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Old 08-17-06, 11:57 AM   #1
caotropheus
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Shall I go for a rigid fork?

Hello Guys and Girls

What are your experiences riding with rigid forks on XC? Is it even possible to ride fast with a rigid fork in difficult terrain like lose rocks, roots or trails destroyed by rain? Is it possible to descend at the same speed on a bicycle with a rigid fork as on a bicycle with a front suspension?

Thanks
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Old 08-17-06, 12:51 PM   #2
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I sometimes ride a rigid single-speed, and I can say that it requires a LOT more skill to ride a rigid fork as fast as a suspended one. If the terrain is particularly rough, try a bigger tire on the front. It will help.
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Old 08-17-06, 12:51 PM   #3
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A rigid is all I got and I love riding it xc. I don't have any experience riding on suspension, but I'd imagine that the hairier downhills and rougher terrain are a lot easier with a suspended bike. That being said, I get a big kick out of negotiating gnarly spots without being able to bounce right over them. I'm sure you *could* go as fast on a rigid as you can on a suspended bike, but it would probably be a lot more dangerous because you can't just breeze over little bumps, you really feel each one and landing on one the wrong way could just knock you into the ravine. Sometimes I have to take the downhills slower than the guys I see going by on fs or hardtails but it's definitely fun testing the limit of what a rigid can do for me off-road.
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Old 08-17-06, 12:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkrobe
I sometimes ride a rigid single-speed, and I can say that it requires a LOT more skill to ride a rigid fork as fast as a suspended one. If the terrain is particularly rough, try a bigger tire on the front. It will help.

I second that, that's how I started, on a fully rigid Trek, and keeping up with the boys on their full suspension, what a work out though, and your hands will feel the pain.
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Old 08-17-06, 01:45 PM   #5
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puting some carbon seat post and handle bars would help
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Old 08-17-06, 03:03 PM   #6
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puting some carbon seat post and handle bars would help
+1

I use carbon bars and post, and never imagined how comfy and durable carbon could be.

Also I run 2.35 Kujo DH Tires, just a little underinflated. It bounces, if not behaves.

Rigid SS Steel DJ/Freeride On-One Gimp Frame, basically set up like a stock Trailsin rig.

*edit* Oh, and disc brakes. You want good brakes if you want to fast downhill. Learn to trust gravity, and keep your arms loose in the root/rock/gravel/slush.

More funner than a lap dancin' midget!
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Old 08-17-06, 04:05 PM   #7
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I've been spoiling myself by riding FS lately. Last week I took out the rigid just for the heck of it and midpoint through my ride I was starting to feel it. You've never seen me go back so fast for all I wanted to do was get home and get rid of the bike. My wrists were jarred and my body was tired. I just threw the bike in the garage went to my room and laid there looking at my FS on the rack. Hatin' it. Just hatin' it.


I'm getting too old for this.
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Old 08-17-06, 07:19 PM   #8
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I'm getting too old for this.
I'm callin' shenanigans on that one! You had a rough day - that doesn't mean you're too old, it just means that you need to ride rigid more often.
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Old 08-17-06, 08:33 PM   #9
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When I went riding with my girlfriends dad (awkward at first, fine once we got on the trails. Bikes are wonderful things...) he was riding a rigid diamondback and he kept up with me fairly well, even though we've got a 30 year age difference. So it's possible.
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Old 08-17-06, 10:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caotropheus
Hello Guys and Girls

What are your experiences riding with rigid forks on XC? Is it even possible to ride fast with a rigid fork in difficult terrain like lose rocks, roots or trails destroyed by rain? Is it possible to descend at the same speed on a bicycle with a rigid fork as on a bicycle with a front suspension?

Thanks
I just built up a rigid singlespeed and have been riding it exclusively for a month because my geared hardtail has been out of commission.

First of all, I'm riding faster on most parts of the trail, mainly because I'm riding singlespeed. Momentum is important, and I can't drop to the granny gear up hills. On the other hand, I spin out on the few long flats I ride, so I'm slower there.

But, to answer your question, yes the rigid fork does slow me down in the rocks and roots. It's not sucking them up, so each rock/root creates a little collision that saps some of my speed.

Overall, though, I've gotten faster because my rigid has taught me to be a better rider. I find lines more intuitively now, I can take corners faster because I can really feel the limits of my tires' traction, I try to finesse over logs instead of letting the fork take a hit, etc.

Would I give up my front suspension for good? Hell no. But riding rigid is a nice change of pace, good training, and a way to make the same-old-trails a whole new experience.
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