Cycling Related Neck Pain
Some bike fit considerations for those experiencing neck pain caused by riding your bike.
In a recent survey of riders at the end of a 160km Gran Fondo, neck pain was the second most common complaint only beaten by saddle pain.
Neck pain is often caused by having too much cervical flexion or compression. In addition to position it is important to consider the helmet and its weight, especially in very upright positions where it can cause excess compression, or in very aggressive positions where the weight of the helmet is further away from the fulcrum point of the neck.
As always, start by ensuring your position on the bike is neutral to begin with by checking it with the MyVeloFit software. If your position isn’t neutral to begin with, start by getting a neutral position. If your position was drastically off to begin with that could be what was leading to the pain.
Once you’ve taken a baseline of your position, double check that your reach measurements (shoulder angle wrist and shoulder angle arm) aren’t too stretched out. Even if you are in range but on the long side of the range you should consider reducing the amount of reach.
In addition to being conservativein terms of reach you will also want to check how much drop, or how low your back angle is. Raising the front end can also take some pressure off the neck and shoulders.
Neck pain is one of those things that can really change how much you enjoy a ride. No neck pain and you can look around, enjoy the scenery, check your blind spots. Add a sore neck and it all becomes a grind.
One last thing to consider is not being too conservative in terms of reach. Too little reach to the handlebars can cause tension in the neck/shoulders/upper arm.
Now assuming the bike is in the correct position for you, it is also important to consider your posture on the bike and how it can affect your overall comfort and efficiency. Please take a moment to review our cycling posture page which will help guide you towards the proper posture on your bike, as well as your specific strength and flexibility recommendations which are generated when you do our mobility screen
Athletes from around the world use MyVeloFit to improve their cycling position. Whether you are a veteran or new to the sport MyVeloFit can help you improve your position.
About the Author
Jesse Jarjour has been fitting bicycles to people for over a decade. He holds certifications from Retul, Trek Precision Fit, and has a level 2 certification from the International Bike Fitting Institute.
Jesse has fit over 3000 individuals of all sorts of athletic backgrounds. He is just as happy fitting National Champions as he is first time riders.
Jesse embraces technology in bike fitting. His Studio in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is one of the most technologically advanced fit studios in Canada. He uses the MyVeloFit technology alongside technology from industry leaders such as Gebiomized, Retul, and Dartfish. He uses MyVeloFit to to take a baseline of his clients and give them visual reports of how the measurements work while they are in the studio and as a "pre fit" tool to ensure the clients are in a relatively sound position before coming in.
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