Frame Geos & Back Pain

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10/28/2020 4:31 PM

Just curious if anyone thinks the new geo will cause some back issues (I already have them)? I was thinking about jumping from my generic 21" laird custom frame (21" 75 ht, 12.75 cs, 71 sta, 8.75 soh) (only time my back fucks up is when I go back to bars shorter than 9.5) to the Cult Heavens Gate (20.75 75.3° ht, 71° st, 12.8”- 13.1” cs, and 11.8” bb
9" standover). Gonna be riding it with the 10" Fu Bars & Justin Care stem (48 reach 21rise).

So what y'all thinking? Should I just stick with the Laird or is the Heavens Gate alright to jump to without getting another herniated lumbar.

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10/28/2020 4:36 PM

Try a longer top tube

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10/28/2020 5:09 PM

11.5" BB would help even lower.

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10/29/2020 8:02 AM

Francky wrote:

Try a longer top tube

My guy. Lol. I'm already at a 21" & I'm 5'9. A longer tt would have be looking like I'm on a motorcycle

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10/29/2020 8:40 AM

From my experience going from a 20.75 to 21.25 was what I needed. I am 6 feet tall give or take 1/4" and have 9" WTP bars. BUT I could see it being more comfortable. All depends on the back pain location and what tends to cause it.

For me, lower back pain is what I get. Had it way more often on shorter TT frames. I also do stretches that help with lower back pain before riding.

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10/29/2020 11:13 AM

dave lawrence wrote:

From my experience going from a 20.75 to 21.25 was what I needed. I am 6 feet tall give or take 1/4" and have 9" WTP bars. BUT I could see it being more comfortable. All depends on the back pain location and what tends to cause it.

For me, lower back pain is what I get. Had it way more often on shorter TT frames. I also do stretches that help with lower back pain before riding.

Ootis yoga video helped me out. I herniated my lumbar like 3 days ago. 4th day & it's almost gone because I've been doing his stretches on a heating pad.

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10/29/2020 11:46 AM

WiteMic wrote:

Just curious if anyone thinks the new geo will cause some back issues (I already have them)? I was thinking about jumping from my generic 21" laird custom frame (21" 75 ht, 12.75 cs, 71 sta, 8.75 soh) (only time my back fucks up is when I go back to bars shorter than 9.5) to the Cult Heavens Gate (20.75 75.3° ht, 71° st, 12.8”- 13.1” cs, and 11.8” bb
9" standover). Gonna be riding it with the 10" Fu Bars & Justin Care stem (48 reach 21rise).

So what y'all thinking? Should I just stick with the Laird or is the Heavens Gate alright to jump to without getting another herniated lumbar.

For me it's all about bar height.

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10/29/2020 2:04 PM

Build your back muscles and get into a good stretching routine, and then ride whatever geometry responds best with your riding👊🏻

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10/29/2020 5:25 PM

WiteMic wrote:

My guy. Lol. I'm already at a 21" & I'm 5'9. A longer tt would have be looking like I'm on a motorcycle

Toptube always played a bigger role in back pain for me too. I went 21” to 21.25 and barely noticed it, doesn’t look longer or spin much slower but it felt more stable and easier on the muscles. I met this dude who had a custom fit aitken (like custom built frame back when fit did that) and it was an Aitken s3.5 with a 21.75” TT. Didn’t look goofy, but I felt the length on it for sure. I’m jealous as fuck to be honest that frame felt sooooo nice dude I loved it.

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10/29/2020 6:21 PM

Francky wrote:

Try a longer top tube

WiteMic wrote:

My guy. Lol. I'm already at a 21" & I'm 5'9. A longer tt would have be looking like I'm on a motorcycle

jboozer4 wrote:

Toptube always played a bigger role in back pain for me too. I went 21” to 21.25 and barely noticed it, doesn’t look longer or spin much slower but it felt more stable and easier on the muscles. I met this dude who had a custom fit aitken (like custom built frame back when fit did that) and it was an Aitken s3.5 with a 21.75” TT. Didn’t look goofy, but I felt the length on it for sure. I’m jealous as fuck to be honest that frame felt sooooo nice dude I loved it.

