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  1. #1
    I don't huck.
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    Locked out sus fork vs. rigid fork?

    Tonite I decided to lock out the M29 fork on the Karate Monkey SS and see how it felt. It was not too bad, near the end of the ride my wrists were a bit cranky, but not much.

    It got me thinking whether or not a nice riding rigid fork, be it steel, carbon or whatever is comparable to locking out a sus fork as far as overall give/suppleness? It has been a long time since I rode a rigid, steel fork and that was on a 26er. Hardly the same. Also, I really see very little movement at the dropouts under braking, bumps, etc on the locked out rigid fork and I remember being able to see the rigid steel forks of old 'giving' to trail chatter.

    Is it reasonable to hope that a nice rigid fork and a biggish tubeless tire may be actually kinder than a locked out, sus fork (no blow-off valve)? I know it won't be 80mm of travel, but it has me curious.

    I can see the attraction of the rigid fork, but I have no real frame of reference.
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  2. #2
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    I came to the same conclusion two years ago. My Reba was locked out more than not and I decided it was silly to carry the extra weight. Went rigid and no looking back. I like the feel of the Salsa Moto Grande fork and also like the Origin 8 carbon fork. This is on a 29er and to me, the 29er SS was made for a rigid fork (or vice versa).
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    I came to the same conclusion two years ago. My Reba was locked out more than not and I decided it was silly to carry the extra weight. Went rigid and no looking back. I like the feel of the Salsa Moto Grande fork and also like the Origin 8 carbon fork. This is on a 29er and to me, the 29er SS was made for a rigid fork (or vice versa).

    So, to be specific, did you feel that the Salsa or Origin fork rode the same as or better as the Reba locked out?

    That was the comparison I was trying to make.
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  4. #4
    a.k.a Slacker
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    I run mine with the SID and remote pop-loc.

    I definitely climb with it locked out (even with it locked out, there's a slight give of about 10 - 20mm). However I enjoy having 100mm when I'm descending.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    So, to be specific, did you feel that the Salsa or Origin fork rode the same as or better as the Reba locked out?

    That was the comparison I was trying to make.
    I think the rigid forks ride much smoother than the Reba locked out. The Salsa fork has some "spring" on the bumpy stuff and is more comfortable. The carbon fork is different. While it does not have the "spring", it is more compliant overall. Not sure which one I like better, but I bought my Salsa fork used on Ebay for $62 Buy it now, so the price was right. Speedgoat usually has great prices on new Salsa forks.

    IMO, compared to the Salsa fork, the Karate Monkey fork is a little harsh.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  6. #6
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    Not even close to being the same. The locked out reba will still provide way move travel and keep your hands happier than a rigid.

    I have a 2007 reba on my 26 ss (For sale by the way)

    I also have a titanium 29 ss with the orgin 8 carbon fork with a 2.55 front tire, love that darn thing but it can be pretty abrupt on super rocky terrain. Not enough to buy a reba for it though!!

    Some of my friends chuckled when i went rigid 29, they ride 5 inch travel bikes but they were not too happy when i was keeping up with them on the downhill sections (we are all similar in downhill skills) Now they are questioning gears and suspension forks (majority of the rides we go on are not super rocky or super technical. Some of the rides are just made for fs bikes but i will still ride my rigid on them.



    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    So, to be specific, did you feel that the Salsa or Origin fork rode the same as or better as the Reba locked out?

    That was the comparison I was trying to make.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=cbrock450]Not even close to being the same. The locked out reba will still provide way move travel and keep your hands happier than a rigid.QUOTE]

    My fork is an M29. It does not move at all locked out on a normal trail...maybe jumping off a loading dock or something.
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  8. #8
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    My fox fork is the same way locked out, bones move before the fork does.

    The reba i have moves about 20 mm locked out.
    Enought to take off the edge...like a vicodin.


    [QUOTE=mtroy]
    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450
    Not even close to being the same. The locked out reba will still provide way move travel and keep your hands happier than a rigid.QUOTE]

    My fork is an M29. It does not move at all locked out on a normal trail...maybe jumping off a loading dock or something.

