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Sore tired Neck muscles when descending with drop bars

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Sore tired Neck muscles when descending with drop bars

Old 09-14-20, 02:20 PM
  #1  
jambon
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Sore tired Neck muscles when descending with drop bars

I have a bike and to the best of my knowledge the fit is pretty dialed in. Its a drop bar touring bike. It feels comfortable on the flat in any of the positions or on climbs. However If I am descending I need to tilt my head back and up so that I can see forward as you can imagine otherwise I'd be looking down at the front wheel. The back of my neck gets very tired after a minute of this and its really a lot of effort to hold my head back like that. Its strenuous so that flying down hills isn't much fun and actually more of an ordeal.

Is this something I need to just let my body get used to / develop strength there ?

The obvious answer is to rise the handle bar up and in closer to the body but i like the bar at the height it is at ( about 2 inch below saddle height) and any higher and the bike starts to feel very pedestrian.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-14-20, 03:03 PM
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When I first started getting lower and lower with my bars and staying in the drops longer, I had this issue too. At the time, my helmet had a visor, when I removed it I could see further down the road without lifting my head so much. Pain went away.

Moving on to a recent helmet purchase, I forgot about this. First couple weeks of riding with it the sore neck and shoulders came back. It didn't have a visor to remove, but I did find that adjusting the small straps inside the helmet along with loosening the what-a-ya-ma-call-it strap that goes around the back of my head allowed it to sit on my head with the front a little higher so I again could see further down the road.

Hopefully next time, I'll remember to make certain of my forward visibility with my head down when buying my next helmet. Of course some might consider that may be exposing more of the skull to a crash, but if we are that worried, maybe we should be wearing something more on the lines of full face protection similar to a football helmet.

However for all this long winded reply, there is something to be said for just giving your body time to get used to that position and muscles getting stronger in those places. Off the bike exercises for them might speed up the process.
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Old 09-14-20, 08:11 PM
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Exclamation

Might be better off with a sit straight up 'dutch bike' posture .. rather than what you have...

Or start doing a bunch of neck muscle exercises & push-ups.. sit-ups for core muscles..

Gymnasium time..







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-14-20 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 09-14-20, 08:52 PM
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You can install auxiliary brakes levers at the dropbar tops so you can go downhill in a more upright position.

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Old 09-14-20, 10:04 PM
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Generally speaking, you'll get used to it-- or more accurately, acclimate yourself to it. My neck would get really sore when I first got a road bike, but these thousands of miles later, it takes a long day in the saddle to bring any of that soreness back. Mind you, my saddle-to-bar drop is closer to 7", so the adaptation came out pretty quickly. I did (and still do) zero exercises.

Oh, a lighter helmet can really help as well.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:02 PM
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Try this: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...discovery.html
Plus just ride more.
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Old 09-16-20, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I just slammed my riding position even lower and immediately, I'm feeling neck soreness in just 15 minutes of riding. Fortunately, my neck the only thing that went sore.

Ironically, I'm already training for a long time in the indoor trainer in the same slammed down position and never felt any neck pain. I don't wear the helmet in indoor training. Probably my helmet is heavy. I'll just ride more or even possibly wear my helmet indoors too.
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Old 09-16-20, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I just slammed my riding position even lower and immediately, I'm feeling neck soreness in just 15 minutes of riding. Fortunately, my neck the only thing that went sore.

Ironically, I'm already training for a long time in the indoor trainer in the same slammed down position and never felt any neck pain. I don't wear the helmet in indoor training. Probably my helmet is heavy. I'll just ride more or even possibly wear my helmet indoors too.
You didn't notice the advice in the link to look at your back in the mirror, making sure it is absolutely straight from the top of your shorts to your neck?
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Old 09-17-20, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You didn't notice the advice in the link to look at your back in the mirror, making sure it is absolutely straight from the top of your shorts to your neck?
I still can't find it, lol! I ride with a flat back anyway, I have good flexibility on the pelvis with good core muscle strength.

Anyway, today I got to 40 minutes before I felt discomfort in the neck. Note, I spent 100% of that time riding in the drops as I needed to finish my route quickly. It's a huge improvement so I guess it's just a matter of getting used to. I use a heavy skater's helmet as I don't trust cycling helmets.
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