Just finished putting together a 1997 trek 8000SX as a rigid. I fianlly took it out last night on the trails and loved it! I do know that I am limiting myself to some extent on some of my trail riding but I do have a FS that I use and I also tried the SS things as well.
I wasn't real suprised at how well it climbed (like a mountain goat) but I was pleasantly suprised how well it did going down hill on fast fire roads and how it tracked straight and true on tight singletrack. Brought me back to what I wanted out of mountain biking, to explore and to challenge myself. The FS makes thing very easy that the rigid was challenging on.
I am hoping that there are a few of you out there that still enjoy riding rigid and if you can think of any input as to what to expect as I delve deeper into rigid. Any tricks that help, things to avoid, ideas or suggestions. For example, suspension seat posts, do you use them and does it help. I found that I was almost always standing so my assumption is not really. How about riding position? Because we lack front suspension is it smarter to use a shorter stem to have a more upright seating psoition and to take the weight off my hands or do you use the same basic setup on a suspended bike?
I can see this bike quicklyy becoming my go to bike. My SUV of bicycles as it can do almost anything I want it to do and the ride to the trail was enjoyable as well.
ooh i love rigid ss. i ride mine all the time. you will have a blast. if your wrists arent happy, try some different bar/stem combos. right now im riding mary bars with a 90 mm 5 degree rise race face stem. it is a very comfortable for me.
as for suspension seatposts, thats not rigid, now is it?
I also have a rigid ss and a fs Santa Cruz SL. Rigid SS's are awesome... as long as the decents aren't too rocky or have really big roots... or really big drops... ok it's somewhat limited, but if you know that going in, then what the hell... you have a built in excuse for going slow... Riding them does make you a more aware (better?) rider... you're forced to look farther down trail and plan your line rather than just ride over whatever is in front of you.
The only thing I've really done different to my bike from front susp/gears to rigid ss was wider bars. 660mm I believe. better leverage for those monster climbs, who says your arms don't do anything when you're riding a bike....