Tall guys with back problems- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    3

    Tall guys with back problems

    Hey everyone. 6'6" here with a jacked up lower back. Want to buy a fat bike when im back on my feet and earning real money again. Wanted to hear people's takes or experiences with a few things

    Sitting causes me a lot of pain and stiffness, so I want to have a very upright and relaxed, neutral posture and be able to spend a lot of time standing out of the saddle

    I live in New England. Dont plan on doing any jumps or super fast downhill rides but I do want to rip through the woods and mountains, and go on adventures

    Any saddles or handlebars you particularly love?

    Geometry - Do you prefer a bike that keeps you upright, like a https://www.fatbike.com/store/TELLUR...eed-p124040091 or something that gives you the most usable space for the most adjustment, like KONA BIKES | MTB | FATBIKE | Wozo for example

    Any other tips and tricks you may have? The stores in my area are kind of lacking in options so I may have to do a lot of the shopping online and hope to get things right on the first or at worst second try

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sherwin24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    504
    Saddles are very personal, but most people find something from WTB such as the pure or Rocket to be at least comfortable. Your LBS should be willing to measure your sitbones and swap saddles for you if the stock saddle won't work. If you have to go fully online, this cost will be on you, but measuring sitbones is easy enough to get you into something that you can build off of on finding what works.

    Handlebars are much the same, making sure the LBS doesn't cut the steerer tube before you get your fit right would be important. Again they should be willing to help you try to find a stem and handlebar which will get you feeling good. The last couple of years I am finding more upright/rise and more sweep on the bars helps my back and hands be happy. Not a lot of shops carry bars like this though so that might be something you will have to find some to test out, or order and be willing to spend some money for a truly good fit for you. For singletrack I prefer to have the bars lower and a bit more out front, and touring more upright, so I have different stems to accomplish this.

    Geo, for what you want definitely not the racing fat bikes that are going to put you more crouched I would say. The WOO or WOZO I think could be a good option. They will be good on the trails and give you enough room to play with fit for your liking. Surly ICT comes to mind as well. Trek Farley, for that matter too. Any bikes with that sort of geo and versatility will be able to fit you well with some work. All would be good set up for singletrack, long days of riding fire roads, gravel and the like as well. You might enjoy it so much that next you find yourself buying different wheelsets One of the great things about fatbikes to me is the versatility, they can be ridden on so many types of adventures with the same wheels, different wheels, with bags, without bags, and it's always a good time.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    704
    Im 64 and with my particular lower back issues, longer is better. The OneUp carbon bar is very popular lately for its damping characteristics. Grips I use the Specialized Enduro lock on, it only uses one lock ring so my pinkies are on rubber and not a lock ring. WTB Silverado is comfy for me.
    I like bikes

  4. #4
    Human Test Subject
    Reputation: Volsung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,288
    Suspension seatpost might help. Most steerer tubes come pre-cut, but if you get a Surly you can always replace it with one that's not. Or just get an aftermarket Mastodon.

    Shop around for bike fits. There are some in Minneapolis that specialize in fitting those with medical needs and there are probably some near you too.

    As yzedf alluded to, if you're sitting upright it will have more compression on your spine, but I dunno what will work for you.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    415
    Stretched out, and low impact is best. But you shouldn't simply accept a jacked up lower back. There are things you can do.

  6. #6
    roots, rocks, rhythm
    Reputation: Dawgprimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    748
    First off I do have an idea what you are talking about with back issues.
    Maybe not you particular issue but I do have lower back issues sometimes.
    I am 6'7 and trying to find a bike that fits, is trail/ride worthy, efficient and is fun.
    As Sherwin has pointed out saddles are personal and what works for me might not work for you........as are bars.
    But WTB Pure V works for me.
    As for bars I use Jones bars and Chromag bars, depending on the bike and style I want.

    If you buy a complete bike the steer tube will come cut. That is why I always try to buy frame only and then build it up with what I want......however it is not the cheaper way to go. Uncut steer tubes gets me to rise the stem higher and then the bar.
    I agree with Volsung and maybe get an appointment with a bike fitter, if you are not sure?
    If you tell them your issues maybe they can address them?
    It usually take me awhile to get my bike to feel right and when I do then I don't change it for years........
    Suspension seat can help you adjust the seat height on the fly so that you are not constantly stoping and adjusting.
    Getting a fat bike and being able to adjust tire pressure helps smooth out the jolting but won't replace suspension.

