Road bike that is easy on the neck

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by deliberate1, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. deliberate1

    deliberate1 New Member

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    Friends, I am in the market for a new road bike and would appreciate suggestions for a bike for a guy with some neck issues. I am 50 years old in excellent shape (5'6 and 165lbs) - downhill ski in the winter and lift weights 3-4 days per week year round. I have been possessed by the bike bug off and on since I was a kid. Rode a lot in college and then floated in and out of it. My wife got me my last bike about five years ago - a Raleigh hybrid type that inspired me little. Now that the roads in the rural area where I live have been resurfaced, I see a lot of guys having a great time on their bikes and it lit the flame again. I have done a great deal of reading and spent some time at my LBS (I am learning the lingo too). Yesterday, I bought my wife a very nice Cannondale flat bar bike that is a lot of bike for $550. I tried a CAAD in 54 and Synapse in 53 which fit better but seemed to this uninitiated rider a bit flat. I liked the reponse of the aluminum but have read that the carbon is an easier ride in the long run. But what troubled me was an aggravation of some neck pain that I often get - mostly after over doing it at the gym (especially shrugs) or when I am sitting with bad posture. Never had it diagosed, but I suspect it is some arthritis with pain from inflammation due to overexertion or ergonomics. I chalk up this most recent bout to the hyperextention of the head (looking up) while it the crouched riding position. Neck definitely did not like even 15 minutes of that. I am hesitant to buy a bike only to find that I can not ride becasue of this issue. I have considered a flat bar bike, but honestly, it is not the experience I am looking for. I have read that Giant and Specialized have models with a more upright geometry. My "local" dealer (52 miles away) will sell me an OCR C2 for $1745. I am going to give it a test ride and see if it works better than the Cannondale. Any other suggestions regatding bikes or riding technique would be greatly appreciated. I would like to get back on the road, but not at the cost of this considerable discomfort. Much obliged.
     
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  2. deliberate1

    deliberate1 New Member

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    ...sorry, make that 5'9.
     
  3. BillM

    BillM New Member

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    I have an OCR C2....I don't have neck trouble but it was noticeably smoother and easier ride than a comparable aluminum framed model.

    I rode an OCR1 aluminum and a Felt F75 which is aluminum and carbon hybrid before settling on the OCR C2.

    So far so good..>I love it.

    Many of the Giant dealers are running the bikes on sale right now so it's a good time to buy.
     
  4. graphixgeek

    graphixgeek New Member

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    Look for a road bike with a more upright position. I forget how the OCR's stem is, but stems that put the handelbars higher in relation to the seat may relieve the stress on your neck. I would try different stems with different angles and heights to see if they help or not.
     
  5. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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  6. Cycle2100

    Cycle2100 New Member

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    I considered the OCR but my LBS didn't have any. Wound up with a Trek Pilot 5.0. Similar geometry to the OCR. Just rode my first century last weekend, and after 107 miles I had no neck problems. My previous race-style bike (horizontal top tube), would cause neck problems around 40 miles into a ride. These relaxed geometries are wonderful for us guys who aren't as flexible as we used to be, and many (like the Pilot and OCR) have great road performance. :)
     
  7. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    A more-upright stance on your bike will help. Other things that help is working on staying loose. For example, on long rides I will notice neck pain if I have stayed in the drops for a significant number of minutes since it requires me to look up more to see straight ahead. I have learned from experience to just let my head relax and look at the near road. I'm not going so fast that I can't stay on the road and I can glance up easily to see the road ahead, without raising my head. I will change positions to the tops of the bars and a more-upright stance. The main thing is to always move around on your bike; don't stay in one position for a long time, but mix it up regularly. It keeps muscles from staying tight so long that they lock up and get sore.
     
  8. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    Check out the Trek Pilot and Specialized Roubaix. If they are not upright enough for you, then try the Specialized Sequoia. I am 54 years old and road 38 miles today on my Specialized Roubaix Elite with no pain anywhere.
     
  9. deliberate1

    deliberate1 New Member

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    I am obliged for all your suggestions. Anyone here suggesting a flat bar for my malady? Intuitively, it would seem to provide a more upright riding position. But will the relaxed geometry of the OCR, Pilots and Roubaix models with drop bars provide a similar riding position? I really do not want to go with a flat bar, but I also do really want to ride. Thanks.
     
  10. Cycle2100

    Cycle2100 New Member

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    I would not go with a flat bar. A traditional bar provides hand positions at the top (most upright, like a flat bar), in the brake hoods, and in the drops. Variety is key to comfort. Also, when when riding in a strong head wind, there's nothing comfortable about riding upright!
     
  11. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    I agree, although you might want to consider the Specialized Sequoia, too. The Sequoia is even more upright than the Roubaix, but still has drop bars. I have both a Specialized Crossroads and a Roubaix. For most rides I prefer the Roubaix. The only time I use the Crossroads is for off road use or shopping. Anything over 15 miles, and the variety of hand positions is exremely welcome.
     
