Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Senior Member cupcrazy4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    My Bikes
    '08 Kona JTS & Riviera (?) Sport converted Fixed Gear
    Posts
    228
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    lower back pain with heavy backpack

    I've just started commuting (only 3 days so far, ~30km RT) and I'm using my backpack to carry my school books, lunch, and other stuff to and from class.

    I've been noticing a lot of lower back pain while wearing the bag (the bag is fairly heavy). Will buying a messenger bag solve this problem? Or is it a bike fit problem?

    thanks

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Acton, West London, UK
    Posts
    3,783
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/404174-lower-back-pain-ugh.html#post6459416

    back pain is almost always one of two things

    mostly

    poor core strength - do plank exercises every day and that should solve your problem reasonably quickly.





    sometimes

    handlebar reach is too long - buy either a shorter, higher angle stem or even an adjustable one while you're trying to find a comfortable position.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,252
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a rack and panniers
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  4. #4
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Calgary
    My Bikes
    2013 MEC Col Ltd. road bike; 2012 MEC Silhouette hybrid; 2001 Specialized Allez (too small); 1984 Raleigh 5-speed city bike; 1985 Boyes-Rosser tourer; 1976 Raleigh Twenty folding bike; 1988 (?) Kuwahara "Blaze" mountain bike
    Posts
    2,282
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Backpacks suck They are not designed to be worn on bikes! I always end up in severe pain when I try carrying a pack while biking.

    A rack and pannier system as another poster says, or even a big crate-type thing ziptied to a rear rack to hold your backpack, should solve the problem.

    (Basic rack is usually about $15; paired panniers start at $20.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Slightly to the left of Boston
    My Bikes
    Trek 4900 Alpha, GF Cronus
    Posts
    81
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    Get a rack and panniers
    +1

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you insist on a backpack, try one of these
    http://bbpbags.com/
    I use one when I carry my laptop.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Washington
    My Bikes
    MTB Agressor for now.
    Posts
    864
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After getting panniers I will never go back to a backpack!! No back pain and I love my rides!!! P.S. I'm a college student, trust me I went through that B.S.
    Life is short, focus on the things that do matter in life and don't forget the rest.

  8. #8
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    1st star to the right...
    My Bikes
    Merlin Ti Build, Trek Y-50, Bianchi Titanium Build, Custom Cuevas Road bike
    Posts
    1,469
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=6459416

    back pain is almost always one of two things

    mostly

    poor core strength - do plank exercises every day and that should solve your problem reasonably quickly.
    +1

    Best advice. If you do these exercises now, and pack in your ab muscles, you'll have far less problems (like I do) later when you are 40 or 50.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    My Bikes
    IRO Jamie Roy - fixed / Kona Smoke
    Posts
    192
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am using a rack with a rack pack. It has velcro straps to secure it to the rack and it is roomy enough to carry what I need. Also it has a shouder strap which is nice if I want to take it off and take it along. It has a loop for a rear blinkie light, too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Washington
    My Bikes
    MTB Agressor for now.
    Posts
    864
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't believe those exercises will work. I am a weight lifter and i'm 20 and still had back problems when carrying a backpack!! In all honesty if you really want to save your back then use panniers. You will feel so much better if you get them. Backpacks are just too hard on the back.
    Life is short, focus on the things that do matter in life and don't forget the rest.

  11. #11
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Acton, West London, UK
    Posts
    3,783
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
    I don't believe those exercises will work. I am a weight lifter and i'm 20 and still had back problems when carrying a backpack!! In all honesty if you really want to save your back then use panniers. You will feel so much better if you get them. Backpacks are just too hard on the back.
    Have you tried core strength exercises, combined with stretching, for any length of time?

    Weight lifting, especially if you wear a belt, can compound the weakness as you tend to push out against the belt rather than suck in to stabilise. Also, quite often weightlifters, by neglecting stretching and flexibility, compounded the old tight hip flexors and tight lower back causing the "weight lifter waddle" and resulting back problems.

    I used to lift weights religiously and only once I focused on core strength and stretching 3-4 times a week did my back pain disappear almost completely. Before that I'd always assumed that just doing situps, crunches and flutter kicks would be enough - how wrong was I. Focusing on good form, slow movements and sucking in gut muscles every exercise did more for me in a few months than years of lifting.

    Backpacks have very little to do with it and, even with my scoliosis, core strength almost everything 999/1000.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoliosis - always take wiki-let's make crap up-pedia with a massive pinch of salt
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  12. #12
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale FL
    My Bikes
    Ebay Bikes... =)
    Posts
    3,375
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I carray a back pack, unfortunately the pain will persist until you become stronger.

    Another suggestion is to get the pannier rack and just put your stuff into them.
    Florida Velodrome Association.
    Big Wheel Cycles.
    CAT-2. Road Bike: 2011 Specialized Allez SRAM Apex. .. and yes, I am vegan.

  13. #13
    Drunken Master amit_shah25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Teaneck NJ
    My Bikes
    Jamis Ranger 1.0 (Mutilated !!), Trek Portland
    Posts
    338
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would strongly suggest rack panniers. Backpacks are good for smaller distances, but for longer distances, I think panniers are the best bet. Because in warm weather you would get very sweaty, and it is just not comfortable to ride with backpack in my opinion.

