Got any tips for riding with a rigid fork?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Got any tips for riding with a rigid fork?

    I got a monocog 29er back in December. I have about a half dozen rides in on it so far and love almost everything about the bike, but the rigid fork is beating the sh!t out of me! Climbing and slow speed singletrack is great, but going through the bumps at speed is harsh and descending steep rutted fireroads reduces me to a level of pathetic nooberness (tm) that I haven't felt in years.

    I've been eyeing the reba 29'er but have decided to stick it out with the rigid fork for a while hoping I might learn something. What do you do differently on your rigid than you do on your fs? Lay some tips on me.

    Thanks
    slide

  2. #2
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    I'm interested in any tips too...

    took my new rigid out for a ~20mile/~2000k elevation gain on Sunday and even tho I rode all the technical challenges(nothing really major) without any problem - my forearms have been toast for the last 2 days. it hurts to pick up a glass of water.

  3. #3
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    Two words: biiiiig tires!






    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I got a monocog 29er back in December. I have about a half dozen rides in on it so far and love almost everything about the bike, but the rigid fork is beating the sh!t out of me! Climbing and slow speed singletrack is great, but going through the bumps at speed is harsh and descending steep rutted fireroads reduces me to a level of pathetic nooberness (tm) that I haven't felt in years.

    I've been eyeing the reba 29'er but have decided to stick it out with the rigid fork for a while hoping I might learn something. What do you do differently on your rigid than you do on your fs? Lay some tips on me.

    Thanks
    slide
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  4. #4
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    Definitely agree with the big tires statement. I ride 2.3's (as big as my frame will allow) and find the ride to be quite smooth. You might also want to change your grips. Check out Oury's mountain grips as they take a lot of the edge off. For me, rigid bikes are all about line selection and using the whole trail.

  5. #5
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    Lighten up your grip on the bars. Lower pressure, bigger tires. Grin and bear it - it gets easier and you'll eventually look like Popeye.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I got a monocog 29er back in December. I have about a half dozen rides in on it so far and love almost everything about the bike, but the rigid fork is beating the sh!t out of me! Climbing and slow speed singletrack is great, but going through the bumps at speed is harsh and descending steep rutted fireroads reduces me to a level of pathetic nooberness (tm) that I haven't felt in years.

    I've been eyeing the reba 29'er but have decided to stick it out with the rigid fork for a while hoping I might learn something. What do you do differently on your rigid than you do on your fs? Lay some tips on me.

    Thanks
    slide
    Pick good lines and learn to ride "light."
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Don't have

    A death grip on the bars..... Relax keep your fingers around the bar, Try not to lock your wrists or fingers up...

    If your used to a fork maybe go ride with someone who is rigid and watch there lines see how they get around stuff....

    practice, practice, Practice!
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  9. #9
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    other than mastering the technique,

    it takes a while to build the strength to ride rigid too!

    i know before i started i had little girlie shoulders and arms

    they would get sore after almost every ride... these days it still happens when i push my limits.

  10. #10
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    I agree w/ lowering the tire pressure. 29'ers allow for really low tire pressure even w/ a tube. I run about 25 in the front w/ a 2.3 tire and I am a 190 lbs. Shiggy is also right about learning to ride light. Watch youself closely and notice that when things get technical you tense up. I used to do this when first starting out to the point my jaws would hurt where I was clinching so hard. I learned to relax and "ride light", let the bike move a bit under me. Don't be scared to try new lines as well, like others have said use the whole trail. Nothing is more fun than cleaning a trail on a rigid SS for me. Unless I am on my 5" bike and I am out for blood hahaha. Have fun! Don't give up on it yet! JC

  11. #11
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    Just keep riding, remember when you first started riding bikes and after the first few times your butt hurts pretty badly but then it eventually just goes away? Its just like that only it takes slightly longer for you body to get used to because it involves building muscle and rider knowledge (Line selection) to increase.
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  12. #12
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    What specifically does 'riding light 'mean? I find that rigid is easier if you are set up for it. I like to use a frame with a long top tube. Also, a short stem and short handlebar allows for a quick avoidance response to little obstacles that the suspension would otherwise soak up. Also, the long top tube/short stem keeps weight off the forks, allowing them to pop up easily and ride over things that you could not steer around. Use a lay back seat post. This also keeps your weight off the front of the bike. Big tires are great, but not big heavy tires. Hutchinson Pythons are fat and light. Use a steel frame, not aluminum.

