View Full Version : New rider - couple questions about pain

09-11-2005, 05:03 PM
I brought this up in my "Today is the Day" thread, but thought I would mention it here . . . I purchased a Trek 2100 yesterday and went for a small spin yesterday, but today, took it for a longer ride. First off, the bike is fantastic. Now, onto the pain . . . I've ridden a 7 speed Jamis Cruiser for about a year and a half, so I know there's going to be a big adjustment for me. First, the cushion of my hand below my thumb is bothering me on both hands. I adjust my hand positioning on the bars, but it still bothers me. The fella at the LBS said that it would take some time for me (my body) to adjust to the new positioning - has anyone else been bothered by this when they first began with a road bike? Second, I'm using Shimano clipless pedals (Shimano 520's that came with the Trek), and I'm having some pain on the outer portion of my foot (outer side of arch). Is this common at the beginning as well, or am I doing something wrong? Once again, the fella said my shoes were fine and again, another adjustment would need to be made by my body (feet, this time), but I'm just curious if this is normal. He spent close to two hours fitting me with the bike and even re-adjusted the bars for better comfort until I'm more acclimated, but I guess I'm just anal, and want to make sure what I'm feeling are just the normal pings and pains of new road bike riders.


09-11-2005, 05:21 PM
couple of questions, apologies if they seem obvious.

1) Are you wearing gloves?

2) Your feet shouldn't hurt especially at that distance. Do you stand in the pedals?

09-11-2005, 05:41 PM
Yes on the thumb pain when changing from a hybrid with flat bars to a road bike with drop bars. It took awhile to adjust but not too long at all. Those muscles seem to adapt quickly. As Trek420 hinted, you should definitely be wearing good cycling gloves if you aren't already; and you want to change hand positions frequently. On top of the hoods is generally the "neutral" position where most cyclists spend, say, 75% of their time, but you also want to use the tops (mostly for climbing or cruising on flats) and drops (mostly for descending and sprinting fast on flats) some too. It can take some getting used to to use the drops, but the more you move your hands, the less pressure any one part will feel. If the pain goes away in a week or two (like mine did), then it's nothing to worry about. If it does not, there might be a bike setup issue, so report back if it doesn't improve.

Good luck, and congratulations on your new bike!


09-11-2005, 05:47 PM
Did he measure the ball of your foot? Your feet should not hurt. I would also be concerned that eventually it will put stress on your knees. Foot placement is crucial or it can lead to more serious problems.
He's wrong and some readjusting needs to be done. I would recommend gloves for the cushion problem. I've gotten twitches in that area especially after Mt.biking. You need something to pad those sensitive neves. Maybe you need to loosen your grip a bit. Are you overextending to much. It's amazing what a cm will make it the stem.

BTW how did he fit you? Did you take all your measurements and put them in a computer? I've found that's the most accurate way.

Kim :)

09-11-2005, 06:39 PM
Thank you for your replies . . .

Trek420 - I do wear gloves, and no, I wasn't standing. The gloves do not have a ton of cushioning, but tomorrow, I'll try another pair of gloves that I purchased with more cushioning and see how those go.

Emi - Glad to hear I'm not the only one . . . you know too, I may have just been holding on too tight during part of the ride . . . had a bit of anxiety, mixed in with excitement!!! I did switch my hand positions often and I suppose as I continue to ride and as I told Trek420, I'll try the more cushy gloves tomorrow.

Kim - Overextending could be an issue too as I noticed if I sat back a bit further on the seat, the pain was not as bad . . . I'm going to have to work at finding a position that suits me and stick with it. He fitted me by taking measurements but did not place them in a computer - also, while I was on the bike, he took measurements. He didn't measure the ball of my foot, but did adjust the clips on the shoes according to the measurements he did take. It's strange, while I was there, and on the bike for over an hour, I didn't feel any pain in my feet - perhaps my feet were just very tense riding as it was my first true ride with the shoes/pedals. I was (and still am) worried about getting out of the clips and being able to stop without killing myself!! Could I also be pedalling incorrectly? Could my shoes be strapped too tight? Forgive me for asking such mundane questions but it's been years since I've been on a road bike and quite honestly I don't think I paid as much attention to the details of riding back then - I was younger too and the body sure adapted much quicker!!!!

Again, thank you for taking the time to respond.


09-12-2005, 03:12 AM
I agree with everyone else. The pain in the hand is normal. It just takes some time to adjust.

The feet thing does not sound normal to me at all. If you can shift your body and find a more comfortable position but can't hold the position because of the setup, I would say something needs to change. I don't keep my shoes too tight, I hate tight shoes!

09-12-2005, 04:40 AM
Don't feel bad about taking your bike(a few times if need be) back for readjusting. They should expect that it happens with all new bikes, everyone needs to tweak it until it's perfect. You may even have to start asking around and find a really great person to fit you. It will be worth the extra money down the road in not stressing any joints. My guy watched me spin for a while and notice my right knee naturally pointed out but my shoe placement fought that natural tendancy and he fixed it and I was SOOOO HAPPPY!! Best 60.00 I spent since buying the bike.

Keep us posted.
Kim :)

09-12-2005, 03:58 PM
A little update . . today, went for a 20 mile ride . . . hands felt much better and feet better as well. I moved back a bit on the seat which seemed to help my feet, and by relaxing my shoulders my hands naturally relaxed too. Oh happy day!!

09-13-2005, 10:44 AM
first and foremost: there are no mundane questions here - if you can't ask here where can you ask??

as for the feet: make sure you're not mashing your pedals either. especially if you're doing any climbing. It can tend to put a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet. Think of pedalling in a circle and "light" feet! Glad to hear things are working out better for you and keep it up....it will get better!!

09-17-2005, 07:20 PM
The whole road biking position is pretty awkward, really. I'm still getting comfortable. When I got my bike fitted the position that I *wanted* to be in was a little too stretched out in my LBS' opinion. Being new, I was more than willing to follow their suggestions but have readjusted things for me when I've gone back. I like my bike shop.

In regards to the pain on the outside of you foot, some people get insoles. I purchased Superfeet insoles for my road shoes pretty early on when I got setup with my beautiful road bike, so I don't know if its just a muscular adjustment or it really was fixed by the footbeds. :) I have different insoles for my casual shoes and wear birkenstocks otherwise.

Of course, my big toe goes numb when climbing in spin class and on hills on the road. The sports medicine podiatrist says that its a matter of strengthening my back muscles, but its nice to be sure (the xrays they took to rule issues out are pretty spiffy). Again, to that, I've both loosened my straps and kept exercising and its not as evident as before.

And those mental suggestions for better, more efficient pedaling helps, too!

Hope your efforts to avoid pain work out!

09-17-2005, 07:22 PM
I would give it a good 100 miles or 2 weeks, whichever comes first, before pushing the panic button. If you don't have a good level of fitness, you will probably get some pains. As you increase mileage, you may find that your neck/back/quads are talking to you the next day. That is normal. Cycling is not supposed to be totally pain free. If it was, the bike lanes would be too crowded.

09-19-2005, 11:46 AM
my hands hurt for MONTHS when i started riding! :(