I went to a local bike shop a couple days ago and picked up a road bike. I think I chose the wrong size. I bought a medium size instead of a small. I’m 5’7 and I feel comfortable during the first two hours of riding and then the back of my neck starts hurting. The salesman told me that I have a long torso so I agreed to have a medium bike. Any suggestions to fit my bike better for me? I’m 22 years old and spent a ton of money for my bike and I really want to get the best out of it.

  • 3
    You don't tell us about your riding skills. If you just took up riding or restarted after a long period off a bike, a two-hour-ride is likely to cause some discomfort. Adjustment of the position and acquiring some core-strength will ease things. The shop where you bought the bike should adjust or correct the seating position for you. It's a minimal service when you get a new bike.
    – Carel
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 7:26
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    At 5'7 a medium probably is the right size for you. I'm just shy of 6' and my bikes are both designated as "large" (56 and 57 cm respectively). A smaller frame would probably be too small for you. I don't really have anything beyond that to add to Vladimir's answer. Oh, one thing: are you riding with a backpack? I find that if I have a lot of weight on my back/shoulders, my neck starts hurting more on my road bike (where I'm riding a lot more aggressively) than on my fixie (where I sit more upright). Make sure to try it without a backpack and see what it feels like.
    – SimonL
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 8:29
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    If I am checking correctly then 5'7 is 170 cm. I am 174 cm and I ride small. But with a different manufacturers the ranges may be very different. Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 13:19
  • Have you been fitted for your bike? There are many adjustments that will effect your comfort and quality of riding. Some but not all are: length of your pedal crank; the type of saddle and saddle adjustment (how far forward, tilt);the height of the seat post;the height of your stem; the type of handlebar; and more Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 18:46
  • What is small, medium, large? I'm used to measurements like 54cm center-to-top.
    – shoover
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 21:38

3 Answers 3


Almost all road bikes have your torso leaning forward to some degree, meaning you have to hold your head up constantly. If you've never ridden a true road bike before, you've probably never had to do that. What's the longest ride you've done on a road bike before this two-hour ride?

Since you didn't mention your hands or arms hurting, you're probably not leaning too far forward. Leaning forward (to get lower and more aerodynamic) can put more weight on your hands and can make your hands, arms, and/or shoulders hurt or go numb after a while, especially if you're not used to doing that.

But since you rode for 2 hours before things started hurting, your bicycle's size probably isn't too far from being correct.

So your sore neck is probably just from doing something for two hours that you're not used to. There's a good chance you just need to ride more and get used to holding your head up.

As you ride more, you may find other fit issues. You may have to get a completely different saddle, and it might take you three or four different attempts before you find a saddle you can ride without discomfort after some period of time. You may find your shoes and/or pedal combination starts making your feet hurt or gives you hot spots (you'll know what a "hot spot" is and why it's called that if/when you get one....). You may find certain brands of shorts have padding that rubs your nether regions raw. As already noted, you might have your hands go numb after a while. Welcome to cycling - that's all a part of it.

But it's important to note that you apparently had NONE of those issues in a two-hour ride, and you seemingly haven't ridden your new road bike for that long ever before. So you're really doing pretty well, and in my opinion you probably don't have to change much, unless you've left something out of your question.

At least not yet...


If you cannot return it you can still modify the setup of your bike. In fact, an incorrect setup could be your problem, not the frame size.

The first thing is to correctly set the saddle height, it is paramount. Then you can move the saddle front and back (within limits), install a seat tube with a different setback and move your cleats back and front (if you use clipless).

Then you can move your handlebars. You can move your shifters on the handlebars (that was crucial on my current road bike!), turn the handlebars up and down slightly, move the step up and down (it is probably at the top in a new bike, though, but check) and buy a shorter (or longer) stem. You can also buy handlebars with a different reach.

There is a lot to play with. A professional bike fit would help, but it is not cheap and is better done before buying a bike. Still, it could help a lot, if you have the money.

  • Thanks! I’ll look into those things when I get money. I just got into cycling recently I used to ride a cheap bike and then I upgraded to a better bike and I had no idea how to find your size when it comes to road bikes. I thought I did my research and I obviously didn’t do a good one. I watched videos on how to fit your bike and most of the videos told me that there should be a gap between your crotch and the bike. Well mine is seating right on it. I will probably go to the bikeshop and try my luck returning it
    – Jimmy
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 7:40
  • +1. Unless OP is already on a short stem and the bicycle still feels too long.
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 7:44
  • Just consulting with a friend who is a cycling enthusiast might be helpful. Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 21:37

You don't say how much you're used to riding for 2+ hours, and on what bike, but a sore neck (especially at the back) may be that you're too low for what you're used to. A shorter (and possibly higher) stem, and/or more spacers under the stem will lift your hands, and you won't have to crane your neck as much. I have certainly found that hand/arm height affects the comfort of my neck.

Another potential issue is transmitted vibrations. Double-wrapping your bars, and better-padded gloves can both help with that.

  • 1
    An often overlooked point - road bike helmets tend to omit any form of visor (peak/brim) So if someone is riding a dropbar bike with a more MTB or upright biased helmet, this forces the neck to crane more. Answer is to remove the visor and see if it helps. Most of them simply pop off and can reattach later with a simple snap.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 23:43

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