    Most of all, pick good lines! This means concentrating on the trail ahead of you, not under you. Look ten or fifteen feet ahead, and make your decisions well in advance.
    Last edited by eccentricbottombracket; 03-14-2007 at 07:22 AM.

  13. #13
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    You will get stronger as everyone has said, but one of the cool things about the rigid fork is that it is light. It's super easy to lift up on the front end, even if it's just enough to take away some of the hit it will help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eccentricbottombracket
    What specifically does 'riding light 'mean?
    Don't just plow through the trail like a bull in a china shop; un-weight the front end a little when you a come to rocks, roots or logs.
    When I switched to rigid, I would ride 2 or 3 days rigid, and one or two with a shock so my arms could recover a bit. Then I switched to big tires / low pressure about 5 months ago, and my arms are fine; no need for the rest days with the shock.
    I can't descend a rocky descent as fast, but other than that, it's all good!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I got a monocog 29er back in December. I have about a half dozen rides in on it so far...
    Not enough rides. All the excellent advice given will be intuitive with time.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eccentricbottombracket
    What specifically does 'riding light 'mean? I find that rigid is easier if you are set up for it. I like to use a frame with a long top tube. Also, a short stem and short handlebar allows for a quick avoidance response to little obstacles that the suspension would otherwise soak up. Also, the long top tube/short stem keeps weight off the forks, allowing them to pop up easily and ride over things that you could not steer around. Use a lay back seat post. This also keeps your weight off the front of the bike. Big tires are great, but not big heavy tires. Hutchinson Pythons are fat and light. Use a steel frame, not aluminum.

    Most of all, pick good lines! This means concentrating on the trail ahead of you, not under you. Look ten or fifteen feet ahead, and make your decisions well in advance.
    Your technique recommendations are part of what "riding light" is. Riding over and around things smoothy with weight shifts rather than bashing into them.

    I disagree with your geometry/setup preferences though. I can not shift my weight easily sitting that far back on the bike. You need to get the front and rear ends over that rock/root/hole smoothly and lightly by unweighting.
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  17. #17
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    soft tires: if its bigger than 2.1" shoot for 20psi or less. especially for the next month or so. higher tire pressure does not equate to higher efficiency on technical trails. I'm not very efficient when I'm laying on the side of the trail after slipping off something or getting beat up by too hard of a tire.
    depending on how the 29'r fits, try a riser stem to get your front lighter. ride light on the saddle which allows you to lean back more.
    try mary bars or the titec Jones bar.

    mostly it is technique and tire pressures, with bike fit helping a whole lot.

    bike ON
    bob

    ps: been riding rigid for 5 years now and prefer it over any suspension, but thats just me.
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  18. #18
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    one thing that hasnt been mentioned regarding ride quality yet is to ride a good fork. the monocog fork is pipe grade 4130 steel. gets the job done, but sacrifices ride quality for price. get a niner fork (reynolds steel), carbon or ti fork and you'll notice a world of difference right there.

    combine that with 2.3 tire, oury grips, and a carbon or scandium handle bar and you have a setup that will deflect and absorb more than you can imagine. remember though, carbon DEFLECTS impacts/vibrations rather than absorbing it; so it still has to go somewhere. scandium, titanium, and high grade steel absorb/dampen impacts. so use a combination of them to achieve a smooth ride.

    a really nice bar to use is the easton scandium dh bar, or the azonic double wall. both have a really nice ride to them and youll notice a difference on your first ride.

    a really nice setup is a reynolds fork, ti stem, and carbon bar. costs a bit, but is light and cushy.

    no matter what though... USE OURY GRIPS!!!! they make a difference no matter what setup youre riding.

