Neck pain - no matter the position

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Miles253
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am

by Miles253

Couple of pics on the setup

- The only ways to lessen the reach in the current set up will be to raise that 5mm spacer or fit an inline post.

- Saddle is pretty much level, Specialized Power which should give me adequate tilt

- I'll need to remove the integrated bar and swap it for a 110 stem and standard bar. To bring the bars closer. Part of the plan anyway as I was going to put the bars on a new bike.

I found some bike fit data from a BG fit so I'm going to see how far from that my current setup has drifted.ImageImageImage

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by Weenie


jlok
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

A quick question.

Does every bike has a sweetspot COG for best control? What I really mean is... if we do not sit at the optimal position for the best COG distribution (or the COG the bike designer really mean to have), will control be compromised?

So... if we just look at Frame Reach but ignore horizontal TT length (same reach but different seat post angle would result in different TT), even tho you could fit (ergo-wise) to the frame by adjusting saddle fore-aft, but the control would be sub-optimal... unless go full custom or finding the perfect geometry a stock frame offers?
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TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Miles253, I can't imagine riding with a level saddle with that amount of drop. Either my lower back would be super arched in order to keep my pelvis "upright" or my perineal tissue would be smushed. I still think we should ignore what scapie is suggesting. You should try a saddle with a more pronounced curve than the Power with the nose section tilted a 1 or 2 degrees down. Anything to encourage your back to straighten out. You mentioned earlier that you also feel discomfort if your cockpit gets too cramped. Others have suggesting relaxing your shoulders because you seem to be rolling them forward a bit.

TL;DR -> Straight back, push your shoulders back and your chest forward.

jlok, obviously the more aggro your position, the farther the CoG shifts forward. It does adversely affect handling over rough stuff. When I ride over gravel or potholes or other bumps, I sit more upright and shift my ass back on the saddle. Best not to think of CoG in bike-only terms. CoG only matters as a complete system...bike and rider. You shift that CoG accordingly when you corner/descent, ride over gravel, ride up hills, etc.

scapie
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:19 am

by scapie

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:08 am
Miles253, I can't imagine riding with a level saddle with that amount of drop. Either my lower back would be super arched in order to keep my pelvis "upright" or my perineal tissue would be smushed. I still think we should ignore what scapie is suggesting. You should try a saddle with a more pronounced curve than the Power with the nose section tilted a 1 or 2 degrees down. Anything to encourage your back to straighten out. You mentioned earlier that you also feel discomfort if your cockpit gets too cramped. Others have suggesting relaxing your shoulders because you seem to be rolling them forward a bit.

TL;DR -> Straight back, push your shoulders back and your chest forward.
This is the sort of thing you would hear from an inexperienced bike fitter at a lbc. someone who spends their time not listening to you but waiting to talk about themself and relating everything back to what i mentioned earlier - this is what i do and therfore it is what you should do.

good luck with solving your neck pain. keep persevering until you find the solution that works for you. if you want to discuss anything about what i mentioned earlier feel free to PM me.

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

scapie wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 11:34 am
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 9:08 am
Miles253, I can't imagine riding with a level saddle with that amount of drop. Either my lower back would be super arched in order to keep my pelvis "upright" or my perineal tissue would be smushed. I still think we should ignore what scapie is suggesting. You should try a saddle with a more pronounced curve than the Power with the nose section tilted a 1 or 2 degrees down. Anything to encourage your back to straighten out. You mentioned earlier that you also feel discomfort if your cockpit gets too cramped. Others have suggesting relaxing your shoulders because you seem to be rolling them forward a bit.

TL;DR -> Straight back, push your shoulders back and your chest forward.
This is the sort of thing you would hear from an inexperienced bike fitter at a lbc. someone who spends their time not listening to you but waiting to talk about themself and relating everything back to what i mentioned earlier - this is what i do and therfore it is what you should do.

good luck with solving your neck pain. keep persevering until you find the solution that works for you. if you want to discuss anything about what i mentioned earlier feel free to PM me.
Your attacking Tobin without actually offering anything of substance to refute his claim. I would be curious to hear why you think a nose-down saddle in the recently trending pronounced drop/forward reach position is bad. What Tobin said (regarding lowering of salle to open the pelvis) is inline with my understanding as well, with the downside that most amateurs can't even the pronounced drop/forward position in the first place to justify needing to tilt the saddle nose.
Last edited by iheartbianchi on Fri May 10, 2019 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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iheartbianchi
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by iheartbianchi

Double post sorry.
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otoman
Posts: 479
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by otoman

Late to the party. Looking at your first photos, your pelvis is tilted back too far and likely saddle too high translating to neck pain.

