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Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:26 pm
by jet-ski
I have ridden in to work with my TCR and a backpack a few times now, it's only about 9ks, and I've noticed that I tend to get a tweak in the lower back. I wouldn't call it pain, just a little tightness on the right hand side. Do I need to get back into the weight room and do some deadlifts or something?

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:53 pm
by Schmenz
how heavy is the backpack?

does it sit flat against your back or is it slung low?

Have you ridden since without it and is it twinge free?

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:57 pm
by trailgumby
I'd suggest some panniers and racks would be a better option. Less overheating in warm conditions, less strain on the back, and better bike handling.

Sitting on your backside 8 hours a day at a desk job does not help one's core strength. 9kg is not particularly light.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:02 pm
by Schmenz
oo wait. is the bag 9kgs or are you riding 9kms?

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:59 pm
by jet-ski
riding 9kms, not sure how much the backpack weighed.... no I don't have the problem without it.... I am thinking sitting on my butt in the office all day is not helping matters. I think the bag sits relatively low, from looking at other roadies who are in fairly aggressive riding positions they seem to have the bag up quite high on the shoulders? is that the preferred option?

I have 3 bikes with racks, but they are boring. The roadie is newish hence I want to ride it. :)

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:29 pm
by Schmenz
i would tend to have it mid back but sitting close to the back.

when u stand up, if it sits away from the back, pull it up until it sits flat. try that and see how it goes.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:12 pm
by Baalzamon
Are you doing any back stretching or core work at all?

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:15 am
by AndyTheMan
From experience in hiking and riding with a backpack I would suggest three things:

1. Keep the pack as light as possible - don't carry a whole heap of crap around if you can avoid it;

2. Have good fitting packpack with properly adjustable straps (including a strap across the chest and one across the stomach/waist. They don't have to be expensive to be good - I have one from Anaconda that I bought for about $25 which is perfect - its based on a camelback type of design (ie its made to carry 3 litres of water) but if I remove the bladder and its a perfect little cycling pack!

3. Have the pack up between your shoulder blades (not down near your lower back). I did spring cycle with mine (plus the ride there and home) so about 70kms in total with no issues.

Of course, I only use the backpack on rare occassions - if you are doing this as a regular commute it might be worth getting paniers or a rack or somethin g a bit more permanent.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:33 pm
by jet-ski
Baalzamon - stretching - yes, core work - not really, I guess that's my answer, stop being lazy and do some core work....

I got an old steel roadie last weekend which I should be able to set up as similar geometry to my TCR and put a rack on it if I want, just waiting for new brake levers and long reach brakes for it since I swapped it from 700c to 27" and at the moment it only has a front brake....the problem with my other bikes is that two of them are flat bars, and one is the Surly which is more relaxed geo than the roadie, and I find myself really enjoying the more aggressive geo of the TCR. Problem is sometimes needing to carry stuff!

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:59 am
by Mrfenejeans
I to have desk job and found that sitting with my wallet in my back pocket was causing me to have terrible lower back pain as it caused me to be constantly off balance.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:22 pm
by rustychisel
maybe its not the backpack but the commuting. If going through the city then lots of stop/start, salmoning the buses, pulling away from traffic lights etc etc.

I commute with a backpack on fixed gear, never really thought about it, but stop start sprinting and traffic jamming is a great workout. YMMV.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:59 pm
by jet-ski
Yeah that doesn't really apply to my commute. I have PSP running for about 90% of it, the only section on the road involves only 3 sets of traffic lights so not that much stop start, and they are so close together I spend most of it slowly filtering :twisted:

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:12 pm
by toolonglegs
My back pack is 9 - 10kgs ...no way I put it on my back for my commute...too much pressure on my lower back.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:09 pm
by jules21
toolonglegs wrote:My back pack is 9 - 10kgs ...no way I put it on my back for my commute...too much pressure on my lower back.

i think he meant the commute was 9 ks, not the backpack.
Baalzamon wrote:Are you doing any back stretching or core work at all?

+ 1 for stretches - lie flat on your stomach and push up with your hands on the floor, but your lower body (upto pelvis) remaining on the floor (i.e. arching your back). 10 reps is good.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:30 pm
by skull
toolonglegs wrote:My back pack is 9 - 10kgs ...no way I put it on my back for my commute...too much pressure on my lower back.


Meh, mine is around that on some days. I just HTFU and ride, however I have had a few years in the Army behind me where we have carried in excess of 60kgs thru massive mountains on operations. So I would say I am pretty conditioned for 10kgs.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:46 pm
by trailgumby
skull wrote:Meh, mine is around that on some days. I just HTFU and ride, however I have had a few years in the Army behind me where we have carried in excess of 60kgs thru massive mountains on operations. So I would say I am pretty conditioned for 10kgs.

I would too. A marked contrast to us soft office workers.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:46 pm
by jet-ski
thanks guys, I will try that back stretch (sounds a like the 'cobra' in yoga).... ps I'm a girl not a dude 8)

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:09 pm
by Schmenz
Mrfenejeans wrote:I to have desk job and found that sitting with my wallet in my back pocket was causing me to have terrible lower back pain as it caused me to be constantly off balance.


This s huge. I am constantly yelling at my patients about this. It drives me mad. Low back pain will constantly keep coming back if you do this. It's basically a 1" orthotic under ur butt. Don't do it!

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:04 pm
by ColinOldnCranky
While my riding posture is obviously not the same as most, I do ride for long distances and almost without exception carrying a hefty back pack - typically 5kgs and sometimes up to 15kgs (two bottles of wine adds 2kg, I sometimes have to carry portable chairs and stuff) and yet it has never affected my lower back adversely. That is a sixty year old back that has seen it's fair share of abuse.

However, unrelated to riding I have had back spasms for about twenty years. As soon as they come back I get straight onto stretches and carry on with them for a week or so - Nothing complicated, just "praying to allah" position on past advice of my physio. Hugely successful.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:56 pm
by lethoso
ColinOldnCranky wrote:While my riding posture is obviously not the same as most


yeah, I'd say riding with a backpack on a unicycle is an entirely different prospect to doing it on a roady.

Personally I think the position on a roady just makes it a bad prospect:

Image

Now it's unlikely your position is quite so low, but even still, i think it illustrates the point I'm trying to make - your back is quite curved while riding. This is fine unloaded, but it's putting you in a bad position to carry to carry any weight.

Re: Backpack on roadie = twinge in lower back

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:22 pm
by jet-ski
Yeah, not quite that aggressive ...but definately more aggressive than my other bikes... so much so that I want to slam the stem on my CRX now cos it feels too upright :P ... but one of my other bikes has a totally upright position, the STP, before it was an xtracycle I used to deliver junk mail with a big-ish daypack on my back and had no lower back issues doing that... my shoulders were sore initially but they got used to it... not sure I'd want to know how much the pack weighed, especially on a week with a lot of dense, glossy paper :P