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Old 12-29-05, 02:26 PM   #1
Magitek
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Recommendations on a bike for health and posture?

Hi,
I am in need of a new bike for general use like getting around town, going to lectures and shopping. My last one got stolen however I didn't like it much, the frame was too big and forced me to bend my back when riding. I am going to get a lot of flaming here but as person very interested in health I beleive biking isn't healthy therapeutically, I'll just leave it at that. Also the fact that the weight is supported on the genitals isn't good, I have seen some seats on the internet that are designed to be more ergonomic what do you recommend? I do not care about performance and how fast I can go, I just want a bike that allows me to ride with straight back and good posture. As long as it moves and has gears I'm happy. Have you any recommendations? I don't care how untraditional or ridiculous this bikes recommended is.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
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Old 12-29-05, 04:48 PM   #2
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You might consider a late model Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Ford or Chrysler product. You seem to have already written off the bicycle as an appropriate form of exercise.
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Old 12-29-05, 05:32 PM   #3
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I think your views on bicycles are very distorted because of improper setup on your previous bike.

First, the weight of your body shouldn't be on your genitals. Rather it should be on your "sit bones". You don't need one of the special ergonomic seats to accomplish that. You need to find a saddle that fits your body size/shape, and it needs to be adjusted properly.

Second, your back should be arched while riding. An upright riding posture will cause the shock from road imperfections to go straight up through your spine.

Read what Sheldon Brown has to say on these subjects:
http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/pain.html#posture

If you don't want to be in a full out aero position on a road bike, maybe you should check out a comfort road bike with more relaxed geometry.

i.e. http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...?sid=06Sequoia

Last edited by Mchaz; 12-29-05 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 12-29-05, 05:52 PM   #4
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Agreed that you should be sitting on the bones rather than on the tender bits, but it sounds to me that you want a bike with an upright position -- they actually call them comfort bikes -- rather than a comfort-oriented road bike. You can put your feet flat to the ground when you stop, and you look directly ahead rather than craning your neck up as you would on a road bike. A quick internet search found these from Cannondale and Fuji.

http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/05/cusa/model-5CS8.html
http://fujibikes.com/2006/bikes.asp?id=175

But be warned. If you ever do get into riding bicycles -- a wonderfully healthy to get around IMHO -- it will only be a matter of time before the comfort bike becomes hopelessly inefficient and (dare I say it) hopelessly uncomfortable. You will move to a hybrid, and then perhaps to a performance hybrid, then maybe a comfort road bike and finally an all-out racer.

Have fun

PS Make sure a bike shop fits you properly and sells you a bike that is the right size
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Old 12-29-05, 06:04 PM   #5
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How about a recumbent? I've been considering one myself since I've been having a bit of low back pain. The guys in the recumbent forum can answer any questions that you have, or check here:

http://www.recumbentcyclistnews.com/faq.html
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Old 12-29-05, 06:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magitek
Hi,
I am in need of a new bike for general use like getting around town, going to lectures and shopping. My last one got stolen however I didn't like it much, the frame was too big and forced me to bend my back when riding. I am going to get a lot of flaming here but as person very interested in health I beleive biking isn't healthy therapeutically, I'll just leave it at that. Also the fact that the weight is supported on the genitals isn't good, I have seen some seats on the internet that are designed to be more ergonomic what do you recommend? I do not care about performance and how fast I can go, I just want a bike that allows me to ride with straight back and good posture. As long as it moves and has gears I'm happy. Have you any recommendations? I don't care how untraditional or ridiculous this bikes recommended is.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
Any recommendations given based on your mistaken preconceptions will necessarily be flawed and likely inadequate. Best suggestion I can make is a folder with a rack and an internally geared hub.
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Old 12-29-05, 06:16 PM   #7
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+1 on the recumbent, a traditional upright is obviously not suited to the OP.
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Old 12-29-05, 06:25 PM   #8
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+1 on the recumbent, a traditional upright is obviously not suited to the OP.
The OP doesn't know enough about bikes and we don't know enough about the OP to even begin to make that judgement, especially considering the cost premium for a 'bent. Could be an expensive mistake.
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Old 12-29-05, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magitek
Hi,
I am in need of a new bike for general use like getting around town, going to lectures and shopping. My last one got stolen however I didn't like it much, the frame was too big and forced me to bend my back when riding. I am going to get a lot of flaming here but as person very interested in health I beleive biking isn't healthy therapeutically, I'll just leave it at that. Also the fact that the weight is supported on the genitals isn't good, I have seen some seats on the internet that are designed to be more ergonomic what do you recommend? I do not care about performance and how fast I can go, I just want a bike that allows me to ride with straight back and good posture. As long as it moves and has gears I'm happy. Have you any recommendations? I don't care how untraditional or ridiculous this bikes recommended is.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
Yeah, I have a few recommendations...

