Pain in the neck and back, wrong frame size?

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by PimpMan, 9 Feb 2018.

  1. PimpMan

    PimpMan Regular

    I am experiencing pain in the lower back and in the rear of my neck. Perhaps my bicycle frame is too small, however i am not sure this is only problem - see street bikes riders ride facing down a lot like in swimming you keep your head down, i cannot do that, i tend to look ahead of me 100% of the time (sometimes i ride on sidewalks, also there's holes in the road i want to spot to ride around) it just feels natural to me to know where i am going.

    I currently have mountain bike, but handle bars are flat, i was thinking of installing medium hi-rise handle bars but it might look stupid plus not sure how it will affect steering.

    Currently i am in the market for new light weight bicycle 15 pounds, so road bicycle is the number one choice, i obviously don't need a drop down handle bars just straight or medium hi-rise.

    Need more info how to select correct size frame also and any advice on the situation with the pain i get after several hour ride.

    My ride style is commuting, i am doing food delivery on a bicycle, i don't care much about, top speed and aerodynamics, usually i ride for 8 hours a day.

    Last edited: 9 Feb 2018
  2. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    How much lower are the handlebars compared to the saddle, much more than 2 inches and I struggle these days.
  3. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    I know of very few people who would not ache after riding for 8 hours a day.
  4. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    If you’re delivering food, do you have a big box on your back? Could that be a contributing factor?

    You say you want a bike weighing 15lbs? 7kg? Now you either have pretty deep pockets for a carbon race bike with light components (a flat bar might save some weight and cost)... or a stripped back single speed which would make sense maintenance and reliability wise. For an alu flatbar roadbike, a weight of 20-22lbs would be more realistic as I expect spending £2-3k on the bike for delivery is not what you’re looking to do?

    Do you only ever ride in straight lines and never turn at junctions if you only ever look straight ahead?! I think something might have been lost in translation??
    ADarkDraconis and alicat like this.
  5. alicat

    alicat Guru


    It sounds like your handlebars are too low. Try out hi-rise ones, if they are no good you can put the others back.

    Do you have anything on your back, like a big box? That will be contributing to the problem.

    How long have you been doing it? Your muscles will need time to strengthen.
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  6. JPBoothy

    JPBoothy Senior Member

    Do you wear Glasses? I have experienced lower Neck/Shoulder pain for years now and the main reasons have been down to a drop-bar road frame that was too big (Thanks Evans Liverpool!) causing me to overstretch and, my having to constantly tilt my Neck/Head to look forward without looking over my glasses. I have also experimented with many different bar/stem set-ups, and converted several drop-bar bikes to flat-bar bikes over the years but, the pain has only started to reduce this past 6mths. On the Bike, I have put my improved comfort down to now opting for smaller frames and alternating my rides between my drop-bar and flat-bar bikes. When I'm off the bike, I have had several visits to a good Osteopath and, invested in a good memory foam pillow for my bed. Cycling is generally not good for your your posture and the Osteopath found my Neck/Spine to be out of alignment. I have to agree with Screenman though in saying that 'anybody' who rides for 8hrs a day is going to ache. I have been told several times to take-up Yoga/Pilates to increase my flexibility but I've not got up the courage to go yet :shy:
  7. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    Go to a decent bike shop and ask them to make a judgement about the size of frame, stem and saddle which would best meet your requirements. And don't be hung up by 'I want a bike that weighs sub 7kg'. If you're going to ride a 'road bike' break yourself in gently and get experience of riding one of about the right size before dropping good money on a very light frame and top-end groupset. Btw, you won't want to use this bike for work because it'll get pinched.
    ADarkDraconis and Alan O like this.
  8. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    ...and trashed
    ADarkDraconis and Alan O like this.
  9. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Pain advice: remains good. has a good fitting guide.

    In general, these days, the only way to figure out what size bike you need is to look at the manufacturers' charts. The days of "inside leg less 9 inches" have gone.
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  10. ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Ohio, USA
    From your diagram and description I would say that just raising the headset would make a big difference as far as spinal alignment. When I first got my current bike the bars were way too low for my comfort and I had the bike shop raise them for me and bring them back a bit (after I had adjusted the seat to my liking). Biggest difference ever, you also may feel more stable on the bike! The low and forward racing style was never good for my scoliosis and I don't care about speed.
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