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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Exclamation Pain around elbow... Is this normal?

    Hello, I just started to bike. I have ridden around 150 miles in last two weeks, thats when I got the bike (used 2007 Raleigh Grand Sport).

    Recently I am having some minor pain sensation around the elbow area.
    I mostly used to ride with my hands locked straight on the handle bars. So I looked it up online and saw somewhere that the hands should be slightly bent at the elbow to damp the road vibration.

    I am starting to ride with my hands slightly bent now.
    I dont feel the pain when I ride the bike, but after I get home, if I stretch out my hands I feel slight pain sensation around the inner side of elbow area. And if the arm is not straight, I don't feel any pain, just like normal.

    So, is the pain sensation normal for the new rider. Is the muscle just getting used to riding, or should I worry and do something about it.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Really? It's pain, no it's not normal. Pain is a way for you body to let you know something is wrong. You probably have some tendonitis in your elbow. I'll bet i know someone that could tell you for sure...
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
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    Bet his butt has/had some pain and that's normal. Sounds like fit issue. Straight arms are not the right way to fit on the bike. Did you buy from shop? If you did I bet they can help.

  4. #4
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
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    My guess (and it is a guess) is that your form was rigid/ tight, leading to your discomfort. Even though you took corrective steps, it's going to take some time to heal.

    My advice is to give it some time, but if it doesn't improve or worsens, seek medical attention. Also, if you haven't yet had a fitting, that would be the place to start.

    Since fit and (good) form go hand in hand, here are some tips:
    - keep your upper torso relaxed, arms slightly bent
    - change hand position frequently (tops, bends, hoods, drops...)
    - keep a slightly loose grip on the bars (avoid the 'death grip')
    - keep forearms and hands aligned (don't twist at the wrist)
    - consider good quality gel gloves
    - I usually recommend good quality bar tape, but if your bike is new, it should already be installed.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm guessing the locking arms is your compensating for having a weak core, to aggressive of a drop/reach or some combination of the both.
    Weakness in one area can pop up in another and that might be at least part of the issue here. Try a ride with elbows bent and only slight pressure on the bars with your hands. If my guess is right you'll probably get a sore lower back.
    And it that's the case then maybe it is a matter of developing muscles but not around your elbows.

  6. #6
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    From the replies above, I figured I was doing these things:
    - When I ride on the hood/drops, I usually have death grip, and I have started to loosen it now.
    - My wrists were usually twisted (not anymore)
    - And Jay might be right about the week core (still practicing, I should have it little better in a month or so)

    The pain/soreness seem to lessen as days go by (hope it does away soon).

    I bought an used bike from a LSB. I am going there next week and will talk about fitting. When buying the bike, the guy never talked about fitting and I didn't know any better, so never had a talk about fitting.

  7. #7
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumbo View Post
    From the replies above, I figured I was doing these things:
    - When I ride on the hood/drops, I usually have death grip, and I have started to loosen it now.
    - My wrists were usually twisted (not anymore)
    - And Jay might be right about the week core (still practicing, I should have it little better in a month or so)

    The pain/soreness seem to lessen as days go by (hope it does away soon).

    I bought an used bike from a LSB. I am going there next week and will talk about fitting. When buying the bike, the guy never talked about fitting and I didn't know any better, so never had a talk about fitting.
    All indications (to me) say you're on the right track. Maintaining good form is important, but you do need to pursue getting a standard fitting. If not from the shop selling the bike (who IMO was remiss in not fitting you), then from another. Think of any cost as an investment in your cycling future.

  8. #8
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    Are you putting a lot of weight on your arms? That is what use to cause me pain in my elbows. If you are doing this a good way to practice not is to use only 1 or 2 fingers on each hand. You arms are not to support yourself they are to control the bike. This can also help if you have numbing fingers.

  9. #9
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    I had elbow pain when I started cycling too. Problem was, I was my saddle was too far forward, and I was putting too much weight on my hands. The Knee Over Pedal Spindle fitting technique often causes hand/arm problems in riders with long torsos. Weight distribution between the front and rear wheels is a much better starting point.

    Also strengthening your triceps muscles might help.

  10. #10
    wyrd bi ful rd
    Reputation: c_h_i_n_a_m_a_n's Avatar
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    I think our posture on a road bike is not very natural and so we need to keep moving to change our position on the bike. Sometimes I do forget that and some ache will remind me to keep changing.

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