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  1. #1
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    Rigid forks for endurance races?

    Anyone here use a rigid fork on their 29er for racing? What's our experiences with it?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by _daemon_
    Anyone here use a rigid fork on their 29er for racing? What's our experiences with it?

    Yes, rigid since 2005 (since 2007 on a 29'er).

    It hurts more, but if you like rigid what are you gonna do?

    Horses for courses.

    A race like Lumberjack 100... not so much of a problem.

    A race like, I don't know, any one of them that has rocks, roots, and other bumpy objects in the way... a bit more of a problem.

    What's your motivation? Do you prefer rigid or just looking to drop some weight? Looking at crabon froks or steel?

    Not trying to be a smart ass, but I read that MTBR now requires it in the forum rules.
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  3. #3
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    Well I am intrigued by rigid forks, and my current fork is basically dead, so was thinking of swapping to a carbon On One fork. Weight saving would be nice

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    Quote Originally Posted by _daemon_
    Well I am intrigued by rigid forks, and my current fork is basically dead, so was thinking of swapping to a carbon On One fork. Weight saving would be nice

    Try a steel fork if you can borrow one from someone. If you like it then throw down some $$$'s on a crabon frok. I've had a White Brothers in the past, but my Niner frok is hands down better.
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  5. #5
    Really I am that slow
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    the salsda offerings ride super and dont cost a ton, and aren't very heavy for steel
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  6. #6
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    I concur...

    Dicky is right on with this comment. If you can, try steel and carbon...my guess is that you will favor the steel. At least, that has been my experience. carbon is hard to beat as far as weight is concerned. ON the other hand, I don't think that it dampens trail as well as steel.

    Keep in mind, too, that the type of steel fork matters, too. In my experience, and I hate to admit this, the Niner 470mm steel fork is the best I've tried. It doesn't chatter under braking forces, and is smooooove with a 2.25 - 2.4 tire at about 20-25 psi (tubed). I am currently running the singular steel fork on my swift. it is reynolds steel also, and has a veryu nice ride quality.

    After about 4 hours ride time, you will fatigue. A sus fork will eliminate a lot of this fatigue, but it is also more complex to maintain, dial, etc. truly a trade off, and a consideration you should considerate. ;-)

    I raced this last weekend and rode with a sus fork. While I found it faster on the descents, I still prefer riding with a rigid fork. It simply is a different style of riding. You become smoother by necessity. All that said, try a steel fork with a large volume tire at low pressure. I haven't looked back.
    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    Try a steel fork if you can borrow one from someone. If you like it then throw down some $$$'s on a crabon frok. I've had a White Brothers in the past, but my Niner frok is hands down better.

  7. #7
    snowbound
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    I use a rigid steel fork...found my biggest challenge after several hours was with hand fatigue...switching to ergon gx1's made a huge difference.

  8. #8
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    been riding / racing rigid for a few years. Dicky pretty much nailed it. Can't really add much more. I rode both a WB, Pace and now a Steel fork. I don't notice a huge difference between them. Get a big fat tire for the front, good gloves and you'll be fine.

  9. #9
    It ain't easy being Green
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    I'm intrigued by this subject... obviously a sus fork is more comfortable than a rigid but logic says that there must also be a performance advantage with a sprung fork or else all the pros would race rigid, no?

    How does a rigid fork cope with g-outs and sharp transitions?

  10. #10
    853+29+1x24=Fun
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    For me it wasn't about a performance increase it was about me trying to make a hard thing even harder and I liked the purity of it. I do like a rigid in super technical rocks and long fire road climbs.

  11. #11
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    Been rigid since 2008

    My SS 29r (Built up on a DEAN Colonel Ti frame) has a rigid DEAN Ti fork...


    Like Dicky said...some courses are great and some beat you up...


    Riding rigid (IMO) makes you a better, and SMARTER rider...when you ride it all the time, you can't help but learn to pick better lines, etc.


    Last edited by RSW42; 07-02-2010 at 04:50 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Interesting about the steel fork vs carbon fork, would have thought the carbon flexes a little more and so being a bit smoother. Will defiantly see if I can try out a steel fork.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _daemon_
    Interesting about the steel fork vs carbon fork, would have thought the carbon flexes a little more and so being a bit smoother. Will defiantly see if I can try out a steel fork.

