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Rigid Fork vs Susp Fork on Road/Light Trail Bike

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Rigid Fork vs Susp Fork on Road/Light Trail Bike

Old 04-17-24, 12:54 PM
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I just can't get past the $8600 commuter bike. I love my XC bike, but it would not be my choice for a commuter bike unless it was the only bike I owned. Even then, mine cost considerably less than that, so I'd just buy some el cheapo bike that I won't cry to hard about when it gets stolen.

Besides the price, I just don't see the point of throwing a rigid fork onto a XC race bike for commuting. You might be saving a pound or 2, which might be worth 10-20 seconds on your whole commute(that's being generous.) All the while, that rigid fork sacrifices the dirt capability of that bike. Aside from a small weight penalty, the suspension fork is in no way detrimental to on-road performance. A Fox 32 isn't some clunky Walmart spring fork or some old school elastomer fork. The lock out actually works quite well and even at that, the damping characteristics on modern suspension makes the lockout almost unnecessary in most situations.

TLDR version: If you are spending money on a top-shelf XC bike that's already overkill for your task, why not go with suspension?
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Old 04-17-24, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
What am I missing ??
You're missing that you're buying a bike intended for a very different kind of riding. Sure any bike can work as a commuter but you're buying a high end XC racing bike, seemingly just because it has Eagle AXS Transmission. You seem hung up on the SRAM marketing hype about Eagle Transmission shifting under full load while it doesn't seem your riding involved much if any full load riding. Pretty much every derailleur system, electronic or manual can shift under load. While Eagle Transmission is an improvement under high loads off road, I'm not sure how that benefits your commuting rides.

It doesn't sound like you've even test ridden this or even a similar bike, or any bikes for that matter. You seem to be shopping based on theoretical misconceptions. You want a light bike then are already looking to put on a heavy suspension seat post, tires that weight a kilo each, and were considering another 800grams for a suspension fork.

You also have mentioned several times that you commute through some sketchy areas and want a bike that doesn't attract attention from thieves, yet you are buying an $8,600 race bike that despite being black on black paint/decals will be clearly obvious as being $$$$$ vs other cheap commuter bikes that also pass by.

Last edited by NumbersGuy; 04-17-24 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 04-17-24, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
What am I missing ??
It seems to me, test rides. People here are telling you it may be the wrong tool for the job, and even you say you got sold on the idea. I guess itís your money, and if youíre sold on it, buy it.
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Old 04-17-24, 01:10 PM
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The Orbea is marketed with a rigid fork. Itís designed for it. From what Iíve read about it online lots of people buy this bike with no susp

finding a light, flat bar/ hybrid type bike with the top end gearing is a serious challenge. My choice seems a reasonable option and Iím not getting why it wouldnít be.

the bike wonít get stolen. It sits in my office all day and I donít stop on the way in or way home.

weekends the wife and I want to do light trails recreational riding
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Old 04-17-24, 01:21 PM
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I think we've found the bizzarro version of LarrySellerz from the the great white north...
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Old 04-17-24, 01:41 PM
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Everyone keeps saying itís an XC racer. Fine.

so if I get the rigid version with hybrid tires and adjust the handle height and reach to my liking what am I losing by not buying a hybrid marketed bike ???

whuch donít exist in the gearing and weight I want
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Old 04-17-24, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Everyone keeps saying it’s an XC racer. Fine.

so if I get the rigid version with hybrid tires and adjust the handle height and reach to my liking what am I losing by not buying a hybrid marketed bike ???

whuch don’t exist in the gearing and weight I want
Sounds like you got it all figured out, as we'd say in the XC world, "just send it!"
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Old 04-17-24, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Everyone keeps saying it’s an XC racer. Fine.

so if I get the rigid version with hybrid tires and adjust the handle height and reach to my liking what am I losing by not buying a hybrid marketed bike ???

whuch don’t exist in the gearing and weight I want
You can get a flat bar gravel (not a hybrid, a gravel bike, there’s a difference) with the same gear ratios, probably even the same group set. It’ll be better on the road, and just as good on easy trails as what you’re looking at, for probably less money, especially since you’re looking at a rigid fork.

What you’re missing is frame geometry, which is why a hardtail sucks on the road, and a roadie sucks on trails. A bit over simplified, but basically true.

Since you seem to be locked into the Orbea, get the Fox fork. It’ll be smoother in the dirt, you’re only giving up 2 lbs give or take, and you can lock out the suspension on the road. It’ll also be easier to sell with the suspension fork.
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Old 04-17-24, 02:10 PM
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IMO, your new bike with a rigid fork will serve you very well for the kind of riding you do. If you are troubled by feeling some cracks in the pavement, HTFU.
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Old 04-17-24, 02:14 PM
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IMO, if you are looking at 38-40mm tires, you probably donít need a suspension fork, let alone one with 100mm travel.
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Old 04-17-24, 02:21 PM
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Sounds like a nice choice and I agree, no need for a suspension fork. Note that gravel bikes are designed to run hard and fast over much rougher terrain and do not generally come with suspension. Please post pics when the bike arrives. Edit- Folks, OP has already ordered this bike. Advice as to what other choices he could have made are not needed.

