back/neck ache

open topic, for anything cycling related.

back/neck ache

Postby todd99 » Mon May 07, 2007 8:45 pm

Just recently I got back into training after about a 3 week break I handled the ride fine but I noticed the slight pain in my back and neck as I usually get


I awoke the next morning with a sore back and a killer neck ache...i did a bit of googling and read a site that claimed sore neck and back can be cause by incorrect seating positing and haveing the bars to low or you need to change the stem.....i have since given this a bit of thought and decided that this is probley because my frame is a bit small and i must have my seat up quite high......i have decided that if i raise my bars i will not be bending over quite so much solving my back/neck problems

....I how ever am not sure if it is even possible to raise the bars???...how do u raise them??......do you think my? Theory is correct????.....what should I do?
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by BNA » Mon May 07, 2007 9:19 pm

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Postby europa » Mon May 07, 2007 9:19 pm

It could be the drop between the seat and the bars causing your trouble, but it could also be something else. Getting a proper bike fitting might be a good idea if the pain continues.

Modern bikes are designed to have the seat a couple of metres out of the downtube, so don't go making snap judgements about the size of your frame - you may be on a small frame, but it may not be as small as you think.

If the bike shop that prepared the bike originally cut the steering tube off (which they usually do after mounting the bars as low as possible), you can't lift the bars using the bits currently on the bike - if some of the tube is sticking above the neck, you can raise it up the tube.

You can however, lift the bars by changing components.

Firstly, the neck. You can buy necks with different angles that raise or lower the bars. Sometimes the angles are such that just turning your current neck upside down will do the same thing, but you are most likely looking at a new neck - BBB make a range of them and are readily available through the shops.

I just fitted a BBB neck to the Black Beast with an angle of 30 degrees (above a right angle to the steering tube) - the standard neck on the bike had an angle of 17 degrees. This raised the bars by nearly 2" - I like the bars to be at the same height as the seat.

The other way of raising the bars is to use a neck extender. This is a tube that bolts over the top of the steering tube, effectively making it longer, thus allowing you to mount your neck higher. I have one fitted to my Sow's Ear and you can see it in the photos in thisarticle from my website. I dont' think this is as good a solution as you are adding a bolt on fitting to the system and what can be bolted on can unbolt itself when you least expect it. It has shown no signs of trouble on the Sow's Ear, but she doesn't get anything like the use my Black Beast gets.

Richard
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Postby gururug » Mon May 07, 2007 9:50 pm

Sorry for the hijak but I am also getting a bit of neck pain.

This seem to be on the left side. I noticed whiles riding that my head is slightly to the right of the neck.

The other clue is that when i'm riding, i often find that my right hand is in the brake hood but my left finds its way onto the tops.

Are my arms different lengths maybe???
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Postby todd99 » Mon May 07, 2007 10:18 pm

gururug wrote:Sorry for the hijak but I am also getting a bit of neck pain.

This seem to be on the left side. I noticed whiles riding that my head is slightly to the right of the neck.

The other clue is that when i'm riding, i often find that my right hand is in the brake hood but my left finds its way onto the tops.

Are my arms different lengths maybe???


lol well if your arms length are that noticable i sugest u consult you gp
but mabi you subconsiously twist a little on the seat to protect your package?? :D
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Postby todd99 » Mon May 07, 2007 10:22 pm

oh and by the way europa you reply to every thred posted on this site
you are there for my hero :D
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Postby gururug » Mon May 07, 2007 10:36 pm

Yes package adjustment ....you could be onto something
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Postby Mr888 » Mon May 07, 2007 11:33 pm

europa wrote:
Modern bikes are designed to have the seat a couple of metres out of the downtube...


Richard, you MUST be a GIANT!!!! :lol:
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Postby europa » Tue May 08, 2007 8:04 am

Mr888 wrote:
europa wrote:
Modern bikes are designed to have the seat a couple of metres out of the downtube...


Richard, you MUST be a GIANT!!!! :lol:


I was going to say kilometers but didn't want to exagerate :roll:

Richard
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Postby europa » Tue May 08, 2007 8:04 am

todd99 wrote:oh and by the way europa you reply to every thred posted on this site
you are there for my hero :D


Aww shucks :oops:

Richard
thanks
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Postby tuco » Tue May 08, 2007 9:38 am

europa wrote:
Mr888 wrote:
europa wrote:
Modern bikes are designed to have the seat a couple of metres out of the downtube...


