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Sorry- another bike fit w/pics

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Sorry- another bike fit w/pics

Old 12-05-08, 07:30 PM
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mcarr
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Sorry- another bike fit w/pics

Here's the back story:
I began riding this bike about 4 months ago. I have been experiencing really bad neck burning pain after an hour or so of riding. On long 3-4 hour rides, it gets unbearable. I was fitted for this bike and purchased it at a LBS- so I felt like I was going to get a great fit. The neck pain is definetely a limiting factor at this point. I recently went back in to LBS and we put on a shorter stem and flipped it as well. The bars are now almost up to even with the seat. After 3 rides, the pain seems to be the same.
I've included pics to see if there is anything about the setup or body position that jumps out as potentially causing the neck pain.
I also have some questions about the fit of the bike as it relates to knee over spindle. If I drop a plumb line with crank horizontal, my knee is about 3/4 in. foreward of the spindle. Everything I've read says it should be directly over spindle to save knees.
Any feedback about fit or position would be helpful.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:34 PM
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The most obvious thing is that your elbows seem locked straight, they should be slightly bent.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:42 PM
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Yeah, I believe that I bend them a bit more than that while riding. Trying to stay balanced for the pic may have caused me to tense up a bit.
Thanks
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Old 12-05-08, 07:48 PM
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Did you ride a bike before that one? If so, did you do 3-4 hours on it? If yes, what's different between the old rig and the new one?
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Old 12-05-08, 07:50 PM
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It looks and sounds like your upper body is stretch too far. Looks like you could move the seat forward a bit. Try moving it 5mm forward and see how that feels. It looks to me like you might want to go as much as 10mm forward but I would start with 5mm and go from there. Also when you move it forward you may want to raise it up a little too. Try moving it forward first and then add 1-2mm in height for every 5mm you move it forward.

As to the plumb line, that is a rule of thumb that can get you close but everybody is different. Also cleat position on your shoes will affect this measurement as well. I ride with this measurement slightly behind the spindle on my mountain bike and slightly forward on my road bike.

Last edited by Cannondaler; 12-05-08 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:52 PM
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When they did a fit was it a thorough one or a basic inseam measurement and quick stem adjustment? If the bike is the right size for you then you shouldn't be experiencing that kind of pain unless you're tensing up when you ride. I used to have the same problem and it was because I was on a bike that was too big for me so I always had my elbows locked and shoulders tense. They flipped the stem up so it should be more comfortable in a more up right position, and you don't look too stretched out...have you tried riding with your shoulders relaxed? Sometimes you might tense up without even realizing it.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:55 PM
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What about your hands? Any numbness or pain?
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Old 12-05-08, 08:02 PM
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I'd like to disagree with Cannondaler and suggest that you not move the seat to change your reach to the bars -- that should be accomplished through top tube, stem and handlebar selection.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:04 PM
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I'm a bit reluctant to go more forward with seat as I alreay feel too far forward of the spindle. I do feel like I could go up just a small bit.
I don't have any issues with hands going numb or pain. I try and focus on relaxing shoulders and move my hands around, stretch- all the things your supposed to do.

I rode an older Fuji aluminum bike prior, but never anything past an hour. When I started riding again, initially it was on the Fuji and I did experience neck pain on that bike as well. Maybe I'm really inflexible in my neck?
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Old 12-05-08, 08:14 PM
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If you hands aren't bothering you then I would agree with Rizz that moving the seat forward is probably not the solution, your reach is probably just fine. I don't know if moving it up would help either as that would make you flex your neck a little more.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:19 PM
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Roadiejorge has a good point too, try to be aware of your arms, shoulders and neck when you are riding. Are they tense? Relaxed? Are you letting your neck and back sag forward? Working on keeping your elbows bent and your shoulders relaxed and just generally trying to be more aware of your form on the bike is a good place to start. Your fit looks pretty good overall.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mcarr
Here's the back story:
I began riding this bike about 4 months ago. I have been experiencing really bad neck burning pain after an hour or so of riding. On long 3-4 hour rides, it gets unbearable. I was fitted for this bike and purchased it at a LBS- so I felt like I was going to get a great fit. The neck pain is definetely a limiting factor at this point. I recently went back in to LBS and we put on a shorter stem and flipped it as well. The bars are now almost up to even with the seat. After 3 rides, the pain seems to be the same.
I've included pics to see if there is anything about the setup or body position that jumps out as potentially causing the neck pain.
I also have some questions about the fit of the bike as it relates to knee over spindle. If I drop a plumb line with crank horizontal, my knee is about 3/4 in. foreward of the spindle. Everything I've read says it should be directly over spindle to save knees.Any feedback about fit or position would be helpful.

When you drop the plumb is your heel up, down, level? Makes a dif in relation to KOPS which is just a starting point to use as a ref.

I do think your seat is up to high just based on your toes being pointed down so much at the bottom of the stroke in the first pic...


