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  1. #1
    SS in CO
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    riding advice: going from 29er SS hardtail to full squish...

    I've been riding hardtails all my life and have been specifically on my SS Bianchi Rita for 4 years. I was geared before that, but didn't do nearly as much riding as I do now. I'm pretty much dialed into SS riding and love it.

    my wife and I are expecting our first in July, so she unfortunately had to put up her riding. her bike (a 2012 Santa Cruz Superlight 29er) has been sitting for 3 months, collecting dust. I decided that since she couldn't ride it for the next 6-8 months, that I may as well. took it out to one of our local trails yesterday. it's probably the toughest trail in the area...lots of crazy climbing and fast, rocky downhills. I've ridden this trail for 4 years on my SS and always wanted to try full squish on it.

    I set the bike up for my weight, changed out saddle and pedals, and flipped the stem so the fit was good. admittedly, it's probably 1 size small for me, but not too small that I couldn't ride it. I see guys my size all the time riding bikes equivalent to this one...

    I had a blast riding! it's a crazy different kind of ride, but on this specific trail, the extra gears and suspension were awesome! I'll have to dial a few things in, for sure, but overall it was great. however...my back is killing me!! I went from charging up hills and standing & mashing to gearing down and pedaling. that's what I'm supposed to do, right? it seems that all the sit-down pedaling really made my lower back sore at the end of the ride (12-13 miles).

    so my question is this: is that just something that will come with riding full squish more? will my back get stronger & not get sore? or is this a setup issue with the bike possibly being a size small?

    or am I just doing it all wrong?

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  2. #2
    Bicycle Addict
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    To me it sounds like a sizing issue. Typically, for me, my full suspension bike is a lot more forgiving on my back than my SS rigid. Then again, you don't stand up as frequently on FS like you do on SS, and you spend more time hunched over.
    The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates
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  3. #3
    SS in CO
    Reputation: Jayson44's Avatar
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    that's what I was wondering about. my lower back will get sore on longer flat rides on my SS where I'm doing lots of pedaling. I felt like my back was getting sore because I wasn't getting out of the saddle more.

    do most FS riders just stay seated the whole time? or do you stand and mash much?

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  4. #4
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    When i ride my FS bike i certainly do stay seated most of the time just spinning but never experience any unusual back pain.

    On my HT,standing and mashing is required.I also make a conscious effort to stand more.I prefer a HT but sitting and spinning will no doubt make my back hurt.

    I think in your case its a fit issue.I would get the cockpit measurements from your HT and compare them to your wifes bike.

  5. #5
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    Ive found a small bike as in short top tube , particularly if the bars are low will give me a sore back ,

    Another thing that can hurt my back is not quite getting the seat in the sweet spot in relation to the pedals , which causes hip flexor issues which tightens up the back.

  6. #6
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I don't totally agree with the other posts. Yes, cockpit setup and saddle placement are critical to long term comfort, but that is to prevent long term over-use / ergonomic issues. You rode your wife's bike once and got sore.

    My man, you are just riding differently than you normally do. Don't sweat it. If you are a dedicated SSer then you are a pretty strong mtber. You'll adapt to the new/old style soon. Think about it this way. If you are a jogger and randomly decides to do sprint intervals. Then you're going to be extremely sore the day.

    Once you get accustomed to riding a geared full squish bike (and get the fit dialed in), I bet a million bucks you will feel less beat up the day after. The rougher the terrain and the longer the ride the more benefits you will feel from the full squish.
    Good luck

  7. #7
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    Yes, what ppfeifer said.

    He mentioned fit. i) you aren't the right size for that bike. And: ii) you should get a bike fit.

  8. #8
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    I ride both rigid SS and full squish gears, regularly. I only stand on the full squish going down hills or through "technical flat" sections. On my SS, I'm standing all the time unless the trail is really smooth, because as you know, legs = suspension on a rigid bike. At first, changing to the FS bike was ..yeah, a pain in the back. Even with everything set right. After a couple months of riding it mixed in equal parts with the SS, I realized my back only hurts on much much longer rides than I normally take. As one person pointed out, it's different riding, you're using different muscle groups. Give it some time. You'll be ok. Of course, having a bike that fits you properly is going to help....

  9. #9
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson44 View Post
    I felt like my back was getting sore because I wasn't getting out of the saddle more.

    do most FS riders just stay seated the whole time? or do you stand and mash much?

    J.
    Heck yes - I stand and mash when riding my FS. Especially on shorter power grunt climbs, sprints, need a break or change of position, etc... .

    There's no "rule" that says one must be seated all the time on a FS with today's excellent suspension systems.

  10. #10
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppfeifer View Post
    I don't totally agree with the other posts. Yes, cockpit setup and saddle placement are critical to long term comfort, but that is to prevent long term over-use / ergonomic issues. You rode your wife's bike once and got sore.

    My man, you are just riding differently than you normally do. Don't sweat it. If you are a dedicated SSer then you are a pretty strong mtber. You'll adapt to the new/old style soon. Think about it this way. If you are a jogger and randomly decides to do sprint intervals. Then you're going to be extremely sore the day.

    Once you get accustomed to riding a geared full squish bike (and get the fit dialed in), I bet a million bucks you will feel less beat up the day after. The rougher the terrain and the longer the ride the more benefits you will feel from the full squish.
    Good luck

    Yep. What he said.

  11. #11
    SS in CO
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    cool. thanks for the replies, guys. I figured it was a combo of both just riding a different style and the bike being just a touch small. it definitely doesn't feel small on the downhills. in fact, I really enjoyed being able to get back off the saddle on the downs.

    I think I'll just try to dial in the cockpit a little bit more and just see what I find. there's really only 2 trails in the DFW area that I'd ride the FS on, so it won't see a lot of saddle time. but it will be fun while I have it.

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  12. #12
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    Pro pedal lockout will allow you to stand more often on med-long climbs.

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