Who races a rigid SS?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Who races a rigid SS?

    My first year of racing was all on a FS 26" bike but I'm considering doing some races on my rigid SS 29er this year. I'm moving to Cat1 and prob won't be on the podium so I'm thinking of giving it a shot. I still don't feel as fast through the rough stuff but ive only ridden rigid a handful of times and still a bit tentative. For those doing it I'd like to hear your experiences and pros/cons. Do you race all courses this was or switch bikes depending on the venue?

  2. #2
    get down!
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    my friend KJ did this back in the day and it was the only race he finished first in FWIW
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

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  3. #3
    PSYCHOLUST
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    I began racing when I was 39 years old.
    Each of 10 seasons since I have raced a 20 week series, as well as a bunch of 8 hour relays and various events.
    Over the years I have raced 26" hard tails and FS bikes, all lightweight, race specific.
    Last year, at 49 years old, my last year in Masters, I decided to try single speeding and stripped down a Rocky Mountain Vertex (26") and converted it. Had a blast, so only a month into last season I built a Niner ONE9 with a rigid fork
    ( about 19.5 lbs) And rode it exclusively racing and training.
    My best race season ever. I stood on the podium at the end of the 20 week series for the first time in 10 years and turned in crazy fast laps all summer. Racing against the same people week after week, year after year it was easy to measure the improvement I made after going rigid-29er-single speed.
    Riding one makes you STRONG and changes the way you ride, you preserve momentum by railing corners, staying off the brakes whenever possible, you learn to attack hills rather than gearing down until you are crawling up them.
    I can only speak for myself, but riding a rigid SS 29er has made me the fastest racer I have ever been

  4. #4
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    Scuyle.....great input. I would say you found a renewed spark or passion and that fueled your season more than a rigid SS. The rigid SS was probably the catalyst.

    I don't have but two races under my belt on a rigid SS. That being said, I have a very healthy respect for the SS racers now. Last year I did a muddy race in my Cat 3 geared category and finished 8 out of 11. This year, I tried the SS category which is only run as an open category at the Cat 2 wave/ distance. holy crap those dude were fast? 13 out 14 on that race. Since I sold my Sultan, I am still slower on the rigid, but having much more fun. I'm sold on the simplicity and pure effort required to pilot my Karate Monkey at significant speed, it engages me mentally in a way the Sultan did not.

    don't get me wrong, there is a no way a rigid can fill a dually role in all aspects, but if you have one and want to give it a go, don't let anyone stop you!
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    Occasionally engagedů
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLightGo
    Scuyle.....great input. I would say you found a renewed spark or passion and that fueled your season more than a rigid SS. The rigid SS was probably the catalyst.
    Personally, I'll take Scyule at his word that the "rigid SS 29er has made him the fastest racer he has ever been". His story could be mine, except I'm older, been racing for over 30 years on and off-road, been SS racing for a couple of years, don't believe, and also do endurance races on the SS. It's not for everyone and not everyone will get the same results, but everyone should at least do the experiment for themselves...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  6. #6
    Teen Wolf
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    i do

  7. #7
    CB2
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    In 2009 I raced Cat1 40-49 on my SS, mostly rigid (75% of the time). It was my first full season in Cat1. I won one race, podiumed a bunch more, and won the overall series.
    Gearing was essential. I would gear to be able to ride everything but the steepest hills. Being a smaller guy I would do best on the hilliest courses, and on the flatter courses I couldn't gear big enough to keep up with the power riders. Every now and then I'd throw the suspension fork on to see if I could make up time on the descents, but I still sucked at descending.
    This past season I raced the Cat1 SS category, and did about the same.

  8. #8
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    Schulz, nice story. I agree with your logic on SSing giving you a different mindset. I just hope my body can take the beating. Do you do a lot of core work or anything to stay in shape at 49?

  9. #9
    NormalNorm
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    I've raced a ridgid SS.....mostly for fun. If I was trying to podium, I would use my other bikes(FS,HT).

    Riding a SS is a blast! Its a great way of getting better training and skills. But again, I don't think I would race my SS for results.

    FWIW, I know some riders that are amazing on a SS. They are actually faster riding a SS.

  10. #10
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    i have been doing 24hr races (4 man team) rigid for a coupla years now. Have also done it with full suspension, front suspension, gears etc but my lap times are always about the same but I always feel much more accomplished when it is on the rigid SS whether it is 26er or 29er.

    Biggest thing for me was to use a larger volume front tire and a fast rolling rear.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    i have been doing 24hr races (4 man team) rigid for a coupla years now. Have also done it with full suspension, front suspension, gears etc but my lap times are always about the same but I always feel much more accomplished when it is on the rigid SS whether it is 26er or 29er.

    Biggest thing for me was to use a larger volume front tire and a fast rolling rear.
    What are you using? The Racing Ralph 2.4 looks like a decent option up front.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyule
    I began racing when I was 39 years old.
    Each of 10 seasons since I have raced a 20 week series, as well as a bunch of 8 hour relays and various events.
    Over the years I have raced 26" hard tails and FS bikes, all lightweight, race specific.
    Last year, at 49 years old, my last year in Masters, I decided to try single speeding and stripped down a Rocky Mountain Vertex (26") and converted it. Had a blast, so only a month into last season I built a Niner ONE9 with a rigid fork
    ( about 19.5 lbs) And rode it exclusively racing and training.
    My best race season ever. I stood on the podium at the end of the 20 week series for the first time in 10 years and turned in crazy fast laps all summer. Racing against the same people week after week, year after year it was easy to measure the improvement I made after going rigid-29er-single speed.
    Riding one makes you STRONG and changes the way you ride, you preserve momentum by railing corners, staying off the brakes whenever possible, you learn to attack hills rather than gearing down until you are crawling up them.
    I can only speak for myself, but riding a rigid SS 29er has made me the fastest racer I have ever been
    Great post with some experience to boot.

  13. #13
    mhk
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    beer horse
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    I wasn't fast when I was racing a rigid SS, and I'm not fast now that I've switched back to front suspension, but I am faster--and happier--than I used to be.

    I may have given up a little in climbing proficiency, but the downhill speed gained does much more than make up for it in these hilly parts, and the decreased upper body fatigue is a significant bonus. If I lived in, say, Bend, OR or someplace more swoopy and less technical, I would consider switching back.

    Full disclosure: I am currently riding a rigid SS in the off-season. But that will change when my new bikes arrive in the mail!!
    Yeah, well . . . that's just, you know, like . . . your opinion, man. --The Dude

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