Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Discuss the eternal "Which fork/bike/tyres should I buy?" questions.
bleasy
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Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby bleasy » Wed Aug 08, 2012 21:37 pm

Hi guys im looking to take up mountain biking but suffer from back problems i have always wanted a hardcore hardtail with long travel like a Ragley, On-one 456 or Cotic Bfe but not sure if i would be better with a Full sus any advice o this is most welcome

deveng
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby deveng » Thu Aug 09, 2012 08:29 am

I too suffer from back problems and the most important thing for me is that the bike is set up correctly - you need the right size frame and to have the seat post/stem heights correct.

hardtail or full sus I personally wouldn't worry too much - the suspension isn't there for comfort it's there to maintain the load through the rear tyre - so I'd put the most emphasis on the right size bike.
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Dave_P1
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby Dave_P1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 22:27 pm

A full sus will offer a nicer ride when compared to a hardtail

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.blitz
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby .blitz » Tue Aug 14, 2012 09:32 am

If you are buying a FS for comfort you are buying it for the wrong reasons. FS is for traction and being less concerned about the terrain.

Biking is something we have learned how to do - not evolved - and although it is a very efficient way of getting around because it utilises the biggest, strongest muscles in the legs the strain on other muscle groups is immense.

If you have a bad back HT/FS it makes no difference. Learn how to work the muscles and joints that do nothing when you're riding. Stretch and release the tension after every ride and inbetween that way you will be able to ride any kind of bike

Thedesertfox
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby Thedesertfox » Tue Aug 14, 2012 18:53 pm

First time responder here so please play nice ladies and gents.

For my tuppence worth I suffered with back pain on my HT while training and racing it. I fitted a thudbuster seatpost and it improved marginally. I bit the bullet and bought a FS - which I'm yet to race, but comfortably train for 4 hours plus pain free.

Given my occupation I am fully up to speed with stretching and the benefits thereof post phys.

In my opinion - if that's what you're after I would borrow a FS and see how you get on. Best of luck either way mate.

Girya
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby Girya » Wed Aug 15, 2012 08:40 am

I find the full suspension more comfortable for distance, you just don't get battered like a hardtail. Depends how long you ride it for, but stronger 'core' will help with both hardtail and suspension

Tintin rize
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby Tintin rize » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:14 am

Girya wrote:I find the full suspension more comfortable for distance, you just don't get battered like a hardtail. Depends how long you ride it for, but stronger 'core' will help with both hardtail and suspension


i agree with girya full sus is confi and you can twick the rear shock to your confort ! i have a full sus cannondale RIZE and i dont think i would go hardtail for a while yet !
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Curious Yellow
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby Curious Yellow » Sun Sep 02, 2012 20:53 pm

I'd say get the bike you enjoy riding the most and the one that will make you most likely to ride. May well be worth getting some physio or professional advice on how to sort the back out long term, or if there's anything you can do to bring additional muscles in to support your back and get some stress off it.

Stu Coops
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby Stu Coops » Fri Sep 28, 2012 17:50 pm

I ride a with a few guys on HT and after a 3-4hr ride over rough ground there normally in bits where as i'm nowhere near as fatigued on my FS and i suffer with a bad back and it definitely offers more comfort
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geebus
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby geebus » Sun Sep 30, 2012 16:58 pm

In the past I've had a bad back that's played up from impact - full suspension made a big difference for me.
I find I use similar effort going up hills on my Reign (and the boardman FS I did have) as I did on my GT Avalanche Pro - while you lose a little from the suspension, you get better traction.
Find I hardly lose out when sitting down on the flat.

Despite being sceptical, definitely a convert here!

paul.skibum
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby paul.skibum » Sun Sep 30, 2012 18:07 pm

The fit of the bike and how your weight is positioned ont he bike is key, I never understand people who say they get more battered on a hardtail than a full suss - if that's the case you are doing something wrong on the hardtail.

You should always be using your legs and arms as suspension, maybe you can get away with a bit less on a full susser but if you are riding at the limit and one assumes that the limit is slightly lower on a hardtail then you should be moving about, absorbing pressures and shocks and so on as much on both bikes.

Personally I have back issues and I find them far worse on my DH bike as I typically ride a lift up, descend for 10 minutes standing the whole time, absorb a lot of bumps and shocks and then do it again - so if my back hurts the most on an 8 inch travel full susser but not so much on a hard tail where does that leave us?

