Riding rigid = long term body damage????- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    what about runners?

    that's alot of impacts everytime they are out for a run. they have some issues from time to time, but...the human body is pretty resilient.

  2. #2
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    Riding rigid = long term body damage????

    I have been think about this a bit lately and the topic has come up in another thread and I did not want to derail it from the OP's question so I though I would start a new thread.

    Day after christmas I was playing around on some small DJ's and crashed, I cracked a few ribs and my helmet. For the next month I was only riding the FS bike ( the one I crashed on) as the rigid monkey was giving me adventures in pain that I did not really like.

    A couple of the older guys I ride with every week think I am crazy to be riding a rigid bike at all as they think I will pay for it in later years . That thudbuster post has really improved the ride for my back but my wrists, elbows, neck and shoulders take a beating when the trails get rough but I am not in any pain.

    I guess its an unknow really as to what damage I / we could be doing to our bodies.

    Any thoughts?
    blah blah blah

  3. #3
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    Runners

    Quote Originally Posted by mwills
    that's alot of impacts everytime they are out for a run. they have some issues from time to time, but...the human body is pretty resilient.
    Alot of runners have tons of problems with bones and joints, many of them turning to cycling for a lower-impact workout.

  4. #4

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    its good for ya

    the constant jarring causes microfractures in the skeletal system....this is good because it builds bone density. Humans need impact to keep from weakening their bones. How much is too much? I suspect its like weight lifting...build up slowly and you will become very strong....too much too soon and you will become injured.

    Want proof? Ask any SERIOUS roadie how often they have bone density scans. All the activity (sweating) tends to leach away the calcium and other minerals at a rate that most of us can not re absorb naturally. That is why so many are supplementing with calcium and glucosamine.

    Ride rigid if you like. If you get hurt, slow down. If you like FS do that.

    What ever you do, do some research and find out for yourself. Call your doctor, talk to him/her. Don't plan you life around what guys like me tell you on a forum. Man, I could be the devil for all you know! LOL.

  5. #5
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    Good topic, the thought has crossed my mind. My only real concern is my hands and the possibility of developing Osteoarthritis, also known as the “wear-and-tear” kind of arthritis. I did some poking around but not enough to come to a conclusion. I do know riding rigid is harder on my hands though.

    Description:
    http://www.arthritis.org/conditions/...a_overview.asp

  6. #6
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by unit
    the constant jarring causes microfractures in the skeletal system....this is good because it builds bone density. Humans need impact to keep from weakening their bones. How much is too much? I suspect its like weight lifting...build up slowly and you will become very strong....too much too soon and you will become injured.
    I also understand it to be this way. Our bodies adapt to the amount of use through which we put it (as long as the change occurs slowly enough to not cause traumatic change). Weight-bearing activity is necessary to maintain bone mass (Wolff's Law). Lack of use leads to atrophy. Use leads to strength. Overuse leads to injury.

    Don't forget about other factors:
    "Prevention of osteoporosis has 2 components, behavior modification and pharmacologic interventions. In 1998, the National Osteoporosis Foundation outlined that the following factors should be modified to reduce the risk of development of osteoporosis: cigarette smoking; physical inactivity; and intake of alcohol, caffeine, sodium, animal protein, and calcium. The pharmacologic prevention methods include calcium supplementation and administration of estrogen, raloxifene, and bisphosphonates." - Slipman, MD, Curtis W
    Last edited by Nat; 02-11-2006 at 07:15 AM.

  7. #7

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    Like unit says, it builds bone density which is very good. The reason you can't compare cycling to running because when you do get jarred around in the bike, your bike has conducted alot of the vibration, more than your shoe would while running, so there is less direct impact to joints etc. Don't know if that makes any sense.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC2niner
    Like unit says, it builds bone density which is very good. The reason you can't compare cycling to running because when you do get jarred around in the bike, your bike has conducted alot of the vibration, more than your shoe would while running, so there is less direct impact to joints etc. Don't know if that makes any sense.
    But you aren't factoring in that you are going much faster/harder on the bike than you would on foot. I'd say for the lower body, this might be true.
    But riding rigid feels to me like it's semi-destructive.
    I get neck/shoulder pain along with prolonged wrist aching. I'd prefer not to chalk that up to "promoting bone density."

  9. #9
    mvi
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    Evolution

    The body was developed for a million (?) years to benefit the impact of running.
    Not so with cycling. I,m especially worried by the impact sin the prostate area.
    And the hands as a good second. My cross bike beats me up terrible, on dirt roads even. Still thinking about building up a rigid 29 er for the fun of it.
    The simplicity reliability argument of rigids is overrated in my opinion since the kids have been riding my FS in the neighbourhood, and leave it laying in the rain/snow mud etc. 24/7/365. Still working fine. But thats a different thread I guess.

