Proper amount of rear travel for bad low back?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    DTL
    DTL is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    713

    Proper amount of rear travel for bad low back?

    So Ive got a bad l5-s1 disc. I had a discectomy at this lever 14 years ago and a protrusion has returned over the years causing right leg pain and numbness in right foot. Basically my l5-s1 is f#$&%d up. Taking a break from riding right now and set to get two epidural injections over the next few weeks to try and shrink the protrusion and inflammation. Im planning on retiring my stache 29+ hardtail for a fs rig. What amount of rear travel would be enough cush for the low back for general trail riding (no crazy jumps, drops etc) but will still provide for an efficient enough ride so I dont feel like Im towing a sled around? A few months ago I tried a stumpy 29 LT and felt crazy bob with every pedal stroke and yes I had it set up correctly and experimented with higher pressures. This makes me think 150 mm is too much so maybe 140, 130, 120, 110?

  2. #2
    Your Best Friend
    Reputation: Silentfoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,197
    There's no hard number anyone can give you. Try out a few bikes and talk with the lbs employees about the air pressures or spring rates.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,729
    It may be that riding position, as in bar height above seat height will be an important factor as well. You might want to experiment with that, if you haven't already.

    I'm not sure what crazy pedal bob means to you if you've been riding a hardtail forever. Any FS is going to have more bob than a hardtail, of course. I've found that most FS bikes these days are pretty good without locking the rear shock out, but if you're "mashing" the pedals, you're going to get bob. I'm not accusing you of bad technique, it's just different.

    Is the problem impacts on the downhill, or is it related to torque on your lower back on climbs?
    I find that climbing in any kind of rough terrain is faster and easier on a full sus compared to a hardtail.

    If your terrain is more groomed, I suppose you've already tried significantly lowering the tire pressure, but if you haven't, that might help on a 29+. Also changing the geometry, but again, you may already have tried that.

  4. #4
    DTL
    DTL is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    713
    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    It may be that riding position, as in bar height above seat height will be an important factor as well. You might want to experiment with that, if you haven't already.

    I'm not sure what crazy pedal bob means to you if you've been riding a hardtail forever. Any FS is going to have more bob than a hardtail, of course. I've found that most FS bikes these days are pretty good without locking the rear shock out, but if you're "mashing" the pedals, you're going to get bob. I'm not accusing you of bad technique, it's just different.

    Is the problem impacts on the downhill, or is it related to torque on your lower back on climbs?
    I find that climbing in any kind of rough terrain is faster and easier on a full sus compared to a hardtail.

    If your terrain is more groomed, I suppose you've already tried significantly lowering the tire pressure, but if you haven't, that might help on a 29+. Also changing the geometry, but again, you may already have tried that.
    Id say the problem I want to avoid are rear impacts from roots, ruts, rocks and general trail chatter. There is no downhill riding where I live, mostly flat with lots of roots, ruts, punchy drops and climbs. I can still ride the 29+ hardtail Im just choosing to exercise caution at this point in my life (48 yrs old) and wanting to switch to fs so the bike can absorb most of the trail instead of my body. If I could pick a number Id say 140 mm up front for a nice stack height and 130 out back. Hard to find this combo though. Fuel ex ticks those boxes but I dont like the knock block. I thought about orbea occam but fear it might be too much rear travel. Also looking at giant trance 29 since many say it rides like it has more travel in the rear than 115mm.

  5. #5
    Your Best Friend
    Reputation: Silentfoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,197
    Quote Originally Posted by DTL View Post
    Id say the problem I want to avoid are rear impacts from roots, ruts, rocks and general trail chatter. There is no downhill riding where I live, mostly flat with lots of roots, ruts, punchy drops and climbs. I can still ride the 29+ hardtail Im just choosing to exercise caution at this point in my life (48 yrs old) and wanting to switch to fs so the bike can absorb most of the trail instead of my body. If I could pick a number Id say 140 mm up front for a nice stack height and 130 out back. Hard to find this combo though. Fuel ex ticks those boxes but I dont like the knock block. I thought about orbea occam but fear it might be too much rear travel. Also looking at giant trance 29 since many say it rides like it has more travel in the rear than 115mm.
    "Too much bike" is realtive. Most of the bigger all mountain bikes actually pedal really well and are awesome all around bikes. I'd suggest looking at something with a 150mm rear. Seriously.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    2,417
    Type of suspension matters more than travel. Look at Revel bikes or Forbidden. Both peddle great and stay active which is what you want.

  7. #7
    Your Best Friend
    Reputation: Silentfoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,197
    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Type of suspension matters more than travel. Look at Revel bikes or Forbidden. Both peddle great and stay active which is what you want.
    They probably pedal great as well.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,729
    Given your concern, you could also remove whatever spacer comes with the rear shock and it might give you better small impact absorption no matter what you chose for design and travel.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    909
    Quote Originally Posted by DTL View Post
    This makes me think 150 mm is too much so maybe 140, 130, 120, 110?
    Does not matter, just set more sag to keep your ride smoother. More travel generally equals more bob. You will have to find a happy place between sag and bob

    Not sure I would recommend riding at all with said injuries until healed.

Similar Threads

  1. Chain tension... Whats the proper amount?
    By Kjcdesignz in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-14-2017, 08:03 AM
  2. Folsom Lake is Low Low Low
    By Tripower in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 12-02-2015, 08:33 PM
  3. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-09-2011, 08:28 PM
  4. roco tst coil, AIR amount, 66rcv air amount
    By sleeymas in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-10-2008, 02:09 PM

Members who have read this thread: 34

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.