Author Topic: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?  (Read 7143 times)

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #100 on: 12 November, 2020, 10:50:07 am »
... I suffer from chronic lower back pain, I've not been completely pain free for about 4 years now, and in the last 6 months it's got much worse and seems to get aggravated by anything but really (non-recumbent) short bike rides....

IME if walking doesn't aggravate your back but cycling does, it might well be that your legs are not quite the same length as one another. This very commonly causes problems of this sort, and/or makes any given problem worse.  Obviously it won't be the whole story if there are diagnosed problems of various kinds but it might be key to making cycling comfortable again.

Thanks, though no physio that I've seen has said that my legs are not the same length (they have checked, though!), so I don't think that's the problem.

Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #101 on: 12 November, 2020, 12:04:10 pm »
I only started to have problems with my mismatched leg length[1] when I started riding recumbents.  I naturally stand on one leg or the other, so only get lower back pain when forced to use both (eg. when doing the washing up, and there's a cupboard blocking your knee from bending).  On an upright I suppose there's enough scope to sit on the saddle slightly wonky and it all just works.  But on a recumbent, the seat keeps your back and pelvis straight, so you're either overextending one leg or underextending the other.  Plus you can ride for a lot longer without numb fingers or pulverised genitals, so the less severe problems you didn't know you had come into play.

I solved underextended knee issues by a combination of physioterrorism to strengthen the weak stabilising muscles of the lower leg (I do most of my standing on the other one) and ankling more with the other foot.  Which worked well until the achilles started to suffer.  Last year I sucked it up and forked out for some shortened cranks[2], which stopped the achilles problems dead.  I had to make a conscious effort to train myself to pedal hard enough on the shorter crank, but it all seems to work.  I've done more miles in 2020 than any previous year, and the only injury has been from racing on an inappropriate seat.


[1] About 10-15mm, from a break of my right femur as a child.
[2] I wanted to use SPD sandals for touring, which precludes shimming the cleat or orthotics.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #102 on: 12 November, 2020, 12:48:19 pm »
HK fitted her carbon fibre orthotics into her SPD sandals for brevets, when she had them. She is still looking for a stiff-soled sandal replacement.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #103 on: 12 November, 2020, 12:53:35 pm »
If I had orthotics for normal use, I'd probably have given that more investigation.  But it's sub-clinical other than for washing-up and recumbent cycling and who wants to wait 3.5 million years to see the feet-fettlers every time they buy some new shoes if they don't have to?  Make the bike fit the rider, I say...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #104 on: 18 November, 2020, 01:52:09 pm »
Usually it's easier to get your feet down with a narrower "Sport" seat than with a wider "Comfort" seat, so I'd suggest that. You should be ok to start off learning with it set to 40 degrees anyway, but you'd probably need to get it down to 35 degrees or less to stop sliding off the front. Jacquie Schlitter in the photo probably has hers around 27 degrees or less. She looks like she needs that headrest (which is actually a neck rest).
I've ordered a Nazca Comfort Seat. I've been tending to slide off the Sport seat and the thin pad I'm using reduces comfort. I think a thicker pad will need a more cupped seat base. The Comfort seat is only available in  glass fibre. Thought I'd order one ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period.

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #105 on: 18 November, 2020, 04:46:44 pm »
Usually it's easier to get your feet down with a narrower "Sport" seat than with a wider "Comfort" seat, so I'd suggest that. You should be ok to start off learning with it set to 40 degrees anyway, but you'd probably need to get it down to 35 degrees or less to stop sliding off the front. Jacquie Schlitter in the photo probably has hers around 27 degrees or less. She looks like she needs that headrest (which is actually a neck rest).
I've ordered a Nazca Comfort Seat. I've been tending to slide off the Sport seat and the thin pad I'm using reduces comfort. I think a thicker pad will need a more cupped seat base. The Comfort seat is only available in  glass fibre. Thought I'd order one ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period.

I went for the Thor "Comfort" seat in the end, as can't see myself needing to go down to much less than 40 degrees (for now anyway)  and sounds like going too low makes hills more difficult. I went for the 2 cm Ventisit pad in the end, will see how I get on with that.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #106 on: 12 December, 2020, 01:49:18 pm »
How's the Freestyle build coming along? My Nazca Comfort seat has disappeared into a black hole. It tracked to the dutch sorting hub and then - nothing. Nazca are investigating.

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #107 on: 12 December, 2020, 03:11:10 pm »
The frame, Thor seat and all components have arrived, am still waiting for the Scribe 5042 carbon wheels to be delivered
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #108 on: 14 December, 2020, 05:28:20 pm »
The frame, Thor seat and all components have arrived, am still waiting for the Scribe 5042 carbon wheels to be delivered

Where are the wheels coming from?

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #109 on: 14 December, 2020, 05:44:16 pm »
The frame, Thor seat and all components have arrived, am still waiting for the Scribe 5042 carbon wheels to be delivered

Where are the wheels coming from?

Not sure, I think they actually have the rims now, but are waiting on the hubs - probably my fault for asking for candy apple green hubs (pictured), rather than boring gloss black ones. They've said they should have the hubs by early next week, though.

It's this wheelset: https://scribecycling.co.uk/collections/carbon-disc/products/aero-wide-4250-d-1-438g

But with these hubs:



Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #110 on: 14 December, 2020, 06:03:44 pm »
The frame, Thor seat and all components have arrived, am still waiting for the Scribe 5042 carbon wheels to be delivered

Where are the wheels coming from?

Not sure, I think they actually have the rims now, but are waiting on the hubs - probably my fault for asking for candy apple green hubs (pictured), rather than boring gloss black ones. They've said they should have the hubs by early next week, though.

It's this wheelset: https://scribecycling.co.uk/collections/carbon-disc/products/aero-wide-4250-d-1-438g

But with these hubs:



Do those glow in the dark?

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #111 on: 14 December, 2020, 06:12:02 pm »
Wide internal and external. You going for 28mm tyres to get those extra watt savings from the near aero foil shape?

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #112 on: 14 December, 2020, 09:24:46 pm »
Wide internal and external. You going for 28mm tyres to get those extra watt savings from the near aero foil shape?

Yes, Veloflex Evo Corsa 28mm, or at least I'm going to give those a go. Was very happy with the (25mm) Veloflex Masters on my Mercian, fast and with good grip, but give a really comfy ride.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #113 on: 15 December, 2020, 11:05:53 am »
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Considering a recumbent due to chronic low back pain - tips/advice?
« Reply #114 on: 24 February, 2021, 06:51:23 pm »
Any news? Just hoping to see some photos  ;D