Neck numbness after long rides

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I tend to find that after a few hours in the saddle I seem to get a bit of a sore neck. I guess this isn't particularly unusual, particularly as you get older, as you are putting your head back for hours on end in order to look forward.

I did the Coast to Coast yesterday, from Workington from Sunderland. Probably the longest time I have spent in the saddle in one day and whilst it wasn't painful, there was an obvious soreness to the back of my neck.

Today there is no pain or soreness, but the back of my neck is numb. I assume it is a bit of inflammation, but I have never really experienced this before. Is this normal?

Post edited at 20:00
 abr1966 27 May 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

Likely that some branch of the nerve has been compressed Nick...over a sustained ride. I think this should resolve itself over a few days but worth looking at your position if you are planning to do further long rides.....

Good ride though!

Post edited at 20:00
In reply to abr1966:

Thanks. Makes sense.

 Baz P 27 May 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

I used to suffer with this and found myself looking downwards to ease the pain but shortening my stem from 95mm to 50mm seems to have cured it. It has obviously lifted my line of sight slightly.

In reply to The New NickB:

If you don't often do long rides, a long one can give you a temporary soreness, but if it becomes more regular a issue as above look at your position, even if you've had a bike fit a while ago it may be worth doing one again.

Generally as you get older, you need to raise the bars in comparison to the seat. either move a ring on the headpost from above to below the stem or look at stems with a bit more angle - it may also be worth making this adjustment if doing a longer than normal ride... a 5mm ring would make a difference.

 Rigid Raider 28 May 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

Yes, raise the bars a little and don't wear a peaked cap under your helmet, which forces you to look up more.

Whatever you do, don't end up on a pile of shite like Jeremy Corby's bike, with endless stem extensions. 

 cb294 28 May 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

Looking down every now and then does help, but even better is to not crank your neck straight back, but to turn your head slightly sideway. This gives you a much better elevation of your line of sight, at least with one eye, which is enough for normal cycling. You can always look straight up if more attention is required.


 jpicksley 29 May 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

I think that to a certain extent you have to expect soreness somewhere in the upper body when you do a long ride, especially that long. You're in an unnatural position for hours on end with pressure points you don't normally have. It's going to make you sore somewhere. I counteract with stretching on the bike while in motion, when I have a stop I stretch out properly and I do yoga when I finish. Doesn't stop it happening but keeps it under control while on the bike and makes it more comfortable and helps recovery afterwards.

Good ride, man. Well done.

 The Potato 29 May 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

I had this in a Tri recently where I stayed in an aero position on the drops for the whole time, not comfortable but man was I fast! just a case of getting the body used to it.

in its extreme form its called Shermer's neck

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