    Ofcourse you could try to get the core and lower back stronger with some core excercises like crunches, situps, and deadlifts etc. Also if you are carrying the backpack on bike, try to keep the core tight and take the weight by core rather than by back. Its very tricky and you have to put concious effort to do that.
    Nothing to say !

  14. #14
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In Ebritated
    Posts
    6,556
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For what it sounds like your carrying, a backpack is a poor choice, especially if its a run of the mill version. Additionally, the load is probably not well distributed in the pack, the heavy items are most likely sitting at the bottom.

    A higher quality pack would give you better load distribution but would actually be poorly suited for riding. I'd look at breaking down your load, moving the heavier items to baskets or racks. Depending on what you really want to do, you can get some seatpost type racks and then come up with your own method of stashing books on it.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you bike can accept it, get a rack and panniers. Let the bike carry the weight. Or as others suggest, attach a basket to the rack and throw your backpack in it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ch9862's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    260
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with those blaming your muscles. Getting rack / pannier will definitely help you, but so will strengthening your back. I personally prefer messenger bag to a backpack, but if you have a back pain with backpack, you will surely have one with a messenger bag, IMHO.

    Bike fit may be to blame (too long reach) - try riding your bike without anything on your back. No pain = no problem with fit, pain = fit might be a reason for your pain (but then again, it might not be the only one).

    HTH

  17. #17
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,607
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
    I don't believe those exercises will work. I am a weight lifter and i'm 20 and still had back problems when carrying a backpack!! In all honesty if you really want to save your back then use panniers. You will feel so much better if you get them. Backpacks are just too hard on the back.
    Exercises are still good, core-strength is good. But don't tax it w/ a backpack or shoulderbag, do the exercises *and* get a rack and panniers or milkcrate.

  18. #18
    Version 2.0 mkoso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Have you tried core strength exercises, combined with stretching, for any length of time?
    Personally I do core exercises and practice yoga 5+ times a week and a backpack will still make my back hurt after a decent ride. Plus, they make my lower back too sweaty. For me, a rack and a bag is the way to go.

  19. #19
    Cheese toThinkistoBe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    My Bikes
    Trek 520 & an old huffy mtb
    Posts
    941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  20. #20
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    My Bikes
    '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
    Posts
    2,543
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cupcrazy4 View Post
    I've just started commuting (only 3 days so far, ~30km RT) and I'm using my backpack to carry my school books, lunch, and other stuff to and from class.

    I've been noticing a lot of lower back pain while wearing the bag (the bag is fairly heavy). Will buying a messenger bag solve this problem? Or is it a bike fit problem?

    thanks
    A backpack is for use when you have run out of pannier and rack space and only for short distances (or with frequent stops to rest.)

  21. #21
    Senior Member powitte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    179
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Most likely the bag is not the culprit, but more likely it's the position of your lower back. A cycling crouch=the worst slouch you could do in a regular chair, but for a prolonged period of time. Markhr is right that core exercises probably would help. Also, try to keep a bit more tension in your abs when riding and improve your posture a bit, meaning don't round your lower back out quite so much.

    Bike fit may also be an issue. If you're riding a road bike and your pain is persistent, riding something a bit more upright (a hybrid) may be the only thing to keep you in the saddle day in and out.

  22. #22
    schlaefer
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Palo Alto
    My Bikes
    Trek 930
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would suggest that you both get a bike rack and get a professional to help you adjust the fit of your bike. There are lots of good racks and bags, but you may be best with a strong wire basket that you can put your back pack in then easily carry it to class. Good luck!

  23. #23
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    NYC
    My Bikes
    04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
    Posts
    15,762
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by toThinkistoBe View Post
    It looks like that bike is slowly crushing the woman's head...

  24. #24
    Junior Member kungfugoat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Decatur, GA, U.S.A
    My Bikes
    Cannondale 3.0 mountain
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to ride with my backpack until I started having pain in my shoulders and back, along with sweaty back, after a 10-mile ride. I have since switched to a touring bike with bar ends and I bought a messenger bag. I still get a small sweaty patch on my back and moderately sore shoulder but it is better. I find a rack and panniers to be the least uncomfortable, but they make the bike less responsive in an urban environment and add quite a bit of weight. I still use a rack if I have to fetch anything heavy. Books and a laptop are heavy items that I don't want on my back. I use the messenger back just for my clothes, cellphone, headphones and mp3 player. A benefit of the backpack or messenger bag is back and shoulder protection is the event of a crash. Just the other day I crashed hard at high speed, flew over the handlebar and landed on my shoulder and back. Lucky for me, the backpack took most of the impact (ripped to shreds) or I would've ended up with much more than a bruise on my shoulder and a cracked collarbone.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009, Giant Yukon FX3
    Posts
    1,468
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Anyone ever tried the Sherpa backpack support referred to half way down this page:

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/tout-terrain.asp

    Failing that, if you want to take a backpack with you, put a pannier rack and wire basket on. It's much more convenient than panniers if you have to carry the stuff around with you on foot.

    Steve

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •