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Full suss v hardtail, which one for using with a bad back?

Darra8Darra8 Posts: 721
Hi All,

I have a Giant XTC 4.5 and enjoy mild off road stuff. I'm not into the sort of mountain biking that scares the censored out of me.

I have a lower back problem that is managable most of the time, but every now and then it gives me real pain and i have to take time off work.

Last weekend i was a coed y brenin riding the easy route with my 10 year old son. Everything was going ok until i went down a very short section that was quite steep with a pot hole at the bottom. I was quite chuffed that i didn't fall off, but my back had taken a hit and didn't like it. I have been off work all this week and it's still painful.

My question is, would a full suss be kinder to my back or should i just be more careful on my hardtail.

The jump from hardtail to full suss is really out of my price range, but if i would be better off, then i would have to start looking for a bargain.


40 year old censored who "still" hates the thought of falling off!!


  • BikerbaboonBikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    full sus would take the sting out of the tail over the corse of a trip but a hard hit is a hard hit on any bike. To protect your back more try to practice using your arms and legs as human suspention and look well down the track and stay loose as you mainly get a jarring to the back when you tense up when about to hit a bump.

    also consider a skills training couse and ask htem about showing you about hot to ride light over hte bumps and using hte body for suspention. they can be about £150 for the day
    alot cheaper than a full susser and will improve you riding no end.
    Nothing in life can not be improved with either monkeys, pirates or ninjas
  • salsarider79salsarider79 Posts: 828
    I'd say, if you've tried everything with your hardtail (riser/flat bars, long/short stems, etc) and still have problems, start looking for a bargin. Your arms and legs can only soak up so much. I've moved from full suspension to hardtail to 29er, because I prefer the challenge. Full suspension will make everything so much easier. I'd recconmend looking for a Specialized Stumpjumper as they pedal well and are just fantastic bikes. You can find frames fairly cheap and use parts from your existing bike. Good luck.
    p.s. try a 29er too....
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • Darra8Darra8 Posts: 721
    I have just changed to a shorter stem (80mm) and a higher riser bar. I have also got a thinner seat post too. I have only just changed the setup, so maybe i should give it a bit more of a chance. Trouble is, i don't want to make anything worse.


    40 year old censored who "still" hates the thought of falling off!!
  • Darra8Darra8 Posts: 721
    would fitting fatter tyres make a difference? as i'm running on 2" Kenda's at the moment.

    40 year old censored who "still" hates the thought of falling off!!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    looked at a suspension seat post?
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Darra8Darra8 Posts: 721
    Are they any good?

    40 year old censored who "still" hates the thought of falling off!!
  • NikBNikB Posts: 243
    I've also got a bad back and have come from a rigid bike to a full susser. On certain rides my back still hurts though it takes longer to do so and it recovers faster. On many rides it doesn't hurt at all. Best thing to do is get a demo of a good bike for a couple of hours.
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