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  1. #1
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    Does road cycling and commuting hurt the lower back?

    Hi, I had lower back surgery a few years ago and was wondering if riding a "road cycle" would hurt my back. It was the "fusion" type of surgey. It was a collapsed disk. No pain now though. I can jog and have a normal life. Anyway, would a bike like you ride on the road hurt? I saw the riders are bent over when riding, unlike a mountain bike.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    If I were you, I wouldn't ask the internets, I would ask my Dr.

  3. #3
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    They might tell you anything to keep from getting sued.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Take one for a test ride & find out. Generally, a properly fitted road bike will not hurt your back. In fact, I find it more comfortable than my mtn bike.
    In your specific case ... who knows ??
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    If you want one with drop bars, then get something that has a relaxed frame geometry. Set it up with little to no height difference between the bars and saddle. Or check out recumbents.

    As you have a bad back and are considering to commute as well, pay attention to the chain stay length. You want one longer enough to avoid heel strike. Or if you're planning on using a Carradice bag, then the chain stays aren't as important.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeddler View Post
    They might tell you anything to keep from getting sued.
    That's nonsense, but if you are concerned, go to a sports med dr. Their whole business is getting you back in the game. That said, riding with some forward lean, puts less weight/pressure on your back than riding upright, but it might take some time to build the muscles up

  7. #7
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    I did damage to 3 lower lumbar discs in my back June a year ago (not biking related). Very little riding last year afterwards. No surgery, but still am working with a physical therapist. Biking this year is no problem (over 1400 miles in so far this year), so I say no. However, I've been riding for years. Make sure your bike fit is right, build up slowly, and if you do start to have problems, get help from your physician or physical therapist before you continue. My 2 cents. Also, core strengthening exercises are key for preventing back reinjury, FWIW.
    Last edited by sesmith; 06-19-12 at 09:22 PM.

  8. #8
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    I have had lower back damage, ruptured a disk. That was a lot of years ago and it has very slowly been healing. That has included a lot of time on the bike, but I do use flat bars mostly. It sounds like you are talking about riding in the drops.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

  9. #9
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I'm 60 and find lower bars to be the best for my back. The tops of my bars are 10cm below the top of my saddle and I spend a fair amount of time in the drops. No back issues whatsoever, even on 100+ mile rides and multiple long days in the saddle. It takes conditioning and core strength built up over time. Everybody is different and this certainly may not work for you, but more upright may not either.

  10. #10
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeddler View Post
    Hi, I had lower back surgery a few years ago and was wondering if riding a "road cycle" would hurt my back. ..Thanks for any thoughts.
    L4/L5 fusion in 2008 here. Surgeons were Virgina Spine Institute, the Redskin's spine doctors. They treat many top flite athletes from equestrians to car drivers.

    My Dr. said that road riding would be ideal for my recovery and strengthening. He said "no" to jogging/running as a routine. He also said "no" to my brand of mountain biking, which involved catastrophic falls once every two weeks. He said that I might do damage to my good remaining discs.

    Ask your own doctor. You'll need to strengthen your core muscles no matter what. Use yoga, pilates, stretching, general abdominal and back work, etc. to round out your fitness. You'll have no special problems from road riding, in all likelihood. PG

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The racers posture is sort of reverting to a quadruped.
    supporting body weight on all 4's..

    ..for your Road cycling have you considered a Recumbent,
    rather than a Diamond frame?

  12. #12
    Doug
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    At 63 riding my road bike is the only thing that doesn't hurt my back, my knee, my feet. Go for it..

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