Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49

Thread: rigid forks

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617

    rigid forks

    I am all about simplicity that's why I love single speed. and I love rigid forks because they have nothing to go wrong nothing to fail no oil to leak they don't need rebuilt and they are super lightweight. but somebody help me understand why I enjoy beating my body to death. Some of the trails around these parts that are very hilly and steep are also used by horses and they can be pretty rooted in chopped up. they're still fun to ride and I enjoy the technical challenges but I gotta admit if I had a suspension fork I could go down them that much faster. it just beats the crap out of my arms the jack hammering motion that I get from going down a lot of these trails. I actually had to turn my wrist watch upside down because it was beating a solid bruise on the top of my hand and leaving a welt. is it worth it? I can't even mount my GoPro on my handlebars because the footage is so bouncy. But honestly where I mount my GoPro is the least of my worried I just thought I would throw that in.for the record I am riding on a salsa steel fork. what to do what to do. any of you guys ever been in this situation and loved your rigid fork for the weight reduction in the simplicity but ended up going back to sophisticated suspension fork for the extra speed and less abuse on your body?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    805
    Rigid is a style thing and works for some people. Other people ride with a style that needs a squish fork.

    I ride rigid because honestly I really find that it is comfortable. Earlier today I did a six hour race on rigid. Something like 65 miles of single track at Warrior Creek. The trail there is not super rough but it has it's moments. I ride all my local trails rigid and although I own a suspension fork it sit on the wall in my shop waiting for me to get around to selling it. Even when I go out to Pisgah I find that I prefer rigid. The reason is that because I spend most of my time rigid I can't really adapt to switching the bike to suspension for just one or two days.

    Rigid requires a style that is light on the front end of the bike. The rider must pick lines and understand how to lift or unweight the front end as they are hitting stuff. I don't really take the hits with my upper body but rather let the bike move under me. Basically riding smooth is the key. Occasionally it means slow down a bit in really nasty gnar but for most of the areas that I ride the heavy gnar is less then 5% of the time on the trail.

    Personal style and technique are key to most aspects of riding. I find that I really need to pay attention to bar grip and remind myself to actively shift from firm grip to draping my hands on the bar as often as possible. With rigid firm grip is key but at any points where you can get away with just draping you hands on the bars you need to transition quickly so your hands can recover. Especially in something like a six hour race good grip management allows for control without fatigue. Also, for me Ergon grips on a sweep bar are critical. Currently I run the Answer 20/20 bar with the sweep specific Ergon grips.

    Depending on your personal style you will find the setup that works for you. Spend some time on a good squish fork and time on the rigid. Try both and keep playing with your bike position, grips, and riding techniques. Don't worry about what works for others, you may find your style and trails mesh better with a little squish.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  3. #3
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,955
    What febikes said ^^
    + I really enjoy the challenges more than I miss the additional speed that I could handle with suspension technology. On a rigid fork, something primitive in may says it is ME overcoming the challenges and not a piece of gear.

