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Riders who struggle with neck pain have a harder time enjoying cycling, which is why choosing a bike that is comfortable and safe to ride is essential.
Neck pain is a very common issue for a lot of riders - even those who do not have underlying conditions. Luckily, there are a lot of great options for bikes for people with neck pain, but you need to make sure that you pick the right one based on the severity of your condition and your preferred riding style.
The best bikes for neck pain are:
- BOARDMAN MTX 8.6
- Marin Kentfield CS1
- ISLABIKES Joni
- Specialized Sirrus 2.0
- Focus CRATER LAKE 3.9
- Performer JC-26-X
- MOBO TRITON PRO
- CRUZBIKE VENDETTA V20C
- TerraTrike Rover 3
Cycling is a way of life for so many people, but if you struggle with neck pain, riding a bike can literally become a pain in the neck! But what do you do in this situation? Do you throw in the towel and give up on cycling altogether? The good news is that there are some amazing bikes out there that are perfect for riders who have neck problems. With that said, neck pain can be caused by a number of different factors. If you have an underlying condition that causes severe neck pain, then you need to approach your bike selection very carefully. However, for riders who have minor issues with their neck, you can more be flexible with your bike options. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the best bikes for neck pain in more detail.
After extensively researching cycling forums, I have been able to gather enough information to determine which bikes are best for neck pain. My research has indicated that you need to select a bike based on the severity of your neck pain and you should always consult a doctor before riding if you have a serious underlying condition.
Best Upright Bikes for Neck Pain
Upright bikes tend to be the go-to for most riders, as they feel more natural and traditional. However, neck pain is also much more common with upright bikes, which is why you need to evaluate your options carefully.
While a major component of preventing neck pain while riding an upright bike has to do with body positioning and how you set up the seat and handlebars, some models and bikes are considerably more comfortable than others.
By picking a comfortable upright bike and setting it up correctly, you can avoid neck pain completely and enjoy cycling once again. With that said, if you have severe problems with your neck, you are going to be much better off going with a recumbent bike. More on this later.
BOARDMAN MTX 8.6
Mountain bikes can be incredibly comfortable when you pick the right model - and you do not need to do any off-roading or intense trail riding if you don’t want to. These bikes are designed for rugged terrain and they are built with a quality suspension to ensure that even harsh trail conditions do not interfere with a quality ride.
The BOARDMAN MTX 8.6 is one of the most comfortable mountain bikes on the market and it can be a great option for anyone who is experiencing neck pain. This mountain bike has an upright geometry which encourages good posture that helps you keep your back and neck relaxed.
The BOARDMAN MTX 8.6 is also equipped with a 63mm travel suspension fork that will make each bike ride feel smooth and pleasant. As you ride over bumps and cracks in the road, the front suspension will do wonders at absorbing the impact of the road so that your neck and shoulders don’t have to.
BOARDMAN designed the MTX 8.6 with top-notch specs and it features a high-quality, lightweight aluminum frame that enables you to get up to speed - without compromising the durability of the bike. You will find that the MTX 8.6 has Shimano parts throughout, which can be found in the cassette and derailleurs.
You also have a broad range of gears to choose from so that you can easily adapt to changes in grade. To top it off BOARDMAN installed high-quality hydraulic disc breaks on this mountain bike so that stopping power is precise and reliable.
The manufacturer intentionally designed this bike with comfort in mind. Mountain bikes in general can be quite comfy to ride but BOARDMAN focused on adding to this characteristic by designing a geometry that helps you maintain your posture.
If your neck pain is not overly severe, the comfort level of the MTX 8.6 may be the perfect bike to get you back on some nature trails. With the specs and performance capabilities of this bike in mind, BOARDMAN has it listed for a surprisingly low $665.
Marin Kentfield CS1
Marin usually specializes in building high-performance bikes, but they decided to prioritize comfort first and foremost when designing the Marin Kentfield CS1. This bike is technically categorized as a fitness and leisure bike which makes it perfect for casual riders and anyone who is cycling to stay in shape.
To start, the Marin Kentfield CS1 has a step-through frame. This makes getting on and off your bike extremely easy and you can avoid any discomfort when mounting and dismounting. As you ride, the geometry of the bike helps you stay in an upright position with your back and neck relaxed.
Unlike the previous model that we covered, the BOARDMAN MTX 8.6, this bike rides a lot more like a cruiser than a mountain bike, despite having some similar characteristics. With that said, the suspension of the Marin Kentfield CS1 is quite rigid, which means that you should avoid taking this bike on any intense off trails, as it can get a bit bumpy.
