When I race/ride gravel, my neck and shoulders really kill me on anything over 50 miles. Like, to the point where on a couple of rides I’ve barely been able to keep my head up by the end. It’s awful.
So here’s the thing: my position on my gravel bike is great on the road—probably the most comfortable I’ve ever been. By contrast, my CAAD12 is more aggressive (lower and longer) and isn’t nearly as comfortable, but it’s still fine on the road even on long rides.
But what really bothers me is gravel. My gravel bike is 5-10mm shorter and 10-15mm higher than the 12, and like I said it’s great on the road. But off road, it just beats my neck and shoulders up. What can I do to combat this? Strength training of some sort?
It’s worth noting that raising the bars isn’t really an option because 1) I rather enjoy this position on the road which is at least half the use of this bike and 2) the steerer is cut so going up isn’t much of an option without flipping the stem. And let’s be honest here: I’m too damn vain for an upright stem.
Otherwise, hit me with your suggestions. Eventually, I’d even like to lower the position on both bikes if I can find a way to get my neck and shoulders on board with the change.