    I also do a lot of stretching, core work for my back and it does help.

    Just a few thoughts.....anyway
    97' Brodie Expresso
    00' Turner RFX
    08' Turner RFX
    13' Surly Troll
    15' Surly ICT

  7. #7
    "way of the road, bubs."
    Reputation: InteriorAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    17
    while i'm several inches shorter at 6'1", I also deal with lower back issues. going from many years of bmx to mtb and then fatbike, I had a hard time adjusting to the typical mtb bars because I wanted a more upright sitting position; I've always preferred bmx style bars so I started searching around and ended up w/ a 4 piece bmx style set of bars for my fatbike. this link helped me zero in on a set:

    https://bikepacking.com/gear/list-of...tb-handlebars/

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    584
    I'm 6'9", live in New England, and also have back problems. I ride a custom steel fatbike, it is basically an xxl Ice Cream Truck with an inch added to the top tube. My bars are carbon Jones Loop bars that are fully wrapped in ESI foam and the extra chunky 6" grips as well. I like that I can change the hand positions when my back does act up and it does help on the longer rides. The thick grips do help as well. Riding a Ergon saddle, can't remember the model at the moment but I like it a lot. Been riding the WTB saddles for many years and they just kept squeaking and eventually breaking. The Ergon takes longer to break in but is more durable and comfortable once broken in.

    Hope this helps and you are back up and riding again.

    -Nolan

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,199
    Bikeyoke has a new saddle with elastomers that keeps the weight down, adds a little cush. I would also second a suspension seatpost, but in all reality it's still a hardtail and it's especially harsh in post-holed conditions and any kind of dry/dirt riding. Possibly with a Mastodon and suspension seatpost it may be acceptable, but IME running a suspension seatpost is often a wash, as there is effectively no damping, only what exists in the natural properties of the material, which will only work for one size/speed impact and be more of a launching spring in others.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Bikeyoke has a new saddle with elastomers that keeps the weight down, adds a little cush. I would also second a suspension seatpost, but in all reality it's still a hardtail and it's especially harsh in post-holed conditions and any kind of dry/dirt riding. Possibly with a Mastodon and suspension seatpost it may be acceptable, but IME running a suspension seatpost is often a wash, as there is effectively no damping, only what exists in the natural properties of the material, which will only work for one size/speed impact and be more of a launching spring in others.
    I used a suspension dropper with a rigid fork for a number of years. Made a huge difference. Since then I've ridden a fat bike. And with the pressure at anything less than 35lbs, don't think there would be any issue at all with the back for me. It is a surprisingly comfy ride.

  11. #11
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,199
    Quote Originally Posted by sapva View Post
    I used a suspension dropper with a rigid fork for a number of years. Made a huge difference. Since then I've ridden a fat bike. And with the pressure at anything less than 35lbs, don't think there would be any issue at all with the back for me. It is a surprisingly comfy ride.
    Wait, what? A suspension dropper? As in a dropper post that also has suspension? I'm not aware of any of these outside prototypes and don't think there's been one on the market that could be used for "years". I know a shop owner here that welded a Kinect suspension post onto a dropper.

    35lbs is insane rock-hard for fat tires, even 20psi is. On rough ground, the tires only absorb impacts at slower speeds where the hysteresis of the rubber coincides with the impact speed and amplitude. Go faster and it becomes a crazy rough ride. Good that your body can take it, but in the summer especially, I will not be found riding trails on a fat-bike. It's way too rough. Fat tires are not suspension.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    482
    IMO rear suspension is worthy. Better to have all those hits get absorbed by a shock that your spine. Not an issue on smooth, soft, trails obviously - but when the trails are hard, icy and/or full of bumps from frozen tracks, roots or whatever the rear suspension makes a huge difference. My back issues are relatively minor, but flare up after a ride on a rigid fat on bumpy trails - and not all all on the rear suspension Turner.

