Iíve been considering some sort of support belt for the past couple of years as anything over a 1-hour ride would leave me sore. After reading reviews, and thanks to a couple of recommendations here, I bit the bullet and headed over to Koolbak.com
to order a belt.
Following their measurement instructions, I discovered that I was in the 41Ē category, dead between large and XL. So, as the instructions suggested, I called the number to discuss getting a custom variant made. I was surprised when the owner of the company picked-up! After talking through the situation with him, we discovered that he and I are the exact same measurement and he took my order on the spot for a white-mesh custom.
I placed the order on a Tuesday morning and received the custom-sized belt that Friday! Considering he is on the West Coast, and Iím in the mountains of East Tennessee, thatís impressive turn-around for a custom product!
I have to admit, as I unboxed it, my first impressions were mixed. The fit and finish are excellent, with obvious care taken in the stitching and edging. It was also much lighter than I was expecting with my only previous back-support experience being leather weight-lifting belts from my ill-spent youth. I was also surprised with how the mesh resisted flexing but still looked like it might allow a bit of airflow. But, with all that said, I really wasnít expecting much out of $33 worth of mesh, webbing, and Velcro.
Call me a convert.
I strapped the belt on under my riding gear this past Saturday, and headed out about 6 in the morning and headed-up to Dealís Gap. My back typically starts hurting after my first run to the store from the Tennessee side, usually right at 1-hour after leaving the house. To be honest, I was flat out stunned when I pulled into the parking lot 100% pain free. I actually felt so good that instead of my usual 15-minute rest break to stretch out and take a couple of Advil, I immediately turned around and made another run back to the overlook. I had quite forgotten what it was like to not have my lower back ache on my bike.
To make a long story short, instead of my typical two passes and head home routine, I was able to ride for 5-hours, only stopping to hydrate, answer natureís call, and chat with other locals. Without my back hurting, I was finally able to concentrate more on my technique and moving around in the seat.
On my way home, for the first time in years, I found myself looking forward to the next ride instead of my recliner and a heating pad.
Great Back Support
Great Customer Service
Comfortable enough that I was able to forget I had it on
I took me 4-years to buy one
It adds about 1Ē to your waistline, so order your pants accordingly (actually worked out well for me as Iíve lost 55lbs since last year and my riding pats were almost too big. The belt added just enough that I donít have to replace them just yet!)
My Koolbak belt is now an essential part of my riding gear and I can recommend it with zero reservations!