Do You Have a Stiff Neck? So Here is Some Thoughts and Advice

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Do You Have a Stiff Neck



Raymond Silver has been battling a stiff and sore neck and has tried a few different things. It’s a problem many of us have, so here is some more thoughts and advice.

Question: Of late I am having such problems. I had rotated the seat post for steeper seat angle (to cycle faster), and I could see the front hub perhaps over 50mm ahead of the handle bar. I overdo the geometry and have to go back to the former seat angle?

Hi Raymond,

Sorry to hear that you still have the neck problems, I think I have mentioned before that I also suffer from stiffness and pain in the neck. Changing the position can help, but be careful not to make it worse.

The correct position of the hands is very important; if you have the handle bars too low then this can put too much weight onto the hands which will transfer road rumble up to the shoulders and neck. If the handle bars are too high then this will put more weight on your saddle area which may help your neck, but can cause lower back problems.

If your handle bars are too far forward then you have a stretched-out position which crunches up your neck and forces you to twist your neck to look where you are going. Then if the handle bars are too close then this causes the same problem of them being too low as there will be less flex in your arms and vibrations will travel up to your neck.

You say you have been moving your saddle forward to give a faster position. This position is used a lot by Triathletes to help with the transition from cycling to running as it gives a position nearer to a running position for the leg muscles.

Also a time trial position tends to be further forward for aerodynamics and to push out more power when sitting. This is great for those situations, but as you have found out, the forward position is not great for all the different riding conditions.

I would suggest that you go back to the basic riding position, starting from your saddle position of height and the knee over the pedal spindle. Then look at your arms, they should have a relaxed bend at the elbow when you hold onto the tops of the bars, not too far ahead and not too far below your body.

You should have a bend in your elbow like the letter “L” with your hands on the bottom of the bars with your hands just below the brake levers. With your arms in this position there should be a small overlap of the elbow and knee. Too far forward and you need a shorter stem and too much overlap and you need a longer stem.

If you have neck problems and your position is correct or you have tried different positions and it still persists then it could have nothing to do with your bike position and it may be time to see a medical specialist as you may have a muscular or skeletal problem.

Good luck Raymond and anyone else with neck problems. Any other experiences might help, so don’t hold back letting us hear them.


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5 Comments

  1. I had a similar problem with seat position.. try going back to the regular position like he suggested. It helped me..

  2. david

    Sorry I cannot proceed, business as usual, seeing the photo of my favorite rider; Erik Zabel.

  3. Jajang

    before we Ride a bike, we must know that our spine was normal ( especially your neck bone ), pain and stiffnes around you neck must be diagnosed first, if theres no problem in your neck, we can try another : up grade your bike ==> try go to the doctor, oke

  4. Lee Joo Mong

    I had raised the handlebar a little higher than the original graduations limit, but does not seems to hekp

    Handlebars too close/far forward (it’s about 50-70mm behind the front wheelset axle when I look down

    I seems to be adapting to the more forward saddle position

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