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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofuji View Post
    Hi all

    Newby here. Not sure if this is in right forum spot, but please mods chuck it where it needs to go. I'm close to giving up cycling for good and it's heart breaking

    Long story short, I got into cycling 10 years ago and loved it. Never went fast but went out a lot and got super fit. Then went off travelling, bought houses etc etc and bike got sold.

    Tried to get back into cycling 4 years ago, but no matter what bike I've bought, within 10 mins I have a searing pain between my shoulders and neck. I also have the same problem in my office chair, but have figured this out by keeping shoulders touching chair back.

    I ride a scooter to work very day and can use an exercise bike no problem, so I'm thinking I need an upright push bike??

    I currently have a Giant flat bar road bike. LBS tell me it's not possible to put longer stem and different handlebars on it. Is that true??

    I can't afford to buy yet another bike in the hope that it works. Giant 'fitted' me for my current bike and let me leave the shop without being able to put even my toes on the ground, so I've been burnt by the whole 'get it fitted' malarkey. I'm half thinking of buying an old knackered bike on ebay and putting some handlebars on it to try.

    Any advice??
    you might try doing some form of yoga... iyengar or ashtanga maybe... also there is an encyclopedia of yoga asanas online at yoga journal.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    This reads like the classic downward spiral IMHO. OP can't exercise [bicycle] because of the pain from poor posture (and I am guessing being out of shape). And the solution to the posture problem.... is to get more fit.

    A recumbent may be a solution [already mentioned]... the OP could rent one for an afternoon to try out that solution. The OP could try another sport to get started [also already mentioned]. If weight is also an issue... there are a ton of diet solutions that don't include exercise. But the main thing is whatever you do... don't let yourself spiral downward. Keep pluggin! Keep trying.

  3. #28
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    To the extent you can, try some strengthening and conditioning exercises. People think they're just for building bulk, but in reality they greatly increase your flexibility, help you maintain correct posture, etc. There's a world of benefit to cyclists too because a good program will focus on areas that cycling doesn't normally optimize.

  4. #29
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Wat? This is pretty much the norm on anything but beach cruisers.
    Ok, well it is my personal preference. I prefer low center of gravity (lower seat) & the ability to put my foot on the ground without becoming a eunuch. It helps me stay safe as well if i need to make room or make minor adjustments in where i'm stopped. I just got done with 12 years on a trek town & country, which is a cruiser. You can ride however you want, and i'll ride how i feel most comfortable and stable.

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  5. #30
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Even beach cruisers. About the only exception are crank forward BSO's. I think I would rather just lurk and never let the world know that I was that ignorant as to think bicycles were supposed to be ridden with the seat 3" too low so I could stop like a motorcycle. SMH.

    H
    I think bikes i own are supposed to be ridden the way that makes the best sense for me. Don't be so quick to judge and assume dude.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  6. #31
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofuji View Post
    Hiya and thanks for the reply.

    I've seen docs and physios. Basically it comes down to bad posture and what they call the 'turtle neck' position ie when you're sticking your neck out way past your shoulders. A lot of people do it, particularly when doing a desk bound job as I do and you're staring at a screen.

    I have had an ergonomics assessment at work and they have buggered about with my chair and monitor etc, but really it comes down to keeping my shoulders back. I've tried to hold this position on a bike, but no joy.

    I might try a different bike shop and ask them about a higher stem in my Giant bike. I can't see what the issue would be ?? But them I'm not an expert on the different geometries of a bike.
    You already have your answer as to what the problem is. Like the old joke goes (Doctor! Doctor!...), you need to stop doing it. You need to train yourself not to turtle neck on the job and on the bike. People seem to feel that once you start doing something one way, you can never change but that's just not true. It takes time and work, but you can train yourself.

    Start with what the doctors told you. The turtle neck position means that you are hyper-extending your neck forward from your shoulders. Putting a longer stem on your bike isn't the solution since it will exacerbate the problem. You don't want to keep your shoulders back and stick your neck out further but you want just the opposite. You want to pull your neck back towards your shoulders. A more upright position might help but a more stretched out position definitely won't.

    You are seeing physiotherapy people (apparently) so ask them how to fix the problem.
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  7. #32
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Leisesturm
    I think I would rather just lurk and never let the world know that I was that ignorant as to think bicycles were supposed to be ridden with the seat 3" too low so I could stop like a motorcycle. SMH.
    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    I think bikes i own are supposed to be ridden the way that makes the best sense for me. Don't be so quick to judge and assume dude.