    so the cheapest way to start is a larger front tire and oury grips. then put your pennies in the jar for a fork upgrade.

    but as has been repeated ad nauseum in this thread... TECHNIQUE! that will be the single biggest improvement no matter what setup you ride.

    hang in there, keep riding, and that will come with time.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    one thing that hasnt been mentioned regarding ride quality yet is to ride a good fork. the monocog fork is pipe grade 4130 steel. gets the job done, but sacrifices ride quality for price. get a niner fork (reynolds steel), carbon or ti fork and you'll notice a world of difference right there.

    combine that with 2.3 tire, oury grips, and a carbon or scandium handle bar and you have a setup that will deflect and absorb more than you can imagine. remember though, carbon DEFLECTS impacts/vibrations rather than absorbing it; so it still has to go somewhere. scandium, titanium, and high grade steel absorb/dampen impacts. so use a combination of them to achieve a smooth ride.

    a really nice bar to use is the easton scandium dh bar, or the azonic double wall. both have a really nice ride to them and youll notice a difference on your first ride.

    a really nice setup is a reynolds fork, ti stem, and carbon bar. costs a bit, but is light and cushy.

    no matter what though... USE OURY GRIPS!!!! they make a difference no matter what setup youre riding.

    so the cheapest way to start is a larger front tire and oury grips. then put your pennies in the jar for a fork upgrade.

    but as has been repeated ad nauseum in this thread... TECHNIQUE! that will be the single biggest improvement no matter what setup you ride.

    hang in there, keep riding, and that will come with time.
    I LIKE the stock fork with most any of the available 29er tires. Avoid the Niner fork for this bike--too long. If the fork is replaced stick with the same A-C length and offset.

    I do run dropbars which allows me to absorb bumps more easily than with straight bars.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    Lay some tips on me.

    Thanks
    slide
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I got a monocog 29er back in December. I have about a half dozen rides in on it so far and love almost everything about the bike, but the rigid fork is beating the sh!t out of me! Climbing and slow speed singletrack is great, but going through the bumps at speed is harsh and descending steep rutted fireroads reduces me to a level of pathetic nooberness (tm) that I haven't felt in years.

    I've been eyeing the reba 29'er but have decided to stick it out with the rigid fork for a while hoping I might learn something. What do you do differently on your rigid than you do on your fs? Lay some tips on me.

    Thanks
    slide
    Now you know why mountain biking on rough terrain did not really catch on for the masses until suspension forks came around. I have gone back to a rigid fork with my new Karate Monkey, and despite the 29" wheels and BIG tires, it is way more brutal than my old Mag 21 with 2-1/4" of travel with 26" wheels and smaller tires.

    I have only been doing the rigid thing for about 10 or 15 rides so far, but what I have found helps enormously is loosening up the arms. I still keep the same grip as on my AM rig (perhaps even tighter, as the bars move a lot more violently) but my elbows are very loose as are my shoulders. I can sometimes see my arms as I blast through a rock garden, and they are a blur.

    However, even with the loosest arms, the best way to deal with bumps on a rigid is avoidance. It's called picking a line, and the line is not the same as when you are on a fs bike. For me, picking lines on a gnarly downhill section on a FS bike is about fun. On rigid it is about survival. Both have there own rush.

    But I think when it comes down to it, it just takes time. Rigid never going to feel like suspension, no matter how good you get at. I have been feeling pretty comfortable with my rigid bike, even wondering if I really needed so much travel on my AM rig. Then I took out the AM bike yesterday and hit some sections that I realized I could never do the same way on my rigid. You just have to learn to ride the rigid differently, and don't expect to be able to take the same lines as you could before. That's part of the fun of rigid: You truly appreciate smooth dirt, and you learn to be 100% on your game in the rough stuff.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I LIKE the stock fork with most any of the available 29er tires.
    i respect your personal preferrence, but that doesnt negate the fact that a quality reynolds or columbus steel, or ti, or carbon fork simply rides much better than the stock monocog 29er fork... and how to improve ride quality was the question.

