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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-26-12, 11:24 AM   #1
kage65
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Road bike that won't mess up my back?

Long story short, my old cannondale road bike severly messes up my back to where I wake unable to look to the left or right. Stayed that way for about 5 days.
I have an old schwinn mountain bike and not once has my back been hurt by riding that bike.
I really don't want to spend a lot of money trying to mod the cannondale so that it is more upright, only to have the problem happen again.
So that got me thinking that I need to get a hybrid for my road biking. Will I be happy road biking with a hybrid? My rides can be as long as 20 miles. Eventually I want to move up to longer rides like 40 miles. I'm not concerned with speed and keeping up with other road bikers. I just want the same "efficiency" as I get with the cannondale, if that makes sense. What I mean is the efficiency of being able to ride a long distance using the same amount of energy.

Or should I consider a road bike that has the rider sitting more straight up? I've heard of a specialized road bike that allows this. My concern is I spend a lot on another road bike, only to wake up with a very messed up back again. I'm 95% sure this would not happen with a hybrid where I'm sitting upright like on my mountain bike. Thank you.
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Old 05-26-12, 11:36 AM   #2
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The hybird sounds pretty good. Another idea would be to test ride a bike with a relaxed geometry (with a larger head tube) and a + 17 degree stem.
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Old 05-26-12, 12:46 PM   #3
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Any reason you couldn't adjust the Cdale to fit? A new bike is always the best answer, but older ones (I have a bunch of them) often were set up like wannabe racers, with the handlebars well below the saddle, a long reach etc. If it has a quill stem and it's not maxed out, you could raise the bars in about eight seconds. If it's threadless or has no adjustment left, a new stem, taller and maybe with a shorter reach, is way cheaper than a new bike.
Having said that, I love hybrids and recommend them for almost everybody except hyperserious riders. I have a garage full of bikes, 40 years' accumulation, and the one I ride most often is a hybrid.
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Old 05-26-12, 12:48 PM   #4
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I was 10 weeks Post-op from my second back surgery when I got my first hybrid (Trek 7300). I put somewhere around 5 or 6,0000 miles on it and got my first, and current, Roadie (Trek Madone 5.2). Both were good bikes for me. When I got the Madone, I got the H3 Geo ( it's a relaxed geometry bike. My back problems are all lower lumber) and the geometry works out well for me, personally. I think either way you go, you'll come out OK. But, if you want to stay with the Road Bikes, just take your time test riding to make sure you get one that's going to work for you.
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Old 05-26-12, 01:06 PM   #5
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Sounds like your fit and riding posture are completely wrong. Correct fit and posture can be very counter-intuitive. Look at this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/722724-Riding-Position-Discovery

Back and neck problems could be caused by too-high a saddle height, inadequate saddle set-back, inadequate length reach, and sitting too upright. If you're tall you might require substantial saddle set-back of 8 to 11 cm.

You can study the set-ups of professional bicyclists to discover what kind of fit and posture maximizes power and comfort. Look for a rider about the same size as yourself: http://www.bikeradar.com/search/?sea...levancy&page=4

I found this general guide helpful. Initially I thought it was far too stretched out and low but when I tried it worked like magic. Bear in mind these fits are for fit and athletic types. Your ideal reach might be a couple inches short and higher. Take out your measuring tape: http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=195272&d=1301309200

