Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its been just over a year since I bought my first bike, 29er hardtail. Im 58 and ride 2 to 3 times a week, around 5 to 20 miles a ride. At first, it was very very hard, and now its still hard but I can do it without stopping. But, the hardtail is beating me up the longer Im on the bike. Plus, after about 2 hours, my arms,especially my hands are hurting and I have a tremendous pain between my shoulders.
I have a 90mm stem with 7 degree rise, my bars are 660 wide with 8 degree backsweep and 7 degree upsweep.
So I have two questions.
First pertains to the bars, as I am thinking of going to carbon bars, I was thinking of a shorter stem with a rise but with flat bars with a backsweep. What do you think???
My next question, pertains to purchase of another bike with full suspension, but suspension for just xc type riding.
Kinda had my eye on a Rip niner, but dunno if I care for all the comments on Niners low quality paint and how it holds up (Im sorry, I am vain, I care about what I have and how it looks). The second was a Salsa Spearfish. But Im open to other ideas.
I may get in a race, I dont expect to win, I just love to ride, no. I LOVE TO RIDE my bike.
I wish I had time to work out but my work life will not allow it. Gotta pay the bills. Taxes and insurance isnt cheap.
This is a great forum, come here all the time,,just wanted to say thanks for the forum also.
Possum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
960 Posts
A couple of things. Two ways to approach this, stem or bars but only do one at a time.

As you shorten your bar you bring your arms closer together and this raises your head and shoulders. This may be enough to relieve you of the pain between your shoulder blades and might take enough weight off your hands to do the same for them. I went to carbon bars also for wee bit more flex in them.

Or do the shorter stem, maybe with more of a rise (cheaper than bars) and see if it helps.

I have similar issues and it makes fine tuning more difficult. My Phys. Therapist advised me neck and or shoulder pain is very much caused by how bent over one is and it put a lot of strain on the neck and upper shoulders. He told me he knows a few roadies that had to stop riding because of this. He said as a mtb rider my posture can be more upright and we change position more than roadies do.
 

·
empty beer member
Joined
·
292 Posts
Is it possible that you aren't stretched out enough, causing your shoulder blades to compress in back? I was having hand and arm numbness, flipping the stem down and dropping it 10mm fixed my issues. Doing this was the complete opposite of what everyone told would help but it worked for me.

Also, on my rigid bike I added bars with more backsweep and that helped my comfort tremendously. I switched from standard riser bars to a flat 17 degree salsa pro moto and used a 10mm longer stem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Good stuff "CarolinaLL6". Carbon bars will soak up some of the vibration for sure. Shortening any type bars will also reduce the amount of vibration they soak up. The more the bars flex, the more this will matter.
Whether you go shorter or taller with your stem, it'll shorten your reach and put you more upright. Maybe just add some spacers under your stem to get it higher?

Might wanna consider a Thudbuster seatpost so you can avoid the pedaling bob of a FS but get some reduced shock and vibration to the butt.

Another thing I'll throw out there is...If you go with a bigger, taller, more volume tire up front, and a smaller 1 in the rear, that'll also make your riding position more upright some, and the added volume up front will also reduce vibration. Sometimes a little thing like running a few psi lower can make all the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
Its been just over a year since I bought my first bike, 29er hardtail. Im 58 and ride 2 to 3 times a week, around 5 to 20 miles a ride. At first, it was very very hard, and now its still hard but I can do it without stopping. But, the hardtail is beating me up the longer Im on the bike. Plus, after about 2 hours, my arms,especially my hands are hurting and I have a tremendous pain between my shoulders.
I have a 90mm stem with 7 degree rise, my bars are 660 wide with 8 degree backsweep and 7 degree upsweep.
So I have two questions.
First pertains to the bars, as I am thinking of going to carbon bars, I was thinking of a shorter stem with a rise but with flat bars with a backsweep. What do you think???
My next question, pertains to purchase of another bike with full suspension, but suspension for just xc type riding.
Kinda had my eye on a Rip niner, but dunno if I care for all the comments on Niners low quality paint and how it holds up (Im sorry, I am vain, I care about what I have and how it looks). The second was a Salsa Spearfish. But Im open to other ideas.
I may get in a race, I dont expect to win, I just love to ride, no. I LOVE TO RIDE my bike.
I wish I had time to work out but my work life will not allow it. Gotta pay the bills. Taxes and insurance isnt cheap.
This is a great forum, come here all the time,,just wanted to say thanks for the forum also.
Possum
Old guys like full suspension bikes...

Go demo some at your LBSs.....take em out for a really good ride...around here if you break it you buy it...but the will let you take them to the mountains.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
WrecklessREX did remind me of something I forgot to add in my post. Last year after about 2 months of riding, I was having numbness in my hands. Several locals advised me to get new grips, tho one told me to swap my stem upside down and maybe take the spacer out from under it, lowering my handlebar. I did that and it did help. But now as I am able to ride for longer periods without stopping, I am having this pain/numbness in my hands but pain inbetween my shoulders.
CarolinaLL6, this same guy recommended shortening my bars but also recommended trying out carbon bars, to help a bit with the bumps.
You guys think I should stick with my current stem and get a carbon bar, just shorten it a bit from where I am at now with my current bar??
IF so, what bar do you recommend and should it be flat with some sweep or one with some rise??
Thanks,
John
PS jeffscott,
I have to go miles away for a bike dealer. I read this forum and others many many times late last winter,early spring before I decided on my first mountain bike,lol. Thats why I added the part about a full suspension bike for xc riding, to get some ideas from others that have done the same. I dont consider myself old, but I believe I feel it out on the trail,lol. But I have to say it again, I do love to ride my bike. I find myself missing Sunday football for a good ride,lol.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Hmm, I never heard of and it doesn't make sense to me that lowering the bars would help with hand numbness since it puts more weight on them, but the better grips could help. Maybe just flip the stem back up right and/or put the spacer back and see, espacially sinse it's free.
 

