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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 02-24-17, 02:35 PM   #1
iggyboy
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Which bike for herniated disc

I am not sure if this is the right subforum but Ill give it a try.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with herniated disc of lumbal area, and one of cervical area. It was hell at first but with gym and muscle strengthening I got it under control.

BUT...bike riding was not the same as before. I had a Norco Kokanee and it was very unpleseant to ride it and it caused problems.

So the question now is...which bike do I buy??

I would ride it mostly in the city on asphalt and occasionaly in parks/forests.

Any suggestions?

thanks!
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Old 03-02-17, 02:03 AM   #2
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What is your budget? That will determine quite a bit of advice.

That said, you will need a very upright or reclining posture.

One option (I have degenerative disc disease and my doctor strongly recommended this) is a recumbent. There are a range of models and they can get quite expensive, as compared to a conventional bike. I personally like the Azub Ibex (AZUB BIKE - recumbents, trikes, vélo couché, liegerad, liegedreirad - AZUB IBEX - recumbent bike) as it has dual suspension, takes 26" MTB tires and could handle 100% of the riding I like to do.

The option I like is a bike like a Surly, SOMA, Velo Orange (or even a Giant Anyroad or some other gravel/adventure/all road bike) with an uncut steerer tube (or high rise stem) and swept back handlebars. Check out the Surly Crosscheck with Soma Oxford bars halfway down the page at the following link: (https://bikingtoplay.blogspot.kr/201...llewellyn.html).

There are some more examples of upright handlebars here: (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...endations.html).

Basically, you can take almost any bike, and, provided it fits you quite well, alter it to suit your back using a variety of components.

Last edited by PDKL45; 03-02-17 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 03-02-17, 04:11 PM   #3
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can you go test some recumbents?
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Old 03-03-17, 10:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iggyboy View Post
I am not sure if this is the right subforum but Ill give it a try.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with herniated disc of lumbal area, and one of cervical area. It was hell at first but with gym and muscle strengthening I got it under control.
I herniated L4-L5 sneezing in 2005, and am comfortable riding a road bike over 200 miles at a time. Presumably, an all-road, gravel grinder, or cyclocross bike would work on unpaved trails.

Conversely, it hurts if I stand or walk too long.
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Old 03-12-17, 07:14 PM   #5
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Iggy,

I have some of the same problems as you, and more. I'll endorse the suggestions that you look into a recumbent, or try more upright handlebars so you don't curve your back or put pressure on the herniated disc.

Another option is to look into surgery. You won't be as good as new, but it could take care of some of the pain. I had disc surgery for the two discs on each end of my L5. It took a few months to heal right, but I do feel better. According to my surgeon the problem was so bad that if I had waited I would have lost the use of both of my legs.

Right now, I'm dealing with a foraminal stenosis in my C2 -- I have bone growing into the nerve portal and it's pinching the nerve. In the AM I usually wake up with my left arm numb. As the day goes on I get spasms behind my left shoulder, with pain shooting down my left arm and around into my pectoral area.

My current solution is to get on my bike and ride so hard something else hurts worse.

I hope the recumbent or a more upright position works for you. It's much better than the alternatives.

--Rick
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Old 03-12-17, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iggyboy View Post
I am not sure if this is the right subforum but Ill give it a try.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with herniated disc of lumbal area, and one of cervical area. It was hell at first but with gym and muscle strengthening I got it under control.

BUT...bike riding was not the same as before. I had a Norco Kokanee and it was very unpleseant to ride it and it caused problems.

So the question now is...which bike do I buy??

I would ride it mostly in the city on asphalt and occasionaly in parks/forests.

Any suggestions?

thanks!

I get up with an aggravated back injury and have to be careful not to turn funny for a while, but after I sit in a chair for a few minutes the back usually gets going again.


I have little trouble cycling but I also have nice old vintage Troxels on my Schwinn and Rollfasts and good springs or padding.


I guess you might avoid getting crazy with the whoop-de-woops for a while and see your doctor about the back. You need your back for nearly everything, and also look into the shoes you are wearing. How your feet are able to take weight and allow the legs to balance ultimately affect your back. Ever wonder why runners go barefoot?
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Old 03-12-17, 09:05 PM   #7
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The issue isn't the bike per se, but the riding posture and what your back can handle well. Suspension might also help, by mitigating the jolts of those bumps you don't see and prepare for.

I suggest you borrow or rent a few bikes and see what works and doesn't, and once you get close, experiment to dial it in so you can ride comfortably without aggravating your condition.

I might add that the cervical issue might argue for a more upright riding position because you won't be straining to hold your head up, but here again the devil is in the details and you can only know if you try.

In the end, you might find that a recumbent works better for you, but I'd rather you learned for yourself than push you in any direction.
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Old 03-12-17, 09:52 PM   #8
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For back issues I'd get a bike with a an easily adjustable stem because it might take some experimentation to find the best angle forward lean. I have a screwed up back and I like a medium forward lean - a more straight position is harder on my back.

And I've gotten into the habit of standing up on the pedals to take bumps on my legs - not standing straight up, just lifting up from the saddle a little.

Last edited by tyrion; 03-12-17 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:30 PM   #9
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You need a bike (back) surgeon, not a new bike.
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Old 03-19-17, 09:41 PM   #10
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Modifying an existing bike can be cost effective, and I am currently working on my Specialized AWOL to make it more back-friendly.

I was looking for stems that get your handlebars up high and found Ergotec Stems. I personally have a High Charisma on order:

Products - Ergotec

Velo Orange have a similar stem in stock now, and their stocks of Cigne stems will be replenished this Spring sometime, according to an email from a company representative.

Threadless Stems - Stems - Components

Velo Orange also have several handlebars that help in reducing drop/reach and giving you a more upright posture that you can easily navigate to from that link.
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Old 04-22-17, 08:51 PM   #11
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I have herniated my L4~L5 and L5~L6 and use a comfort hybrid KHS Westwood as my primary bike but I hear good things about the Trek shift for people with bad backs as well.
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