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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a mountain biker for years, but recently got a road bike to help out with the cardio side of it. Also wanted to try something different. Well, I just found out that I have a crushed disc in my back (L-5/S-1), and sciatica (sp?). I tried to ride my road bike last week (Felt F-80), and after the ride, I was in some serious pain.

So my question is: would a bike with slacker angles like a Trek Pilot be better, or am I just S.O.L? I want to get back to riding (haven't really rode for about a year), but the Felt is just too painful, and am very cautious about mountain biking right now. In fact, I don't know if I'll be mountain biking any more. Kinda "lost the feeling" for it. Where I live at, there's not much, if any, places to ride.

Help please! Thanks.

Chad
 

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I would think...

a bike that is more up right like a Roubiax or Pilot would work out well. Felts have short head tubes, there fore your bent over more most likely. I actually went to an Orbea, they have taller head tubes and it is so much more comfortable for me. I wanted a Roubaix, but couldn't get a correct fit. 56 too small and a 58 too big. Orbea in 57 was perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
TI_roadracer said:
titanium upright
Anything a little more specific? Which brand/model?


I like Orbea's. The shop I worked at before carried them, and they were super nice. I would have gotten one, but money was very tight, and at the time, the Felt was ok. Now, things have changed. Hopefully soon I can get to try one out. The closest dealer is over 50 miles away.

Thanks for the help so far, keep it coming.
 

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I researched this issue before I bought my road bike (Felt F60 2005). I have spondylolysis at the L5/S1. My Physio-therapist advised me that, whilst a road bike was the least comfortable of all the other bikes, if fit properly, it will not aggravate the condition. (not to mention that my stretching and back an d core strengthening exercixe regime was instrumental if I was to be able to ride without much doscomfort or relapse).

I got a right size bike, with a good fit, and fine tuned the set up over the first month. and today i rode an 80km club ride. no issues there.

Every condition is specific. Ask your physio. If you haven't been fitted propoerly, that could be the reason.

Cereal_Killer said:
I've been a mountain biker for years, but recently got a road bike to help out with the cardio side of it. Also wanted to try something different. Well, I just found out that I have a crushed disc in my back (L-5/S-1), and sciatica (sp?). I tried to ride my road bike last week (Felt F-80), and after the ride, I was in some serious pain.

So my question is: would a bike with slacker angles like a Trek Pilot be better, or am I just S.O.L? I want to get back to riding (haven't really rode for about a year), but the Felt is just too painful, and am very cautious about mountain biking right now. In fact, I don't know if I'll be mountain biking any more. Kinda "lost the feeling" for it. Where I live at, there's not much, if any, places to ride.

Help please! Thanks.

Chad
 

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Cereal_Killer said:
I've been a mountain biker for years, but recently got a road bike to help out with the cardio side of it. Also wanted to try something different. Well, I just found out that I have a crushed disc in my back (L-5/S-1), and sciatica (sp?). I tried to ride my road bike last week (Felt F-80), and after the ride, I was in some serious pain.

So my question is: would a bike with slacker angles like a Trek Pilot be better, or am I just S.O.L? I want to get back to riding (haven't really rode for about a year), but the Felt is just too painful, and am very cautious about mountain biking right now. In fact, I don't know if I'll be mountain biking any more. Kinda "lost the feeling" for it. Where I live at, there's not much, if any, places to ride.

Help please! Thanks.

Chad

Check out the "comfort road" series from Raleigh. They're designed just for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Raleigh huh? Didn't even think of them, even though my first bike shop sold a ton of them. They are a great bike, and a great price. I'll check them out. Thanks Cruzer2424.

Fouadaswad, I haven't been to a doctor about the treatment yet, but the general doc that had the MRI done and gave me a copy of the report told me my condition usually requires surgery. I hope not though, cause that would probably mean at least a few months completely off the bike. I hope and pray I don't have to have surgery though.

I never really did have the bike properly fitted now that i think of it. The shop owner didn't take much time fitting me for it, so it probably is a fit issue. I went ahead and ordered a new stem with a taller degree rise and a shade longer (17 degree rise, 120 mm length). I currently have a 7 degree and 110 mm length. Hopefully this helps a little.

