Upper back pain related to bars?

Related:
Create New Tag

10/7/2020 5:55 PM

So, I have heard a lot about shorter bars causing people to deal with lower back pain, but not much about pain in the upper back.

I just got back into riding, and was hitting it pretty hard everyday for several days in a row on my new Haro Freestyler DMC Legend 24. It had been 25 years since I had last been in a bike, and I was averaging 1.5-2 hours riding everyday for the first few days of having the bike. Bear in mind that this is just riding, not doing any tricks or jumps.

Yesterday, I woke up with a terrible, burning pain in my upper back, right in my spine, between my shoulder blades. It has been miserable since then although it does seem to be letting up just a little bit, so I think I am going to survive. The pain feels like a pinched nerve, or like a heavy weight was placed at the top of my spine and is pushing everything downward.

The bars that came in my bike are chromoly Haro Freestyler “Kneesaver” style bars, and the spec sheet shows them to have only a 7 inch rise. Is it possible, or even likely that the bars are the root of my problem, or is it more likely just my body adjusting itself to the physical movements of riding again?

It looks like everybody is sold out of direct replacement bars (meaning Haro kneesavers) in taller versions, and even if they were in stock they run at least a hundred dollars depending on where you shop. I’m willing to spend the coin, but don’t want to wait on something to come in stock only to find that new bars won’t help.

Any advice would be appreciated.

|

“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

10/7/2020 7:41 PM

It could be a mixture of both.

My first few years of riding, my back would ache every now and then, so I moved from 8.25" rise to 10" rise and the problem went away. But now that I've been riding a number of years, I've been comfortably running 9" rise for majority of this year. Maybe because of my body adjusting to the position, but everyone's different.

Keep in mind that that there are more options other than the bars styled to fit the bike. Any BMX bar will fit.

|

Scooter kid trying to ride BMX.
Instagram: @scootereyn

10/7/2020 8:36 PM

readybmxer wrote:

It could be a mixture of both.

My first few years of riding, my back would ache every now and then, so I moved from 8.25" rise to 10" rise and the problem went away. But now that I've been riding a number of years, I've been comfortably running 9" rise for majority of this year. Maybe because of my body adjusting to the position, but everyone's different.

Keep in mind that that there are more options other than the bars styled to fit the bike. Any BMX bar will fit.

I hope my back adapts to the new routine because for the last two days it has hurt bad enough that I simply couldn’t ride no matter how much I wanted to.

As for the bars, I really do like the kneesaver design although I knew aesthetically from day one that I’d like something taller. I don’t necessarily have to have Haro bars although that is what I would prefer. I just don’t want to buy a set of bars and have some other company logo plastered across them considering that there isn’t likely to be a whole lot else that I change on this bike.

|

“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

10/7/2020 9:08 PM

That’s a pretty common place for having pain. I get sore there sometimes. Usually I attribute it to going overboard with pulling exercises in my workouts, but I could see where riding could cause it as well. It’s not fun to do, but rolling on a lacrosse ball and stretching improves it for me enough to work through it until the pain resolves.

|

10/7/2020 9:21 PM

Also, nobody who’s spent any time in the bmx world will give you any grief over using a variety of parts and mixing brands. It’s part of customizing your bike to suit your preference. This is why you seldom see two bmx bikes that look the same. It’s part of the fun.

|

10/8/2020 12:35 AM

I didn't even read the other replies so this may be a bit of a repeat....

I'm at least your age and rode in the 80's, 90's, 2000's..

I bought a 24 inch bmx a few years back and set it up like all the other 24's, with shorter bars. I found it SUCKED to ride around on.

I think I ended up with 8.25" bars or 8.5". I forget but the change was very noticeable in a good way. I've seen guys with 10 inch bars on their 24's. I don't think they were doing anything more than just cruising. No freestyle type stuff.


I'm sure some of your pain is your muscles getting used to being on a bike again and that will go away.

I bet you'd be happy with some 9" or 9.25" bars.

and don't forget to do some stretching.. yoga , etc. and drink water. smile




|

10/8/2020 5:41 AM

pnj wrote:

I didn't even read the other replies so this may be a bit of a repeat....

