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Softride vs. everything else(17 posts)

Softride vs. everything elseElefantino
Feb 11, 2002 2:30 PM
As I sit here in my body cast and (new) sling for my right shoulder, I'm wondering how I will feel once I get back on the bike sometime in the spring. I'm beginning to think that the S-Works wasn't such a good purchase after all, back-wise. (Even with Spinergy Spox.)

Coincidentally, the LBS is closing out its Softride line and switching over to Quintana Roo. There is a tempting deal on a Softride in my size but a) I haven't ridden one before and b) I won't be able to climb on anything until at least April or May.

Those of you who have ridden Softrides and others (I have an OCLV and the aforementioned S-Works), riddle me this: Are they THAT much different on your back? Night and day different? I'm particularly interested in hearing from LARGE FRAME Softriders, because I am large of frame as well.

From the recliner,
Mike
he must be OK if he can think of getting another bike ;) nmweiwentg
Feb 11, 2002 2:57 PM
or got knocked in the head againnm-
Feb 12, 2002 5:03 PM
re: Softride vs. everything elseMarkb
Feb 11, 2002 3:17 PM
I ride a Softride Solo XL, with the heaviest rated beam. After riding it last year for 2000 miles, I can tell you I have no desire to ride an ususpended bike. I do have some back problems (1 herniated, 2 ruptured disks in the L3-L5 area of my back. The bike just soaks up the bumps. I read stuff on the board about the "bounce" of the seat and beam. If you spin at the proper cadence, there is no "bounce." My riding buds have followed me and tell me that is the case. (I used to be a masher, 75-80 rpm. Last year I upped my cadence to 90-95 rpm, mostly due to the feedback from the beam.) I occasionally ride an unsuspended bike over the same road, and I'm always amazed at how rough the road is on the hardtail.

For me, a properly fitted Softride is the answer. I told my bike shop owner that I wanted to be able to ride the bike 50 miles, and to be thinking about the next ride when I got done. The bike does that for me. Good Luck, I hope you heal real quick. I hope you find something that works for you.
They are different, but goodSoftrider
Feb 11, 2002 3:21 PM
Hey Mike,

I have been riding a softride for quite a while, and don't think that I would go back to anything else. I am 6'4" and 200+ lbs, and ride a XL roadwing.

The best way to describe how it feels in that the front end feels just like any other bike, and the rear end feels completely smooth. The beam pretty much takes all of the viberations and bumps out of the saddle area. It feels very different at first, but after you get used to it, its great.

They make the beams in different stiffnesses, so you can play with that also.

Good luck on the recovery.
Raced on them for several yearsbrider
Feb 11, 2002 3:29 PM
and still ride them. When racing, I was 5'11" and 150 lbs. Now I'm at 200+ (due to weight lifting). Still use the lightest beam. I didn't bounce much, and the biggest factor I found was in long-distance fatigue. The vibration damping just did wonders. I've not had back problems (maybe because I rode a Softride?), so I can't attest to their effect on discs/vertebrae. Can't recommend a stock frame, as the ones I've ridden have all been customs (TiCycles and Barkley). God speed in your recovery.
re: Softride vs. everything elsetristeve
Feb 11, 2002 4:07 PM
Hey Mike, good luck with your recovery. I've been riding beam bikes for 3 years and wouldn't go back. Until this year I was over 200 lbs and never had a problem (I still haven't had a problem, just no longer over 200 lbs). They are a lot easier on your back and the worse the road is the greater the benefit. There is a slight weight penalty depending upon the model. Which model are you considering?
They've got a Solo for $1299Elefantino
Feb 11, 2002 5:43 PM
Ultegra-105 component mix, no saddle (that's OK, I've got several extra), CXP-33 rims, 105 hubs, Conti 2000 tires.

There's also a used Northwestern (?), RSX components, for $599.

I hate to buy one without having ridden it. I may just suck it up and wait and see if my back can handle the OCLV and the S-Works. If not, I'll try the Softride (if I can find another dealer in the area).

Still, a $1299 Solo is tempting...
They've got a Solo for $1299Elefantino
Feb 11, 2002 5:52 PM
Ultegra-105 component mix, no saddle (that's OK, I've got several extra), CXP-33 rims, 105 hubs, Conti 2000 tires.

There's also a used Northwestern (?), RSX components, for $599.

I hate to buy one without having ridden it. I may just suck it up and wait and see if my back can handle the OCLV and the S-Works. If not, I'll try the Softride.

Still, that $1299 Solo is tempting...
Where do you live?Softrider
Feb 11, 2002 6:58 PM
I know a dealer that generally has some good deals.
They've got a Solo for $1299Elefantino
Feb 11, 2002 7:42 PM
Ultegra-105 component mix, no saddle (that's OK, I've got several extra), CXP-33 rims, 105 hubs, Conti 2000 tires.

There's also a used Northwestern (?), RSX components, for $599.

I hate to buy one without having ridden it. I may just suck it up and wait and see if my back can handle the OCLV and the S-Works. If not, I'll try the Softride.

Still, that $1299 Solo is tempting...
They've got a Solo for $1299Woof the dog
Feb 11, 2002 8:06 PM
prepare to be disappointed weight-wise..........

woof the elephant dog
Thudbustergtx
Feb 11, 2002 9:01 PM
if you have a compact frame, maybe try a Thudbuster first--it'll be cheaper.

http://www.thudbuster.com
re: Softride vs. everything elseMel Erickson
Feb 11, 2002 9:06 PM
I'm 6'2" and 180 and ride a large Solo with the stiffest beam. I never noticed a bounce from day one, however I've always concentrated on and trained to pedal circles. My riding buddies don't notice any appreciable bounce when riding behind me. I've got a herniated L5 disk and this bike did wonders for me. I must say though, I was coming off an old Cannondale. The bike is smoooooth and very stiff in the bottom bracket. Out of saddle climbing is strong. Big bumps just get gobbled up (railroad tracks, small potholes, etc.) No, they aren't the lightest on the market. Mine is probably a little over 20#, Ultegra equipped with Reflex clinchers and Conti's. You can ride all day and wish for more, though. I have no problem keeping up on my club rides but you will get some stares at the stoplights. Your OCLV should be pretty comfy too, shouldn't it? I'd ride one when you're better and decide for yourself. I know I'll never go back. Good luck on your recovery.
don't you already have a RockShox seat post?Tig
Feb 12, 2002 8:10 AM
I can't remember which bike you put it on though. You may want to give the suspension seat post a chance first. It could be a worthwhile alternative to getting a whole new bike and you can just retrofit them on all of your other bikes if it works. Just a money saving thought. You'll know what will work best once you get through rehab.
I had a racer friend with one.Leisure
Feb 12, 2002 4:41 PM
He was the guy that first introduced me to serious mountainbiking. I just remember how we'd get started. I'd look down at the pedals, put my foot on it, look up, and he had already vanished. The bastard never let me ride it either.

Sounds like your recovery is on a good schedule. Way back when I remember they sold standalone beams which could be directly mounted to most standard frames. Does anyone know off-hand if they still do this? You might be able to keep the S-works afterall, and save quite a bit of cash in the process.
re: Softride vs. everything elsebikenut
Feb 12, 2002 6:53 PM
Mike,
This guy isn't quite in your weight class, but, he has probably logged more miles on a Softride than anyone else alive, including a couple RAAM wins. www.dannychew.com
Good luck in your recovery