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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got a new Cannondale Six13, it's my first road bike, I'm venturing over from the MTB world. The shop did a "quick fit", took about 20 minutes.

Most everything is pretty comfortable, but my neck is hurting. It feels like I have to force myself to look forward. Any ideas on what I should adjust and how much? Thanks!
 

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Two options:
1)Recognize that most road bikes have a more "aero" positioning than a MTB and start doing neck exercises.

2)Raise your handlebars higher and sit more upright like your on a MTB

Whatever works best for you, I personally fall somewhere in between #1 and #2 in my positioning.
 

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Man, I'm Awesome
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Raise the bars till they are level with the saddle. Then as you get used to the position, start to lower it one cm. at a time, until you get the bars where you want them.

For a quick fix, just flip the stem upside down (if right now it is level with the ground). This will raise it a few cms. and will feel a lot better.
 

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Greg44
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Know the feeling, I Mtn bike in the winter and when warmer weather comes along my neck kills me for about 6 long rides. I also have a six13 with stock stem. Make sure you are keeping your back straight and not locking your elbows. You should be able to be in the hoods, with a straight back and slightly bent arms. If not you might need a shorter reach on your stem. My six13 came with a 95mm stem. I move my head around if I feel stiffness in my neck. Now deep in the season I don't have any issues. From my experience raising the stem will not solve the problem. You are in such a different position on a road bike that you have to get your body trained for it. Your neck will strengthen if you give it some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dajianshan said:
Are you wearing your helmet correctly? Wearing any heavy eyewear? Sometimes if your helmet is too far back or forward you over compensate for the weight by using neck muscles. Same for eyewear.
Yes I am wearing my helmet correctly, it's my MTB helmet I've been using for a while. No heavy eyewear either.

So it sounds like I just need to suck it up and ride for some more and I'll get used to it. If I'm still having the neck pain after another week or two I'll try messing with the stem. Thanks for all the advice everyone.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Try tightening up your abs. It should feel like something is pulling your head up towards the sky.

Its not easy, but it'll help with the pains.
 

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Two scoops of inertia.
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there is a possibility the bike was sized to you rather than visa versa. how much saddle to bar drop do you have? When that was happening to me I went back to my LBS and they swapped my stem for a shorter one. I was able to keep more upright that way. Also someone on this site suggested looking up with your eyes rather than neck to see ahead. when you get used to seeing things 'around' your helmet it becomes much more comfortable.
 

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Foramen Magnum...

Fundamentally, our head/neck interface has evolved towards an upright posture/head and as such, our foramen magnum (that hole at the base of your skull that allows all them nerves and blood vessels to connect to the rest of your bod) exits nearly straight down. Compare that to most quadrepeds (dogs, cats, lizards, etc) who's foramen magnum exit more from the rear, thus making it even for their heads to be parallel to the ground as they walk.

If you're new, it could be fit issues, or muscle fatigue (head weighs a bit too). You might consider a bit of upper body (neck and shoulder) work to strengthen these muscles.
 

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You don't have to look to the horizon while riding...always be aware of what is ahead, but you really only need to look maybe 20-30 yards ahead of you. Don't crank you head back...try to keep it in line with back and use your eyes a little to look up the road when in 'settled in' position (position where you are set and cruising until you adjust position).
 

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AllOver said:
So I got a new Cannondale Six13, it's my first road bike, I'm venturing over from the MTB world. The shop did a "quick fit", took about 20 minutes.

Most everything is pretty comfortable, but my neck is hurting. It feels like I have to force myself to look forward. Any ideas on what I should adjust and how much? Thanks!
As others have said, it may just be that you need time for adaptation. That said, a lot of people seem to get "white line fever" and just stare ahead all the time. Spend some time looking at the scenery, as this will flex your neck and give your muscles both some relaxation and stretching. You can also specifically stretch, doing head rolls, trying to touch your ear to your shoulder, etc. and this can help quite a bit.
 
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