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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are your thoughts on a 29er soft tail? I'm thinking of swapping components off my Q-Ball to something like a Salsa Dos Niner. My back is killing me!! The QBall is nice, but a rough ride for sure. I need something to even out the bumps and treat my back a little nicer. I have "very progressed" arthritis in my back and need to make a change. I'll need something to support 240lb + camelback too!

I think a FS 29er would be overkill for Michigan terrian. Plus, I'll be doing a significant amount of riding on fire roads, etc.

Thoughts welcome!

mm
 

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The Duuude, man...
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I highly recommend a stiff firm lower-travel FS bike.

Top of my mind are:
1) Asylusm OCD/Titus RX 29er - preferably the Asylum branded version
2) Lenz Leviathan 3.0, not 4.0

Both of these are 3" travel, brickhouse stiff, light, firm rides. Just enough to take the edge off, but not a big cushy 4-5" travel rig. Perfect for light trails, fireroads, etc, where you want the edge off, but not power-sapping bob.

Oh, and if you can't find one for $5-600, you may not be looking hard enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ugh... I really don't want to deal w/ frame flex. I broke 2 GF paragons back in the day near the bottom bracket weld. So far, all my steel frames have been solid though.

I'd like to stay under $1k for frame only. Used would be a good option too.

What about a suspension seat post??
 

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U sayin' Bolt ?
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Hey OP :)

I had a cyst pulled from my lower back ( it likely formed due to arthritic inflammation )
I went down from 6'2 220 to 190 and have nearly no problems even riding my steel HT
I also have a sweet custom curtlo steel softail 29er on order for about 6-7 months now, wish I had it so I could give you a ride report and a more complete response !
 

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I don't huck.
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martinman said:
Ugh... I really don't want to deal w/ frame flex. I broke 2 GF paragons back in the day near the bottom bracket weld. So far, all my steel frames have been solid though.

I'd like to stay under $1k for frame only. Used would be a good option too.

What about a suspension seat post??
Pretty sure the Spearfish is $995.00. It really is a modern day Racer X.
 

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Underskilled
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You are a big guy, getting anything light will just flex and waste lots of power.

Something like a RIP9 will be strong enough to take all you can throw at it, it make be 1lb heavier than a DOS, but stand on the scales and tell me that 1lb will make a difference.

My bike weighs 45lb and I race XC on it. Proportionally compared to my wifes bike/weight it is lighter.

Don't save ounces when you have the power to push tons more.
 

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Always Learning
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martinman said:
What are your thoughts on a 29er soft tail? I'm thinking of swapping components off my Q-Ball to something like a Salsa Dos Niner. My back is killing me!! The QBall is nice, but a rough ride for sure. I need something to even out the bumps and treat my back a little nicer. I have "very progressed" arthritis in my back and need to make a change. I'll need something to support 240lb + camelback too!

I think a FS 29er would be overkill for Michigan terrian. Plus, I'll be doing a significant amount of riding on fire roads, etc.
First problem being the Dos is on hiatus. It is no longer made. Maybe it will come back with some updates at some point, but there's no guarantee. My guess is, if it does come back, it will have a tapered head tube, have geometry designed around 100mm squish up front, and maybe even some other nice oddities. Consider it an XC and shorter endurance distance race bike, not a prescription to treat a "very progressed" case of arthritis in the back.

The FS 29er would not be overkill for Michigan terrain at all. They are not all created equal by any means. You can get 80mm of travel, 100mm of travel, 120mm of travel and a 140mm of travel.

I've got the Dos, and FS bikes with the big wheels (80mm, 100mm and 120mm). The Dos, even though it's a softie with a mere 1" of rear travel, still kicks my in shape 49 year old back compared to a full suspension. That doesn't mean I don't ride it a lot - because I do. It just means I get some pretty good jolts in the rear if I stay seated thinking that 1" is going to solve any of my woes. It's not out of line to throw a Thudbuster ST or LT on there as I've been known to do.

I'd call it suspension lite as you've got to ride it just like a HT...



