Oh no…I might have been too quick to praise the albatross bar. This realization is a huge disappointment. Even typing it was a bit difficult and, after my recent glowing review post, a little embarrassing. I’ve been enjoying the bar change immensely, but it is possible that my three-month adventure with albatross bars could end soon. Unfortunately, there just might be a correlation between some of my recent upper back/shoulder issues and the bar change.
I’ve had an upper back/neck/shoulder condition for years. It has been annoying, but manageable. Good posture seems to help, and bad posture seems to make it flare up. I won’t bore you further with my physical analysis. The point is that I just realized that I’ve had more flare-ups lately and they seem to happen after spending several hours on the bike. In the past (when I used drop bars), a ride would sometimes improve my situation. Since the upright position has been so much fun, and I haven’t been uncomfortable on the bike, I haven’t (before now) associated my recent issues with a bar change. This realization is an unwelcome surprise, and I’m not sure what to do next.
My guess is that adding core strength and upper body strength would help significantly. Improved fitness might be an effective solution for the long term, and it would certainly be a good thing for overall good health. Returning to drop bars, however, would likely (if my analysis is correct) provide more immediate benefits. Since my drop bars were not really a ‘problem’ anyway, maybe the best plan is a ‘combo’. I’ll be pondering my alternatives.
If you happen to notice that green dusty bike leaning against barbed wire fences has drop bars, you’ll know why. It’ll have nothing to do with the look or ride quality of the albatross bar, and everything to do with what seems to be a cumulative disagreement between my recently new ride position and my bad posture and poor fitness.
Who knows? Maybe my body, over decades, has adapted to the shape of a drop bar bicycle. There certainly are worse things than that.