I ride a hybrid cycle to/from work each day (10 km / 6 US miles each way).

The handle bars are flat, and I ride with my thumbs gripped around the handle and 2 fingers close to or over the brakes (I feel safer).

Last year I rode every weekday without problems, but this year I am getting some pain in my front shoulder muscle on my right side.

I was doing 20 chinups and 50 pushups each day, so I cut these out for a while to see if it would help. I'm still cycling and still getting the pain. It hurts most when I sleep at night (I am a side sleeper) and when I wake up I feel the pain in a small area (front deltoid).

I am wondering if other people had similar pain and any suggestions?

Perhaps riding with my seat higher, or riding a racing bike would help, or even those little "verticle handles" that can be attached on very the end of my handle bars pointing upwards.

Maybe my muscle development was assymetric with all the exercises that hit the front (cycling, pushups) without balancing exercises for the back?

I'm 39, 6 foot / 86 kg and in otherwise very good physical shape.

Thanks for any tips / advice

PS. I'm a computer programmer by trade and use my right arm often during the day with the mouse.

  • It might be useful to know the manufacturer and model of your bike, along with its nominal size. This is normally on a sticker on the seat tube of the bicycle, or failing that, you can measure a known dimension on the bike and compare it to a geometry chart (example for a Cannondale bike) provided by the manufacturer.
    – jbuk
    May 12, 2014 at 13:29
  • 2
    Could be if you damaged the muscle your constant activity is not letting it heal properly? I remember I pulled my groin once and it took a full six months to heal because I wasn't prepared to stop cycling through it. It'd be a good idea to see a physio - some of them will specialise in cycling ailments - I saw one once and was very pleased with the results. Plus they'll be giving you professional adlice rather than the "unqualified" advice you'll get on here.
    – PeteH
    May 12, 2014 at 14:08
  • Though it likely won't tell you anything you don't already know, you should probably see an ortho about this, if it doesn't clear up in another month or three. And if you are taking statins or some other cholesterol-reducing medication, be aware that those can cause such symptoms (and result in long-term damage if allowed to progress). There is also "myoadenylate deaminase deficiency" which can cause, in particular shoulder/neck pain (though generally less localized than yours), and can similarly cause long-term damage. This disorder is easily treated with a simple "food supplement". May 12, 2014 at 15:08
  • Racing bikes normally increase pain, not decrease pain. You might want to see a doctor and possibly get a bike fit (but I'm leaning towards a doctor, who would likely refer you to a physio after some tests).
    – Batman
    May 13, 2014 at 7:14
  • It's a Merida Crossway Strike 2013 model, I found a link where I bought it (sorry, Norwegian) here: xxl.no/sykkel/sykler/hybridsykkel/… May 13, 2014 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


DISCLAIMER: This is by no means a definitive answer, but one of the options you may want to look into. Also as this borders on a medical advice, this is only meant to give a kind of guidance, not a prescription.

So one way to deal with pains caused by a substantial amount of cycling is to get your bike fitted, i.e. measured to see if your seat post is high/low enough for you, your cranks are of correct length and so on.

In your case you may be leaning too much (or indeed not enough!), which could strain your back and/or shoulders, so it could be the case you need your stem shortened (or otherwise lengthened!).

I had my stem shortened from 100mm to 90mm due to me leaning too much and getting quite a lot of pain in my shoulder blades. However I've had my bike professionally fitted.

  • Ok, thanks for the tip! The advice from my colleagues was to switch my computer use (mouse, iPad swipe hand) to my left hand, check my posture at work and go to the doctor. In other words it is less related to the cycling, that's just one component of it... and since yours was the best advice related to the cycling itself, and the same advice as I got in the sports store last night, I'll accept the answer - thanks! May 13, 2014 at 11:05
  • Have also cut out pushups for the time being. 50 pushups per day (in one set) plus cycling could well border on overtraining. May 13, 2014 at 11:06

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