  9. #9
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    Right...which brings me to the point I was pondering. That sus fork has to be very rigid, well at least it should be...because the idea is the fork collapses to absorb shock. I see very little movement at the dropouts when riding or braking when that fork is locked out or not.

    But, I remember steel forks chattering a bit when under bump and braking forces. Some more than others, I was usually on a custom fork, not a heavy factory jobbie. It makes me wonder if the right rigid fork will be more supple than the locked out, beefy, overbuilt sus fork.
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  10. #10
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    I have ridden both setups back to back and the carbon fork will offer some forgivenes compared to the locked out fork for sure.

    It makes me wonder if the right rigid fork will be more supple than the locked out, beefy, overbuilt sus fork.[/QUOTE]

  11. #11
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    On the right pedal...I have a Fox Vanilla 125RL set at 100mm on me ole Monocog. I do tend to ride it locked more than most of my buds do theirs,and that makes it a 4+lb rigid fork.

    On the left pedal...There are times (rock strewn trails,towards the end of a long ride,drops,etc) that I'm very thankfull it's there. Before the Fox,I had a budget 100mm Marzocchi w/ no lockout-it was fair,but I had no choice,before that,rigid,again no choice. This may not matter to some,but sometimes an old spinal injury bugs me,and I really appreciate being able to ride because of all the cooosh.

    I don't guess this was really an answer,but a pro and con,if you will. Hope it helps
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  12. #12
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    I'm riding a rock shox and it still has 10+ mm of play when locked (plus a blow off). It is usually locked out. However, I'm certainly glad to have it when I'm headed down. With that said, it's on a monocog and the suspension fork doesn't weigh much more than the rigid. I don't see a downside.

  13. #13
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    I would much rather hear a pros and cons than someone telling me what they are doing is the best and what everyone else is doing is wrong



    Quote Originally Posted by longhaultrucker
    On the right pedal...I have a Fox Vanilla 125RL set at 100mm on me ole Monocog. I do tend to ride it locked more than most of my buds do theirs,and that makes it a 4+lb rigid fork.

    On the left pedal...There are times (rock strewn trails,towards the end of a long ride,drops,etc) that I'm very thankfull it's there. Before the Fox,I had a budget 100mm Marzocchi w/ no lockout-it was fair,but I had no choice,before that,rigid,again no choice. This may not matter to some,but sometimes an old spinal injury bugs me,and I really appreciate being able to ride because of all the cooosh.

    I don't guess this was really an answer,but a pro and con,if you will. Hope it helps

  14. #14
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    It kinda depends on what terrain you're riding. Out here on the Front Range, there's plenty of "texture" on the trails and plenty of downhill. I rode my steel fork 29er for about 8 months and got a little tired of getting beat up on the downhills. Now carbon may have been a little more comfortable, but there's no way a rigid fork is going to give you the confidence and comfort on a rocky downhill as a suspension fork.

    It's a little more hassle to lock out the fork when hammering uphill and lockouts are not exactly 100% locked out. Having the option made a big difference for me. I still ride my rigid on the buff trails, but switch to the suspension forked bike for more technical trails.

    That being said, if you're riding around locked out 100% of the time or the aesthetic of the rigid single speed is important to you, get a rigid fork. But, don't worry about the extra weight of the suspension fork. There are plenty of places to lose a few ounces for less money.

    -Chuck

  15. #15
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    +1

    If weight is the only thing you are looking to save you are looking in the wrong place.
    My carbon fork weighs 1.7 pounds so i am guessing i shaved 1-1.5 pounds off my bike but the first thing i did was buy a 2.55 front tire to soften things up a bit. The bike came with a kenda small block 8 and i am guessing the WTB Weirwolf ways at least a quarter pound more than the kenda.

    I bought the bike used so the carbon fork was not my choice but i do really like it.

    Chuckjoga...I guarantee my thoughts will change when i ride down apex and my hands are numb

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