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Thread: Lower back pain on the trail bike.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ezkaton's Avatar
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    Default Lower back pain on the trail bike.

    WERD.

    So after more than a year and a half of riding my large Spitfire and dealing with lower back pain... at Thredbo on the weekend it was suggested I should try an XL frame.
    I'm 6'3 and the fit and feel is good on the large for the most part pedalling around, but I guess I do feel like my head is a bit too far forwards when in 'attack' position and jumps can feel like I am a bit too big for the frame.
    And of course there's the lower back pain.

    Using a 50mm stem and 760mm wide/38mm rise bars.
    No steerer room to get the stem higher, and don't really like the bars to have any higher rise than they already have.

    I rode the next day on my Makulu which is essentially an XL (1 inch longer than the production L frame) and everything felt fine (50mm stem, 800mm wide bars/15mm rise).

    Anyone else suffered similar issues? Did a frame size change help? Did something else help?

    Should I sell off the large frame and seek out an XL?
    If I rode a fixie and nobody saw it, was it still cool?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mywifesirrational's Avatar
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    What years the spitty, as in whats its reach, STA and TT length?

    Your the same height as me and I'm on an XL santa cruz 460mm reach, 60mm stem x 780 bars, I can't imagine going smaller than that, although personal preference is very strong in selecting sizes. Next bike I think I'll aim for 480mm reach and then have the option of shortening the stem by 10-20mm if needed.

    A shorter frame generally means your arching your back more, at least when seated and probably standing, this puts more pressure on specific areas of the back, which backs don't like. In road cycling, LBP from cycling, often leads to a larger frame as the solution - as this keeps the back straighter or more neutral.

    Another thing I found with going longer is I can run my bars higher, and not have the front end wander or lift when climbing, as there is more weight forward by default, with taller bars feeling a lot better for jumping and descending as a bonus.

    I'd be after a few test rides on XL's before throwing money at this, it'll probably help, but may be other issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by jarrod839 View Post
    All three were not wearing neckbraces and its all most impossible to determine if paul and sams outcomes would of being different if they were wearing one.
    Agree completely, there is no evidence!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ezkaton's Avatar
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    It's a 2014 Spitty.

    Reach: 452mm
    STA: 73.5 degrees (in slack setting)
    TT: 615mm

    The XL of the same year for comparison...
    Reach: 477mm
    STA: 73.5 degrees (in slack setting)
    TT: 640mm

    And L and XL of the 2017 models...
    Reach: 450mm (L) / 490mm (XL)
    STA: 75.0 degrees
    TT: 615mm (L) / 640mm (XL)
    If I rode a fixie and nobody saw it, was it still cool?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mywifesirrational's Avatar
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    They have gotten long.

    The advantage of the 2017's is not just the extra length, but also the STA has gotten steeper.

    Steeper STA means less hip flexion (forward bend) which allows you back to stay more neutral, this effect is magnified if your someone with excessively tight hamgstrings or some hip issues.

    Can you touch your toes standing?
    Quote Originally Posted by jarrod839 View Post
    All three were not wearing neckbraces and its all most impossible to determine if paul and sams outcomes would of being different if they were wearing one.
    Agree completely, there is no evidence!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ezkaton's Avatar
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    I'm about 5cm away before the back of my knees starts burning.
    I could do it this time last year, but I've been slack for a bit, haha.
    If I rode a fixie and nobody saw it, was it still cool?

  6. #6
    Senior Member JTmofo's Avatar
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    Being a bigger bloke on a Large vs X Large frame, its also important to keep in mind the ETT length and the position of your hips and seat while pedalling.
    Reach is an important measurement for cockpit room while standing in the attack position, but the ETT is critical to where your hips are positioned during seated pedalling.

    A Large frame will have a shorter ETT (which is really only an estimated length seeing as its affected by seat post height) vs an XLarge. To get "room" on a large, you will likely be running your post pretty high. This will put your hip position further behind the BB on a Large v XL and can impact on lower back comfort.
    Many people dismiss ETT dimensions, but they are crucial to seated pedalling comfort.

    This along with stack height are often overlooked.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ezkaton's Avatar
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    It is sounding like a steeper seat tube angle, longer reach, and a new CSU for my Mattoc might be what I need.

    Brb, financial despair. Haha.
    If I rode a fixie and nobody saw it, was it still cool?

  8. #8
    Heavy machinery. Dozer's Avatar
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    Core strength. It's all about core strength.
    I ride XL frames but hate the stretched feel of the reach. If I can, I go for a large now and kit it out accordingly to make it work for me.
    I'm 6ft 4" and have had / still have lower back pain. The biggest improvement I made to my life was discovering core strength and doing the small exercises each day to keep it fine tuned. It's quite easy actually but you need to use the proper technique and engage the right muscles.
    I do 100 crunches as soon as I wake up, 50 leg raises lying on my back with my knees bent to engage my core and a bunch of other stuff at the gym that also helps. Honestly though, simple engagement and a small amount of core strength will change your life. Please look it up. ;) It's an instant result too!

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    I started working on my core strength because of hand pain, the discomfort (never pain) in my lower back was just something I figured was a part of cycling. After a few weeks on a rowing machine and crunches both hand pain and back discomfort went away.

  10. #10
    Heavy machinery. Dozer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freediver View Post
    I started working on my core strength because of hand pain, the discomfort (never pain) in my lower back was just something I figured was a part of cycling. After a few weeks on a rowing machine and crunches both hand pain and back discomfort went away.
    Thats unreal! It is an almost instant fix I've found but be careful with rowing machines if you haven't isolated how to engage your core muscles, they can do more damage than good.

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