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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 03-19-10, 09:56 PM   #1
BigRiv
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sore neck and shoulder after ride

I tend to get sore traps and neck after rides longer than 20 miles. What can I do to help relieve that?
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Old 03-19-10, 10:12 PM   #2
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Maybe strengthen your core? I'm no expert, but I know as I gained strength in my lower back abdomen, I was better able to relax my shoulders as I rode.
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Old 03-19-10, 11:30 PM   #3
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ride more, take advil before riding
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Old 03-19-10, 11:36 PM   #4
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Well, being that I was overweight when I went back to riding, riding a "normal" bike was torture from the extra weight on my butt and wrists translating to the neck... so I bought a recumbent.. this fixed every issue and got me back out there with zero pain (aside from the "good" pain of exercising).


I don't know if you're looking to lose some weight but it's just awesome to be able to ride pain free and people don't get as good a look at your arse
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Old 03-20-10, 06:29 AM   #5
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Concentrate on relaxing your upper body. Do a 4 step check every once in a while you're riding. While holding the handlebars 1) Wiggle the hands, and make sure you have a light grip. 2) Wiggle your elbows, to ensure they are not locked in place. 3) Move your head around to keep your shoulders and neck loose. 4) Take a deep relaxing breath, and exhale slowly.

Repeat every 5 - 10 minutes.

You'll find yourself doing this automatically, once the habit kicks in. I was shown this method by a Category 2 racer, and now it's just natural for me to do it.

Good luck, and good riding,

Denny
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Old 03-20-10, 07:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrekDen View Post
Concentrate on relaxing your upper body. Do a 4 step check every once in a while you're riding. While holding the handlebars 1) Wiggle the hands, and make sure you have a light grip. 2) Wiggle your elbows, to ensure they are not locked in place. 3) Move your head around to keep your shoulders and neck loose. 4) Take a deep relaxing breath, and exhale slowly.

Repeat every 5 - 10 minutes.
Excellent advice.

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Originally Posted by Nola_Gal View Post
Maybe strengthen your core? I'm no expert, but I know as I gained strength in my lower back abdomen, I was better able to relax my shoulders as I rode.
+1,000

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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
ride more...
This was my first thought. The underlying assumption is that your muscles just aren't in shape for the activity yet, and the increased riding will get them used to it. Of course, if there are other problems, maybe they will only be solved by a recumbent.

So obviously, take these recommendations for what they're worth: they're off the internet, for Pete's sake.
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Old 03-20-10, 08:00 AM   #7
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maybe change your riding position during your ride. I've read that standing every now and then helps
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Old 03-20-10, 09:58 AM   #8
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Get someone to look at your position on the bike. You might need the handlebars a bit higher or the stem a bit shorter, at least early in the season. I had this problem for years, strong "core" muscles or not, because I was trying to ride in a position that other people (young racing cyclists working in bike shops, mostly) told me was "perfect". In fact, it was not perfect for me, and I can go longer with more comfort in a higher, shorter position.
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Old 03-20-10, 10:52 AM   #9
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I had that problem until I swapped out handlebars. The 44cm handlebars were too wide, and as a result my upper body would be tense from my arms being further out from my body then my body liked. Went down to a 40cm and all the neck and upper shoulder problems went away.
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Old 03-22-10, 10:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nola_Gal View Post
Maybe strengthen your core? I'm no expert, but I know as I gained strength in my lower back abdomen, I was better able to relax my shoulders as I rode.
Sit ups and Hyper extensions made a world of difference for me.
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Old 03-22-10, 10:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrekDen View Post
Concentrate on relaxing your upper body. Do a 4 step check every once in a while you're riding. While holding the handlebars 1) Wiggle the hands, and make sure you have a light grip. 2) Wiggle your elbows, to ensure they are not locked in place.
this. I only get sore when I get lazy and lock my elbows
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Old 03-23-10, 05:57 AM   #12
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your probably shrugging your shoulders up a ton when your on the bar which means your traps are working overtime. You gotta work on keeping them relaxed and retracted.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:58 AM   #13
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What kind of bike are you riding? If it is a road bike with an aggressive geometry then perhaps you may want to make some adjustments so its not so aggressive. I believe as we age we aren't as flexible as we used to be. Perhaps some stretching exercises before and after the ride might help. Also, is the bike the correct fit?
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Old 03-23-10, 07:07 PM   #14
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I am riding a Giant Defy 1 road bike. It is not the most aggressive set up for a road bike. My LBS did the fitting and I feel good while on the bike. Last time I rode, I did notice I tend to lock out my elbows which I am sure has a lot to do with it. I will concentrate more on relaxing while I ride. I am also working to strengthen my core.
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Old 03-23-10, 07:09 PM   #15
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Several excellent suggestions. I will take much of the advice with me on my next ride.
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