I think this is my first post here - I've been pretty active on a couple of the other forums, mostly C&A, but after thinking about it, this seemed like a more appropriate place to put this.
I'm 59, used to ride a lot up until 15 years ago, and just started riding again last summer. I had gotten really obese over the years, but I've lost almost all of the excess weight now, and am attempting longer rides again. I have stenosis and arthritis in my neck, badly healed torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders, and chronic tendonitis in my right arm. I mostly don't have pain, except when I ride for more than an hour and a half at a time. The distance is irrelevant - it's the time in the saddle, and the pain is caused by having to keep my neck extended to see the road.
I recently invested in a professional fitting for my road bike, and that seems to have helped a lot - at least for the 90 minutes or less rides, which is ok - it's consistent with the way I use that bike.
The bike that's giving a problem is an otherwise really comfortable hybrid that I'd like to do longer rides and some touring with. I've realized that what I want is almost impossible. For most of the time, I like a not-too-aggressive (but not upright) position that puts the bars at or a little above seat level, with maybe also a way to get a little more aero sometimes - I don't care about going fast on this bike, but would like a way to deal with headwinds. And, for longer rides, having some alternate hand positions is good, though I don't have issues with pain in my hands or wrists. All this is pretty normal, so far - properly adjusted drops or trekking bars or even mountain bars with bar ends would do the trick.
But the thing I also need, but haven't found yet, is a good way to also have a "relief" position that's really upright - something maybe 4 or 5 inches higher than the normal position of the bar and closer to me, so that I can periodically get all of the extension out of my neck and shoulders. I know I could go with risers or North Road bars, but I don't want this upright position all the time - I don't want that much of my weight shifting back to the saddle all the time. In fact, I don't want it at all for shorter duration rides - but I need a way to let my neck and shoulders rest on longer rides.
I've got trekking bars on my grocery getter bike, and they work pretty well - but I don't ride that for more than 30 minutes or so. I've looked at all sorts of kludges involving bar ends, risers, other touring bars ... and am still playing with different ideas.
Does anyone here suffer with similar problems, and more importantly, has anyone here found a good way to deal with these sorts of arthritic/orthopedic issues, without having to just accept the limitation of 90 minute rides?