Last edited by shelbyfv; 04-17-24 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 04-17-24, 02:50 PM
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[QUOTE=Wileyrat;23217274]You can get a flat bar gravel (not a hybrid, a gravel bike, thereís a difference) with the same gear ratios, probably even the same group set. Itíll be better on the road, and just as good on easy trails as what youíre looking at, for probably less money, especially since youíre looking at a rigid fork.

What youíre missing is frame geometry, [QUOTE
]

you canít get a flat bar gravel bike with that group set. They are all drop bars. f you can please point me in the direction.

Help me understand what about the geometry will make this such a poor road/light trail bike ? Iím going rigid fork/no susp and plan on adjusting reach and handle height to my liking.
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Old 04-17-24, 02:51 PM
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MikeDeason

this is a repeat to a degree, but worth repeating

Nice bike you should ride the heck out of it with no mods other than tires.

forget about "hybrid" tires and heavy marathons (and note the 38 mm marathons will not fit you rimes.

The best thing you can do for ride is getting high end supple tires. Forget the marathon plus (never mind that 38mm is too small for your rims, if the are the Oquo Mountain Performance MP30LTD, carbon hookless rim, DT240 S CL hub, Sram XD MTB freehub, 30mm internal width, Sapim CX-Ray TCS spokes, 29"

I suggest Rene Herse tires this looks like the smallest you can go is this one https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-pass-tc-tire/


here is repeat of post under does 29 = 700 thread


you ordered a performance mountain bike and it will be specced for that, so you should expect mountain bike size rims

700cc = 29 but it is more complicated than that.

you have to be careful with tires as it looks like you have a hookless rim (specs show Oquo Mountain Performance MP30LTD, carbon hookless rim) with 30mm rims that are designed for tubeless) this could be different that exactly what you ordered so it is important to know exactly what wheels (and rims) you are getting

a lot of smaller tires will not fit well with the 30 mm width

the schwalbe are likely to not fit, look at these instead in the endurance build https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-pass-tc-tire/

additional information on tires and hookless rims

https://www.renehersecycles.com/tech-info/tires/
https://bike.bikegremlin.com/15864/hookless-rims/
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Old 04-17-24, 03:28 PM
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Thanks. I read it through and was convinced the first time until the sales guy called asking if I wanted the bike with Fox fork sooner

Like to hear whatís so wrong with the geometry if the bar reach and height is adjusted to my liking though.
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Old 04-17-24, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Thanks. I read it through and was convinced the first time until the sales guy called asking if I wanted the bike with Fox fork sooner

Like to hear what’s so wrong with the geometry if the bar reach and height is adjusted to my liking though.
If the fork is designed for that bike, the geometry will be fine. Sometimes, if you take a suspension fork off a bike, and replace it with a rigid fork, the axle-crown dimension changes, which also changes the steering geometry. In some cases, this can be problematic.

EDIT: If I was setting up that bike for me, and riding it the way you've described, I would run Schwalbe Thunder Burt 2.1 tires. They're faster than you'd expect on the road, have a good amount of volume for smoothing out bumps, will be pretty capable for any off-road excursions, and will work well with the MTB rim width on the bike.
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Old 04-17-24, 04:11 PM
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Great. The rigid fork is designed specifically for this bike and is used to promote its light weight
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Old 04-18-24, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Well I was sold the idea that it would work perfectly as a hybrid type bike with a few minor modifications. I donít quite understand why it wouldnít if I change the seating position and go with the solid fork/no susp version.

https://bebikes.com/the-hub/orbea-alma-review-the-better-gravel-bike/

.
Well, if I were looking at selling an $8600 bike, I would say whatever the prospective buyer wanted to hear, too.

I spent a lot of time car-free riding utility and commuting in an urban environment (unexpected bad pavement, bad drivers, curbs of various heights ... ) in all kinds of weather. I tried every kind of bike including a full-suspension MTB. In my experience a fork doesn't do that much for pavement riding, unless you deliberately seek out potholes and broken pavement, in which case you are abusing your wheels and might end breaking spokes.

Another issue (for me) is that a commuter bike tends to get scuffed up and scraped as it tends to get locked up wherever. Maybe you have a designated and protected place to lock your bike, but even just road grit, stones, the occasional contretemps with cars ... plus the bike might be left in less than secure lock-ups (in front of stores, behind factories, whatever) which means theft and sabotage is a potential issue. That might not be the case for you.

Also possibly not your situation, but I always carried panniers and/or a trunk bag, and most MTBs are not set up for racks. If you are looking at a hard tail, racks can probably be adapted .....