Check out your sacrum angle, it is very upright. You are compensating for too much tension in your hamstrings (too high of saddle) and likely wrong saddle shape for you. So from the sacrum your back curves ever so gracefully until the tops of your scapulas/shoulders are pointed towards the ground. Then your neck angle kinks hard upright to more or less replicate your sacrum angle.

I think the root cause of your neck pain is your inability in your current position to rotate the pelvis forward comfortably which then causes you to drop your shoulders so low on your current stack height that you have to force your head back to see.

So drop the saddle height until you can create a flat back with the tops of your scapulas/shoulders pointed in the same direction as your entire back. Then pedal. You should be able to maintain that position hinging only from the hip sockets as you pedal, with a nice stable pelvis (no rocking). All that will serve to open up the angle your cervical spine is being forced into now.

BTW I’m 190 cm and on a 58cm frame and have 200mm from fork crown to bottom of stem. I also use 180mm cranks. I went through the same issues as you and found that a properly shaped saddle (for me, wide flat nose) allowed proper support. Also my saddle height been more comfortable and powerful (glute engagement) when it has been lowered and also allows for a more stable pelvis and decreased tension on my entire posterior chain like you are experiencing.

Hope this helps.
Age and treachery shall overcome youth and skill

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Glad more people agree!

AJS914
Posts: 3479
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I've had on/off neck pain for a while. I started doing some of the chest pec stretches and rhomboid strengthening exercises for a couple of weeks and now I'm seeing the neck pain greatly reduced or non-existent. Today I did 3h40min on the bike without neck pain.


iheartbianchi wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:08 pm
I thought this was good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m65q4a2cREQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fgz5I6KLVs

There are of course specific neck strengthening exercises:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OvuxEkv6x4

Pretty standard stuff. Or if you have friends who play football/rugby, they can help you out as well :)

Miles253
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am

by Miles253

otoman wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:22 pm
Late to the party. Looking at your first photos, your pelvis is tilted back too far and likely saddle too high translating to neck pain.

Check out your sacrum angle, it is very upright. You are compensating for too much tension in your hamstrings (too high of saddle) and likely wrong saddle shape for you. So from the sacrum your back curves ever so gracefully until the tops of your scapulas/shoulders are pointed towards the ground. Then your neck angle kinks hard upright to more or less replicate your sacrum angle.

I think the root cause of your neck pain is your inability in your current position to rotate the pelvis forward comfortably which then causes you to drop your shoulders so low on your current stack height that you have to force your head back to see.

So drop the saddle height until you can create a flat back with the tops of your scapulas/shoulders pointed in the same direction as your entire back. Then pedal. You should be able to maintain that position hinging only from the hip sockets as you pedal, with a nice stable pelvis (no rocking). All that will serve to open up the angle your cervical spine is being forced into now.

BTW I’m 190 cm and on a 58cm frame and have 200mm from fork crown to bottom of stem. I also use 180mm cranks. I went through the same issues as you and found that a properly shaped saddle (for me, wide flat nose) allowed proper support. Also my saddle height been more comfortable and powerful (glute engagement) when it has been lowered and also allows for a more stable pelvis and decreased tension on my entire posterior chain like you are experiencing.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for your input, I hadn't considered my saddle height to be too great. I also do not usually use a regular saddle, I am always on a Specialized Power as it allows my hips to rotate more. I need to take some more pictures in my current set up.

I'll return my set up to normal and take some more photos with the the saddle dropped fractionally.

Thanks for your help
Specialized S-Works Venge | in progress
Rose Backroad | 9kg
Canyon Ultimate CF SL | 7.5kg

https://www.findyourroad.co.uk/
Instagram: @miles_bc

Miles253
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:32 am

by Miles253

A few more pictures in altered position. ImageImageImage

Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk

Specialized S-Works Venge | in progress
Rose Backroad | 9kg
Canyon Ultimate CF SL | 7.5kg

https://www.findyourroad.co.uk/
Instagram: @miles_bc

dim
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

otoman wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:22 pm

So drop the saddle height until you can create a flat back with the tops of your scapulas/shoulders pointed in the same direction as your entire back. Then pedal. You should be able to maintain that position hinging only from the hip sockets as you pedal, with a nice stable pelvis (no rocking). All that will serve to open up the angle your cervical spine is being forced into now.

