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My neck hurts !

LowrideLowride Posts: 214
edited October 2011 in Road beginners
I`m been mountain biking for over 15 years and over the past three years I`ve got more into road, esp during the winter. I bought a road bike about 6 weeks ago, been out on it about three times in the last ten days. Really enjoying it but..

After about twenty miles the back of my neck begins to hurt. I mentioned this in my LBS and they said I should come in for a Turbo Session or something so they could set the bike up. I did`nt buy the bike from them as they don`t stock the brand..

Just wondered if anybody has any ideas as to why I get a sore neck after 20+ miles and what might stop it. I don`t tend to have my head very far down when I`m riding as I like to look quite far ahead as the roads are littered with pot holes etc
Specialized til I die


  • lemoncurdlemoncurd Posts: 1,428
    How big is the drop from your saddle to your stem?

    It maybe (and I'm guessing here as you haven't posted a picture of your bike) that the saddle is too high and/or the stem is too low.

    If your bike is setup OK then you could try and exercise your neck by stretching and moving whilst you're on your bike.

    Or it maybe that you're body isn't used to long rides and that the problem will go when you are.
  • I have the same problem - I'm principally a mountain biker and when I ride road my neck complains. Are you long in the body versus the legs? That's part of my problem. But the main thing is just maintaining the constant head position with your head raised. In mountain biking there is so much movement and the riding position is that much more vertical - so less constant strain on the posterior muscle in your neck.

    Solution is regular stretching, neck strengthening exercises and just more road cycling.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,445
    This is a common problem for people new to a road bike setup and it should get better with time.

    I think it's just because you are constantly using the muscles in the back of your neck to keep your head up, and if they are not used to it they will get tired or cramp up after a while.
  • SecteurSecteur Posts: 1,971
    Very common - it's due to the new position - you're (relatively) little neck has to hold your (relatively) big head at a funny new angle.

    Until your neck muscles compensate & get stronger it'll keep happening.

    Used to plague me - after about 8 weeks it never happened again.
  • I'm a mountain biker, recently begun road. I had problems with my neck but have found that after 4 solid months on the bike with a few neck stretches before, during and after a ride the problem is no longer with me
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040

    This site is new to me - very useful. Thanks.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • i found it was none of that. I was told i should use a large road bike frame and went on a few rides with and after about 20 miles the back of my neck would really hurt. I was hanging my head to relieve my neck.

    I had enough and used a medium frame and found that a large frame would make me stretch forward. Hey presto since the first ride not a single neck pain since
  • mrwibblemrwibble Posts: 980
    Too stretched out on the bike or handlebars too low in relation to saddle height.
  • bunny hops?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Are you using an MTB helmet with a peak on the road? The lower frontal position on a road bike can mean that you are tilting your head upwards more than usual to see past the peak. Some people get the same pains when wearing a peaked casquette under their helmet.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • LowrideLowride Posts: 214
    Thanks for the replies..

    Yes I am using a mountain bike helmet for my road riding. It does have a plastic peak on it. It can be removed very easily, I might do that and see if it helps.
    When Leisure Lakes built the bike for me they adjusted the seat for my height. However, I really struggled on the hills with the seat at the height they suggested. I was`nt extending my legs anywhere near enough at that height so I`ve raised it and the next ride I went up the same hills alot easier.
    Personally I like to have my seat post high, I`m 6.4` and get full use of my legs. If they are`nt outstreched enough I don`t feel though I`m using them to their full capability. Me highering the seat post probably means the stem is`nt at the right height now. It also makes sense that my neck muscles need to get stronger. When mountain biking we`re always looking for obstacles like ditches and roots so never get a low down stance. I don`t have a picture of my bike to hand but will post one if that will help

    Specialized til I die
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Sore neck is certainly something I have suffered with on longer rides and have had to come up with various strategies to help the problem.

    Certainly position is the biggest contributor to any aches and pains you get, and a bike fitting session can hopefully minimise that problem.

    Exercising and stretching your neck and shoulders as you ride along can help dramatically - even just take your hand off the bars and shake it about down by your side can help, along with rolling your neck.

    Learn to drink and eat with both hands - I suffered neck pains on the left side of my neck, I have always drunk and eaten with my right hand (therefore, more pressure being put on my left arm as it supports me whilst I drink). I am, slowly, learning to alternate which hand gets my bottle out - sounds weird, but I really struggle with using my left hand to do things like that - but I am working on it.

    Keep your neck warm - even in summer, a cool evening draft can bring on neck pain - I use a buff on all but the very hottest days and definitely as soon as the temperature starts to drop.

    That's about my lot - but a few little changes have made a big difference to me. Good luck!
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    Just something I read:

    After a few miles, your posture may be an issue. You may be straightening your arms and letting your body fall forward - letting your collar bones take the weight.

    Try to ensure you keep your arms slightly bent and curve your shoulders down.
  • esspeebeeesspeebee Posts: 174
    I've had pain in the back of my neck and shoulders on long rides before, because I was riding with my arms locked straight and leaning too much on the bars. If your arms are tense, try dropping your elbows and relaxing your shoulders while riding. If you're gripping hard on the bars, that can also cause you to tense up with similar results.
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