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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 07-16-14, 07:20 PM   #1
skycyclepilot
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Pain In The Neck

Took a 15 mile ride today - the first halfway comfortable ride since I got the bike a couple of weeks ago, and the longest I've taken. I went through half a dozen saddles, and a Selle Royal Ellipse Athletic has been the first halfway comfortable one I've tried. It's a bit soft, but after I get used to it, I might go back to a firmer saddle. I also changed the stem on my Giant Defy 1 from a 110mm 8° to a 90mm 25°, because I felt I was reaching for the handlebar, couldn't keep my elbows flexed, and had too much pressure on the perineum, despite a level saddle with a deep, wide channel to protect said perineum. The change helped. I really can't complain about my comfort level after 15 miles. I could have kept going.

My only issue now is that my neck gets a bit stiff where the neck meets the shoulder on each side, sort of toward the back. I think it is from trying to look up. I'm keeping my elbows flexed, my back fairly straight, and my torso low enough that I'm not hunching my shoulders forward. Maybe it'll get better with time, as I haven't ridden in a long time, especially this much, but I would appreciate any input as to anything I might be doing wrong to cause this discomfort, mild as it is.

Thanks.
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Old 07-17-14, 05:47 AM   #2
linnefaulk
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Hopefully, time will help. Also strengthening your core.
You might want to see a chiropractor to make sure there aren't other issues as well.
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Old 07-17-14, 09:22 AM   #3
Carbonfiberboy 
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If you're rolling your pelvis forward (clockwise seen from the right) so that you're on the forward part of your sitbones and your back is fairly straight, you're doing it right. The neck discomfort will then go away with miles.
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Old 10-23-14, 09:07 AM   #4
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I've noticed the same issue, neck pain trying to look "up" riding a flat bar road bike with mtb gears. I bought it at a LBS new many, many years ago. I've never had a true fitting, and despite riding a decent amount, didn't discover until just recently that my seat had been set far too low. I've raised the seat, but my neck was still pretty sore on my most recent 40 mile ride, where I was working fairly steady to try to keep up with a companion that has more road bike style gears. I'm of course working much harder than they are, so while I would certainly like to be more comfortable on the bike I have, I'm shopping for a different one, but very undecided as to what direction to go.

I'd like road bike gearing, but am unsure if another hybrid with road bike gears is the way to go, or if I go radically different and get a road bike? Will the neck pain issue be the same, worse on a road bike? I've been to 3 LBS looking, but most do not seem to have bikes in my size (I'm 5' 6 1/2" wit 31 inch inseam), at least not in the models I've liked so far. I sat on a 50cm trek road bike that felt ok sitting still in the store, but have no idea how it would feel if I were to be on it a couple of hours. Is it the acme of foolishness to look at used bikes on CL from owners that are approximately the same size?
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Old 10-23-14, 01:30 PM   #5
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Craptacular8: Going from mtb to road bike can make a neck problem worse. The reach forward to the handlebars for brakes and gears will be greater, so you may find you are "craning" your neck more. This happened to me. In my case it was the result of weak deep neck flexor muscles that seem to be associated with a lot of computer use and the typical hunched forward posture. In many people i can be worked through, but can take time.

There are actually exercises online for strengthening deep neck flexor muscles... just google that phrase with the word cycling and you can find many cycling oriented sources that describe exercises.

On the other hand, that may not be why you get neck pain. For some people, it seems that being more stretched out on a bike is a better posture. I have not experienced this and cannot relate.

I would note that before buying a road bike, I cycled for quite a while on a mountain bike with 1.5" (40mm) road tires. I don't think the bike and gearing were holding me back on the road using the right tires, but if I had trail/off-road tires on it I would have been much slower. You may want to consider new tires as an interim measure, unless you find you have to spin the crank too fast when going fast on your current setup.

Whatever you do, don't buy a bike just because the owner is of a similar height/inseam to you. It is irrelevant what the seller's height or inseam are: the bike may not have fit the seller. There are online calculators that will tell you what size of bike to start with and probably the LBSs were pointing you in a particular direction as far as size. It is most important to buy a bike that is the right frame size and to test ride it first. After that you will probably need some help/advice to get the saddle height, saddle setback and stem length set up.
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Old 10-24-14, 12:39 PM   #6
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Igualmente, thanks. I've mentioned to each LBS what kind of biking I did (2+ hour rides of 30-40 miles), though when I first started, I mentioned that I ride both bike paths, and multi-use trails. This of course automtically steers them towards hybrids, though in the case of one, the Giant Anyroad was the recommended bike, which appears to me to be a road bike with drops and 28mm tires. He of course didn't have it in my size, so I didn't get to try it out. I've since realized that I do very little riding on the multi-use trails, and could very well use my current hybrid for that purpose.

I'm not finding my current bike holding me back if I were just out on the trail by myself, but it definitely is making it more difficult for me to keep up with other riders with true flat bar road bikes. My bike has 28mm tires on it currently, so am thinking it is the gearing (24/34/42 crankset) rather than the tires making it somewhat difficult. I CAN keep up, I'm just having to work much harder (more revolutions) than the other riders.

I will take a look at the deep neck flexor exercises. I don't tend to hunch in my daily life, though know I do some of that on my bike, primarily because the seat seems to want to tip up, so I tend to compensate by sliding back towards the rear of the seat to get more comfortable, probably rounding my back in the process.
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Old 10-24-14, 12:56 PM   #7
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I would raise the handlebars until the neck pain subsides, then lower them again gradually once you've worked up more flexibility.
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Old 10-24-14, 01:58 PM   #8
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Theres also the> Look up with your eyes, so you don't have to bend your neck up so much.. , if you love the drop bar go fast crouch.
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