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  1. #1
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    Rigid beating me up

    I have a Raleigh XXIX, I am looking at ways of reducing the shock to my hands/arms. It is a non suspension corrected frame. Can I fit suspension forks or are the some different bars/grips I could try.

  2. #2
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    Ergon grips help your hands. What year is it? Current model shows a suspension fork on Raleigh's site and it says the 2011 fork is suspension corrected. Can you provide any more info? What kind of riding are you doing? Have you had the bike fitted? What psi are you running?
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  3. #3
    dru
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    Is there a whole lot of space between the top of the front tire and the crown of the rigid fork. Like 3 or four inches perhaps? Let us know.

    Drew
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    Have you tried playing with tire pressures?
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  5. #5
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    I have a rigid bike when I switched to a fat 2.4 ardent and some carbon alt bars it made all the difference in the world I run the front with about 25 psi

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  6. #6
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    Play with tire pressure, experiment with gloves and grips, try a larger volume tire, try a carbon bar, or even try a carbon fork.
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  7. #7
    Sawyer Gnome
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    I'm very comfortable on my stock forked ('07) XXIX with ESI Chunky grips and 23-25psi in the 2.35 ExiWolfs. I do make it a point to ride loose with my hands. The only time I really have issues is super long washboard like downhills where a little numbness is just kind of inevitable.
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  8. #8
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    I have been riding rigid for ever and you have to learn to get off the back of the bike and manual or un-weight to get over stuff, If your riding with flat bars and hovering over them too much of your weight is forward.

    Shorter stem, Big Fat front tire at least, and Big Fat rear tire also will help, Oury grips.

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    It does not have much clearance between tyre and fork, much less than my friends later model. Exiwolf 2.3's run at 25lb. Quite hard grips, padded gloves.

  10. #10
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    Another vote for tire pressure and size. My Kona Unit came with 2.1" Maxxis Ignitor at around 35psi, and going down to 28psi made it whole lot more comfortable. Then I went with 2.35" Panaracer Rampage, and it made a lot of difference.

    And like many have said, body positioning / weight shifting while riding, as well as staying loose at knees and elbows and using them to absorb as much pounding as possible will help.

    As for adding front fork, I would send an email to the manufacturer and ask them. I know some manufacturers of rigid bikes recommend 80mm (or even 100mm) fork as it will preserve the bike's geometry.
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  11. #11
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    Murf99, what sort of Carbon bars?

  12. #12
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    This might not be popular to say, but all that stuff will only help a little bit. I can hear everyone now shouting B.S., but if you're comparing to a suspension fork, the extra 1/4" of travel gained with a big, low pressure tire will only be a small improvement. I have tried big tires, wide carbon bars, soft grips, etc. and they do help, but only incrementally. I am not trying to be a wet blanket, just trying to give realistic expectations.

    When the going gets rough, you need to bend your elbows and knees and absorb the bumps as smoothly as possible. You will also have to slow down a bit in rough conditions, compared to a bike with suspension.

    With all that said, I do like the occasional ride on a rigid bike. Actually, I ride one quite a bit, if you count my cx bike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rookie65 View Post
    Murf99, what sort of Carbon bars?
    Origin 8 space bar . I've been using alt bars for the last year or so and these are by far my favorite

    http://www.jbimporters.com/web/check...t_number=34114

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  14. #14
    dru
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    OP you need to measure the axle to crown length of your rigid fork. This measurement is taken from the bottom of the lower headset bearing race down to the axle. Once you have that measurement you can figure out if a suspension fork will work for you. You'll be able to guess how much the handling will change too. Sorry, I should have suggested it earlier.

    Drew
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  15. #15
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    It is a ****ing rigid fork. A carbon fork is a rigid fork. Carbon handlebars don't make up for suspension. 1/4" tire changes is not going to change hand numbness.

    Maybe sell the bike and get something that has travel. Your fork is probably 430mm, so you are boned for travel.

  16. #16
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    There is no replacement for a suspension fork, but there are things you can do to make it easier on your hands.

    Alt bars with a large amount of back sweep tend to put your arms in a position to absorb bumps better. I'm running Titec J-Bars (Jones design) with a 45 degree sweep and it makes a HUGE difference over standard 8 degree sweep bars. Also being able to have multiple hand positions on these bars makes a big difference as well for hand fatigue. I know the Titec bars are no longer made, but Jones has the aluminum Loop bars becoming available soon which might be worth looking at.

  17. #17
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    One of my bikes is a rigid bike, and I run the same front tire you do. There are a lot of little things you can do that all help some, but as mentioned, if you really want to stop taking a beating you need to get something with a suspension fork. That's why my other ride is full squish, because some days you couldn't pay me take the beating a rigid bike dishes out. Prior to owning the FS bike, I'd ride anyway, because I wanted to, but sometimes the third ride in a week was painful. Now it's only painful if I want it to be. If you simply can't afford another bike, or can't bear to part with this one, by all means, get carbon bars and fluffy grips. They will help, some. But if you really want to fix it, get another bike.

