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Softride roadwing(6 posts)

Softride roadwingTaylor_A
Jul 10, 2001 11:59 AM
I am contemplating building a softride roadwing, and was wanting to get some realistic feedback from others who have ridden it. I have test riden the bikes at the LBS, but haven't gotten a true feel of how it would be under all conditions.

I am a big rider (6'4" & 200 lbs.) Do these thing tend to favor the lighter riders?

In addition, what would be a decent price to pay for a used frameset?
SoftrideCruisin PCH
Jul 10, 2001 12:59 PM
Taylor,
I currently own two Softrides, a road wing and an older Century that I us for daily training rides. It's nice to have a second bike as a standby. I weigh over 200 pounds and find the bikes durable and comfortable. First of all, I made the transition to Softride when my conventional diamond frame bike caused me back problems everytime I rode for over 50 miles. The Softride eliminated any back issues I had and that being said, is enough for me to continue riding them . The Beam sucks up the bumps and rides smooth and comfy.

The Road WIng is not as light as some frames, they may be a pound or two heavier than other aluminum bikes. But fear not, the bike corners like its on rails and because the frame is very stiff, can climb as well as you can. On the flats, the bike seems to track very fast. A light bike doesn't necessarily mean a fast bike.

On the down side, I don't care for the saddle hardware. I think in their attempt to be weight conscious, they scrimped on the hardware. I have replaced the seat clamp bolt 3 times in three years and finally engineered my own that seems to be working just fine. In a heavy cross wind, the frame blade picks up its share of air and tends to toss you around abit.

At 200 pounds, I would strongly suggest you go with the "extra Stiff" beam to give you a solid ride, although some folks prefer the softer ride.

Also, expect a lot of conversations with the cycling challenged set who are intrigued with the design. Folks continue to walk up to me and ask me about the bike as if it were from outer space. The Cycling conservatives or traditionalists will turn up their nose and tend not to notice your existence as if they were superior beings....as you pass them.

Go to ebay if you are interested in a frame as there are always a few for sale there. Expect to pay between $300 - 600 or so for the road wing. I recently bought my Century(steel tube) frame there for about $200 and built it up from there. Make sure you are getting the beam and saddle hardware when you buy the frame and of course make sure you know what size frame you need.

Mark
re: Softride roadwingMel Erickson
Jul 10, 2001 1:44 PM
I have a Softride Solo and love it. I, too, bought it because of a bad back and it has helped alot. Ditto on everything Crusin said but I don't seem to get many unusual comments, either from the initiated or the unwashed. i'm 6'2 and 180 and the stiff beam works great for me. It's not the lightest @ 20.5 lbs but it's light enough for me. I don't race much but it corners great and climbs very well. The Roadwing is a little different design but the concept works the same. I don't have the sidewind problem because the frame is made from shaped aluminum tubes much like a regular frame. To be most efficient you do have to pedal circles but the bike lets you know when you're form is off.
re: Softride roadwingKStone
Jul 10, 2001 4:37 PM
I'm not sure of your reasons to consider a Softride but can offer these observations for review.
I ride year round with 2 guys who ride Softrides and train/ride 4 days a week without fail. During the winter we ride mtb with lights and street tires 2 nights a week, and road bikes on weekends. These 2 'Softriders' struggle on the weekend road rides and kick butt when on the mtb. The additional summer daylight allows 4 days of road bikes with the same results for the 'Softriders'. They love those Softrides.go figure. That's about as objective an observation as I can be. I even tease them about getting real road bikes and dropping us all. They've both bought designer wheels and other upgrades. I would advise you to think long and hard before investing in a softride.

Like others, I to have had back problems (degenerative disc disease) in the past and was told by a doctor that I would have to stop cycling. A physical theropist friend advised me that the best support for a 'bad back ' are one's own muscles. I religiously did the exercises and stretches he perscribed, lost 20 pounds and after some time can now ride pain free.
I'm not sure of your reasons to consider a Softride. I would advise you to think about your goals before making this investment.

I don't mean to affend softride owners but expect to be flamed for my opinion. Like I said, "They love those Softrides."
KStone
Get a shock absorbing seatpostLC
Jul 10, 2001 10:28 PM
Riding behind one of these makes me sea-sick. They bounce up and down with each pedal stroke, which would indicate that energy is being lost. I think the general idea of saving your back is good, but I think most people would be better off by moving their stem up to a higher position so they don't have to reach so far down to the bars to relieve their back pains. You could also put on one of those shock absorbing seatposts if you want to waist some energy, and not have that big heavy beam. You would then be able to easily put your regular seatpost back if you change your mind.
re: Softride roadwingMarkb
Jul 11, 2001 5:58 AM
Find a dealer that will let you ride one for an extended ride. My dealer offered to let me use a Solo for a weekend before I made a purchase. I didn't take him up on the offer, because with Softride's extended satisfaction guarantee, I was comfortable buying the bike.

I have two blown disks which made riding painful. Even with a back exercise regimen, long rides were not fun. The Softride I purchased, along with a very professional fitting by the dealer, have eliminated my back pain while riding. I love the bike, and can't imagine riding a standard road bike now. The beam just eats up the bumps.

You need to get on a Softride and test it first. Talk to your local dealer. Good Luck.