General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2013-10-08 6:49 PM

Subject: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
Long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently got my first tri bike - an Orbea Ordu. Was fit on a Retul first and that was the bike the shop said would fit me best (others they carried were Scott, Argon, Guru). Had it adjusted to mirror my Retul fit. I am completely new to the aero position, so maybe that is just it.

But the outside/back of my deltoids on both shoulders light up in burning pain if I'm in aero for more than a few minutes. I can start out with maybe 5 minutes, then it becomes unbearable, so I rest on the bullhorns, then go back in, repeat. I can maybe do a maximum of 15 minutes in aero total before my shoulders are in agonizing burning pain and I'm ready to be off the bike. Not the good pain like you had a nice workout, burning pain that hurts like hell.

I asked the shop where I got the bike and fitted and they said it would go away with more time, but a few weeks of riding and I haven't seen any improvement.

My question is it just a matter of time or could be something off with my fit or some other adjustment I can make?

Thanks for any replies and suggestions.

Edited by abbattoir 2013-10-08 6:49 PM

2013-10-08 7:13 PM
in reply to: abbattoir

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position

I generally agree with the LBS.  Just takes time.  And MORE than a couple weeks.

Are you sure it hasn't gotten ANY better?  It's basically getting stronger/fitter for that position, like strength training.  Two weeks of bicep curls may not see much difference.  It takes time and repetition.  A month or two with consistent riding in earo.

Also, make note if there is any tension in that position.  If you are using a lot of strength/muscles to hold yourself back in the saddle or your upper body up or your arms from sliding - tension could be the issue.

Try to feel stacked with your upper arms about 90 degrees to your torso.  If that angle is too small, your body would want to fall forward and you have to keep it up using delts.  If the angle is too big, you would be using chest and lats to stay up so your arms don't slide forward and you flatten out.  I like to get the feeling that I can post my body up on my upper arms with the forces running straight from the pads through my elbow sockets and just lean into the bars.  Try moving your arms forward and back a little until you feel a point you don't need to hold them there with delts or lats and they just "stick" and you are relaxed.

I would say this is how I think for longer rides and general training.  For specific TT work or sprints where I want to get in a super tucked position, I will use a lot more upper body muscles to stay a little more compact.  Since that's for all out speed and for shorter durations, it's the price I will pay.

2013-10-09 7:25 AM
in reply to: Kido

Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
Thanks for the reply. I spent an hour or so on the trainer doing like you said, moving my arms back and forth and seeing how I felt each time. I ended up sliding the bars forward about half an inch and that actually took out a lot of the burning pain.

I was able to stay down a few minutes longer on the trainer and the pain was that "good sore" pain you get after a good workout, not the burning pain indicating something is wrong. My delts aren't totally relaxed, but I don't think that's possible, but they do feel less stressed now. Hopefully this small adjustment will pay off.

Thanks again for your help!!
2013-10-09 10:09 AM
in reply to: abbattoir

Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
I had a similar thing but mine is from year of wear and tear from rugby. anyhow, my pain went away a lot with making my bars wider. I was professionally fit and was fit it a normal width for aerobars, well my shoulders are wide thus it was stressing the outside delt because they were carrying the load in an awkward position. I still get some tightness but that is from the damage to my shoulders...I would try a little wider, and it does not take much, sometimes as little as a quarter to half inch further apart and you will find more comfort.
2013-10-09 12:51 PM
in reply to: weiky

Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
Good idea - I'll try what I have going now for a while, and maybe widen them a hair, too. I don't have abnormally wide shoulders, but maybe it would help the transition to the aero position and scoot them back in as I get stronger/more comfortable.
2013-10-09 1:10 PM
in reply to: weiky

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
Widening my aerobars a small amount made a big difference for me as well.  Similar discomfort to what you are describing.

2013-10-09 1:22 PM
in reply to: axteraa

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
I should have mentioned width.  My bad.  Forgot about it.  If your delts are tight, being too narrow could be an issue.  Widen the pads (at a cost of being earo though) and do some delt stretches.
2013-10-09 2:03 PM
in reply to: abbattoir

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Panama City, FL
Subject: RE: Burning pain in deltoids while in aero position
I have found the more riding in aero that I do, the better and longer I can ride in aero.
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