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  1. #1
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    rigid 1x9 vs full suspension aggro

    So I built up my original Specialized M2 as a 1x9. The bike is almost 20 years old as I struggle to win an argument over beers with these new fangled SSer or rigid peeps that seem to be all hollier than thou. So, What the crap, I built her up. Yeah, and you can forget the SS, I'm just too much of a wuss. We'll see how the 1x9 works first.

    intially, the 1x9 flew up the hill. Liberating almost to step on the gas and feel it accelerate. I see the aspect to going fast uphill can be addicting, but I struggled to keep the bike under me like a new rider learning how to balance again.

    I've become accustom to bigger bikes, (or call it a handicap) with the added rubber for traction and the suspension for comfort. As I figured out how to go faster on suspension bikes, I realized that my 37 year old body prefers the cush. WIth a 72 degree head angle, I couldn't lean into the corners I normally am used to... just steer it like a mack truck and there it goes. I'm sure my tracks were much like a snake, wiggling back and forth as I struggle to find the balancing point of a true old school rigid bike. It was challenging to say the least to just keep it going straight; not to mention those little rocks that now are huge obstacles as I graze them with my 40lb air tight tires and hear a 'zing' as the rock launches into the valley below. I realize this isn't hunting season, but I'm prepared to explain the physics to the rangers as he questions my sanity.

    With the reduced centrifugal weight on my wheels, i had to re-learn how to steer a bike. I think this is great to get back to the roots of what its all about... in moderation. About half way through the ride, I was mentioning that this rig is definitely an Arthritis Accelerator; at the bottom, my hands were numb, but my smile was big. C-cone became a challenging course for the first time instead of a flowy course that I'm used too.

    Those bikes definitely ride YOU. They have no flow (or very little). It can't be argued until you can truely use DH type body movement on a Nomad (or equivalent) to compare. The newer aggro xc/trail bikes are just much better suited to 'playing' and practicing flow. Albiet they're not fast on the uphills.

    My DH skillz should improve dramatically with a bike like this. the stability those things have can definitely put a governor on your riding. IF you see that you're plateau'ing, simply grab one of these mean old school cold war rigid bikes and see what you have to re-learn.

    I've always said that there is no glory in uphilling. Other than being to the top faster to stroke egos, my theory of slogging up Belcher on my 43lb VPFree will get me in fast shape, hands down.

    But all the fun is mine when I turn it around.

    I'm happy to have (yet) another addition to place in my stable. At least my wife won't look at the old bike and say "you should sell that"... I've now proved nothing, other than the fact I can look at the conditions for the day and ask.... "Is today a good day to accelerate my joint problems?"

    Although not a good ole boy in that crowd, I at least have more respect for how they handle those bikes on the trails.

  2. #2
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    I'm glad you had a learning experience, although as a rigid 1x9 rider, I disagree with some of your arthritic characterizations, discussions re flow, and the implication that the rigid SS or 29er pees are more "hollier than thou" than people who prefer suspension. Nevertheless, 's all gooood.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  3. #3
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    Agreed on your points regarding the handling of the old school hardtails. If you really want to a more distilled experience ditch the rear gears.

    I'm not a SS natzi or propagandist but the efficiency of a true SS is unparalleled and the focusing effect of not shifting, just pedaling is invigorating.

  4. #4
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crit Rat
    the efficiency of a true SS is unparalleled and the focusing effect of not shifting, just pedaling is invigorating.
    Word!
    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

    the blog

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    My DH skillz should improve dramatically with a bike like this. the stability those things have can definitely put a governor on your riding. IF you see that you're plateau'ing, simply grab one of these mean old school cold war rigid bikes and see what you have to re-learn.
    So true. Putting a twist on your usual game will usually enhance it.


    I bet you'll feel some "flow" on the long curves your next time out
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pabs
    I'm glad you had a learning experience, although as a rigid 1x9 rider, I disagree with some of your arthritic characterizations, discussions re flow, and the implication that the rigid SS or 29er pees are more "hollier than thou" than people who prefer suspension. Nevertheless, 's all gooood.

    Sorry man, After having raced DH for the past few years and learned flow skills.... those bikes just don't hold a candle to flow. It could be argued, however, if you've truely done both.

  7. #7
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    So, you are dictating what the term "flow" means for everyone else.

    Fine work
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  8. #8
    Now with 20% more fat!!
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    I disagree with your flow comments... Or perhaps we just have a different definition of flow... I feel incredible flow coming down Charlie's cutoff on my rigid SS out in BC. I don't actually have a 40lb bike, and the closest I have is a 575 at around 31lbs.. anyway, I've ridden the same trails with both bikes and have enjoyed flow on each... What exactly is flow to you?

    Oh, and I'm 36yo... and it took about 3-6 months before my body adapted to the rigid bike and the muscles did more of the work, reducing the jarring feeling. It certainly does require different muscles and a different style to ride each bike. Thank goodness I have both bikes to enjoy, but I sure would love a downhill rig, too. Riding bikes of all kinds is fun!

