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  1. #1
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    Going back to rigid!

    I have an 2007 Voodoo Aizan that I built up rigid with a White Bros rigid fork. Rode it with varying mods of wheels and bars and grips and settled with carbon riser bars, ESI chunkies, Crossmax wheelset with Spec Captain 2.2 at 22-25 psi for fairly manageable ride. After getting my butt spanked at some local races on the downhills I thought I would try out the suspension fork thing.

    I bought a 2007 Reba Race with lockout 80mm and did the last race of the season in June with it one. Felt a little strange at first but the plush was nice on the front end. Riding it this summer I felt my tech skills have diminished and not felt super happy on the bike.

    Just put the rigid fork back on last night and rode it for an hour this morning. WOW. Sure I got beat up a little, but I loved the handling way better, and felt like the bike responded at speed with more confidence. Plus I like the look of the bike with the rigid more.

    Am I crazy or has anyone else gone through similar? I plan on keeping the rigid on for a while and see how it goes and probably put the fork on for one or two races at sites that have some rough stuff, but might race some with rigid on it.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, rigid rocks! Very precise steering. I have used both a suspension fork and a rigid fork and prefer the rigid every time.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  3. #3
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    Funny, I recently decided that after seeing a bunch of guys bomb down some rocky downhills that I needed a full suspension bike again. Went for the complete opposite of what I was used to 5" bike with gears... rode it about a dozen times and can't stand it. It's hard to put into words exactly... I just feel numb. I have no idea what's going on with the trail, and just don't care for the feeling one bit.

    I'm now selling the dual squish.

  4. #4
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    I am building up a single speed On-One Scandal with the White Brothers fork and with my current spec she will be about 17.2 lbs.

    This is to replace my Kona Coilair (magic Link) an amazing bike and with 6" front and 7.5" of rear it soaks up massive hits but it is like riding a sofa and coupled with the 34 lb weight I just die on the hills.

    I have had a few year break from riding and initially looked at getting a light single speed but typically I got over excited and want a full boing as the last bike I had before stopping riding was a GT STS but I forgot I mainly used that for messing about urban riding.

    90% of all the miles I have ever done have been on rigid bikes (pre-suspension days) and those were the most fun I ever had.

    I may get a Manitou R7 MRD Absolute (normal or carbon) if the rigid is just to much for my soft feeble body thatI am cursed with these days, but really I am hoping I can cope with the rigid carbons.

    I am really excited about getting back on a fast nimble bike, and at 17.2lbs it is going to fly (well as fast as a 32:20 can). Where I live it is all hills, more up than down it seems lol

  5. #5
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    I agree - my rigid singlespeed just feels right. The handling is very tight and precise, and it climbs like a rocket. I had a suspension fork on it for a year, and was never happy with the way the front end felt. With a reasonably big soft tire on the front, things are much better

    ... however, unlike you guys, I am also in love with my Titus Motolite. For all day riding on rougher terrain, I like the squish. Sorry for the lack of hardcore commitment.

  6. #6
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    As long as you are "mentally" ready, go for it. I say that because you shouldn't expect it to be forgiving, or even able to ride all the same trails as you would with a sussy for at the same speeds, unless you live somewhere flat.

    I have a rigid SS Siren and a Knolly Endorphin, 2 bike for different uses and I wouldn't choose to ride them on the same trails if I had the option..

  7. #7
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    I went from a 4" XC FS bike to a full rigid 29'er SS. It has been awesome. I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but I'm riding all the stuff I rode on my FS bike, stuff that's pretty rocky, and it's great. It took a few rides to get the finesse down of braking properly (given the traction differences in rough stuff) but I'm almost as fast at this point as I was on the FS bike, and having about 10x more fun
    :wq

  8. #8
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    I have a full rigis SS jabber that I absolutely love and ride the majority of the time....BUT, there are days when she is just not the right tool for the job.
    I'm lucky in that I have both but I definitely ride the SS rigid a lot more frequently and actually enjoy it more

  9. #9
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    I couldn't imagine riding rigid on the trails in MN. However, I've never tried it! I'm very content with the Dart 3 on my rockhopper. Total bike weight is 20lbs (bath scale style). Good luck. Do you find that you bail more often riding rigid?

  10. #10
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    I'd been riding a 5" full susser for the past 3 years and just couldn't fathom riding rigid. This winter I picked up a Monocog and have pretty much neglected my FS. The rigid climbs and turns so much better it's not even a contest. I found riding in the rocks (New England terrain is all about roots and rocks) difficult at first but with lower tire pressure and keeping the front end un weighted, I do pretty well.

  11. #11
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    ^ ^ ^

    +1 on the lower tire pressure. And/or larger volume tire in the front. I found that a shorter stem and a little more saddle setback, with a slightly lower saddle height worked wonders for improving handling in the techy stuff... What's nice is that the position doesn't really need to change all that much, since endos caused by fork compression are not a concern.

  12. #12
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    I'm enjoying riding this old blue thing of mine more now than in any other set-up - in other words, more than when it had suspension forks and 26" front wheel or rigid forks and 26" wheel.
    The whole thing with the 29" wheel was only a bit of an experiment but I like it so much and it handles so well that I think this is how it's going to stay.
    Ok, on rocky faster stuff rigid forks can give you a bit of a hammering but, in my opinion they come into their own in slower, technical sections (and I like those a lot ). No brake dive and a greater feeling of precision does it for me.

