or if its a riding technique problem. I currently run a 90mm 10 degree stem with a 1" riser bar, 19" hardtail, and manitou black elite 100 front fork.
So i started lifting weights twice a week focusing on arms, chest back and core (obliques and abs. It works...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
bulC said:
on another forum I just made the case for bar-ends on riser bars. Look it up, good reading.
Pick up a bucket full of water, let it hang with your arm straight. Hard on your fingers from gripping after awhile, but not so hard on your arm, since it's just hanging straight.
Now pick up the bucket and bend your elbow, lots harder on your arm muscles.
The combination of a riser bar, which sweeps the grips back towards you, and a silly short stem like you got, puts the grips much closer to you than would a typical low flat XC bar on a long low stem. When you're climbing with the XC setup, your arms are pretty straight so they're not straining to hold your position while countering your legs' efforts. With your setup, your arms are bent because the bar is higher and closer, so when pedaling hard, especially uphill, your whole upper body and arms are tensed to hold your position on the saddle as your legs try to push you backwards.
The solution: Add bar-ends, so you can resist your legs with straighter arms. A longer stem wouldn't be a bad thing either. Your current bar and stem have you all hunched up on the bike, rather than stretched out like you should be.
Thanks for the tip, anybody need a practically new easton ea70 90x10 stem??
 

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nufenstein said:
I find that on short 5 mile technical trails my arms are getting extremely fatigued, i only weigh 180lbs and was curious if this is a geometry problem, or if its a riding technique problem. I currently run a 90mm 10 degree stem with a 1" riser bar, 19" hardtail, and manitou black elite 100 front fork.
I used to have major arm and shoulder and back fatigue while mountain bike racing... So I started lifting weights. Low weight and high repitition to build up the endurance of my upper body muscles. It worked like a dream. I am now a faster mountain bike racer and the upper body fatigue doesn't affect me anymore.
 

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Arm fatigue on a bike for most people is going to be lack of upper body strength and endurance.

Weight training is the way to go. It's basically what Duckman has said but I do wrist curls and wrist extensions using dumbbells which works wonders. When doing the wrist curls roll the dumbbell right down onto your fingertips before curling it back up to strengthen your fingers.

The triceps and shoulders take a battering too on a bike so it's worth spending some time working on them.

As said in an earlier post don't forget your sit ups and back extensions also.

Upper body weight training for cycling is quite interesting.

Low weight, high repetition works well on my legs but I've had better results doing more typical "High" weight low repetition work (eg. wrist curls 3 sets of 10 with a 15kg dumb bell in each hand 3 times per week) as opposed to low weights and high reps on upper body exercises.

Possibly this is because all the time on the bike has given me plenty of leg muscle bulk but I was lacking both endurance and strength in my upper body?

Obviously too much upper body bulk isn't necesssary but I find I'm a much better climber nowadays plus my arms don't get anywhere near as fatigued.:)

Make sure your gloves have enough padding on the palms too.
 
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