Thanks for all the info. I really do appreciate it.
 

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Without a doubt....

a Softride or Titanflex would be the most comfortable for your back. Softrides can be found cheap right now as the company is basically going out of business (sort of). You either love beam bikes or you hate them. But...if you have a bad back, you will probably love them.

Mike
 

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While you may be correct for some circumstances...

for many back conditions, the problem is the angles, not the softness of the ride.


To OP: I don't think it matters what the frame angles are, so long as the overall fit that you end up with is one that doesn't have you in a bad angulatation. I ride a Gunnar Roadie with a slightly sloping, medium length top tube and a relatively tall head tube. I slide the saddle forward, have a short upward angled stem, and short reach bars (Deda 215 or Ritchey Bio/anatomic??), and my back lets me ride.

I think very small measurements/adjustments can be important. I rode another bike yesterday--only briefly while spinning gently--that is a slightly larger frame than my Gunnar, it was set with the seat about 1.0 cm higher overall, and a seatpost-to-bars (c-c) distance about 0.5 cm longer than the Gunnar. It was noticably uncomfortable and my back was a bit tender for a couple of hours.
.

mprevost said:
a Softride or Titanflex would be the most comfortable for your back. Softrides can be found cheap right now as the company is basically going out of business (sort of). You either love beam bikes or you hate them. But...if you have a bad back, you will probably love them.

Mike
 

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Have you considered custom? If you can afford a mid-range (Ultegra or better) Roubaix or Pilot, you should be able to consider a number of custom builders. (I might be mistaken on the price of the Pilot, but the Roubaix are fairly expensive, IMHO.)
 

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Cereal_Killer said:
Raleigh huh? Didn't even think of them, even though my first bike shop sold a ton of them. They are a great bike, and a great price. I'll check them out. Thanks Cruzer2424.

Fouadaswad, I haven't been to a doctor about the treatment yet, but the general doc that had the MRI done and gave me a copy of the report told me my condition usually requires surgery. I hope not though, cause that would probably mean at least a few months completely off the bike. I hope and pray I don't have to have surgery though.

I never really did have the bike properly fitted now that i think of it. The shop owner didn't take much time fitting me for it, so it probably is a fit issue. I went ahead and ordered a new stem with a taller degree rise and a shade longer (17 degree rise, 120 mm length). I currently have a 7 degree and 110 mm length. Hopefully this helps a little.

Thanks for all the info. I really do appreciate it.

http://www.raleighusa.com/depts.asp?deptid=4
 

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I think you are too quick to assume that you actually need a different bike. You can significantly change your setup (esp. saddle type and bar height). Angles per se (STA, HTA, fork rake and the like) aren't the issue--your overall positioning is.

Before following advice to just go dump another $2k into a different bike, go see a fitter who is ALSO a physical therapist, and see what kinds of changes can be made to accommodate your back issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
SDizzle said:
Have you considered custom? If you can afford a mid-range (Ultegra or better) Roubaix or Pilot, you should be able to consider a number of custom builders. (I might be mistaken on the price of the Pilot, but the Roubaix are fairly expensive, IMHO.)
I haven't considered custom. Probably out of my price range. I've looked around, and I can get a Pilot 2.1 for just under $2000 complete. Or an Orbea Mitus for around the same price. Haven't tried to price the Roubaix yet, but imagine they are a little more, being full carbon and all.

elvisVerde, thanks for your take on it. Makes a lot of sense. Small adjustments to a few things can and does make a huge difference. I'm hoping with a new stem, it may help some. If it doesn't, and I when I get the money for another new bike (I go through bikes like shoes, just cause I can) I want to be well-armed with info. Not that I don't do that already, but changes happen.

O'well, I enjoy shopping for new bikes anyways. Always looking for the perfect bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jtolleson said:
I think you are too quick to assume that you actually need a different bike. You can significantly change your setup (esp. saddle type and bar height). Angles per se (STA, HTA, fork rake and the like) aren't the issue--your overall positioning is.

