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Thread: Rigid mtb frame

  1. #1
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    Rigid mtb frame

    About to dive into a rigid mtb build and am curious what people would recommend so far as the frame.

    Is going a 'trail' or 'XC' hardtail the best way to go for a rigid setup? I don't see myself ever riding +size tires in back but would a slightly slacker head tube be 'better' as far as keeping it stable?

    I'll likely race XC on it when the course isn't too crazy and just have fun the rest of the time...

  2. #2
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    vast majority of 29er frames can run 27+ as an option, simply as a matter of course. ALL 27+ frames can run 29er as a matter of course.

    If you're wanting to build something from the frame up, I'd just start with the exact features you want and weed through the options to narrow things down.

    #1 should probably be material. That'll really knock out a bunch of options. Steel? Alu? Ti? Carbon?

    If it was me, I'd probably build it off something designed to use any fork ranging from 100-120mm (and put a rigid fork on it with an a/c to match the geo you're after). Whether the slacker HTA is something you actually want, though, probably depends more on how you want it to handle. But, with the frame designed to run a shorter fork, if you don't like the longer one, you can swap things out easily enough.

    I'm excited to be building up my first hardtail in almost 20yrs (last one was a 2000 model year). Building up a steel Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead frame with a 140mm fork and 29er wheels with 2.6 tires. Hope to have it ready to roll by next spring.

  3. #3
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    Also, most rigid forks are suspension corrected for about 100mm travel, which is the norm for XC suspension.

    I enjoy my full rigid bike significantly more with the "plus" size front wheel and tire (29x3 front and 29x2.3 rear).

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    A lot of frames popular among single speeders will work.

    As noted above, most rigid frames are build around a 100mm suspension fork, which equates to about a 480 mm rigid fork. If you get a frame that was made with a longer fork in mind, be aware that making it rigid will steepend the head tube and seat tube, shorten the reach, and drop the BB. Those changes might be more than what you want, so don't just slap a rigid fork on just any frame.

    What's your budget? You can get something like a Vassago Jabberwocky, Surly Karate Monkey, or Kona Unit for pretty cheap. If you have more to spend, look into something like a Chumba Stella.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    A lot of frames popular among single speeders will work.

    As noted above, most rigid frames are build around a 100mm suspension fork, which equates to about a 480 mm rigid fork. If you get a frame that was made with a longer fork in mind, be aware that making it rigid will steepend the head tube and seat tube, shorten the reach, and drop the BB. Those changes might be more than what you want, so don't just slap a rigid fork on just any frame.

    What's your budget? You can get something like a Vassago Jabberwocky, Surly Karate Monkey, or Kona Unit for pretty cheap. If you have more to spend, look into something like a Chumba Stella.
    The fork dimensions have been the more confusing part of this for me when comparing frames, I would hope to get the setup 'just right' as opposed to 'close enough'.. I'd like to keep the frame under or just around 1000, I have quite a few parts lying around to put together the rest.. Sort of have it down to the Niner Air 9 (alum) and Santa Cruz Chameleon.

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    Material on the frame will be aluminum. I'm not a fan of steel (honestly don't see the benefit over aluminum), I crash too much to invest in a good carbon frame, ti tends to be too expensive.. Air 9(alum)/Santa Cruz Chameleon are the main thoughts now.

  7. #7
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    I just got a new KONA Unit frame this year which replaced a 10 year old Surly Karate Monkey and I'm very happy with it, was just the changes that I had wanted - bit slacker, bit bigger, replaceable drop outs and hanger. It's sposed to only be run as either a B+ or 29er, but I can comfortably fit 29+ in both front and rear and do and love it. If I want to slack it out a bit for steeper trails, I run a B+ in the back. I'm not a weight weenie and I'm fairly frugal, so the $550 US price tag for frame & fork was perfect and I prefer the feel of steel over alu and not found of carbon for "laying down" on our nice coral rocks

    I set mine up with an external lower cup straight off to make it able to run a tapered steerer without needing to switch cus and also to slightly slacken out the HTA about .4 of a degree. Can also, as others said run a 100-120mm suspension fork on it if that's your thing, easy to swap between a sus fork and rigid.

    Great for trail work as well
    Rigid mtb frame-dscn1213-2-_fb.jpg

    B+/29+
    Rigid mtb frame-dcs_4797_fb.jpg

    B+ with sus fork
    Rigid mtb frame-dcs_4962.jpg

    29+ F&R
    Rigid mtb frame-dscn1156.jpg
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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    I think the Air9 and Chameleon are very different kinds of bikes, right? the Chameleon is built around a 120-130 mm fork, and most rigid forks are designed to replace a the length of 100 mm fork. so if you put a 480 mm A-C rigid fork (unless you can find a 500-520 mm A-C length fork) on a bike designed around a longer fork, you might end up with a steeper HA and a dangerously low BB.

    one way to think of it is to look for a frame that
    a. was designed with a 100mm fork in mind.
    b. was designed with a longer fork in mind but has a high BB and a extra-slack HA so that the shorter fork will come out where you want it.

    plug the geometry of a bike that was designed for a longer fork here- https://bikegeo.muha.cc/ and then check what a 480mm fork would do to it.

