Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: bokes on March 08, 2005, 04:07:17 am

 
Title: Softride touring bike?
Post by: bokes on March 08, 2005, 04:07:17 am

Would a custom touring bike with a softride beam make sense? My theory is that the ride would be smooth, but would the rider's upper body have to work harder to balance the load since the rider's body mass isn't firmly attached to the frame? (assuming beam durability not a factor)
Anyone try this setup or have a counter theory? Thanks in advance.

Title: Softride touring bike?
Post by: burleyrider on March 12, 2005, 03:46:05 am
Quote
Would a custom touring bike with a softride beam make sense?
My theory is that the ride would be smooth, but would the rider's
upper body have to work harder to balance the load since the rider's
body mass isn't firmly attached to the frame?


I assume you would use a trailer and not panniers (back, anyway). I
noticed all of their bikes on their website seem to be performance
based. On a mere design side, it doesn't seem that feasible.

Title: Softride touring bike?
Post by: DaveB on March 12, 2005, 07:09:27 pm
There were several variations on the Softride concept but they all seem to have disappeared. I assume because the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.  

The only surviving use seems to be on tandems with a Softride-type beam for the stoker and that may be worthwhile since the stoker can't see the bumps coming and prepare for them.  

Title: Softride touring bike?
Post by: bokes on March 13, 2005, 05:24:03 am
Yeah they had a touring bike called the Sully, and i'm curious if it didn't sell because of poor marketing, poor performance, or it was too radical an idea at the time for the touring crowd. or perhaps all of the above.
a rep at softride told me they discontinued mtbs because there were 'issues' with the beam that dual suspension bikes didn't have.  But the problem didn't exist on their road bikes, so thats all they sell now. He then reacted like he made a mistake mentioning it and wouldn't go into it further.
I'm guessing that the issue has to do with beam instability from lateral forces (side to side). But i don't plan on touring much on singletrack, just going straight on paved and dirt roads. so perhaps it would work? And after minor back surgery, plush would really be nice.
I found a cheap beam mtb frame on ebay. so i'm going to load up some panniers and again with the bob to test the concept. i'll post the results later.
here's a pic of a softride touring bike http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/hollands_softride.htm

btw, a lot of people ride dual suspension on the Gr8 Divide and have linkage problems. Maybe this type of bike might solve their problems because it has a fixed rear triangle.

Title: Softride touring bike?
Post by: Cruiser on March 16, 2005, 07:45:14 pm
I ride a softride, Norwester, which is not the highend bike, but has a more typical frame (rear wheel triangle) and think it is very comfortable.  I have riden a couple of 400 mile trips in comfort, in fact it is even more comfortable than my mtb. The company does not seem to advertise and it apears the primary bicycle mag will not include them in reviews or alternative bikes to ride.  The shoip owner stated that the newer straight beams had problems, while the bent style was durable. I now have about 12 K on the bike with no issues, other than it is not a light as many newer bikes.  Prior to this bike I had a typcial frame bike and hand numbness was common, in fact one of my friends (softride owner) recently purchaed a new Ti bike and told me that numbness was an issue again.      
Title: Softride touring bike?
Post by: DaveB on March 17, 2005, 01:00:54 am
Prior to this bike I had a typical frame bike and hand numbness was common, in fact one of my friends (softride owner) recently purchased a new Ti bike and told me that numbness was an issue again.

I wouldn't expect a Softride frame to have any effect on hand numbness.  Elsewhere perhaps, but not your hands. :)