Protecting Lower Back


Local time
5:12 PM
Jun 14, 2023
Wondering about best practices to avoid developing a lower back problem over time.

We have an Aventon Pace 500.2, which puts the rider in a more upright position compared to many other bikes. My son is the primary user, and he uses it a LOT / has been a game changer for him. He's on pavement but sometimes the surfaces aren't that great. He tends to use the throttle a lot and has a lower seat position / rides it kind of like a motorcycle. He's having no back issues presently, and is in good physical shape. When he rides I see his lower back kind of curved forward, and I'm concerned about the long term. We have a DJC suspension post, and a seat with springs. I'm planning to order a Sun Tour suspension post to replace the DJC (the DJC isn't bad but I've heard the Sun Tour is better).

We're also thinking about our next e-bike. Quite frankly, I was planning to get another Pace 500, in order to share the same parts and battery. I've read where a more forward leaning bike frame is better for your back because it shares more of your weight with your arms, which the Pace does not do. My son says he wishes it had front suspension to help reduce shock to the spine, but I'm thinking the front suspension doesn't have much to do with protecting the spine and rear suspension would be more important. (front suspension would be nice for the arms and wrists) But rear suspension seems a lot more rare, especially if trying to find it from a well known source and in a decently affordable range.

I'll admit when I ride the Pace 500, if zipping along at 20mph the bumps really are kind of jarring. I tell him to always stand up when he knows he's entering a bumpy area, and slow down.

Anyway, here are my questions:

1. Can an upright position still be safe for the spine long term, if you're a very frequent rider ?
2. Am I right in assuming that you should be disciplined about not letting your lower back curve forward, and keep your lower belly forward to help avoid doing that?
3. Am I right in thinking that the front suspension does little to protect the spine, and rear suspension is what's more important for your spine?
4. Suspension seats and seat posts get you some protection, but not as much as having rear suspension would do?
5. E-bikes with rear suspension from a reputable company seem rare ?
6. Would reducing tire pressure help much? The Pace doesn't have very fat tires unfortunately. I would think lowering pressure on a fat tire bike would help a lot, but you would lose some battery range due to more energy wasted in the tires.
7. Any more tips or insights?