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Back issues, DR says to maybe change bike style

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Back issues, DR says to maybe change bike style

Old 02-03-15, 02:44 PM
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drew62266
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Back issues, DR says to maybe change bike style

I've been riding for around a year on my Specialized Allez. Really like it, but have developed a lower back issue, we don't think it was from riding, but riding as aggravated it. I now have a bulging disk and a torn disk in my utmost lower back. Along with a Sciatic Pain from a pinching of the nerve. After x-rays & MRI's, both Dr and physical therapist suggest I move to a bike with a more upright riding position. So I'm looking at selling my 2014 Specialized and getting a hybrid or fitness bike. I've been looking at the TREK FX 7.4 & Specialized Sirrus. Any thoughts or recommendations?

PS, I'm 6'2" 260 lbs

Thanks

Last edited by drew62266; 02-03-15 at 02:48 PM. Reason: adding my size
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Old 02-03-15, 04:48 PM
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How aggressive (in terms of saddle-to-bar drop) is your current set up? You might be able to add a couple of spacers and/or swap out stems to get more upright on what you have now for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 02-03-15, 05:03 PM
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You might consider paying a certified bike fitter to sort out your riding position for you.
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Old 02-03-15, 06:26 PM
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Check w/ a fitter, might be worth the money for sure Guru fit is all computer, so they can change out different bikes while you're still on the machine. Having FX style bikes are not likely in the computer's library. But maybe a Domane, Roubaix, synapse

If you got a frame size that is 58 or larger and didn't cut the stem, get a 3T shorter -17 stem and point it up. It will effect handling a bit but you will get used to it. You can also get compact drop bars as well.

3t Arx Pro Road Stem 17 Degree from Bike Bling

If you got a 56, than it's too aggressive and you will need a new bike.
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Old 02-03-15, 06:42 PM
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Along with a good fitting and appropriate modifications to the bike, talk to a sports physician, physiologist, or PT and work on strengthening your core and improving your hip and lower back flexibility. Being you already have a problem, I'd do this under appropriate medical supervision, but it's amazing how many bad backs can be made much better with proper exercises.

As a side note: too much of an upright position is just as bad for the back as one that is too low. When you ride, pay close attention to the arch of your back. Rotate your pelvis forward and try to keep your back relatively straight rather than flexing forward in the low lumbar region.

Last edited by GravelMN; 02-03-15 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 02-03-15, 07:18 PM
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Ow, that sounds painful! Sorry to hear that. If you live near me, I'd be happy to store your bike for an extended period to get it out of your hair.

Have you thought about a crank forward bike like these? Crank Forward Bicycles

or perhaps a recumbent?
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Old 02-04-15, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for all the help. I had the bike fitted, adjusted, refitted again. The guy at my LBS is very good, quite thorough. Multiple sessions with my bike on the trainer, tweaks here and there. The pain seems to be more post ride than anything....its hard to stand straight after a ride. The Dr did suggest that after every 8-10 miles, to get off the bike, stretch 10-15 minutes, then ride again. I'm working on my core exercises and doing serious stretching daily. My PT has me on a great routine, I strongly advise that to anyone. It's aggravating that I could ride 40-50 miles and stop once, maybe twice, just to refuel.

On a good note, through riding, proper diet, and other exercises, I've dropped 30 lbs.
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Old 02-04-15, 08:24 AM
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Herniated disc here. Pretty much solved the problem by raising my stem. I'm hoping that as I lose more weight I can lower it again, but whatever. At least I can ride.
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Old 02-04-15, 08:36 AM
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I will suggest a recumbent since nobody else has.
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Old 02-04-15, 08:40 AM
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Back to your original post, I have the Specialized Sirrus and love it. They are fast zippy bikes. I got mine set up as a commuter bike with a rack and panniers. The version I have (2012) is really a Roubaix frame with a flat bar. The newer ones now have their own distinct look to it. If you get this bike also get a fit done but for a less aggressive position.

I know you said that you had a bike fit and that is awesome but ask him to treat you as if you were not as flexible as you are now. Usually means swapping out the stem to a much less aggressive one (flip the stem around so that it point up instead down) for a more upright posture. If that's already done then ya, see if you can get a long term use of loaner bike. My LBS did that for me to try out a new roubaix for a week.
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Old 02-04-15, 09:32 AM
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Funny... I have a similar issue and Dr. recommended that I continue with a more agressive poistion (ie not so upright). He said (he is a cyclist as well) the more upright positioning will actual add stress to my back (which makes sense when you think about it - the laid over position actual stretches out my back which is good; not bad). In fact, cycling is the only time my back doesn't hurt!

Also you know your weight is an issue and is likely the cause of back problems... continue stretching exercises... flexibility will help.

and yes I know I am not a doctor... but some doctors don't really understand cycling and the effects on the body which is why I sought out a fellow cyclist who does. If your doctor is a cyclist... then nevermind.
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Old 02-04-15, 09:39 AM
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Thanks for the info. And yes....I go thru daily stretching routine about 5 days a week. I'm 48 years young (ha ha). I never realized how beneficial stretching can be. My PT put me thru a months worth of therapy sessions, I'm really trying to strengthen my "core", more than anything.
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Old 02-04-15, 10:29 AM
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I've had low back pain for 20+ years. Nothing as severe as yours I don't believe. I rode up right hybrids for a while and they were jarring on my low back.

Then I switched to my first road bike, a Secteur (2013 without the zertz). This took the jarring pain away that I got with the hybrids, but still caused a little back pain.

When I was riding my aluminum Specialized Secteur, it was so harsh it also gave me back pain on rough roads after 25 miles or so.

Installing this seatpost dramatically improved the ride:

Specialized Bicycle Components



That said, my Secteur is still not as comfortable on my low back as my Roubaix (with a CG-R) is.

I've found carbon to be low back friendly. I've had no back pain on my CG-R equipped Roubaix.

Last edited by Jarrett2; 02-04-15 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-04-15, 10:42 AM
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I also had intermittent back problems several years ago and did years of therapy, stretching, etc. The only thing that really seemed to make a huge difference was doing yoga twice a week. The medical stretches seemed to focus and target one muscle, but never really helped my core. Various yoga posses help not only your back, but your core and is surprisingly difficult if your new to yoga.

As mentioned above I also prefer to ride in the drops which my fitter thought was odd because most people don't. I actually feel better scrunched over with my back bent and flat.
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