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New road bike considering back injury

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New road bike considering back injury

Old 06-17-22, 09:04 AM
  #1  
goldfilm
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New road bike considering back injury

I’m turning 50 this year and giving myself a gift of a new road bike. I’m recovering from a herniated disc and I’ll use the bike for 10-mile trips for now until I’m better, though I want a decent performance and a bike that will last.

I’m considering the Trek Domane AL 5 (~ $2K) vs. Domane SL 5 (~ $3K). I’m interested in Trek’s IsoSpeed shock absorption technology to minimize impact on my back that I’m currently getting with my 2012 Fuji Roubaix. The AL 5 has an alloy frame and IsoSpeed only in the handlebar, while the SL 5 has a carbon frame and IsoSpeed in both handle & seat.

If I decide to go for the $3K budget, I’m also considering a Pinarello Paris 105. They don’t claim to use any shock absorption technology but they do talk about the way the frame and fork are designed for more confort.

Questions to +50 road bike riders:
- Bigger tires in the newer bikes will help too and I’ll also get a professional fitting service… but would you say features like Giant D-Fuse or Trek IsoSpeed are key for your back or arms pain?
- Would you consider the Pinarello as a better quality bike in general and forget IsoSpeed?
- Any other recommendations when looking for a new bike when it comes to minimizing pain - without going to a heavier slower bike that may be ultra comfortable but not good for speed & workout or longer road trips?
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Old 06-17-22, 09:15 AM
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If the Domane offers your back the protection it needs, go for the SL5. Also, the Domane will let you run 38 mm Rene Herse tires, which could really help.

However, if you want to have the ability to add a KINEKT Active Suspension Seatpost, I think the Domane seat mast might preclude that. My wife has one of these, due to a back injury, and it is really worth it.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:17 AM
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Having said that, I got a custom steel bike when I turned 50. No regrets, apart from wishing I had done so earlier in life.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by goldfilm View Post
I知 turning 50 this year and giving myself a gift of a new road bike. I知 recovering from a herniated disc and I値l use the bike for 10-mile trips for now until I知 better, though I want a decent performance and a bike that will last.

I知 considering the Trek Domane AL 5 (~ $2K) vs. Domane SL 5 (~ $3K). I知 interested in Trek痴 IsoSpeed shock absorption technology to minimize impact on my back that I知 currently getting with my 2012 Fuji Roubaix. The AL 5 has an alloy frame and IsoSpeed only in the handlebar, while the SL 5 has a carbon frame and IsoSpeed in both handle & seat.

If I decide to go for the $3K budget, I知 also considering a Pinarello Paris 105. They don稚 claim to use any shock absorption technology but they do talk about the way the frame and fork are designed for more confort.

Questions to +50 road bike riders:
- Bigger tires in the newer bikes will help too and I値l also get a professional fitting service but would you say features like Giant D-Fuse or Trek IsoSpeed are key for your back or arms pain?
- Would you consider the Pinarello as a better quality bike in general and forget IsoSpeed?
- Any other recommendations when looking for a new bike when it comes to minimizing pain - without going to a heavier slower bike that may be ultra comfortable but not good for speed & workout or longer road trips?
I have the Domane SL5. I would definitely get it.

I can fit up to 700 x 40 tires on mine.
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Old 06-17-22, 11:27 AM
  #5  
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In my experience recovering from a herniated disc and subsequent surgery, position is more critical than shock absorption. Spines are mechanically complex and back issues are unique, so YMMV. I iterated with my bike fitter to find a position that minimizes low back pain. I also add on-bike stretching, which helps tremendously after climbs or long efforts.

Having said that, I do run either 32mm or 35mm tires on my brevet bike.
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Old 06-18-22, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfilm View Post

Questions to +50 road bike riders:
- Bigger tires in the newer bikes will help too and I’ll also get a professional fitting service… but would you say features like Giant D-Fuse or Trek IsoSpeed are key for your back or arms pain?
I think tyres are the main factor in ride comfort. My Giant Defy has the D-Fuse seatpost and bars. I think the carbon D-Fuse seatpost is pretty effective, but mine has the alloy D-fuse bars and they still transmit a fair amount of road buzz on rougher road surfaces, even with thick cushioned bar tape. The integrated carbon bars/stem on my Canyon are much better at damping out road buzz. So whatever bike you choose, I would consider upgrading to carbon bars if not already in the spec. In hindsight I wish I'd upgraded to the carbon D-fuse bars on my Defy. I suspect it would have been a big improvement.

