Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been lurking around for a couple of months or so, reading reading reading and trying to workout the best bike build for me.
Let my just talk you through my situation.
I have a damaged knee (from a mountain bike crash) and an extra vertabrate fused to my lumbar spine (from birth), which means that I have to look after both when riding, but for the last few years I've been a 2000 specialized sworks m4 and it's killing me. So I've been looking to build a bike frame just for me.
I owned a Classic '97 Merlin Metalworks before I learnt that my back was damaged and loved it, so I thought I'd go for a Seven and because I'm 6'3" and 230lbs I thought I'd go for a 29er. Now because of my back I thought I'd go for a Teres softtail, but Seven do custom tubing for verticle compliance for people with bad backs.
So my question are;
Is the Teres worth its disadvantages for the increase in comfort?
or
Will a Sola 29er built to my spec, be a significant enough increase in comfort over my Specalized?
and
Do 29ers offer greater comfort for people like me? I imagine they would.

If I go hardtail I might go fully rigid, but I've also been loking at thudbusters etc. aaaarghhhh, I'm just not sure anymore, if only I could get my hands on one to ride!

Oh, and with this bike, I'll mostly be riding the fast smooth (muddy) singletrack of the south east UK.

Thanks in advance
John
 

·
In FTF We Trust
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
If you have back problems you might just consider a full suspension 29er too. I don't think I've ever heard anything bad about the Lenz bikes; there's a lot of fs 29er options out there. You might also consider picking up a cheap used Salsa Dos Niner to try out the softail thing. There's a lot of ptople out there that are happy with ti. hardtails with ti. seatposts too, but it'd be rough to have a custom frame built and not be physically able to tolerate riding it. Not much guidance but lots of food for thought.
 

·
try driving your car less
Joined
·
3,097 Posts
for sofftail, look at moots, as well.

if you really have back problems, fit is very important. so make sure a competent person or shop is doing the fitting. that way if your neck or whatever gives you problems down the road, you can go back and describe them and maybe get a different stem... etc

anything will feel better than that spec. m4, a very stiff ride.

i also ride a compliant hardtail and love it, but i recently rode a 29er fullsuspension and it was nice i tell you. you should really test ride one. it was a turner sultan.

for the kind of money you are planning on spending, consider a bike vacation where you rent and test ride a load of bikes, then maybe even purchase one while on the trip? there are some places in the US where you can rent high end bikes of all kinds.

and i really suggest discussing this with a physician, a mountain biker physician if you can find one.
 

·
Mmmmmm Beer!
Joined
·
617 Posts
I have a Seven Verve 29er and also a lower back that's not so great. I have also had quite a few suspension bikes and as far as comfort I love the Verve. I have also had a 26" wheeled Sola and as far as the difference between the Sola and the Verve I can't tell the difference. Save the extra money and get the Verve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Thanks guys for your comments, it looks like I should really try and get my hands on one. Damn, why did I ever move from SoCal?
Does anyone have any comments for softtail vs. suspension seatpost?
Thanks again
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
John, I'm a lurker here too, mainly to see the excellent bike porn put up by the big wheeled guys. Just on the point of the Seven: I think there are some very good alternative frame builders who can build you a custom Ti for less money than Seven.

I own a Sola, which I got in 1998. At that time, there were very few alternatives for a custom Ti frame, and Seven was the only one which did not have an upcharge for a custom frame. Now, however, there are more custom makers (eg Black Sheep) who'll be able to design and build a custom frame for you even if you live several thousand miles away.

Anyway, just passing along a thought.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,608 Posts
John Jencks said:
Thanks guys for your comments, it looks like I should really try and get my hands on one. Damn, why did I ever move from SoCal?
Does anyone have any comments for softtail vs. suspension seatpost?
Thanks again
John
I ride the Dos Niner as one of my bikes. For all practical purposes, the Dos should be thought of as riding just like a hardtail. The 1" of suspension that the Relish shock provides in the rear is enough to take the "edge" off of the ride, but you don't really feel this dampening taking place in terms of any bounce or bob during the ride as the bike performs and feels just like a hardtail. Yet, you're not as beat up at the end of the ride thanks to the rear shock.

I've also used a Thudbuster (the full travel version) on a Trek 8000 and my Karate Monkey. A lot more bob and bounce is felt with the full travel Thud than you will feel on a softail. Of course, the shorter travel Thudbuster might be much more equivalent to a softail than the full travel Thudbuster is.

