hello everyone, I'll be leaving for a tour in 2 weeks and im starting to get a little concerned, everything else in my training has gone to plan, my brooks is broken in, my legs are great but my neck is the one thing that still bothers me. i realize now that i probably shouldn't have gotten talked into a 58cm surly crosscheck (it's a little big, but the bike tech thought the longer wheelbase would be better for touring, which made sence at the time.), and i thought that the neck pain at first was due to weak neck muscles so i rode and rode till it really became unpleasant and now see a chiropractor/massage thearpist who is helping me out alot however my insurance doesnt cover him to come on a tour with me...
so while seeing him i did some research and i've been able to modify the bike where the ride is a lot better, my bars are about level with my seat (had to get a new fork to raise the height a few inches) and i got a shorter stem (it was found in my LBS) i know it's about 90mm long but with an unknown rise. so now i only have a few options left, my first question is what is the highest rise you can get with a stem? 40 degrees? i also stopped wearing a helmet altogether (dangerous i know, but much more comfortable for my neck) i know my handlebars are a little too wide, but i dont think that's the cause of the problem, my riding posture is pretty relaxed and i try to make sure it stays that way though i tend to lock my elbows a bit to get the lowest neck angle.
when i'm on the brake hoods i can just see my the hub. my seat is where it should be and is comfortable, but i'm just at my wits end with the pain at the back of my neck. it starts to bother me when i pass 40 miles and it's just a nagging stiffness, not shooting pains or anything. the tour i'm going on is a short tour, i go accross the erie canal, hop on the "lake errie connector" then do some of the "north lake route" it's not very difficult and i think i should finish it in good time and i'm sure i can tough it out with some advil/beer but what else can i do? i had kind of a bad case of lyme disease last summer and wonder if i now have neck arthritis or something because my fit seems okay but my neck begs to differ.