    Avoid the Niner fork for this bike--too long. If the fork is replaced stick with the same A-C length and offset.

    actually the niner fork works great on the monocog 29er. offset is the same and only 16mm (.63 inch) longer so it doesnt affect the steering angle or ride characteristics.
    Last edited by monogod; 03-14-2007 at 10:57 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    i respect your personal preferrence, but that doesnt negate the fact that a quality reynolds or columbus steel, or ti, or carbon fork simply rides much better than the stock monocog 29er fork... and how to improve ride quality was the question.

    [/I]
    actually the niner fork works great on the monocog 29er. offset is the same and only 16mm (.63 inch) longer so it doesnt affect the steering angle or ride characteristics.
    17mm of A-C changes the HTA by 1 degree. Too much change for me, I like the handling as-stock. IIRC the MCog fork is closer the 470mm than 474 so it is even more of a change. 2mm less offset than the Niner, too.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Your technique recommendations are part of what "riding light" is. Riding over and around things smoothy with weight shifts rather than bashing into them.

    I disagree with your geometry/setup preferences though. I can not shift my weight easily sitting that far back on the bike. You need to get the front and rear ends over that rock/root/hole smoothly and lightly by unweighting.
    My posting was meant to answer the question "What specifically does 'riding light' mean?"

    The geometry/weight setup I advised is not really needed on a suspension setup, where being caught overweighted on the nose is a mistake that the shocks will often compensate for. On a rigid bike, it is more important to be able to get weight off the nose quickly in nasty technical situations. I don't suggest that one should ride around with the nose underweighted, but a slight rearward bias is better I find.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    17mm of A-C changes the HTA by 1 degree. Too much change for me, I like the handling as-stock.
    reminds me of the princess and the pea! LOL

    one can get almost that much of a difference simply by running lower pressure in high volume tires too.

    but "technically" youre correct, so out of respect for those who are anal about each mm and degree i should have said "no NOTICABLE difference" since 99% of the riders out there would be unable to distinguish the difference between the two.

    2mm less offset than the Niner, too.

    again, i should have said "VIRTUALLY" the same since, again, 99% of the riders out there wouldnt notice the 2mm (thats eight HUNDRETHS of an inch) difference.

    in fact, it would be interesting to see if those who claim to be able to tell either one could do so on a blind ride test... hmmmmmmm

    oh, and actually its 1.9mm since you prefer to be so precise. after all... that .1mm could really throw the handling all cattywhompus!!! BAAAAAAAhahahahaha
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by eccentricbottombracket
    ...The geometry/weight setup I advised is not really needed on a suspension setup, where being caught overweighted on the nose is a mistake that the shocks will often compensate for. On a rigid bike, it is more important to be able to get weight off the nose quickly in nasty technical situations. I don't suggest that one should ride around with the nose underweighted, but a slight rearward bias is better I find.
    Your setup does not work for me rigid or suspended. I prefer a neutral to slightly forward weight bias that allows me to easily move around as needed.
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  27. #27
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    Thanks! I thought I might get some good advice with this post! I put some ODI grips on recently but will look into the Oury's, I could swap the ODI's onto another bike.

    Some more specific questions.

    1) Currently have the stock WTB Exiwolf's (29's) that came with the bike. I thought they looked weak at first but I have no problem with this tire in the rear. Haven't formed a strong opinion one way or another as a front tire yet. Any suggestions for a wider front tire? Not sure how wide I can fit yet but assuming I could fit a 2.35 or possibly 2.4

    2) Tire pressure: How low is too low? 20psi? Really? I've been running about 34.

    3) I did some searching in the archives and a couple people mentioned laying off the front brake on descents with a rigid fork. That's counter to normal braking advice. Do ya?

    4) Does anyone ride a lower seat height than they would on a full suspension or hardtail? I've experimented a little here and it seems to make a difference shifting a little more weight off the front, although the price is less pedaling efficiency when seated. (I need to put on a quick release, but in the meantime...) Putting a gravitydropper on this bike seems a little perverse, not going that route

    Great tips, my shoulders thank you in advance.

