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Persistent shoulders/neck pain after bike fit


Stevie G
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9 minutes ago, Paul Ruinaard said:

Okay that's subjective. Personally I am a lot worse off after a long ride around the cradle than i am after the CTCT, especially neck and shoulders. Ache for days. But like i said if there was a way to fix that via setup i am interested. I am 57 though so i just assumed its normal.

 

I'm very far from being any sort of expert in the matter. But I'll give my opinion based on what I've read and experienced.

I've always suffered badly with neck and shoulder pain, compounded my being slumped over in front of a computer for to many hours a day in my earlier life and incorrect bike fit. So much so that after some races I'd be man down for the rest of the day with a migraine type headache.

When i got my current bike in 2019 I did some basic fit, but then decided to go and get a proper bike fit done. Even though the fitter advised on narrower bars and shorter stem, the changes he made already made my neck and shoulders feel better. And now after his latest changes a month or so back I'm almost pain free after 3 hours on the bike.

So yes your flexibility goes down a bit with age, but your bike setup should change to compensate for it.

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3 hours ago, ChrisF said:

 

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. 

I've used the same person and I am suuuuuuuuuper happy with the results. No more back, neck or knee pain. 

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28 minutes ago, Paul Ruinaard said:

Hmm so maybe i am missing something here but if you on average ride a 2.5 hour ride max for your Saturday ride but now go out and do a 4,5 hour to 5 hour race over much more bumpy roads you are saying that  shoulders and neck shouldn't hurt. I normally am very sore after CTCT as the roads are very bumpy and quite fast along misty cliffs etc. I was always of the opinion that if you aren't trained for 5 hours you aren't going to do well when you get there. Like the man says 55+ is vastly different as well so this is something  that is also age and fitness related. Your body hasn't got the experience?

So are you saying a good setup will be able to address this? Can you give me more details as to how? I am riding  a Specialized Roubaix already so i haven't got a flat seating position like when i was a kid? I am just    interested as it would appear i am missing something around setup. 

Which setup framework would you recommend as maybe i am sorely mistaken.

 

 

I typically do 1 to 2 hour rides, with the odd 3 hour ride.  Did a 7 hour ride earlier this month.  

 

Other than my sit-bones and leg muscles NO issues.  Actually, muscles were fine 48 hours later for anther ride.  My sit-bones was fine for the first 30 minutes, then mild discomfort.

 

 

ELDRON - your thoughts on the sit-bones ?  Just not used to longer rides ?  Or at what point do I do more homework on this item ?

Edited by ChrisF
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Okay so everyone is talking in riddles like these bike fitters are secretive people you need to know the handshake for. Spit it out.....

Names and locations. I am in Fourways. Like i said i just assumed that this couldn't be fixed. Sitting her now hunched over a keyboard i can still feel the aches in my upper back and neck and shoulders from yesterday.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Eldron said:

I use www.bikefitting.com hardware and software (as well as tons of supportive equipment). Within the ROAD setup of the software there are 4 presets for position ranging from COMFORT to PRO.

Depending on your flexibility, conditioning, body geometry etc I would use one of these as a base (as an example I use SPORT for my Gran Fondo riders).

From there I would make adjustments based on videos of you pedalling on various pieces of equipment I have.

If I had to chose just one dimension to solve back/neck pain it would be saddle-bar drop and length. If everything is average (flex, body etc) at your age I'd recommend a drop of less than 75mm. There are probably 8 factors influencing neck/back pain in total though and it could be any one of those (or a combination).

 

Looking at OPs first post my money is on too long  reach.

415 is comfortable for me and I'm 7cm taller with short torso. I'm guessing bought a size up on the frame.

A cheap experiment is to use a shorter stem and and check the comfort levels after a long ride

 

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4 minutes ago, DieselnDust said:

Looking at OPs first post my money is on too long  reach.

415 is comfortable for me and I'm 7cm taller with short torso. I'm guessing bought a size up on the frame.

A cheap experiment is to use a shorter stem and and check the comfort levels after a long ride

 

or too much saddle to bar drop. that was always my issue...but also because i always rode bikes that were too small for me and that meant seatposts that went to the moon lol

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3 minutes ago, Paul Ruinaard said:

Okay so everyone is talking in riddles like these bike fitters are secretive people you need to know the handshake for. Spit it out.....

Names and locations. I am in Fourways. Like i said i just assumed that this couldn't be fixed. Sitting her now hunched over a keyboard i can still feel the aches in my upper back and neck and shoulders from yesterday.

 

 

what you should have been asking then is "where can I go for a bike fit"

I use Richard Baxter, The Bike Fit Gut (thats his company name), he operates out of a few bike shops, so check out his site and pick a location close to you.

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1 minute ago, MORNE said:

or too much saddle to bar drop. that was always my issue...but also because i always rode bikes that were too small for me and that meant seatposts that went to the moon lol

again its not a one size fits all, I had to little drop. but also my hoods needed to be rotated to change my wrist angle

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39 minutes ago, MORNE said:

or too much saddle to bar drop. that was always my issue...but also because i always rode bikes that were too small for me and that meant seatposts that went to the moon lol

 

44 minutes ago, DieselnDust said:

Looking at OPs first post my money is on too long  reach.

