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  1. #1
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    My neck hurts when I ride-- and suggestions?

    When I ride my road bike the back of my neck starts hurting after a while. I feel like it is because my body is hunched over the bike, but my head is looking straight, so my neck is bent back as if i am constantly looking up. Is this normal? I havent rode for a while, but when I used to ride a few years ago the same thing would happen even though I was on a different bike. I am 6 foot 2 inches and am riding a 60cm.
    Would appriciate any help.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Raise your handlebars.

  3. #3
    hobo grahny's Avatar
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    you're probably supporting too much weight with your arms/hands, then after a while your shoulders get tired, neck sags, pain ensues. You could try moving your seat back just a little.

  4. #4
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    You could be doing like I do sometimes -- that is, if you wear glasses. I usually find myself holding my head up just to look through my lenses.

    It gets tiring, though, so I'll give my neck a break and just look with my eyeballs over the tops of the lens frames. I'll still raise my glasses now & then to get a good look at any traffic.

    Obviously, this is easier to do on a lightly trafficked trail or path, and not really something I'd try on the street.

  5. #5
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    Try bending your waist and elbows more. That should take the weight off your shoulders and neck. Sometimes moving your saddle rearwards or moving your handlebar upwards can help with your riding posture.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    You could be doing like I do sometimes -- that is, if you wear glasses. I usually find myself holding my head up just to look through my lenses.

    It gets tiring, though, so I'll give my neck a break and just look with my eyeballs over the tops of the lens frames. I'll still raise my glasses now & then to get a good look at any traffic.

    Obviously, this is easier to do on a lightly trafficked trail or path, and not really something I'd try on the street.
    Yep. I do the same thing on long rides...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Ride more.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  8. #8
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    Everyone has a weak part of their body. I am 6'1" and ride a 60cm Schwinn Paramount and 58cm Serotta Fierte. I had the same problem with my neck and was also putting too much weight on my hands as grahny suggested. I got refitted on my Schwinn for a more upright riding position and then used the same position on my new Fierte. I can still get down in the drops but am now more upright and never have neck problems anymore. If you tell a fitter exactly what kind of riding you do and your weak spots/pain & problem areas, they can help you. Spending the money for a fitting was one of the wisest cycling decisions I have made.

    I also stretch more and see a chiropractor who x-rayed me and recommended regular appointments until my joints moved freely and adjusted easily. I only go in now when I need to. I went 3 months the last time and then only needed a slight adjustment compared to when I first started going to the chiropractor.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  9. #9
    Going once, going twice..
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    use the neck machine at the gym.

    It takes.. a long long time but thats probably the issue.

  10. #10
    Its Freakin HammerTime!!! C_Heath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terex View Post
    Ride more.

    Even tho this sounds like a smart ass answer, its the correct one. Take your johnson for example, it goes numb and you even sometimes have to stop peddling and stand because of the pain in the ol' crotch, well, that goes away after a few rides as well and your neck will too.

    You walk and sit up using the <insert big medical word here> muscles but while riding you use a totally diff group.

    Go ride, God knew this was gonna happen so he made some biker neck muscles too.

    Just ride.

  11. #11
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    Its not so much my neck muscles that hurt, its my actual spine from having to basically look up while im riding.

  12. #12
    Sua Ku rollin's Avatar
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    Some good advice already posted.

    What helmet are you using? My wife used her mountain bike helmet which had a visor on it. This gave here neck pain. We took the visor off and her pain went away on the next ride.

    "Ride more" worked for me. I raised my bars initially and used a shorter stem, eventually, as I got used to road riding, I went back to a longer stem and then eventually flipped the stem down. If I planning a ride over 4 hours then I still sometimes flip the stem up.

    edit: this all refers to upper back / neck muscle ache. If my spine hurt I would see a doctor.

  13. #13
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Is it more in your neck, or upper back? I'm looking to move to a wider handlebar after my fitter suggested a too narrow of bar is causing some upper back / neck strain for me.
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  14. #14
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    i get the same thing every now and then, but its usually because im slouching on the ride :-p
    i would def take it to your LBS and get it fitted and test it out

  15. #15
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    cuda2k prodded my memory. I also needed a wider handlebar. 42cm to 44cm if I remember correctly. Riding more never helped me any. Sorry.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  16. #16
    Senior Member fueledbymetal's Avatar
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    I just started cycling in June and had/have the same problem. The following has helped me out:
    1 - Do some good neck stretches before riding
    2 - Stretch your neck while riding every other mile or so
    3 - While riding, try and keep you neck in a natural postion (so that you're looking down more than forward) as much as possible and just use your eyes to look forward

  17. #17
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Without looking at you riding on your bike, no one can make a good assessment of what the root problem might be.
    If you could have someone take a few pictures of youself on the bike, that would help along the assessment greatly. position your whole body as you would while riding, sideview pictures would be best.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
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  18. #18
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    I will warn you about taking fitting advice off the internet....

    Try going into your local shop, maybe where you bought the bike and explain the situtation. This can be easily fixed with a fitting.
    An employee of We Keep You Cycling

  19. #19
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Take some glasses frames and mount little mirrors hanging off them at a 45 degree angle with the bottom edge forward (somewhat like an upside-down half-periscope). Then you can keep your head down and still see forward. With the right helmet setup this will also be incredibly aero.

    Actually don't.
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  20. #20
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    H T F U

  21. #21
    Dances a jig. Mchaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Raise your handlebars.
    Ditto. You may not be able to get quite as aero, but you'll actually enjoy riding your bike.

  22. #22
    Decelerated Motorist Spin Cycle's Avatar
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    I was overreaching - neck pain stopped once I went to a shorter stem. (I tweaked seat and handlebar position as well, but all the adjustments in the world were just a waste of time until I went from a 120 to 100mm stem).

    Spine pain though is a different story - never had it, and if I did I would go see a doctor.
    2005 Specialized Allez Comp (Toupe seat/Neuvation R28 Aero3/FSA Wing Pro Compact/CatEye V3)
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  23. #23
    Faith-Vigilance-Service Patriot's Avatar
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    Sometimes, if you kink your neck to hold your head up, you can actually cause cartlidge/disc damage in your neck which may be permanent. This happened to a friend of mine who raced for several years.

    The key is to try to get into a form where your head is held down a little, so that your neck/spine are essentially straight inline with each other. Then, raise your eyes to see the road, not your head.

    Any pain you get from that posture will be neck muscle pain, which is easily taken care of by strengthening it from use and proper neck stretches.
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  24. #24
    Member slabfoot's Avatar
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    I agree with what Patriot just shared. If you look like a human PEZ dispenser, you could really be hurting your neck. Keep you ears centered over you shoulders, chin lightly tucked in and look up from your chest instead of cocking your head back. This worked for me any way without having to raise my bars or sit up and catch the wind. No pain is good. Good luck.

  25. #25
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    A few people are saying that if their spines hurt, they would "see a doctor". If you do go to an M.D. make sure it's not just any general practitioner or orthopedist. It's not as if all doctors specialize in or are familiar with cycling-related pain syndromes. See someone who is a cyclist and/or specializes in cycling-related syndromes. Otherwise you'll have just anyone giving you knee jerk advice which may include that you "get a mountain bike".

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