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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I get a little bit of back pain on my road bike and lately have been getting a lot on my mountain bike.

I'm 6'6" and all bikes are size XL. I had a 120mm stem on my road bike and going to a 110mm nearly eliminated the back pain. On my MTB I have a 50mm stem so I can't really go much shorter, maybe I should go longer? My MTB is relatively new (200 miles) and the back pain is getting worse.
 

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Reach is certainly one aspect that can cause back issues. Another that can cause back issues is poor posture, particularly if you're just starting to ride a lot after a long winter off. What sort of pain is it, and more specifically where is it in the back?
 

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I was chasing this myself. 6'1", 32 pant, and tall trunk. Lower back pain is an old nemesis.
I was professionally fitted and I thought my bikes were just right, textbook setups, but I had pain.
On my roadie, we shortened the stem 10 cm. I thought this crazy, but that helped.
I was riding my saddles nose-up a bit too. I thought it was comfy, and helped my position. Nope, with the stem to long, I was using that up angle to hold me back a little against the taint area. Bad-the points in your butt cheeks should be your contact. Interestingly, he also mentioned that with nose up, the hips are rotated back more, and therefore, I was leaning forward quite a bit at the hips.
After all this, it felt funny, but I felt way better, and the pain went away.
I noticed recently that my Fuel was giving me pain, and I was blaming the dropper post and different heights. No, the clamp slipped and the nose had risen.
I rambled, but maybe it gives you some food for thought. Money spent with a good fitter is an investment, especially if they can tell you why this or that is better or worse.

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I notice back pain with many of the suggestions already mentioned. One thing left out was seat height. When my seat is to high, pain sets in the lumbar region an hour or so after riding


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I get a little bit of back pain on my road bike and lately have been getting a lot on my mountain bike..
The dropper seat post(w/ 400+mm) is nice so you can switch it up frequently. Going too long on the stem i found stretched me out so i tried more angle to get the bar higher and further back. I have to stand as much as possible because of the impacts. I set the suspension softer sometimes because of this and tire pressures down into the 20s. At 6 3 on an xl i just fit so i can imagine 6 6 is no easier
 

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I'm 6'6" also and have a blown disc (confirmed with MRI). I find that the back pain comes when I hunch over for too long, loosing the natural curvature of the back. Try to keep you're lower back arched, you're posture on the bike should look like you're doing a squat or deadlift with good form. You may have to move you're seat, and handlebars to make this a comfortable position. Good luck and keep stretching too!


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Two other sources for lower back pain I have noticed are -

Pushing a tall gear too long.
There are two long muscles in the lower back that aid in pedaling. IME, cranking on a heavy gear for too long, especially while seated, gets those muscles talking to me late in a ride. Dropping a gear or two and spinning the pedals faster helps. I mostly experience this on my road bike and my SS.

Not getting out of the saddle to absorb hits and bumps. Particularly on my HTs. Unless you get your butt up off the saddle, all trail input is going straight up your spine.

IMO, the number one thing to help your back is to strengthen your core. Crunches, planks, whatever. A strong core alleviates a lot of stress on your back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Two other sources for lower back pain I have noticed are -

Pushing a tall gear too long.
There are two long muscles in the lower back that aid in pedaling. IME, cranking on a heavy gear for too long, especially while seated, gets those muscles talking to me late in a ride. Dropping a gear or two and spinning the pedals faster helps. I mostly experience this on my road bike and my SS.

Not getting out of the saddle to absorb hits and bumps. Particularly on my HTs. Unless you get your butt up off the saddle, all trail input is going straight up your spine.

IMO, the number one thing to help your back is to strengthen your core. Crunches, planks, whatever. A strong core alleviates a lot of stress on your back.
I can deadlift well over 400lbs so my core should be fine but I do not do a whole lot of specific core exercises.
 

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Bar height. Your saddle has the be up a decent amount for climbing to get the right leg extension, but if you are hunched forward and straining it will hurt your lower back. The good news is you can change it by your shim stack if you have the stem length, a riser stem, or a riser bar. All very cheap and easy to combine to fine tune. Coming up 15-25mm will make a huge difference.
 

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I was having lower back pain, turned out it was tight hamstrings that caused it. Stretch them and I think there is a good chance the pain will go away.

This exercise is very effective.

Hindsight, I could have found a young/hot model to show you guys this exercise. Sorry I didn't.

Have a nice week-end all.
 

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posture is important, as other people have mentioned, stem length, seat height, seat angle can all impact it. On one bike the stem was too short, lengthening it helped a lot.

I periodically get bad lower back pain. It is almost always due the straps on my camelbak giving me bad posture. When I loosen the straps and use the waist belt instead the back pain instantly goes away.
 
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