That's what I'm trying to figure out. I haven't rode a 20.75 since the Premium Deathtrap. The moment the Skavenger Tunnel dropped, I've been on my 21"shit. I feel like my Laird custom is legit the most generic safe frame. Lol. 21", 75 ht, 71 sta, 8.5 soh, 11.6 bbh, & 12.75 cs.

I'm just scared that a steeper ht, sta & shorter tt will have me bending more & muff my back up even more. I do ride 10" bars with a 21mm rise stem so IDK. Lol. That's why I'm gauging responses

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10/29/2020 7:36 PM

all i can say is..

I have had THREE back surgeries. Before this last one (july of this year) I was not far off from putting a gun in my mouth and pulling the trigger. the pain was stupid. I was paralyzed on one side of my body some days. I legit struggled to walk simply because my leg and foot would not respond. I will never ride a bmx bike again. I am able to walk. WALK. and I'm happy I can do that, many others are rolling around in wheel chairs.

nerves are not like bones or ligaments. I've broke and tore my share of those. They always seem to heal. nerves don't seem to work the same way.

I can't tell you what bike set up to ride but I can tell you that you should take caution with this injury. I went from young and youthful to old as fuck, real quick.


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10/30/2020 12:29 AM

Francky wrote:

Try a longer top tube

WiteMic wrote:

My guy. Lol. I'm already at a 21" & I'm 5'9. A longer tt would have be looking like I'm on a motorcycle

jboozer4 wrote:

Toptube always played a bigger role in back pain for me too. I went 21” to 21.25 and barely noticed it, doesn’t look longer or spin much slower but it felt more stable and easier on the muscles. I met this dude who had a custom fit aitken (like custom built frame back when fit did that) and it was an Aitken s3.5 with a 21.75” TT. Didn’t look goofy, but I felt the length on it for sure. I’m jealous as fuck to be honest that frame felt sooooo nice dude I loved it.

Interesting. I have no pain on a 21 inch tt with 10 inch bars, yet after I ride my wife's 26 inch GT with 22.5 tt and 7.5 bars I have back pain. That leads me to believe for me it's the bar height...

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10/30/2020 1:54 AM

I had backpain and also pain in my wrists and going up to 21,25" top tube and 10" bars helped, but I'm also tall. But it didn't help nearly as much as stretching/yoga and a good workout routine. I basically switched some of the weight lifting to more calisthenics and gymnastic workouts (handstand, front levers n stuff), that also improves your movability. I wish so much that I started doing that earlier.

You can only buy your self out of problems so much but if you start taking care of your body that will change everything!

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10/30/2020 3:07 AM

pnfdog wrote:

Interesting. I have no pain on a 21 inch tt with 10 inch bars, yet after I ride my wife's 26 inch GT with 22.5 tt and 7.5 bars I have back pain. That leads me to believe for me it's the bar height...

It’s so many things, it depends on the person. I will say my back definitely hurts more after riding my ccr than it does when I ride my BTM. One has 9.5s, the other has 9.25s but with my stack heights they’re basically the same bar height. Big difference that I think makes me sore on the CCR is that it has 13.9” chainstays, the BTM is 13.05. So definitely requires more back muscles to pull it up for manuals and hopping. That plays a factor, but on a 12.75” cs like the op it shouldn’t be taking much to pull it up. I noticed a difference between my 13” cs tall boy and my btm also, they both had the same effective chainstay (13 vs 13.05 ends up with the same chain length) but the tall boy was like an 11.8 or 11.85ish bb height vice 11.5 on the BTM. That I don’t know the science behind but I think it has to do with where it’s pivoting at in relation to your feet. What I notice is the higher bb height took slightly more oomph to pull into a manual but had a smaller/more sensitive balance point, the BTM pulls into manuals a little easier with a more forgiving balance point.

