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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of you experienced neck or shoulder pain from ill fitting jerseys or bibs? I have recently started riding my road bike again (I normally regulary ride MTB) because I have signed up for 100K and 100 mile rides this year. I'll also say that I have had this road bike for a couple years and completed endurance rides in the past with no considerable neck/shoulder pain so I don't believe it is a "bike fit" issue.

What I have noticed is that my road jerseys are bit snugger this year as I have gained some weight and have always had issues with upper chest/shoulder fit issues. I have a broad chest and shoulders (muscular) and struggle to find road kit that fits me well.

Last weekend, I did a 55 mile ride with ~5000ft of climbing and started noticing neck pain about about the 30 mile mark. I pushed through it and completed the ride, but now 3 days later, I'm still in considerable pain. I have had soreness that goes away in a few hours, but this is different. I noticed while riding that the back neck line of the jersey I was also wearing was putting tremendous pressure across the back of my neck. I'm hoping this is the culprit but was wondering if any of you had ever experienced the same problem with tight neck lines. a new helmet (extended coverage MTB helmet) so I wonder if that is also worth considering.

Next weekend, if I have recovered by then, I will attempt to repeat the ride with one of my looser MTB jerseys to see if I notice a difference.

Thanks for your time.
 

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I suspect your body is just not used to the position. I go through this every spring where my neck/shoulder area is sore and tender. Usually about mile 300 or so (averaging ~30 miles over 10 rides) it starts to get better.

My physical therapist helped with some range of motion an strengthening excercises....

Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) helps if you are into those sorts of things.

I would suggest starting with shorter rides until you adapt.
 

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Don't zip the jersey all the way up?

I'm not big by any means, but most jerseys that fit me in the chest are too small in the neck and shoulders for me. Basically if its not comfortable on my neck zipped all the way up just standing there getting dressed, I won't zip it all the way up. Never had pain from it though.

The other thing is, with road biking you want to look up more than crane your head up. If your helmet has a visor that could limit your view and you could be bending your neck too much.
 

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I have recently started riding my road bike again (I normally regulary ride MTB)
. . .
I have gained some weight
. . .
Last weekend, I did a 55 mile ride with ~5000ft of climbing and started noticing neck pain about about the 30 mile mark. I pushed through it
. . .
I'm still in considerable pain.
Seems likely to me that you're out of condition for the road bike position, and the weight gain has changed the stress distribution and muscle pattern. When you started feeling muscle strain, you pushed on for more than hour, and did some damage.

Next weekend, if I have recovered by then, I will attempt to repeat the ride
I wouldn't. I'd plan a shorter ride on an easier route, or plan one with some bailout options, so you don't do yourself more damage.

I really doubt that the jersey fit had any direct impact on this -- at lease, I've never heard of it. It's possible that the feeling of irritation caused you unconsciously to adjust position in a way that caused strain.
 

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Flex your muscles and make all the seams split then you should be fine. If the rear neckline of your jersey is so tight its inflicting pain then the front must be cutting off air in your windpipe. I have heard of bib straps pinching nerves if person is wearing size or two too small.
 

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A few years ago, I started having severe shoulder pains from ill-fitting bibs. The straps were too short and there was too much pressure on my admittedly scrawny shoulders Took me a while to figure it out, but one ride wearing my old shorts confirmed my suspicions. I have short legs and a very long upper body, hence the fit problem.

Now I wear shorts or bibs with (gasp!) the straps cut off. Someone offered to lengthen the straps for me should I ever get new bibs. I might take them up on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I'm convinced the jersey fit was the culprit.
I went on a tour of several shops in the area trying on Jerseys and sitting on the fitment bikes, paying close attention to the tension across my shoulders and neck. I found a couple Jerseys that had decent fit with no neck pressure. I've done a few 50-70 miles rides since and other than the typical soreness that wears off in an hour or two, I've had no extreme neck pain.

In response to a few of the posters above:

I was riding with the original jersey partially unzipped but it made no difference on neck pressure.

The original jersey did not choke me out because the fitment issue wasn't so much a neck diameter problem, but more I think to do with the upper back panel being too narrow for my build so when I was in riding position with shoulders forward, it just pulled the rear neck line super tight.

I too have had bibs in the past that cause shoulder pain because I have a long torso. I just look for bibs now that have wider shoulder straps and more stretchable material. Bontrager and Voler have been good for me.
 
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