Need a different riding position

After 25+ years of cycling on a road bike (the last 3 or so years has been 98% on my trainer, 2% outdoors), my neck has revolted. That position, leaned forward with neck craned up is causing fairly serious issues. My physical therapist says I have to change to a much more upright riding position. I’m trying to figure out possible options to do this while still doing TR workouts.
As one idea, I could buy a comfort bike and put that on my trainer with my power pedals. I think that would help with neck comfort but not sure that geometry would work well for hard sweet spot/threshold/VO2 workouts? Or would it?
What other ideas might work? I can’t be the first person to face this issue. Surely someone out there has dealt with this?
Thanks for any input!

Flip your stem. Just do it. You’ll be shocked.

Or by buy a stem with more than a +6 angle.

That and riser handlebars. Specialized makes a set for cheap. Try a few small moves then switch bikes if need be.

As above, much is possible with changes to new stems and/or handlebars, if you want to alter your current roadie.

One big question, is if you plan to use this only on the trainer or maintain it for use outside? More options exist to do wild stuff if it’s inside-only.

As to the general question on training impact, this also follows the question above about what you aim to do with this fitness outside of the trainer use case? If you want to apply fitness outside, what bike and conditions?

It’s entirely possible to train on one style of bike (I do roadie exclusively inside) even though you do something else outside (I ride everything from TT to MTB and all the spaces between). If you have an emphasis or case of interest, that may play into how extreme you might want to go with your trainer setup.

More context and goals from you will help us give more specific suggestions.

1 Like

Thanks for the responses! To provide more context:

  • My trainer bike is a dedicated trainer bike. I will never ride it outside, and am willing to do anything crazy to it to change to an upright position.

  • I have no plans to ride outdoors in the short or medium term. Maybe in spring when it warms up, and then only if my neck is much better will I consider venturing outside, and then it will be on my “outdoor” bike.

  • I’m willing to make some adjustments on my outdoor bike, but nothing too crazy, e.g. I won’t put a comfort bike handlebar on it. That bike is not an immediate concern right now, given I won’t be on it for a while.

  • Applying fitness outside is not something I’m concerned about. I rarely do group rides now. My main goal with training is the general fitness I get from it, and of course, I like to see my FTP go up, even if no one else but me ever notices. I also do some strength training and power walking to mix things up.

  • In terms of my trainer bike, I’m willing to do pretty much anything to it, that will put me in a much more upright position so my neck is not constantly angled upwards, while at the same time still allowing me to effectively do all different types of TR workouts. So I’m open to any other kind of bar, comfort, mtb, etc as long as it meets the need. I don’t care how it looks. :slight_smile:

Thanks for any further ideas!!

One other option is to lower the screen(s) you’re looking at. They ought not be high up like the horizon, and depending how close they could be well below handlebar height.

OK, with that in mind, I’d consider an adjustable stem as a quick & affordable option to try. Depending on the length of your existing cables and housing, you may be fine or you could have to lengthen them to deal with the extra height.

I’ve used this Bontrager stem in a couple of cases. It can go nearly vertical, so the 105mm can really lift and shorten your reach.

There are countless other versions out there, with this sampling via quick Amazon search.

One of these might be all you need, and is faster and easier than a bar swap, so I think it’s a good place to start.

If any of those aren’t enough, my next thought is a swap to a MTB style handlebar. This gives even more options for raising the height via bars with “Rise” ranging from 15-80mm high. The issue is an odd look and ergo with trying to slip road hoods on them.

There are some mustache style bars that can work fine with road hoods, but they lack the rise. Still, they might pull back the reach enough to be beneficial vs your current road bars.

Or you’d need to swap from road to MTB style shifters. Depending on your derailleurs, that could be easy or not. Something for a discussion another day probably, and hopefully a stem swap alone will be all you need.

Just wanted to add a note about my own experience with neck issues on the bike. Has some pain following an injury and had pain but n my neck and shoulder that made it very difficult to ride my road bike. Spoke with the doc and they basically said, if it hurts stop doing it. Makes a certain kind of sense :grin: but didn’t help my cycling goals. Ended up seeing a sports performance focused physio and was clear that my goal was complete recovery and. Addressed the injury but the real root cause was lack of mobility in the thoracic spine from being a computer worker with mediocre eyesight and posture. Getting the rest of my body moving better made a huge difference and took a lot of pressure off of my neck while on the bike.

I don’t know if any of this is relevant to your situation but could relate to your question and want to share that anecdote. That course of PT was life changing for me, on the bike but also just being a functionally strong human - which is something that a lot of time on the bike doesn’t necessarily do for me.

1 Like