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I just upgraded from a hybrid to a gravel bicycle (Fuji Jari 2.3). My hybrid (a 2000 Giant Cyprus) had a hydraulic suspension seat post and a generously-padded comfort gel saddle. I have a weakened lower spine due to recent surgery on the vertebrae (L4-S1) so I want the ride to be kind to it. I have found the gravel bike to really hurt my butt and back when I go over bumps, so I put on the Thudbuster ST. However, I've found that its instant rebound makes the bumps hurt just as much, if not more. Anyone found that?

It has me wondering whether a reasonable alternative is to just put back the rigid seat post the bike came with but use another generously-padded comfort gel saddle. I'm going to use the gravel bike for longer distances on roads than I ever did with the hybrid, but in my town, there are a lot of tiny pot holes and cracks and bad repairs on the roads, hence the need to smooth out the bumps.

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    Cracks, small holes and patches should be okay on that. It has 38 tires, according to the Fuji website, which should be plenty wide for roads. Maybe you have them pumped up too hard? – DavidW Sep 11 at 13:54
  • Cracks, small holes and patches are a nuisance, and we bike riders usually learn to avoid them as much as possible, but I, for one, ride 32mm tires across them without hurting my unsuspended butt. Maybe it's just some getting-used-to over the years, maybe it's some kind of technique, tensioning the right muscles before impact. And maybe it's a matter of posture, the more you lean forward, the more flexible your body reacts to a kicking saddle. In any case, the only kind of roads that I positively hate are those cobblestone roads, almost anything else can be compensated. – cmaster Sep 11 at 14:07
  • The correct technique is to sit actively. Lifting the butt ahead of bumpy surfaces and taking them with the legs as 'springs'. – Carel Sep 11 at 15:10
  • I'd suggest in the short term whilst recovering from your back injury, it is a better idea to use an indoor trainer as this eliminates all the bumps. – Andy P Sep 11 at 15:36

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