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Persistent shoulders/neck pain after bike fit


Stevie G
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Hi Guys

Just wanted your input on what my issue could be wrt my upper back pain/shoulder blades and sore stiff neck and slightly lame in arms. I heard ridden a 5 hour ride on Saturday up to Chappies and back. I did my bike fit in the week. my pedal reach is perfect now, but i still have the upper back issue.

My height is 1.65m and see my bike measurements below.

Would appreciate your feedback.

 

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My first suggestion is to do stretching (various) prior to your ride. One is to lie on the bed on your stomach and lift your head up and prop your head in your hands and hold that stretch will watching TV or catching up on social media (in other words - making use of idle time normally spent just sitting).

If you haven't been riding for long, the handlebar drop could be a bit too much for you - I don't know what it was previous to this.

If you have had any prangs/crashes recently a session with a good chiropractor can sort out spine alignment and headache issues.

Sometimes a quick fix is when a headache develops is to stick your thumb onto the pressure points at the top of you shoulders about half an inch from the base of your neck. Find the most sore point and put as much pressure as you can on it for 30 secs X 2 (both sides if sore). This could well start reducing your headache in about twenty minutes. Drink lots of water immediately after the ride. A rehydrate solution also helps generally.

Lastly - go back to your BikeFit guy/gal with your complaint. Trust that you get it sorted out soon.

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Solely my own experience - not saying that Ergofit is wrong and right or incorrect or whatever.

I had my bike set up through Ergofit years ago and had lots of issues with itb, hands etc etc. I just thought I was unfit, unconditioned.

Then just before covid, I built a bike and Evolution Cycles finished off the last bits for me and Trevor Court did a bike fitting for me. Compared to my old Ergofit measurements, the saddle is 1.5cm lower, stem 2cm shorter and 1cm higher.

Really comfortable, no more itb and I can transfer far more power.

Perhaps raise your handlebars and shorter your stem a little.

This is just my experience.

 

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11 hours ago, Stevie G said:

Hi Guys

Just wanted your input on what my issue could be wrt my upper back pain/shoulder blades and sore stiff neck and slightly lame in arms. I heard ridden a 5 hour ride on Saturday up to Chappies and back. I did my bike fit in the week. my pedal reach is perfect now, but i still have the upper back issue.

My height is 1.65m and see my bike measurements below.

Would appreciate your feedback.

 

Screenshot_20210926_213352.jpg

Good morning Stevie G

I have sent you a PM

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Any bikefitment software or tool is only as good as the person using it and interpreting the data. Wether this is STT, Retul, Trek, Shimano or EF. 
 

Going back to Stevie post above, we at S2S will correct and attend to this once I have the info in the PM sent. 

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Hi Stevey,

I ride mtb but i thought i would share the following with you. I had the exact same issues on my previous bike which was a large. I am 1.86m, in theory i should fit. Every single mtb race i did i got massive stiff shoulders, numb hands, neck stuffed, could not take it anymore. Had a bike fit, slightly longer stem, did not get better. I ended up selling it, got a dual sus spark but in XL 😮 as it was a second hand / demo. From the time i got on the bike i felt comfy. I was so much more stretched out, to this day, after many rides, races, no issues at all. My bike might be oversized but i love it. Then again, the rc world cup versions i hear are slightly smaller but its still an XL. My seat height versus bar height is closer now, my stem is 6 degree rise. I might not look like Nino with a slammed stem, but i am comfy and not in pain. For fits and giggles, maybe try a mates larger bike with a complete different set up / reach and just see how it feels. Good luck though, its not lekka going thru what you are, i had it for 2 years.  

 

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Bikefits are hugely individual things and without knowing your body dimensions, flexibility, power, type of riding, injuries etc there is little to no way anyone can give meaningful advice.

Like John says be wary of "fit by numbers" style fitters* - it probably works for the majority of riders but anyone who isn't average/normal will have issues.

*this is not aimed at ErgoFit - just a general comment.

Edit: One small bit of advice though - if they have made significant changes to your hand position it may take a few rides for your body to adjust. Give it another 4 or 5 rides to establish a baseline then give the guys at ErgoFit some feedback and address the issues during your follow up session.

Edited by Eldron
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How experienced are you at riding those distances and how hard are you holding the bars. Reason is if you havent ridden that distance and are nervous and gripped the bars a little harder over rough or bumpy roads it's no surprise that you are stiff. Setup wont solve that problem. I would suggest you consciously focus on relaxing your upper body and then monitoring your progress. For example after every CTCT with the bumpy roads and high speeds my upper body i.e. neck and shoulders, takes a pounding. I don't get these issues doing the same distances and types of rides in the cradle.

Just FYI my fork broke and i did an MTB ride with an almost rigid fork. Nearly killed my back and shoulders. the difference when it was replaced was huge.