  18. #18
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    Rigid isn't for everyone. Like folks have said, big tire, big grips, low pressures help, but like umarth said, it's still rigid. If the previous don't get you to wear you want to be (A tire and grips are cheap), then look into selling your bike for something else. The older XXIX is not setup for a suspension fork if I recall correctly

  19. #19
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    Low pressure and alt bars have helped me, but the biggest factor for me is body positioning and riding style. You may need to use more "body language" in your riding (looser grip, unweight the front end, get behind the seat, etc). I came from a suspension (hardtail) background (hadn't ridden rigid since the early 90's), and it took me probably six months to relearn the right style for riding rigid on technical trails. Now that I have the technique, it doesn't feel any more punishing than riding a HT to me. I prefer rigid SS for the type of riding I do, but I can see the value of suspension, especially if you are doing big epic rides.

  20. #20
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    Get a bigger front tire, and drop the psi as low as you dare go. Short stem, wide bars, rock out!

    Someone mentioned ergos, and while I like how they feel, they make my wrists hurt after about 2-3 hours of riding? But that could just be me.,
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  21. #21
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    I have the same bike so I feel your pain. You can improve the ride considerably but like most of the other people here have said it will always be a rigid bike. Here's what I did to take the sting out of the ride.

    1) Small diameter handelbar (25.4) made the biggest difference in ride quality for me. What I ended up using was an easton EC70 bar and stem combo.

    2) Convert your tires to tubless. You can run lower tire pressure for a smoother ride + you get better cornering/climbing traction as a bonus.

    3) I added a carbon fork. General ride quality was about the same. The benefit to this was that the lighter weight made it easier to lift the front end over bigger hits.

    4) I also changed grips and added a larger tire but considering the stock tire was a 2.3 going to a 2.4 didn't give me a noticeable improvement.

    90% of the ride improvement came from the bar/tubless conversion so I'd start there.

    Mole

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rookie65 View Post
    I have a Raleigh XXIX, I am looking at ways of reducing the shock to my hands/arms. It is a non suspension corrected frame. Can I fit suspension forks or are the some different bars/grips I could try.
    yes you could put a fork on it,The benefit from suspension will probably outweigh the change in geometry. find a used 80mm reba.
    I've been inside too long.

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    1) Aluminum frame are like granite, if you are going to ride a hardtail go with steel.
    2) Big tires are a must, I started with Maxxis ignitors (2.1) and went to Schaulbe Racing Ralphs (2.5) . the difference is astounding.
    3) Get a shock seat post.
    4) Get thicker grips.
    stl 29 htail: Tru 3.3 stylo 180mm. WB 135/20mm, sram X-9. Schw RR. Hayes Trail 203mm, hbars spank777

  24. #24
    B.Ike
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    Learn to manual. Getting comfortable lofting the front wheel (even if its only a couple of inches) will smoothen out your ride. Oh, and pick better lines.

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    gloves........
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  26. #26
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    You could get a high quality custom fork built around your weight. People don't like to believe it but there is a huge difference in steel forks. Sure it won't have 80 or 100mm of travel but you will be surprised how good a nice fork can ride. Only problem is a nice custom steel fork will set you back 300-500 bucks. A ti 25.4 bar will help a little as will grips and a larger tire as well.

  27. #27
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    what does lofting the front wheel mean?
    stl 29 htail: Tru 3.3 stylo 180mm. WB 135/20mm, sram X-9. Schw RR. Hayes Trail 203mm, hbars spank777

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rookie65 View Post
    I have a Raleigh XXIX, I am looking at ways of reducing the shock to my hands/arms. It is a non suspension corrected frame. Can I fit suspension forks or are the some different bars/grips I could try.
    What year XXIX do you have? If took a quick look at the Raleigh bike archive. It's there until 2009 and none of the XXIX's in there have non-suspension corrected rigid forks.

    The bad news is: Chances are you are wrong about the frame being non suspension corrected.

    The good news is: If there is a rigid fork in there, it's probably the length of a suspension fork. Measure it! If it's 480 mm-ish, most 80mm Suspension fork fit and do not change the geometry.

  29. #29
    B.Ike
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul29er View Post
    what does lofting the front wheel mean?
    a manual. (a wheelie you ride standing up).

  30. #30
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    X 2....