How all this translates into back pain I don’t know, maybe try and flow more and yank less haha. My default response is buy a 21.25” tt s&m BTM cause it works for me. And go try everybody’s bike you meet at the skatepark and see which ones take pressure off your back more than others and see what geometry’s effect on YOUR back is. We all have different form and use muscles different while riding. That’s my best answer for how to figure out what’s best for you.

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10/30/2020 6:49 AM

Cellmember wrote:

11.5" BB would help even lower.

This is key. The cult frame OP mentioned is super tall at the bb's which works against the benefits of taller bars. But I'd keep the lairdframe for no other reason than it's a lairdframe really.

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10/30/2020 7:44 AM

Aight. Lol. This whole thread has me confused at this point & I'm starting to realize it's all personal preference.

I know with the Laird frame (which I'm not getting rid of. Just hanging it on the wall) anytime I go smaller on the bars, its lights out on my back. This also happened back in 2017 when I got the OG GT bars at 8.6. So taller bars are what I'm gonna stick with.

As far as the frame, it seems like that's where the preference is. I do think the Standover & BBH have something to do with it so I'm gonna keep mines lower. Maybe go for the Cult Shorty or 2 Short. Both are just slightly higher than my Laird's.

The thing I'm stuck on is of the TT, HTA, & STA will ball up more. I see some perks saying the longer tt is more relaxing on their back while others say is doesn't matter.

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10/30/2020 8:10 AM

WiteMic wrote:

Aight. Lol. This whole thread has me confused at this point & I'm starting to realize it's all personal preference.

I know with the Laird frame (which I'm not getting rid of. Just hanging it on the wall) anytime I go smaller on the bars, its lights out on my back. This also happened back in 2017 when I got the OG GT bars at 8.6. So taller bars are what I'm gonna stick with.

As far as the frame, it seems like that's where the preference is. I do think the Standover & BBH have something to do with it so I'm gonna keep mines lower. Maybe go for the Cult Shorty or 2 Short. Both are just slightly higher than my Laird's.

The thing I'm stuck on is of the TT, HTA, & STA will ball up more. I see some perks saying the longer tt is more relaxing on their back while others say is doesn't matter.

Higher standover also results in a higher riding feeling and thus more reaching down for the bars. For me at 6'3 low standover with tl stem and tall bars feels so good.

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10/31/2020 4:39 AM

guys, what do you think about my situation? I am 5ft 3 and ride a 21 inch united mothership frame, honestly its great for transition riding at the park, but absolutely horrible for everything else, i went from 9.5 bars with topload to small 8.something bars and it feels much easier to control, however I dont think frame is the issue regarding backpain, its bars

My best ever custom that was stolen last year, had a (21 inch i was told with short 12.8 chainstay) totalbmx frame with tall 9.5 bars and topload stem, even for a small guy like me, it felt AMAZING, because of the short chainstay, i could easily hop, and the tall bars just made riding so comfortable, stopping the old backpain

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10/31/2020 6:40 AM

When I had tall bars and a short cs I had more back pain than I do now. Same length tt. Essentially I was fighting to control the bike more. Using manuals as an example, it’s harder to find/keep the balance point. I flipped my stem and it instantly felt better. Got a new frame with longer cs, and it feels dialled. I can’t remember the last time I had back pain from riding now, other than achey muscles from not riding enough

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10/31/2020 7:23 AM

Yeah focus on your muscles, feel what’s tight. Sometimes people’s geometry or form (mine too, I’ve caught myself doing this) will make them always lean back or hunch weird and create a slight flex in muscles that over time turn into some serious pain. I like focusing on standing on the pedals and holding the bars loosely so there isn’t a lot of weight on my arms and it’s 90% just on my legs. Make sure you’re pumping with your legs, standing vice squatting for a pump shouldn’t make your chest and arms push or pull much, focus on putting the weight on your legs. It’s more efficient and you won’t get that arm and back burn from rocking your body forward and back with your arms. Maybe that’ll help someone, use your back for hops and stuff when you need to but don’t sit and yank with your back for stuff you don’t need to yank for.

