Why Rigid Forks?
I have been running a carbon frame and fork for the last few years. I feel blazing fast on this setup when the conditions are right (smooth trail, uphill) but when the going gets rough (rock gardens, downhill, roots etc.) I know I am giving up speed. As I start to get fatigued at the end of a long ride it gets worse because the only way to go fast downhill rigid is to let it fly, but when I get tired I try to control my speed more and downhill braking with a rigid fork is a downward spiral, the harder you brake the worse the ride.
I guess the question is how many of you diehard rigid dudes have gone back to a suspension fork simply because it is more comfortable and therefore a better experience, even better how many think they are faster with the suspension fork on their hardtail SS?
I just bought my sir9 complete last week. After a couple rides I can say there is a time and a place for everything. I like the rigid fork because I don't have anything to fiddle with and I find I am concentrating more on riding than thinking about air pressure or rebound or low speed compression. I might buy a light suspension fork in the future but for now I'll keep the simplicity of the rigid.
That being said, I love my RS pike on my yeti. And I miss it at times on the sir but this thing just goes when I touch the pedals.
"I'm the fastest of the slow guys"
I have a 29" FS 1x10 carbon weight weenie rocket and a 29" SS steel rigid that weighs more. I like both for numerous reasons.
The nice thing that when one of the 100 parts breaks on the FS, I still have a reliable low maintenance no fuss bike to ride. With the SS, all I have to worry about is to make sure that the sealant hasn't dried out and the chain is lubed.
So in my case, I don't want to worry about and maintain another squishy fork on my bike. I just want to ride.
The rigid SS teaches me how to be a better rider and choose smoother lines, and how to feel and ride techy stuff. It also teaches me to spin really fast and grunt up climbs.
The FS teaches me how to go fast, and allow me to go over stuff that I would be scared to go over with my SS.
I really like my SS to be rigid. With being stuck in one gear it is nice that when you are climbing you aren't compressing the shock. With it being my backup bike I also want to keep it as low maintenance as possible.
I have a geared FS bike, and two SS hard tails. One with a Lefty, the other the Niner carbon fork.
Last night I was riding my rigid bike, and as far as cranking up hills on a single speed goes, the rigid fork, as you point out, is in it's element. Love it. But on the decants I find like you said, you have to let it fly, mostly this means getting my weight right back and being very light on the steering and skipping over as many roots and rocks as possible. But riding at night, I don't think I'm going to use a rigid fork any more. Too tentative, the penalty for not spotting even a moderate size rock on the trail is too high.
I'm contemplating consolidating the two hard tails - the part of me that like different things says go full carbon rigid (that bloody One 9 RDO photography) while I think it just makes more all around sense to stick with the lefty.
'12 Niner Jet RDO 22.9 lb
'09 Cannondale F29er 1 20.1 lb
'10 Sanderson Soloist 23.8 lb
'09 Hammer 29'er 20.5 lb
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