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The 7 Best Bike Types for Long Rides Without Back Pain

Date: October 24, 2022

What is one type of bike that is good for long rides without causing back pain?

To help you identify the best bikes for long-distance rides that would not cause back pain, we asked cycling enthusiasts this question for their best recommendations. From Recumbent Bikes to Electra Townie to Trek Domane, there are several types of bikes that are recommended as having the right build for long rides and the best support to cushion the lower back from stress and strain.

Here are seven bike types these seasoned cyclists use for long rides without back pain:

  • Recumbent Bike
  • Bikes That Combine the Best of Both Traditional Bikes and Comfort Cruisers
  • Cruiser Bikes
  • Electra Townie
  • Road Bikes
  • Hybrid Bicycles
  • Trek Domane

Recumbent Bike

A recumbent bike is a great option for long rides without causing back pain. This type of bike has a seat that is more like a chair, which helps to support your back and takes the pressure off of your spine. Additionally, recumbent bikes typically have a more upright riding position, which can also help to reduce back pain. This can take some pressure off of the back and make for a more comfortable ride.

Adil Advani, Stream Digitally

The charm of a classic bike fades with age. Because of the ergonomic benefits of having the rider's weight dispersed over a larger area, supported by the back and buttocks, this style of recumbent bike is the most popular choice among riders.

Traditional bikes are not just more work than you can handle, but they can also be uncomfortable to sit on for extended periods, putting stress on your hips and knees. Cycling shouldn't be a frustrating experience. You may get back to enjoying bike rides without discomfort by switching to a recumbent cycle.

A recumbent bike is one on which the user reclines comfortably. You're not completely prone, but neither are you leaning forward like on a traditional bike. Your back will feel less pressure on this comfortable chair.

The rider's weight is distributed unevenly across the limited area of the sitting bones, the feet, and the hands-on a standard upright bicycle. The aerodynamic advantage of most recumbent bikes is further enhanced by the rider's slouched, legs-forward position. 

That's not all: your hips and knees will appreciate the relief.

Bikes That Combine the Best of Both Traditional Bikes and Comfort Cruisers

Most low back pain caused by cycling is related to the lumbar discs – when you lean forward, the load on the facet joints of the lumbar spine is reduced but disc loads are increased. The fix? Choose a bike style that allows for a more upright posture. 'Comfort cruisers' that keep you positioned vertically are great, but hybrid-style bikes that combine the best of both traditional bikes and comfort cruisers are even better. The relatively high handlebars on hybrids make for an easier reach, reducing strain on the lower back. Plus, they're built to handle both paved and off-road paths, and are easier to pedal while being more mechanically advantageous than comfort cruiser-style bikes.

Grant Radermacher, Ascent Chiropractic

Traditional bikes weren't as ergonomic as current models coming into the market. There are more bikes being manufactured that combine both the features of traditional bikes and the much-needed comfort when handling bicycles. 

Cycling is on a way of exercising and commuting, which is a common occurrence in our daily lives. To avoid back pain like coccydynia and discomfort, you could opt for such modified backs. 

Cruiser Bikes

Cruiser bikes are popular among commuters and people looking for a comfortable ride. In addition, these bikes are popular in cities where traveling on busy streets is complicated. Places such as France and Italy are where these great bikes are favored and continue to have a strong cult following. Because of the larger wheels compared to mountain bikes, giving them more stability and comfort to the lower back. While on my travels, these bikes were my primary source of transportation, and the experience was uniquely different and exciting.

Benjamin Earley, HOLT

A cruiser bike is a type of bicycle designed for low-intensity, short-distance commuting and pleasure riding. Cruiser bicycles are quite similar to hybrid bicycles in that they are built for relaxed riding and include an upright seat and handlebars.

A cruiser bicycle is ideal for those who prefer to pedal slowly while taking in the scenery. They differ from hybrid bikes in that they are more upright and even swept back in certain circumstances.

However, their huge frame makes them notoriously difficult to ride uphill; thus, they are best reserved for flat terrain. Although cruiser bicycles are simple to ride on level ground, they can be challenging on inclines and corners.

The slanted seat position in relation to the cranks makes it feel like more of an effort to pedal, possibly because you have to push larger gears rather than spin.

Electra Townie

One of the best selections for a bike that can be ridden great distances without back pain is the Electra Townie. This is a cruiser with long handlebars so you sit straight and tall. What makes this bike different from other models is its shape. Its design allows you to put your feet flat on the pavement or surface when stopped. It can be adapted for those who like off-road biking by substituting bigger tires for the standard tires it comes with. This bike has been vetted by back doctors as an excellent choice for those with back issues.

