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Opinions on Softride, anyone?(7 posts)

Opinions on Softride, anyone?otter9
Jul 4, 2002 8:11 PM
re: Opinions on Softride, anyone?sprockets2
Jul 4, 2002 10:05 PM
I have ridden them on road bikes and tandems, and I feel that they are an overly elaborate technological solution to a problem that wasn't that bad of a problem to begin with. Most people could get by with a comfy, appropriately shaped saddle. If you really need cushy, put a suspension post on and you are in good shape.
re: Opinions on Softride, anyone?Snowbird
Jul 5, 2002 3:50 AM
I've had a Softride Century for three years and recommend it for long rides on our frost cracked northern roads. There is a weight penalty but I'm happy to sacrifice a few pounds for the ride. Probably not necessary if you ride on smooth roads.
Looks to me like it's an individual thing.Spoke Wrench
Jul 5, 2002 5:07 AM
I have three close personal friends who have significant experience riding Softride beams.

Two of them had softride beams in the stoker position on their tandems. They both tried them for one year but both hated them enough to terminate them with extreme prejudice. One had to have an entire new rear end fabricated for their custom Borthwick tandem, the other refused to let her husband "inflict anyone else with it" via a swap meet.

The other friend owns a Softride single. After a couple of years, he loves his so much that he can't understand why anyone would want to ride anything else.

Those are pretty opposite opinions. Like I said, I think it's an individual thing.
re:I've only test ridden one and thought it was ok,dzrider
Jul 5, 2002 5:16 AM
but two very tough older riders have told me that they find them much easier on their lower backs.
Why do you ask?Mel Erickson
Jul 5, 2002 5:20 AM
Do you have a specific reason? Looking for a comfy ride? Ride rough roads? Bad back? Century rider? Triathlete? Crit racer? I've ridden one (a Solo) for 4 years and originally got one to soften the ride for my bad back. I'm very happy with the bike. It's a "little" heavier than a comparably equipped aluminum frame bike (mines basically Ultegra equipped with no really weight saving componenents, i.e. 32 spoke clinchers) and comes in at 21 lbs. Some are bothered by a pogo effect from the beam. It does force you to pedal circles and develop a smooth pedal stroke. That's a plus in my book. I don't even notice the difference anymore, other than comfort, from my other conventional bikes. The basic frame (their more traditional Solo type model) is very stiff. You can't flex it no matter how strong a rider you are, which makes for good out of saddle performance. It's also a very good cornering bike because you can make the beam work for you. Some people really like it for crits for these reasons. It's a well thought out design that does what it's intended to do.
re: Opinions on Softride, anyone?beamer
Jul 5, 2002 6:13 AM
Mel said it all. I too have a Softride Solo, bought it because of some lower back problems. I do longish rides and some centuries. I would never go back to a conventional frame. A suspension seatpost isn't the same. The bike forces you to pedal circles, which is good for me. I used to be a masher, the bike helped me get a spin. I have 3500 miles on it so far, and I love it.

On longer training rides, I watch my co riders get out of the saddle for all kinds of bumps and rough spots in the road. The Softride allows you to stay in the saddle through that stuff. After about 40-50 miles, they are getting punished by the road, the beam lets you keep the pace up, you're more comfortable than they are.