I've been riding a 52cm Motobecane track and would like to get a geared bike soon. I'm trying to use my current setup to gauge what size Vent Noir/Grand Record from BD to purchase. During long rides (20+ miles) my right trap and neck muscles get sore and after a few days becomes very tight. I don't have any issues with my knees, but my hands do get sore and sometimes a little numb. I've replaced the stem with a 90mm Easton stem as well as the handlebars and have ridden a couple hundred miles with this setup. I primarily ride in the drops as i feel i have more control with the bike. My riding style is primarily for long distance with hill climbs at the end of the run.
So my questions are:
What do I need to adjust/replace to reduce/eliminate my problems?
Should I stick to 52cm frame or go down to 50cm for a road bike. My track's effective toptube length is about 21.25" while a 52cm vent noir is 21.06". A 50cm vent noir has a 20.66" top tube. is that 1" going to make a significant difference as far as reach/comfort for me?
Any other suggestions and input is greatly appreciated!
Not sure if it matters but heres my competive cyclist fit numbers:
lower leg: 20.5"
sternal notch: 54"
height; 68" (5'8")
I'm 5'6" with relatively short legs and ride a 52. I can ride a 50, but it seems small to me. That 52 definitely doesn't look too large to me! I'd like to see you on a 54.
Try bringing the hoods up on around the curve of the bars maybe 3/4" until the flat of the top of the hoods merges with the flat of the ramps to form a continuous flat. Then rotate the bars up until you can comfortably hold the hoods while resting your wrists on the ramps. See: Lovely Bicycle!: Drop Bar Hand Positions: an Introduction
I think that will have you riding more comfortably on the hoods, while still able to brake from the hooks.
Then the neck pain: Looking at the photo of you on the bike, I notice that your back is rounded, with a substantial hump at the top of your shoulder blades. You want to rotate your pelvis forward so that you sit on the forward portion of your sit bones and your back is straight. Note the flatness of the upper back of the seated rider as he goes by: Tour de France 2009 Michael Rogers climbing Col de Romme - YouTube
Those are great links thanks! I'll try repositioning the bar and hopefully I can correct my posture. As for a 54cm. wouldn't that be a little too tall? BD recommends the 52cm for people 5'8".
IME TT length is more important than seat tube. Saddles go up and down. Stems are in a much more limited range of adjustment. CC recs a 54 TT. You're short legged, i.e. long torso. At 66", I have a 54 on which I'm quite comfortable. I'd go by TT. Go by your LBS and ask to be fitted on a trainer. Try a 52 and 54.