First Rigid Ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First Rigid Ride

    So, I got my fork in yesterday (White Brothers) and got it all put together but no sooner than I finished, it dumped rain on my parade. Litterally. Called in work this morning stating I would be in late due to taking my daughter to the dentist (which I did actually) and was out on my bike by 6:45 AM. Sucks because I missed the WC.

    So the ride was interesting. For the most part I was ok but hit a few sections of trail that has alot of small grass clumps on it. I suddenly missed the squish! My arms were shaking all over the place and it felt like I was working harder than normal to keep the speed up.

    The fork feels great on the climbs but I feel a bit of traction lost when taking turns at speed as the tire skips across the ground instead of sucking up the bumps. A little sketchy a few times but definitely fun!

    So not only was it the first time riding rigid but also the first time I got a damn flat tire on my mtb! That's right, after riding mtb's off and on for at least 15+ years I got a flat. That was due to being bumped off my normal line due to lack of a shock thus causing my body weight to be thrown off a tad towards the rear and then the wheel slamming into a rock. Nice Thud sound, then fsh, fsh, fsh...oh, and a small dent in my new rear wheel.

    Over all it was a good ride and I am thinking I will be fine with the 2.1 tire on the front but need to change my grips back. I swapped out my lock ons for some ODI mushroom style ones that I had last night thinking they would feel a littel better. But nope, felt like I was holding a brick the entire time. Yep, swapping those back out this evening!
    Last edited by 1SPD; 06-16-2010 at 09:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    It only gets better

  3. #3
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    I am sure it will. It better. I can't afford to start banging up my wheels like this every ride. I am still fighting going to a larger rear tire as well. Hopefully I will get used to this and start riding smoother again. I think it is just a bit of an adjustment for me at this point.

  4. #4
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    I big part of riding rigid is you have to have a lighter touch and finesse the bike. Suspension lets you hack through the trail and dealth grip the bars. You will learn to relax your arms to make up for the bumps and ride with the trail rather than through it.

  5. #5
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    Are you on a 26'er or a 29'er ?

  6. #6
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    I started on a 29'er and now I'm on a Haro Beasley. I am a bmx rider so I have always ridden rigid and learned to deal with it.

  7. #7
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    i installed my white bros.carbon fork 6 months ago. never looked back. you didn't mention your tire pressure. you may want to decrease your current set up. i'm currently running a 26" tire up front @ 25lbs of pressure. good luck and enjoy

  8. #8
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    Going rigid after riding with suspension for years took a couple of rides to feel comfy and a few more to really get the new skill set dialed in.
    I ride a WW 2.35 up front and have experimented down to 18psi but have found that 22-24psi works best for me.
    Remember you have a good 6" of "suspension" in your arms and more than that in your legs...use it.

  9. #9
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    Get some big meats up front (2.4" or so). I usually air down to 20-25.

  10. #10
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    i prefer rigid to suspension. i do have a hardtail as my main ride but i have two other rigid bikes and one more on the way. theres something about riding rigid that the connection just feels right.

  11. #11
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    Hey bro, how'd you manage to flat once in fifteen years? You've been holding out on me.

    Rigid is the way to go. I have back issues, but I'd rather ride rigid than suspension. Rigid, SS... all squares up for me.

  12. #12
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    ^^ I guess I have just been lucky really. I can only say that it sucked being covered in mud from changing a tire and not from actually riding.

    I am rolling on 26's btw and I will be messing around with my tire pressure a bit this afternoon. Right now I think my front is set at like 42 or so. I will air down to about 30-35 for my ride this evening.

    I will continue with my 2.1 on the front for now and see how it goes for a couple more rides. If I still need some help I will make the swap to a 2.3.

  13. #13
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    Frickn Awesome! I had a great ride this evening (MORE group ride out at Schaefer farms!) I started out with the casual group figuring it would be a good idea to ride a little slower and get to know some of the riders. But it was fairly slow due to someone being out there for their first time. He was doing great for his first outing but I was a little frustrated for questioning my abilities (conditioning). I ended up switching groups after 2 miles and then took a bit of a @$$ wooping for the next 6 miles. But I am stronger for it and cleared a log on the last climb that has plagued me so far this spring/summer.

    The fork was great, I was picking some good lines and was hanging with the geared guys though a couple of them could have probably dropped me with no problem.

    My elbows are a little sore. Gotta learn to relax a little bit more but that will come. I was a little tired in the end but had I not told the wife I would be heading home by 8:30 I think I could have gone a little further. Oh well, got all summer for that! Way excited that I was hanging with them and was actually riding 3rd wheel once I hooked up with the moderate speed group!