I'm at least your age and rode in the 80's, 90's, 2000's..

I bought a 24 inch bmx a few years back and set it up like all the other 24's, with shorter bars. I found it SUCKED to ride around on.

I think I ended up with 8.25" bars or 8.5". I forget but the change was very noticeable in a good way. I've seen guys with 10 inch bars on their 24's. I don't think they were doing anything more than just cruising. No freestyle type stuff.


I'm sure some of your pain is your muscles getting used to being on a bike again and that will go away.

I bet you'd be happy with some 9" or 9.25" bars.

and don't forget to do some stretching.. yoga , etc. and drink water. smile




It’s definitely helpful to hear from someone that is close to my age, and has also gone the 24” BMX route as I think the 24’s are a somewhat different animal than the 20” bikes. There just doesn’t seem to be that many guys riding the 24” bikes, and as such I’m not sure if advice about changing components carries over from one platform to the next.

At this point, I am hooked on riding again, and don’t want to have severe pain keeping me from being able to do so. As such, I will probably shop for a set of bars that most closely resembles the general shape of my existing bars, and see if I can’t find them in stock in a 9.25-9.5 height. I suppose that worst case scenario would be that I don’t notice a difference in which case I still will have my originals if I decide to switch back.

|

“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

10/8/2020 9:55 AM

That’s where my back hurts. I rode the 10.5 and tl stem on a 20.5 with 11.75 B.B. height

My back still hurt with that but not as bad. I’m riding 9.2 bars on 20.75 frame now and it helps with the longer frame because I’m not reaching down as much.

|

45 refs and counting check profile.

10/8/2020 10:26 AM

Had the same problem and it ended up being from having to tilt my head all the way back just to look forward. Tried to ride that way for a year, because I was getting back into riding and the upper back soreness never went away.

Taller bars made it, so that I wasn't tilting my head all the way back anymore and the soreness went away.

|

10/8/2020 10:38 AM

Sounds like some taller bars are in order. I just came back in from a one hour ride, so I am hoping my back tolerates it for at least long enough to get a new set of bars installed. The ride today was challenging due to pain.

Can anybody recommend a set of bars that is similar in style to the Haro Freestyler kneesaver bars, but in a taller configuration? I’d like to go with either chrome or white if possible. Thanks.

|

“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

10/8/2020 11:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/8/2020 11:12 AM

Haro actually makes Lineage Kneesaver bars in 8.5/ 9.5 rise: https://harobikes.com/products/lineage-kneesaver-bars

The problem is they seem to be sold out everywhere.

Hoffman Patriot bars in 8.75" might be another slightly different option: https://hoffmanbikes.com/product/patriot-handle-bars-usa-edition/

I'd contact them to see if they are indeed in-stock, though.

|

10/8/2020 11:27 AM

Yeah. Those Haro bars are what I’d prefer, but I can’t find them in stock except for through an overseas vendor that appears to be charging more than double the price for them not including shipping *if* they would be willing to ship. I’m now, debating on whether to wait for the Haro bars to be available at the hundred or so dollars they appear to normally cost, or to shop around for a suitable substitute.

|

“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

10/9/2020 4:41 PM

pnj wrote:

I didn't even read the other replies so this may be a bit of a repeat....

I'm at least your age and rode in the 80's, 90's, 2000's..

I bought a 24 inch bmx a few years back and set it up like all the other 24's, with shorter bars. I found it SUCKED to ride around on.

I think I ended up with 8.25" bars or 8.5". I forget but the change was very noticeable in a good way. I've seen guys with 10 inch bars on their 24's. I don't think they were doing anything more than just cruising. No freestyle type stuff.


I'm sure some of your pain is your muscles getting used to being on a bike again and that will go away.

I bet you'd be happy with some 9" or 9.25" bars.

and don't forget to do some stretching.. yoga , etc. and drink water. smile




Sum FatOld Dude wrote:

It’s definitely helpful to hear from someone that is close to my age, and has also gone the 24” BMX route as I think the 24’s are a somewhat different animal than the 20” bikes. There just doesn’t seem to be that many guys riding the 24” bikes, and as such I’m not sure if advice about changing components carries over from one platform to the next.

