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  1. #1
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    Got the rigid blues.

    Today I got back on my mountain bike after about a 1.5 year break. Due to my schedule I usually ride solo, but today I rode with a group who, of course, all had full-suspension 29'ers; whereas I ride my classic 26" rigid. Our trails are quite rocky so I have a tougher time navigating certain areas at speed, but overall I mostly manage to keep up and am faster than the others on tight, technical hardpack where it seems everyone else slows...it's just those darn rocky sections that slow me down.

    So as the title says, I've got the rigid blues. I enjoy my bike tremendously, but am tired of being at a disadvantage when riding with a group. It's frustrating being the slower rider in the group, more so since I know I'm a fairly good rider. Let alone seemingly being more fatigued than everyone else.

    Anyway, just venting my frustration and seeking encouragement from other rigid riders. Rather than an appreciation for the difficulties faced in riding rigid (even more with 26"), it feels like many 29'ers look down on me and my humble little rigid, and sadly, however valid a reason that it is, I find myself using it as an excuse for not always keeping up.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member skol's Avatar
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    focus on the enjoying your bike part of it as there will always be somebody faster no matter what. They are probably only thinking of how much they spent on their rigs and you are hanging with them. I get dropped by other rigid riders thru the rough stuff as I am not willing to fully commit like they are anymore.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reminder, skol. Actually I couldn't care less about being fast, I suppose that's another reason why I usually ride solo. I find riding slow, technical track more enjoyable and challenging. I guess with the right gear most riders can bomb their way through most trail, but they still find themselves stumbling over the more technical sections. I need to remember that more often, and just ride my ride. Thanks.

    When riding with others it's easy to forget that I haven't "upgraded" to suspension or 29" because they don't suit my riding style and preferred trails.
    Last edited by Bike Rat; 07-30-14 at 04:02 PM.
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  4. #4
    Gravity hunter dminor's Avatar
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    You may just have to hang with a different group . . . say, like-minded rigid/retro riders. If I found myself picking along with a group of rigid riders through tight, rocky technical sections that I can blast through with abandon, I think I'd find me a different group .

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    Good point, though easier said than done. In my neck of the woods ever since suspension hit the market I haven't seen another person riding rigid, and I've only recently seen one retro hardtail. Apparently I'm a fossil. I suppose I could start up a retro ride group. There's surely a few people who'd like to climb on their old bikes for a "fun" ride every now and then. Thanks.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member RoadTire's Avatar
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    "San Antonio Retro Rigid Riders"?

    Every town should have one.
    FB4K - Free Bikes 4 Kidz. This fall 5000 bikes have been donated and we will have them all set to go by Dec 6. That's 5000 kids getting bicycles for Christmas, just in the Twin Cities.

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    N+1 :d

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    Quote Originally Posted by simplybao View Post
    N+1 :d
    Well retro includes 26 fs and hardtail, and rigid includes 29ers, so nope, it's not redundant...and more importantly, just Rigid Riders could be misconstrued. Yikes!

    Regardless, it's a good suggestion that inspired me to go with SA Retro Rigids.

    Thanks, RoadTire.
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    I guess around here it is different. I feel like a poser riding my full suspension when most people here are on hard tails and rigids so much so I bought a steel rigid 29er . I have fun on both now but it did take me awhile to adapt to the rigid.

  10. #10
    Senior Member skol's Avatar
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    just tell them see you on the next downhill as you ride past them pushing or granny gearing there bikes up the hills
    Last edited by skol; 07-31-14 at 08:23 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Rat View Post
    Today I got back on my mountain bike after about a 1.5 year break. Due to my schedule I usually ride solo, but today I rode with a group who, of course, all had full-suspension 29'ers; whereas I ride my classic 26" rigid. Our trails are quite rocky so I have a tougher time navigating certain areas at speed, but overall I mostly manage to keep up and am faster than the others on tight, technical hardpack where it seems everyone else slows...it's just those darn rocky sections that slow me down.

    So as the title says, I've got the rigid blues. I enjoy my bike tremendously, but am tired of being at a disadvantage when riding with a group. It's frustrating being the slower rider in the group, more so since I know I'm a fairly good rider. Let alone seemingly being more fatigued than everyone else.

    Anyway, just venting my frustration and seeking encouragement from other rigid riders. Rather than an appreciation for the difficulties faced in riding rigid (even more with 26"), it feels like many 29'ers look down on me and my humble little rigid, and sadly, however valid a reason that it is, I find myself using it as an excuse for not always keeping up.
    suck it up buttercup

  12. #12
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    Why does it bother you so much to be slowest in the group? Someone has to do it. I am usually the slow one. I don't blame it on my 26" rigid bike. I embrace my lack of speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canker View Post
    I guess around here it is different. I feel like a poser riding my full suspension when most people here are on hard tails and rigids so much so I bought a steel rigid 29er . I have fun on both now but it did take me awhile to adapt to the rigid.


    You must live in bizarro world.
    I've considered a rigid 29er singlespeed before. Maybe I'll revisit that option again, but my pace will still be off the group.

    Watching this video earlier today helped put things in perspective. It really illustrates how much suspension alleviates the bucking from a rigid.
    MBFinalcut_WM1440x1080.wmv Austin Mountain Biking - YouTube
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Law View Post
    suck it up buttercup
    How poetic. Much better than man up, or cowboy up. Now let's go get some commies!

    God bless America and no one else.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCPaul View Post
    Why does it bother you so much to be slowest in the group? Someone has to do it. I am usually the slow one. I don't blame it on my 26" rigid bike. I embrace my lack of speed.
    I suppose it's because I'm not slow, my equipment is. It'd be different if I was slow because of inadequate skills...that's a challenge to embrace, but an equipment disadvantage is more difficult to overcome. But I get what you're saying, it's okay to be slow...I just don't like feeling as if the group is waiting on me to catch up.