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    I thought they were different when I started looking through them as well but they are both designed around 120mm forks with the chameleon having a slightly more slack HA. I really like their price and material so I think it is down to the two of them.. That is a great tool!

  10. #10
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    Don't forget to look at the Jones diamond with a truss fork if you want rigid, trail and durability. They are the standard for a rigid bike in my opinion. I have been riding one for years now and with the ability to run a fat front, a 29, 29+ or 27+ front wheel if you need some cush it is available. However it is a fairly specific bike and if you don't like it it is hard to make it different.
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    Jones is the quintessential steel rigid bike, but it would completely blow his budget out of the water, and he seems pretty intent on aluminum.

    look into the Specialized Chisel for a XC race aluminum frame. it's built around a 90/100 mm fork, so transitioning to a rigid fork would be easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Jones is the quintessential steel rigid bike, but it would completely blow his budget out of the water, and he seems pretty intent on aluminum.

    look into the Specialized Chisel for a XC race aluminum frame. it's built around a 90/100 mm fork, so transitioning to a rigid fork would be easy.
    Whoops, I didn't see the price cap. Definitely out of the running then.
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  13. #13
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    Plenty of rigid forks out there in the 490mm range (= sagged 120mm susp. fork).

    An Air9 would be a good choice. Chances are good you could find a complete bike already built, but that might limit you on axle configurations.

    I used to ride 2.1-2.3 tires on my old MCR9, but my new(er) bike is "more rigid", so I bumped up to 2.4-2.5 tires.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  14. #14
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    I like the idea of a rigid setup with 2.4 ish tires on there. On the midwest trails where I am that could be dang fast.

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    I have a friend with a rigid (steel) frame bike on 26+ (3" maybe?) tires.

    The combination of steel with fatter tires makes for a nice ride.

    I would buy it from him if it wasn't single-speed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclearsword View Post
    I have a friend with a rigid (steel) frame bike on 26+ (3" maybe?) tires.

    The combination of steel with fatter tires makes for a nice ride.

    I would buy it from him if it wasn't single-speed.
    I'm in love with my steel rigid frame. Fork is Somfab steel, and running 2.4 upfront.
    The Steel Fleet:


    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid
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  17. #17
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    I would recommend opening up to quality steel frames. Not sure why you're hell-bent on aluminum.

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    Mainly just because you can save 400-500 from the steel frame I'd go for (ritchey ultra) and an Air 9 or Chameleon. Do you have a particular steel frame in mind?

  19. #19
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    http://www.konaworld.com/unit.cfm

    You can run it geared.
    The Steel Fleet:


    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid
    TBA

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowdownthehill View Post
    I thought they were different when I started looking through them as well but they are both designed around 120mm forks with the chameleon having a slightly more slack HA. I really like their price and material so I think it is down to the two of them.. That is a great tool!
    Hi,
    I'm using a Bontrager Bowie fork, has a 495 AC length. I brought a frame only and built it up. Check out Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+ - Page 2- Mtbr.com #180 to #193 also You put a 29+ wheels if you want a taller BB. Santa Cruz Chameleon 27+ - Page 14- Mtbr.com I went rigid with a Bontrager Bowie fork because I just came from riding a rigid Stache 5 for the last 18 months it had the same fork. Just as fun but the Chameleon is more agile bike. The Chameleon HA is list as 67.5 degrees but that is with a fully extended 120mm fork without sag, The rigid fork makes it just over 69 degrees. Hope this helps.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rigid mtb frame-chameleon-7.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Jones is $1100 with the unicrown fork, barely over his budget (just close your eyes to the fact that you'll then probably have to buy new wheels as well).

    One thing I don't like about a rigid fork on a frame for 120+ forks is that the rigid fork is getting pretty darn long--490+mm. That's a big lever to put a lot of stress on the head tube. With a sus fork, some of the force from an impact gets absorbed by the suspension travel, but with a rigid, it's all going back to the frame. Shorter forks are better, but it's hard to find a frame designed for an 80mm travel/465mm rigid fork these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Whoops, I didn't see the price cap. Definitely out of the running then.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
    RIGID, not "ridged" or "ridgid"
    PEDAL, not "peddle." Unless you're selling stuff

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