But if I was looking for the very best possible ride comfort in a fast road bike I would probably look closely at the Specialized Roubaix, with the latest FutureShock. But for me that would be probably overkill. The Carbon Domane is probably a good choice too.
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Old 06-19-22, 07:59 AM
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I had a herniated disc in 1993-4 on my right side. Lost 80% of the muscle on the front of my lower right leg and 20% on the thigh. In 2001 I had a disc blowout and lost the use of my left leg's front muscles and had surgery. I was told I should never ride a bike again.
I have a Hybrid and a drop-bar gravel bike, both Cannondale. The Hybrid is obviously more upright than the Topstone and the Topstone is less of a tuck than a race or true road bike. Of the two I find the gravel bike the most comfortable as the angle of my body is enough to keep any road jarring impact from my spine being too upright. I also find that I can go down on the drops on the gravel bike but I have to be really stretched out before I get on the bike or I pay the price later. Not suggesting you get a gravel bike just suggesting you consider your fit on whatever bike you get to allow for the angle of your body you will be riding for most of your time in the saddle. You can shorten and raise the stem as you are recuperating and then change to a lower and longer stem as you feel you can. I have not yet been able to get back to the supplied 90mm 3 or 4* but hope to get there.
Be safe and try to buy a bike frame that gives you a lot of options later on as you heal and become aware of what has changed and what you can still do comfortably.
My bike is all wrong for anybody else but it fits me and I can still ride at 73.
Good luck, Frank.

Last edited by Helderberg; 06-19-22 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 06-19-22, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I think tyres are the main factor in ride comfort. My Giant Defy has the D-Fuse seatpost and bars. I think the carbon D-Fuse seatpost is pretty effective, but mine has the alloy D-fuse bars and they still transmit a fair amount of road buzz on rougher road surfaces, even with thick cushioned bar tape. The integrated carbon bars/stem on my Canyon are much better at damping out road buzz. So whatever bike you choose, I would consider upgrading to carbon bars if not already in the spec. In hindsight I wish I'd upgraded to the carbon D-fuse bars on my Defy. I suspect it would have been a big improvement.

But if I was looking for the very best possible ride comfort in a fast road bike I would probably look closely at the Specialized Roubaix, with the latest FutureShock. But for me that would be probably overkill. The Carbon Domane is probably a good choice too.
Thank you. I致e seen very few bikes with carbon bars under 3K or even 4K. But I値l ask about upgrade options D-Fuse vs IsoSpeed vs FutureShock seem to be similar with their own pros and cons, but general consensus seems to be 鍍ires, tires, tires

Now, main issue now is availability. Not sure if it痴 related to the pandemic effect or the time of the year, but none of the popular brands have medium sizes in stock.
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Old 06-19-22, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I had a herniated disc in 1993-4 on my right side. Lost 80% of the muscle on my lower right leg and 20% on the thigh. In 2001 I had a disc blowout and lost the use of my left leg's front muscles and had surgery. I was told I should never ride a bike again.
I have a Hybrid and a drop-bar gravel bike, both Cannondale. The Hybrid is obviously more upright than the Topstone and the Topstone is less of a tuck than a race or true road bike. Of the two I find the gravel bike the most comfortable as the angle of my body is enough to keep any road jarring impact from my spine being too upright. I also find that I can go down on the drops on the gravel bike but I have to be really stretched out before I get on the bike or I pay the price later. Not suggesting you get a gravel bike just suggesting you consider your fit on whatever bike you get to allow for the angle of your body you will be riding for most of your time in the saddle. You can shorten and raise the stem as you are recuperating and then change to a lower and longer stem as you feel you can. I have not yet been able to get back to the supplied 90mm 3 or 4* but hope to get there.
Be safe and try to buy a bike frame that gives you a lot of options later on as you heal and become aware of what has changed and what you can still do comfortably.
My bike is all wrong for anybody else but it fits me and I can still ride at 73.
Good luck, Frank.
Amazing advice, will definitely consider and pay close attention and congrats on riding at 73!
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Old 06-19-22, 04:25 PM
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The AL frame bikes I致e had were very harsh rides. But one of my carbon bikes was really stiff but not quite as harsh.

For me the 3 big things for back and overall comfort are bike fit, frame material and design then wheels/tires. Ideally your wheels would be a lightweight carbon with wide enough width to accommodate wider tires.

Be sure to find a fitter who can adjust your fit to meet your needs versus someone who just fits everyone only using one method.
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Old 06-20-22, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by goldfilm View Post
Thank you. I致e seen very few bikes with carbon bars under 3K or even 4K. But I値l ask about upgrade options D-Fuse vs IsoSpeed vs FutureShock seem to be similar with their own pros and cons, but general consensus seems to be 鍍ires, tires, tires

Now, main issue now is availability. Not sure if it痴 related to the pandemic effect or the time of the year, but none of the popular brands have medium sizes in stock.
I think FutureShock stands out above all the other front end systems with something like 20 mm of actual damped travel. At least the higher-end version is damped. Whether you actually need it or not is another matter - but it is going to give you the plushest feeling front end on the market. I think the rear ends of all modern carbon endurance bikes are pretty comfortable. As with carbon bars, I think carbon seatposts add significant comfort, especially when well exposed.