    - Andy
    Hard to believe someone would come on here and tell experienced riders that they should shut up and "lurk" because they are "ignorant".

    Ride what works for you, Transit. You should post a picture of your entire bike, I'd like to see what you are riding.

  8. #33
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    I ride a jamis Hudson, marketed as a 'sport comfort'. I commute at 15mph average, and NEVER come out of the saddle...

    OP: yoga+ergonomics?

    You might try joining a gym, and pedaling on the recumbent exercise bikes+light lifting. Probably able to do yoga there as well. If your pain is a fitness+posture issue! you could work around it there.

  9. #34
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    I ride a jamis Hudson, marketed as a 'sport comfort'. I commute at 15mph average, and NEVER come out of the saddle...

    OP: yoga+ergonomics?

    You might try joining a gym, and pedaling on the recumbent exercise bikes+light lifting. Probably able to do yoga there as well. If your pain is a fitness+posture issue! you could work around it there.
    Do you ride one of their step-through models? Nice looking bikes! Do you mind me asking - how do you average 15mph if you don't get nearly full leg extension? Massive quads? I tried sitting low my first couple of days of commuting, and I ended up with bad muscle cramping issues. But maybe I just needed to build up.

  10. #35
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
    Do you ride one of their step-through models? Nice looking bikes! Do you mind me asking - how do you average 15mph if you don't get nearly full leg extension? Massive quads? I tried sitting low my first couple of days of commuting, and I ended up with bad muscle cramping issues. But maybe I just needed to build up.
    Not to steal their response, but I will say I have massive quads & calf muscles. So much so that I have to buy certain cuts of pants & have to wear shorts in warm weather due to the heat generated by them working hard for long periods of time. Comes in handy when pushing cars out of the snow or mud, or helping people move.

    - Andy
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  11. #36
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Do you have a strong Core TC? And one of those ergonomic chairs at work? If not maybe try a standing desk
    Assume nothing; Question everything

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
    Do you ride one of their step-through models? Nice looking bikes! Do you mind me asking - how do you average 15mph if you don't get nearly full leg extension? Massive quads? I tried sitting low my first couple of days of commuting, and I ended up with bad muscle cramping issues. But maybe I just needed to build up.
    I'm a 6'3, so no, I don't ride a S/T model. If they made XL S/T, I totally would have bought it though. It's a shame nobody makes S/T bikes in the big sizes.

    I bought the bike at the new year(typical resolution to be more active, lose weight, etc), and have ridden pretty much every day since then. Initially I had the seat super low, as it is in the advertising material, but I slowly moved it up bit by bit, then bought a taller seat post so I could creep up some more. So I'm at full extension now.

    I didn't have cramping issues, but I started to get really stiff when getting off the bike. Which is why the seat started creeping up. My fitness level was non-existent and this is the first bike I've ridden in 10+ years though.

    The more extended my legs got, the less I liked the super broad cushy saddle. But I don't think "Worked up to a 30 mile round trip commute every day" is really the target demographic for the bike. I sure did like that saddle at first though!

    I bought the bike because I'm fat, inflexible, haven't cycled in a decade and it wasn't intimidating. I figured with the 7 speed IGH(instead of a single, or 3 speed), it would give me room to grow. Now that I've lost a good bunch of weight, and my fitness has improved a ton, I wish I had gotten a different, more traditional geometry bike. Either a nice hybrid, or a sport/light touring bike. I'm super glad I upgraded to the 7 speed IGH, money not just well spent, but wonderfully spent.

    But it was the absolutely perfect bike to lazily meander a few miles on bike paths and begin to enjoy cycling again with. Even if I want a different bike now, I don't regret the purchase at all.

    Besides, I only get bike envy when I'm not ON the bike. Once I'm pedaling, I forget all about how the bike is supposedly lacking and how it allegedly doesn't satisfy me. I just enjoy myself.
    Last edited by Sullalto; 05-03-14 at 03:42 PM. Reason: included quote

  13. #38
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    Not to steal their response, but I will say I have massive quads & calf muscles. So much so that I have to buy certain cuts of pants & have to wear shorts in warm weather due to the heat generated by them working hard for long periods of time. Comes in handy when pushing cars out of the snow or mud, or helping people move.

