Cyclinghacker is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Best Bikes for Bad Backs in 2023 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

bikers with bad backs

Cycling every year has become increasingly popular. We are seeing bike sales go through the roof, and more and more people are hitting the roads and trails with pedal power each day. Here at Cycling Hacker, we get a lot of questions about cycling and bikes. Today we’re going to be answering, “What is the best bike for someone with a bad back?” 

People don’t know that cycling can be a great sport for people who suffer from back issues, provided you’re on the right bike. In this article, we will discuss why cycling is great for people with bad backs, recommend some excellent bikes for you, and tell you what to think about when buying one. 

Hiland Rockshark 700c Electric Bike

Hiland Rockshark 700c Electric Bike

Schwinn Network 3.0

Schwinn Network 3.0

Schwinn Loop Compact Folding Bike

Schwinn Loop Compact Folding Bike

Why is Cycling a Great Sport for People With Bad Backs?

What a lot of people don’t know is cycling is an excellent sport for people with bad backs. As a personal trainer who has worked with clients who have suffered from back pain, I often recommend cycling, and here’s why.

  • Low impact means there are nasty knacks
  • It doesn’t involve a lot of twisting and turning
  • It doesn’t put a huge amount of pressure on your back
  • It’s great for core strength
  • It is easy to do and can be done indoors on exercise bikes
  • It doesn’t involve lifting heavy weights

Cardiovascular workouts are excellent for the body, and cycling is a great way to improve your fitness. The only thing we have to say is that if you have a bad back, you must use the correct bike.

Best Budget: Schwinn Network 3.0

Schwinn Network 3.0
  • Frame: Aluminum 
  • Gearing: Shimano 3×7
  • Brakes: Rim Brakes
  • Wheels and tires: 700c with hybrid tires
  • Weight: 14.5kg
  • Special Features: Suspension fork and seat post, adjustable stem, comfort saddle

Schwinn is well known for making high-quality bikes, which are incredibly valuable for money. The first thing to mention is this bike has an aluminum frame with a very relaxed geometry and upright riding position. This is paired with a set of suspension forks and even a suspension seat post that will give a forgiving ride.

It comes with a 3×7 groupset giving you a total of 21 gears, making getting uphill and downhill easy. Paired with this groupset, you have some rim brakes which will stop you, but they are not very effective when it comes to wet and poor weather conditions.

The wheels are 700c, and they come with puncture resistant tires. The bike is designed for mixed terrain, but it would suit cycle paths and roads better than anywhere else. The bike comes with an adjustable stem which means you can make the handlebars really high, giving the rider a super comfortable upright riding position.


  • Price is excellent
  • Looks great
  • Suspension makes it ride great
  • The frame and adjustable stem give it a great upright position
  • Schwinn Quality and lifetime warranty on frame


  • Brakes are very basic 
  • Very plain to look at

Why do we like it?

The Schwinn Network is an excellent bike for someone with a bad back. It has a very upright riding position, suspension for rough roads, and a huge range of gears to keep the legs spinning up hills. Want to know even more about how good Schwinn bikes are? Learn more here.

Mobo Triton Pro Recumbent bike

  • Frame: Steel 
  • Gearing: Single Speed
  • Brakes: Rim Brakes
  • Wheels and tires: 20″ front, 16″ rears
  • Weight: 20kg 
  • Special Features: recumbent bike, fenders

If you are looking for a bike that is going to offer complete support on the back, then you might want to consider using recumbent bikes. The Triton Pro isn’t something you will see down at your local bike shop. It is made of steel and designed so that when riding, it stays very low to the ground and completely supports the back.

It only has single-speed gearing, and with the weight of this bike, it isn’t going to be an ideal bike for going up and downhill. It has a rim brake on the front and none on the rear. It has a 20″ wheel on the front and 16″ wheels on the rear paired with hybrid tires. As far as special features go, this bike is incredibly basic, and it only really has fenders.


  • Excellent for back support
  • Very comfortable bike
  • Super strong steel


  • Very basic bike
  • Not ideal for hilly rides
  • Very few special features

Why do we like it?

The Mobo is a great recumbent bike, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to ride. It is very basic though, and you might find it to be very hard work on the hills.

Best Overall: Hiland Rockshark 700c Electric Bike

Hiland Rockshark 700c Electric Bike
  • Frame: Aluminum 
  • Gearing: 1×7
  • Motor and battery: 250w with 30-50 miles range
  • Brakes: Rim Brakes
  • Wheels and tires: 27.5″ with hybrid tires
  • Weight: 25kg (Est)
  • Special Features: Fenders, Suspension, Rack, Lights, adjustable stem

HH Hiland is a good brand and has recently become very popular amongst cyclists. The Rockshark is one of their electric bikes, and it is perfect for a cyclist would might be struggling with a bad back. The aluminum frame has a step-through design and is completely focused on comfort. It’s not just got an upright riding position but also very easy to get on and off.

It comes with a powerful 250w electric motor that can take you as far as 50 miles. It works on both pedal assistance and also throttle. It has a 7-speed groupset giving you a limited range, but with the motor, you don’t need huge climbing gears. It comes with basic rim brakes, which work, but they are not the most powerful.

The wheels are 27.5″, and being a little smaller than the typical 700c wheels you normally see on bikes like this makes them great for turning quickly and gives the bike agile handling. It comes packed with special features such as lighting, fenders, an adjustable stem, a rear cargo rack, and even a chain guard.


  • The electric motor and battery are great
  • The price is very good
  • Packed full of special features
  • Upright riding position
  • Easy to get on and off


  • Limited gearing
  • Not the lightest bike

Why do we like it?

