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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a few rides in in my new Cannondale R700. I love this machine.

The LBS guy took some time to check the sizing; he was pretty happy with the adjustments we made and he seemed to know what he was doing. He did tell me the ultimate fit was up to me.

My problem is that after 10 or so miles, my next is stiff from craning to see the road. I'm bent down to the bars and have to hold my head up to see down the road. This is really exaggerated when in the drops. Even with hands up on the bars, seems like I'm having to hold head up to see down the road. I'm wondering if this is the same for everyone and is just a part of the "committed rider" position on a road bike or if I am at a disadvantage here being 6' 3".

We discussed possible getting a stem with a bit more lift at the shop but seems like it would take quite a bit to reduce this tension. It does not feel like an efficient use of energy; it's tiring. But again, maybe it will come around, like my lower back is coming around.

Feedback appreciated.
 

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13 Posts
hard to say

It is hard to tell w/o actually seeing your form.

I am 6'3" also, and I admit it would be easier to just stare at my tire, but that is not how you ride....if it gets to be too much then you should go back to the shop and ask for help, you might just need more lift on the stem.
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
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7,749 Posts
How far is the drop (vertical distance) between your saddle and handlebars?

Although plenty of folks (most racers, young 'uns, etc.) can tolerate drop of 3, 4, even 5 inches, us normal folks can get neck discomfort at anything over 2 inches, and mine is closer to one inch. One well-respected builder advocates bars even LEVEL with saddle.

Having too much drop can definitely contribute to a strained neck feeling. Otherwise, though, that discomfort does ease just logging miles (also I assume you are using a reasonably late model helmet... i.e., nothing too heavy).
 

· classiquesklassieker
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3,113 Posts
Hate to tell you this, but this may be a case of "too much too soon". Beginners tend to tense up when they ride their bikes because they are not used to the riding position yet. Many factors play into comfort/pain. Basically you need good posture, good "attitude", and good support. All three are tied together, and depends on having good bike fit, good core strength, and just plain getting used to riding a bicycle.

People will now start throwing suggestions like "more upright", "push your saddle aft", and "shorter stem". None of this adds to comfort in general. There is a natural position that is different for every person, at different levels of exertion, but you won't even get to considering this unless you are used to riding a road bike in its general posture in the first place.

I would say that your best bet is to find a club or buddy to ride with, and watch him/her and ask for advice. And don't forget that really small things can make a huge difference, including handlebar width, the tilt/angle of your shifters, the angle of your saddle, etc. If I don't ride my bike for a long period of time, upon returning to riding I too have small pains in my neck, back, etc., and having learned to diagnose myself, all of it comes from simply being tense on the bike. Even the most expensive so-called "Pro" fit can't help me in that case! A good fit is a good starting point, so check on that, but most people have to then make small adjustments.

So keep at it, learn to self-diagnose, and be open-minded. Who knows, maybe the pain will just go away once you get used to riding.
 
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