Super newbie question - forward lean angle and backache/wrist pressure

jmark10

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Hi, I'm 5'9" and not too sure of my inseam, but feel I'm proportional (long legs and torso and arms).

RIding the 700x hurts my low back and my wrists/palms. I've done showkey's seat mod, but feel it can be raised even higher as I am still sliding forward slightly. I find myself mostly putting weight on the handlebars...otherwise I have to sit straight up and reach out with straight arms to get to the handlebars. If I want a relaxed elbow, I have a more forward lean with nothing to support my upper body but my core/back. Which wears out super fast, and I'm back to getting wrist pain from resting my weight on my hands.

Do I need handlebar risers? I prefer leaning forward somewhat - it looks cooler, helps with the wind buffeting, and I feel more in control of the bike. But my wrists and back are killing me.

What am I doing wrong?
 

670cc

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I’m 5’8” and have used a 2 inch rise for the last 5 years. I still think the reach to the bars is a bit long on this bike. As a winter project I’d like to try a 3 inch rise, but I’ll need to custom build extensions for the switchgear wiring harnesses. My reasons are not for wrist or back pain, but to increase butt comfort over very long rides.

I had to chuckle at your “it looks cooler” comment, though. My comfort is far more important than whether I look cool.
 
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Doc True

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Almost all ergonomic problems on a motorcycle stem from poor posture and muscle development. This is normal. Riding a bike puts you into a position you're not normally in. For example, many new riders complain about tingling hands and want to blame it on vibrating handlebars when the actual cause is from slouching. Slouching the lower back affects the angle of the shoulders and arms that puts pressure on nerves that cause the tingling. The cause of the slouching that causes the tingling, is likely the cause of the fatigue in your lower back and core. Your position is forcing you to use muscles in a way that they are not used to being used and, just like they do when you skip the gym for 6 months, they're complaining about it. Your problem will likely vanish once you strengthen those muscle and correct any posture issues. The good news is that the best way to strengthen those muscles is to use them and the best way to that is to ride more. If you arch your lower back slightly while you ride, try to keep the spine straight, and take breaks when your back first tells you too (not after it's good and pissed off), within a few weeks you'll see these things go away. If you put the bike up for the winter and take a long break from riding, they come back when you start up again. It'll happen every year, but you'll know how to make it go away.

I wouldn't advise you to start making any changes to the bike until you've put a significant amount of miles on it. Often, your body just has to conform to the bike. If it does need to be altered, you'll have established a good baseline from which to start and that will give you a better indication of what needs to be changed. It will also allow you to better judge how your modifications are working. If you start changing the bike while you're body is still adjusting to it, you won't know if what your doing is effective or not.
 

jmark10

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I had to chuckle at your “it looks cooler” comment, though. My comfort is far more important than whether I look cool.
Come on, I'm a new rider. Looking cool is Priority #1. ;)

It's the reason I buy the pricier gear that fits me well and looks good, instead of the more affordable, clunky stuff. I still like looking cool, but I won't sacrifice my safety for it. My wallet, on the other hand....
 

jmark10

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If you start changing the bike while you're body is still adjusting to it, you won't know if what your doing is effective or not.
This is an excellent point, and a subtle reminder that I've not hit the gym in over a year. Oof.

Also, I love your remedy: Ride More. Take two and call you in the morning - got it!
 
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