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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been running a softride bike for years now until I went full suspension with a KHS and now a Giant VT with disc brakes even. Been having fun on the full suspension bikes, but I broke out one of my old softrides and was blown away with how well it climbed and felt on the up hills particularly with out of the saddle efforts.

I put an old rock shox fork on it but would really like to put on a better fork with adjustable travel and lockout.

Of our little group of riders, we all have multiple bikes and all but one of us has a softride or otis guy in our garage. We all fell in love with the full suspension bikes but one by one we are all getting back on the softrides. It's too bad they gave up on making their mountain bikes.
 

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I had one for a while - the Sully model named after Jim Sullivan. I built it up with a Judy as well. It was a fun bike. Kind of wish I still had it.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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I still have one of the conversion kits in the box. I've never done the softtride frame route, just run conversions of other hardtails. Had a Rocky Mountain TeamComp built up with one for a year or so. Eventually I'll either sell my other kit or put a frame together with it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DeeEight said:
I still have one of the conversion kits in the box. I've never done the softtride frame route, just run conversions of other hardtails. Had a Rocky Mountain TeamComp built up with one for a year or so. Eventually I'll either sell my other kit or put a frame together with it.

That is how I got into the softride beam. I put a conversion kit on a trek that I had. Certainly a frame designed for the beam is much preferable.

Beams are like springs. Heavier riders need stiffer beams where as lighter riders need softer beams. I had one nirvana beam that finally broke after years of use. It was the "softest" beam that I could find. They have weights stamped on the bottom of them. I think they go from around 300 plus pounds to near 500 pounds. I don't know exactly what these figures mean. Perhaps it is the force needed to bend the beam a certain distance.
 

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FreeRider 4 Real (not!)
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What’s the difference between an Alsop softride beam and a good suspension seatpost?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
erkan said:
What's the difference between an Alsop softride beam and a good suspension seatpost?
I have ridden several suspension seat posts and the beam. The beam in my opinion is much better because it has no stiction and more travel. It works really well on little bumps. You really have to ride one to experience the difference

Softride gave up on the mountain bike beam bike and went to a mechanical beam. The mechanical beam was heavy and never panned out for them. Now that people are going back to hardtails and single speeds for efficiency it would be a perfect niche for a beam bike.

Suspension bikes are cool but when it comes to efficiency it seems you have to go to a very stiff rear end and minimal travel for a full suspension bike to compete in races. The beam bike is a hardtail but with the cush factor needed by many riders. They are not goood for hucksters but for the XC crowd it is right up their alley.

I have talked to a custom builder about building a beam bike with 29 inch wheels and a bottom bracket suitable for single speeders. It could even have seat tower braze ons (ala amp) for those who didn't want to run the beam. It would also have disc mounts and the geometry would be for a 4 inch front fork.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Travel is one difference, beams were "preloaded" by sitting on them. They swung thru about 5" of motion, about 2" up and 3" down as you ride over bumps. Suspension posts tended not to sag that much when you sat on them, and for the time period (early 90s) the "best" suspension posts might get at most 2" TOTAL.

Another is the looks you get when riding the ol' moose tongue. There's also the reliability issue. The thing uses a carbon spring, it lasts a LONG time, needs no maintenance to speak of, and isn't really affected by temperature swings (though the damping properties of the urethane elastomer sandwiched between the two pieces of carbon fiber is).

The moose tongue also drastically reduces your standover clearance of your bike, and its important to remember that when picking a frame to install it on. Sloping top tubes are almost a must have. They also only adapt to double-diamond frames due to how the adapter braces off the downtube.
 

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ssmike said:
I had one for a while - the Sully model named after Jim Sullivan.
Sully, now there was a guy who could ride a beam bike. And on slicks to boot. And fix a cap machine too.

I would also like to see that 29"er beam bike come to life.
 

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There was an idea mentioned in a mag back then, about combining all the bolt on suspension bits together to create a mega-travel bike. Take a full suspension frame, add the softride beam. Suspension fork and softride stem. I tried it with a Trek beam bike once, except I didn't have the softride stem, only a tranz-x suspension stem (2" travel, think the softride stems were 3"), and the fork I used was only 2" also at the time. I think the magazine version had something like 6" on each end total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DeeEight said:
There was an idea mentioned in a mag back then, about combining all the bolt on suspension bits together to create a mega-travel bike. Take a full suspension frame, add the softride beam. Suspension fork and softride stem. I tried it with a Trek beam bike once, except I didn't have the softride stem, only a tranz-x suspension stem (2" travel, think the softride stems were 3"), and the fork I used was only 2" also at the time. I think the magazine version had something like 6" on each end total.
I have done the beam and the front fork and front softride suspension stem. A smooth ride but the front was a little flexy. The softride stem was the best suspension stem ever made and I would still think there would be a strong market for it for those people who want a little cushion but don't want to mess with the weight and complexity of a suspension fork.

Standover issues can be taken care of by using a beam specific frame and using the extended seat post that softride use to make. I found out through years of riding the beam bike that you got use to the reduced stand over height. The beam itself was friendlier than most top tubes. Also with todays long travel suspension bikes and their super high bottom brackets standover can be a factor.

I did the retrofit beam thing but the way to go is with a beam specific frame for numerous reasons.
 

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Loved the Beam

I have two beam frames sitting in the garage. I started out riding a beam bike with the intention of using the kit on a tandem for my wife (1990?). But I tried the kit on my hardtail first and fell in love with the beam.( it was great for my bad back) Bought a steel Softride frame, then switched to a Sully in 97'. Last year my riding buddies started buying new full suspension bikes and I started feeling like an oddball on the Sully so I bought an 04' Stumpjumper FSR at the beginning of the year. At the same time I started riding a single speed ( 01' Schwinn Panther) and that made the Stumpjumper feel like a noodle. So I built up a Supergo Access frame with a Thudbuster. That has been working pretty well since I can ride it like my Softrides. In the rough you plant you butt down and let the bike move underneath you. If the Sully was suspension corrected and had a disk tab I would be back on it. The Stumpjumper is to be sold soon.
The beam I used was rated for 160 pounds max. I weigh 195, I think a soft beam is the way to go. I also have a heavy beam, but the thing pounds me.
 

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I still have one of the conversion kits in the box. I've never done the softtride frame route, just run conversions of other hardtails. Had a Rocky Mountain TeamComp built up with one for a year or so. Eventually I'll either sell my other kit or put a frame together with it.

I know thi is a super old post. this is wishful optimism on my part. do you still have a softride conversion kit?
 
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