I also have Sugar 293 so can equate the experience of the back when riding 29"ers with a full suspension, a rigid hardtail (with and without a Thud), a softail and a hardtail with suspension fork (both with and without a Thud). Based on all of those combinations possible - the full suspension wins hands down when it comes to taking care of the back. If back preservation and elimination of pain is high on your priority list - you should start there and only there. Hoping that a rigid 29"er with the big hoops is going to protect your back out on the trail is nothing but hope. Your back will suffer and get beat up. I would think that is something you would want to avoid.

The softail with a front suspenion fork protects the back enough to put it in the "tweener" category of being between a full suspenion and a hardtail, but you should consider it more in the hardtail category. Much like the softail, the Thudbuster can allow your back to get by on a hardtail. Regardless, in all scenarios on the 29"er wheels - the full suspension is the only ticket when it comes to back preservation and pain avoidance.

Been there. Done that. Felt it all. And I ride 'em all.

BB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
Before going all-in on the 29'er bandwagon I rode FS bikes since their introduction in the early 90's. I have always suffered from back problems but nothing like what you must be dealing with. I thought the FS would help my back but I believe all the seated riding I was doing was making matters worse. I spend most of my rides onboard a 29'er SS and I think all the out-of-the-saddle climbing has strengthened my core and consequently my back as well.

I ordered a new frame recently and during the process I was considering a soft tail. However, the soft tails I have ridden did not perform that well and the suspension seemed to spike towards the end of he travel. I decided to try a Cane Creek Thudbuster ST. It feels better then the soft tails I had ridden and if it does fail you, you simply repair, replace or insert a rigid post until you can get it fixed.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,608 Posts
Schultz29 said:
I thought the FS would help my back but I believe all the seated riding I was doing was making matters worse. I spend most of my rides onboard a 29'er SS and I think all the out-of-the-saddle climbing has strengthened my core and consequently my back as well.
Plenty of out-of-the-saddle climbing can be done on a FS as well.:D

John wrote:

I have a damaged knee (from a mountain bike crash) and an extra vertabrate fused to my lumbar spine (from birth), which means that I have to look after both when riding.

Being that our knees are primary shock absorbers on the bike and John's back being what it is, I still call for the FS as the best way to look after both physical concerns that he has.

BB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
You can't go wrong with Seven. If you have the money, the will build whatever you need, to the exact detail. Seven hard tails are amazingly comfortable, and the sola is an amazing bike. If you are not going to be pounding through rock gardens, consider trying a 29er hard tail with 2.3 tires. You can adjust the tire pressure by a few psi's more or less, and that can take out a lot of the pounding. You can also consider other custom frame builders like Independent Fabrication and Vicious Cycles (work mostly steel), and Moots (also Ti). They will all cater to your specific needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well it looks like...

I'm going to do what seems to be sensible (which is a surprise):
Rather than going for blind perfection, I'm going to get a SIR 9 or some such steel frame and see how much a 29er improves my situation, then if I need one maybe I'll get a suspension seatpost.
If that all works out, perhaps in six months/years time I'll get someone to build me my perfect 29er, but by then I'll have a better idea of what perfection for me might be.

Thanks for all your advice, just asking questions for me has helped a lot and to all you other lurkers out there, do it too, because actually writing down what you are thinking, actually helps you work out what you want. Whereas just reading other peoples comments and threads and posts and more and more comments; gets quite daunting only really helps you to think yourself into confusion.
 

·
Fo' Bidniz in da haus
Joined
·
17,282 Posts
srwings said:
Can you elaborate?
my opinion is that.....

benefit of trivial amount of travel + added complication/maintenance + added cost + added weight + added flex (and VERY noticeable on some bikes) results in very non favorable overall benefit:cost. especially true on a 29er.....why add ANY amount of flex for a worthless amount of extra travel and at the same time pay more for a heavier (relative) frame?

there is nothing I can ride on a softail faster/more comfortably than on a comparable hardtail. Now add FS with a tangible amount of travel and then, yeah, that same technical trail may feel considerably different on the FS vs hardtail.

my 2 cents anyway
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,503 Posts
Just my opinion... don't bother with a softail on a 29er.

The 29er is the softail. The big wheel softens up the hits. Couple this with a compliant frame material and a big tire with Stans and you are set!!!

Softails add cost, bob, fuss and they change the design of the bike. The frame cannot be as low to the ground because of the softail design requirements.

francois
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
Really?

francois said:
Just my opinion... don't bother with a softail on a 29er.

The 29er is the softail. The big wheel softens up the hits. Couple this with a compliant frame material and a big tire with Stans and you are set!!!

Softails add cost, bob, fuss and they change the design of the bike. The frame cannot be as slow to the ground because of the softail design requirements.

francois
Really, I guess I better just go out to the garage, strip my Dos down and drop of the frame at the recycling center.:cryin: :cryin:
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top