·
Picture Unrelated
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
WrecklessREX did remind me of something I forgot to add in my post. Last year after about 2 months of riding, I was having numbness in my hands. Several locals advised me to get new grips, tho one told me to swap my stem upside down and maybe take the spacer out from under it, lowering my handlebar. I did that and it did help. But now as I am able to ride for longer periods without stopping, I am having this pain/numbness in my hands but pain inbetween my shoulders.
CarolinaLL6, this same guy recommended shortening my bars but also recommended trying out carbon bars, to help a bit with the bumps.
You guys think I should stick with my current stem and get a carbon bar, just shorten it a bit from where I am at now with my current bar??
IF so, what bar do you recommend and should it be flat with some sweep or one with some rise??
Thanks,
John
PS jeffscott,
I have to go miles away for a bike dealer. I read this forum and others many many times late last winter,early spring before I decided on my first mountain bike,lol. Thats why I added the part about a full suspension bike for xc riding, to get some ideas from others that have done the same. I dont consider myself old, but I believe I feel it out on the trail,lol. But I have to say it again, I do love to ride my bike. I find myself missing Sunday football for a good ride,lol.
Sounds to me like you're getting advice to fix one of your problems but it's making the other one worse. The lower bars will cause you to put more weight on your hands which will make it more likely that they will get numb. I would suggest getting your stem back to upright and getting a wider bar to try and sort out your body position.

Of course, everything everyone suggests is pure speculation because we can't watch you ride the bike. Numb hands is usually caused by too much weight on your hands, in order to fix it you need to raise your handlebar not lower it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,171 Posts
Another thing people haven't mentioned is your hand size. My hands used to kill me with the stock small diameter grips.

My hands felt better after switching to ODI Rogue lock ons. At the time they were one of the largest diameter grips I could find.
 

·
Picture Unrelated
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
Another thing people haven't mentioned is your hand size. My hands used to kill me with the stock small diameter grips.

My hands felt better after switching to ODI Rogue lock ons. At the time they were one of the largest diameter grips I could find.
Made me think of another issue that many people have and that's improper brake lever setup. If the levers aren't angled downward properly it could force your hands into a position that causes pressure on parts of the hand that aren't usually made for weight bearing. Brake levers should be positioned such that you do not have to bend your wrist to pull the brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the help so far. Think I will flip the stem back up and move the spacer back to beneath the stem.
Now, I do want to try a carbon bar. Can you help me out there, plus, Im guessing here, I would like to try those Odi grips but Ive read somewhere some of the carbon bars cant accomodate the end fastening grips. I do have larger hands.
Thanks,
Possum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
I would highly suggest finding a local bike store that will be able to properly fit you. You can guess at the right fit till your wallet has run dry, or get it done properly and know the fit is right. The problem with the prior is that you will always wonder if a tweak here and there may help. If you get fit, then you will know it isn't the bike and it may be a stretch or certain excersize you can do to help your comfort on the bike.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,198 Posts
Hmm, I never heard of and it doesn't make sense to me that lowering the bars would help with hand numbness since it puts more weight on them, but the better grips could help. Maybe just flip the stem back up right and/or put the spacer back and see, espacially sinse it's free.
Lowering the bars can force you to use more core muscles to support yourself which in turn takes pressure off of the hands. It does not work in all cases but has helped some riders relieve or reduce hand pain.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
I would highly suggest finding a local bike store that will be able to properly fit you. You can guess at the right fit till your wallet has run dry, or get it done properly and know the fit is right. The problem with the prior is that you will always wonder if a tweak here and there may help. If you get fit, then you will know it isn't the bike and it may be a stretch or certain excersize you can do to help your comfort on the bike.
I can see your point and it's a good one, and someone who's clueless can gain lots from it, but no one can tell you what's comfy for you but can put you in a range of what's generally excepted. After any bike fit I've gotten I'v always tweaked things a bit after. Lotsa things you can adjust are free and if your in the ball bark of getting it right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DavidR1, exactly what I did when I bought this bike from a Specialized store. Two guys worked with me and one was leaning toward a large and the other a medium. The large,at the time I didnt feel comfortable on plus my jewels were almost touching the top tube. So they set me up with a medium, adjusted the seat,seat height, cockpit controls, etc.
I just swapped the stem back around and the stem spacers. Rode the street for a bit. I just can feel a lot of presure on the palms of my hands, I rode with my fingers open, no grip and there is just a lot of presure on my palms,kind of like I stated earlier. Feels as if my hands and arms are holding most of my weight.
Thanks,
John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Try to get into habit of holding the grips and not leaning on em. Also keep your wrists pretty straight and brake levers in a place so that your wrists are pretty straight when your fingers are on em. Keep your elbows bent a little to absorb impacts and that'll lower your position a bit too. Sometimes the for/aft or tilt of the saddle can make a big difference in how much leaning is going on. Make 1 adjustment at a time then ride so you don't loose your way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
Try to get into habit of holding the grips and not leaning on em. .
Honestly I find myself leaning on my grips quite a bit during endurance rides. It is a nice alternative on sections when the trail is less demanding.

Unfortunately, not all bike fittings are created equal. Being new to the sport, you would have no way of knowing what store would be best at fitting. Some stores really specialize at fittings and can really do an in depth fitting. Not sure if you have ever gone through one of these theMeat, but I can tell you it is well worth the cost if you can find the right fitter and it is far more then someone telling you what is comfortable.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top