    Another person will have different preferences and priorities.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  4. #4
    cowbell
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,999
    Uh huh. There's something to be said for the connection, the immediacy of a rigid fork. It's interesting how many people think it's absolutely crazy, and won't even consider it, while others prefer it. To me, for SS it only makes sense, while my other bike is FS and geared, and I don't think I would own a geared hard tail again, or ever put a suspension fork on my SS. As mentioned, style and technique have to be adapted to riding this way - the whole light hands heavy feet thing really comes into play, and you have to keep you upper body loose. As far as the watch bruise - I've had that. My solution was actually to buy a lighter watch. While it's nothing to do with why I ride rigid, I still, deep inside, get a kick out of showing up at very technical, rocky trails and having people on FS bikes tell their friends on hard tails they're crazy for not having FS at that trail, then unloading my rigid SS, and just have them stand there shaking their heads while I ride off. Like pertime said, I think they don't realize they can ride that trail without all those bells and whistles. From a personal standpoint, those bells and whistles didn't exist when I started riding mountain bikes, so I had the advantage of already knowing what was possible.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617
    I don't plan on getting rid of my rigid fork. I can appreciate everything that's been said here as that's why I went with rigid in the first place. I just wanted something that wasn't going to break down leak oil need rebuilt and weigh several pounds. I have a lot to learn on the light upper body thing I admit. I still catch myself having locked elbows and I forced myself to lean into it a little bit to get my elbows bent so I know that's my fault. I was planning on upgrading to some nice carbon forks down the road but the more I've read on the comparisons between steel and carbon I'm not sure I would like them. They say that carbon forks ride a little harsher then steel. And I think my salsa Forks that I got are supposed to be more lively then the surly forks that are out there so I imagine I have a pretty decent fork on my bike right now.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3,139
    I think rigid forks and ss bikes are a natural fit because of all the standing and high gear grinding they require.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    444
    I rode my normal trails rigid then got a squishy fork. Realized I walked more up the short steep climbs and was slower up long gradual climbs and not too much faster going down hill. So I switched back. I get props from the old guys who ride and hike the trails and weird looks from the everyone else.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617
    Quote Originally Posted by worrptangl View Post
    I rode my normal trails rigid then got a squishy fork. Realized I walked more up the short steep climbs and was slower up long gradual climbs and not too much faster going down hill. So I switched back. I get props from the old guys who ride and hike the trails and weird looks from the everyone else.
    I will admit when I ride front squish I Bob going up hills. I do climb much better with rigid. I proved that yesterdsy.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    444
    I agree I feel like a ball in a wave pool sometimes. My fork is properly setup too maybe I will try a higher end with remote lockout someday but right now I don't feel I need it. I'm moving to Maryland at the end of the summer from Hawaii so we will see.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CCSS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    211
    @iowamtb - the Salsa Cromoto is a great fork, known for being a good combination of compliant and lively. I rode one on my el mariachi for years. The only carbon fork that I've enjoyed as much as the cromoto is the Carver470. Enjoy being rigid!

  11. #11
    achiever
    Reputation: redwarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    787
    I went from riding a fully suspended 26" to SS rigid 29" back about 6 years ago. I loved SS rigid set up but got tired of being beaten up by the trail. I lost some fitness, rode less trail, went to 1x10 with a squishy fork for the past couple of years. I've come to the conclusion that my riding style is much more adapted to rigid SS. I'm faster & smoother naturally on a rigid single speed bike because of having ridden similar set ups growing up. I'm committing to rigid SS, much more trail time & better fitness (why oh why can't beer & bar food be fitness food?) this year with the intention of riding the Hampshire 100 SS & unsuspended. I know I can do it, it's simply a matter of wanting it bad enough.

    I said all that to say this: if you end up with a suspension fork for a bit, don't be surprised if you end up back on the rigid.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617
    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior
    (why oh why can't beer & bar food be fitness food?)
    That's why I sometimes drink light beer instead of dark beer! LOL!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617
    Quote Originally Posted by CCSS View Post
    @iowamtb - the Salsa Cromoto is a great fork, known for being a good combination of compliant and lively. I rode one on my el mariachi for years. The only carbon fork that I've enjoyed as much as the cromoto is the Carver470. Enjoy being rigid!
    That's good to know! I didn't feel like spending the money on another fork anyways lol..

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    44
    I feel like I'm a bit slower on the rough parts but quite a bit faster on the quick parts because the suspension isn't soaking up part of the energy I'm trying to convert into forward motion.

    The pounding gets old at times, running high volume tires helps but I do find myself saying "Bend those elbows, bend those elbows" over and over. (Which is also what I say when I'm on a motorcycle; love what Febike said about draping your hands over the bars, that's precisely what you're going for on a motorcycle too, and for pretty much the same reason; it's a mental exercise in keeping your arms/shoulders/neck loose. It has a lot to do with being able to control a bike with precision.)

    I really question whether a flat bar is right for this. Those ergon grips put your hands in a much better position to soak up the bumps. Watch what happens to your elbows when you grab hold of those things. I think you get much better alignment between your wrist, elbow and shoulder; your arms are much better shock absorbers than the MP joint of your thumb, eh. My wife has 45 degree sweeps, which accomplishes much the same thing, and I wonder if that might not even be better, I have some H-bars on the way to try it out. Mostly though I find it requires a more active riding style, way more time out of the seat. Habit I picked up as a kid and pretty much always rode that way.

  15. #15
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,919
    I looked through some of your posts and noticed your bar is much lower than your saddle. I try to set up my bar height so that there isnt a lot of weight on my hands. When seated I have pretty even weight distribution between my hands and rear end. Seems to help with the beating. Out of the saddle - stay loose, big volume/low pressure front tire, maybe try some Ergon type grips.
    No moss...