    Rigid forks I've owned:
    Karate Monkey
    Walt Works
    Independent Fabrications (two different forks, two different A-C's)
    White Brothers carbon
    Salsa
    Niner steel (490 and 470)
    Niner carbon

    Hands down the Niner carbon wins. I can tell the difference between it and its steel counterpart. My suggestion that you try a borrowed steel fork first is only to save you the $$$$'s if you end up hating rigid.

    If you end up liking rigidity you'll like the Niner carbon fork morer as it's rigidier in all the good ways and compliant in the more compliant'esque ways.
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  14. #14
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    Does it make any sense at all for the OP to put high pressure in his current fork and run it locked out for a few rides?

    Would that even roughly approximate the ride of a rigid fork?

    I know it wouldn't do any favors to the fork, but it would be a cheap experiment, and he said the fork is darn near toast, anyway.

    (I'm curious because I'm contemplating the same change on my HT, just to make it totally different from the xc race fs bike.)
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  15. #15
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    Locking out a suspension fork really doesn't give you the same feel. They still have some amount of travel even when locked out so it won't give the full on hardcore rigid experience.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSW42
    Been rigid since 2008

    My SS 29r (Built up on a DEAN Colonel Ti frame) has a rigid DEAN Ti fork...


    Like Dicky said...some courses are great beat you up...


    Riding rigid (IMO) makes you a better, and SMARTER rider...when you ride it all the time, you can't help but learn to pick better lines, etc.


    Please don't shoot the messenger, but I noticed on a previous thread that a rider who switched to rigid and then switched back said that he had lost his competitive edge because he was instinctively choosing "careful" lines instead of "fast" ones.

    I have no beef with anyone who chooses to ride a rigid fork; you're a better rider than me!

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=sdcadbiker]I'm intrigued by this subject... obviously a sus fork is more comfortable than a rigid but logic says that there must also be a performance advantage with a sprung fork or else all the pros would race rigid, no?

    The advantage is in their pocket...they get paid to ride the newest and best equipment! All of which are suspension oriented.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcadbiker
    Please don't shoot the messenger, but I noticed on a previous thread that a rider who switched to rigid and then switched back said that he had lost his competitive edge because he was instinctively choosing "careful" lines instead of "fast" ones.

    I have no beef with anyone who chooses to ride a rigid fork; you're a better rider than me!

    No worries...Maybe I should have been more clearer.

    I own twin 29rs, both on DEAN colonel Ti frames...one geared, one SS. the geared has a White Bros squishy fork. I'm faster on my SS for many reasons.

    yes, it helps you pick better lines, but many times, a smoother line is a faster on in the overall picture sometimes...so many variables get thrown in, that its hard to list them all on a forum.


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  19. #19
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    I am doing endurance races with a steel salsa fork and i can attest to getting beat up. especially everthing over 6 hours. I like the way my bike feels with a rigid though. i am going to get a suspension fork though for thoes races that are too brutal. it doesn't pay to end a race with swollen hands because of the abuse your body takes. remember your out there a long time.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an
    Locking out a suspension fork really doesn't give you the same feel. They still have some amount of travel even when locked out so it won't give the full on hardcore rigid experience.

    My lefty locked out doesn't budge.


    I've raced rigid in the past and thought it was fun for trail riding and messing around, but it just wasn't right for me for racing. I'd get some really bad hand fatigue on the rougher stuff.

  21. #21
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    Rigid is fun, but tough with the doggies!

    Rode rigid on my first (and only) 29er then put a sus fork. I think I like the rigid better on that bike.

    Recently rode a 24 mostly on the rigid (all but first lap) and liked it better than my full sus (which I have sold since). It wasn't a rocky course, but the rigid suits my stand-up style.

    Now with my 2 dogs in the backpack on the last lap, I think I would have enjoyed the sus. Extra weight on the back translates to more pressure on the hands.

    NOTE: I never intended to ride/buy rigid, its just what the used bikes had on them when I got them and they were both screaming deals.

