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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somewhat off topic and maybe even fits in under Impy's Isis question....but thought I'd throw it to the crowd...

I've been doing more road riding to get in a quick "exercise" ride and am absolutely addicted to having my hydration pack (a Camelback Mule) especially in hot weather. The problem is that after my ride, my shoulders and neck ache as if I slept funny to the point where I actually break out the ibuprofen. This never happens on mountain bike rides. I've noticed that the way I'm positioned on my road bike, makes the main weight of the straps concentrate right on the non-meaty part of my collarbone. The obvious thing would be to abandon the pack for road rides but I just can't bring myself to do this. Does anyone else have this issue or any suggestions on modifying my Mule or other packs that fit differently? (I'm not exactly a candidate for a WSD because of my height.) Also, are there any exercises that may strengthen neck muscles??

Thanks :)
 

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pronounced may-duh
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Could also be the weight of your skull. Your head is heavier than you think. The road bike position is more bent over and requires you to use your neck muscels more just to keep your head up. A mtn bike is more of an upright position and your head is easier to balance and requires less strenght in the neck. It's a Theory. Try going without the Camelbak ONE TIME and see if the pain goes away. Personaly I hate the road bike position. It's just painfull. IF I was wanting to do a road ride It would be on a mtn bike with skinny slick tires. That may happen once a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I know true "roadies" don't wear hydration packs. However I am noticing more and more wearing them on recreational rides. I used to ride without a pack but decided cool water was more important than looking cool....especially after I ran out of water on a hot 50 mile ride in the middle of nowhere using only bottles. I also use mountain bike pedals...

My husband would agree with the heavy head comment :D . But seriously, I'll try to find some neck strengthening exercises. I prefer mountain biking too and only have pulled my road bike out more recently to get a better aerobic workout (or when the weather is lousy and it sits on the trainer!)
 

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pillage! plunder! 4 parts
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More Movement

Generally I find that I am more likely to move around on the mountain bike which I think makes a huge difference. Road riding you are in a similar position for the majority of the ride thus stiffness and soreness are more noticable plus the bent over position might be a further cause.

You might try lowering the hydration pack to a lower spot on your back putting more weight on the stronger portion of you back and away from your neck. You will notice it might move around a bit so you will have to snug up the waist strap. Otherwise sit up and stretch a bit or just go the way of the waterbottle. You can get the timetrialer bottles that go behind the seat if you need more fluids.
 

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I have the exact same problem but without a hydration pack. I Rodie up infrequently nowadays and the leaned over and heads-up position strains my neck and upper back to where it hurts a lot for 2 days or more. My body doesn't adjust to it since I don't ride the roadbike more than once a week or once every two weeks.

To combat this, I've found that stretching the neck and back help a lot. If I do that the day before and of the road ride, I have 20% of the ensuing discomfort at most and sometimes barely any at all. Just remember to hold each stretch for 20 seconds or longer and progressively stretch more. No stretch shoud hurt- just pull to the point where any more would be uncomfortable, and hold for 20-30 seconds.

I've also got a neck weight-strap that is perfect for strenthening the muscles that hold up your head. I used to use those when I was a gym rat and working the muscles at the back of the neck helped me eliminate neck and back strain when doing heavy curls. Well, heavy for me anyway- 75-95 lb barbell curls were in my heavy range.

I have to buy a 10lb weight for that strap and start strengthning my neck again now.
 

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DirtGirl said:
I also use mountain bike pedals...
Heh. My husband does too. Heavy platform clipless pedals no less. And wears a camelback. And has a road bike with mountain bike flat bars on it. Basically a hardtail with roadie gearing and wheels. And yeah, it's heavy... but who cares? You're training to get in shape for mountain biking, not trying to prove how fast you are on the road, right?
 

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i get the neck thing even without a pack when i haven't been riding the road often, can't imagine wearing a camel back.

2 large size woter bottles on the frame and 2 in jersey pockets are ample for even a really really long ride (comparable to pack volume ) and I do put tools and tubs in a small under the seat pack.

That wingnut style may be the ticket though if you really are committed to the pack..
 