At this point, I am hooked on riding again, and don’t want to have severe pain keeping me from being able to do so. As such, I will probably shop for a set of bars that most closely resembles the general shape of my existing bars, and see if I can’t find them in stock in a 9.25-9.5 height. I suppose that worst case scenario would be that I don’t notice a difference in which case I still will have my originals if I decide to switch back.

Y'all aren't alone. 24's do seem to be less common, but I've seen a decent few out and about. Mine gets used for racing more than cruising, but usually still gets ridden once a week or so. It came with 6" Haro bars as pictured below. It was a less than pleasant ride and leverage was nonexistent. Couldn't pull a manual to save my ass.

Photo

I switched to some mid school Leadtec's with an 8" rise and the difference was night and day. I haven't been back to the track with it, but hope to do so soon, and will see how it acts. Just cruising and playing on flat ground, I can say I'm really happy with the difference, and the rise does not feel excessive at all. I think the bigger bars look better and the proportions fit the bike better, but most importantly, the ride is better and my initial impression is that you could probably get away with even higher bars, especially if your main priority is cruising.

Photo

|

10/9/2020 6:48 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/9/2020 6:50 PM

pnj wrote:

I didn't even read the other replies so this may be a bit of a repeat....

I'm at least your age and rode in the 80's, 90's, 2000's..

I bought a 24 inch bmx a few years back and set it up like all the other 24's, with shorter bars. I found it SUCKED to ride around on.

I think I ended up with 8.25" bars or 8.5". I forget but the change was very noticeable in a good way. I've seen guys with 10 inch bars on their 24's. I don't think they were doing anything more than just cruising. No freestyle type stuff.


I'm sure some of your pain is your muscles getting used to being on a bike again and that will go away.

I bet you'd be happy with some 9" or 9.25" bars.

and don't forget to do some stretching.. yoga , etc. and drink water. smile




Sum FatOld Dude wrote:

It’s definitely helpful to hear from someone that is close to my age, and has also gone the 24” BMX route as I think the 24’s are a somewhat different animal than the 20” bikes. There just doesn’t seem to be that many guys riding the 24” bikes, and as such I’m not sure if advice about changing components carries over from one platform to the next.

At this point, I am hooked on riding again, and don’t want to have severe pain keeping me from being able to do so. As such, I will probably shop for a set of bars that most closely resembles the general shape of my existing bars, and see if I can’t find them in stock in a 9.25-9.5 height. I suppose that worst case scenario would be that I don’t notice a difference in which case I still will have my originals if I decide to switch back.

upnsmoke wrote:

Y'all aren't alone. 24's do seem to be less common, but I've seen a decent few out and about. Mine gets used for racing more than cruising, but usually still gets ridden once a week or so. It came with 6" Haro bars as pictured below. It was a less than pleasant ride and leverage was nonexistent. Couldn't pull a manual to save my ass.

Photo

I switched to some mid school Leadtec's with an 8" rise and the difference was night and day. I haven't been back to the track with it, but hope to do so soon, and will see how it acts. Just cruising and playing on flat ground, I can say I'm really happy with the difference, and the rise does not feel excessive at all. I think the bigger bars look better and the proportions fit the bike better, but most importantly, the ride is better and my initial impression is that you could probably get away with even higher bars, especially if your main priority is cruising.

Photo

Those bars look a lot better on your bike, and look like they would be a lot more comfortable to use for cruising around on. I’m a bit confused about how high I should consider going though because it seems 9”+ is the norm these days for 20” bikes, but the 24” bikes tend to be equipped with shorter bars?

The frame size of my Haro 24” feels about the same to me as the frame of my old 20” Haro felt to a much smaller me when I was a kid. I’m now 6’02” tall, and don’t know if there is any reason to go with the relatively shorter 8.5” bars instead of something like a 9.5” set.

|

“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi