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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

So, here's the deal...

Two major back surgeries in my history. In November I hit 275 pounds and said ENOUGH!

I am down to 250 now with diet and walking and am looking to start riding again (it's been 25 years).

My preference is for the road bike because of the efficiency multiple positions, I am just not sure how well my body may/may not handle it? It would obviously be relaxed geometry frame and one I could tour with: I've got a couple 200+ miles routes I would like to conquer in the next few years.

Anyone out there with low back issues that can comment on comfort for extended rides?

And is a comfort bike or hybrid really much better? Not sure being more upright and putting more pressure on the low back is any improvement...

I'm about to make my first purchase, and realize it may not work out, but I am trying to make as educated guess as possible.

Oh, the doctor says as long as I tolerate the pain no problem, everything is all fused up down there anyhow... :p

By the way, tried a recumbent last year - Didn't really like it...

Thanks in advance!
 

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i would ride the comfort bike, they soak up a lot of the road bumps. they take more effort to ride cause of the larger tires, the riding position makes to you act as a sail, but the upright position is comfortable and the bikes soak up a most of the bumps. Bumps that jar the heck out of you on a road bike.

I have a allez and a globe comfort bike. the globe is by far mor comfortable to ride as far as bumps go. I ride my globe on rides up to 40 mile loops. my back was out for 11 months and was told I needed surgery, but finally one day the pain left as quickly and unexplainable as it appeared,
 

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another thought is to take a test ride at your local bicycle shop and see how comfortable a road bike is. That way you can ride without having to shell out the big bucks for one and know first hand whether it will work for you or not.
 

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well don't know your budget because they are not cheap, but I personally would recommend a recumbent bike. That would give your bike full support and you should be able to be comfortable assuming you can be comfortable in a chair.
 

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Warren, I have 3 herniated lumbar discs, and haven't been off the bike due to back issues since 2004. While I can understand the multiple hand position option of the roadie, that's a pretty narrow qualifier. I'm glad to see your posted 'maybes' are different.

Of the two Moto's, if you HAVE to go that way (I have issues with BikesDirect.com and Motobecane, bad past experience), pick the Elite. It'll serve you better.

Both bikes are the same price, and the Comfort model has a couple slightly higher-quality parts -- that means they cut corners somewhere else, NOT what you want. A good frame will take better parts later on; a poorer frame won't give you a better ride with even the best parts!

I was going to suggest a cyclocross bike, like the Redline Conquest, and retro-fit it with a suspension post, but it looks like that'll bust your budget.

BTW, I ride a Jamis Dakar XLT, full-suspension mountain bike; I don't do serious distance -- 50 miles is about tops -- but I can roll over EVERYTHING in my path! And it's kind to my spine....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Warren, I have 3 herniated lumbar discs, and haven't been off the bike due to back issues since 2004. While I can understand the multiple hand position option of the roadie, that's a pretty narrow qualifier. I'm glad to see your posted 'maybes' are different.

Of the two Moto's, if you HAVE to go that way (I have issues with BikesDirect.com and Motobecane, bad past experience), pick the Elite. It'll serve you better.

Both bikes are the same price, and the Comfort model has a couple slightly higher-quality parts -- that means they cut corners somewhere else, NOT what you want. A good frame will take better parts later on; a poorer frame won't give you a better ride with even the best parts!

I was going to suggest a cyclocross bike, like the Redline Conquest, and retro-fit it with a suspension post, but it looks like that'll bust your budget.

BTW, I ride a Jamis Dakar XLT, full-suspension mountain bike; I don't do serious distance -- 50 miles is about tops -- but I can roll over EVERYTHING in my path! And it's kind to my spine....
Thanks for the advice... Yes if all goes well I can put together about $500 - So a solid entry-level bike for now.

Pretty much rules out bents, plus I put a Bike-E through about 500 miles of riding last year and never really liked the position that much...
 

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It may not be the bike. I spent most of the winter working on my web site, New England cycling| New England bike rides|affordable bike tours , and my lower back got very stiff and painful. I eventually cleared that up by switching to a small hard wooden dining room chair instead of the fancy black cushy office chair. Went back to the cushy chair twice just to see, and the back pain came back each time. Also have made sure to get some exercise if not a ride in every day.

I have no back pain from the road bike-- there are so many positions available, you're bound to find a comfortable one.
 

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How tall are you? Anything your going to have to hunch over like a road bike would seem to exacerbate your issue. Some type of upright hybrid would probably do the trick for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
How tall are you? Anything your going to have to hunch over like a road bike would seem to exacerbate your issue. Some type of upright hybrid would probably do the trick for you.
6 feet tall, about 31 inch inseam so torso is long... Not the greatest for the Roadbike unless I went with a frame on the small size to keep the top tube a little shorter...

Hmmmm...

I think I need to talk my neighbor into loaning me his Roadbike for a weekend - We're pretty much the same size and I could burn through 20-30 miles in day and see how it goes...
 

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That's why I am riding Rans now..........
 

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I also have back problems and weight around 270 now. I started riding a hybrid because I though it would be better. It was ok but when I rode my first recumbent I knew I was on the right track. I now have a Rans Stratus XP and the ride and and comfort is excellent. I ride over twice as far without any problems. I am signed up for my first 40 mile ralley in May.
 

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I have a pretty bad lower back (no surgery) and I have found a road bike to be more then comfortable even on long rides of 100+ miles. That being said, I think every person is different. Your best bet, if you can, is to try several different models of bikes so you can see what will work best for you. You may find a comfort bike is the best way to go now, but end up with a road bike in a year or 2. I would probably say that whatever option you end up with, keep in mind the possibility of changing (or upgrading) later. If you really get hooked on riding like I did, you may end up with more then 1 bike anyway.
 
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