  12. BikeBloke

    BikeBloke New Member

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  13. dfischer

    dfischer New Member

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    I was in something of the same position. Bad neck (whiplash injury's, arthritis, etc..) I rode most of the summer on a way oversize roadbike just learning what I did and didn't like. Then I bought a sequoia elite. Most happy w/it. Here's my thoughts:

    Get road bike bars. 3 hand holds instead of 1. I flipped the stem upside down and added a 3" stem riser. I can confortable ride the tops w/folks on comfort bikes, the hoods are my normal position, and I can ride the drops easily enough to cut wind down.

    Personally, I love the brakes up top.

    Carbon does ease road jar from an all aluminum bike, but it's not magic. Don't this it will ride like a comfort bike. But then, I've two friends that bought comfort bikes. They dropped 4 mph the day they brought them home..

    I did like the Giant OCR's but wanted road bike performance and best of breed relaxed posture. That ground is held by the sequoia.

    luck dan
     
  14. deliberate1

    deliberate1 New Member

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    Dan, I appreciate your thoughts and I will check out the Sequoia. Did you actually try the Giant? If so, how did you find the Trek superior? By the way, what "comfort" bikes did those bad things to your pals?
    Cheers,
    David


     
  15. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    Dan,

    Did you also try the Roubaix? I had the Sequoia on my short list, along with the Trek Pilot 5.0 and Roubaix Elite. I found the Roubaix and Pilot to be upright enough for me - not nearly as upright as my Specialized Crossroads, but far more upright than the Trek 5000, Specialized Allez, or Felt f5c.

    I would consider the Crossroads a good comfort bike, and I am at least 3.5 mph faster on the Roubaix than I am on the Crossroads. The biggest differences are in accellerating, cornering, and climbing. Today, I went from standing still to 18 mph in less than three revolutions of the pedal. Although I can go 24 mph in the flats on the Crossroads, it takes me a good 20 yards to get to 18 mph.
     
  16. ponchojuan

    ponchojuan New Member

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    I'm 53, with neck issues doing the same research.

    I have found the Raleigh Cadent 3.0 to be a good a price-right alternative. My initial test ride was very favorable compaired with the other models mentioned. The Cadent 3.0 is selling at around $1100.

    This Cadent line is what Raleigh calls the Re2P for Relaxed Ergonomic Efficient Postion. This is a more upright postion. I compared the Giant and the Cadent and they were a very similar frame geometry. The Giant had a longer, adjustable stem while the Raleigh was shorter and not as adjustable. This could easily be changed.

    The big issue for me was value: The Cadent 3.0 has composite seat stays as well as seat posts and seems to be a better ride on New England roads than a totally aluminum frame. Also the FD is a Shimano 105 and RD is an Ultegra.

    Seems to be a lot of bike for the price.

    Best of all the dealer is rock solid.
     
  17. Little Jackie

    Little Jackie New Member

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    I also have been getting quite a bit of shoulder and neck ache and am 52. I have raised the bars as high as I can on my Felt (drop bars -unable to buy flat bar in my size) and have added an adjustable stem. Have not had a good ride on it since, but the day I tested it, I was extremely achy and did not feel any worse afterwards!

    I have just commissioned my friend to upgrade a 2007 Ladies Giant Upland for another alternative, with a view to aging! (I have had trouble getting bikes to fit as I am only 5') He was going to take most of the height out of the stem when he fitted an adjustable stem, but I have asked him to leave it for the moment as I really need to reduce the above problems. See the link below to check out what he has done. As soon as I hopped on, I said this feels like getting on a road bike! I can't wait until Saturday when he is able to fit my grips and new suspension seatpost! The main thing he is concerned with is keeping enought weight over the front end of the bike to maintain stability. He has taken particular care to replicate as far, as possible, the geometry of my road bike

    I will have to persuade my son to take a photo of the finished product for the web site. Quite innovative. George is keeping the Giant rep posted. I believe this will revolutionise the world of cheap bikes for ordinary women who have not enjoyed riding what is served up to them!

    Hope this gives food for thought! Take particular notice concerning the cassette even though it is only 7 speed most of the jumps are only 2 teeth except for the lower gears, which are not so annoying (they are 3)!
     
  18. bulaboy

    bulaboy New Member

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    Consider getting a good bike fit. I love to ride but keep getting bitten by the injury bug. I was always too cheap to pay for a fitting session, but a friend of mine won one in a mid race prime and I bought it from him at a significant discount. What a difference! It has only been 2 - 25 mile rides so far but I'm more comfortable and I can get more of my power to the pedals. Doing 40 w/some hammer heads tomorrow. Can hardly wait.
     
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