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Maybe I bought the wrong bike?

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Maybe I bought the wrong bike?

Old 11-11-13, 11:17 AM
  #1  
nuke_diver
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Maybe I bought the wrong bike?

Posting this here as a I hope that there will be a bit more sympathy and understanding that in some of the other forums
First some background.

I'm 54 with an arthritic neck (and knees but neck is the relevant one here). I am in great shape for my age (I think)...and in good shape for most ages actually. I do strength training 4 times a week as this is helpful for my neck and knees.

I bought a new bike to use for longer rides (I have a 32 year old steel road bike that I still use for commuting) since I wanted to do more hills and my old bike was difficult due to the gearing and since I would have to spend $ I decided to put them into a new more modern bike. I got a Cannondale CAAD10.

The first few rides all was well as I got used to the new bike. When I went for my first longish ride (25 miles short for the BF I know) of about 30 miles I had a lot of discomfort in my neck. I attributed it to the fact that I was riding on the hoods which I never did on the old bike and looking down the road put pressure on my inflexible neck and thus caused neck and shoulder pain. So I brought it back for another fitting and they made some adjustments. It was better but I went a bit longer (30miles) I was still a bit stiff. So back I went again on Friday and this time more substantial adjustments were made (replaced the stem with one much shorter and with a higher angle to make it more upright. This time I went the longest I have gone on either bike in the last 30 years 41miles (still short I know ). My neck was much better but after the ride it still got stiff, not painfully so but still noticeable.

So I am now questioning if the overall geometry is not good for me due to the neck and if I spent money on a bike to ride further that I will have no chance at riding further (I would like to do a century at some point in time). Perhaps however some of this is due to the way you ride a modern bike as opposed to a older tube shifted bike. I felt that I had the best chance at getting some good advice here since many of you have had both (and some might even have that arthritic neck.

Sorry for the long post
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Old 11-11-13, 11:22 AM
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Keep riding....your neck muscles will adjust to the new bike.

71 here and have arthritis everywhere.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:13 PM
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It is adjustment that is the problem. When I first went road I had a similar problem with the neck but due to the position and not a medical problem. Took a while but I spent parts of the ride adjusting position to ease the neck and also kept moving the neck around tso it did not get set in one position. I suggest you do shorter more frequent rides and hope the neck will adjust-But also take time to e "Exercise" the neck in those rides.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:13 PM
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^That. Neck will adjust.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:22 PM
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I got a Cannondale CAAD10.
you take it as is, or did you change stem reach and saddle and post for setback?

the parts that make up a Bike can be changed to improve fit.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-11-13 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 11-11-13, 01:15 PM
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Or not. I never did get entirely used to my bike for similar reasons, so I bought a bent. It's no panacea - I've traded neck pain for low back pain - but LBP is less annoying to me.
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Old 11-11-13, 01:47 PM
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While fit and neck muscles getting stronger do a lot, I had a problem with not relaxing my shoulders and arms. Those tense muscles led to serious ache in the shoulders and neck.
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Old 11-11-13, 03:51 PM
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It will take more than a few rides to get your neck accustomed to the position of a drop bar road bike. Be patient, go for shorter rides at first, work on stretching and flexibility of the neck and back, it will probably feel a lot better in a few months.

During the ride, change position occasionally, don't get frozen in one position. Try riding with your hands on the tops of the bars, and even riding hands-off for a bit.

If your helmet has a visor or you wear a cap with a visor, does it block your vision up high? That can force you to bend your neck more than necessary.

If the top of the bars is more than a couple inches lower than the top of the saddle, then consider raising the bars to be roughly level with the saddle (which may be what they did at the shop). That is allows you to get fairly low in the drops for better aero, but up on the hoods will be a pretty relaxed, not-aggressive position.
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Old 11-11-13, 04:45 PM
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I'm not an expert in the matter - my arthritis is restricted to my hips, so far. But maybe you are trying to do to much to soon? If it's a new bike and the fit isn't yet perfect, it may not be a good time to be setting personal records for distance. Ride less distance more consistently and see if you get used to the position or if maybe small tweaks can help.