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10/31/2020 8:25 AM

An-noor wrote:

guys, what do you think about my situation? I am 5ft 3 and ride a 21 inch united mothership frame, honestly its great for transition riding at the park, but absolutely horrible for everything else, i went from 9.5 bars with topload to small 8.something bars and it feels much easier to control, however I dont think frame is the issue regarding backpain, its bars

My best ever custom that was stolen last year, had a (21 inch i was told with short 12.8 chainstay) totalbmx frame with tall 9.5 bars and topload stem, even for a small guy like me, it felt AMAZING, because of the short chainstay, i could easily hop, and the tall bars just made riding so comfortable, stopping the old backpain

I have a Killabee and a Hangover. The low standovers are very comfortable.

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10/31/2020 4:11 PM

Same height and bad back

My back was feeling better then I switched back to 20.5 from 20.75. Almost instantly after a day of riding my back pain returned where I couldn’t tolerate to stand for over 10 minutes. Also went from 9.2 to 8.7 bars.

Lower bb, longer top tube and big bars will help.

Keep in mind my pain is located in my middle/upper back not lower.

Shitty because the 20.5/8.7 felt super dialed for everything.

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10/31/2020 7:52 PM

LOL. This sucks. I think I have to take a chance & see what works outside of my current frame.

I've talked to SO many people & it's all different.

For the record, I stretch everyday. I actually stretch in hot water then in cold water. I also ride 10" bars with a 21mm rise & 48 reach stem. The only times I fell like I hurt my back is when I try lower bars like the Merritt Slaughter bars (9.25) & GT OG Bars (8.6). When I look at all the videos of me riding different shit (bars, frames) the 10" bars help me not be more vertical. So I think thats gonna stay.

Now I have to figure out will a 20.75 with a 75.5 ht & 70 sta have me any straighter or neutral. Also how much will the new standard of 8.65 to 9" so & 11.8 bbh make me hunch over.

But best believe, I do stretch. Especially since Ooti put that yoga video out.

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10/31/2020 8:09 PM

WiteMic wrote:

LOL. This sucks. I think I have to take a chance & see what works outside of my current frame.

I've talked to SO many people & it's all different.

For the record, I stretch everyday. I actually stretch in hot water then in cold water. I also ride 10" bars with a 21mm rise & 48 reach stem. The only times I fell like I hurt my back is when I try lower bars like the Merritt Slaughter bars (9.25) & GT OG Bars (8.6). When I look at all the videos of me riding different shit (bars, frames) the 10" bars help me not be more vertical. So I think thats gonna stay.

Now I have to figure out will a 20.75 with a 75.5 ht & 70 sta have me any straighter or neutral. Also how much will the new standard of 8.65 to 9" so & 11.8 bbh make me hunch over.

But best believe, I do stretch. Especially since Ooti put that yoga video out.

At this point I'm looking at 2 cult frames (I wanna support the homies). The Shorty or the Crew "Good Feeling".

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10/31/2020 9:46 PM

Now I'm also being told to go back to a longer cs. Apparently, & this is what I was told, "you're an old school rider. Your back was made for old school frames. Keep the bars & stems. Go back to a 13.5 cs. There's less twitching & jolting & less short quick movements."

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11/1/2020 3:17 AM

WiteMic wrote:

Now I'm also being told to go back to a longer cs. Apparently, & this is what I was told, "you're an old school rider. Your back was made for old school frames. Keep the bars & stems. Go back to a 13.5 cs. There's less twitching & jolting & less short quick movements."

You’re gonna have to try stuff out man, like I was saying earlier I have two bikes with 21.25tt, ride both regularly and the one with 13.9cs makes my back much more sore than the 13.05. The bike has more leverage over you so it’s harder to pull up. Ride everyone else’s bikes at some skateparks see what feels good

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11/1/2020 6:38 AM

WiteMic wrote:

Now I'm also being told to go back to a longer cs. Apparently, & this is what I was told, "you're an old school rider. Your back was made for old school frames. Keep the bars & stems. Go back to a 13.5 cs. There's less twitching & jolting & less short quick movements."

jboozer4 wrote:

You’re gonna have to try stuff out man, like I was saying earlier I have two bikes with 21.25tt, ride both regularly and the one with 13.9cs makes my back much more sore than the 13.05. The bike has more leverage over you so it’s harder to pull up. Ride everyone else’s bikes at some skateparks see what feels good

Lol. We have no skatepark. This is New Orleans. All we have is drunks, idiots, & drunk idiots.