If I was going to drop $8000+ on a bike, I would consider very carefully what I needed that bike to do and I would make sure the bike could do it really well. A cross-country MTB is not designed for commuting ... for that kind of money, you could buy a frame, an AXS group set, great wheels, and a frame and have the shop build a bespoke bike perfect for commuting.
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Old 04-18-24, 06:35 AM
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Bike is secured in my office and I never lock it outside.

maybe I didnít check around enough but I was getting 12k plus locally for a custom build with gearset I wanted and that was aluminum frame
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Old 04-18-24, 06:45 AM
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Bike is secured in my office and I never lock it outside.

maybe I didnít check around enough but I was getting 12k plus locally for a custom build with gearset I wanted and that was aluminum frame
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Old 04-18-24, 07:14 AM
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Don't second guess yourself. The deal is done and you'll have a nice bike. Kudos for actually making a decision. There are goofs here who ask about dozens of bikes a year, can't get off the pot.
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Old 04-18-24, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Bike is secured in my office and I never lock it outside.

maybe I didnít check around enough but I was getting 12k plus locally for a custom build with gearset I wanted and that was aluminum frame
As a couple others here have had the good grace (and sense) to point out, the bike you've ordered will serve you very well for your intended use(s), especially with the rigid fork and a smart choice of tire. I'll second a further sentiment: don't second-guess your choice, just get it and ride.

FWIW, my riding is not entirely unlike what you've described: three seasons in my case (I don't ride on iced-up/snow covered roads); to/from work during the week (and too many weekends at times!); longer weekend rides (in my case, usually 60ish kms or so), mostly on roads but incorporating some non-technical trails. I re-started cycling in '02 at age 50, and for the first 8 or so years used a light, xc hardtail with suitable tires for all my cycling. Worked perfectly well, and I wouldn't hesitate to do so again.
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Old 04-18-24, 08:39 AM
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Mike, I think you're going for the wrong type of bike and trying to adapt it to the right type of bike for your use.

What you need is a commuter, but you're going for a mountain bike, then putting faster tires on it and thinking about suspension.
Just get a commuter to begin with.

As for the weight of suspension, that extra 800 g (1.8 lbs) is not going to matter unless you are really in top shape and are nice and light yourself. Be honest: are you carrying a few extra pounds yourself, so that you should focus more on the engine or will this 800 g make the difference.

Much more important to me would be to make sure you have low enough gearing to tackle the hills, as well as having a rack and fenders for luggage and cleanliness of clothes upon your arrival. (not all commuter-type bikes will have low gearing like that mountain bike, but something with a triple chainring almost certainly will, ex. Trek Verve)

If hills were a consideration on my commute, I think you should be looking at eBikes, so you don't arrive sweaty. (unless you plan to shower once there?)

That bike doesn't appear to support a rack or fenders. Without a rack, you will for SURE arrive with a sweat patch every day from your bag, as well as being less comfortable.

If you're dead set on adapting that mountain bike, my recommendation would be to stick with fatter (street tread) tires and a rigid fork. The fatter tires will smooth out the ride and protect the wheels from the bad pavement.

Also, your original plan of fitting 38 mm tires. Are you sure they will fit those wheels, which are designed for 2.4" (203 mm) wide tires? You might be in for a new wheel set, which is going to add significantly to the price.

If you want to run 38 mm tires, buy a bike that's suited to them to begin with. My choice was the Priority Apollo 11 gravel bike. It came on 40 mm tires with small lug knobbies. Belt drive + internal geared up. I added fenders and went down a few teeth on the front pulley. A rack might be in my future too.

Priority Apollo 11 gravel bike (mfr. photo)
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Old 04-18-24, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1

Also, your original plan of fitting 38 mm tires. Are you sure they will fit those wheels, which are designed for 2.4" (203 mm) wide tires? You might be in for a new wheel set, which is going to add significantly to the price.
I detect a slight miscalculation there! 2.4 inches is 61 mm. Still much wider than 38mm!
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Old 04-18-24, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeDeason
Yes. My current commuter has the Thudbuster ST. Huge difference in ride quality. I plan on getting the LT for this bike. Just thought the light susp fork might be worth the weight trade off to help
smooth out speed bumps and larger imperfections in the road but I believe I have been convinced otherwise.


nice commuter ! get a Redshift Shockstop stem for it, done...
Ride On
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Old 04-18-24, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine
I detect a slight miscalculation there! 2.4 inches is 61 mm. Still much wider than 38mm!
Good catch, I typed it wrong in my conversion calculator. (typed '2 -4' instead of '2.4')

Even so, it's a big difference in tire width; worth checking that the rims would be compatible with so much smaller tires.

MikeDeason I know what you mean about the Thudbuster. I have a Suntour NCX seat post on my main commuter (Aventon Level.2), which I think costs 1/2 of what a Thudbuster does. (Mine was $90) It really smooths out the busted up roads here. One thing to consider is that as you move to a more upright posture, you have less weight on the hands and wrists, and front suspension becomes less important than suspension for your butt. The Suntour is good quality too; not like those Chinese in-line ones.
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