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  1. #1
    Senior Member streetstomper's Avatar
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    Rigid vs. suspension for 29er commuter

    I'm building a 29er from scratch for commuting. Would a cheap suspension fork be worth the extra 2.5 pounds of weight or should I just get a rigid fork? They're roughly the same price. As a 29er, it should ride more smoothly than a mountain bike anyway and I intend to put a 2.35" Schwalbe Big Apple at least on the front, which should add some comfort as well. Would a suspension fork be overkill? The roads I ride are pretty rough, though. 1-2" deep potholes aren't uncommon and traffic doesn't always let me avoid them.

  2. #2
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    I never understand why people that aren't riding down hill off road have a suspension fork. Your fat tires will absorb all the potholes you hit.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Rigid is lighter and won't require the maintenance that a shock fork would.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    Go rigid, have faith in the Big Apples. Tire pressure on them makes a huge difference, so you can go lower for rough roads and higher for fast rides.

  5. #5
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    I had a Trek 7300 with a suspension fork. It came with 700x38 tires, but I switched to 32s. Anyway on the whole it wasn't necessary, but once at night and my lights batteries were low, I ran a curb and up the sidewalk accidentally. I was going a good clip too. I don't think I would've stayed upright w/o the suspension fork, probably would've bent the rim too. Presently running a full rigid hybrid with 32s. There are times I wish I still had suspension but not often. I don't think the weight differince matters since you'll probably be hauling personal gear anyway. I don't sense I'm any faster without suspension than with it. You won't need an expensive fork either if you're building your ride just for city commuting. I'll be staying with my ride for quite awhile, but if it's stolen or run over by a train, I'll be going back to a suspension hybrid for commuting.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'm building a 29er from scratch for commuting.
    Note Pan Tour hubs offer in hub suspension, an inch..

    they even have A disc option, using 4 bolt rohloff pattern discs.. bigger hole.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    I have always been a cheapskate. My first, second and third mountain bikes were purchased with rigid forks. I've never had a suspension seatpost. I'm 52 years old and still love bike riding.

    Reading that someone will "always" have suspension makes me curious. I better not test ride a suspended bike. I have too much bike lust already.
    I miss bicycle commuting.

  8. #8
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    don't over think it. the answer is rigid.

  9. #9
    Saving gas on my commute Scooby214's Avatar
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    I say go for rigid. I recently swapped out the suspension fork on my commuter for a rigid chromoly fork, and it improved my power transfer to the wheels when standing and pedaling. No more suspension bob for me!

    The main reason I got rid of the suspension fork was that it would bounce when riding across rutted streets. I have one particular street I cross where the old asphalt is noticeably rutted from truck traffic. If I crossed the street quickly, the suspension fork would bob up and down, causing the bike to be more difficult to control. The rigid fork solved this problem for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member streetstomper's Avatar
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    Rigid it is, then. I'll be running the BAs at only 40psi, which should give quite a bit of cush, I hope.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Breathegood's Avatar
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    If you had said high-end suspension fork, I might consider voting that direction, otherwise the weight isn't worth the marginal added comfort. with a high end fork that you could put stiffer springs into and that has a good lockout, you could have the worst of both worlds.
    1991 Trek 8700 - SS conversion, 2009 Gary Fisher "Kaitai", 2009 Raleigh Team, 2012 Raleigh Twin Six,1996 Cannondale SR500

  12. #12
    Senior Member streetstomper's Avatar
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    I was considering the Gravity 29er frame with Tora TK fork. The Tora isn't high-end, sure, but from what I've read, it's not bad, either, with coil springs and turnkey lockout. Somehow, BikeIsland can sell the frame and fork for barely more than what most places charge for just the fork.

    http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=2125

  13. #13
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Rigid`s a good decision. I`m running Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 28 x 2in on a hybrid myself and haven`t tripped across anything they can`t handle yet. As a reference I also drive a mtb with 2.5in tires and a $1,200 130mm front end from DT Swiss and in the city I really can`t tell if the lockout is off or on. The tires are more than enough for city roads - even in pathetic state of repair.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsport View Post
    I never understand why people that aren't riding down hill off road have a suspension fork.
    I never understand why some people have the need to be condescending instead of just giving a straight answer.

  15. #15
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    I have a Marin Muirwoods "29er hybrid" as a commuter. The fork is rigid but it is a cromoly bike. I'm running 700x42 tires for what its worth.

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