full suspension ss suggestions.... i know it sounds weak- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    full suspension ss suggestions.... i know it sounds weak

    I just finished my ss project that didnt even kill a months worth of time to get parts and build. Anyway, i love it, great ride, but old back problems are back to haunt me. I'm not sure if its from cranking on the pedals combined w/ my lack of stretching, or if its from getting back on a rigid frame that sat for years. i've been looking on ebay for a new frame, mostly at the old I drives, but ive heard of alot of structrual problems with them although i never had any problems with mine when i had it. any other suggestions? budget is a little tight, but i think i may be able to make it happen by summer
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  2. #2
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    Before you spend more money, have you looked into whether your set-up and riding style is contributing to the problem? For many, riding a rigid bike like an FS bike is a recipe for back pain, much as riding SS like riding a geared bike is a recipe for knee pain. I experienced pretty acute back pain early last year riding a bike that I set up with geared XC racing in mind -- hardtail, long cockpit, bars low for more aero positioning. Riding and racing SS on that bike really tweaked my back and had me wondering if I was neglecting core strength etc. Componding the problem was the fact that the position on that bike made pedaling out of the saddle near impossible with any degree of power, which meant more seated climbing and sore knees (and more walking up hills).

    I looked around the SS board here, not so much for solutions but to guage what the prognosis would be for my aches and pains. Instead, I found folks advocating a higher bar (like even with or even above saddle height) and more pedaling out of the saddle. I modified my bikes and riding style and presto, problem solved. I can climb for thousands of feet out of the saddle and spend hours on the bike without back or knee pain.

    Obviously, YMMV.

  3. #3
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    +1

    Same-O, same-O. The bars on my SS are way higher than I used to run them on my gearies. (Although now my gearies, which I rarely ride, have high bars, too... hmmm... wassupwidat?) The climbing-out-of-the-saddle thing is real, too. And wide bars as well.

    I used to think I owned bikes that fit me well, but I've never owned a bike that fit me so perfectly as my Vulture SS. I swear, good fit is not only good for a gear or two higher at the same power output, but MUCH better for my back, too. (I have a bulged disc L5/S1, but the more I ride my SS the less my back troubles me.)

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  4. #4
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    Kona A is a great FS SS frame, I prefer the '04/05 model to the '06 as the frame is lighter. The Kona Cowan DS would work as well. Concentric BB pivot means no tensioner is needed.

    This is my '03 before I had the rear linkage upgraded to the '05 version with teh sliding disc ready dropouts.

    Cove G-Spot and Dean Ti FS bikes also have concentric BB's.
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  5. #5
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    What is it like to pedal those A frames out of the saddle?

  6. #6
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    My S-works Epic SS

    I have been riding my Epic as a SS for about 6 months and love it. I also ride a rigid SS and love that bike as well. Each bike is set up differently and each rides pain free. Maybe the problem is in your set up. I recently raised my seat on the Epic and my lower back discomfort is gone. I have had little or no discomfort while riding by rigid, but I have been riding that bike for 15 years, SS for the last year.

    But if you feel the need for FS SS, the Epic rides great as a SS.
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  7. #7
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    Going to a full suspension sounds a little extreme. Why don't you try a Brooks Champion Flyer saddle to give yourself a chance to sit down. The springs will soak up most of the smaller bumps that really fatigue you on a long ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    What is it like to pedal those A frames out of the saddle?
    I've got an RP3 on the '03 and it moves a bit when standing and climbing, but not that much. Oddly enough I found that it made my knees hurt less when grunting uphill in the saddle, I don't know if it was just taking the spike off the peak knee strain on each pedal stroke or what.

    The 2006 has a longer stroke RP3 and if you're running a tall gear I have noticed it can be pushed through a lot of shock travel on a high torque start, it has a different shock leverage ratio than the older A.

    I can say that having the rear end dig into the trail over roots/rocks keeps the rear wheel in contact better on gnarly climbs. And you really can keep a lot of momentum on things like rock gardens and root carpets that are tough to pedal through on a hardtail.

  9. #9
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    here is a weird thing but i have suffered from it recently:

    when a cyclist pedals you predominately use your quads and glutes to pedal but your hip is stabilized by your hip flexors and abdominals. When your hip flexors get excessively used and your abs aren't developed at the same rate it can rotate your pelvis forward and this can create back pain and other pains similar to sciatica.

    Single speeding seems to be a great way to really over develop your quads and to not develop your abs. The sit and push position really works your hip flexors, thus you may be experiencing as a symptom of SS.

    Contact a Physiotherapist regarding stretching and possibly gear down some. you might see an improvement.

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  10. #10
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    here is a weird thing but i have suffered from it recently:

    when a cyclist pedals you predominately use your quads and glutes to pedal but your hip is stabilized by your hip flexors and abdominals. When your hip flexors get excessively used and your abs aren't developed at the same rate it can rotate your pelvis forward and this can create back pain and other pains similar to sciatica.

    Single speeding seems to be a great way to really over develop your quads and to not develop your abs. The sit and push position really works your hip flexors, thus you may be experiencing as a symptom of SS.

    Contact a Physiotherapist regarding stretching and possibly gear down some. you might see an improvement.

    my 2cents.
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  11. #11
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    Thudbuster!

    As a rider who needs some cushie under your tushie, but wants to stay SS, you are the perfect candidate for a Thudbuster. I have one on my SS hardtail, adjusted to the same level of cush as my (racy) gearie FS, but I could set it even softer if I were so inclined. HT+Thudbuster doesn't have the traction benefits of FS (which is why I bought my fully) but if all you're after is the cush, it's a great choice.

    Unlike telescoping posts, the travel path of the Thudbuster is designed so that there is very little change in saddle-to-pedal distance. Saddle-to-handlebar distance changes by up to about 3", but you've got your whole body to take up that slack, and honestly you won't notice it much.

    Only significant downsides are about 300g more weight than a conventional seatpost (good luck finding an FS with such a small weight penalty anyway) and the suspension is undamped. But if you're a HT rider already, you probably won't care about the lack of damping. I only notice it when I've just come off a ride on my fully.

    It's only about 100 bucks, far less than an upgrade to FS, and poses minimal risk since you can recoup most of your investment by selling it on the classifieds if you don't like it.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info.

  13. #13
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    Fs Ss

    Another option is a suspension seatpost. I have a USE suspension post on my rigid SS (early '90s steel stumpjumper conversion). It is not the same performance as a FS but it does take the edge of a hardtail.

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