    For a point of reference, I recently started road cycling with a club. I'm easily the slowest in the group, but that only encourages me to become a stronger and smarter (more efficient) rider. Since equipment advantages in road cycling are marginal, a cyclist can overcome those disadvantages more easily than a mountain biker. Rather than blaming my slowness on toe clips, running shoes, heavier bike, non-aero wheels, etc., I attribute it primarily to deficient fitness and secondarily to inadequate group riding skills (inefficiency).
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  16. #16
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    Just posted a group ride thread for SA Retro Rigids in Texas regional forum and another forum for mountain bikers. Next will alert local riding clubs. Thanks guys.

    retro rigids...yeah for alliteration!
    Last edited by Bike Rat; 07-31-14 at 11:16 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Rat View Post


    I suppose it's because I'm not slow, my equipment is. It'd be different if I was slow because of inadequate skills...that's a challenge to embrace, but an equipment disadvantage is more difficult to overcome. But I get what you're saying, it's okay to be slow...I just don't like feeling as if the group is waiting on me to catch up.

    For a point of reference, I recently started road cycling with a club. I'm easily the slowest in the group, but that only encourages me to become a stronger and smarter (more efficient) rider. Since equipment advantages in road cycling are marginal, a cyclist can overcome those disadvantages more easily than a mountain biker. Rather than blaming my slowness on toe clips, running shoes, heavier bike, non-aero wheels, etc., I attribute it primarily to deficient fitness and secondarily to inadequate group riding skills (inefficiency).
    You are deluding yourself. Its not about the bike. You are slow because of inadequate skills or fitness.

    Its probably 95% rider, 5% bike on trails like you posted the video of above. I'm not saying you can bomb downhill runs on your rigid, but with relatively smooth trails with a few tech features hear and there, it doesn't make that much difference.

  18. #18
    Senior Member skol's Avatar
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    is your fork carbon? do you run tubeless with lower pressures larger front tire, carbon bars etc..? there are ways to alleviate some of the disadvantages of riding rigid while enjoying the benefits (climbing, weight etc). Here in the midwest rigid 29ers are the ride of choice for many of the fastest riders.
    Last edited by skol; 08-01-14 at 07:50 AM.

  19. #19
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    I love both ends of the spectrum. I have a 6" dually and a rigid. Both are 26", both are All Mountain, both will shred hard.

    My rigid bike utilizes a 2005 Komodo FreerideHardtail frame coupled with an Identiti Rebate gnarly long and tall fork, and 2.35" tires. I like riding difficult terrain with it...and yes, I'm slower than my homies on duallies and 29'ers on choppy rocks. I'm faster than most of them on drops, flats, jumps, and the like just because that's my style. They're XC'ers, I'm not. Just have fun and ride. Take the lead where you shine, sweep up where you are tarnished, but ride with your friends. Keep the relationship there. Don't get all elite and be all about who's faster, who's bike is cooler...just enjoy the ride together. They will learn something from watching you, and they will push you to be faster.

  20. #20
    Certifiably crazy! Carloswithac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Rat View Post
    Today I got back on my mountain bike after about a 1.5 year break. Due to my schedule I usually ride solo, but today I rode with a group who, of course, all had full-suspension 29'ers; whereas I ride my classic 26" rigid. Our trails are quite rocky so I have a tougher time navigating certain areas at speed, but overall I mostly manage to keep up and am faster than the others on tight, technical hardpack where it seems everyone else slows...it's just those darn rocky sections that slow me down.

    So as the title says, I've got the rigid blues. I enjoy my bike tremendously, but am tired of being at a disadvantage when riding with a group. It's frustrating being the slower rider in the group, more so since I know I'm a fairly good rider. Let alone seemingly being more fatigued than everyone else.

    Anyway, just venting my frustration and seeking encouragement from other rigid riders. Rather than an appreciation for the difficulties faced in riding rigid (even more with 26"), it feels like many 29'ers look down on me and my humble little rigid, and sadly, however valid a reason that it is, I find myself using it as an excuse for not always keeping up.
    I have a full suspension and a rigid 29er. Sometimes I have more fun on the rigid and neglect the fs.
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  21. #21
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    Funny, I had the opposite experience today. I've been a fairly avid mountain biker since I was in my teen's in the mid 90's, except for the past couple years i've been almost exclusively riding my road bike and commuter bike. I've been road biking a lot the past several months ~150-200 miles per week. Suddenly this week I had a desire to do some mountain biking so I set up the old rigid mountain bike i've been commuting on for trail riding. I removed the drop bars I had on it and the slicks, put on flat bars and a set of 2.1 x 26" knobby tires and I was ready to go.

    I can't believe how much fun I was having pounding the single track on that rigid bike today, and I was wondering why I haven't been on the trails the past couple years. I felt like I was flying over the roots, rocks and everything else on the downhills, and because I've been road biking a lot I had plenty of strength to power up short steep sections. Of course I was riding by myself and so I had no one leaving me in the dust to bring me down, but I really think it's possible to have a ton of fun on a fully rigid bike and you can go pretty fast too. Maybe my viewpoint is also different because I was a teenager in the 90's and the only mountain bikes I could afford were the used, full rigid ones from the early 90's and late 80's so to me riding rigid seems pretty normal.
    Just have fun with your bike!

  22. #22
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    I'll say this. When I first set up my bike rigid I didn't care for it, came with an old air fork. I stuck with it though and came to at least be ok with it. What really turned me around though was ditching the 2.1 tire on the front and putting a 2.4 maxxis ardent on it. You still know you are riding a rigid but that tire rocks. I want one for the front of my FS rig now.

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