Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seville, Spain
    My Bikes
    Brompton M6R and mountain bikes equipped for touring.
    Posts
    3,358
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Stiff neck, sore back...

    Fellow cyclists,

    I have been commuting by bike all of my life, and I have recently started taking longer rides into the Spanish countryside at weekends. Yesterday was my longest yet: a 38-mile jaunt through rolling hills. I'm happy to say my 50-year-old legs feel fine. My neck is rather stiff, however, and my lower back is a little sore. Nothing serious, but I should like to nip this in the bud before I start increasing the distance.

    I ride a mountain bike with regular flat handlebars that cause me to hunch over, with my head lifted in order to see. I suppose this is a good position in terms of aerodynamics, but I believe it is the source of my troubles. I wonder if any of you other old-timers have experienced similar problems and, if so, how you have dealt with them. I have considered raising the bars or perhaps changing over to another style. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Ekdog
    Last edited by Ekdog; 04-23-07 at 07:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seems unusual that you have now started getting aches- even though you have done more milage. Look to see if anything has changed on the Seating or bar position. You have said you have flat bars so a riser bar will help. These will raise the hand positition and bring it back and depending on the "Sweep" can be just a bit or as much as 5 cms. Then there are the Bar ends. they will give you alternative riding position to help ease the one position ride and the aches that will bring.

    OR it could be that you need more practice in the longer rides- and the pain will go after a few more rides.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  3. #3
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Odense, Denmark
    Posts
    1,463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Raise the bars.

    Get 'used to' riding longer distances.

    It you want to worry about aerodynamics, lower the bars little by little.

  4. #4
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Maputo, Mozambique
    My Bikes
    2005 Pinarello Paris; Avanti Blade Comp; Tommasini X-Fire
    Posts
    8,724
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you stretch your back immediately after riding? I get lower back pain (for the last couple of months anyway) but I find stretching gets rid of most of it before it starts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,126
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I gave up riding long distances on a mountain bike for exactly the same reason. The mountain bike position is very bad for the neck. About 5 years ago a physical therapist showed me models of the neck in the varying cycling positions.

    I ride only my road bike now for 50 mile distances, without any problems, even though I have arthritis in a couple of the vertebrae of my neck.

    Stretching is a must as well. The book "Stretching" by bob anderson shows cycling specific stretching exercises as well as any other sport you could think of.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    S.E. Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,737
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My experience leads me to believe that the combination of stiff neck and lower back pain is most likely the result of a too bent over position for your current flexibility. The stiff neck is, as you describe, most often due to having to use your neck muscles to hold you head up high enough to see, and the weight of a helmet adds to this (please note that I'm not suggesting you don't wear a helmet). I'd try a more upright riding position and see if that helps. Stretching and strength building can't hurt, but it could be a while before you'd see results from that. A more upright positon should give much more immediate relief.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,126
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I specifically changed my riding eyeglasses this year back to bifocals instead of progressive lenses. The sweet spot in the progressives was nearer to the center of the lens and I was forced to tip my head up too far. Now I can peek out of the tops of the lenses and the head does not have to come up as far to see. Much less tired/pain in the neck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seville, Spain
    My Bikes
    Brompton M6R and mountain bikes equipped for touring.
    Posts
    3,358
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
    Do you stretch your back immediately after riding? I get lower back pain (for the last couple of months anyway) but I find stretching gets rid of most of it before it starts.
    Actually, I stretch it a bit while I'm riding, sitting up straight once in a while to get some relief. I'll try doing some exercises once I get off the bike. I feel great today, by the way. I think that with a slightly more upright riding position, stretching, and more time in the saddle I should be okay. Thanks to you and the others for your sage advice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seville, Spain
    My Bikes
    Brompton M6R and mountain bikes equipped for touring.
    Posts
    3,358
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BSLeVan
    My experience leads me to believe that the combination of stiff neck and lower back pain is most likely the result of a too bent over position for your current flexibility. The stiff neck is, as you describe, most often due to having to use your neck muscles to hold you head up high enough to see, and the weight of a helmet adds to this (please note that I'm not suggesting you don't wear a helmet). I'd try a more upright riding position and see if that helps. Stretching and strength building can't hurt, but it could be a while before you'd see results from that. A more upright positon should give much more immediate relief.
    I'm surprised the helmet would be a factor, considering how light it is. I'm definitely going to try a more upright riding posture.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    S.E. Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,737
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog
    I'm surprised the helmet would be a factor, considering how light it is. I'm definitely going to try a more upright riding posture.
    Many bicycle helmets top the 500 gram mark, and while this seems light in our hands, it's something completely different on our heads. Keep in mind that many of us have virtually no training in strengthing our necks via weight or resistance training. When your neck is not used to it, even 500 grams (17+ ounces) can put a strain on our necks. I was skeptical about this until I tried an experiment on my stationary trainer. I rode 30 minutes in the drops (with the drops lower than usual by about a half inch) with and without a helmet on different days. The difference was quite remarkable. Without the helmet there was very little stress in keeping my head up and eyes forward. With the helmet, it got tough after about 8 to 10 minutes.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  11. #11
    following breeze Spokejoker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Trek 1500, Schwin Caliente,
    Posts
    36
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree that sitting up once in a while is the thing. I do it for maybe 5 seconds and am ready for a few more miles. I also think it will get better. Work it out.
    The pump dont work caus the vandals stole the handle

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •