Bad back stops play – is full sus the answer?
anything fitted with a pro-predal shock should not be a "pedal bob nightmare", though lots of 4-bar suspension system supposedly dont even require this.
(obvious to some but..) I've found the shorter travel 'race' FS to be more direct in their handling, my newley aquired SC superlight flies along, though it's previous owner said he could feel too much power being sucked up by the suspension.. horses for courses (he now rides a totally rigid bike!).
I don't have a horrendous back problems but it does hurt, there no way I can see I'd use a HT as my only bike – this though is not scientific.
Get some demo's, to see if you can live with the extra weight, different handling – only you can tell this.Posted 7 years agoTandemJeremyMember
Look at your riding position – I have a damaged lumbar spine but have no issues on a hardtail due to having highish bars – an inch or two above the seat. It makes a huge difference for me – the difference between pain after 1/2 hr and all day pain free rides.
Reach and seat height have an influence as wellPosted 7 years agoBigDummySubscriber
I had a horrific back a few years ago. I found a Thudbuster really, really helped a lot.
If you've gopt money and inclination for a new bike/frame, go for it obviously.But if you like your current set-up then it might be worth experimenting with the suspension post first.Posted 7 years agothetravellingbardMember
I've played around with the set up quite a bit on the hardtail and it seems the best compromise between comfort/handling. The current bike is a quite old and a lot of the components are worn out so it seems that since it is time for a new bike anyway maybe I should go the full sus route and kill 2 birds with one stone (not that I'm into killing birds mind).Posted 7 years agoCaptainMainwaringMember
I'm sure as TJ says, the riding position can help, but bottom line is that a FS removes the shocks (scuse the pun) transmitted to your back on a HT. I have a weak back but can ride my FS all day. Tried my old HT some time back and was suffering after 45 mins.
£1k is tight for a FS, awill be pretty heavy and may have some bob, so not good if you like climbing. Why not try a suspension seat post first?Posted 7 years agothetravellingbardMember
For a few years now my back has been pretty painful after days in the saddle battering down (and up) hills. Its under control and isn't any worse but as I get older I worry about causing damage which is going to catch up with me at some point. So, the question is should I get a full sus to replace my ageing hardtail and would that help ease the pain at all. Budget would be at most £1k. The bikes that seem to fit the bill are the giant trance x4, kona four deluxe (on sale on the web) and maybe at a budget push the specialized fsr xc comp. I quite like climbing and I have always worried that full sus could be a pedal bob nightmare. Any suggestions?Posted 7 years agojonbMember
I'm 27 so don't really have any back issues. My back does hurt on rides occasionally though.
Strangely it hurts least on the roadie and more often on my full sus. My hardtail is also normally ok.
I find that, as above, it is a setup thing rather than a bike thing. If it's your lower ack then chances are its related to either core stability muscles or your hamstrings being tight. Try playing with your position before you spend £1k.
If it's general fatigue and you decide to get a full suss (or just decide anyway). Then the boardman ones are pretty good if you don't mind the badge. The specialised fsr looks good and if rides like my stumpjumper then it will be bob free (coming from a long time hardtail and road bike user).
Trek fuel range are also popular for a reason. In fact most big brands produce good suspension bikes these days. It's a question of finding one that "feels" right for you and gives the best spec for the money.Posted 7 years agobullroarSubscriber
I wouldn't assume that a full sus will automatically solve the problem if it caused by position and/or gear selection. I quite often get back pain when I ride for too long in too big a gear, doesn't matter what the bike is (Roadie, Hardtail or full Sus).
For example last week I did a ride off road with the kids on my hardtail, in order to ride with them I dropped to the lowest gear and spun up the hills. No pain. A couple of days later I did the same ride on my own with a full sus and on the same hills soon had back ache due to a higher gear.Posted 7 years agobrassneckSubscriber
For £1K I'd look at a SC Superlight frame only and build across from your hardtail. Or go second hand with the frame of your choice.
I too have an superlight (an old one, 2001), and I think it's pretty perfect in terms of dead simple, pretty light and just takes the edge off all the hits – it is noticeably more comfortable than my steel rigid bike. Whether or not it'd actually solve your problem though is debateable – get your position right first, it's a fair bit cheaper.Posted 7 years agomikertroidMember
Been there and done that. It will be your position. I went full suss due to ongoing back pain. Pain didn't stop.
Then spent time tweaking position and pain gone.
Now have a hardtail which I can do 24 hr races on no probs. Full bouncer gets used when I do 'proper' riding.
Do invest time in your position. It'll save a) pain and b) money.
I found recently that I had my saddle too high as well. That makes your lumbar muscles have to work overtime which can hurt.Posted 7 years agoNickScotsMember
I have tweaked both road and full sus positions to get rid of back pain and would suggest setup, gearing and stretching (stand up pedalling) would all help. Remember your lower back hignes your legs.
Ps Even the pros stretch their backs when riding climbs, Janez Brakovic sat up and stretched his back on a hairpin while matching Contador on Alp D'Huez.Posted 7 years ago
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