    - Andy
    Got it. I took a bit of your advice today and lowered my seat an inch so I could touch toe to ground. Pedaling wasn't really any more difficult, and the sit bones felt a lot better. I think I was sitting up a bit too high before.

  14. #39
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    I'm a 6'3, so no, I don't ride a S/T model. If they made XL S/T, I totally would have bought it though. It's a shame nobody makes S/T bikes in the big sizes.

    I bought the bike at the new year(typical resolution to be more active, lose weight, etc), and have ridden pretty much every day since then. Initially I had the seat super low, as it is in the advertising material, but I slowly moved it up bit by bit, then bought a taller seat post so I could creep up some more. So I'm at full extension now.

    I didn't have cramping issues, but I started to get really stiff when getting off the bike. Which is why the seat started creeping up. My fitness level was non-existent and this is the first bike I've ridden in 10+ years though.

    The more extended my legs got, the less I liked the super broad cushy saddle. But I don't think "Worked up to a 30 mile round trip commute every day" is really the target demographic for the bike. I sure did like that saddle at first though!

    I bought the bike because I'm fat, inflexible, haven't cycled in a decade and it wasn't intimidating. I figured with the 7 speed IGH(instead of a single, or 3 speed), it would give me room to grow. Now that I've lost a good bunch of weight, and my fitness has improved a ton, I wish I had gotten a different, more traditional geometry bike. Either a nice hybrid, or a sport/light touring bike. I'm super glad I upgraded to the 7 speed IGH, money not just well spent, but wonderfully spent.

    But it was the absolutely perfect bike to lazily meander a few miles on bike paths and begin to enjoy cycling again with. Even if I want a different bike now, I don't regret the purchase at all.

    Besides, I only get bike envy when I'm not ON the bike. Once I'm pedaling, I forget all about how the bike is supposedly lacking and how it allegedly doesn't satisfy me. I just enjoy myself.
    Nice! Ain't it great to enjoy a ride nearly every day, and watch the fat melt away? I'm definitely wearing some clothes again that I hadn't worn in a few years.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
    Nice! Ain't it great to enjoy a ride nearly every day, and watch the fat melt away? I'm definitely wearing some clothes again that I hadn't worn in a few years.
    Yeah, I've lost 20-30 lbs so far, and a couple inches in the waistline. Still lots of room to go, but whatever. I'll probably be there by the end of the year.

    As a runner at heart, I've never understood why people decide to lose weight by jogging. It's so uncomfortable(jiggle jiggle jiggle) and hard on your joints. Cycling doesn't bother your joints, and you can notice your improved fitness a whole lot faster and easier. There is the entry fee and needing someplace to ride though.

  16. #41
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    Hey I'd love a recumbent, I just can't afford one

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    Okay folks first of all the help on here has been great (but boys please play nicely!)

    it it also highlights just how personal a set up people prefer. That makes sense when you consider we're all different shapes and sizes and therefore different geometry as it were.

    I think I'll hit the yoga, pop into my local bike shop (one recommended by a friend with similar problems) and perhaps work on some shoulder conditioning.

    I can't afford a recumbent, plus I live in South Australia and love it as I do, Christ the driving 'ability' is shocking.

    As for just figuring out how to stop turtle necking on a bike? I've tried, trust me. In my office chair, shoulders on backseat at all times = problem solved. Cannot for the life of me assume the same position on my bike.

    Again, on my Vespa and upright exercise bike I have no such problems.

    I'm not giving up (yet!) a colleague beat me home over 6 miles on his pushbike while I sat in traffic the other day - my bike is gathering dust in the garage, I wanna get this beat!!!

    Thanks folks, I'll keep you posted

  18. #43
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofuji View Post
    Okay folks first of all the help on here has been great (but boys please play nicely!)

    it it also highlights just how personal a set up people prefer. That makes sense when you consider we're all different shapes and sizes and therefore different geometry as it were.

    I think I'll hit the yoga, pop into my local bike shop (one recommended by a friend with similar problems) and perhaps work on some shoulder conditioning.

    I can't afford a recumbent, plus I live in South Australia and love it as I do, Christ the driving 'ability' is shocking.

    As for just figuring out how to stop turtle necking on a bike? I've tried, trust me. In my office chair, shoulders on backseat at all times = problem solved. Cannot for the life of me assume the same position on my bike.

    Again, on my Vespa and upright exercise bike I have no such problems.