Instead, this Marin bike is a great option for anyone with neck pain that wants to go on casual rides on paved roads and trails. While riding, you can enjoy the cushioned feel of the road thanks to the thick 38mm, 700c tires which will roll over any cracks and bumps.
The Marin Kentfield CS1 is incredibly durable, as it has an aluminum frame and a steel fork. While this does add to the weight of the bike, the Kentfield CS1 was not designed for racing or intense mountain bike trails. If you do encounter any changes in grade while you ride, this Marin bike has a 21-speed gear selection for you to choose from.
If you are simply looking for a bike that is great for casual riding and fitness, the Marin Kentfield CS1 is a solid option. This is also a great bike if you are shopping on a budget, as Marin has it on sale for just $419.
Low step-through bikes are great for people with neck pain - especially if mounting and dismounting are adding to the issue. The Joni from ISLABIKES is a super low step-through bike that enables you to mount and dismount effortlessly.
Although this bike is technically designed for senior riders who are 65 years and over, the truth is that it is also a crowd favorite among people who suffer from conditions like neck pain. Much like the Marin Kentfield the Joni is primarily meant for cruising and casual riding. With that said, you can still work up a sweat and get a solid workout in!
For a bike of this size and style, the Joni is surprisingly lightweight at just 25lbs. This makes maneuvering, storing, and accessing the bike very easy and practical. Once you are riding, you can take things at your own pace, even if that means riding slowly. This bike is designed with a very low gearing system so that you can pedal at ease without putting strain on your neck.
This is a particularly great feature that the Joni offers, as neck pain can sometimes become more apparent when you struggle to conquer a steep incline hill. If you need to stop sharply on your ride, you can do it with total confidence thanks to this bike’s quality hydraulic disc breaks.
The Joni is not out to win any races, but it will get you to where you need to go without causing any pain in your neck. This bike is extremely comfortable and based on the fact that it was designed for senior citizens, there are a lot of features in place to mitigate any chances of injury. Given the solid specs that this comfort bike has, the price tag is going to be a bit higher at $1,050.
Specialized Sirrus 2.0
Specialized is one of the leading brands in the cycling industry and they primarily design world-class bikes that are focused on peak performance. The Sirrus 2.0 is a hybrid that combines the best qualities of road and mountain bikes into one.
This is going to be a particularly good fit for any riders who are experiencing manageable neck pain, as the Sirrus 2.0 from Specialized does put a focus on speed and rugged riding compared to some of the other options on our list.
Specialized built this bike for riders that want a top-notch fitness and commuter bike. You can get to where you need to go quickly and efficiently while staying comfortable. One of the key features of this bike is its versatility.
Hybrid bikes are a go-to option for a lot of cyclists who want an all-arounder that can do a bit of everything, which is exactly what the Sirrus 2.0 delivers. If you want to commute to work and ride through the city, no problem. However, if you decide to change up the scenery to hit a dirt or gravel trail, the Specialized Sirrus 2.0 can handle that too.
Much like with all Specialized bikes, you can expect only quality parts and materials to be used in the design. Shimano components are used for the shifters, derailleur, and cassette. Specialized utilized A1 Premium Aluminum, which is both lightweight and very durable for rugged riding.
If neck pain is a major issue due to underlying conditions, this may not be the best bike for you. On the other hand, if the pain is minor, the Sirrus 2.0 will be a great fit and it will enable you to access various types of terrain.
Focus CRATER LAKE 3.9
The CRATER LAKE 3.9 from Focus is a bike that strikes the perfect balance between comfort and performance. This is another hybrid with mountain bike and road bike characteristics, meaning that you can use it for various types of terrain.
Focus designed this hybrid bike with top-notch components to ensure that you can ride in adverse conditions without compromising the integrity of the bike. This is a hardtail suspension bike that features a quality aluminum frame, which is lightweight and built to last.
A key feature of the Focus CRATER LAKE 3.9 is that it looks a bit more like a mountain bike but has a step-through frame that makes it incredibly easy to mount and dismount. Focus built this hybrid bike with an SR Suntour NEX HLO DS fork, as well as Shimano parts, which can be found throughout the entire groupset.
If you are looking for a bike for leisure riding, the Focus CRATER LAKE 3.9 may be more bike than you need. Instead, this is a great bike for riders that are experiencing manageable neck pain and still want to get on nature and gravel trails from time to time.