  10. #10

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    I remember there was just a big scare about bone density in the roadie community. The lack of weight bearing activity combined with loss of calcium through sweating caused some mid 40's road cyclists to end up with the bones of old men.

    Pay attention to your body. It will tell you if your rigid riding is too much.

    Any good job on the spelling people. If I see one more person spell rigid "ridiged" or some such abomination I'll toss this mac out the window,

  11. #11
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    My understanding is that ona 26" wheel bike you exacerbate the onset of arthritis but on a 29" bike, riding rigid will actually act similar to the fountain of youth and grow one's penis several inches (Note Aquaholics recent purchase)

  12. #12
    meh....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonassterling
    Any good job on the spelling people. If I see one more person spell rigid "ridiged" or some such abomination I'll toss this mac out the window,
    Dude.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    I get neck/shoulder pain along with prolonged wrist aching. I'd prefer not to chalk that up to "promoting bone density."
    Try augmenting your riding with lifting, esp pulling exercises such as chins, rows, and shrugs, all of which help when wrestling your rigid over rough stuff.

    Sure wrists get sore, but over time the body adapts.

    You can also slow down-riding rigid and fixed through rooty/rocky forest trails is rough if I just blast through, but if I take it a little slower and pick my lines, it's a lot easier.

    All boils down on what you're riding for-to beat opponents/riding buddies, or enjoying the satisfaction of using a unique set of skills in riding rough terrain on the simplest bike imaginable...RC

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    I have been think about this a bit lately and the topic has come up in another thread and I did not want to derail it from the OP's question so I though I would start a new thread.

    Day after christmas I was playing around on some small DJ's and crashed, I cracked a few ribs and my helmet. For the next month I was only riding the FS bike ( the one I crashed on) as the rigid monkey was giving me adventures in pain that I did not really like.

    A couple of the older guys I ride with every week think I am crazy to be riding a rigid bike at all as they think I will pay for it in later years . That thudbuster post has really improved the ride for my back but my wrists, elbows, neck and shoulders take a beating when the trails get rough but I am not in any pain.

    I guess its an unknow really as to what damage I / we could be doing to our bodies.

    Any thoughts?

    I know of two seperate people that were told by a doctor (who rides) that the source of their arm/wrist problems were most likely from riding rigid. One listened and one didn't....time will tell.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonassterling
    Any good job on the spelling people. If I see one more person spell rigid "ridiged" or some such abomination I'll toss this mac out the window,

    R-I-D-I-G-E-D


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  16. #16

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    The thing is, everyone has their opinion on the subject. Everyone has science/doctors with examples to prove their points. I ride rigid. I have ridden rigid a ton. My last 2 bikes where rigid before the Paragon, rode the Reba for 2 months before once again going back to rigid. I have never in all my time on East coast steep/rocky/rooty/wet, rough trails had any problems w/ wrists etc. I am an ex football player and have spent lots of time in the gym bulking up. I am now trying to loose alot of the weight and bulk. I was a defensive end so I had to be big and fast. I think people will have different results, so to say what will happen to one person or the next is a little crazy. Some people obviously don't like it and some obviously do.

  17. #17

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    you only got a few inches?....

    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    My understanding is that ona 26" wheel bike you exacerbate the onset of arthritis but on a 29" bike, riding rigid will actually act similar to the fountain of youth and grow one's penis several inches (Note Aquaholics recent purchase)
    I guess it all depends on what you start with.....

  18. #18
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    Sounds like a position problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    I get neck/shoulder pain along with prolonged wrist aching.
    Perhaps you shold look at your position on the bike, or have someone else look at it that might have have a suggestion to fix your position on that bike.

    I'll bet that Ned Overend rode more miles on a rigid bike than anyone on this board has ridden. I know he's found on suspension these days, but if we're throwing about examples, he's mine for "If you know what you'r'e doing, rigid ain't gonna hurt you". I know that Ned, as skinny as he is, has always been one for full body conditioning, and I ascribed to that philosophy as well. A little weight room work and not having extra upper body mass will allow you to live a long and rigid-riding life...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    Day after christmas I was playing around on some small DJ's and crashed, I cracked a few ribs and my helmet. For the next month I was only riding the FS bike ( the one I crashed on) as the rigid monkey was giving me adventures in pain that I did not really like.
    First, you fell riding off a curb. Second, you're really kinda a man-twat so stop whining.

    Just get a Reba for your KM and be done with it.

