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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 08-02-00, 07:04 PM   #1
MikeC
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I'm nearly 48 and ride my road bike (Mongoose RX10.5 titanium) about 10-15 miles every morning before breakfast. I'm toying with the idea of riding in the MS150 in September, but I'm worried about my neck and back holding out that long perched over my drops.
I know, the ideal solution is to strengthen my upper body, but I'm not convinced I'm going to see that much improvement anymore, particularly in less than two months, and given the fact that I've already got a few thousand miles under me in smaller increments.
Is there an equipment solution? Is there a type of clip-on bar I can revert to when I need to sit more upright for a few minutes? Do I need to either bend over or sit up and ride no-hands? I don't want to change my stem or regular bars, because I like them just fine for my daily rides.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 08-03-00, 12:07 AM   #2
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Reply to neck & back solution

Mike, it sounds as if your bike is not set up correctly.

I'm not far from your age and rode competitively all my life. Then I had a seven year lay off. Since last year July I started riding again and after one year of hard training, I'm now starting to get my form back. When I started riding again I had exactly the same problem, as I lost all my suppleness and using my old faithful bike, I ended up with severe back pain and neck soreness. Changing my set up on the bike helped some and doing extensive stretching exercises, fixed all the other problems. The latter took a bit of time though, but now I'm back to my favourate riding position, with now more problems. I have to keep up with the stretching exercises though, otherwise the back pain comes back a little.

Suggest you have someone experienced check out your position on the bike.
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Old 01-10-06, 10:44 AM   #3
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Hello Mike, i'm 42 with severe spine problems especially in my lower back. Several months of consistent excersise (abdom-spinals) have rid me of most of the trouble which had almost led me to the operating room few years ago. Now all that's left is minor back discomfort after 3-4 hours on the saddle. Therefore i thank the Lord for iron abdominal muscles that saved my ass. Stretching is also essential. Before you ride in the morning allow yourself 3 mins of leaning on your elbows( like muslims praying).
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Old 01-10-06, 11:21 AM   #4
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Second on the idea of checking your position on the bike. Might only take raising the bars relative to the saddle to alleviate the pain. Or shortening your reach a tad - or both. Tough to say but it's worth having a pro take a look.

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Old 01-10-06, 11:29 AM   #5
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+1 on checking the fit. I'm 55, have some neck issues, but no pain from riding even long distances.
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Old 01-10-06, 11:59 AM   #6
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and once the bike fit is dialed in, it's a matter of time in the saddle and conditioning. Two months, you should be fine if you can maintain a regular riding schedule during the winter where you are. (A riding partner can really help with the motivation when the weather is pooey.)
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Old 01-10-06, 12:56 PM   #7
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"pooey."




nice.




that being said, get your fit checked...
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Old 01-10-06, 01:56 PM   #8
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Or you could just get a bungee cord from your helmet to the back of your seat. When you lean forward, the bungee will support your head. You'll want carbon hooks to shave off about 20 grams.

Seriously, though. I think it's all about conditioning. When I first started, I'd have a stiff neck/shoulders at about the 5 mile mark...but only rode maybe 15 at a stretch. Now I'm up to 35 and the stiffness only shows up at about mile 20.
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Old 01-10-06, 02:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Second on the idea of checking your position on the bike. Might only take raising the bars relative to the saddle to alleviate the pain. Or shortening your reach a tad - or both. Tough to say but it's worth having a pro take a look.

55/Rad
Agreed. I am relatively new to road cycling, and have only recently been ratcheting up the miles. I have noticed some mild upper back pain, just on the left side below my scapula, usually the moring or late evening after my rides. Stretching has helped me tremendously. Very basic stretching - perhaps 5 minutes total will do for me - and the pain is now minimal. That is before and after my ride. Also, I had my fit checked as others have recommended, and am trying out some shorter/higher degree stems as well. (I worked with a Serotta set-up, and highly recommend it.) So, in the short term, my advice for what it is worth, is to stretch and get your fit checked when you can.

