The Chainlink

I used to have a Trek 7100, and when it was bought at a little shop in St. Louis (Maplewood bikes, not that it matters) they did a great job of adjusting it so it was perfect for me.  They also helped me pick out an appropriate frame size to the half inch (sadly, I don't remember what it was)

I got to ride it for about two whole weeks before it got stolen.  But during those two weeks I didn't get sore at all.

I bought a new bike (Giant Cypress, I think) a couple of weeks ago because  from Kozy and the experience was... less personal.  I was in a bit of a rush, because the weather was great, and even going two days without one sucked.  They seemed to have reasonable enough prices, which is what I was looking for.  Hopefully I have the correct size bike (it's measured in S, M, L, XL, not inches) and after the break etc check they were basically like, "eh, that height looks good, you're good to go."

After less than a week my lower back started to hurt.  It turned into a sharp, pinching pain.  I took it back to them; a guy went in back and changed the handlebars a bit.

And I think it has helped some.  I had a bit of a hiatus from biking because of a trip, but this past week has resulted in back pain again.

Because I didn't have any trouble with the previous bike, I don't think it's biking in general, I think it's the fitting of this specific bike.  Also, I've never had persistent back pain before.

So, what I'm wondering is, what do I do about it?  I know bugger all about bikes, and less about how they should fit.  I don't really want to get it from Kozy.  There's a place up in Willmette that does it for $100, and it's probably awesome, but that's a bit out of my price range, and my geographical range.  I live in Logan Square, work in River North, and often visit Lakeview so if it was around one of those three areas (and the space connecting them) that would be awesome, but it's not a necessity.

Ongoing pain kind of sucks.  I feel like a bit of a badass because I'm just marching on, but I can't help but feel that it's unhealthy in some way.

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I am only a bit more experienced than you, but I don't think you want a bike fitting unless you are going to get a new bike.  It sounds like you want the bike you bought to be adjusted so it works for you.  Kozy should do that for you!  I found when I bought my newest bike that I needed to tweak seat height and handlebar position a couple of times before it felt just perfect.  Those things are really easy to do yourself, but I would take it back to Kozy, tell them it needs adjusting and have them do it and show you how to do it, too.  You just need a couple of allen wrenches.

Of course there are a lot of folks here who know a lot about this stuff, so maybe they will have better advice!

I bought a Specialized Secteur at Kozy's and had a 200.00 fitting.  The measured my body parts, aligned the seat and cleats, put some shims in my bike shoes. We made no adjustments to handlebars at that time. 6 months into my riding I kept getting upper back pain. I had always ridden a mountain bike and this was a road bike so my weight was little more forward in the road riding position. I went back and they took me from a 110mm stem to a 90mm stem. It made a big difference. My upper back pain went away. One thing I also learned in switching from Mountain Biking to Road Biking is that the more stretched out less upright position seems to challenge my core muscles more than when I road the mountain bike. I also ride 3 times farther now too.  Good luck.

Johnny Sprockets has a special bike fitting room or something. You also can't go wrong with Roscoe Village Bikes. Those guys are awesome.

+1 on all the shops mentioned already. I'll add Cycle Smithy to the mix. I've been to both Iron Cycles and Cycle Smithy. Would recommend either.

I think many fittings tend to be oriented towards people who want to be fit for a bike used for fast road riding, which will give you a fit that is rather different from what you surely liked about your old bike and the kind of riding it sounds like you do. But the basics are the same and a good shop should be able to find a good fit (assuming correct sizing to begin with) for anyone. Peter J White has a very good guide to fit fundamentals on his site - try reading over that. At the least it may help you better understand the elements of good fit for you, which would help you better communicate that to others at a shop.

David

Good article in Bicycling Magazine on fit issues.

http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/bike-fit/fine-tune-fit?cm_mmc=...

I received a fitting at Iron Cycles and DID NOT feel any sort of pressure to be placed in a more aggressive riding position. In fact, we did the fitting in my street shoes and platform pedals since that is what I typically use while riding. I think I paid about $200 for my fit. It was worth every penny to get a better understanding of my body positioning and relieve my knee pain.

David P. said:

I think many fittings tend to be oriented towards people who want to be fit for a bike used for fast road riding....

David

That's one thing I'm happy to have a wrong supposition about!

David

Kelvin Mulcky said:

I received a fitting at Iron Cycles and DID NOT feel any sort of pressure to be placed in a more aggressive riding position. In fact, we did the fitting in my street shoes and platform pedals since that is what I typically use while riding. I think I paid about $200 for my fit. It was worth every penny to get a better understanding of my body positioning and relieve my knee pain.

David P. said:

I think many fittings tend to be oriented towards people who want to be fit for a bike used for fast road riding....

David

What is your budget range?  As others have mentioned fittings at some shops cost into the hundreds of dollars...

It sounds like if you have lower back pain the bike frame may simply be too big for you - a lot of women are riding around with top tubes that are way too long and it is a common complaint that a lot of shops sell bikes to women that are too big.  Your lower back may be hurting because you're straining it trying to reach the bars.   You might want to consider taking some simple measurements of the top tube, arm length, inseam, etc., and figuring out if you need a shorter stem or if you could move your saddle forward if youre pinched for cash.

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