    Even with suspension it can be jarring so I don't think that's an issue. You get jarred to heck on a road bike. Roadie waifs shatter collar-bones like I pop knuckles because they're so darn frail. Heck, you can see ribs through the nipples of most of them...all legs and lungs with no upper body strength or musculature.
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  20. #20
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    I have been using a Thudbuster on my rigid for a while now, coupled with a Reba on the front end. It certainly takes a lot of the shock to the body out of riding on rough trails.

    However, it is no where near as smooth as riding a full suspension bike over the same terrain.

    I can see a time coming when I may want to go full suspension again on a 29'er, but i'm currently not experiencing any radical pains or problems riding with my current setup.



    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    Perhaps you shold look at your position on the bike, or have someone else look at it that might have have a suggestion to fix your position on that bike.

    I'll bet that Ned Overend rode more miles on a rigid bike than anyone on this board has ridden. I know he's found on suspension these days, but if we're throwing about examples, he's mine for "If you know what you'r'e doing, rigid ain't gonna hurt you". I know that Ned, as skinny as he is, has always been one for full body conditioning, and I ascribed to that philosophy as well. A little weight room work and not having extra upper body mass will allow you to live a long and rigid-riding life...
    Bike fit will solve many of the problems others are describing suspension can mask a poor fitting bike.

  22. #22
    What day are we riding?
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    How much are you taking Nat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I The pharmacologic prevention methods include...administration of estrogen...
    Just checking...

  23. #23
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    I think the dual suspension may be worst for wrists. The rigid keeps your speeds in check. With the dual suspension I found myself going much faster and therefore falling much harder when the occasional section or log jump was misjudged. If you are thinking about it this much you should probably just go with the suspension. Have you tried tweaking you tire pressure?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonassterling
    The lack of weight bearing activity combined with loss of calcium through sweating caused some mid 40's road cyclists to end up with the bones of old men.
    Do roadies sweat more or differently than MTBers?
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  25. #25
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockin
    Just checking...
    AAHHH! Taking just enough...

    Not a whole lot of estrogen where I work *cough-cough*

    Oh yeah, I went out to Horse Rid[i]ge[d] yesterday and it was actually pretty nice riding, albeit cold. I got there by 10am and the ground was still frozen. Up on top there was still some mud and snow, but it was solid. By the time I headed downhill it had started to melt and soften up though.

    How was the road ride?

  26. #26
    Art is Resistance
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    Long term body damage? Probably not as much as eating fast food.

  27. #27
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    Some interesting opinions, thanks guys and the dude who is the devil! I'm not worried about it, not even concerned about it, just curious. The first weekend on my monkey and my wrists and forearms where burning with pain. Now I dont feel anything unless the trail is really rough and I go hell for leather and then its not really pain, I just feel a bit more abused then the FS.

    I guess the Chinese have been riding bikes for many many years, not MTB but definately dirt roads and full rigid and they dont seem to have any problems.

    I really hope we get that BIG tire soon so I can run it with low PSI on the front for a bit more bump absorption.
    blah blah blah

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    I really hope we get that BIG tire soon so I can run it with low PSI on the front for a bit more bump absorption.
    Big rims go a long way towards accomplishing the same. I run Exi's on my Snowcats (44mm wide) @ 20 psi, and I can easily bounce my handlebars up and down an inch. But a bigger tire would be even mo' bettah.

    I only ride rigid in the winter though, when suspension is pretty useless. After hearing about that (German?) study linking micro fissures in the scrotal sack to the impacts of MTB'ing, I found all the reason I'll ever need for full squish.
    ''It seems like a bit of a trend, everyone trying to make things longer over the last couple of years" Sam Hill

  29. #29
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    I don't ride ridgid in Santa Cruz any more because,

    it restricts the trails i can ride due to a # of factors:
    -hands n forearms numb out on long downhill descents, have to stop n shake hands out
    -with repeated jumps and landings your rotor cuffs (arms connected to shoulders) will eventually pay the price, take a deep enough drop and something has to give...you.
    -i rode a monster DH trail we have here called Lock-Em-Up on my then Redling Monocog (beefy rigid steel SS) and on that one run I (1) destroyed my head set (2) broke my brakes form applying hand pressure and soaking up bumps (3) flatted my front tire. So riding rigid typically means that DH courses are OFF LIMITS to you.

    anyway, you asked there it is in my experience.

  30. #30
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    the key?

    i think the key here is to "listen to your body". when it hurts too much, thats really saying something. personally i like to ride rigid, and i like the thudbuster alot. when im running a bike with lockouts, well...i lock them out alot.
    so basically my prevetative care program is weight training (cuz your body likes load bearing excercises, it stimulates your bones to grow strong), yoga, some jogging, and meditating. Eat healthy, and mix up your excercise routines. go swim, play volleyball, or whatever...the idea is to get plenty of range and motion, supplemented with some load bearing exercise....
    peace....d
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    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    I guess its an unknow really as to what damage I / we could be doing to our bodies.