    Ok, I am not stressed about throwing the 2.3 on there just yet! Can't wait to get my grips though!

    Oh, this was my second rigid ride and I definitely had a much better clue of WTF I was doing out there! Loving it!

  14. #14
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    Elbows are definitely a little sore today! Legs feel a little heavy! I want to go RIDE!

  15. #15
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    I rode spez hardtails and Epics for 15 years.

    I went exclusively Steel Rigid SS 29r about 8 months ago. Also, tubeless, larger tires and low pressure (<25psi). A first for me in all these specs. I flippin love it. There is something about the set-up that just feels stable, predictable, fast, and fun. With so many changes, it is hard to pinpoint the most beneficial.

    I just build up a lighter, front shock, smaller/lighter tires bike with the same general geometry. Without a question, this bike smooths out the choppy sections. I still prefer the rigid bike. The larger low pressure tires and lack travel give me a constant predictable and stable connection to the trail. I am much more confident with it. I can cope with the choppy sections by picking lines and relaxing on the bike. For me the similar front and back handling behavior is easier to deal with.

  16. #16
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    I say good for you

    I ride a rigid (White Bros.) SS Haro Mary 29er. A few things I've learned/helped me:

    1) easy on the grip - took me a while to learn this and as I started my lower back became more fatigued - now it is stronger and I can comfortabley loosen my grip

    2) tire pressure - ride Navegals usually but Continental Race Kings when I've entered XC races. 20-25 psi front / 25-30 psi rear. Feels perfect

    3) light - I try to ride "light" on the bike - one nice thing is that 18 miles in I can still pop the front end over the worst roots, etc. Over the course of a day that means a lot.

    4) grips/gloves - when I'm for fun riding I use a gel glove and I have ESI Chunky grips - slight absorption difference but I like the feeling.

    5) Thudbuster - I got a full-travel thudbuster a year ago and it was the single best purchase (other than my bike) that I've ever made.

    6) Bars - I've got On One Mary bars on mine with a 40 degree sweep - my elbows and positioned more towards the rear and I feel I have better shock absorption in that position. I know a guy who runs bar ends on his flat bar so as to change his grip, and thus, the feeling, for his tiresome elbows - something to think about I guess.

    I've got a hardtail 26" but I never ride it. I've thought about putting a fork on mine (my 43 year old elbows talk to me some - not b/c of the rigid mind you - the rigid just doesn't help them out over a long day sometimes). But, like many here I like the feel and weight of it as is. I may break down someday and get a squishy, but only when I can't take it any longer.

    Carbon fork - I read an observation on here once about the WB fork that I believe is most profound. The poster said, "a WB carbon fork makes the trail feel as if someone laid out carpet padding and carpet over the trail - you can still feel the bumps but they're subdued." (paraphrased). I always liked that perspective.

    I'm thinking about going tubeless - my only concern is spending that sort of $ on those rims and being rigid. I have some "dead" spots in my rims now from hitting things too hard - I'd be crushed if I dented my new tubeless rims first couple times out (maybe I should post a thread on this and see what people say).

    Anyhow, good luck - if you're like me - any other bike you have is about to get lonely (my daughter says my other bike is like that mop in the Swiffer commercials).

  17. #17
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    Nice. I still think you should at least try out some Ardents/Mountain Kings in 2.4 variety.

    Van-Go - You should be able to use your current rims/tires and go tubeless using Stan's kit ($60, IIRC).

  18. #18
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    1. My back was getting a little tight towards the end but I worked through it and started relaxing a bit more which felt better.

    2. I am riding Maxis Ignitors. I dropped the pressure down to 30 in the front and 32 in the rear and it all felt pretty good. Might drop front down to 28 next time and see how that feels.

    3. I hear you on trying to ride light. I think I did a decent job of that last night actually.

    4. Ordered ESI race grips yesterday and I pretty much always have on some sort of gloves with padding in them.

    5. I actually own a full travel Thudbuster and recently took it off the bike. I found that as I got tired, I would sit alot more making the bike work harder (wheels anyway). I am doing ok with out it on my local trails at this point.

    6. Riding a flat bar with bar ends now. Definitely a bonus when climbing as I am standing up alot more now.

    Carbon fork, hard for me to agree at this point as I don't reall have any experience with any other rigid fork. It is nice though and I have heard the same thing. Not to mention it shaved 3.5 lbs off the front of my bike!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Nice. I still think you should at least try out some Ardents/Mountain Kings in 2.4 variety.

