Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

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Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Postby WilliG » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:33 am

Hi Everyone!

New to the forum. I'm 47 and rode BMX bike since the 1970's, both MX and Freestyle. I competed heavily in MA, and was ranked 10th in my class in the early 1980's. I never 100% stopped, as all three of my kids have big box freestyle bikes, but just very basic flatland tricks to make the neighbors look at me like I am insane (like sitting on the handlebars and riding backwards full speed down the street!). So I am pretty experienced in all things bicycles, except for modern mountain bikes (back then we only had 24" cruiser class BMX bikes).

That being said I have a borderline slipped disc in my lower back, that is slowly getting better with physical therapy. I was originally focusing on a hard tail model, however now that the back problem has started up I am begging to wonder if a full suspension is the better choice. Since I was 10yo I was all about "big air", so I know when I go downhilling I won't be able to resist the jumps for long. So, that brings in the rhetorical question that must come through here routinely: Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Thanks,
Willi
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Re: Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Postby WilliG » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:36 am

BIG AIR! (Circa 1984 ftw!)

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Re: Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Postby ledfoot106 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:46 am

Well that's a simple one go full suspension. Now the real question 29er or 27.5 for me that decision would come down to how big of air or how aggressively I would be riding. Also what is the aftermarket support for the bike and crucially what is your budget. Narrowing these down will help us point you In the right direction.
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Re: Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Postby WilliG » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:21 am

I think I am going with a hard tail that has fattie tires. At lunch I test drove a few bikes at a local shop. I inadvertently ran over 2 stumps, and the 27.5" with fatties had plenty of cushion. I believe that this will give me the better price point and bang for the buck. The muscle memory came right back to me, and I had no problem compensating for the hard tail. I'm going to start going to a local Meetup.com group, that does technique get togethers at a state park in my area. I'll have lots of time, now that I am divorced. :shock:
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Re: Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Postby Tomcat65 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:26 pm

My 2 cents.. :P
I had a back injury in 1994, it was in January, Physical therapy helped tremendously, but by summer, a hardtail mountain bike was more helpful than just about anything. I can't imagine pulling the extra weight and the loss of power to bobbing around on the rear suspension. I realize a lockout shock would eliminate a lot of power loss, but when your back is wrecked, you don't need anything that causes you any extra stress.. A hardtail is direct, behaves as expected, and usually moves the way you want it to. Injuring yourself further by being too aggressive is a whole other thing, but for me, the hardtail was the perfect way to get back out and on my way to recovery.
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Re: Full Suspension vs Hard Tail for my wonky back?

Postby bikesRfun » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:43 am

I suggest a full suspension 27.5 with rebound adjustment.
The rear suspension takes the harshness off the bumps on the trail. Also good if you're doing jumps.
If that's too costly, I suggest a used full suspension 26er with from 5 to 6" of travel. They're cheap now that the market has left them for bigger wheels and they're more lively on the trail.
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