The Rockshark is an ideal bike for someone looking to cycle but wants it to be easy on their back. It offers so much and comes in at such a low cost, and it is easy to get on and off and very upright when being ridden. It is packed full of great special features, and the motor can give you a boost when you need it.

Schwinn Loop Compact Folding Bike

Schwinn Loop Compact Folding Bike
  • Frame: Aluminum 
  • Gearing: 1×7
  • Brakes: Rim Brakes
  • Wheels and tires: 20″ with hybrid tires
  • Weight: 14kg 
  • Special Features: Folding ability, fenders, rear rack

The Schwinn loop is our only folding compact bike on this list. What we really like about small compact bikes like this is it puts the rider in a great position to keep the back straight, and they are very easy to get on and off. The Schwinn Loop has an aluminum frame and is made for convenience and comfort. What makes this special is not only is it very small you can fold it to half the size.

It comes with seven gears which will get you up and down hills ok, but it’s not a bike you will not want to tackle anything too steep on. Unlike the Hiland above, it doesn’t have a motor to back you up. It has rim brakes that will stop you but are not amazing in poor conditions.

The wheels are 20″ compact wheels with hybrid tires. With wheels this small, you get superb handling, and they are perfect for riding around cities and towns. It comes with some great special features, such as the rear rack for carrying goods. You also get fenders to keep you clean and dry but the main special feature is the folding ability.


  • Very compact bike
  • Folding ability
  • Great value
  • Excellent handling
  • Perfect for city and town riding


  • Not the lightest bike
  • Not ideal for high-speed riding with smaller wheels
  • Limited gearing

Why do we like it?

The Schwinn Loop offers the rider a relaxed position, which will be easy on the back and a lot of fun to ride. It’s perfect for riding around a city or a town, and if you’re short on space, it can fold up and fit in a cupboard.

Senada Archon PRO

  • Frame: Aluminum 
  • Gearing: 3×7
  • Motor and battery: 1000w with 33-42 miles range
  • Brakes: Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • Wheels and tires: 26″ with fat bike tires
  • Weight: 28kg 
  • Special Features: Lighting, suspension, fenders, rack

If you are looking for a bike with a bit more grunt, which will be good on the back but also be able to take you on some real adventures, then you might want to consider the Senada Archon PRO. It is for an aluminum mountain bike frame that offers a good upright riding position.

It comes with a very powerful 1000w motor which gives you a range of up to 42 miles and a top speed of 30mph. It comes with 21 gears which are going to provide you with a huge range, and paired up with these are powerful disc brakes for stopping quickly.

It has 26″ wheels with big fat bike tires, so this can ride off-road and excellently on very loose terrain. It comes packed with special features such as good lighting, suspension on the front forks, and a rear rack to carry everything you need. The bike also comes with a tool kit when you buy it.


  • Powerful motor and large battery
  • Very capable bike on and off-road
  • Easy to ride
  • Looks excellent


  • Not very light
  • Hard to ride without power

Why do we like it?

The Senada is not only pretty easy on the back, but it also offers so much ability. It has a powerful motor and tires that will go anywhere.

Bikes for People With Bad Backs Buyers Guide

guide on how many miles should i bike to lose weight

When it comes to selecting the right bike for you, it can be challenging, and even more so when it comes to a bike that is going to protect your back. Here are the things you need to be thinking about when searching.

Are you ok with riding?

The first question you must ask yourself is, are you ok with riding a bike? If you’re getting a lot of back pain, we recommend seeing a physical therapist to ensure there’s a particular reason you’re not getting a pain free ride. If they say it’s ok to ride, we highly recommend a proper bike fit after getting a bike.

What kind of bike do you need?

If you are looking for a bike that’s going to be nice on your back, you will want to focus on hybrid bikes, cruiser bikes, recumbent bikes, or upright bikes, which don’t put too much pressure on the back. You will want to avoid road and racing bikes as these are really aggressive and keep you leaning forward, although you might get away with an endurance road bikes or a touring bike as they have a more upright position.

What kind of riding do you want to do?

If you plan to do off-road riding, you will want to be on mountain bikes, preferably a full suspension mountain bike, to smooth that ride out as much as possible. If you are riding bikes just on the road, a hybrid road bike might be more beneficial. You need to get a bike that suits the kind of riding you’re doing.

What’s your budget?

One thing we find is that many people go in without a budget and either come away with a very cheap bike that doesn’t last or they spend too much. You get what you pay for when it comes to bikes. The more you spend, the better experience you will get. It’s important to have a budget and get as close to it as possible.


When it comes to getting the right bike for you, if you get back pain, it can be very challenging. In this list, we have focused on bikes with upright riding positions or a lot of back support. We hope you enjoyed our list and found the right bike for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my back hurt when cycling?

A lot of people struggle with back pain while cycling because they are either on the wrong size bike and are not properly fitted.

Is it ok to cycle with lower back pain?

We personally don’t recommend it. It’s important to find out why you are getting pain before continuing.

Is cycling good for belly fat?

Cycling is a great way to lose fat. It can burn calories at a high rate without too much impact.

Expert Tip

Back pain is experienced by 8 out of 10 people in their lives, and a lot of this comes from people not being mobile. Working on your mobility is an ideal way to avoid back pain. 

Did you know?

Cycling is a great low-impact exercise many trainers recommend for people with bad backs. You need to ensure you sit upright to avoid putting too much stress on the back.

Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri is a cyclist living in Norfolk in the UK. From breaking World Records to competing in some of the hardest Bikepacking races in the world he is not shy of riding the miles. He has been lucky enough to work at some amazing shops and with some big cycling brands. Alongside this he even had input in designing bikes and has also been a tester for unreleased products. He absolutely loves cycling and believes everyone should have a bike.