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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-07-14, 08:53 PM   #51
CrankyOne
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OP, leaning forward on a bike (road, mtn, hybrid, etc.) is for racers, sitting comfortably upright is for people. There's a reason that nearly everyone outside of the U.S. all ride upright city bikes.

For good posture you want the 'Dutch' position (image compliments of CleverCycles, click for larger):


Dutch bikes put your sit bone, back, neck, and head in proper alignment and put your shoulders back. Note that Electra Amsterdams and similar are not Dutch geometry and do not align your back properly.
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Old 05-07-14, 09:14 PM   #52
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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.
See if you can find a Physical Therapist who does "strain /counter strain". I have been to MANY specialists, body workers and PTs and had shots in my back (which only lasted about 3 months) but this method really helped. I have to be in the car and at a desk a lot, and the exercises they gave me help incredibly, to the point where I can now swim and am ready to get back on a bike. Its taken two years to get here.
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Old 05-08-14, 02:24 AM   #53
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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??

Some things strike me odd. If your feet aren't even on the ground this puts your saddle higher, meaning that the hunched position is going to be even more extreme. Lower the seat, as that doesn't sound right at all. If you don't have an inclined stem, try one out.

Possibly something like this, which is a 40 degree stem.




Also, try some basic yoga. This will stretch and strengthen your back and shoulders simultaneously. It is quite possible that this is an issue of flexibility and/or strength as the pain may be from the muscles that engage to keep the head up. When riding this angle is usually sharper than in normal situations. Any fault in those areas of strength and flexibility make adaptation to riding positions very difficult on the body. If you don't have any other sources of stretching or exercise then I recommend this even more. Keeping the body as a well oiled machine indeed takes investment.

It is very natural with age, for working out to cause greater shock to the body. I am only going further into this because you did not say anything about your current fitness level. Take the sport back up slowly and in addition to the yoga for general strength and conditioning, stretch before and after your rides. Focus a lot on full rotation of the neck and shoulders. Head up, down, side to side, and full rotation-- shoulders up, down, forward and back, and full rotation. Reach down to the floor in standing position with head relaxed and not trying to keep head back to look at the floor. Lay down belly down, hips to the ground and do a pushup with your arms keeping those hips planted. Relax the neck at all times. Flip over, bring your knees to your chest, arms wrapped around them and roll back and forth stretching the spine. Many more can be found online but these are very good stretches to practice.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:09 AM   #54
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Holy crap! Tons of responses here, thanks folks....

Just an update. I AM committed to getting back into cycling if I can, but not if it's gonna worsen the problem. There are other exercises I can be doing - I just really loved cycling.

$ is an issue, I can't keep buying bikes on the off chance they'll solve the problem. Money is tight for me as I'm sure it is for most. Every time I buy a bike and sell it again, I lose money

I visited the LBS recommended by a friend and they were nice but insisted a flat bar road bike can't be adjusted to any meaningful degree. Race bikes yes, $900 flat bar bikes nope.

So I'm back to thinking about an upright bike. I dropped into another LBS who have a few on sale and wallah!!! They actually encouraged me to take them for a spin. Why don't all bike shops do this for cheaper bikes???

Luckily there is a bike track alongside the shop and I took a couple for a spin up and down for 20 mins or so and......NO pain!! This is the bike .

Avanti Metro 3 | Avanti | Classic & Vintage Bikes for sale in Burwood | 102324107

Now, these are really leisure bikes, but I figure if they get me back into cycling and some fitness then what the hell. The guy kept emphasising that I wouldn't be able to go too fast but I was too busy beaming with joy to focus on that. It also has 9 gears which will do me for now.

However.... I still need to sell the Giant before I can buy another. So, first stop is back to the Giant shop to see if they can put in a higher stem. If not, I know I've done my best not to lose a chunk of change on a barely ridden bike and I'll put it on eBay. They also sell upright bikes, I'll see if they'll also let me test ride one.

In response to other posts I'm very unfit bit not hugely overweight, and yes I think that sitting on my arse staring at a screen for years has pretty much melted my neck muscles. So - yoga is on the cards as is a trip to a gym to get some advice on strengthening the neck and shoulder muscles .

All going well, I could be back cycling on a 'better' bike in a coupla years.

Off to Giant on Monday, I'll keep people posted.

Thanks again folks
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Old 05-08-14, 08:11 AM   #55
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Holy crap! Tons of responses here, thanks folks....

Just an update. I AM committed to getting back into cycling if I can, but not if it's gonna worsen the problem. There are other exercises I can be doing - I just really loved cycling.

$ is an issue, I can't keep buying bikes on the off chance they'll solve the problem. Money is tight for me as I'm sure it is for most. Every time I buy a bike and sell it again, I lose money

I visited the LBS recommended by a friend and they were nice but insisted a flat bar road bike can't be adjusted to any meaningful degree. Race bikes yes, $900 flat bar bikes nope.

So I'm back to thinking about an upright bike. I dropped into another LBS who have a few on sale and wallah!!! They actually encouraged me to take them for a spin. Why don't all bike shops do this for cheaper bikes???

Luckily there is a bike track alongside the shop and I took a couple for a spin up and down for 20 mins or so and......NO pain!! This is the bike .

Avanti Metro 3 | Avanti | Classic & Vintage Bikes for sale in Burwood | 102324107

Now, these are really leisure bikes, but I figure if they get me back into cycling and some fitness then what the hell. The guy kept emphasising that I wouldn't be able to go too fast but I was too busy beaming with joy to focus on that. It also has 9 gears which will do me for now.

However.... I still need to sell the Giant before I can buy another. So, first stop is back to the Giant shop to see if they can put in a higher stem. If not, I know I've done my best not to lose a chunk of change on a barely ridden bike and I'll put it on eBay. They also sell upright bikes, I'll see if they'll also let me test ride one.

In response to other posts I'm very unfit bit not hugely overweight, and yes I think that sitting on my arse staring at a screen for years has pretty much melted my neck muscles. So - yoga is on the cards as is a trip to a gym to get some advice on strengthening the neck and shoulder muscles .

All going well, I could be back cycling on a 'better' bike in a coupla years.

Off to Giant on Monday, I'll keep people posted.

Thanks again folks
Any good shop should let you take it around the block at minimum. Some shops are stricter than others & might let you do things based on their perception of your abilities. The shop i got my breezer from is full of guys that want everyone to ride & they have a large open empty paved lot out the back door where you can go. It was a refreshing experience.

- Andy
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Old 05-08-14, 08:21 AM   #56
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All going well, I could be back cycling on a 'better' bike in a coupla years.
What do you consider 'better'?

This looks like not too bad of a bike. You should also try a Dutch bike if you can. The Avanti, similar to the Electra Amsterdam, has the pedals quite far forward of the seat (which is the geometry that allows 'flat foot'). This may work well for you, but your back won't line up as well as a Dutch bike and you'll not have as much power.
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