Richard, you MUST be a GIANT!!!! :lol:


I was going to say kilometers but didn't want to exagerate :roll:

Richard


I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue May 08, 2007 11:01 am

todd99 wrote:oh and by the way europa you reply to every thred posted on this site
you are there for my hero :D


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Postby pospete » Tue May 08, 2007 7:46 pm

I've got back ache but at least I know what caused it :lol:
Talk to the hand
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Postby gururug » Tue May 08, 2007 9:29 pm

Ive been thinking of possible causes for my neck issue;

Which way do you turn your head to look behind ? (always right yeah?)
You shifting more with the right shifter than the left, so you have more constant weight on the left

I think it is these two factors alone that are causing the issue (well they have led to me developing a poor posture where I lean more on the left so my body is positioned slightly over the right of centre.
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Postby europa » Tue May 08, 2007 9:42 pm

Dunno mate. Most modern bikes allow you to shift with the weight evenly on your hands (you use the fingers). Again, you don't ride with your head over your shoulder looking for incoming fuzzwits. I can see what you're getting at, but if you are riding off centre, it's more likely to be in response to problems with your body than something on the bike.

The only bike related things I can think of would be a twisted seat or bars, perhaps twisted forkes or a misaligned rear wheel, something that would force the bike to turn one way that you have to compensate for, but for them to cause physical problems, I think they'd have to be so severe you'd be well aware of them ... but perhaps not. Maybe checking the wheel and fork alignment on your bike is a good idea.

Richard
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Postby heavymetal » Tue May 08, 2007 11:20 pm

There is another trick you can try. I have tried this myself and seen several other people do it for sore arms and necks. You may be over compensating for package protection or one arm is shorter, or a twist in the seat or something else.

Try twisting your handlebars so that they are slightly off centre. I have problems with the right arm and hand, so I twisted them slightly to the right. Unless you look at the front wheel, you won't notice it. I have a handlebar bag and lots of other junk on the front of the tourer, so I can't see the wheel.

I found by twisting the handlebars slightly off centre it got rid of the neck ache. Several other people I know have tried this and recommended it as something odd to try.

It might be worth a try.

Kev.
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Postby bigbuzz73 » Tue May 08, 2007 11:29 pm

HI guys,
I've been meaning to post about neck/back pain so this is a good opportunity. Since I've started to up the distances a bit I'm getting a great deal of upper back and neck pain. I have three compressed discs in the neck (15 years of motocross and enduros may have SOMETHING to do with it!! ), have two small cracks in my lower vertebrae that never healed, plus a few other beaten-up body parts.
Now I've bored you stupid with my full medical history, here's my query...... What's everyone's thoughts on paying for a professional bike fit? I know a mob in Melbourne (Kennedys) do them for $250, which seems an awful lot of $$. But I think if I mess about buying new headstems, seat posts, etc trying to guess the right setup I could end up spending heaps more and still not get it right. Any comments?
On a similar note, my saddle is a "Fizik Pave" that came standard on my Bianchi. After 50klm the area between my (dare I say it?)..... scrotum....(sorry ladies!!) and backside is totally numb and extremely painful when I get off the bike at the end of the ride.
Buying another saddle will probably cost a couple of hundred dollars and it may not fix my problem. Any thoughts on saddle selection/positioning? I wear Santini T Gel bibknicks on longer rides so I don't think the problem is due to crappy inserts.
Sorry about such a long post, but I would REALLY apreciate any advice you guys can offer. Thanks heaps.
Wayne (with the sore bootie) :oops:
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Postby europa » Tue May 08, 2007 11:36 pm

Wayne, with problems like that, you probably need to get a different bike, one that doesn't have the bars miles below the seat. I'm a regular on a forum that caters for us more mature types and back pain is a regular issue - the head down bum up position isn't really suited to us bodily challenged types.

Having said that, going to Kennedys and paying their price is a good move. Tell them exactly what your problem is and see what they can come up with. Kennedys are different to your average lbs in that they make custom frames, etc - if they can't get your bike to fit you, a bike shop isn't going to, and they will understand about how to get the best for your back. No, I'm not just basing this on their website, I have a friend who rides psychotic distances on one of their steel frames.