The Focus CRATER LAKE 3.9 is a tough bike that is built with a sophisticated design and it is loaded with top-notch parts and components. For the specs and performance that you get with this hybrid, Focus has it priced at a very reasonable $880.
Best Recumbent Bikes for Neck Pain
If you struggle with severe neck pain, you may feel like riding a bike is out of reach. However, recumbent bikes have been the answer for a lot of riders who experience neck pain when cycling - even those with underlying conditions.
Recumbent bikes enable you to ride in a fully-seated position where your body stays reclined and comfortable. Instead of straining your shoulders and neck like you would on an upright bike, recumbents provide riders with added support.
For so many people, recumbent bikes are the solution to bringing cycling back into their lives. If your neck pain is unbearable on an upright bike, consider giving recumbents a try, as they have proven to be extremely effective at preventing strain on the body while riding.
Anyone who rides recumbent bikes has heard of Performer. This is a high-end and reputable brand of recumbent bicycles that is praised for ingenious designs that are sophisticated and built to last.
The Performer JC-26-X is a true stand out and it is an ideal option for anyone who has been experiencing neck pain. If you are transitioning from an upright bike and appreciate comfort while riding, the Performer JC-26-X is going to feel like a dream in comparison to anything that you have ever ridden.
This is a trike-style recumbent bike that is incredibly easy to ride. The mere fact that you have 3 wheels instead of two gives you a lot of additional support while riding so that your chances of tipping over or falling are pretty much impossible.
The mesh seat of the Performer JC-26-X is very comfortable and the headrest will ensure that your neck has support throughout your entire ride. Changing gears on this recumbent is intuitive and you have as many as 30 different speed settings to choose from (depending on the model variation of the Performer JC-26-X that you select)
I also really like that Performer added rear suspension to this recumbent as this truly seals the deal on comfort for a lot of riders with neck pain. Although recumbent bikes offer back and neck support, a lack of suspension can result in a rigid ride that causes discomfort due to cracks and bumps being felt on the road.
The Performer JC-26-X’s seating position combined with its superior suspension will ensure that your neck and shoulders do not get sore while you go out cycling. All in all, the geometry of this recumbent bike combined with its level of comfortability, make it the ultimate bike for anyone who is experiencing neck pain.
With that said, Performer also built and designed the JC-26-X with premium parts and components. This machine is loaded with high-quality Shimano parts and it features a durable yet lightweight Aluminum 6061 frame, which is aircraft-grade aluminum.
This recumbent bike is not designed for rugged trail riding by any means. Performer built this advanced recumbent for all types of riders but especially those who suffer from neck pain are going to benefit from buying one of these machines. This is a top-of-the-line recumbent and you can expect that to be reflected in the price tag, as this bike is currently on sale for $2,600.
MOBO TRITON PRO
The MOBO TRITON PRO is currently one of the most popular recumbent bikes on the market. This recumbent is user-friendly, reliable, and affordable, which is why a lot of people with neck pain opt for this model over standard upright bikes.
The TRITON PRO from MOBO is not quite as advanced as the Performer JC-26-X, but this is actually a selling point for some riders. It features a simplistic and minimalistic design - making it more of a hop-on and hop-off recumbent.
This factor alone makes the MOTO TRITON PRO an appealing recumbent model for a variety of different riders. Whether you are suffering from neck pain or simply a rider looking for a change-up from your upright bike, the MOTO TRITON PRO is a solid starting point for recumbent cycling.
The reliability of the MOTO TRITON PRO is reinforced by its low center of gravity and excellent stability. I also really enjoyed how easy this recumbent was to adapt to a variety of different riders. This bike is designed for men, as well as women, and you can easily adjust the height to just about anyone.
Unlike a lot of recumbent bikes that you can find on the market, the MOTO TRITON PRO is not intended for commuting or racing. Instead, MOTO designed this bike for casual fitness and leisure cycling. The dual-joystick steering makes this bike very easy to maneuver and a whole lot of fun to ride.
It is worth mentioning that if you are looking for a bike that is going to give you the best neck and back support possible, the MOTO TRITON PRO is not going to be the best recumbent that you can buy. While this model does offer solid neck support due to the seating position, it does lack a headrest and rear suspension, which can make cycling a bit stiff for riders with serious underlying conditions.
If your neck pain is not severe and you are looking for a casual recumbent bike, the MOTO TRITON PRO is going to be a great fit. Lastly, this TRITON PRO is sold at a very reasonable price of just $550 - making it one of the best budget recumbents on the market.