  13. #13
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    14,693
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Wait, what? A suspension dropper? As in a dropper post that also has suspension? I'm not aware of any of these outside prototypes

    PNW has had one available since summer.

    It works to take out big, sharp hits, but doesn't work well (at all) on small, high frequency stuff. Possibly converting it to coil could make it better all the way around, but PNW doesn't seem interested in that.

    I love my Kinekt post.

    And I love my droppers.

    Hope someone comes up with a production unit that can combine the best of both with minimal compromise.

  14. #14
    Human Test Subject
    Reputation: Volsung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,288
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    PNW has had one available since summer.

    It works to take out big, sharp hits, but doesn't work well (at all) on small, high frequency stuff. Possibly converting it to coil could make it better all the way around, but PNW doesn't seem interested in that.

    I love my Kinekt post.

    And I love my droppers.

    Hope someone comes up with a production unit that can combine the best of both with minimal compromise.
    Paging Drew Diller
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  15. #15
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,199
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    PNW has had one available since summer.

    It works to take out big, sharp hits, but doesn't work well (at all) on small, high frequency stuff. Possibly converting it to coil could make it better all the way around, but PNW doesn't seem interested in that.

    I love my Kinekt post.

    And I love my droppers.

    Hope someone comes up with a production unit that can combine the best of both with minimal compromise.
    Well, he said he's been using one for years, so either he's describing something else, or riding some kind of prototype.

    I'm not a big proponent of the Kinect. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I feel it's working against me. I don't dislike it enough to take it off, but I also quickly adapt to my other bike that doesn't have it. Same issue as any other non-damped post, it has one frequency/speed where it works decent and outside of that, it can be worse than not having it. If this is the best there is...well we have a long long way to go.
    I think adjustable damping is important, would love to see something like that. I'd just as soon ride FS though, no point in fixing a turd.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    736
    Bad back... i know about this! Seems common for us big guys. Good luck getting back on your feet.

    i tried a fuse hardtail 6 fattie. But it didnt help my back at all. While i like the wozo a lot. I would steer you away to a full suspension.

    I ride a very supple and overly plush 2018 stumpjumper, 6 fattie. I highly recommend it. With my topaz rear shock, it feels like riding on a cloud.

    Specialized doesnt sell a xxl model anymore so you have to look at the used market. I expect there will be some good deals on them these days.

    Stack is 686 and with my uncut steerer and 38mm risers i can keep the seat and bars essentially level.

    Sadly most tire brands are no longer available for the fattie. 27.5x3.0. There are still a few though.

    But this frame was also sold as a 29er x 2.6. So grab a 6fattie or 29er xxl and your set.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, he said he's been using one for years, so either he's describing something else, or riding some kind of prototype.
    KS used to make one. The suspension works really well. It is firm enough to stay put while pedaling but softens all the hits. Only down side is I have to give it a little push sometimes to drop it, but that could probably be sorted with changing the air pressure. No idea why they quit making it. There isn't a lot of difference between the way a dropper and shock works, so in theory any dropper post could be modified.

    ExaForm 861
    https://www.amazon.com/ExaForm-Suspe.../dp/B07D6LWNKM
    Last edited by sapva; 02-27-2020 at 06:01 AM. Reason: add

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    415
    PNW claims to be the first to have a dropper suspension post. They are about 10 years late, and I'm sure someone tried it before that.

Similar Threads

  1. tall man want tall bike, budget not great...
    By sirsam84 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-01-2019, 12:09 PM
  2. Tall Rider + Tall Bike = Big Disadvantage on tight trail ?
    By Surfdog93 in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 08-10-2016, 08:20 AM
  3. New book about tall stature, talks about cycling: Tall.Life
    By Tall Sam in forum Clydesdales/Tall Riders
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-28-2016, 01:36 PM
  4. Anyone go back to bikepacking after disc herniation/back problems?
    By RPG in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-01-2015, 07:43 PM
  5. Getting back into biking.. converted back to 1x9, problems
    By Spawn_X in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-06-2014, 08:58 AM

Members who have read this thread: 99

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.