Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Cyclophiliac
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Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby Cyclophiliac » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:54 am

I've recently increased my round-trip bicycle commuting distance, and found that my legs handled it quite well. My lower back, on the other hand, started complaining. I had to slow down a bit on the commutes, not enough to add much time to the commute, but just enough to keep my back in reasonable shape.

What are your thoughts on ways to better manage your commute when it's longer than you're used to?

I've tried various things: slowing down a bit (as I just mentioned), and alternating seated and standing pedaling also helps. This is my 5th week of the longer commute, and nothing's broken so far! :lol:

Regards,

--- Victor.

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P!N20
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby P!N20 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:08 am

A sore back tells me your saddle height and/or handlebar height/angle may need adjusting. Even a small adjustment can sometimes make a big difference. Tough to say what to change without seeing your bike and riding position.

NOVISCOTT
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby NOVISCOTT » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:48 am

I've had similar. The advise I received from a physio was to work on core strength. Your bike may be set up perfectly, but fatigue in the hamstrings can work its way into your lower back if it lacks the conditioning to cope with it.

I've being guilty of neglecting lower back exercises before and it has always come back to bite me.

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cancan64
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby cancan64 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:35 am

As above I get lower back pain when climbing to much or to low a gear... pain is coming from legs but also being lazy and not keeping the core tight... if no extra climbing or effort hen bike fit
“Some say he isn’t machine washable, and all his potted plants are called ‘Steve’.

eldavo
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby eldavo » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:11 pm

I've found this worked after a few doses.
Image
The reach of one bike I returned to with a new longer stem was deceivingly longer than the rest when changing seatpost from layback to straight, but I put the seat forward and gave it a chance after the initial small of back twinge (2hrs at a time commute) and arms being too stretched/straight while sitting max rearward like on another bike with different hand contact points.

By the 2nd or 3rd day it was gone with some adjustment of ride style, that also helped the climbing using different muscles at different times with forward or rear seat/bars contact positions.

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queequeg
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby queequeg » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:24 pm

1) Get a bike fit done, as a sore back is a sign that something about your riding position is not right
2) Once you have had the bike fit done, see how you go.
3) If you are still getting various pains after riding for a couple of weeks with the new fit, refer above about bags of cement :-)
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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AndreB1972
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby AndreB1972 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:21 pm

I had the same problem when I moved to Brisbane. I found that I was only grinding along on the big ring because its so flat coming in from the North and used maybe 3 gears for most of the ride. I spent a few days riding with much easier gears and spinning more, and the issue went away.

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TrikeTragic
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby TrikeTragic » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:18 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:....... My lower back, on the other hand, started complaining. I had to slow down a bit on the commutes, not enough to add much time to the commute, but just enough to keep my back in reasonable shape.

What are your thoughts on ways to better manage your commute when it's longer than you're used to?



No one so far has mentioned the obvious beyond HTFU, you could also consider going "bent" as in recumbent! Option comes with some downsides:
- People asking if you have some physical disability.
- People asking why you don't have a beard and clip in sandals.....

Otherwise, goodbye sore back, hello trike grin! :lol:

Cheers
Alan
BentCyclist

Cyclophiliac
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby Cyclophiliac » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:34 am

Thanks for the replies, all. I don't think the problem is the bike fit, as I've had the same bike fit for this bike for over 8 years, and have used this bike in an Alpine Classic, two 250km / 4000m rides, over 50 Dandenongs rides, and over 110,000km of commuting over about 9 years, with no problems.
I think I was just pushing myself a bit too hard on the new commute, which is almost 10% longer than the old. I've done various things to keep my back happy, and they seem to work:
- pay more attention than usual to pedaling with an even stroke, with as uniform pressure as possible on the pedals through each revolution.
- no sudden accelerations.
- occasionally pedaling standing up.
- going a tiny bit slower than I was going before, and it doesn't make much difference to my commuting time, even over 31km.
- try to keep an upright posture, resisting the urge to go 'aero' and bend over more.

Regards,

--- Victor.

daidaidai
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby daidaidai » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:48 am

Changed jobs recently, old commute was approx 26km one way, now 32km one way. Found I had the same problem you mentioned, shortly after starting new commute; back pain. Used all the methods you have mentioned; mixing things up. This eased the pain but did not remove. Started working on core strength (as mentioned by others) and stretching hammy's. Pain now gone, this was over the course of about four weeks. Can't say whether the old body just got used to the longer commute, or whether the the core strengthening helped, I believe both played their part. Cheers

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Lizzy
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby Lizzy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:23 pm

eldavo wrote:I've found this worked after a few doses.
Image


Does it come in chocolate flavour?

I continue to struggle with what seemed like a marginal increase in commute distance. Slowing down is not really an option, being already so slow you guys would laugh your heads off if you knew :|
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eldavo
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Re: Getting used to longer bicycle commuting

Postby eldavo » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:56 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:I've had the same bike fit for this bike for over 8 years


There's your problem. N+1 is the cure :lol:

I quite like the variety and exploring/adjusting to different ergonomics, moving the body around and riding/positioning in different ways.
I was surprised what felt great and I raved about on first ride of a bike build, just isn't what I'm adjusted to or my preference now.
In motorcycles I liked the saying, unless you're riding like Doohan, it's not the bike holding you back.

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