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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In general, I'm relatively comfortable on my bike. Sometimes though, I get some nasty pain between the shoulder blades. I should also mention that I get this sitting in a regular chair as well.

I'm in good shape, do my crunches and stretch. I am very tight in general though.

The pain is more noticeable when I am riding easy with my wife, or go over 45 miles. The short fast group rides of 25 to 30 miles are no problem. The mini heart attacks throughout these rides mask any neck issues :)

I am definitely not too stretched out on the bike. I'm six feet tall and ride a bike with an ETT of 57.5 and a 100mm stem. The drop is around an inch to an inc and a half. No knee pain, no numbness anywhere. Plenty of bend in my arms, even in the drops.

So, just deal with it or try something like swap to 120mm stem and see what happens? Any other ideas?

Thanks

Pete
 

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What is your handlebar width? I guess to dissect that info, we'd need to know your shoulder blade width as well.

Are you switching up hand positions (hoods, tops, drops, etc) during rides or which do you ride the most in. Are your hands relaxed when you ride (tense hands means tense ride)?

Is the pain higher up towards your neck or more smack in the middle of your blades?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Handlebar is 44cm and it is proportionate to my shoulder blade with. The pain I get is actually in the neck, right side, backbone. I get it sitting sometimes (usually if I am on a stool or non-ergo chair) so I know I am probably pinching something. I move all over the place on the bars and I am pretty comfortable everywhere. If I were to pick my least favorite position, I'd say it would be on the the tops of the bar. Drops and hoods are fairly comfy. I split my time fairly equally between the drops and hoods. I'm definitely not too stretched out when I'm in the drops because I have plenty of bend in the arms. I'd say that I could make my knee touch my elbow when I'm in that position.

I should emphasize that I'm not dying when I'm riding, I can live with the problem. But, if I could eliminate entirely....................
 

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Adaption is as important as fit. If you ride infrequently and go for long rides you will have pains even with a good fit. If you ride 2-3 times per week and gradually increase miles you will adapt and probably will be able to ride without pain. Adaption continues for years.

I had freqent neck, shoulder, back, seat and hip pain after 30 - 40 miles when I rode once a week in good weather. After a couple years of riding 2-3 times per week I eliminated all pains. I can ride comfortably until I get too tired to have any fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ride a few times a week. Short rides are 25 miles, weekend rides are in the 40 to 60 mile range. I'm in my mid forties so it sounds like I will just deal with it, like the other aches and pains I have. I may pick up a ten dollar 120mm stem just to see what happens though. I'm doing a Century in October and I would like to be a bit comfortable if possible.

Pete
 

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Given that it happens when you sit on a chair.....it actually sounds like you're doing pretty well to go that long on a bike.

Perhaps you could benefit from lowering your bars but that could cause other problems. I'm guessing you're more upright when you ride with your wife and sit in a chair than you are in group rides so that's why I'm making that guess.

It really doesn't sound like a bike fit issue to me. Any 'fit' related thing I could think of that might cause that would be proven to be wrong by it happening when you sit on a chair.
 

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I used to have similar issues until correcting my bar width, which was slightly too wide. A little change there can make a big difference.

You could likely benefit from more of a drop too, as others mentioned. Maybe substantially more, over time.

Two other things to consider- Chiropractic adjustment (preferably from a sports oriented practitioner) and Yoga for Regular Guys.

One more- A slight degree of tilt UP on your saddle can often lessen or eliminate front load issues like these.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
askmass said:
One more- A slight degree of tilt UP on your saddle can often lessen or eliminate front load issues like these.

Good luck!
Hmm. Interesting point. I actually have it pointed ever so slightly, we are talking just a tiny bit, down. I feel like it starts to press a bit up front when I have it perfectly level. I never even considered a slight up. Worth a shot.

FWIW. I can almost lift both hands off the drops simultaneously without feeling like I am going to fall forward. I feel fairly well balanced overall.
 

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Alternate approach

peterk said:
In general, I'm relatively comfortable on my bike. Sometimes though, I get some nasty pain between the shoulder blades. I should also mention that I get this sitting in a regular chair as well.
Have you tried any on-bike stretches? Things like trying to reach behind you back with your elbow, scrunching your shoulders up toward your ears, pulling your shoulders way back, pulling your head down like you were trying to touch your ear to your shoulder, extending your arm and trying to cross it behind your back, etc. These may give you quick relief while riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update: Put a 120mm stem on the bike (had 100mm on it). Did a 70 mile solo ride today and had zero burn between the blades or in the neck. I was definitely too scrunched up, which did not allow me to comfortably drop my shoulders. I was also comfortable for the first time ever on the tops of the bars when climbing.
 

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if you are getting this while sitting at your desk, then you sound stressed. See if you hunch up your shoulders while you are sitting. You might be doing this and not know it, Also when on your bike, trry relaxing everything except the stuff that is doing the work. You might find yourself crunching up your shoulders when your legs are doing all the work.
 
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