As a person very interested in health I recommend that you educate yourself regarding the health benefits of cycling before proclaiming such an ignorant misconception like "biking isn't healthy therapeutically" but if you intend to leave it at that then don't read any further and buy a car instead, otherwise read on and learn.

Get off your genitals and onto your sit bones, and counter-intuitive as it may sound, a hard seat is better than a soft one. Sitting upright on a bike with a straight back is very bad posture because every bump places a compression load on your spine, worst case scenario is a herniated disc. You should have at least some forward lean, and some weight on your hands.

If you're still reading and truly interested in your health then go into the training and nutrition forum and read every single post at least 3 times, then ask for help with any that you don't understand. Good luck.
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Old 12-29-05, 07:14 PM   #10
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Wow, I expected perhaps one comment in protest but not this, I should have known better then to voice an that opinion in a biking forum. Sorry to all I offended but I didn't deserve to be called arrogant. I never said biking was an inappropriote form of exercise, besides lets drop this, it is the wrong kind of forum.

I have heard bad things about bike seats before, this small article here inspired me to give it a mention: http://www.dragondoor.com/heartcure/news/. Again, don't shoot the messenger but I would definately consider an ergonomic seat.

The kind of bike I'm looking for has a short frame, with very high handle bars, the suggestions made so far are good, but I need something at the extreme side of the spectrum. I know this kind of bike goes against all bikers recommendations and I know it's not the best for speed and efficiency or whatever but I just want to be able to ride a bike that allows bolt upright posture. And no I haven't got a car. Also recumbants don't look to good for posture wither since the neck is hunched forward, the upright bike would suit my needs better.

Thanks again,
Joe
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Old 12-29-05, 07:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magitek
Also recumbants don't look to good for posture wither since the neck is hunched forward, the upright bike would suit my needs better.
Neck hunched forward?

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Old 12-29-05, 07:30 PM   #12
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Or perhaps one of these?
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Old 12-29-05, 07:40 PM   #13
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Well with today's products availability you can position yourself on a bike anyway you want to. You have adjustable stems, raised handlebars, multipositional handlebars, and you can even get a fork where you do not cut short the part that the stem connects to, where instead you use the whole length to clamp your stem too. So you can sit up pretty high if you want to. I have done this for a friend of my due to his carpal tunnel syndrome he has to sit upright. So if you see his custom Giant OCR touring frame it looks quite interesting. He is actually sitting straight up on it.
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Old 12-29-05, 07:53 PM   #14
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Thanks. Do you know a particular model of bike that comes already like that? I saw a man once with a very upright bike, exactly what I was looking for, it was a fold-up bike. Preferably I would prefer a non-fold-up bike but it seems the best option at the moment.
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Old 12-29-05, 08:03 PM   #15
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Well, I guess you noticed some people here tend to be overly critical.

I may not be able to help much, but I'll tell you what I know from my own experience (comfort bike, touring bike, racing bike).

> Apparently you have done some riding and have some idea of what you like, though being a bad fit, you may also have so erroneous ideas about what is good or bad.

You don't mention how far you ride and that can make a difference. After all, even a less than idea choice may be fine for a couple miles, but be murder on a 50 mile ride!

