just starting mountain biking at 50 road biking before that i now have a hard tail with front suspension going over rocky trails are killing me my back and neck ache after all rides(guess years of weightlifting doesn't help either) can someone tell me would full suspension help much. I am 5'5" 175lbs. please don't tell me to stop like everyone else enjoy it too much.
If it's your back and neck, and your arse doesn't hurt, you probably don't need a full suspension. It's probably because you're stretched out too much. Play with the geometry of your bike. Get a shorter stem, risers (or higher risers), move your seat forward, back, whatever, raise and lower your seatpost, and see if you find a perfect combo that gives the geo you need. What bike do you have?
If you can't get fix the geometry, buy another bike, and I would definitely recommend full suspension. If it doesn't help your back, it'll help you other places.
Hope that helps and Good Luck!
I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.
Bike is a Motobecane 700HT
...the wave won't brek
What tibug said is right on the money.
But the first thing you need to look at is if the bike is the correct size for you. If the bike is too big all the fitting in the world will not get it dialed in properly.
If you are confidant the bike is the proper size then now you need to do the things tibug talked about.
What I did to dial my bike in was I kept a record (as best you can) of the orgional position vs the new position.
Take seat height as an example...
I measured the seat height, moved the seat measured the new height, marked down both measurements, then tried the change out. I also noted my findings after the ride.
The trick is to not change too many things at once. Only change one or two things at a time. Once you find a position or setting you like leave it there and then move on.
It can be a slow arduous process but the pay off in the end is a bike you love yo ride.
2008 Santa Cruz Superlight SPX-XC Kit
2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR-XC Comp
2006 Specialized Allez Sport Double