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 05-26-12 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 05-26-12, 02:07 PM   #6
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Dorsal nerve problems can have a plethora of causes. However, all I can say, is that geometry is key. First, I would try to get the exact same riding postion as when on the Schwinn. The angle at which you're bending while riding is significant here. Try to copy that same angle. Have someone either video tape your cyclng or just take snap shots. If that doesn't work, your discomfort just might be due to frame vibration. In that case, you just might have to invest in a steel frame...
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Old 05-26-12, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Any reason you couldn't adjust the Cdale to fit? A new bike is always the best answer, but older ones (I have a bunch of them) often were set up like wannabe racers, with the handlebars well below the saddle, a long reach etc. If it has a quill stem and it's not maxed out, you could raise the bars in about eight seconds. If it's threadless or has no adjustment left, a new stem, taller and maybe with a shorter reach, is way cheaper than a new bike.
Having said that, I love hybrids and recommend them for almost everybody except hyperserious riders. I have a garage full of bikes, 40 years' accumulation, and the one I ride most often is a hybrid.
Ha, this is nice to know. I was thinking if I became rich, I might want to design a frame but wonder about style of frame and tire sizing. Like, is it possible to design a frame that would allow comfortable position while still allow you to hop a curb and put on backrack with panniers.
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Old 05-26-12, 03:38 PM   #8
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Specialized Roubaix - test ride one. The come in a variety of prices and configurations.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:22 PM   #9
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Specialized Roubaix - test ride one. The come in a variety of prices and configurations.
+1
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Old 05-26-12, 06:40 PM   #10
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+1
+1 on the Roubaix. But I think you will still need a good bike fit done.
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Old 05-26-12, 07:12 PM   #11
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I would consider a recumbent if you have the money to get a good/fast one. I honestly think if they were more popular they'd be the superior way to ride, but their limited popularity keeps the price of good components high, leaving only the slow, heavy ones at affordable price-points. However if you don't mind losing 3-5 mph for the same money, riders of them tend to constantly praise how they can ride all day, for days on end, without discomfort, how they can enjoy the scenery without staring at the ground, among other things.

Though admittedly after tuning my fit I have no, discomfort on my road bike after 30-40 mile rides. Sitbones maybe the next day, but meh, that's just HTFU.

Last edited by dissident; 05-26-12 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 05-26-12, 07:14 PM   #12
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plz post a pic of this bike...
you can easily correct your position on the bike for little money.

a hybrid isnt a good idea.
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Old 05-28-12, 09:05 AM   #13
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plz post a pic of this bike...
you can easily correct your position on the bike for little money.

a hybrid isnt a good idea.
Why do you say a hybrid is not a good idea? Here is a pic of the bike.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3685876...in/photostream
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Old 05-28-12, 10:27 AM   #14
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im not a fit expert. (i know basics)

You should measure your inseam and multiply by .887 this should give you ball park on your saddle hight. I point this out because rider weight is distributed thru handlebars/seat/pedals if you put to much weight on your hands youll probably end up with a very soar back (putting more weight on your saddle would help a lot)

the seat seems low for the frame, if that quill stem came on the bike or was fitted for a taller rider your probably reaching too far. (adding to the back issue)

you can start researching fit on sheldon browns website (google it) its a very nice way to begin
also you can visit wrenchscience . com for a pretty nice fit calculator to find out your corect ball park reach

hybrids aren't designed to be sport oriented bikes, are more of a commuter/mup/do it all bike. A road bike that fits you can be very satisfying and comfortable ride.

hope this helps
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Old 05-30-12, 12:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Any reason you couldn't adjust the Cdale to fit? A new bike is always the best answer, but older ones (I have a bunch of them) often were set up like wannabe racers, with the handlebars well below the saddle, a long reach etc. If it has a quill stem and it's not maxed out, you could raise the bars in about eight seconds. If it's threadless or has no adjustment left, a new stem, taller and maybe with a shorter reach, is way cheaper than a new bike.
Having said that, I love hybrids and recommend them for almost everybody except hyperserious riders. I have a garage full of bikes, 40 years' accumulation, and the one I ride most often is a hybrid.
Tks, what do you mean by hyperserious rider? Here is a pic of my bike
http://www.flickr.com/photos/3685876...in/photostream

I'm trying to understand how it might be adjusted. The stem won't go any higher because the brake line has no more give.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:09 PM   #16
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So replace the brake line. Sure cheaper than a new bike.
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Old 05-30-12, 12:31 PM   #17
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Why do you say a hybrid is not a good idea? Here is a pic of the bike.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3685876...in/photostream
Hybrid bike, with flat bars, is not the tool of choice for a 40 mile ride. Most notably, you don't have the options to change your hand positions that you do with a drop bar.

A road bike with relaxed geometry, professionally fitted to you by someone with experience working with back problems, is much more likely to 1) not cause you back problems, and 2) be pleasant to ride on longer rides.


Also modern "comfort" road bikes, such as Specialized Roubaix, or Canondale Synapse, are going to be much more pleasant to ride than that Cdale.

Cdales of that era were known to be bone crushers, and the harshness of that bike may be part of your problem.
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