    I'm not giving up (yet!) a colleague beat me home over 6 miles on his pushbike while I sat in traffic the other day - my bike is gathering dust in the garage, I wanna get this beat!!!

    Thanks folks, I'll keep you posted
    Yea, it really is all about ergonomics and geometry. Some people push hard for that more forward leaning position even when getting fitted etc, but I have personally never been a fan of it.

    Good! You'll figure it out and be riding regularly in no time, i have a good feeling about it!

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  19. #44
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
    Hard to believe someone would come on here and tell experienced riders that they should shut up and "lurk" because they are "ignorant".

    Ride what works for you, Transit. You should post a picture of your entire bike, I'd like to see what you are riding.

    It has arrived........ New bike!

    There it is!

    Now if you'll kindly excuse me i am going to take another spin now that most of the cars have gone for the night.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    I think bikes i own are supposed to be ridden the way that makes the best sense for me. Don't be so quick to judge and assume dude. - Andy
    This is why America sits at the top of rankings for which being at the top is bad and sits at the bottom of rankings for which being at the bottom is bad. No one wants to be told about a better way. Other places in the world, including the Third World Country I come from, people learn from others with more knowledge. People call you on your stuff, and the peer review process separates the junk science and superstition from the proven strategies. Everyone does better as a result. Its actually OK to not know some things. No one can know everything. The determination to persist in ignorance is what is lamentable here.

    I knew a guy. Tall guy... at least 6'3". I saw his bike. The seat was lower than mine (5'10"). I said, dude, your seat is WAY too low, let me fix that for you. So I raised his seat. Not to where it should be, but a lot higher than it was, so he could get used to it gradually. Next time I saw him his seat was back to where he had it before. Oh well... couple of weeks later he comes to me because he is having trouble with the bike. So I look it over and... no kidding... the rear cluster looks like an Artichoke! I had to lock out the three largest cogs with the limit screw because they were unusable. I gave him a tutorial on shifting technique but he quickly killed the remaining cogs and just stopped riding altogether.

    Under ACA, I am going to have to help pay for your knee replacements. That gives me a say in how you ride. It really does, but that's not the reason I bothered to post. Sorry you think the other poster and myself are out of line for mentioning that if you aren't on a crank forward or a recumbent you shouldn't be able to put your foot down at stops. The intrusion into your life and liberty was well meant. We wouldn't say it if it weren't true. And its not just true for some people, its true for everyone. That means you. But... you are correct, its absolutely your life (and your knees) to do with what you want. Peace

    H

  21. #46
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    This is why America sits at the top of rankings for which being at the top is bad and sits at the bottom of rankings for which being at the bottom is bad. No one wants to be told about a better way. Other places in the world, including the Third World Country I come from, people learn from others with more knowledge. People call you on your stuff, and the peer review process separates the junk science and superstition from the proven strategies. Everyone does better as a result. Its actually OK to not know some things. No one can know everything. The determination to persist in ignorance is what is lamentable here.

    I knew a guy. Tall guy... at least 6'3". I saw his bike. The seat was lower than mine (5'10"). I said, dude, your seat is WAY too low, let me fix that for you. So I raised his seat. Not to where it should be, but a lot higher than it was, so he could get used to it gradually. Next time I saw him his seat was back to where he had it before. Oh well... couple of weeks later he comes to me because he is having trouble with the bike. So I look it over and... no kidding... the rear cluster looks like an Artichoke! I had to lock out the three largest cogs with the limit screw because they were unusable. I gave him a tutorial on shifting technique but he quickly killed the remaining cogs and just stopped riding altogether.

    Under ACA, I am going to have to help pay for your knee replacements. That gives me a say in how you ride. It really does, but that's not the reason I bothered to post. Sorry you think the other poster and myself are out of line for mentioning that if you aren't on a crank forward or a recumbent you shouldn't be able to put your foot down at stops. The intrusion into your life and liberty was well meant. We wouldn't say it if it weren't true. And its not just true for some people, its true for everyone. That means you. But... you are correct, its absolutely your life (and your knees) to do with what you want. Peace

    H
    Thanks for the insult and further assumptions.