    I did think about getting one of those Singular Hummingbird frames, but it's difficult to see how it could be an improvement over what I have. I'm very fond of the old thing anyway
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  13. #13
    aka baycat
    Reputation: Ryan G.'s Avatar
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    Just went back to rigid on my single speed and digging it. Nice Independent Fabrications fork + Rampage 29er make it a bit bearable.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10000 Lakes
    I couldn't imagine riding rigid on the trails in MN. However, I've never tried it! I'm very content with the Dart 3 on my rockhopper. Total bike weight is 20lbs (bath scale style). Good luck. Do you find that you bail more often riding rigid?
    Is that with or without wheels? How did you get a Rock Hopper with a Dart to 20 lbs?
    :wq

  15. #15
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    ???

  16. #16
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    oops... dp

  17. #17
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    Agreed with all the above. Same story here, I had a REBA, chucked it I've been riding rigid ever since. I can still do all the big jumps I used to, God wanted us to feel the Earth below us. Incidentally studies have shown that running shoes are also over engineered and it is actually beneficial to run barefoot. I'm not quite there yet, but rigid SS are like a horse and carriage.
    A wife and a good job have ruined many a good biker.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10000 Lakes
    I couldn't imagine riding rigid on the trails in MN. However, I've never tried it! I'm very content with the Dart 3 on my rockhopper. Total bike weight is 20lbs (bath scale style). Good luck. Do you find that you bail more often riding rigid?
    Not sure what you mean bail? I can climb everything the same and actually i feel ability to navigate tech stuff better, although at slower speeds. Taking off the Reba alters geometry and
    I cant say enough about the handling. Will definitely be keeping the rigid on until the fall races start and will probably preride with the rigid to see if I want to race with it on.

    Well as long as the elbow and the wrist hang on!!

  19. #19
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    I'm a total flip-flopper on this issue. I keep switching back and forth between a Fox 100mm and a rigid Niner fork on my SIR9. I like the feel of the rigid except on those super fast rocky descents where there's no way to avoid hitting rocks hard enough that my eyes go blurry and it feels like my flesh is going to rip of my bones. Last time I put the Fox back on I swore I wouldn't switch back to rigid, but like a rigid fork junkie, I just put the rigid fork back on last weekend.

    In my opinion, the SIR9 with a Fox 100mm fork is almost perfect. But I like the challenge of the rigid and I can still go pretty fast, so I keep going back to it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    I'm a total flip-flopper on this issue. I keep switching back and forth between a Fox 100mm and a rigid Niner fork on my SIR9. I like the feel of the rigid except on those super fast rocky descents where there's no way to avoid hitting rocks hard enough that my eyes go blurry and it feels like my flesh is going to rip of my bones. Last time I put the Fox back on I swore I wouldn't switch back to rigid, but like a rigid fork junkie, I just put the rigid fork back on last weekend.

    In my opinion, the SIR9 with a Fox 100mm fork is almost perfect. But I like the challenge of the rigid and I can still go pretty fast, so I keep going back to it.
    You sound like me!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    You sound like me!
    And me!

    I rode rigid for a long time, but recently put on my old Reba because my hand has been hurting. I can definately tell the difference on the fast downhills, but other than that, I don't like it as much. So even though my hand still hurts, I'm going back to rigid. I think for me I'll just have to ride 50% of the time on my FS with gears, where before I just always chose the rigid SS...

    Oh yeah, This was funny! I can relate, and my gear is easier...

    Quote Originally Posted by roybatty666
    well as fast as a 32:20 can...

  22. #22
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    Around here (flat texas) we have some pretty techy trails. A rigid or short travel hardtail is usually best. Especially if you enjoy going fast but dont enjoy taking risks at every corner.

    Rigid feels fast while being very efficient. Good combo for alot of people.

    Full squish IS faster in most situations but you have to be pretty fit (it is heavier) and a little daring to take full advantage of a full squishes capability.

    My enduro doesn't even feel awake until you get above 15mph. At that point the suspension, weight, and large contact patch is an advantage. My stumpy hardtail feels fast EVERYWHERE untill I hit around 20mph then it gets a bit sketchy and twitchy even in the open section

  23. #23
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    Rigid, Jonathan. Suspension forks were meant to break.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Rigid, Jonathan. Suspension forks were meant to break.
    Hah! You werent supposed to see this thread!! Its ok for you cruising up and down 396 every day which is as smooth as my shaved head. We have rocks down here in Phoenix!!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmilMick
    Around here (flat texas) we have some pretty techy trails. A rigid or short travel hardtail is usually best. Especially if you enjoy going fast but dont enjoy taking risks at every corner.

    Rigid feels fast while being very efficient. Good combo for alot of people.

    Full squish IS faster in most situations but you have to be pretty fit (it is heavier) and a little daring to take full advantage of a full squishes capability.

    My enduro doesn't even feel awake until you get above 15mph. At that point the suspension, weight, and large contact patch is an advantage. My stumpy hardtail feels fast EVERYWHERE untill I hit around 20mph then it gets a bit sketchy and twitchy even in the open section
    You are comparing two bikes at opposite ends of the spectrum though, not just fs vs hardtail. Try a FS bike that is much closer in geometry and weight to your Stumpy (such as the Epic) and the differences would be much, much smaller. (This is coming from a rigid lover )

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