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11/1/2020 7:28 AM

Aight so as I lay here the rereading every reply on here. Every text I got. I've come to a realization.

I appreciate all the opinions & help. But at the end of the day, everyone's situation is different. I mean I talk to one of my pro friends who has been laid up with the same issue as me for like 4 months. He can barely leave his bed. But I'm already basically healed minus some soreness.

Jboozer has a point. I could try other people's bikes. Problem is, there's like 7 bike riders here. 3 of which I've sold frames to. There's 1 i never see. Broc lives in LA & when he is here, him & Brandon G are riding early as fuck in the heat. And Ooti B travels alot.

Stretching is important. I'm gonna leave it at that.

But what I'm coming to understand is, i feel like peoples bodies get use to what they ride so when changes happen, even minor, the body has to get use to it. Mine is just rejecting smaller bars at this point.

Thanks everyone for their help. Like seriously.

I'm gonna probably get the Cult Hawk frame since it's the closest to the Skavenger Tunnel V1 frame minus some CS length.

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11/1/2020 9:16 AM

I just went to 9 rise bars with a top load. Never going back. I'm 5'8" on a 20.75 Kink Titan II. Feels perfect.

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11/1/2020 1:44 PM

Four wrote:

Same height and bad back

My back was feeling better then I switched back to 20.5 from 20.75. Almost instantly after a day of riding my back pain returned where I couldn’t tolerate to stand for over 10 minutes. Also went from 9.2 to 8.7 bars.

Lower bb, longer top tube and big bars will help.

Keep in mind my pain is located in my middle/upper back not lower.

Shitty because the 20.5/8.7 felt super dialed for everything.

So just like many riders on here, ive tried all sorts of toptube lengths, bar height, stem height, stem length combos, crank length etc. 

It may not be the same for everybody but I am in my mid 30s so back pain and flexibillity issues tend to pop up.  First find the top tube length that suites you...I am 6ft, so I rode 21" for many years, then tried 21.125 and currently 21.25. Ive tried 21.5 and 21.6 as well. And in the 90s to2000s we rode 20.25 up to 21.  For me 21.125 to 21.25 is my sweet spot paired with my bb height.  This is important...bb height with tt length. Those are 2 fixed points...you can adjust the other to an extent with part setup.

Someone did post up above about 11.5bb height which i second you should try.  I rode 11.7 for a while but started noticing no matter how high the front end was, i had back pain and i tended to nose dive more, which i hated.

Here is my take...so take this, if you are currently riding a 11.7 bb on a 21inch tt, with a top load slammed on headtube and 9inch bars.  And you feel back pain...then raising the stack height and taller bars may help you out.   But i think we often overlook, bb height for back pain.  At 11.7 you are higher above the backwheel.  I dont want to get into mechanics of your body in detail BUT its important.  Bc your center mass around your hips are grounded by your legs/feet at the pedals, when your cranks are level, because your handlebars are another fixed point, depending on your height, your legs going into your hip joint become too compressed and impede hip mobillity. 

Try bunnyhopping without bending or legs, you have to use your back more to get one done.  Next bend your legs and bunnyhop and dont unbend them...you have to use your back again to even get a bunnyhop done.  Your hips and legs need to move together more or less seamlessly to bunnyhop correctly and efficiently.  Now try to bunnyhop by just compressing your legs(dont pull up on the bars), with your hips coming down normally, and pop up like you would...you can bunnyhop with barely pulling up on the bars.  This is because your leg and hip movements are maximized or more optimal.  There is more free optimal movement.  Your legs are the strongest part of your body.  You want maximize their usage as much as possible to lessen the burden of your back and arms. 

I say 11.5 is a great height for people with backpain. 


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