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  22. #22
    hispanic mechanic
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    I've been riding rigid on a 29" since 2003, and while I have really enjoyed riding rigid, and have been just as fast, I have decided to use a suspension fork for future endurance races.
    Rigid at the 24HOP wasn't too bad, but the Miles of DisComfort (rigid and fixed,) here in South Texas beat me up pretty good.
    I'm making the decision not from a standpoint of speed or fun, but from a 39 year old who relies on his hands to make a living.
    I've been training for the last few weeks with a new Rig for the SM100, and I miss the feel of the rigid fork, but it is kinda nice to have my wrists and hands hurt less after 3 hours of rocks.

    Los
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  23. #23
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    Just did my first 8 hour yesterday with a rigid carbon Niner fork. Apart from a high speed descent with horrible braking bumps I found it worked really well for me.

    I did have to take a 15 minute break at around 6:45 because an old shoulder injury got irritated and I couldn't hold the bars anymore but after icing it I was back out for the last hour without problems.

    I do have some wicked blisters (despite wearing gloves), especially on my right hand (where my right shoulder was giving me problems).

    Overall though the weight saving over a suspension fork was compensation enough to justify it for me.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcadbiker
    How does a rigid fork cope with g-outs and sharp transitions?
    by not moving.

    you have to do the work

  25. #25
    It ain't easy being Green
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    Too much work for an old man like me
    What prompted my question was an incident a couple weeks back; I hit an unexpected g-out at ~20mph and the resulting impact bottomed out my suspension hard enough to break the lower shock bolt. Crappy shock, but... On a hardtail I expect that would have resulted in a pinch or a taco.

    I sometimes hit sharp transitions that make me wonder "what if I had a rigid fork"? Typically this is on an XC race course where a fast downhill suddenly becomes an uphill. I guess that you guys have to plan ahead!

  26. #26
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    Well I took the plunge and ordered a On One carbon shock. Will see how I like it after a couple of weeks.

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    Ergon grips....They are ugly, but im doing the breck 68 this weekend and they are going to be a great addition to my bike. Full rigid, these grips made my hand position much more comfortable. Seriously a night and day difference between those and oury lockons

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by _daemon_
    Well I took the plunge and ordered a On One carbon shock. Will see how I like it after a couple of weeks.

    It's not a shock if it's rigid silly.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    It's not a shock if it's rigid silly.
    hehehe...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    I've been riding rigid on a 29" since 2003, and while I have really enjoyed riding rigid, and have been just as fast, I have decided to use a suspension fork for future endurance races.
    Rigid at the 24HOP wasn't too bad, but the Miles of DisComfort (rigid and fixed,) here in South Texas beat me up pretty good.
    I'm making the decision not from a standpoint of speed or fun, but from a 39 year old who relies on his hands to make a living.
    I've been training for the last few weeks with a new Rig for the SM100, and I miss the feel of the rigid fork, but it is kinda nice to have my wrists and hands hurt less after 3 hours of rocks.

    Los


    Flat Rock on a rigid...wow.

    I helped build a ton of trail out there from 2001-2005...I miss it



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  31. #31
    hispanic mechanic
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSW42
    Flat Rock on a rigid...wow.

    I helped build a ton of trail out there from 2001-2005...I miss it



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    Thank you for your work, it's a great course!
    I've not ridden out there with suspension yet. Or a freewheel.
    But I will soon, and I'm sure it'll be even more fun!

    Los
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  32. #32
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    Well seems my first proper ride on the rigid will be a 70km race
    (http://www.mtbseries.co.za/series1/C...Diamond%20Rush)

    Sure will be interesting to see how the fork rides

  33. #33
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.SBC
    Ergon grips....They are ugly, but im doing the breck 68 this weekend and they are going to be a great addition to my bike. Full rigid, these grips made my hand position much more comfortable. Seriously a night and day difference between those and oury lockons

    Which Ergons did you get? I'm running the Ourys now and would like something better.

    Mike

  34. #34
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    Had a blast at the race! Did it rigid/SS interesting thing is, I don't think I was actually that much slower on the rigid, if at all.

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