  9. #9
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    I agree with JSD.
    Well I’ll come out of the closet and admit I bought my first FS rig this past fall, turning 40 in March. I have 2 rides on it so far out of 9 since the New Year, the other 7 being on a rigid, ss w/ 2:1 gearing. Those 2 rides being the most time I’ve ever spent on a FS rig.
    This might not be a popular opinion but f@ck… FS and gears = easy. No sh!t you can flow on a bike like that… it does a lot of it for you. Miss a line, no problem your spension* will take care of that. Don’t want to work too hard, find yer Granny then sit and spin like a monkey.
    Hell, the bike is awesome and rides the same but I can’t help feeling the bike is doing half the work (or more) that I’m used to doing on my other bikes (yeah, work. I don’t ride cause it’s easy). So my opinion on flow is that hell yeah, it should be easier on a FS bike. I’ll tell ya though, riding rigid will improve your riding simply for the fact that there is no spension* there to bail your @ss out.
    All that being said, the new bike will have its place. I could never see wanting to ride this thing daily. I still prefer the ss for staying in shape (“there’s no glory at being the first to the top” ?) and rigid for keeping my handling skills sharp. But big, all day rides at altitude… yes. Riding Picture Rock, personally, no.
    Just one @sshole’s opinion. Enjoy.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
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  10. #10
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    So, you are dictating what the term "flow" means for everyone else.

    Fine work
    Better than someone's aunt dictating flow.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  11. #11
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Sorry man, After having raced DH for the past few years and learned flow skills.... those bikes just don't hold a candle to flow. It could be argued, however, if you've truely done both.
    I guess we see things differently, or at least, define "flow" differently. I would agree that it is harder to flow across broad sweeping turns with rocky terrain in a rigid bike. However, I flow through technical sections of trail, albeit slower, and with a different soundtrack than FS guys. Different strokes I suppose.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  12. #12
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    The word "flow" sucks and should be banned from any mt biking discussion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSD303
    I disagree with your flow comments... Or perhaps we just have a different definition of flow... I feel incredible flow coming down Charlie's cutoff on my rigid SS out in BC. I don't actually have a 40lb bike, and the closest I have is a 575 at around 31lbs.. anyway, I've ridden the same trails with both bikes and have enjoyed flow on each... What exactly is flow to you?
    Drinkin' while ridin'. what's yers?

  14. #14
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    Like Art, Flow is how you interpret it.

    I didn't mean anything negative by the statement. In my experience and opinion, Rigid's don't hold a candle to the FS bikes out there... I'd like to have a good debate on those that have truely done both (as opposed from a one sided opinion).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Rigid's don't hold a candle to the FS bikes out there....
    Really, on C. Cone?

    Suspension/slackness helps you go fast over rocks and/or down steeps.
    If they are not there (C Cone) then why does it matter what kind of bike you are on?

    If you were on a rigid at Keystone, yeah I'd see your point.


    .
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  16. #16
    Your retarded
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    Now you gone and done it, IE. You just told the rigid community that their dream machines don't compare to a fully in terms of flowability. Them fight'n words, son. That's like telling that dude at the bar that his girl looks like RuPaul.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Really, on C. Cone?

    Suspension/slackness helps you go fast over rocks and/or down steeps.
    If they are not there (C Cone) then why does it matter what kind of bike you are on?

    If you were on a rigid at Keystone, yeah I'd see your point.


    .
    Full suspension, slack angles, BB height all affect the overall handling of the bike on all types of trail, not just on rocks and steeps. One of the most important aspects of suspension (and yet oft forgotten/overlooked) is simple cornering! Whether banked, bermed, flat, loose, paved, off-camber, or whatever: suspension helps with cornering traction.
    The older I get, the faster I was.





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  18. #18
    friend of Apex
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Trucker
    Full suspension, slack angles, BB height all affect the overall handling of the bike on all types of trail, not just on rocks and steeps. One of the most important aspects of suspension (and yet oft forgotten/overlooked) is simple cornering! Whether banked, bermed, flat, loose, paved, off-camber, or whatever: suspension helps with cornering traction.
    Point taken on cornering, very true.

    I likes me some susp. and I'm no rigid is better type... I'm just sayin C Cone is pretty darn fun w/o it.

    I should take my non-dream machine out there to get me some perspective, though.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  19. #19
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    In my experience and opinion, Rigid's don't hold a candle to the FS bikes out there...
    That's all well and good as your opinion, and as far as speed on most course, you're no doubt correct, as evidenced by the use of suspension in top level races. However, it's all just opinion as, especially for most rigid riders (the majority of which used to ride suspension) aren't in it only for speed but for a different experience. What's "better" really depends on what more precise value judgments you make that underlie the better/worse conclusion.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  20. #20
    Stand back
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    40psi in your tires? Seems like that might've colored your perspective a little bit. Are those vintage tires, too (read: 2.0 or smaller)? And maybe if you want the full experience, you need to step up to the 29'er.
    Wow, look at me, I'm a freakin bike salesman. Walk away before I try to sell you the TruCoat.
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  21. #21
    Born With A Tail
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    I move that the word "flowy" be stricken from the English language.
    Tequila tonight, tomorrow we ride!

  22. #22
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Train
    I move that the word "flowy" be stricken from the English language.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks this word sucks.

  23. #23
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks this word sucks.
    What about Flo-Rida? http://www.officialflo.com/
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  24. #24
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pabs
    What about Flo-Rida? http://www.officialflo.com/
    Hmmm... not sure which one of THOSE two sucks more.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Point taken on cornering, very true.

    I likes me some susp. and I'm no rigid is better type... I'm just sayin C Cone is pretty darn fun w/o it.

    I should take my non-dream machine out there to get me some perspective, though.
    I've ridden it with my rigid M2, Nomad and VpFree. They all make C-Cone a different experience. Completely different ride based on the bike.

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