During a ride, you can do some experimentation - you can change your arm positions and see if the annoyance is greater or lesser and this can give you some hints as to how the bike geometry should be changed.
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Old 11-11-13, 05:11 PM
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Seems that there is some confusion...this is not my first drop bar bike. I've ridden nothing but drop bar bikes since I was 10. While I have not recently gone 40+ miles on my Steel Road bike I have gone 30+ and it was never a bother. Prior to getting the new bike I was riding about 30-40miles on my steel/week about the same as the new bike. The 40 miler was really an experiment to see if the new geometry helped

Even with the new bike at less than 25 miles I notice nothing. I do wonder if because the shifters are on the brakes and that, frankly, shifting is so much easier I do it more than on my old bike. For example I rarely shift down if in an ok gear at a stop with my old bike but it's so easy I often do with the new bike. And I would never ride with my hands on the brakes for any extended period of time which I do more now

I'll check the helmet, there is a visor and it may be a factor while on the hoods
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Old 11-11-13, 05:26 PM
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Why not match body position on steel bike to your Caad10? Set saddle height and set back same as old bike, saddle to hoods same as old bike, saddle height to h-bar height same as old bike. Should be easy to do with tape measure.
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Old 11-11-13, 05:27 PM
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My LBS recommended against Cad10 for me. He described it as having very aggressive racing geometry, which he thought wouldn't be in my old bod's interest.
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Old 11-11-13, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nuke_diver View Post
Seems that there is some confusion...this is not my first drop bar bike. I've ridden nothing but drop bar bikes since I was 10. While I have not recently gone 40+ miles on my Steel Road bike I have gone 30+ and it was never a bother. Prior to getting the new bike I was riding about 30-40miles on my steel/week about the same as the new bike. The 40 miler was really an experiment to see if the new geometry helped

Even with the new bike at less than 25 miles I notice nothing. I do wonder if because the shifters are on the brakes and that, frankly, shifting is so much easier I do it more than on my old bike. For example I rarely shift down if in an ok gear at a stop with my old bike but it's so easy I often do with the new bike. And I would never ride with my hands on the brakes for any extended period of time which I do more now

I'll check the helmet, there is a visor and it may be a factor while on the hoods
I remember the year in my low twenty's when my neck had to compensate or adjust to long rides on a road bicycle, every season since, the second ride can be painful.

But, more weight on your head will change the game, longer then normal rides will change the game, sounds like the geometry will take some proper adjustment or adjusting to.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:03 PM
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There is a lot of difference in the geometry of a modern road bike like the CAAD and the 30yo bike you've been used to.

The most significant question I can ask is: What is the saddle to handlebar height difference on the CAAD compared with your old bike? Put them side by side and check.

If you bought the bike off the floor, and if it's anything like all the road bikes I've seen on LBS floors, the steerer tube has been cut right down so there is almost no stack height to play with. The LBS has tried to overcome this with a shorter stem, but that might not be a good solution at all. What you actually need might be a new fork with the steerer tube uncut until you find the best height with the original length stem for your comfort.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:06 PM
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I have significant arthritis in my neck. I regularly do McKenzie type neck exercises and core exercises. It helps but it doesn't eliminate the problem. But the help for me was significant. This summer I did a four day ride ranging from 60 to 75 miles a day. My neck held up until the fourth day. I think I ended up with trouble because day three was a tough ride into the wind so I was a lot more tense.

If I don't keep up with the exercises all the time my neck gives me grief. Sometimes it gives me grief anyway.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:16 PM
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One possibility is to put your bike on a trainer in the garage for a few weeks.... you'll need one in the winter to stay consistent anyway. Although a static position, unlike actual road riding, it will allow you to sit up whenever and for as long as you need, not to mention do neck rotations, shoulder rolls, or whatever to stay loose. Not a permanent fix, but might give you the prep time you need to get the neck in shape with consistency.

Along with the trainer, you'll need a TV, fan, or clear view of your neighbor's shapely wife taking a bath......garage touring can be/will be otherwise boring.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:20 PM
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Here's a Guru bike fit report - perhaps you already have something like this from the LBS that did the bike fit on your bike. Take the measurements on the steel road bike and see if it's possible to set up the Caad 10 to the same geometry. If you haven't seen a Guru dynamic bike fit, Google it. Both my wife and I had Guru fits done last year - for her it made a world of a difference. Gone was the knee pain, with added power and comfort. But like all things, it's only a tool and unless the bike fitter truly understands the fit process and bike / human body interaction - it's value will be limited. I hope you get it sorted out. For me the bike fit just confirmed that things were pretty close to perfect already.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Fellow View Post
One possibility is to put your bike on a trainer in the garage for a few weeks.... you'll need one in the winter to stay consistent anyway. Although a static position, unlike actual road riding, it will allow you to sit up whenever and for as long as you need, not to mention do neck rotations, shoulder rolls, or whatever to stay loose. Not a permanent fix, but might give you the prep time you need to get the neck in shape with consistency.

