Home

As per the title I've just reached the 80km Mark with my cycling but I'm getting bad neck shoulder pain ache to the point it's almost unbearable. Is this a setup issue or a fitness one ????

12 comments

Avatar
kil0ran [913 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Almost certainly setup rather than general fitness. Necks are pretty strong so it will be a positional thing, big neck muscles aren't needed for cycling fitness.

Are you getting it in both shoulders? Side of neck or at the back?

I'm assuming you're meaning its kicking in at around the 80km point of the ride?

Avatar
dottigirl [819 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Yep - probably your setup. Reach too long (do your hands gravitate back as the ride goes on?), or too aggressive, etc. Bars could've dropped down, or be too wide, seat angle wrong...

Exception to this is if you're not curving the rest of your upper body and cricking your neck in one place. 

Got any pics of you on the bike? And the bike itself. 

Avatar
maviczap [196 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Go get a bike fit

I used to suffer with post ride neck pain, was caused by riding too stretched out, by riding a frame with too long a top tube + too longer stem. Probably about 2 - 3 cm too long compared to my current set up.

Avatar
Snowman77 [8 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Hi I'm getting it across both shoulders and neck 80km is the longest ride I've done so far, the first 80km there was a lot of hills so was getting lower back ache as well. Week later 80km flatish route just neck & shoulder but not as intese. As strange as it seems any pics of me on the bike are either stoped or slowing to a stop or wrong angle so doubt be much use.

Avatar
Snowman77 [8 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Hang on found two not sure if be any good

Avatar
Snowman77 [8 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

2

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

photo 1 - maybe you fell in a ditch?

photo 2 - I would say try angling your bars up a bit so they sit square to your grip 

you could also try moving your saddle forward a bit for a shorter reach - providing that doesn't mess up your pedal stroke

it's hard to say more without seeing you on the bike

Avatar
Snowman77 [8 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Thanks ill try angling bars first 

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Snowman77 wrote:

Thanks ill try angling bars first 

looking at your stem - I'm not sure if you can flip it to give you a more relaxed angle

with the bars - try just a couple of degrees - just to ease your weight slightly more onto the heels of your hands

as someone already pointed out - it may be only a centimetre or two adjustment that's needed

Avatar
kil0ran [913 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Snowman77 wrote:

Hi I'm getting it across both shoulders and neck 80km is the longest ride I've done so far, the first 80km there was a lot of hills so was getting lower back ache as well. Week later 80km flatish route just neck & shoulder but not as intese. As strange as it seems any pics of me on the bike are either stoped or slowing to a stop or wrong angle so doubt be much use.

Lower back pain often appears on hilly rides. My long route commute home is up hill pretty much all the way and until I sorted my position I'd get back pain on the way home but not on the way in to work.

It could be that you're braced rigid on the bike - try to make sure you're riding with soft elbows and also (if you're new to road bike shifters) that your hands are in the right place on the bars. I'd say they are as hand palsies (tingling, numb fingers) appear within 10-15km.

You could spend hours chasing the right position on your own though - go and have a mid-range bike fit done. You don't need all the saddle mapping and pedal tracking stuff at this stage, just an assessment of your flexibility which will define the right body angle. 

In my experience a small change (+10mm on my stem) made a huge difference to comfort and completely removed my lower back pain and hand numbness. I'd assumed that I was getting the pain because I was too far forward but what was actually happening is that I was braced on the bike and need to reach further forward to free up my core.

Avatar
alansmurphy [1823 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

I'd say 80km you're starting to move beyond leisure and towards sportive/endurance(ish) and 'training' needs to go beyond simply miles in the saddle (though this will help). The pain in the lower back on hilly versus a bit of neck/shoulders suggests potentially just teething and slight adjustment/training problems. We can all still get issues if we go beyond our norm; distance, speed, wind, more time on the drops etc.

 

The advice on set up given is all sound and also the moving your hands around the bars, perhaps get out of the saddle etc. Also consider core training on none bike days, exercises for the shoulders, back and neck - I am currently doing these after a shoulder op and will definitely incorporate into the 'norm going forwards as they're making me feel much better. Stretch before riding and when you take a stop.

 

Oh and one that hasn't been mentioned, is the saddle height right... 

Avatar
Snowman77 [8 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Cheers for all the help guys saddle height is good according to the setup bibles, I think it could be my core strength so some work to be done on that front I think, will also try some small tweeks to the bike. Cheers all