I used to alpine cycle with my road bike. Now ( years later) I am commuting and pulling a child in a burley tralier, earning awful neck pain. Does commute cycling require a different bicycle? If so, what sort? I am having a hard time also with braking in time for things. Could I convert mine to a touring bike? Very frustrating to want to bike, but knowing pain will come along with it. The road bike is a Bianchi steel frame carbon fork. Older, 2005 model Eros. Many thanks for your time.

  • It's always tricky trying to address pain/medical issues; only you can judge whether it merits professional attention. But what's the pain like? Just as if you've been craning your neck for too long? Try higher/closer bars? Bigger/softer tyres if there's an element of jarring? Are you riding in the drops all the time for better braking? Many people like flat bars in the city even if they prefer a road bike otherwise. Interrupter levers may help.
    – Chris H
    Jun 9 '17 at 16:28
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    The best bike for commuting is the one you have. I have recently started commuting on a roadie, having used a hybrid before. I had neck pain when i first started, but I concluded that it was caused by my helmet having a visor, and me wrenching my neck to look further ahead when going downhill. Perhaps adjusting the bar angle and seat height may help.
    – CRoberts
    Jun 9 '17 at 16:34
  • @CRoberts that's a good point, I've also swapped helmets now I'm on a tourer (fairly high drop bars)
    – Chris H
    Jun 9 '17 at 16:42

If you don’t have any medical neck issues this is probably related to your position on the bike. Before you try any drastic measures I’d suggest playing around with the seating position. First of all make sure your saddle is in a good position. You should be able to ride with your hands hovering over the handlebars. Raising the handlebars is probably possible and should help too.

Maybe because of your braking problems you are constantly looking forward and never relaxing your neck? Try to look down from time to time and change hand positions on the handlebars (that’s what road handlebars are great for!). Braking power could probably be greatly increased with new, good pads and cables.

I’ve noticed that keeping my neck muscles warm helps too. It can also take some time to get used to it. Try to keep the first rides short and relaxed, take short walking breaks, especially before/after longer descents.

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    Thanks for the comments. I took my bike to our local bike co-op and they tech said that the bike frame is too big for me. That I am on the wrong bike. I have had it since 2005, maybe longer. It does feel like it is too big, and I am reaching/craning to ride on the top handlebars, not the down position bars. He also said, however, that the more limber one is, the easier it is to ride any bike. It's possible with a bit of weight gain, age, having a child that this bike no longer works for me. Jun 9 '17 at 16:51
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    @FawnAtencio: Well, if the length issue can’t be solved with a shorter stem then I guess your only option is to sell the bicycle (or at least the frame) and get one in the right size? If even the tops (middle of the bar) are too far away then converting to a straight handlebar won’t help either.
    – Michael
    Jun 9 '17 at 16:52
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    Yes, it may be time to hang this bike, up, get in shape with a different bike and revisit the road bike once my child can ride her own bike. Thanks for your feedback! Jun 9 '17 at 17:16

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