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Old 05-15-07, 01:39 PM   #1
ragboy
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back of neck soreness

Trying to find out if this is normal or if something's not quite right with my fit.

The back of my neck gets sore after about 35 miles. I ride in the drops quite a bit, and have the bars just a tad below seat level. I concentrate on not "hunching" my shoulders to make it worse.

Is this soreness fairly common on long rides or should I be able to ride 40 miles without tightness?
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Old 05-15-07, 01:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragboy
Trying to find out if this is normal or if something's not quite right with my fit.

The back of my neck gets sore after about 35 miles. I ride in the drops quite a bit, and have the bars just a tad below seat level. I concentrate on not "hunching" my shoulders to make it worse.

Is this soreness fairly common on long rides or should I be able to ride 40 miles without tightness?
Just for grins and giggles, try a more relaxed grip on the bars and ride the tops more. Less forearm tension = less shoulder tension = less neck pain. Just a thought!
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Old 05-15-07, 01:59 PM   #3
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I had the same problem a few years ago.
As part of my conditioning, I did regular sets of "shrugs" with dumbells in each hand.
Not "hunching" is good. Are you making sure your not stiff arming the bar as well?
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Old 05-15-07, 02:17 PM   #4
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I had the same problem a few years ago.
As part of my conditioning, I did regular sets of "shrugs" with dumbells in each hand.
Not "hunching" is good. Are you making sure your not stiff arming the bar as well?
Yeah, I try and concentrate on good form -- elbows bent, loose grip, etc. It's really the only area that gets sore, my feet, hands and butt are pretty comfortable, so I don't want to move a lot of things around. Actually, it's harder on my arms to ride the tops because my arms are straighter than when in the drops.

I'm just not sure if it's a matter of getting my neck muscles further in shape or if there is something else causing it. I've commuted daily for a year, but didn't start riding longer distances (30-plus) until April. I can ride 50 miles, but my neck muscles get achey after about 35 or so.
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Old 05-15-07, 02:42 PM   #5
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Seems I lost the pain in my neck when I got divorced about 15 years ago.

come to think of it, I lost a pain somewhere else also.
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Old 05-15-07, 04:24 PM   #6
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I get that sore neck feeling, but it goes away after several days on the road, so it does seem to be a conditioning thing. I would do some stretches too, but frankly it went away after a few days out, either way.
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Old 05-15-07, 04:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1
I get that sore neck feeling, but it goes away after several days on the road, so it does seem to be a conditioning thing. I would do some stretches too, but frankly it went away after a few days out, either way.
Thanks -- guess I'll give it a little more time till I start tinkering with adjustments. Hopefully, it is just a conditioning thing. I'm going for a multi-day tour in June and am trying to iron out the kinks now.
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Old 05-15-07, 04:57 PM   #8
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Maybe just get off the bike for a while every 25 miles or so? Seems like a natural thing to do when touring, there is usually something to take a picture of or just check out at least that often on most tours.
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Old 05-15-07, 06:57 PM   #9
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Try rolling your head back and forth every few miles. That will help until the muscles in your neck gain more conditioning.
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Old 05-16-07, 02:35 AM   #10
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I had serious neck pains (sometimes so bad I struggled to operate the brake) until some old man in a bike shop gave me the following advice. With your elbowtouching the tip of your saddle, your finger tips should reach your handlebars. When in riding position, you should have staright eye contact with the front axle. For me it meant moving my saddle a half inch forward. The neck pain,thankfully, is a thing of the past. Could be an old wives tale of course but it worked for me.
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Old 05-16-07, 07:44 AM   #11
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I found that raising the handlebars helped.
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Old 05-17-07, 08:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Pekka
I had serious neck pains (sometimes so bad I struggled to operate the brake) until some old man in a bike shop gave me the following advice. With your elbowtouching the tip of your saddle, your finger tips should reach your handlebars. When in riding position, you should have staright eye contact with the front axle. For me it meant moving my saddle a half inch forward. The neck pain,thankfully, is a thing of the past. Could be an old wives tale of course but it worked for me.
Could you explain this a littler further -- what does straight eye contact mean exactly? Does it mean you should be able to see the axle without any obstructions such as the handle bar or stem?
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Old 05-17-07, 11:20 PM   #13
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"Straight eye contact" means that when I am in riding position (for me, that means hands on the brake hoods of drop handlebars), I can see the front hub without any obstructions.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:42 AM   #14
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I have had this problem as well. I would be fine for about 2 hours but with longer times in the saddle severe neck pain would come, also for me it was worse when going up steep hills (raising my head more).
The ultimate solution is to raise your handlebars- at first try at least level with the seat, that should give you some improvement but in my case I had to go about an inch higher. Stem risers can be purchased just for this reason but you're steering tube may have a few spacers that you can remove to get some improvement. Flipping your stem over may give you relief and costs nothing.
Also if your helmet has a visor get rid of that because it forces you to bend your neck to get it out of the line of site(that helped me a little too).
todays emphasis on "racing" bikes leads people to believe they need a low stem/handlebar combination. This is entirely different than people rode years ago. Check out rivendell sit and Sheldon Brown for more extensive discussion . People who tour or take longer rides are probably more prone to this than people who take shorter rides, also as we get older our necks are less flexible and people who once had no problems suddenly notice this . Good luck.
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