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Mountain bike for bad back

OK, despite been 24, i suffer from debilitating arthritis - Especially in my spine. Im currently riding a Marin Pine Mountain (fully ridgid) and i have to recover for several days after riding it which is a shame.

Obviously, i will be going full suss next. However, im not sure what type of bike will be best. I dont want to be stooped over.

What category of bikes so you think will be best for riding position and comfort? On a previous post i was looking at the Marin Rift Zone but its got a long reach i think - like alot of bikes now?

XC bikes look really uncomfortable, but enduro bikes are apparently stretched out so neither is ok.

Id also feel abit daft with a bike with long travel suspension when i wont be using it nowhere near its full potential.

I really dont want to stop mountain biking, but i think its going to be hard trying to find one thats comfortable.

Cheers,

Sam

Posts

  • karljeff72karljeff72 Posts: 58
    edited 2 February
    :/
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,280
    All back problems are different and you must go with what works for you.

    I too have a bad back on and off ever since 1995 when I dislocated a vertebrae in my lower back. My initial purchase of a bike was based around staying upright and not "stretched out" as you put it. So I bought a Trek Navigator. It was a hard tail Cruiser bike , not even sure they make them anymore. It had a big squashy saddle and a suspension seat post. I loved that bike, got me fit and I went all over the local area on it. But it was not an mtb.

    What I have discovered is that I never suffer from back problems when I'm on my mtb. I have a long back for my height anyway, so I always have to go for the bikes with a longer reach dimension. Reach is the horizontal distance from the BB to the top of the fork steerer.

    Yes, I am a bit stretched out, but not uncomfortably so. My arms are supporting me and I feel really comfortable.

    I am more likely to hurt my back lifting the bike over a gate than I am to hurt it when I'm on the bike. I have never even hurt my back when falling off and I've had some spectacular falls/crashes/involuntary dismounts..... whatever you call them.

    One thing that I can recommend is to start going to a Pilates class as soon as they are open. Pilates concentrates on core strength, balance and flexibility. The abdominal muscles support the back, so you must develop strong abs (whether you use a bike or not). I have been doing Pilates for 12 years now and I hold it responsible for my current mobility. I was a physical wreck when I first started, so much so that my first class (to suit my capabilities) was with four women in their late 70's/early 80's!! Yikes! :o

    Do not be concerned about "looking daft"! Do not give a flying fart for what you think you look like, or even what you think others may think you look like. Just get out there and enjoy. :)

  • All back problems are different and you must go with what works for you.

    I too have a bad back on and off ever since 1995 when I dislocated a vertebrae in my lower back. My initial purchase of a bike was based around staying upright and not "stretched out" as you put it. So I bought a Trek Navigator. It was a hard tail Cruiser bike , not even sure they make them anymore. It had a big squashy saddle and a suspension seat post. I loved that bike, got me fit and I went all over the local area on it. But it was not an mtb.

    What I have discovered is that I never suffer from back problems when I'm on my mtb. I have a long back for my height anyway, so I always have to go for the bikes with a longer reach dimension. Reach is the horizontal distance from the BB to the top of the fork steerer.

    Yes, I am a bit stretched out, but not uncomfortably so. My arms are supporting me and I feel really comfortable.

    I am more likely to hurt my back lifting the bike over a gate than I am to hurt it when I'm on the bike. I have never even hurt my back when falling off and I've had some spectacular falls/crashes/involuntary dismounts..... whatever you call them.

    One thing that I can recommend is to start going to a Pilates class as soon as they are open. Pilates concentrates on core strength, balance and flexibility. The abdominal muscles support the back, so you must develop strong abs (whether you use a bike or not). I have been doing Pilates for 12 years now and I hold it responsible for my current mobility. I was a physical wreck when I first started, so much so that my first class (to suit my capabilities) was with four women in their late 70's/early 80's!! Yikes! :o

    Do not be concerned about "looking daft"! Do not give a flying fart for what you think you look like, or even what you think others may think you look like. Just get out there and enjoy. :)

    Thanks steve, i appreciate all the advice. Wow, a dislocated vertebrae. That must of been awful. What type of bike do you recommend? Or what the best type of bike in your experience?

    Cheers
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,280
    edited 2 February
    Yep, painful at the time. I was off work for 3 weeks and struggled with mobility for 18 months until a physio relocated it! But then I had a permanent weakness and kept having relapses. These took the form of muscle spasms that were disabling for a week or so. But Pilates and mtb have sorted me out. As long as I do both, and don't do anything stupid, then I'm fine.

    I have read again your OP and I would recommend a full suss. I have no idea what your budget is, so I'm struggling from that point onwards. 120-130mm should give you some decent cushioning and you can aid that with some wider tyres. So a Trail bike not an XC bike.

    Do take a look at Pilates classes.
  • Yep, painful at the time. I was off work for 3 weeks and struggled with mobility for 18 months until a physio relocated it! But then I had a permanent weakness and kept having relapses. These took the form of muscle spasms that were disabling for a week or so. But Pilates and mtb have sorted me out. As long as I do both, and don't do anything stupid, then I'm fine.

    I have read again your OP and I would recommend a full suss. I have no idea what your budget is, so I'm struggling from that point onwards. 120-130mm should give you some decent cushioning and you can aid that with some wider tyres. So a Trail bike not an XC bike.

    Do take a look at Pilates classes.

    Thanks steve. Im defo going to give pilates a try. Its been in back of my mind for a while now but i thought it was just for people that are pregnant or really old folk 😂😂.

    I think around the mid £3000s is my budget. Hopfully, thats enough for a decent bike.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    You'll also have the advatage of being able to run tubeless tyres at nice low pressures for some added compliance.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,280
    £3k will give you some fantastic bikes to look at, provided you can actually get one.
    Whyte make some terrific trail bikes I had the T130C RS. I've just had a quick look at the Whyte website and they don't seem to do the 130 any more, the choice is now a T140 or the S120

    Also look at used ones, one year old max.
  • £3k will give you some fantastic bikes to look at, provided you can actually get one.
    Whyte make some terrific trail bikes I had the T130C RS. I've just had a quick look at the Whyte website and they don't seem to do the 130 any more, the choice is now a T140 or the S120

    Also look at used ones, one year old max.

    Yes, iv been looking at whyte for quite a bit. I love the S120. I actually contacted Guy Kes from YouTube, but he said the suss wouldnt cope which is a real shame. Also, the 29er wheel might be abit weak for peaks and drops and things?
  • £3k will give you some fantastic bikes to look at, provided you can actually get one.
    Whyte make some terrific trail bikes I had the T130C RS. I've just had a quick look at the Whyte website and they don't seem to do the 130 any more, the choice is now a T140 or the S120

    Also look at used ones, one year old max.

    Are the fix 34 step casts weaker?
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,280
    You are only 15 stone and that will decrease as you ride more. We've had guys on here that weigh 50% more than you.
    There is no doubt that larger diameter stanchion forks are stiffer and stronger, less likely to bend or bind under hard cornering, but you have to be really going for it for it to become much of a problem. It is not something I have ever noticed. It may have been happening to me when I was using 32 forks, but I never attributed any problems I may have had to it.

    I've never had a step cast fork, but I believe that they are supposed to be lighter than the equivalent. Given that weight is such a big thing on mtb these days, the standard 34's are already pretty light. Unless the step casts are made from a stronger material, they must be weaker. That's my opinion, there must be experts on here who will know for sure.
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