Bruce Tasios, Tasios Orthodontics

Electra manufactures a large variety of modern cruiser bikes, including both classic and electric models. The Electra Townie is built on a lightweight aluminum frame that boasts Flat Foot Technology and places the rider in an upright position.

The pedals on an Electra bike are positioned farther forward than usual, thanks to the company's unique Flat Foot Technology. That makes stopping much less intimidating for bikers of any height.

This design allows riders to fully extend their legs when riding while also allowing them to rest their feet level on the ground when stopping. Moreover, you can select the frame style that best meets your needs from either a step-over or a step-through design, as both are available on ALL Electra cycles.

They create and offer for sale a wide variety of bicycle types, including EQ modes, path, and original models. The EQ model has extra equipment, such as lights and fenders, while the path bike is upgraded for a more adventurous ride. 

Road Bikes

Road bikes were designed to handle rough terrain and have a longer wheelbase than mountain bikes. As a result, they are great for commuting, touring, and road racing. Road bikes are generally heavier than mountain bikes but offer a smoother ride and less vibration. These bikes are a potential asset for any mental and healthy lifestyle journey. Especially if you enjoy the outdoors and the nature that will surround you during an intense and therapeutic tour in the natural elements.

Anamika Goyal, Cottage

Drop bars are the curved sets of handlebars seen on road bikes. These bars allow the rider to switch between the hoods, drops, and tops. Pavement makes road bikes quick and easy to ride.

Their functionality suffers when taken away from paved surfaces. It might be uncomfortable for some riders to stay in the "dropped" position for extended periods of time.

Once you get used to riding a road bike, you won't have any trouble using it for its original function. But they're tougher and less forgiving when you're first starting out. Narrow tires, forward leaning posture, dropped handlebars, and/or toe overlap with the front wheel may make it difficult for novice riders to feel secure.

Many cyclists, especially newcomers, mistakenly believe that their road bikes may only be used on paved surfaces. However, the truth is that road bikes are capable of being ridden safely on any type of road surface, including mud, gravel, and cobblestone.

Road bikes, on the other hand, are typically swifter due to their thinner tires. The reduced friction of these tires makes it possible to go quickly with little exertion.

Hybrid Bicycles

Hybrid bicycles are one of the best types to use for long rides. They are a combination of a road bike and a mountain bike, making them a versatile choice for a longer commute. The bike is also beginner-friendly and can handle uneven terrain. I could not recommend it more.

Michelle Siy, Oliver Wicks

Hybrid bikes are well worth the investment due to their superior ride quality, especially when covering long distances or rough terrain.

Incorporating features from both road bikes and mountain bikes, hybrid bicycles offer the best of both worlds. They combine the best features of both types of bikes into one innovative ride for riders who want options.

Hybrid bicycles combine the advantages of a fast road bike and a relaxed mountain bike. The end product is a bicycle that can be ridden on a wide variety of surfaces and is, therefore, ideal for commuter use.

However, the aggressive and occasionally uncomfortable position the rider is forced into by the road bike's geometry is part of the bike's design for speed.

Trek Domane

Trek Domane is a versatile choice of bikes for long-distance riders to ride without having back pains. The bike is built for long rides while the rider sits in a more upright position than other bike types. Whether on paved roads, gravel roads, or cobblestones, Trek Domane could be out for hours on the road with excellent back comfort wherever the ride is. It is fast and fun and offers a smooth experience. The road bike also provides superior performance, which makes it a great selection for long-distance riders.

yongming Song, Imgkits- Photo Editor

Topping the podium is easy with the help of the Trek Domane, which provides unbelievable endurance, comfort, supreme adaptability, and professional-level performance. It may not be the lightest bike available, but if comfort is your first priority, you should seriously consider it.

The new Trek Domane has improved aerodynamics and streamlined integration and is gravel-ready. It's designed for use on both paved roads and rough terrain, with a focus on ride quality and ease of use. You can take advantage of the ultralight OCLV Carbon (Trek's patented carbon fiber process), the improved rear IsoSpeed, and the stylish storage choices. You can be sure of comfort thanks to front and back IsoSpeed technology, which absorbs shock from both tiny and large impacts.

About Dr. Sean Ormond
Dr. Sean Ormond in black medical uniform and black fog background
Dr. Sean Ormond is dual board-certified in Anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Management. He completed his anesthesia residency at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio where he served as Chief Resident, followed by an interventional pain management fellowship at Rush University in Chicago, IL. Following fellowship, Dr. Ormond moved to Phoenix and has been practicing in the Valley for a few years before deciding to start his own practice.