You mention shopping. I assume you did this on your old bike so have some idea of the problems, that is, you can't carry much. On my comfort bike, I had a front basket and a rear rack with a basket mounted on it. I also had bags hanging off the back when needed. My touring bike was the same except I didn't do the front basket. My racing bike doesn't have any of these things on it, though I could put a rack mounted on the seat post (but limited weight capacity).

So, unless you are shopping only for a few small items, you want to make sure you can attach enough stuff for loading things up. I would guess that unless you got a racing bike, this would not be a problem.

I have a bad back and was very leary about getting my first road style bike, but it turned out pretty good (usually). It seems to stretch out my back some which actually helps. Now, if I have done something to already irritate my back, riding is not pleasant. Also, if I really stress myself by pushing really hard (usually up hill), that can hurt my back. But normally, I'd say it helps.

So I'd say biking has helped my back.

Not sure what you mean by weight on the genitals. As others have said, the weight should be on the sit bones, however, lots of people on road bikes at least will talk about numbness. After a fair amount of effort, I got a seat - and adjusted to suit ME - that makes that rare, though not non-existent. I specify it was suited to me because some people will say the seat should be level, others will tilt it up some or down some. All this is fine because even if there is one way that is best for most people, there will be exceptions. I found a very slight downward tilt was best for me.

So maybe you ran into this and thought you weight was on the genitals, but it may not have been, but needed a better fit, different seat, etc.

From things I've read from others, I think a lot of the ergonomic stuff is hype. I mean, I think most quality seats take that into consideration. I'm talking about the hype about some strange looking seats. One of the problems in bicycling is it is hard to test lots of possibilities, be it seats or bike shorts.

Since you don't care about speed - and have some riding experience - you may be quite satisfied with a comfort bike. I started with a Trek Navigator 100. I liked it, but just wanted more speed so I switched from 1.95" tires to 1.5, then went to the touring bike, but put 700x25 tires on it instead of the wider ones it normally came with. Then finally the lighter racing bike.

So, here are my observations from the comfort bike. I regularly rode 13 miles, rested for awhile at the beach, and then rode home another 13 miles. I could do this with regular clothes. I even did a century (took me over 12 hours, including rests) with it. And yes, I did have discomfort with the regular clothes on that one!

I had some rough roads bouncing me, but that never bothered me that much. What did bother me was the wind. The upright position meant that a gust of wind would hit you pretty hard making it hard to keep any speed. Here we have winds commonly from 15-25 mph just about every day. But, again, if you have been riding for awhile in an upright position, you already know if this bothers you much.

If you get a road style bike, I suspect you will have to wear bike shorts - I did. I wish I didn't, but if I don't, it will take me no time at all to get sore.

A recumbent is a possibility too, though I've never tried one. I don't know why you think the neck is hunched forward though.

Bob
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Old 12-29-05, 08:14 PM   #16
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http://www.breezerbikes.com/bike_det...=d&bike=uptown


http://www.mcmwin.com/saddle%20shop.htm
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Old 12-29-05, 08:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magitek
Thanks. Do you know a particular model of bike that comes already like that? I saw a man once with a very upright bike, exactly what I was looking for, it was a fold-up bike. Preferably I would prefer a non-fold-up bike but it seems the best option at the moment.
Go to dahon.com. Browse a bit. Find a dealer. Look for a model with an available rack, fenders and internally geared hub. Great for city riding and what you describe you want.

You have to expect some negative feedback when you drop in a forum as a n00b and tell everyone you think what they are doing is unhealthy and then ask for their help.
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Old 12-29-05, 09:28 PM   #18
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Maybe this is what you need
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Old 12-30-05, 10:40 PM   #19
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Hmm, given the criteria and hysteria, personally I'd get a beach-cruiser with moustache bars. Big fat padded spring-loaded seat so you can sit fully upright without worrying about road-shock hitting your spine. Plus, you'll block more wind to get a better workout. Costs about $79.95 at Kmart. If it doesn't work out, it wouldn't be a big loss.
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