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Horses and Bikes, Oh My!
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If you just cannot bring yourself to get rid of the pack, consider getting a higher rise stem, so that you can sit up straighter.

The first year I rode on the road, I would not get rid of my hydration pack. I loved it, but my neck and back hurt whenever I got off the bike. Once I ditched the pack, I stopped hurting. Road bikes have two bottle cages for a reason. :) As for cold water, you can buy insulated water bottles for about $12/each.
 

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I had water bottles on my road bike but I ditched them because I tend to drink water more regularly when I have my camelbak. It is more convenient to stick the valve in your mouth than fumble around with the bottles. You might try the Wingnut Gear Lowrider System. the pack is settled on your lower back and hips so you do not have to worry about fatiguing your upper back and neck.

https://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?id=123

There is also a press release about it.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=207036
 

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NMPhi767 said:
I had water bottles on my road bike but I ditched them because I tend to drink water more regularly when I have my camelbak. It is more convenient to stick the valve in your mouth than fumble around with the bottles. You might try the Wingnut Gear Lowrider System. the pack is settled on your lower back and hips so you do not have to worry about fatiguing your upper back and neck.

https://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?id=123

There is also a press release about it.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=207036
This helped my shoulder/back problems.

One question, are you sure you are setup right on your road bike? Does your neck/back hurt when you're not wearing a pack?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone! Lot's of ideas to try...

Pretty sure everything is set up properly for me on the bike unless I shrank in the past couple years (always a possibility!). The bike was built up for me as a team bike by a trustworthy shop. All the components that influence fit were selected based on my measurements.

I never had neck pain on the trainer and I put the blame on the pack when I got on the road....but I think one also moves around more on the trainer and doesn't always look ahead at the road. So I'll try exercises and going without a pack. I felt like a dummy because I didn't even think of putting water bottles in my jersey!! 4 bottles will defintely be enough.

Thanks again.
 

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im4Gsus
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another idea

i see the wingnut is still somewhat supported by the shoulders. you can give this "fanny" pack a try. camelbak has two or three styles. i use one sometimes and like it a lot.
K
 

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DirtGirl said:
Somewhat off topic and maybe even fits in under Impy's Isis question....but thought I'd throw it to the crowd...

I've been doing more road riding to get in a quick "exercise" ride and am absolutely addicted to having my hydration pack (a Camelback Mule) especially in hot weather. The problem is that after my ride, my shoulders and neck ache as if I slept funny to the point where I actually break out the ibuprofen. This never happens on mountain bike rides. I've noticed that the way I'm positioned on my road bike, makes the main weight of the straps concentrate right on the non-meaty part of my collarbone. The obvious thing would be to abandon the pack for road rides but I just can't bring myself to do this. Does anyone else have this issue or any suggestions on modifying my Mule or other packs that fit differently? (I'm not exactly a candidate for a WSD because of my height.) Also, are there any exercises that may strengthen neck muscles??

Thanks :)
I road my road bike for two years before I started getting this shoulder blade pain which then would creep into a nice headache. This would happen w/or w/out my hydro pack. Bottom line. I flipped my stem over to the more upright position and the pain is gone. I don't race or care what it looks like as long as it works.
 

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here's and idea from the Tour

I was watching the tour and I noticed one rider who pretty consistently was raising and lowering his head/neck (looked like an exagerated nod) . It looked like a good idea to keep the neck stretched out.
 

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nokin said:
I road my road bike for two years before I started getting this shoulder blade pain which then would creep into a nice headache. This would happen w/or w/out my hydro pack. Bottom line. I flipped my stem over to the more upright position and the pain is gone. I don't race or care what it looks like as long as it works.
I tried out my husband's new "road" bike yesterday. Technically it's an "urban" bike. Road wheels, frame and gearing, MTB flat bars & disc brakes. So you get slightly more upright position. I did wear my old road helmet (no visor) - and no neck or back pain. I skipped the camelbak and brought a water bottle, but like someone else mentioned - that just means I hardly drink anything - it just seems like such a hassle with the water bottle. I may try it with a small camelbak next time to see how my back feels - it was 102 degrees yesterday. Drinking less is not such a good idea...
 
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