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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-10-08, 04:53 PM   #1
IceNine
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Need help with Neck and shoulder problems

Hello all,

I've been making a lot of progress since I got a touring bike (mint condition 1984 Raleigh Portage) mid-summer. I'm getting faster and have more endurance. But I tend to get a sore neck and shoulder after riding for more than 2 hours. About 10 years ago I had problems with a torn rotator cuff, which my doctor suggested I fix with physical therapy rather than surgery. So anyway, I have that history.

Overall I really like riding the Portage. It is a comfortable bike and the size seems about right for me. I like the randonneur bars, although I have purchased a 45 cm Nitto Randonneur bar to replace the stock 42 cm bar. I've got very wide shoulders, and I seem a little cramped whenever I am on the top bar, so I tend to stay in the drops most of the time.

In the past month I have ridden about 315 miles, not counting frequent errand trips. My typical routine is to ride about 20 miles every other day. Then on the weekend, I replace my 20 mile ride with a 30-40 mile ride. The last couple times I have been so sore after the longer rides that I had to skip the next ride and take about 3-4 days off.

I know what to do for the shoulder, but what can I do for my neck to improve my strength and flexibility, and limit the soreness after the rides.
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Old 09-10-08, 05:17 PM   #2
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When I first got my touring bike I had a similar issue. Any ride over about 1 1/2 hours would make my left arm hurt so bad it was literally useless for about 2 days after a ride. I hadn't figured out the problem yet, and had a crash that bent my handlebars. They could not give me the same size (much to my annoyance), but could only find a close bar that was about 3cm shorter.

I got the bike back with the less wide bars and voila! Arm pain gone.

I "thought" I had wide shoulders too.....see if a bike fit person at your shop can tell you what width bars you need. Your shoulders may not be as wide (for the bars) as you think they are.
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Old 09-10-08, 05:44 PM   #3
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I be the sore neck is from being in the drops all the time. Try spending more time riding on the hoods or raise your bars some.
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Old 09-10-08, 08:12 PM   #4
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I know what to do for the shoulder, but what can I do for my neck to improve my strength and flexibility, and limit the soreness after the rides.
Come to the Dark Side and go recumbent. It's what I'm going to do. My hands are so ****ed up from typing 60 hours a week (with 3 more weeks of proposal writing to go) that I don't dare touch my touring bike, where the riding position was causing severe wrist pain. I just want to ride and not screw around modifying the bike, so my Trek is going to go up for sale and I will then save my pennies for a 'bent while I deal with the hand/wrist issues medically.
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Old 09-11-08, 06:14 AM   #5
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If I had unlimited funds I would strongly consider a bent, but I don't think I can afford a decent one. I'm getting a couple of other vintage bikes fixed up so that I can ride in more positions and try out some different bars and different set ups.
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Old 09-11-08, 06:38 AM   #6
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What about going for a bike fitting? They could perhaps make your handlebars angled at a more comfortable level. They replaces osmething in my bike (head?) and it enables the bars to be angled. All told they moved them up 3/4 inch to help with my back pain. JUst the Bee's 2 cents. The fitting was about $80 and the part I needed was about $30.
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Old 09-11-08, 06:08 PM   #7
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Neck and shoulder problems

It's the scrunched up position a ton of us put ourselves into (Tortoise Shell Syndrome).
I went to 42cm wide bars after the arrival of the CF moto. and it's 42cm bars stopped much of the tortoise scrunch.
There are muscle relaxing exercises (windmills work for me along with one called 'drawing circles')but you need to work on lowering that hunched position while on the bars.(and it ain't easy to change)
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