Along with the trainer, you'll need a TV, fan, or clear view of your neighbor's shapely wife taking a bath......garage touring can be/will be otherwise boring.
Fortunately (since my neighbour's wife is not shapely) riding is possible year round here with only the rare (especially lately) rainstorm to discourage you. I expect not to miss more than a month of riding

I did make a bunch of measurements before the last fitting, I have not since the new stem etc. I'll do that on the weekend and I'll also check out the Guru Bike fit.

Lots of good advice everyone thanks a lot.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:16 AM
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Sore neck is frequently a result of a rounded back. If you don't already do this, try rolling your pelvis forward, clockwise as seen from the right. You should feel your sit bones come into more direct contact with your saddle. If possible, look at yourself in the mirror while on the bike and check to see that your back is straight from your butt to your neck. Straightening the back decreases the back/neck angle.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:32 AM
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Agree with the getting things fitted in the cockpit. I have a CAAD 10, it isn't bad at all for me and I have back appliances at 2 levels. A shorter, raised stem and correctly sized/width, bend bars can help your neck a lot. I also went to 700X25 tires for more width and air volume, that smoothed things out, also. Best of luck in solving your issues, don't give up on the CAAD 10, please.

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Old 11-12-13, 10:23 AM
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I have neck issues also. A football injury from over 40 years ago suddenly started hurting. Exercises given to my by a physical the****** help a lot. Still I decided to get another bike as the handlebars on my Trek 5200 was a little low even when I jacked them up some.

I got a Giant Defy Advanced. I also looked at the Specialized Roubaix and a few other relaxed geometry bikes. Even the Giant wasn't quite right so I went to a more angled stem that raised the handlebars about 1.5 inches more. Now I'm good.

Have you tried flipping your stem? That cheap fix should raise your handlebars about an inch alone. If that doesn't work, look into a taller stem.

Warning: don't go nuts with jacking up the handlebars. I put on a stem extender on my old Trek 5200 that raised the handlebars about 3 inches. It messed up the geometry so much at it induced a high speed wobble. That's when I decided to buy a more relaxed geometry bike.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:33 AM
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Several months ago I bought a Focus Cayo Evo, which I judge to be a pretty good bike but not a full on race bike. I was coming to my first drop bar bike in 40 years. I knew I would have problems, and even toyed with the idea of putting straight bars on it to start. I left the bends on, but I replaced the stem with an adjustable one, I put a 4 inch steerer extension on it, and I tilted the bars up some. It doesn't look too bizarre, but I have had younger wise a$$es tell me I'm doing it wrong. I have put 5-600 miles on it in 10-20 mile bites, and I can tell my neck and shoulders are getting more used to it and more comfortable. As I accommodate I will move the bar back toward a more normal configuration. I am ready to make the first adjustment down right now.

My advice would be to do anything necessary to make it fit your needs, regardless of how weird it looks. As you adapt you can go back to a more normal configuration.
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Old 11-12-13, 04:31 PM
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Yeah the more angled stem doesn't look as sexy and I'm sure someplace around here someone would say slam that stem but I don't care how I look (which is why I ride in shorts and a Tshirt) so as long as it is comfortable and I can do what I want I'm good
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Old 11-12-13, 04:50 PM
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I have a caad 10 along with hip,neck,shoulder and hand arthritis. I'm a lordotic 65 and found in the last few years that fit on the bike is a moving target and I have to mess with it every year whether I need to or not.
The bike shop left the steerer uncut and tipped the stem that came with the bike up
Saddle to stem drop's about a half inch and knee angle around 25 degrees.
I took the dimensions from the litespeed and put them to the caad 10.
For us old dodgers reach and stem height are key to comfort.
If you can sit on the saddle hands off and above the bars and almost balance without falling forward or back you're close.
Also you get older your trapezius gets weak, it helps to hold your head up, there's an exercise where
you gently raise your shoulders toward your ears that strengthens your neck.
The caad 10's a good fast bike for the money but for more than 3 to 4 hours riding the litespeed's ride is a little softer.
I do hope you get it sorted, as you know the smallest change makes a difference.
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Old 11-12-13, 05:15 PM
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If I read your post correctly, you've already seen substantial improvement. Keep doing what you're doing, keep tweaking things, try the good suggestions above.

At the end of the day, nobody here knows your anatomy, so you have to take everything we say with a grain of salt.
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