Hope this helps.
Dunno ..... drop the saddle height and you have very sore knees and aching calves .....

maybe it's better to raise the handlebar, then your neck has less strain as you are more upright.... thats how guys setup their steel vintage touring bikes and they are able to ride 20hrs a day for several days

like I said in my earlier post: the frame looks too small to me
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TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4179
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Dim, dropping the saddle shouldn’t really affect the knees much at all, and definitely not the calves. Think about it for a second, there’s no such thing as knee hypoextension/underextension. As long as your knee tracking is still controlled, any knee pain can not be directly correlated to lower saddle position. Hell, the people who go on the longest tours via bicycle tend to lower their saddle position just to enjoy more back/shoulder/neck comfort. It doesn’t seem to affect their knees.

Likewise, try bending your ankles to simulate your pedal stroke with too low of a saddle position and too high of one at TDC. Pointing your toes down should engage your calves. This is why your calves engage while climbing steep stuff if you are actively pulling up through the back of the pedal stroke. This is also why running engages your calves, ankling down is what springs you forward. Now try pointing your toes up... Feel anything? Not really.

iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

otoman wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:22 pm
Late to the party. Looking at your first photos, your pelvis is tilted back too far and likely saddle too high translating to neck pain.

Check out your sacrum angle, it is very upright. You are compensating for too much tension in your hamstrings (too high of saddle) and likely wrong saddle shape for you. So from the sacrum your back curves ever so gracefully until the tops of your scapulas/shoulders are pointed towards the ground. Then your neck angle kinks hard upright to more or less replicate your sacrum angle.

I think the root cause of your neck pain is your inability in your current position to rotate the pelvis forward comfortably which then causes you to drop your shoulders so low on your current stack height that you have to force your head back to see.

So drop the saddle height until you can create a flat back with the tops of your scapulas/shoulders pointed in the same direction as your entire back. Then pedal. You should be able to maintain that position hinging only from the hip sockets as you pedal, with a nice stable pelvis (no rocking). All that will serve to open up the angle your cervical spine is being forced into now.

BTW I’m 190 cm and on a 58cm frame and have 200mm from fork crown to bottom of stem. I also use 180mm cranks. I went through the same issues as you and found that a properly shaped saddle (for me, wide flat nose) allowed proper support. Also my saddle height been more comfortable and powerful (glute engagement) when it has been lowered and also allows for a more stable pelvis and decreased tension on my entire posterior chain like you are experiencing.

Hope this helps.
Very informative post! I'm curious how much of sacrum angle is dependent on bike position as opposed to a simple muscular-skeletal imbalance in your body. What I mean is, is the bike position just aggravating a poor sacrum angle that is actually caused by muscular imbalances caused by sitting in front of a computer all day? So if you do proper core exercises / flexibility exercises, will the sacrum angle naturally correct itself on the current bike position without needing to change/lower saddle?
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by Weenie


iheartbianchi
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:17 am

by iheartbianchi

dim wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:37 pm
otoman wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:22 pm

So drop the saddle height until you can create a flat back with the tops of your scapulas/shoulders pointed in the same direction as your entire back. Then pedal. You should be able to maintain that position hinging only from the hip sockets as you pedal, with a nice stable pelvis (no rocking). All that will serve to open up the angle your cervical spine is being forced into now.

Hope this helps.
Dunno ..... drop the saddle height and you have very sore knees and aching calves .....

maybe it's better to raise the handlebar, then your neck has less strain as you are more upright.... thats how guys setup their steel vintage touring bikes and they are able to ride 20hrs a day for several days

like I said in my earlier post: the frame looks too small to me
For whatever it's worth, I ride a bike that is one size too small (intentionally, because I wanted to use a longer stem for better front-end stability) and I got rid of my neck/shoulder pain by jamming the saddle as forward as possible, lowering the saddle by half a centimeter and tipping the nose down ever so slightly (2 degrees or so). Now I can sit on my bike for hours at a time.
Bianchi Oltre XR4
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Bora Ultra 50 tubs
Viseon 5D / stock bits and parts

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FSA / Deda bits and parts

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