Yes tires are king for comfort, but pretty much all modern endurance bikes should accommodate at least 32 mm wide rubber (and some considerably more).
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Old 08-08-22, 05:01 PM
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I have zero bike suggestions for you

As somebody who has endured decades with (2) herniated discs the two most important things I have found are...
Core Strength
Flexibility

Best of luck with your spine health and cycling,

fat biker
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Old 08-08-22, 09:21 PM
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I have avoided surgery and wish you the best. Looking for speed and accommodating your issues I understand having arthritis in hands, back and knees which makes me at times sensitive to frames and frame makers. Ti frames have offered me better rides over these periods with our kids and when serious a recumbent trike keeps me on the road.
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Old 08-09-22, 04:03 AM
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I have chronic spinal issues and have had 4 surgeries, including disc replacement at L5-S1 and fusion at C5-C6. I am soon to be 70 and average 5000 a year over the last 9 year span. I still ride road bikes, but have made adjustments over the years in regards to reach and stack, wider tires, and two bike have been switched to Velo-Orange Porteur bars, with 10 speed Shimano shift/brake levers mounted on them. They are a really good option, IMO. They offer a lot of hand positions with very; little movement. Shifting and braking area also really easy and convenient with little movement. l still have, and ride, a some bikes with drop bars, but I have mostly been using the bikes with Porteur bars since acquiring them. They come in 22.2 and 23.4 diameter, with the 23.4 proper size for brifters, silver or black.
My Airborne Zeppelin has become my favorite ride since making the switch.

Porteur bars with 15mm used as a rise

The Poprad with Porteur bars, 15 mm down slope.

I have to do some lengthening of the cables/housing on the Poprad, and will likely invert them for a 15 mm rise. That works better for me. The bars also give you options for they type of shifters and brake levers you want, bar ends or thumb/rapid fire type and brake levers, or brifters, I have found that it takes a bit of trial and error to get my set up right, and occasional adjustment, small increments at a time. In addition to helping my spine issues, the bars have also been a big help with reducing the numbness and tingling in my hands, and have been a huge help in reducing the stress on my arthritic thumbs. That has been large in my being, and staying, comfortable for longer rides. For me, regarding comfort, there is a fine line between being too upright and torso too far forward.
Changing and finding the right sett up can be a bit tiresome, but the reward is high when it is accomplished.

I wish you well, patience is a definite virtue dealing with things like this.

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Old 08-09-22, 04:54 AM
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Are you positive your back will be comfortable riding with drop bars?
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Old 08-09-22, 08:46 AM
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You didn稚 say where in your back the herniated disc is, but I値l assume it痴 your lower back. I致e had two lower back surgeries for herniated discs myself. At any ratelike a couple others have indicatedI think your primary consideration should be comfort (position) WRT your back injury. I mean you池e riding a road bike. Unless you池e riding on roads comparable to Paris-Roubaix, there shouldn稚 be so much impact on your back. And, you池e posting in the 50+ forum. I know we池e all always concerned with speed. But what records are you trying to break? What race are you trying to win? I say longevity is the primary concern, and do what ever you have to do to keep riding comfortably.

Dan
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Old 08-10-22, 09:25 AM
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m

Originally Posted by goldfilm View Post
Questions to +50 road bike riders:
- Bigger tires in the newer bikes will help too and I’ll also get a professional fitting service… but would you say features like Giant D-Fuse or Trek IsoSpeed are key for your back or arms pain?
- Would you consider the Pinarello as a better quality bike in general and forget IsoSpeed?
- Any other recommendations when looking for a new bike when it comes to minimizing pain - without going to a heavier slower bike that may be ultra comfortable but not good for speed & workout or longer road trips?
I had a Domane ALR5 (which was destroyed when I was struck by a car) and I now have a Domane SL5. Both of these have the IsoZone decoupler and both bikes were very easy on my back. Both were/are more comfortable than my Trek DS with 42mm tires and a front suspension.

I’d really recommend test riding the SL5 … I’m sure you’ll be impressed.

At an equivalent price point, I doubt the Pinarellomis any better than the Trek or Giant, just a fancier name.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:27 AM
  #18  
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I had L4-L5 surgery in Nov 2019. Began riding the trainer after a couple of weeks and had to raise my bars to get more upright. Progress was slow, but steady. You'll get there. By six months, pretty damn good as long as I don't over do it with yard work or moving furniture.

I still ride long and hilly rides, but with different expectations. Not "lower," but different. No more hammering, but more fun.

Keep up with the physical therapy too.
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Old 08-12-22, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
....I wish you well, patience is a definite virtue dealing with things like this.
I have also played with this with some success, my current favorites are three titaniums, two with mustache bars and one with simply a drop bar chopped off as it rotates down and then mounted upside down all with gel under the bar wrap. Would like to try a porteur, I found lots of fiddling with shifter placement required so to that end could you kindly post a photo from above .

Edit: also please are those unusually long stems being used?

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Old 08-17-22, 10:02 AM
  #20  
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Standing up in the saddle helps a good deal with your back not in the same position the entire time during a ride. It allows me to stretch out my back muscles. Even standing up for 60 seconds is going to help.

As others have mentioned the wider tires help a great deal as the tire pressure is much less. A 32mm tire at 80 PSI provides as much load support as a 25mm tire at 100 PSI and it is simply that the 32mm tire hold a greater volume of air.
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