415 is comfortable for me and I'm 7cm taller with short torso. I'm guessing bought a size up on the frame.

A cheap experiment is to use a shorter stem and and check the comfort levels after a long ride

 

Looking at the OP's set up - it is way more conservative than even my "beginner" set up (and the bikefitting.com system is already known as quite a conservative set up) .

18mm drop and 415mm reach are both really conservative - without knowing body dimensions and flexibility/age I would probably lengthen him out a bit to create a more evenly curved back. I'm pretty sure he is crunching his cervical spine and/or hunching his shoulders and locking his arms which is causing the pain*

*this is a complete stab in the dark - I haven't even met the guy or seen the guy on a bike.

In other news - measuring saddle set back to the point of the saddle is not useful. Saddles have changed shape dramatically over the last 5 years and the variation in length makes this way of measuring too inconsistent**

**that said it is a good way of recording the customer's bike position. It shouldn't be used for pelvic location.

Edit: The saddle set back of the OP also looks too short...and out of the UCI legal limit. My updated recommendation is move the saddle back to shift the balance of weight to the rear of the bike. This will take some weight off the hands (reducing neck, shoulder and arm stress). That will correct the cramped neck too (if that is an issue).

My post is a fine example of why bikefitting is so complicated and individual (and arm chair experting is impossible 🙂 )

Edited by Eldron
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3 hours ago, Eldron said:

 

Looking at the OP's set up - it is way more conservative than even my "beginner" set up (and the bikefitting.com system is already known as quite a conservative set up) .

18mm drop and 415mm reach are both really conservative - without knowing body dimensions and flexibility/age I would probably lengthen him out a bit to create a more evenly curved back. I'm pretty sure he is crunching his cervical spine and/or hunching his shoulders and locking his arms which is causing the pain*

*this is a complete stab in the dark - I haven't even met the guy or seen the guy on a bike.

In other news - measuring saddle set back to the point of the saddle is not useful. Saddles have changed shape dramatically over the last 5 years and the variation in length makes this way of measuring too inconsistent**

**that said it is a good way of recording the customer's bike position. It shouldn't be used for pelvic location.

Edit: The saddle set back of the OP also looks too short...and out of the UCI legal limit. My updated recommendation is move the saddle back to shift the balance of weight to the rear of the bike. This will take some weight off the hands (reducing neck, shoulder and arm stress). That will correct the cramped neck too (if that is an issue).

My post is a fine example of why bikefitting is so complicated and individual (and arm chair experting is impossible 🙂 )

So low, long and slack then is the way to go .............

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Richard Baxter is phenomenal. 

Does bike fits at Mellovelo so close enough for you.

I've been riding competitively for 15 years plus and thought I knew my stuff setting up all my own bikes.

I eventually started getting neck and shoulder pain. 

Went for a fit and basically all but the saddle height contact points shifted plenty.

At first I felt to compact compared to my self setup. Took a few km to get used to it.

I then found I could put more power down and it felt less strained.

Funny I chose to go against advice and kept the bars high as it was my demo bike and needed to be able to offer customers options. I still had some neck and shoulder issues.

My new bike arrived(same frame, custom paint job) and I followed Richard's advice and actually slammed the stem.

Guess what, no more neck and shoulder pain!

Get a professional bike fit it's the best money you can spend. Period.

There is no need for pain on bikes under any circumstances.

Edited by Furbz
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I'm 61. I do 7 -10 hours a week. I did a 3h30  some of the 7 passes George chunter (longest ride for 6 months by a good way, first on gravel roads this year) on tar and gravel, on my gravel bike last week. Corrugations too. No issues other than a pounding in the bars during,  fine afterwards.  Is this a bikefit issue, or could this be a weak upper back,  deltoid, rhomboids etc? If your back feels tight, it's often weakness. Desk hockey? Just asking.. Easy exercises could maybe cure this,  if it's the problem. 

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12 hours ago, Furbz said:

Richard Baxter is phenomenal. 

Does bike fits at Mellovelo so close enough for you.

I've been riding competitively for 15 years plus and thought I knew my stuff setting up all my own bikes.

I eventually started getting neck and shoulder pain. 

Went for a fit and basically all but the saddle height contact points shifted plenty.

At first I felt to compact compared to my self setup. Took a few km to get used to it.

I then found I could put more power down and it felt less strained.

Funny I chose to go against advice and kept the bars high as it was my demo bike and needed to be able to offer customers options. I still had some neck and shoulder issues.

My new bike arrived(same frame, custom paint job) and I followed Richard's advice and actually slammed the stem.

Guess what, no more neck and shoulder pain!

Get a professional bike fit it's the best money you can spend. Period.

There is no need for pain on bikes under any circumstances.

Booked him for tomorrow so i am going to tell him about this string.

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10 minutes ago, Paul Ruinaard said:

Booked him for tomorrow so i am going to tell him about this string.

In all my dealings with SA fitters and related people in the cycle industry I've only heard good things about Richard Baxter. A fine choice 🙂

Please give us some feedback when you're done!

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