Neck Pain -- Helmet while on Trainer?

I’ve been on the trainer for about 6 weeks straight on a mid-volume sweet spot base plan and prior to that was coming off some intermittent riding (mostly outdoors) as I recovered from Lymes. I’m usually on my bike about ~360 hours a year, roughly 5k-ish miles. My fit on my road bike (which is on the trainer) is pretty dialed, but extremely aggressive. I’ve done 150 miles on it before with no serious discomfort.

Today I got out on my gravel bike (much less aggressive) and I have pretty bad neck pain. I get the sense that I’m not used to holding my head in the right position for riding outdoors – or rather not used to it with the helmet on. Anyone train with a helmet on indoors? I thought my set-up indoors had me looking forward but maybe I’m looking down too much. Anyone else experience something similar and have insight?

I’m much older than you (55) but experienced pain on returning to riding after a few years off - mine was mostly due to age’ing and has been alivated by strength training and stretching my neck and shoulders. You should be able to find some cycling strength exercises on youtube.

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Look into Foundation Training. It’s been a game changer for me in terms of how I carry myself both on and off the bike.

Lots of factors to consider and I doubt very much if it’s your helmet that’s the issue TBH.

No idea what you’re dealing with, but will add one anecdote: I started TR 3 months ago, and have done most of the training indoors, no helmet. Got outside for a 60 mile ride on Sunday and noticed the tired neck toward the end of the ride - something I hadn’t really noticed since I first started road riding regularly. Monday and Tues, my neck was sore. Decided I am going to start doing some of my longer training rides with helmet on and see if it helps.

So, no idea if that’s what you’re dealing with, but it does seem like my neck is a little unconditioned after spending a lot of time without the helmet on (paired with not spending 4+ hours on the bike as regularly).

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