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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 02-20-05, 04:28 PM   #1
Mr. Mxlkpix
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Sciatica and Recumbents

I am a 50 year old ex-road/club rider. Three years ago I had to give up cycling due to chronic sciatic nerve/muscle pain in my right buttocks and leg. I am much better now, thank-you, and fantasize about a return to cycling, but I am leary of risking my improved health by getting back on a road bike. Does anyone in this "bent" forum have ideas or advice on whether a recumbent might be a better solution? BTW, my sciatica apparently had little to do with my back or spine. It was caused by localized inflammation and muscle-spasms in the butt, hip and leg. Thanks.

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Old 02-20-05, 05:54 PM   #2
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I took a fall out of the press box via the staire weell before a scrimmage about 12 years ago. Had all kinds of problems over the ensuring years. Short story is I starting riding a cross-comfort bike a couple years ago (what a misnomer) for health reasons and had to give it up for the pain. Got and actionbent(only one I could affort) and am riding daily when the weather permits and in the winter have it on a trainer in the guest room. I'm riding in the MS150 in April in Houston. A bent should help you. But take the others advice and go to a shop and test ride. But they are delinately fun to ride and are definately much easier on your body. And now after having riden one for a year, I would not go back even if my old bod wasn't in need.

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Old 02-20-05, 06:33 PM   #3
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You might do a search on "recumbent butt" on the internet. Some folks get similar symptons to what you described from riding recumbents. I believe that it is most often associated with more upright sitting positions, but it seems to vary by individual. Hopefully, you can find a bike shop that will let you take a long test ride not just around the parking lot. I have gotten "recumbent butt" on both my Rans Stratus and my Greenspeed GTO but only on rare occasion. I think that it helps me to be off the bike/trike and stretch every 10-15 miles.

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Gary
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Old 02-20-05, 10:16 PM   #4
Bud Bent
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You need to do some long test rides, and keep in mind that when it comes to comfort, everyone seems to be different. As Gary Mc mentioned, the recline of a bent's seat can make a big difference. Also, bents have two very different types of seats: mesh seats and hard seats. The bikes with hard seats tend to have more recline.

My biggest health issue is my back (degenerative discs, L4-L5 is the biggest problem). My Tsunami T-1 SWB (manufactured by China Mascot, same as ActionBent) has the hard seat. I keep it reclined all the way back, ride about 100 miles a week, keep pushing myself harder and harder, and just don't get any back pain from the bike at all. I would say that you can probably do that too, but you're going to have to prove that, yourself. The fit of a bike is important, just like the seat is. Good luck in finding one that works for you.
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Old 02-21-05, 08:00 AM   #5
john riley
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recumbents very widely in seat design and configuration. Hard to predict what would or would not work. I'd say try some and/or show your specialist some pictures and see if they can guess what might work. Still try some though.
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Old 02-25-05, 11:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mxlkpix
I am a 50 year old ex-road/club rider. Three years ago I had to give up cycling due to chronic sciatic nerve/muscle pain in my right buttocks and leg. I am much better now, thank-you, and fantasize about a return to cycling, but I am leary of risking my improved health by getting back on a road bike. Does anyone in this "bent" forum have ideas or advice on whether a recumbent might be a better solution? BTW, my sciatica apparently had little to do with my back or spine. It was caused by localized inflammation and muscle-spasms in the butt, hip and leg. Thanks.

Mr. Mxlkpix
I feel your pain!! My torn hamstring turned into sciatic nerve irritation and I never realized they were different problems until I went to a sports orthopedist. Anyway, back to your problem. You've probably learned to avoid hard edge seats of any sort, sitting too upright (as mentioned elsewhere) and just sitting too long in general. I've considered recumbents for the same reason, but havn't made the change yet because putting a Brooks saddle on my bike helped so much. That said, I am only able to ride about 1-2.0 hours without risk of injury/irritation to the nerve. Also, in direct opposition to my statement about sitting too upright, doing just that on my road bike helped a great deal. I used to have the top of my bars about 5-6 cm below my seat. They are almost even now and it really helped. Thanks for that to the guys at Rivendell. I've been very encouraged by things I've read on this forum about recumbents and sciatic pain. I urge you to try out a few different bikes and post your findings. I for one, am very interested in how it works out for you.
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Old 02-26-05, 06:40 AM   #7
Ric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mxlkpix
I am a 50 year old ex-road/club rider. Three years ago I had to give up cycling due to chronic sciatic nerve/muscle pain in my right buttocks and leg. I am much better now, thank-you, and fantasize about a return to cycling, but I am leary of risking my improved health by getting back on a road bike. Does anyone in this "bent" forum have ideas or advice on whether a recumbent might be a better solution? BTW, my sciatica apparently had little to do with my back or spine. It was caused by localized inflammation and muscle-spasms in the butt, hip and leg. Thanks.

Mr. Mxlkpix
I too have the same problem and have had since 1977 and I can tell you this, don't trust an MD. for your sciatic nerve problem. Now I know alot of people don't believe in a Chiropractic but find a good one, because of mine I rode a trek 5200 for years and now a Bacchetta Strada Recumbent,and a Greenspeed Gtt2s. To tell you what bike would be a better solution for you I can't, but I can tell you I have less problems on my Strada and GTT and enjoy it alot more than the 5200, and the more I ride the better I feel. If you decide a recumbent is the way too go, try a lot of different rides before you buy it can make a big difference in your choice.
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Old 02-27-05, 10:54 AM   #8
erik forsgren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mxlkpix
I am a 50 year old ex-road/club rider. Three years ago I had to give up cycling due to chronic sciatic nerve/muscle pain in my right buttocks and leg. I am much better now, thank-you, and fantasize about a return to cycling, but I am leary of risking my improved health by getting back on a road bike. Does anyone in this "bent" forum have ideas or advice on whether a recumbent might be a better solution? BTW, my sciatica apparently had little to do with my back or spine. It was caused by localized inflammation and muscle-spasms in the butt, hip and leg. Thanks.

Mr. Mxlkpix
I am not a doctor, but I am under the impression that a more reclined seat like that of Optima Baron might work. A flat seat-angle would alleviate the pressure on your buttocks and back thus causing less discomfort while you are riding. The difference in comfort between a DF and a recumbent like the Baron is considerable.
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