    Van-Go - You should be able to use your current rims/tires and go tubeless using Stan's kit ($60, IIRC).
    I may just get a matching Maxis 2.3 to throw on the front and stick the current 2.1 on the rear. I will do a few rides with my new grips and see how I feel first. Should be in early next week. Along with my new Paul levers and linear brake cables.

  20. #20
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    I'm running a 2.4 Conti Rubber Queen up front and a 2.2 in the rear. Fatter tires help in the corners and offer a bit of cush.

  21. #21
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    Try roadie bar tape as grips. I use it wrapped really thick where grips should be (gel padded bar tape works best) and it help's a lot. My hand's don't go quite as numb as quick.

    How is that WB fork? I may get one here soon to shave some weight from my steel fork, and some other fancy boutique parts (paul hubs, stan,s rims, etc...) to make my bike a modern masterpiece.
    Ride & Smile

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Nice. I still think you should at least try out some Ardents/Mountain Kings in 2.4 variety.

    Van-Go - You should be able to use your current rims/tires and go tubeless using Stan's kit ($60, IIRC).

    You're the second person this week to suggest that to me - seriously considering it - thanks for your suggestion.

    I've always assumed people rode tubeless for 1) weight savings, and 2) to ride lower pressures. Regarding weight savings - can the tape/solution version (ie. not the expensive rims) weigh that much less than a tube itself?

    1SPD: I feel I am hijacking your thread - my apologies.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD
    Frickn Awesome! I had a great ride this evening, Loving it!
    What I tell ya?!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Matt
    Try roadie bar tape as grips. I use it wrapped really thick where grips should be (gel padded bar tape works best) and it help's a lot. My hand's don't go quite as numb as quick.
    I've always wanted to try that. Mostly for cost reasons. $5 road tape can go a long ways on a mtn bike bar. Though I hate gel padded tapes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Van-Go
    You're the second person this week to suggest that to me - seriously considering it - thanks for your suggestion.

    I've always assumed people rode tubeless for 1) weight savings, and 2) to ride lower pressures. Regarding weight savings - can the tape/solution version (ie. not the expensive rims) weigh that much less than a tube itself?

    1SPD: I feel I am hijacking your thread - my apologies.
    As far as weight, I think it's a wash, because the fluid you put into the tire negates any weight savings. The main reason why I want to to tubeless is, because of flats. Pinch flats and goat heads has plagued me for years. Current average is one flat every 2-3 rides. Mostly due to goat heads. I always stay on the trail, so they must be getting kicked onto the path somehow. Anyway, friend with tubeless hasn't had a flat since switching to tubeless.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    I've always wanted to try that. Mostly for cost reasons. $5 road tape can go a long ways on a mtn bike bar. Though I hate gel padded tapes.



    As far as weight, I think it's a wash, because the fluid you put into the tire negates any weight savings. The main reason why I want to to tubeless is, because of flats. Pinch flats and goat heads has plagued me for years. Current average is one flat every 2-3 rides. Mostly due to goat heads. I always stay on the trail, so they must be getting kicked onto the path somehow. Anyway, friend with tubeless hasn't had a flat since switching to tubeless.

    Thank you kindly for the comments and suggestion.

  26. #26
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    I just watched the video/demo on their site and while the installation part will go pretty quick, it seems like the sealing phase could take a littel bit of time. But in the end, it is cheaper than another set of wheels and can be done by anyone that has changed a tube before.

    I may give this a shot should I start getting more flats. At one flat in over 15 years of off and on MTB riding I am not in any rush to make the jump just yet. Though, I always had some sort of suspension on my bike during that time.

  27. #27
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    The White Bros. Carbon is a good option. I've ridden a Ritchey Steel, a Pace Carbon, and now a White Brothers Carbon. The Ritchey was the best in buttery feel, the Pace was a bit like a jackhammer, the White Brothers is somewhere in between, but leaning a bit more on the stiffer side. WB, lighter than the steel, less abusive than the Pace. But I will also mention that the Pace was pre-DT Swiss, I don't know if DT has changed the design to make it less harsh.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van-Go
    You're the second person this week to suggest that to me - seriously considering it - thanks for your suggestion.

    I've always assumed people rode tubeless for 1) weight savings, and 2) to ride lower pressures. Regarding weight savings - can the tape/solution version (ie. not the expensive rims) weigh that much less than a tube itself?

    1SPD: I feel I am hijacking your thread - my apologies.
    I do not know if I got a weight savings or not. I do know that the lower pressure and pliability of the sidewalls makes for good traction and control.

  29. #29
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    Nothing wrong with that!

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