Ebike newb, Tall w/ chronic back problems & ancient ebike repair!

hoboin

Member
Region
USA
Hello all, i am new to the forums and also new to e-bikes, i am 39 years old, 6 foot 3 with a 36" inseam with CHRONIC lower back problems along with neck problems, looking for a semi regular e-bike to use to commute to work when im healthy.

Also, my boss has an old E-bike, a 2004 AeroVironment Charger that we are trying to get up and working. He has had it for awhile and there are a few things we need to get fixed but maybe that could be easy.

The first thing i wanted to do on these forums was to ask what kind of ebike i would actually need. I am gathering up all the info in order to make a new thread, my biggest questions are regarding if i should even do this with my chronic lower back problem. I am very athletic and used to bike a lot up until late teen's before my car, but i have multiple herniated discs for over 10 years due to being a professional photographer and carrying heavy camera gear, i have quit doing that job and i am having less back problems and i really want to get back into riding because my work is right next to an amazing bike path in Northern Virginia, the W&OD trail which i live 1.5 miles from.

Anyways just a brief introduction and i look forward to getting on an e-bike ASAP.
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
Hi and welcome to the forum. My back goes out from time to time. My experience is that as long as I can get my leg over the bike, I can ride it. My back doesn't bother me while I am riding it because my weight is distributed between my arms, my seat, and my feet on the pedals. That was when I was commuting with a non-electric bike with drop handlebars though. That may not be true for a more upright bike where you aren't pedaling as much.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
RE :Back pain. Herniated all my disks decades ago and am bone on bone from knees to neck . Nothing left of discs.
It really doesn't matter as the muscles can do what the discs can't, but there is no way I can ride a forward leaning bike like a Vado. I ride a very upright Como w/o issues.
 

Merle Nelson

Active Member
Region
USA
Welcome to EBR hoboin. Your story of your back reminds me a lot of myself. Would you like to have a different story to tell for the rest of your life? I quit doing tree service work for similar reasons. After learning a few things and doing some things I now do as much work as I want to do - pain free.
 

hoboin

Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the replies and welcome! With my back condition, standing has always caused the worst pain, followed by sitting with correct posture and typing on the keyboard, i tend to want to be hunch backed and looking down at my legs. Maybe there is a riding style that could make me more comfortable?
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the replies and welcome! With my back condition, standing has always caused the worst pain, followed by sitting with correct posture and typing on the keyboard, i tend to want to be hunch backed and looking down at my legs. Maybe there is a riding style that could make me more comfortable?
You can certainly get a bike that puts you in that position. I would recommend some test rides if there are dealers in your area. The Vado that doesn't work for Art Deco may work for you.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Seriously agree, go to a LBS , get fitted and take a ride. I think you will know pretty quickly if you're on the wrong bike. Ouch.
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
And if your budget allows, consider and demo a quality full-suspension bike. You can achieve a reasonable result with a suspension seat post and either a decent front fork or a handlebar suspension stem, but nothing smooths out the bumps and jars like a well designed full suspension bike with fully adjustable (often air) suspension. You can make these as comfortable as a rolling sofa if you have the funds.

It's one of those things where your back will get stronger with regular riding, but you have to get there first... :)
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
While a full suspension bike can be more comfortable at faster speeds, keep in mind that many full suspension bikes do not have a good way to mount a rack in the back if you want to use panniers to commute to work. If you are going to use a backpack or do not need to carry anything, then that doesn't matter.
 

hoboin

Member
Region
USA
My budget is $1500 to $2000 max, i was mainly looking at Radmission 1 and the Ride1up 500 series. I looked online at my local bike stores and they didn't see to have any electric bikes in my price range and mainly the size needed on the frame. I have considered though, purchasing a normal bike and modifying it by buying a kit, since i am so tall and finding a frame for my long legs might be a problem. I will consider going into the LBS though for sure
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
If you are near a vacation area, you may be able to rent an electric bike. I think you need to test ride something to get an idea of what will work for your back before you commit to ordering something online or even building from a kit. However, there is a lot you can do to change the fit of a bike after you buy it. You can change the handlebars and stem to allow a more upright or a more aggressive position. You can use set back seatposts to move your position over the pedals, etc. Like with non-electric bikes, there are different sizes available and eBike manufacturers seem to like to use larger frames to allow more room for the battery. Which is frustrating for me as a person with short legs.
 

MartsEbike

Active Member
Region
United Kingdom
A Recumbent bike might give you a more comfortable riding position.... But you'd probably have to add an ebike kit to it as well, so not the cheapest option, but maybe worth looking into if you have storage space.

Artifice-Adult-Recumbent-Tricycle.jpg
 

hoboin

Member
Region
USA
Ideally i would use this bike to commute to work, and when driving back i could load it up with some groceries from the near by grocery store would be an awesome addition so a rear rack mount would be an awesome upgrade. I have my old childhood schwinn bike and i had modified it with upward handlebars for an upright ride (probably was a bad idea) and had a basket strapped to the back.
 

hoboin

Member
Region
USA
A Recumbent bike might give you a more comfortable riding position.... But you'd probably have to add an ebike kit to it as well, so not the cheapest option, but maybe worth looking into if you have storage space.

Artifice-Adult-Recumbent-Tricycle.jpg

I have thought about this but it just seems too unsafe and quite frankly i probably would not be able to stop laughing because i would be thinking of myself as a member of the C.O.R.B.S. (Cops on Recumbent Bike's), a silly and stupid skit from the Tim and Eric Awesome Show.
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
A basket or milk crate is an option, but most people use panniers (bags) that clip on to the sides of the rack. This allows for a lower center of gravity on the bike and are easily removed and carried with you when you get to your destination.
 

hoboin

Member
Region
USA
oh yes i know what you are talking about, i have seen them on the radmission website, would be nice for sure.
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
And for grocery options, I have one of these:


It works great to hold a standard backpack or laptop bag, and also holds one of those recyclable grocery bags perfectly. It can even hold a flat of 24 beer or pop for those crucial Fridays. :-D

On my second bike, I have installed one of these Thule baskets on the back rack, and I can add the Haul-it pannier to quickly carry three of those grocery bags perfectly. My favorite way to make a (non-costco ;-) ) grocery run.


zNdoZ1T.jpg


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hoboin

Member
Region
USA
very cool, right now i carry a large shoulder bag that is capable of holding a large laptop and my other various things, it would be cool if i could some how find a way to attach that to my bike, maybe just inside a basket?
it's this bad boy
 

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