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Am I mad to buy a road bike if I have back problem?

(9 Posts)
patterkiller Fri 17-Jul-15 08:08:55

I have a history of lower back problems which thankfully has improved ten fold over the last two years with daily Pilates. I currently ride my faithful old trek hybrid and cycle 10-30 miles two or three times a week weather permitting

DH is cycle obsessed he rides a road bike and does many many more miles than me, is a club member and does organised races.

I have mentioned buying a road bike a couple of times and he waves it away as a waste of money and I wouldn't be able to ride comfortably because of my back. Which as I said is a non issue.

Having never rode anything but an upright I don't know if he's talking crap and just doesn't want us to spend the money. For contents I ride in mostly Aldi gear while he wears Castilli and it does often feel my cycling is seen with a bit of a head tilt from him.

So am I mad to want to try?

Thistledew Fri 17-Jul-15 08:48:29

A road bike will put a greater strain on your lower back than a hybrid. I have a road bike that I ride for fun at the weekends and a cyclo-cross bike that I commute on and I do notice that the former does place more strain on my lower back than the latter. I don't have back problems as such, but sometimes get 'tight' around the pelvis/ lower back.

You won't really know until you try, and like anything, you can build it up to increase you strength and flexibility. However, whether it is worth getting a road bike depends on what you want to do on it. If you are wanting to start cycling a lot more seriously athen it is worth getting a road bike and working on your body to adapt to the more aggressive position. If you are wanting to do the same sorts of distances that you are doing at the moment, but just to have an upgraded bike, then maybe look at a cyclo-cross bike. They have the look of a road bike and the benefits of drop handlebars etc, but have a bit more of an upright position, so would be easier on your back.

lavendersun Fri 17-Jul-15 13:45:31

I could have written your post a couple of months ago - Trek T30 - 30-45 miles a week, I ride for fitness (for horse riding) and as a family and not because I am big on cycling.

Not a back injury but a broken neck 20 years ago which means that my shoulders/neck are very stiff/painful at times.

DH has been a lifelong ultra keen distance cyclist.

DH was convinced that I wouldn't like drop bars (neck related) and thought I should go for a Gazelle bike with those rectangular bars with lots of different position options.

I wanted a traditional style tourer. I bought a used Dawes Galaxy to see if I liked it/coped with it - really love it and am choosing to cycle more because it is so much more enjoyable rather than just to keep me fit for riding horses.

On the lower back front DH has had steroid injections as many times as you are allowed to over the years for lower back djd. He has been in agony at times for periods of several months at a time, had to stop running marathons but has been able to carry on cycling and swimming without any problems at all.

The worst thing for his back was when he did a desk job for a couple of years. He does stretch twice a day which helps enormously.

I was going to hire one for a week or two until I bought this decent used one. It was just to see how I liked it, but I like it so much I am going to have it re-sprayed and rebuilt in the winter even though it will cost virtually as much as a lower end tourer.

We are doing 35 miles again on Monday - I would never have done that before.

TheFuzz Fri 17-Jul-15 14:41:54

How about a quick hybrid ? Road bikes will put more strain on your back. There are plenty of faster hybrids with road tyres. Might be more suitable

bikeandrun Fri 17-Jul-15 14:51:31

Sounds like you deserve a decent bike and some nice kit, get a proper bike fitting, keep up with core strength work with your Pilates. A really well fitted road bike shouldn't strain your back anymore than a hybrid. Get something with more of a sportive fit than a racing fit, a good bike shop will be able to help you with this, women's specific bikes tend to have a shorter top tube( or a shorter stem) would also be a good idea, so you aren't too stretched out.

patterkiller Fri 17-Jul-15 19:36:11

Sorry, work got in the way of mums net. Thanks for the replies, some really interesting comments. I think I'm going to see if I can hire one for a few weeks to see how it goes. The only time I have had back pain from cycling was over rough bridle ways mostly, I think, from jarring.
I want to do more, go further and faster. lavernd I want to be you this time next year smile

lavendersun Fri 17-Jul-15 22:48:43

I would hire one patter as it is such a big shift.

If you are anywhere near East Anglia I can recommend Madgetts in Diss. They are building DH's new bike to his (very exacting) specification once his mtm frame is built. Mega fussy, gear snob, engineery brained DH loves the guy there, he was recommended by two different frame manufacturers DH visited.

I am lucky, DH does actually know an awful lot and can make sure whatever I have is right for me.

Faster, more enjoyable and just easier here - I am not a cyclist really, have never wanted a road bike but liked the classic tourer look and thought that it might be what I wanted ... it is.

Dh is like a kid - me cycling with him and enjoying it. So far all our long rides (well long for me is 30 miles plus) include a lovely lunch somewhere - always on a school day smile. He keeps buying me 'gear', sweet really I suppose but he has a whole shed for bikes with two 6ft x 3ft metal cabinets of stuff .... I have the same in the horse dept and we do not have any more room.

BikeMum8 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:24:33

No, you're not mad to try one.
Find a decent bike shop to fit you to a road bike, build up the miles gradually, might be worth a visit to an osteopath to see if there are some specific exercises to help with your back. Also, check out your local British Cycling Breeze group, the ride leaders are often on road bikes and can give some advice.
Have fun��

patterkiller Sat 18-Jul-15 07:52:15

Ok I've booked onto a breeze ride in a few weeks after our holiday. The leader has popped up on my strava a few times so I know she rides a few of the same routes as me, all be it a bit faster. I'll shall interrogate her as we ride. Thanks again

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