CRUZBIKE VENDETTA V20C
Competitive cyclists who experience physical discomfort suffer from neck pain more than most other riders, as the idea of sacrificing performance or giving up cycling altogether due to neck pain can seem very defeating.
Luckily, there are some incredible recumbent bikes on the market that are designed specifically for speed. If you love to ride road bikes and want a recumbent that can deliver you the same performance, there is no better option than the CRUZBIKE VENDETTA V20C.
This is one of the fastest road bikes ever made and it takes recumbent cycling to a whole new level. CRUZ BIKE is a manufacturer that specializes in advanced recumbent road bikes that are meant for serious cyclists that want to attain top-notch performance.
The CRUZBIKE VENDETTA V20C is 10% lighter than its predecessor which is attributed to the ingenious design and high-end parts and materials used in the design. This recumbent features a frame that is made out of both carbon fiber and lightweight aerospace-grade aluminum alloy.
CRUZ BIKE was able to build a frame that weighs just a mere 3.6lbs using these materials, which explains why this is such an advanced racing recumbent bike. In addition, the bike is loaded with high-end parts and materials that are guaranteed to last if you treat them with respect.
With these specs and performance capabilities in mind, this is clearly not the average recumbent bike for casual riders with neck pain. The CRUZBIKE VENDETTA V20C is the solution for competitive road bike cyclists who want to cope with their discomfort while continuing to race.
It is also worth mentioning that this recumbent bike is still designed to perform like a road bike through and through, which implies that the ride will be rigid. If you want peak performance on a recumbent road bike, this is the best option on the market, but it is going to cost you, as CRUZ BIKE currently has this model listed for $5,900.
TerraTrike Rover 3
Casual cyclists experiencing neck pain are going to have a tough time deciding between the TerraTrike Rover 3 and the MOTO TRITON PRO. Both of these recumbent bikes have excellent specs and they offer comfort and reliability in one package.
With that said, the TerraTrike Rover 3 is undeniably a better-built machine overall. This recumbent features advanced parts and materials enabling it to outperform a lot of similar models on the market.
To start, this recumbent’s frame is made out of carbon steel, which is incredibly durable. The frame material enables the TerraTrike Rover 3 to have a weight capacity of up to 400lbs. This factor alone is a selling point for a lot of people, as a lot of the competition can just support 250lbs like the TRITON PRO.
I also really like that the TerraTrike Rover 3 comes equipped with disc brakes instead of caliper breaks - increasing the stopping power and reliability of this recumbent bike even further. Although this recumbent bike does not have a headrest, the seat is very comfortable and it allows you to ride while keeping your back straight.
If you are looking for a recumbent bike that is casual and comfortable that will allow you to ride without experiencing neck pain, the TerraTrike Rover 3 is a fantastic option overall. Given the high-end parts and materials used to build this bike, it is currently being sold for around $800.
Tips for Avoiding Neck Pain While Bike Riding
Buying the right bike can make a huge difference in how much neck pain you feel when you are out riding. Manufacturers design certain bikes that are specifically focused on comfort so that you can continue riding - even with underlying health issues.
However, it is important to understand that neck pain can often be self-inflicted while cycling. You can buy the most comfortable bike in the world and still experience neck pain if you do not take certain precautions. Let’s take a closer look at some tips for avoiding neck pain while riding a bike.
Set Up Your Bike Correctly
The truth is that a lot of people who get neck pain while riding are experiencing it due to the fact that their bike is not set up correctly. Your bike needs to be proportionate to you in size first and foremost, but once you find the right bike, adjust the seat and the handlebars to fit your body.
If you are overly extending your neck when riding, simply raising the handlebars will help you feel more comfortable on a bike. Once you have raised your handlebars to an appropriate position, adjust the stem of your seat to match. Alternatively, you may not need to raise your handlebars at all and you may simply need to lower your stem.
Maintain Good Posture
Once you have the right bike and it’s been set up properly, you need to ensure that you are maintaining good posture while riding. Bad posture results in back and neck pain, which is one of the main reasons why people feel discomfort when riding a bike.
Most importantly, you want to keep your neck forward and your back neutral during your ride. Staying stiff while riding your bike will cause your body to absorb more of the shock from the road, which you can avoid by keeping your elbows bent and your shoulders relaxed.
Always Test Ride
Each person’s neck pain is different, just like each person's size and body composition are different, which is why there is no one bike fits all solution to this issue.
Even if you hear about a bike that is ‘best for neck pain’, be sure to thoroughly test-ride it to confirm that it is right for you! This means that you should try out a few different bikes before you make any commitments to see which one suits your riding style and your neck pain the best.