Started cycling last week. While riding cycle I am feeling like falling down on the bar, wrist gets pain, is it normal (my height is 5.6 and MTB cycle size is 18.5)?

  • Could be an acclimatisation thing too - Takes more than a week to get used to a position. Was your bike fitted to you or is it just something you have?
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 6:58
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    It is perfectly normal for a beginner to put more weight on the wrists before acquiring enough strength of the abdominal muscles to support the torso. This will come with further practice Don't give up!
    – Carel
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 8:46
  • Are you wearing gloves? Have you read the post mentioned by L.Dutch? Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 8:48
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    @L.Dutch I don't think we should close this question about mountain bikes as a duplicate of a question about road bikes. A lot of the answers to the other question are very specific to drop bars. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:19
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    How long are you riding before your wrists start to hurt? Is it something that happens more or less immediately, or only after, say, an hour or so? Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


"wrist gets pain" The wrists need training, so some pain is understandable for a first time rider.

"feeling like falling down on the bar"
This is the normal position on a race bike. It is NOT normal position on a MTB. You probably need the handlebar at a higher height, or closer to you.

Also, looking at a "mountain bike size chart", it might be that the bike is too large for you, you'd probably need M size, or 16-17 (18.5 is XL).
This can be partially alleviated using a short stem (the handlebar as close to you as possible), but a smaller size bike will be better.
You could also shift your saddle forward some, but that changes the "seat above the pedals" distance, and brings with it other problems.

EDIT: At your height, you're just a bit over "S" size recommendations, so 16" frame would be better.

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    I'm pretty sure that shifting the saddle forward would exacerbate the problem. The further forward the saddle is, the more you "fall forward" and the more weight is on your arms. Think cruiser vs track bike.
    – StefanS
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 10:06
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    It depends on the type of MTB. The correct position on an XC bike is very similar to a road bike. Even on a road race bike you should never be 'feeling like falling down on the bar' it means either the bike fit is wrong, or core is too weak.
    – Andy P
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 10:29
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    @StefanS Tilting the saddle forward will put more weight on the arms; just moving it forward should do the opposite as your core more easily takes more of the weight in a more upright position. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 10:48
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    @DavidRicherby but the upright position is defined by the position of the saddle relative to the cranks, not the handlebar. If you have a cruiser, the cranks are far in front of the saddle and you sit upright. If you have a track bike, the seat tube is almost vertical (the cranks are directly under your seat) and you have an aggressive position. This all assumes that the handlebars are not so far forward that you are limited by them of course. See for example "The Fore-Aft Saddle Position" in peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.php
    – StefanS
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:50
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    @StefanS: The upright (or not) position is the upper body position, and that is dictated by the seat versus handlebar position (high, rear handlebar versus low, forward). You could have the pedals below you (as in - let's say - a seat-less elliptical trainer bike - or in front of you - like on a recumbent or cruiser. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:53

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