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42 minutes ago, Eldron said:

Bikefits are hugely individual things and without knowing your body dimensions, flexibility, power, type of riding, injuries etc there is little to no way anyone can give meaningful advice.

Like John says be wary of "fit by numbers" style fitters* - it probably works for the majority of riders but anyone who isn't average/normal will have issues.

*this is not aimed at ErgoFit - just a general comment.

Edit: One small bit of advice though - if they have made significant changes to your hand position it may take a few rides for your body to adjust. Give it another 4 or 5 rides to establish a baseline then give the guys at ErgoFit some feedback and address the issues during your follow up session.

 

A well know bike fitter in our area spends more than 30 minutes with the RIDER before even looking at the bike.  Once she understands the riders medical history, flexibility, core strength, etc, only then does she start with the "actual" bike setup. 

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Any 5 hour ride on a road bike will cause aches and pains .You need a really strong core for that amount of time on the bike and being a road bike even more .You don't mention your age .At 25 years old it is slightly abnormal .At age 55 it is normal .Try logic first .Age weight ,fitness level ,comfort on the bike ,time when symptom's start etc. Ride with a Tool in your pocket and adjust the riding position until it feels right .I have never had a bike fit in ten years of riding .Find your own comfort and keep on adjusting until things fall into place .it is not an exact science 

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Just now, eala said:

Any 5 hour ride on a road bike will cause aches and pains .You need a really strong core for that amount of time on the bike and being a road bike even more .You don't mention your age .At 25 years old it is slightly abnormal .At age 55 it is normal .Try logic first .Age weight ,fitness level ,comfort on the bike ,time when symptom's start etc. Ride with a Tool in your pocket and adjust the riding position until it feels right .I have never had a bike fit in ten years of riding .Find your own comfort and keep on adjusting until things fall into place .it is not an exact science 

No. Just no. The only place that should hurt after 5 hours is your legs - and that is only if you go hard enough to make them hurt.

This "cycling IS pain" myth needs to die. There is sufficient knowledge, experience, technology, hardware and software in modern bike fitting to solve the vast majority of problems. Try it - you'll love cycling even more when it doesn't hurt you.

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1 minute ago, Eldron said:

No. Just no. The only place that should hurt after 5 hours is your legs - and that is only if you go hard enough to make them hurt.

This "cycling IS pain" myth needs to die. There is sufficient knowledge, experience, technology, hardware and software in modern bike fitting to solve the vast majority of problems. Try it - you'll love cycling even more when it doesn't hurt you.

have to agree

I used to be in the same school of thought as eala, then I had a bike fit and most of the pain went away.

I made adjustments after that to all my contact points (new saddle, new pedals and cleats, new shoes, new bar, new stem) and made micro adjustments as I went along as I thought I knew what I was doing. My biggest problem was still neck and shoulder pain.

Decided about month or so back to go for a follow up bike fit. Guess what, every single one of the contact points were adjusted in the opposite direction to what I thought, the result. Hours on the bike now with hardly any discomfort.

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2 minutes ago, ouzo said:

have to agree

I used to be in the same school of thought as eala, then I had a bike fit and most of the pain went away.

I made adjustments after that to all my contact points (new saddle, new pedals and cleats, new shoes, new bar, new stem) and made micro adjustments as I went along as I thought I knew what I was doing. My biggest problem was still neck and shoulder pain.

Decided about month or so back to go for a follow up bike fit. Guess what, every single one of the contact points were adjusted in the opposite direction to what I thought, the result. Hours on the bike now with hardly any discomfort.

That is a pretty standard story at my shop 🙂

Bikefitting has come a long way since the days of Lemond's 0.883% of inseam calculation.

3D motion detecting dynamic fitting systems, dual 3D power meter based pedaling analysis, saddle pressure mapping and a variety of other high tech methods are now the norm.

 

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1 minute ago, Eldron said:

That is a pretty standard story at my shop 🙂

Bikefitting has come a long way since the days of Lemond's 0.883% of inseam calculation.

3D motion detecting dynamic fitting systems, dual 3D power meter based pedaling analysis, saddle pressure mapping and a variety of other high tech methods are now the norm.

 

And a scented scarf for the sweat and a full sports massage after 30 minutes on the trainer .Siestog ! Must be a Slaapstad thing 

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1 minute ago, eala said:

And a scented scarf for the sweat and a full sports massage after 30 minutes on the trainer .Siestog ! Must be a Slaapstad thing 

no, its a new better way of doing things thing.

 

I started cycling (as in doing races) in the 90s, back then we went on the eyeball method. 

One hand distance between crotch and cross bar when standing over the bike

tip of fingers to elbow being the distance from bars to seat tip

leg straight at 6 O''clock position on cranks

 

But thank goodness for sports science and better tech.

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