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617
    So are you saying it might help to raise my bars?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jddjirikian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    427
    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    So are you saying it might help to raise my bars?
    Ideally, unless you have some "out of the norm" body geometry, the tip of your saddle should be in-line with the junction of your stem faceplate and handlebar.
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  18. #18
    playing in the woods
    Reputation: BENKD29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    264
    in-line is a little too relaxed for me. i prefer the bars a few inches below the saddle.
    Hardtail 29er
    Fat Lefty
    Rigid SS 29er

  19. #19
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,919
    Its personal preference, of course, but for me it helps to not have so much weight on my hands. When I bought my SS it came with a flat bar and 100mm zero rise stem. My first ride was on a smooth gravel rail trail. After 10 miles my hands were killing me. I changed to a 70mm stem with 8*rise and it helped, but I still had some discomfort. I added a low rise bar and now I can do long trail rides with little hand pain
    No moss...

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OFFcourse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    802
    Mostly I ride a SS 26" hardtail and a rigid/geared fatbike, I'm building up a SS 29er atm and still haven't decided on a fork, I had a romantic notion for a couple days of picking up a carbon rigid fork for it. It only took a short loop on some of our local trails (by fatbike) to quickly forget that idea. My wrists were buggered . If I lived somewhere else with a different assortment of tracks then it could certainly work. IMO it's all about where you ride there's no amount of smooth riding and optimal line choice that would get me on a rigid fork here.

  21. #21
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,955
    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    So are you saying it might help to raise my bars?
    It is worth a try, if you have room for adjustment. I like my bar a little below seat level. It depends on body and bike proportions, and personal preference.

    One way to put my approach to rocks and roots is that I keep telling myself: "Don't hit that with your hands! Don't hit that with your hands!" so I take them with my feet - or ideally, if speed and comfort level allow, skim over as many bumps as possible, instead of hitting them at all.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    617
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    It is worth a try, if you have room for adjustment. I like my bar a little below seat level. It depends on body and bike proportions, and personal preference.

    One way to put my approach to rocks and roots is that I keep telling myself: "Don't hit that with your hands! Don't hit that with your hands!" so I take them with my feet - or ideally, if speed and comfort level allow, skim over as many bumps as possible, instead of hitting them at all.
    I have 20 mm of adjustment I can go up. I will play around with it. I lowered my bars a couple weeks ago and thought that felt better but that was on rides on smooth track. I will play around with my bar height and see how it feels on rough stuff.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: The STIG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    107
    i borrowed my friends rdo fork last year to try it out, while i did love it....my body is beat from years of abuse/wrecks/surgeries etc. i know that i physically cant ride the rigid fork day in and out. about a week /3-4 rides is all i can do. so i just bought my own rdo fork for the one 9 ss, and will run the squish on my sir 9 ss. i'm to lazy to bother switching the fork on/off. i'll just grab the bike of the day and rock it

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mattbyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    134
    I love having my rigid. I've put a surly krampus fork on my in bred. Rides like a dream . Goes where I point it. No brake shudder. No flex when I'm out on the bar ends standing. Just smooth power transfer. I use , a 12 degree sweep flat bar with ergon grips with the full bar end. Wonderful.
    Riding this setup has also made me that much better when I get on my 160mm travel full sus . Rather than bash over obsticals I find myself picking the cleanest lines and maintaining speed. Also remaining in a tougher gear on hills .

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: socal_jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    666
    Started riding SS on my GT Peace 9R rigid over 4 years ago, but recently built up an ROS9 with a Pike fork, really digging the combo. The Pike climbs really well, and can really attack the DH stuff. A nagging left hand injury prompted going with the Pike, but I'm really having more fun now.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. To rigid or not to rigid? FORKS
    By bald dirt bag in forum Urban/DJ/Park
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-22-2015, 08:58 AM
  2. Why Rigid Forks?
    By shreddr in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 118
    Last Post: 11-01-2014, 08:32 PM
  3. 410 rigid forks
    By fotu in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 03-26-2013, 02:46 PM
  4. Rigid Forks
    By Ailuropoda in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 11-12-2012, 02:16 PM
  5. Best Rigid Forks
    By Apaulo88 in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 05-20-2011, 05:56 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •