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  1. #1
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    Sep 2011

    Newbie Question - Do you just ride smoother singletrack or are you hitting drops, etc

    I'm building my first SS now, and it's got me thinking about the type of ridding that SS are used for. There are a few ~3' drops and some jumps that I like to hit on my local trail. Is it much different hitting that stuff on a ridged SS vs. a front suspension geared bike? I was originally thinking in terms of using the SS at a smoother trail, but now I'm getting curious about throwing on some 2.5" tires and hitting some rough stuff on it.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blackgriffen_1's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Hitting anything on a rigid bike versus a hardtail is going to be different. If you ever rode bmx or jumped silly things on a kid's bike back in the day, that helps. Seems to hurt less now. That being said, not all single speeds are rigid, and not all geared bikes have front suspension, etc etc.
    -Big tires + low pressures = hilarious fun
    -Rigid + weight on handlebars = landings hurt
    -When in doubt, use a squishy fork and ride everything!

  3. #3
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    The limiting factor of what I'll ride on my rigid SS is a) what i can tollerate and b) the point where it just becomes no fun to try to deal with a trail so technical that one mistake of inches leaves you putting your foot down to get back into a track stand to step the bike across rocks that you could basically plow with a FS bike. Drops and jumps really don't factor in whether or not I ride a trail unless there's a "control upon landing" issue, where maybe the landing is a little sketchy and you roll right onto a skinny - you don't want your rigid bike throwing you off a little right there, the FS would be much easier to keep on line.

    The trick to drops and jumps with a rigid bike is learning to truly land them correctly, where the rear wheel hits first, taking the brunt of the impact, allowing you to soak the impact up by bending your knees, which take it much better and give you a lot more travel than your elbows.

    All that said, there is something to be said for a relatively smooth, flowing trail that you can really pump the bike on. Certain trails like that, I constantly surprise guys on geared bikes by keeping up with them when they're riding hard, and really all I'm doing is pumping and riding a little smarter. It's even more amusing on downhill sections of these trails when I start having to use my brakes so I don't run over them.

  4. #4
    Just Ride
    Reputation: Cormac's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Since getting my new rigid SS (only on ride #2 so far) I find myself actually jumping and hitting drops more. If I see a root across the trail, I'll pop off that as well, where as before I would just roll over it. I have a geared HT with a suspension fork. And didn't jump it near as much. Also was iffy on drops due to lack of trust in the fork. Of course it has a pogo stick fork. So that plays into it I'm sure.

    Back to the rigid, it takes me back to a simpler time in life, riding BMX as a kid. The feeling actually isn't far off. And I'm already more confident in the air than I ever was on the geared bike I rode for over a year.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  5. #5
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    Oct 2011
    Funny you say that. Getting air on the hard tail never did feel quite right to me. Either full suspension or rigid seems more right.

  6. #6
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    Reputation: ParsedOut's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Kawigreen99 View Post
    Funny you say that. Getting air on the hard tail never did feel quite right to me. Either full suspension or rigid seems more right.
    Tell that to all the BMX riders out there.

    I'm having a blast on my rigid, totally a flash back to jumping dirt mounds as a kid. Back when helmets weren't even a consideration and dislocated and broken bones were just part of life. This most recent tea cup generation is afraid to hop a curb without full moto gear on, or should I say their parents are afraid... kids are always willing to do stupid shit.

    Let me just clarify, I'm not saying we should all go helmetless, that is just crazy. However I can tell you if I hadn't constantly tried as a kid to find the limit and continually push it I wouldn't be the same person I am today. Quite the tangent I went off on here... sorry about that.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: ChaosCelt's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Sure there are "smooth" options on the trails i ride if what you are worried about is seconds on a lap time, and i will use those when i'm looking for all out speed. That being said I quite literally have been riding these trails for almost 20 years so when ever the bug to bites me then i'm looking for the nearest drop or launch to come off of. My 04 Monocog found a few 5' drops and i just went back to what my uncle taught me "If you take the bike off the ground remember Back, Knees, Front." Just like Cortharyus said use your body as the suspension then it's just a matter of how crazy you are.

  8. #8
    Dive Bomber
    Reputation: jackspade's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    I only ride smooth and if there's drop I'll just roll it and if it's to scary for me I just off the bike.

    Rigid or suspension doesn't matter as long as you can land smooth on drop.
    But for rough terrain it does makes different, you can have faster speed with suspension since it's absorb the impact and bump so your control would be better. It's just like ride down the stairs it's very noticeable between rigid and suspension.

    With rigid you get the bounce back, while suspension absorb it.

  9. #9
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    Reputation: gonzo's Avatar
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    Feb 2004

    You got SKILLS?

    Quote Originally Posted by firstRWD View Post
    There are a few ~3' drops and some jumps that I like to hit on my local trail. Is it much different hitting that stuff on a ridged SS vs. a front suspension geared bike?

    If you got SKILLS you can rip on a ridgid single speed.

    If you do not know how to properly make your landings, get suspension, it compensates for your lack of skills.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    You would be surprised at what is able to be ridden on a rigid. The key is proper technique, without suspension there is nothing to hide any mistakes you make.

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