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  1. #1
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    Herniated disc wants to ride - bent or CF?

    I blew out a disc in my lower back, had surgery, then blew it out again a couple of years ago. I used to ride my diamond frame a lot, but with my bad back, that is a thing of the past. My back is somewhat better these days and I'm feeling the need to get biking again.

    I was set on getting a bent (my bike shop carries Bacchetta Giro 26 and Strada), but I'm curios about crank forwards. From your experience, or what you've heard, which would be the easiest ride for a bad lower back - bent or crank forward?

    Thanks very much for any input.

    kessec1

  2. #2
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    LWB recumbent is the way to go. Comfort from the get go. bk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kessec1
    .... which would be the easiest ride for a bad lower back - bent or crank forward?
    You need to sit on and test-ride some bikes, with a back injury there's no good way to guess what angle you're going to find most tolerable.

    I have taken my bikes to work and let others test-ride them--and the ONLY guy who said he didn't like the RANS Fusion was a guy who had a back injury--and that was the reason why.

    Also--many bikes have adjustable-angle seatbacks, but most bikes don't have a wide range of seat-angle adjustment where they work well. I have a LWB for instance that is intended for a fairly-upright seat back position, and if you recline the seat very much, when you pedal hard--your butt tends to slide up the seat. The seat struts have the adjustment range to recline 45-degrees, but the bike isn't real useful adjusted that way.
    ~

  4. #4
    el padre
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    +1 on going to the bike shop, especially since you have one close, and trying different possibilities. That way you can actually feel what you are putting your body on and the position you will be using while riding.
    peace

  5. #5
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have had several discs rupture. With hardware in your back, you need to determine the right position for you. Like the others, I would (if I were you) go and try a number of bikes and positions. Realize that the LWB bikes may have a more upright sitting position than some others, and that with this type of back injury, you may need to be less vertical than is allowed on some bikes. When you sit vertically, or even semi-reclined (I have a Rans Stratus, and that is semi-reclined), the bike will absorb some of the vibrations, and the tires, and seat. But aside from that, most of these bikes will transmit the remainder of bumps, etc. onto you back directly. Some of the other bikes, including short wheel-based bikes (SWB) have active shock absorbing features. You should test these too.

    Good luck,

    John
    John Ratliff

  6. #6
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    Blown back

    Quote Originally Posted by kessec1
    I blew out a disc in my lower back, had surgery, then blew it out again a couple of years ago. I used to ride my diamond frame a lot, but with my bad back, that is a thing of the past. My back is somewhat better these days and I'm feeling the need to get biking again.

    I was set on getting a bent (my bike shop carries Bacchetta Giro 26 and Strada), but I'm curios about crank forwards. From your experience, or what you've heard, which would be the easiest ride for a bad lower back - bent or crank forward?

    Thanks very much for any input.

    kessec1
    I blew out the disc between L2 and L3 about a decade ago (how many 23 year olds do you know who have tried that...), and for me both DF and a SWB work fine, though the fit on the DF was more of a challenge. I have found the molded carbon seat on my SWB quite comfortable for distances up to 80km/50miles, which is the longest I have gone on it yet. Should hit the century mark in the next few weeks, and I am not anticipating any issues...

    If you can try a few out, that certainly would be the way to go. Personally, I have my eye on a Bacchetta as my next ride...

  7. #7
    bobkat
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    Your story is almost identical to mine, Kessel1. I'll swear by the LWB bent. In fact, when I'm riding it is the only time I am pain free, and if I don't ride it daily I'll have lots of pain the next day. As soon as I get on, though, the pain disappears in the first 1/2 mile. All I can figure is that it somehow kinks something to get pressure off one of the sciatic nerve roots or stops some kind of muscle spasm in the area that put pressure on the nerve.
    In every case but one that I've seen or talked to, a LWB has been great for anyone with disc disease. For me, it has been the single most therapeutic thing I have ever done to relieve the discomfort, and I've blown every disc from L1 all the way to L5 - S1, with two interspaces undergone fusion.
    I know one fellow, though, that has NO pain riding an upright bike, but if he rides a bent (he had a tour easy) he started to develop sciatic nerve pain. So he sold his bent. He's the only one I've seen have this happen, though.
    I agree, ride a bunch of bikes for a reasonable distance - trial and error - if it feels good, do it!

  8. #8
    bobkat
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    Forgot to mention. I can't ride an upright bike at all. I've tried a number of styles, hybrids, roads, mountains, even a folder. If I force myself to ride one I have terrible pain the following day. Were it not for my bent I'd be grounded!

  9. #9
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    bobkat,
    Which LWB are your riding?

  10. #10
    bobkat
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    I'm riding a Burley LWB that started off as a Koosay, but after I wore out the components I replaced them all with upgraded higher end stuff. All but the wheelset - I'll work on that next. Put about 3500 miles on it last year.
    I took off that awful Burley seat early on and replaced it with the Rans seat - now it's heaven! I like a fairly upright seatback.

  11. #11
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Skip the CF and look for a recumbent that is comfortable for you. Something with a more reclined back angle would probably be best, but in your case the only way to know for sure is to try a few.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  12. #12
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    Lwb

    I have a LWB Rans V2 and a Burley Jett Creek as well as a Rans Fusion CF and Raleigh Gruv 2.0. The 2 LWB bikes leave my lower back's blown and bulging discs feeling better than if I don't ride. The V2 especially seems ideal because the ability to angle the seat back more puts less downward pressure on my spine. The CF bikes can at times iritate my back and cause sciatica.

  13. #13
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    You should discuss this with your doctor, and maybe get a referral to one who is into sports medicine/rehab. bk

  14. #14
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    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. Looks like BKXray and jeff-o were right on. I test rode two CFs last weekend and I've developed some back pain and leg numbness. I also noticed some hand and wrist numbness while riding - something I used to experience regularly on my DF and even an old comfort/hybrid bike. So, it looks like the CF is out. Good - I wanted a bent anyway.

    If my back and leg feel good this weekend, I hope to go try out the Giro and Strada at the bike shop. I hope one of these work as I think I would prefer to go with a SWB due to ease of portability (getting the thing in my car) and better maneuverability in traffic. I'm also not sure if the shop has much availability of LWBs. I'll post the results of the Giro and Strada test rides.

    Thanks again for the input.
    Last edited by kessec1; 06-05-07 at 01:42 AM.

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