Bang Percussive Therapy Massager
The Bang Percussive Therapy Massager aims to let you massage your muscles when suffering from lactic acid build-up and other stresses and strains likely to come your way after a strenuous (and that can be a relative thing) bout of cycling. It goes to say that it is not really one for the moving on tourist, but for centre-based cycling, days at the track, and at home it may well offer you the sort of relief that allows you to hit the road hard or just have a more comfortable ride the next day.
Pros: range of heads, good run time, sometimes available on offer.
Cons: nearly six hours for full charge.
Open up the travel case and you’ll find the massage gun, a power cable, and six massage heads: ball, spade, fork, thumb, flat, precision. Each of the latter is designed with a specific task in mind, although you’ll have to decide which is most to your taste. The ball has a relatively low level of impact (5/10 on he Bang scale) and is aimed at large and small muscle groups; top of the Bang scale with 10/10 is the thumb, designed for pin-point work, especially on small muscles in hands etc. Look up the others on-line – the user guide supplied does not tell you very much other than what not to do, how to get started, and warnings about this and that.
The gun is powered by a lithium-ion integral battery. This powers the motor and the touch screen battery indicator and control panel. The motor delivers up to 60lb of force. This is adaptable with twenty settings delivering pretty fine tuning between 1600 and 3200 percussions per minute. That seems to me to cover most bases and certainly beats some cheaper models with five or six pre-set percussion speeds.
The heads feel suitably robust, while the gun’s handle has a rubberised grip.
Charge and run times 3.5/5
A six-hour charge is recommended first up. The charge indicator will show 99 at full. The user-guide says six hours, but I left ours overnight. Second charge took under five hours, but that was plugged in when, as recommended, the indicator dropped to 20.
Run time depends partly on the percussion setting, but at a mid to high-setting I managed ten hours before the charge sank to 20. Twelve and a half hours would just about reduce it to zero. Let’s say fifteen minutes a day is your usage, you aren’t going to be reaching for the charger too often, making this suitable for camping with no electric hook-up.
Fundamentally, this type of massager works by pulsing into the muscle tissues – and it is for use on muscles rather than bony joints. Doing this stimulates blood flow, which aids recovery after hard exercise. This also helps range of movement, releases tense ‘knots’, and helps break up scar tissue. Short of employing your own masseuse, a massage gun is about as good as it gets.
So, does it work? Well, yes it does, but most others have a similar effect. The Bang will support recovery after very stressful exercise, possibly more than I would usually need. However, it has also been effective, in my case, on muscular stresses and tension around an increasingly arthritic knee joint. Cheaper models offering less impact may deal with the impact of more everyday exercise or for therapeutic needs.
As a moving-on touring cyclist, I would not want to cart this about. I’ve always found a set of compression leggings and top from Skins quite sufficient to bring about good recovery of legs and upper body overnight. The set is more expensive than a massager, but is very light and doubles as nightwear and, if necessary, an effective base-layer.
The handle is long enough to reach most parts of the back, but that may depend on your size, shape, and the length of your arms. Equally cheaper models tend to have shorter handles, whilst some models have diagonal handles which some claim gives them extra reach. Straight handles are common across the price spectrum, but some are longer than others. Ours is, in my experience, on the longer side.
Occasionally suffering from numb thumb, vibration has not been a problem when using the gun – even at top speed for fifteen minutes. On a similar note, the twenty power levels offer a good range of impact, especially when you add the six heads in. The combination offers a lot of ‘tuneablity’ to deal with your aches.
My preference has been for e ball head for use on leg muscles. Equally, other users have enjoyed its sensation on their shoulders. Frankly, personal preference and a bit of experimentation are required.
Myo Pro has two more heads, retails at £379.00, although – like the Bang - I have seen major discounts. Ho Medics Pro Physio Massage Gun costs £299.00 and has more useful instructions, including diagrams on best use and innovative heat features. At £80 or so, you’ll have the RENPHO Massage Gun, and models are available a lot cheaper, too. In that
context, the Bang seems to offer pretty good value. Having many of the features of higher end models without the limitations of cheaper ones. I particularly like the smooth transitions between modes and, whilst you’ll find a wider range of heads, these six seem to cover all the bases.
This is really a gun for the kind of cyclist who is going to train, at least moderately, seriously and put in some long or fast rides, or spend days competing at the track. However, I’ve found it a boon at the end of a long day-ride, too.
The Bang Percussion Massager represents good value for money – look out for those discounts. Once you’ve decided to go for a massage gun, you’ll find a competitive field to play. Most share some features, but the Bang seems to combine some of the best. Ideal for the hard rider and triathlete, or those of us with retro muscles to match our retro bikes!