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Bumpy gravel roads - pains and other side effects

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Bumpy gravel roads - pains and other side effects

Old 10-08-14, 02:34 PM
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Bumpy gravel roads - pains and other side effects

I love riding on gravel roads. I did a bit of gravel riding last year, and a lot this year. I use two bikes on gravel, one with beefier tires, the other more a gentle gravel bike (32mm tires). Up until recently I had no discomfort. Towards the end of the summer I started getting a sore neck and shoulders. Got pretty sore so I went to physio. We checked bike fit and it was good. I ride these bikes on paved roads (higher psi) and gravel...so I think my fit was always fine.

I have no idea what the cause was, still don't for sure, but the other day, after feeling better on 5+ rides, I did a gravel ride. Felt fine during the ride, but later that day and the following few days I was sore in the same areas. I'm thinking that my volume of gravel riding triggered the pain which was likely building up over time?

Has anyone else experienced this?

Note - I also ride a mountain bike and of course with dual suspension it's good at soaking up rocks, roots, etc.
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Old 10-08-14, 03:34 PM
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Your symptoms sound an awful lot like Rule # 5 to me, I can't be sure though.
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Old 10-08-14, 03:46 PM
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People who say "HTFU" should STFU.
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Old 10-08-14, 03:46 PM
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It could be that the shocks are enabling you to lock up your elbows, which causes shoulder and neck discomfort. Keep those elbows loose at all times!
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Old 10-09-14, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by flargle
People who say "HTFU" should STFU.
Thanks for the advise there grumpy, let me think about it for a second.... nah.

I usually walk, I can walk long distances without any discomfort. Lately I've decided to start running, went for a run about a week ago and felt sore after the run. Really strange I never felt pain after I take a walk. I thought I'd try again and went for a run yesterday and today I woke up with pain again. I'm not sure what's happening, any of you ever experience this?
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Old 10-09-14, 08:25 AM
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I've got a unconventional suggestion. I added aero bars to my Cyclocross bike. The reason for this addition had nothing to do with aerodynamics or speed. I find that 10 minutes during the ride while using the aero bars provides relief to my hands, arms and shoulders.

Now, most of my gravel is flat and not at all technical. I'd be reluctant to use the aero bars when covering more challenging surfaces.
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Old 10-09-14, 08:36 AM
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Bigger tires, bike fit, higher bars?
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Old 10-09-14, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I've got a unconventional suggestion. I added aero bars to my Cyclocross bike. The reason for this addition had nothing to do with aerodynamics or speed. I find that 10 minutes during the ride while using the aero bars provides relief to my hands, arms and shoulders.

Now, most of my gravel is flat and not at all technical. I'd be reluctant to use the aero bars when covering more challenging surfaces.
I've thought about that, even with my regular road bike...would be nice on long rides. I will give it some thought, thanks. Some of the gravel rides I've done have been over 5 hours and my body is usually sore on those rides, but since this issue now even two hour gravel rides hurt.

Bike fit good / bars at a good height (same bike on long road rides no issue). Tires are 32mm pumped to 40/45 psi (many rides like that over the year). Going to try my cross bike with 40mm to see if it's any better.
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