And also any answers along the lines of - oh my mate rides a hardtail and he's always more tired than I am at the end of a ride - are just nonsense unless your mate is your physical twina nd his bike is identical geometry and fit but with no rear suspension as there are so many factors involved in that statement beyond a comparison of HT and FS.
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chez_m356
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby chez_m356 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 18:33 pm

paul.skibum wrote:Personally I have back issues and I find them far worse on my DH bike as I typically ride a lift up, descend for 10 minutes standing the whole time, absorb a lot of bumps and shocks and then do it again - so if my back hurts the most on an 8 inch travel full susser but not so much on a hard tail where does that leave us?

are you hitting the same downhill runs on the HT as FS, probably not, if not, what does that tell you?
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spankwilder
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby spankwilder » Sun Sep 30, 2012 18:46 pm

Just go for the HT and wear thicker socks. I would have thought the contrast between fs - ht, is the equivalent of bending your knees or not when landing a jump.

paul.skibum
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby paul.skibum » Sun Sep 30, 2012 21:18 pm

chez_m356 wrote:
paul.skibum wrote:Personally I have back issues and I find them far worse on my DH bike as I typically ride a lift up, descend for 10 minutes standing the whole time, absorb a lot of bumps and shocks and then do it again - so if my back hurts the most on an 8 inch travel full susser but not so much on a hard tail where does that leave us?

are you hitting the same downhill runs on the HT as FS, probably not, if not, what does that tell you?


I ride my hardtail and my full suss xc bikes on the same trails and see no difference in my back at the end of the ride - I am generally a bit more knackered on the FS as its a bit heavier and sucked up a bit more effort (before I changed to a rear air shock) - my DH bike I ride in the bike park - I rode a mates hardtail there for a few laps and it was fun as it skipped over stuff but I dont ride either of my xc bikes in the bike park because I dont want to destroy them.

spankwilder wrote:Just go for the HT and wear thicker socks. I would have thought the contrast between fs - ht, is the equivalent of bending your knees or not when landing a jump.


You should bend your knees whatever bike you are on - your legs are better than the bikes suspension.
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geebus
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby geebus » Mon Oct 01, 2012 00:00 am

The bits that did me in on a HT were where I was sitting down over long bumpy ground.
Ironically a load along a cycle path that followed a canal (not known for being 'back breaking'!)- crossing bumpy fields next to the canal where you wouldn't want to be standing up all the time.
I was fine on more 'extreme' stuff where I'd stand up anyway.
But the constant juddering was what I worked out caused lower back problems; on a FS these are smoothed out significantly.

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felix.london
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby felix.london » Mon Oct 01, 2012 06:59 am

I'm with Paul on this (not that I suffer from back ache) I'd say if you're feeling more fatigued or generally beaten up after riding a hardtail compared to a full-suss you're doing something wrong

You need to adjust your line choice far more on a HT. If you're just ploughing straight through stuff as if you were on a FS bike then of course you're gonna feel more beaten up (so's the bike)

On any bike - if there's rough ground and/or I'm descending, I'm out of the seat and don't see there would be a difference to your back whether you have rear suspension or not as everything should be going through your legs and arms. If you're just sitting and spinning up a long climb then rider position and how your cockpit is set-up is key. I could make my back ache quite easily on any bike by adjusting seat and handlebar position
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stubs
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby stubs » Mon Oct 01, 2012 09:43 am

Dont listen to the useless **** being spouted on here its your back not theres. It works for me it might or might not work for you only you can decide, if you do something because some idiot who has never met you tells you to do it your a bigger idiot than them.

Having got that rant off my chest it can depend on what riding your doing if its long days out on bumpy trails deffo go full suss if its short blasts down the local woods it probably wont make much difference.

Try a Full suss if it works for you buy one.
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felix.london
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby felix.london » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:21 am

?? - have you read the title of the thread?
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felix.london
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby felix.london » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:22 am

stubs wrote:
Try a Full suss if it works for you buy one.


But don't try a hardtail?
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chez_m356
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Re: Bad Back - Hardtail or Full sus

Postby chez_m356 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:31 am

felix.london wrote:
stubs wrote:
Try a Full suss if it works for you buy one.


But don't try a hardtail?

try both, but FS will feel better for your back, i certainly feel the difference swapping from one to the other
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