Before following advice to just go dump another $2k into a different bike, go see a fitter who is ALSO a physical therapist, and see what kinds of changes can be made to accommodate your back issues.
The reason I was thinking of a different bike is because the one i currently have is a full aluminum frame. I figured a frame with the carbon fiber stays would help out some. But maybe a carbon fiber seat post with my current ride would help. I definitely agree with a fitter, but have no clue on how to locate one. Any suggestions?
 

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Bad figuring

Cereal_Killer said:
I figured a frame with the carbon fiber stays would help out some. But maybe a carbon fiber seat post with my current ride would help.
There are a lot more variables in bike comfort than CF stays, which are probably at the bottom of the list you would make to gain comfort. At a minimumm, dropping tire pressure will have VASTLY more effect than switching to a frame with CF stays. As others have said, your best bet may just be to go with a stem with more rise so that you are more upright on the bike. Likewise, it may be more about stretching and core strengthening than changing the bike. And if you do need surgery, then bike changes are not going to get you where you want to be.
 

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Cereal_Killer said:
I've been a mountain biker for years, but recently got a road bike to help out with the cardio side of it. Also wanted to try something different. Well, I just found out that I have a crushed disc in my back (L-5/S-1), and sciatica (sp?). I tried to ride my road bike last week (Felt F-80), and after the ride, I was in some serious pain.

So my question is: would a bike with slacker angles like a Trek Pilot be better, or am I just S.O.L? I want to get back to riding (haven't really rode for about a year), but the Felt is just too painful, and am very cautious about mountain biking right now. In fact, I don't know if I'll be mountain biking any more. Kinda "lost the feeling" for it. Where I live at, there's not much, if any, places to ride.

Help please! Thanks.

Chad
Check out Rivendell. Any company that sez that one's saddle should be at the same height as one's bars is likely to be back-friendly:

http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/bikes.html

The Raleigh Comfort line also looks good - at a much more affordable price.

Have Fun Shopping,

FBB
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Kerry Irons said:
There are a lot more variables in bike comfort than CF stays, which are probably at the bottom of the list you would make to gain comfort. At a minimumm, dropping tire pressure will have VASTLY more effect than switching to a frame with CF stays. As others have said, your best bet may just be to go with a stem with more rise so that you are more upright on the bike. Likewise, it may be more about stretching and core strengthening than changing the bike. And if you do need surgery, then bike changes are not going to get you where you want to be.
Makes sense. I guess I'm just too easily swayed by peoples' opinions. I've been a mountain biker for so long, i figured most of it out for myself. But I'm finding that road bikes are a lot more finicky in some areas than I thought. A lot to learn I guess. So your reputation preceeds you I guess, as I've heard your name a lot on here already. Good to have you, and thanks for the info.
 

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jtolleson said:
I think you are too quick to assume that you actually need a different bike. You can significantly change your setup (esp. saddle type and bar height). Angles per se (STA, HTA, fork rake and the like) aren't the issue--your overall positioning is.

Before following advice to just go dump another $2k into a different bike, go see a fitter who is ALSO a physical therapist, and see what kinds of changes can be made to accommodate your back issues.
right.. though he could definitely benefit from longer chainstays.
 

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The impact of frame material on ride quality is a little overrated. If you are just looking for a little more forgiveness in your ride, start with some 700X25 tires and don't pump 'em above 110. That'll add more foregiveness than carbon stays and at a fraction of the price.

I've never used a suspension seatpost, but I've certainly seen riders with back problems use them. But the biggest key is probably going to be getting your bars up, at least to saddle height or so.

As for finding a good fitter, maybe someone here can advise. What city are you in?
 

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I second the rivendell- I've got a Riv Romulus that's set up "rivendell style" and man is it comfortable. I can honestly say I've never riden any bike as comfortable. It's fast enough, and I'm sure if I swapped out the triple crank (48 38 28) with a more traditional road crank (52 39) it'd keep up with anything I care to keep up with. It's also the most beautiful bike I've ever owned, and yet I have no qualms riding it year round in wisconsin.

Handlebars even with the saddle makes an incredible difference.
 
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