With your "very progressed" arthritis - I'd invest in a nice full suspension bike to eat up the terrain and allow you to enjoy mountain biking for some more years. You want pain free cush for that arthritis and the ability to enjoy XC/Trail riding? Then RIP 9 it. Beefy enough for your size, plenty of cushion with 120mm front and rear (or even 140mm up front if you want) and can do as a sweet all around mountain bike. Yup, that's what I would recommend over 80mm and 100mm since I've got 'em all. It'll save you money and frustration in spite of the investment cost up front to buy one.

BB
 

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Always Learning
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CaveGiant said:
Something like a RIP9 will be strong enough to take all you can throw at it, it make be 1lb heavier than a DOS, but stand on the scales and tell me that 1lb will make a difference.
Actually, the RIP frame is 3.57 lbs. heavier than the Dos frame.:D

CaveGiant said:
My bike weighs 45lb and I race XC on it. Don't save ounces when you have the power to push tons more.
45 pounds? Don't be ridiculous. Both my mountain bike tandems weigh less than that.:p

Remember, the OP mentioned very progressed arthritis in the back, so I think the "power to push tons more" may not be the most apropos angle for his condition and reality.

BB
 

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IMO you're too big for a soft tail. Your budget is $1k, right? Spearfish. Done shopping.

Used alternative: Turner Sultan TNT or Lenz 3" travel (can't recall the name).
 

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Black Sheep rising
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Just how tall are you, and where in Michigan are you? If in the Detroit Metro area, I have a L Racer-X 29er I'd be happy to let you try out.

FWIW, I'm in kinda the same position you are in (clyde with a bad back) and I prefer my Ti hardtail to the FS. Given somebody who knows what they are doing, you can get a very comfortable ride going that route. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@utabintarbo: I'm 6'2" - in the Dearborn area. My LBS is (was?) a Titus dealer. I haven't kept up, but I thought they Titus is out of business?

I see 2010 RIP9s on closeout for $1300. I could stretch a little... I've been doing alot of road biking (MTBing is too hard on my back). I can usually do about 45 miles with only the last 5 or so miles killing my back. I ride a specialized tarmac (carbon), and I see there are many carbon MTB frames. Can carbon really hold up to XC? What about a carbon HT as an option?
 

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You are still better off with a Thudbuster seatpost! $150 and you have a soft-tail. Get the firmest elastomers and you are good to go. Try this before you ditch your nice hard tail and buy an expensive full squish.
 

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Snapper
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Fs

Hi Op
I am the same weight as you and have tried lots of bikes.
I have tried a few HTs and now have a custom Ti SS one which is a joy to ride but it is still a hardtail. I would definately suggest a FS to you. I have tried a Thudbuster with some success but at our weight it is right on the edge. I also have a DWL Sultan which is really stiff and solid and the suspension design is great (although l have to get the rear shock tuned to better handle my size). The new rp23 Fox with boost valve has a greater range and is the only air shock l can recommend for big blokes (heard good things about Monarch). TNT Sultans, Intense Spider, Titus Racer X and pre current model Jets were all too flexy for me. The pivot is really stiff as to is the DW Turners. I also rode a new Jet which was set up XC light but surprisingly stiff. I image with a 100mm fork and 20/15 mm TA and strong wheelset the Jet could be good. I think Lenz are great but have little experience with them. Basically go with a frame that is stiff, get the rear shock tuned to maximum and dont for one second buy into the "XC race whippet weight wennie syndrome" - at our size we can not afford to run race wheelsets and uber light posts - not in the real world.
I had a Ti softail and would not recommend it for someone your size unless it has been beefed up and custom for you - = big $. I turned mine into a HT and couldnt be happier. Ti seat post helps alot too but you need a FS.
So look around for a secondhand Turner, Rip, Jet, Lenz, Pivot frame or full build for a fraction of the cost of something new and enjoy your riding again. Also have a look at your position on the bike with a professional and they might suggest a set up that takes some pressure off.
Good luck
JD
 
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