    Any thoughts?
    We are all different, so the same activity will probably affect us differently, or at least to a different extent. I twisted a knee once installing a water heater, since then, if I run for a while that knee starts to hurt, if I try to run it out, I end up limping for a few days and can't run very far at all for a few weeks. I switched to biking because I can bike for ever, as long as the seat is set at the right height.

    It sounds like there is an argument for beneficial impact of running on bone density. Of course, you can still overdo any activity. Hence runners wear shock absorbant shoes, so they can run farther with less impact on the body. And the smart ones probably stop when they feel bone pain indicating that they could hurt themselves. Rember "shin splints"? So there are two important factors here:

    1. Equipment,
    2. Common Sense.

    As a previous poster noted, the arguably beneficial impact of running (without overdoing it) is probably not quite applicable to biking. In biking, you are generally moving much faster, hitting rocks and roots and potholes much harder than any runner does. Assuming there is no absorption at all in the bike, this kinda brings biking into the realm of "overdoing it" when compared to the self-inflicted impacts a normal runner suffers. As also noted previously, the development of the human body involved running and walking throughout the human history. Believe it or not, driving cars, flying in airplanes, and yes bicycling too have all come much more recently. So it is likely that the impact causing effects of bicycling, to the extent that they differ from the impact causing effects of running, are not very beneficial, and certainly can be harmful (like running) if overdone.

    So what is most interesting is that the body, over the millenia, has probably built up a system of alerts to tell us when we are overdoing our running. There have to be alarm bells which go off when we begin to overdo running. But since bicycling is different, the alarm bells may be different. So you have to be sensitive to whatever alarm bells you have and either use your brain and slow down the bike, or get a bike which will allow you to continue at the same speed but absorb the shocks, jsut like runners do when they buy those expensive shoes.

    If you feel pain after riding on a rigid bike, and you don't feel pain after riding on a FSB which is set up in the same fashion.... well, just use what you got between your ears to decide what kind of bike you should be riding. Others will tell you what they think, but only you know what your situation is.

  32. #32

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    Depends how supple you are

    If you're old, dried out and ready to snap like a dry twig you probably want suspension and a LOT of it.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by > than you
    If you're old, dried out and ready to snap like a dry twig you probably want suspension and a LOT of it.
    Certainly, years of abuse of the body will build up and come back to haunt you in your later years.

    Age is a factor, but so is weight. How many 220+ pound Marathon runners do you see? Not that many. How many older Marathon runners do you see? Loads, and they usually don't weigh much. So age really isn't the main issue. It is body size. While heavier runners may start out with stronger knees, that doesn't make up for the additional abuse the knees will suffer over a lifetime of heavy running.

    Same goes for bicyclists. The heavier you are, the more significant those impacts will be on your body.

    Like I said, only that person (and maybe their doctor) knows what is happening to their own body from the sports they undertake. Age is a factor if that person has built up years of abuse of their body ("abuse" includes food and drugs too).

    I suspect bicycling will take an upswing in popularity in the years to come in the U.S. As people ruin their knees as Basketball becomes more popular. Well, unless they ruin their knees so badly they can't bike.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    I have been think about this a bit lately and the topic has come up in another thread and I did not want to derail it from the OP's question so I though I would start a new thread.

    Day after christmas I was playing around on some small DJ's and crashed, I cracked a few ribs and my helmet. For the next month I was only riding the FS bike ( the one I crashed on) as the rigid monkey was giving me adventures in pain that I did not really like.

    A couple of the older guys I ride with every week think I am crazy to be riding a rigid bike at all as they think I will pay for it in later years . That thudbuster post has really improved the ride for my back but my wrists, elbows, neck and shoulders take a beating when the trails get rough but I am not in any pain.

    I guess its an unknow really as to what damage I / we could be doing to our bodies.

    Any thoughts?
    When I cracked ribs I couldn't sneeze without pain, that doesn't mean sneezing is damaging.

    Nothing on a bike is as repetitive as the impact of the ground on a runner's feet and knees. You can't avoid it short of walking. On a bike you can slow down, pick a better line, lower tire pressure, take your weight off the seat, change your arm/wrist angle, or use a "loosey" grip. Running downhill is a bad as riding the worst fitting bike.

    I don't worry about my later years, they're here.

  35. #35
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    I second the build into it slowly bit.
    when I used to spend the majority of my biking miles on the mountain bike, I never had any real issues with my upper body when riding rigid. Lately I've been logging the majority of my miles on the road bike and my upper body doesn't like the abrupt transition from very little mountain biking to a 30 mile off road race

    YO MAMA

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