    I have been riding he same way for 18 years, and my knees, save for a sprain from a crash where the handlebar clamped it to the top bar (still trying to figure that one out) are fine, i have them checked 2-4 times a year (along with my hips, back, and feet) due to my mostly daily riding and the verdict is in from a doctor, even after x-ray, is that "i wish i had knees like yours". This must be shocking to you that someone else is intelligent enough to figure out things for themselves. I am well aware of the problems afflicting his country. I can assure you, i am not adding to nor participating in them, in fact i am a huge social justice and equality advocate from things ranging from wages to education, complete streets, and so on. I don't sit around grumbling bout things, i actually do something about it. I don't think anything about anything with crank forward, which i actually dislike because you lose leverage, and under ACA you're not paying for anything. In the future if you have any snide (and incorrect) remarks, please keep them on your side of the internet. Thank you much!

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    I'm a 6'3, so no, I don't ride a S/T model. If they made XL S/T, I totally would have bought it though. It's a shame nobody makes S/T bikes in the big sizes.

    I bought the bike at the new year(typical resolution to be more active, lose weight, etc), and have ridden pretty much every day since then. Initially I had the seat super low, as it is in the advertising material, but I slowly moved it up bit by bit, then bought a taller seat post so I could creep up some more. So I'm at full extension now.

    I didn't have cramping issues, but I started to get really stiff when getting off the bike. Which is why the seat started creeping up. My fitness level was non-existent and this is the first bike I've ridden in 10+ years though.

    The more extended my legs got, the less I liked the super broad cushy saddle. But I don't think "Worked up to a 30 mile round trip commute every day" is really the target demographic for the bike. I sure did like that saddle at first though!

    I bought the bike because I'm fat, inflexible, haven't cycled in a decade and it wasn't intimidating. I figured with the 7 speed IGH(instead of a single, or 3 speed), it would give me room to grow. Now that I've lost a good bunch of weight, and my fitness has improved a ton, I wish I had gotten a different, more traditional geometry bike. Either a nice hybrid, or a sport/light touring bike. I'm super glad I upgraded to the 7 speed IGH, money not just well spent, but wonderfully spent.

    But it was the absolutely perfect bike to lazily meander a few miles on bike paths and begin to enjoy cycling again with. Even if I want a different bike now, I don't regret the purchase at all.

    Besides, I only get bike envy when I'm not ON the bike. Once I'm pedaling, I forget all about how the bike is supposedly lacking and how it allegedly doesn't satisfy me. I just enjoy myself.
    This is awesome!

  23. #48
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Under ACA, I am going to have to help pay for your knee replacements. That gives me a say in how you ride.
    The ACA doesn't pay for medical treatments - only Medicaid and Medicare do, and only for qualified individuals (indigent, disabled or elderly). And the US Supreme Court has routinely refuted your argument that your tax payments give you any kind of standing regarding the private affairs of others. And your assumption that he will need knee replacements is extremely unlikely, as the vast majority of knee replacement patients are suffering from arthritis due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, which he clearly does not suffer from as an avid cyclist.

    Might want to run some of your facts by your "peer review" anti-American buddies before you post next time.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofuji View Post
    ...particularly when doing a desk bound job as I do and you're staring at a screen. ......I might try a different bike shop and ask them about a higher stem in my Giant bike.
    I'm a 40 yr old, who also stares at a monitor 8 hours a day, for the last 20 years (computer programmer), virtually not moving at all for hours on end and I had the same searing neck pain affliction when I took up bike commuting 2 years ago, presumably from the new angle I had to support my huge head while riding. I commute 20 miles RT each day, and I just rode thru the pain, until the muscles in my neck became stronger and stronger, until the pain gradually disappeared. I also discovered, after trying different aspirin and ibuprofen regimens, that taking 220mg of Naproxem Sodium (aka Aleve), twice a day 7am/7pm, makes me feel fantastic, and the neck pain (and also some lower back pain from a damn leaf raking injury) is 99% gone. I also ride very upright, using an adjustable stem, and straight bars, that are about 2-3 inches above my seat.

  25. #50
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    Sorry to hear of your leaf raking injury, have you tried long stretching to pull the kinks out of the affected muscles? What you do is find the angle that pulls most on the affected area, and slowly and gently extend more & more & hold, then massae the area a bit, do it 2-3 times a day & with proper hydration in a few days you should be feeling lot better.

    Muscle pain is 3 things, kinks that need to be straightened, clogs of junk in the lymph vessels, or tears/actual tissue injury. The first two you can fix, the last one you need medical help with.

    Good luck both of you, just try to stretch, massage & hydrate and you'll get less tired, less sore & any soreness you do get will go away faster.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

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