Richard
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Postby heavymetal » Tue May 08, 2007 11:37 pm

bigbuzz73 wrote:On a similar note, my saddle is a "Fizik Pave" that came standard on my Bianchi. After 50klm the area between my (dare I say it?)..... scrotum....(sorry ladies!!) and backside is totally numb and extremely painful when I get off the bike at the end of the ride.


I went through 9 seats and none of them were comfortable. I ended up getting a real cheap seat that is hard (no gel) and has a gap down the middle of the seat. (designed for men) and it alleviated the problems you describe. In my case the cheapest seat ended up being the most comfortable.

It also has a bit to do with the adjustment of the bike and how you are seated on it. I don't go for bike fits. I prefer to do it myself as I tried a bike fit once and it didn't work for me. I've had enough experience with fitting myself to a bike so that I am comfortable, and not worrying about how I'm supposed to be sitting.

However a lot of people swear by a bike fit. I think Richard has had one, so he can probably fill you in on how his went.

With a new bike I usually travel for a month with lots of tools and some white textas for marking parts as I adjust them. It's a trial and error process for me. I think a bike fit doesn't work for me as I have to compensate for nerve damage on the right hand side of my body.
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Postby Mulger bill » Wed May 09, 2007 7:35 am

I'm still using the saddles that came with both bikes, they've both got the cutout and both pretty comfortable.

Wayne, have you tried dropping the nose of the saddle a click or too? It made a big difference on Deni the roadie.

Shaun
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Postby bigbuzz73 » Wed May 09, 2007 8:02 am

Mulger bill wrote:I'm still using the saddles that came with both bikes, they've both got the cutout and both pretty comfortable.

Wayne, have you tried dropping the nose of the saddle a click or too? It made a big difference on Deni the roadie.

Shaun

Thanks Shaun,
I'll try that before lashing out for a new seat.
........ and Europa, please don't tell me that!! I only just bought my bike a couple of months ago. Couldn't stand to part with Miss Bella! :roll:
I might drop into Kennedys for a chat next time I'm down that way.
Is there any other bike fit specialists around Melbourne that anyone can suggest?
Thanks guys
Wayne
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Postby MichaelB » Wed May 09, 2007 9:03 am

bigbuzz73 wrote: What's everyone's thoughts on paying for a professional bike fit? I know a mob in Melbourne (Kennedys) do them for $250, which seems an awful lot of $$.


There is a bike shop in Adelaide called Mega Bike that will do it for $100, and they take about 60 - 90 minutes. They do the full fitup, and then also look at your pedalling technique as well.

I just have to find a time and the budget to book it in, as whilst I think I have gotten myself close, I feel that the $100 is worth it to get it done properly.

$250 though is quite a bit more - how long do they take and what do you get for that ?

Cheers

Michael B
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Postby tuco » Wed May 09, 2007 9:12 am

Why pay someone to help set up the bike and help with your pedalling?

Go to one of the local cycling clubs and have a talk to them.
There's a guy at our club who does it for nothing. There's an excellent article on this site about how to pedal. It improved my pedalling giving me more power and stamina.

I ride with a guy from one of the lbs here and he set up our bikes for nothing.

Maybe that's a difference between the city and the country?
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Postby MJF » Wed May 09, 2007 11:24 am

tuco wrote:There's an excellent article on this site about how to pedal. It improved my pedalling giving me more power and stamina.


How about a link, Tuco, to save us from looking through all the posts.

And if it's that good, how about getting it made into a sticky or added to the FAQ's.
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Postby todd99 » Wed May 09, 2007 11:53 am

pospete wrote:I've got back ache but at least I know what caused it :lol:


Is it because your old???? :D
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Postby europa » Wed May 09, 2007 11:54 am

Normally, I'd agree with the blokes saying 'do it yourself', 'don't pay that much', etc. In Wayne's case, he has definite spinal problems and the solution could well be a lot more than just adjusting things. THAT is why I recommened Kennedy's Cycle Fit - not only does he get a specialist fitting, but they make bikes and hence should be more open to changing components to get the right result.

Richard
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