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Old 02-28-14, 11:52 PM   #26
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Both my son and I had a similar problem. It turns out both of us were reaching too far. (So much for my BF handle.) In our case, it felt like the shoulders are slightly shifted forwards which slightly pushed the neck and spine downward, which equaled pain at the top of the spine / bottom of the neck in the long run.
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Old 03-05-14, 03:42 PM   #27
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Re "reach" when I got a new drop bar bike to replace my old touring bike, I ki da always knew the reach on the old bike was a bit too long, and the new bikes shorter reach got rid of similar neck issues I had. This is why I wonder about if the problem is being stretched out just a bit too much. A couple of cm's could make a world of difference and trying different stems is easy and cheap to try. A good bike store should be able to help with trying diff ones that make distance differences easily.
Good luck figuring it out--i would suggest taking some good measurements and noting them down to have some base numbers to relate to changes. That way you'll know the exact changes with a "x" length stem with a "y" angle.
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Old 03-05-14, 04:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wowk View Post
Ok, so it may not belong in the touring thread, but considering its related to long distances and an imminent tour I thought I would seek some experienced advice.

I am 4 weeks off starting my first fully loaded tour, from London to Turkey. I have been undertaking 70-100km training rides as of late. Everything is working smoothly, except around about the 30-40 km mark I begin experiencing upper back and neck pain. It begins at the very top of the spine at the base of my neck. I feel as if my muscles are having trouble keeping my head upright. After a nights sleep I usually experience pain on one side of my neck following a long ride.

My bike has been properly fitted to me, and as far as I have been told I have a sound riding posture (this may of course not be the case).

I am very afraid this issue may present a serious impediment to not only my first tour, but every attempt at a tour thereafter and therefore may prevent me from doing something that I really want to undertake in my life.

Any experiences with neck pain that occurs after long distances? Specifically when touring? How have you cured/prevented such pain? Any tips or pointers? Anything would help.

Thanks in advance.
Well for one I would ditch the diamond frame bicycle and invest in a recumbent with a comfortable seat. then you can have you neck straight and don't half to lean over your bars. Cause my neck and back hurt all the time on a df and so did my wrist but after getting a recumbent like my tour easy all the pains went away .It took a little while to get used to the recumbent and to dial it in to my riding style but now it is like a extention of my body . Even the recumbent legs have gotten there.I used to ride diamond frames for years and for thousands of miles so I have had my share of time on them I have had my recumbent about 1 year and I have rode longer on it than I would my df cause of pain.
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Old 03-06-14, 06:52 AM   #29
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When I suffered from neck pain I used Aero bars to give me some relief on long rides. I understand that they were invented for this reason and not for time-trialling as is usually thought. Resting your elbows on the pads took the strain off my neck and shoulder muscles.

That said as tilting the head back has been mentioned, I would say that if this is required then the rider may be too stretched out and requires a shorter distance from saddle to Bars. I speak as one who tore shoulder muscles from exactly this problem.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:04 AM   #30
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Good points all!

For me, raising the bar made a world of difference. That well known riding position that worked for me as a younger man was no longer cutting it. As well, reach also played a factor. A well respected bike fitter in my area taught me that with proper fit my hands should fall naturally right on the hoods. That, without reaching. That guy knows his stuff!

Good comments about upper body conditioning on this thread. I could use some of that!
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Old 03-06-14, 09:05 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Wowk View Post
I have for some time thought my saddle to be a tad high. Thanks for the advice on this. I will first give dropping my saddle to below handlebar height a go before looking at getting a stem raiser. Cheers.
Adjusting your saddle height could end up causing leg/knee problems. Without seeing your bike, it is hard to know exactly what you'll need to raise the bars. Not seeing pictures of you on the bike makes it hard to tell if there's a fit problem. I've never been professionally fit, but I would imagine that the fitter's bias could affect how they interpret a "good" fit for you.
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Old 03-06-14, 09:29 AM   #32
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I have arthritis in my neck and ride with the bars level with the seat and stem short enough so I don't lean to far forward. I constantly keep moving my head side to side as well as up and down, I still have some pain but not unbearable.
As a preventative I take a couple Aleve first thing in the morning, they help a lot as I have neck pain whether I ride or not. I am 69 years old and that works for me.
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Old 03-06-14, 04:06 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Wowk View Post
After a nights sleep I usually experience pain on one side of my neck following a long ride.
Lots of good advice in this thread. Do you sleep on your side?
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