Seat level? Tilt it up a touch.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:58 PM
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Do you crane your neck when looking forward? Over longer distances, you may just be forcing your neck to do too much work. If that's the case, let your head and neck relax a bit and learn to ``look below the brow.''
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Old 12-05-08, 09:07 PM
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Don't lie man, you just wanted to show us that fantastic bike.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:18 PM
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>I rode an older Fuji aluminum bike prior, but never anything past an hour. When I started riding again, initially it was on the Fuji and I did experience neck pain on that bike as well.<

mcarr - read your words. You haven't done much riding. Work up to it. Ride an hour, ride two hours, ride three and then four. Or ride a lot, suffer, and eventually it will stop hurting.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:26 PM
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^+1... Your neck/shoulders are going to fatigue after a while and if you're not conditioned for it, you're gonna hurt. Upper body conditioning (weights, stretching, etc) is a good thing. Helps me stay fairly stretched out for hours with no neck/shoulder pain at all.

Also, are you stretching while riding? I never just lock into a position and sit there forever. I always sit up every so often and give myself a good neck/back/arm stretch.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:53 PM
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Looks like the bike's too long for you; it would for me if I were stretched like that. I'd personally experiment with either moving the seat forward or raising it some (most likely both). If you mark your positions, you can always return things to the current state.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:20 PM
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Thanks for all the input.
There is definetely something to the fact that I have only been riding again for about 3 1/2 months and have logged about 1100 miles during that time. I jumped back in pretty intensely and my neck may still be catching up. I do lots of resistance training and stretching- so it may just get better with time.
I just want to make sure that my LBS has me set up properly. I try and relax on the bike, but will continue to be aware of this.
I probably do crane my neck more than necessary, although I try not to do this as well.
On a side note, anyone use a chiropractor reguarly? I never have and this pain has me thinking about it.

longbeachgary- yeah I'm pretty proud of the 'nago. It is a joy to ride!
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Old 12-05-08, 10:24 PM
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If 3-4 hour rides are new to you, then as previous posters suggested, you might need to build up to it.

It looks like your neck is somewhat craned. You can straighten it out by imagining someone pulling on your sternum and get your chest muscles to help support you. (Hard to describe, sorry.) Again, it will take time to condition those muscles for long rides.

When I ride solo I'll take a minute or two to ride no-hands and stretch out my neck and shoulders.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:25 PM
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I do not think a shorter stem will help. For a photo your position does not look terribly bad. Learning to relax your arms and shoulders, bend your elbows a bit may help a bit but I think the reason for the locked elbows is to support your neck. I suggest you learn some stretching and strengthening exercises for your neck...that will help a lot.
A static photo really gives very little info about your position but is better than nothing.
I do see your handlebars are tilted up...the flats of the hooks are tilted up rather than parallel with the ground...that limits your ability to change positions...I suspect it to is to raise the brake hoods allowing a more upright position to reduce neck pain.

Honestly you are seated in a very upright position and should not be experiencing any neck pain.
While getting oneself fitted to the bike is valuable it is just not the science of measurements but also the art of dealing with the individuals physiology as well so you are comfortable, pain free...other than adjustment stiffness...and efficient. People are different and require someone that is aware of and works with such differences. Not all "fitters" think in such terms.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 12-05-08, 11:01 PM
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Nice butt, BTW.
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Old 12-05-08, 11:54 PM
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the fit doesn't look too bad from the pics you posted. The pain on the bike may be exacerbating a preexisting condition. So don't overlook things like poor posture, or hours behind a computer, old injuries etc. See a physio if you can't remedy with rest, stretching, and proper technique on the bike. Some things that help the people that I coach are to make sure that your elbows are relaxed and rotated slightly in towards your body so that you may lift your head with your chest rather than your neck. This takes practice, and conditioning so you have to really be aware of your posture on the bike while riding. Best of luck! and great bike!
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Old 12-06-08, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters
I do not think a shorter stem will help. For a photo your position does not look terribly bad. Learning to relax your arms and shoulders, bend your elbows a bit may help a bit but I think the reason for the locked elbows is to support your neck. I suggest you learn some stretching and strengthening exercises for your neck...that will help a lot.
A static photo really gives very little info about your position but is better than nothing.
I do see your handlebars are tilted up...the flats of the hooks are tilted up rather than parallel with the ground...that limits your ability to change positions...I suspect it to is to raise the brake hoods allowing a more upright position to reduce neck pain.

Honestly you are seated in a very upright position and should not be experiencing any neck pain.

While getting oneself fitted to the bike is valuable it is just not the science of measurements but also the art of dealing with the individuals physiology as well so you are comfortable, pain free...other than adjustment stiffness...and efficient. People are different and require someone that is aware of and works with such differences. Not all "fitters" think in such terms.

Good luck and keep us informed.
+1

Fitting is an ongoing process especially if you're new to riding, as you become more flexible you'll want to make changes so make sure the shop you're working with is willing to work with you.
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Old 12-06-08, 12:09 AM
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Do you change your position on the bike often? How often?
Do you sit up and stretch your neck, shrug your shoulders, and stretch whatever else everytime you change positions?
Do you grab the bars very hard?

If not, you should be moving around every now and then and making sure you don't tense up your shoulders. Keep a firm but loose grip on the bars and stretch every now and then.

The only thing I see with your position that glares out with me is your saddle height, but that's only because I like mine to be much higher than usual. Since you're not having issues with your knees/legs, I wouldn't touch the saddle!
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Old 12-06-08, 01:13 AM
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Great feedback from all- thanks. I am going to stick with the setup and keep working on stretch, relax, change hand position stuff. My hopes are to not only have the pain eventually subside, but to be able to ultimately get into a less upright position.
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