T
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Old 01-10-06, 07:46 PM   #10
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If you go really, really fast the air pressure from the wind will help hold your upper body up if you lean just right.

I've found the sweet spot somewhere between 110 - 120mph.

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Old 01-10-06, 10:06 PM   #11
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Raise your bars so that your hands are at the same height as the saddle. If you look at the owner's manual for Schwinn Paramounts between about 1965 and 1980, that was the suggested position for bars.

Thanks to Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong, many folks without the slightest intention of getting a racing license currently ride with their hands three or four inches below the top of the saddle. But, those guys had someone to rub their neck and back after each ride. You probably don't.

One of the BEST things about having the top of the bars level with the saddle is how easy it becomes to ride on the drops. Folks who found it painful to stay on the drops for more than five minutes find they can ride on the drops for twenty or thirty minutes at a time.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:00 PM   #12
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The Rivendell site has some pretty interesting info about fit. I believe it's rivendell.com
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Old 01-11-06, 10:51 PM   #13
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Must be pretty frustrating waiting 5+ years to get a couple replies on BF, huh?
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Old 01-12-06, 08:45 AM   #14
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08-02-00, 05:04 PM

Whoops. I didn't even see that.
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Old 01-12-06, 12:04 PM   #15
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Mike, maybe you are trying too much too soon.Riding 10- 15 miles every morning before breakfast sound like you are in a hurry to complete your workout in time for breakfast.Make sure you have enough warm up
before actual workout. Also stretch before and after ride.Assuming your bike was properly fitted there is no need for additional bar extensions,raisers or anything else that has no place on racing bike.Also, very important is working your abs and back muscles.You don't have to spend hours at the gym to see some improvement.What I would do, is to alternate my daily routine to one day morning ride, one day morning abs/back excersise or better yet, evening abs/back and morning ride with some stretching and proper warm up.I had back problem and stretching with abs excercisses cured all my pains.Do your warm up and stretching and you will feel like your bike fits better.
cheers
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Old 01-12-06, 12:08 PM   #16
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Situps! Easy to do anywhere, anytime, works abs and lower back, you'll see noticable results in 2 months if you do them daily, starting slowly, increasing sets and number of rep's per set as you get stronger.
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Old 01-12-06, 12:11 PM   #17
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How do you even dig up a thread this old?
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Old 01-12-06, 07:49 PM   #18
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why do people keep posting answers. the damn post is 5 years old? clearly this is a joke that i missed out on. Later.
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Old 01-13-06, 08:02 AM   #19
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It actually looks like mimis, who has spinal problems, did a search for 'neck pain' or something, found a similar sufferer, and decided to contribute. The rest of us see this on the front page, and assume it's current.

Maybe mimis is just doing what most 'old hands' on this board chastise newer members to do: USE THE SEARCH!! Instead of starting a new thread.

-- methinks there should be a thread expiration cutoff date --
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Old 01-13-06, 08:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC
I'm nearly 48 and ride my road bike (Mongoose RX10.5 titanium) about 10-15 miles every morning before breakfast. I'm toying with the idea of riding in the MS150 in September, but I'm worried about my neck and back holding out that long perched over my drops.
I know, the ideal solution is to strengthen my upper body, but I'm not convinced I'm going to see that much improvement anymore, particularly in less than two months, and given the fact that I've already got a few thousand miles under me in smaller increments.
Is there an equipment solution? Is there a type of clip-on bar I can revert to when I need to sit more upright for a few minutes? Do I need to either bend over or sit up and ride no-hands? I don't want to change my stem or regular bars, because I like them just fine for my daily rides.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Since you don't want to make the obvious changes to your bike; riding no hands for a while should help. Yesterday I rode no-hands for the last 4 miles while I ate my PowerBar. I checked my speedometer and I was going 18.5mph. I should ride no hands more often.
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Old 01-13-06, 08:09 AM   #21
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Looks like we got owned by mimis. What a way to start the day.
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