    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    You could get a high quality custom fork built around your weight. People don't like to believe it but there is a huge difference in steel forks. Sure it won't have 80 or 100mm of travel but you will be surprised how good a nice fork can ride. Only problem is a nice custom steel fork will set you back 300-500 bucks. A ti 25.4 bar will help a little as will grips and a larger tire as well.
    I have a Willits W.O.W. steel fork that is very smooth and a Wiley that is nice but not as nice as the Willits. By no means are they suspension forks, but the Willits especially takes a lot of the edge off. Ergons, carbon or ti bars and post, high volume tires and a comfy saddle combine for a bike I can and do ride on very rocky, technical trails without issue.
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  31. #31
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    I have fitted a X Fusion Slide, currently set at 100mm travel. First test ride later today, I will report back..........

  32. #32
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    I think you can run a sus fork just fine. A buddy of mine rides a non sus corrected XXIX with a Tora (80mm I believe) and he's doing just fine with it. I've never seen him ride with a rigid fork so I am not sure if he actually did at one point.
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  33. #33
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    First ride done, I have noticed no change in handling. Only got 60mm travel so have droped Fork air presure slightly.

  34. #34
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    Just FYI, ALL Raleigh XXIX's were suspension corrected.

    2007 XXIX + Suspension Fork - OK?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rookie65 View Post
    I have a Raleigh XXIX, I am looking at ways of reducing the shock to my hands/arms. It is a non suspension corrected frame. Can I fit suspension forks or are the some different bars/grips I could try.
    If you are not running it tubeless, do it now. Also use a higher volume tire, especially in the front. I use a Mountain King 2.4 with only 20 psi. I weigh about 150, about 160 with a fully loaded pack. I love my rigid bikes. Also, I agree with using Ergon grips. Hope this helps.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by murf99 View Post
    I have a rigid bike when I switched to a fat 2.4 ardent and some carbon alt bars it made all the difference in the world I run the front with about 25 psi
    Ardent is nice but even better on a *wide* rim. I ride my Ardents on Velocity P35 rims with 29,5 mm inner width with only 16 psi at th front Thats my "rubber suspension"

  37. #37
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    I hear tubeless is the answer, haven't gone that way yet but thinking about it...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul29er View Post
    1) Aluminum frame are like granite, if you are going to ride a hardtail go with steel.
    Correction: poorly designed aluminum frames ride poorly. My El Comandante is not harsh.

    I like the Bontrager thick grips. The Carnegie carbon bar and Niner fork takes the edge off.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerBergschreck View Post
    Ardent is nice but even better on a *wide* rim. I ride my Ardents on Velocity P35 rims with 29,5 mm inner width with only 16 psi at th front Thats my "rubber suspension"
    I'm going this route soon too.

  40. #40
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    I rode my singlespeed rigid for a year and loved the simplicity, but I ride that bike on the same technical rocky choppy trails as my other bikes. I eventually swapped in a reba from another bike and I can honestly say it rides really comfortable with infinitely better control. Some of us are hell bent upon rigid only, but I say there's nothing wrong with trying a fork and swapping back and forth if you want. BTW tubeless helps a lot too, even with smallish 2.1 tires.

  41. #41
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    To all those people who say "pick a better line" or "use body english"... that will only get you so far. No matter how good you are, you will get beat up if you try to ride rough terrain at the same speed you ride with a suspension fork.

    And to the guy who mentioned suspension seatposts.... Whaaaat? You shouldn't be sitting down while going downhill, ever. And on a single speed, you won't be sitting down climbing either. So that's a pretty silly suggestion.

  42. #42
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    I raced the last season on a rigid carbon fork running a 2.4 ardent on a Flow rim @ 18-20psi. It was a really fun ride and extremely fast on the climbs, but I'm faster overall with an 80mm reba. Any ride over 20 miles completely wiped out my upper body, sometimes to the point that I could hardly hold onto the grips.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    No matter how good you are, you will get beat up if you try to ride rough terrain at the same speed you ride with a suspension fork.
    .
    Agree 100%. One of the things I love about rigid is that it slows me down, I concentrate more on the line and the ride itself in general, and most of the time, I have a better, more head clearing time on the bike. I generally don't get all zen but thats how I see it. Rigid most certainly isn't for everyone

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    And to the guy who mentioned suspension seatposts.... Whaaaat? You shouldn't be sitting down while going downhill, ever. And on a single speed, you won't be sitting down climbing either. So that's a pretty silly suggestion.

    Well silly me, I've been doing things wrong all this time. Now I'm going to have to unlearn 30 years of bad riding habits- thanks for setting me straight!

  45. #45
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    +1 for tubeless, changed my bike completely
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  46. #46
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    If memory serves the 2007-08 XXIX were not suspension corrected. That said, the Raleigh release a version with gears and a 80mm REBA fork in '08, the XXIX-G, and didn't change the geometry to adjust for this. This is how I recall it, but I'm not getting younger.

    So yeah, throw a fork on it if you want.


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