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  1. #1
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    You have my attention, but I am curious...

    Ok, let me explain what I am thinking here...

    ...I recently built up an old rigid 26" mountain bike (always wanted one of those old 80's Bridgestones) and when I went and rode it, I had a blast. I was seriously expecting a fully rigid bike to ride like total crap. What impressed me was how well it climbs (since the fork is by default locked out all the time) and how easy it was to guide the front end over rocks and ruts. I find that on my full suspension, 4 inches of squish can get a little bouncy on really technical stuff. It almost feels like the 26" wheel is trying to get hung up on a bump and the fork absorbs any foward motion. On a rigid bike, at least it keeps rolling over the obstacles.

    So, applying what I have always known about bigger wheels, I realized that a 29" wheel will solve (or help) those problems. Of course it is going to roll over stuff since it is a larger diameter plus it is going to smooth out the ride. What I am looking to understand is if a suspension fork is necessary. I have a feeling that due to the larger wheel, the springy nature of a fork isn't going to trip me up as much. However, I also like the idea of a maintanence free and lightweight rigid fork that is much cheaper as well.

    My question is to all the folks who ride a rigid 29er. How much better does it ride than a rigid 26er or how much worse does it ride than a suspension 29er?

    I have a feeling that when I go test ride a 29er, I am going to like it. At 6'1", I always felt like 26" wheels were a bit out of proportion for me.
    Get on your bikes and ride!

  2. #2
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    You are walking down a slippery slope, beware!




    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    Ok, let me explain what I am thinking here...

    ...I recently built up an old rigid 26" mountain bike (always wanted one of those old 80's Bridgestones) and when I went and rode it, I had a blast. I was seriously expecting a fully rigid bike to ride like total crap. What impressed me was how well it climbs (since the fork is by default locked out all the time) and how easy it was to guide the front end over rocks and ruts. I find that on my full suspension, 4 inches of squish can get a little bouncy on really technical stuff. It almost feels like the 26" wheel is trying to get hung up on a bump and the fork absorbs any foward motion. On a rigid bike, at least it keeps rolling over the obstacles.

    So, applying what I have always known about bigger wheels, I realized that a 29" wheel will solve (or help) those problems. Of course it is going to roll over stuff since it is a larger diameter plus it is going to smooth out the ride. What I am looking to understand is if a suspension fork is necessary. I have a feeling that due to the larger wheel, the springy nature of a fork isn't going to trip me up as much. However, I also like the idea of a maintanence free and lightweight rigid fork that is much cheaper as well.

    My question is to all the folks who ride a rigid 29er. How much better does it ride than a rigid 26er or how much worse does it ride than a suspension 29er?

    I have a feeling that when I go test ride a 29er, I am going to like it. At 6'1", I always felt like 26" wheels were a bit out of proportion for me.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    You are walking down a slippery slope, beware!
    I am not interesting in walking slippery slopes. I want to know if riding down one is easier on a 29er.
    Get on your bikes and ride!

  4. #4
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    Well, rigid is still rigid, 26 or 29. A 29er will smooth things a bit, but it does not compare to a 26" with a suspension fork. But a 29er with a suspension fork does compare well to a short travel full suspension 26er. Of course YMMV, but this is my take on it.

    I say go with a 29er full rigid and see if you like it. If not you can always add a suspension fork (jut get a frame that is suspension corrected). Even if you end up going with a suspension fork you will always have the rigid fork to swap in occasionally to "get back to your roots."

  5. #5
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    I've never liked the feel of a squishy fork on any bike, but that's IMHO. Comparing rigid 26er and 29er setups, however, the 29er is infinitely smoother. Much less "deflection" going through rock gardens at speed. And the bigger wheels make bigger frames look "normal" and smaller bikes look mutant-like, in a good way.

  6. #6
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    I've been going through this same sort of process as well. I talked to a mechanic at a shop here in Columbus, Ohio who has set up and sold a good number of 29ers. I asked how many have gotten front suspension, and he said only one. Wow. This is something I tend to struggle with, but am leaning towards rigid at this point.

    I rode a rigid SS for a good number of years, but got a shock for mine last year and really found I liked it, hence the tough decision for me. But, I think I'll be pretty happy in the end.

  7. #7
    jl
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    Do a search on FoShizzle. His experience is pretty well documented .
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  8. #8
    Full Tilt Boogie
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    I love riding rigid 29ers. They have the same connected feel as you described on your 26er, though with a lot more benefits. They are much more comfortable, due to the fact that the deflection angle is lower, and the tire volume is higher. They just plain roll over and through stuff better. And yes, they will ride easier down a slippery slope! As many have said before, don't buy one unless you are willing to part with the 26" bikes in your life. They're just not going to get ridden.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by benwitt11
    I love riding rigid 29ers. They have the same connected feel as you described on your 26er, though with a lot more benefits. They are much more comfortable, due to the fact that the deflection angle is lower, and the tire volume is higher. They just plain roll over and through stuff better. And yes, they will ride easier down a slippery slope! As many have said before, don't buy one unless you are willing to part with the 26" bikes in your life. They're just not going to get ridden.
    I have no problem parting with 26ers, at least those that are mountain bikes. If I decided to go 29er, all my parts on my 26er full suspension would be cut over to the new bike (less frame, fork, wheels, and tires). I am hoping to get enough for my old stuff to at least pay for a frame and fork (or part of a suspension fork).
    Get on your bikes and ride!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    ...I recently built up an old rigid 26" mountain bike (always wanted one of those old 80's Bridgestones) and when I went and rode it, I had a blast....

    My question is to all the folks who ride a rigid 29er. How much better does it ride than a rigid 26er or how much worse does it ride than a suspension 29er?
    I have a MB-1 and know where you're coming from. I had stagnated on my 26" soft-tail (Moots YBB) and when traveling with the MB-1 set up as a single speed realized that I was riding more successfully on technical terrain with the rigid set-up. I experimented by having a nice steel fork made for the moots and, wow, was that an improvement. I rode that set-up for a year before deciding I wanted a fully-rigid bike, or as I like to call it a fully-firm bike. Hence, my move to a 29er -- it's all what those have been saying about smoothing out the ride to the appropriate level and then some.

    One other cool thing about a steel or ti fork is that you can dial in the geometry and handling to where you want it by going custom, not what a pot-bellied corporate geek says you want. For me, getting the right geometry more than made up for the loss of suspension -- and it's maintenance free, might darn well last forever, and is less expensive to boot...
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  11. #11
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    Gorgeous Black Sheep. I too love the rigid set-up. Building around fully rigid lets you choose much more specific geometry. Lower bottom brackets, Custom offset forks, Different front end rakes (because you can build an offset to compensate for slacker HTA). It all makes sense to me. That ans the blissfully painful ride.
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  12. #12
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    If you liked 26 rigid you'll like 29 so much more.
    Enjoy the ride.

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