I did my first sprint race 9/03, but I am struggled with a shoulder problem this year that kept me out of swimming most of the year. I plan to compete in 2005, body willing.
Cycling does stress my shoulder some. I notice that if I put my fingers over the shifter hoods, so that my knuckles are forward instead of pointing out, it helps. I'm riding a standard road bike (Trek 5200), and I live in a hilly area, so I'm always doing at least rolling hills and shifting a lot. I ride alone, my handling skills are Ok, but not the greatest.
I have wondered whether aerobars would help my shoulder. Given the hills I deal with, and my lack of confidence at times, I have stayed away from them so far, but I keep returning to the question.
Do you find that aerobars are easier or harder on your shoulders? Do they make any sense when training on hilly terrain? If aerobars make sense, which ones?
You could try the aero bars but i second the physical therepy idea, i am doing it for my knees now, when its done you wont have to worry and youll be kickin ass not worrying about a shoulder while you ride
I like to use the aerobars to change my position while riding. It is a little easier for me to be in the aero, I'm more relaxed in the upper body. Also having another option allows me to not put so much stress on my body due to one position.
Have you been properly fitted on your bike? If not, you may also want to go down to a tri or bike shop and get fitted. If you're current setup is too long for you (stretching you too far forward) that may being putting unnecessary stress on your shoulders and neck.
I've been to 2 physical therapists and 3 orthopedists over the last 2 years. I've had multiple steroid injections and an MRI. At this point they shrug and say we could do an exploratory surgery. Aerobars sounds so much less invasive, if using them does indeed decrease, and not increase, stress on the shoulder. I've never used them, so I don't know.
I've been to 2 people to get help with my bike fit. The last one I drove 16 hours to see, and she really helped me out. I'd probably have to change my set up to incorporate aerobars, so that doesn't encourage me to go that route. She thought the hills that I deal with might not make aerobars a good idea.
I just keep wondering whether my shoulder would like it or not, though.
To the contrary! I have never used aerobars, I haven't got a clue if they would be more comfortable to one's shoulder, or less so. I don't know whether my riding conditions or my skills would preclude the use of aerobars. I don't know anyone who uses aerobars! While I can't expect any real insight into my shoulder problems, I'd love to hear about people's experience with the bars, and whether they might be worth trying. Thanks for all the feedback!