    Thanks again!
    slide
    Last edited by slide mon; 03-14-2007 at 12:03 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    Thanks! I thought I might get some good advice with this post! I put some ODI grips on recently but will look into the Oury's, I could swap the ODI's onto another bike.

    Some more specific questions.

    1) Currently have the stock WTB Exiwolf's (29's) that came with the bike. I thought they looked weak at first but I have no problem with this tire in the rear. Haven't formed a strong opinion one way or another as a front tire yet. Any suggestions for a wider front tire? Not sure how wide I can fit yet but assuming I could fit a 2.35 or possibly 2.4

    2) Tire pressure: How low is too low? 20psi? Really? I've been running about 34.

    3) I did some searching in the archives and a couple people mentioned laying off the front brake on descents with a rigid fork. That's counter to normal braking advice. Do ya?

    4) Does anyone ride a lower seat height than they would on a full suspension or hardtail? I've experimented a little here and it seems to make a difference shifting a little more weight off the front, although the price is less pedaling efficiency when seated. (I need to put on a quick release, but in the meantime...) Putting a gravitydropper on this bike seems a little perverse, not going that route

    Great tips, my shoulders thank you in advance.

    Thanks again!
    slide
    Yes, you can run the Exi in the 20s. I find it to be harsh, though. Ignitor, Rampage ACX, Nevegal all have a better feel.

    Just use the brakes only when you need them. When the brake is on the tire can get "stuck," if only for a moment, causing more of a jolt.
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  29. #29
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    I'm also new to rigid riding and my arms are paying the price, specially the forearms.

    The trails that I'm running are infested with roots and the occasional rock garden. I'm running Mutanos 2.4, 35psi F, 45psi R; if I go lower than that I get flats. Will a bigger tire help?

    I'm also playing with grips, replaced the lock ons with an Ergon lookalike and hate them. Think I need softer grips, will the OURI's do the trick?

  30. #30
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    So many options...

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Your setup does not work for me rigid or suspended. I prefer a neutral to slightly forward weight bias that allows me to easily move around as needed.
    I hope the originator of this thread finds helpful insight from our discussion. There is no 'one size fits all' solution to any question.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL
    I'm also new to rigid riding and my arms are paying the price, specially the forearms.

    The trails that I'm running are infested with roots and the occasional rock garden. I'm running Mutanos 2.4, 35psi F, 45psi R; if I go lower than that I get flats. Will a bigger tire help?

    I'm also playing with grips, replaced the lock ons with an Ergon lookalike and hate them. Think I need softer grips, will the OURI's do the trick?
    I've found that Ourys work really well for rigids. They are cushy and stick well, and along with a good thick set of tires, your forearms should feel a little better. People also swear by ODIs, though I've never tried them. From what people say and from my experience, I don't think you can go wrong either way... a new set of grips will always make your ride feel better.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    Thanks! I thought I might get some good advice with this post! I put some ODI grips on recently but will look into the Oury's, I could swap the ODI's onto another bike.
    you'll be glad you did. the ourys are not only super cushy, but they're cheap and come in nifty colors INCLUDING clear!

    Some more specific answers...
    1) Currently have the stock WTB Exiwolf's (29's) that came with the bike. I thought they looked weak at first but I have no problem with this tire in the rear. Haven't formed a strong opinion one way or another as a front tire yet. Any suggestions for a wider front tire? Not sure how wide I can fit yet but assuming I could fit a 2.35 or possibly 2.4

    exiwolf is a great tire, and comes in a 2.3 which is really meaty. works great in most everything, but there are other choices as well. a lot of it is personal taste. a tire that is the grail to one is the grinch to another.
    2) Tire pressure: How low is too low? 20psi? Really? I've been running about 34.

    20 is too low. the wider the rim and the bigger the tire the lower you can go, but 20 is asking for either pinch flats or dinged rims. you can run in the high 20s with fatties though.
    3) I did some searching in the archives and a couple people mentioned laying off the front brake on descents with a rigid fork. That's counter to normal braking advice. Do ya?

    laying off the brake produces a much smoother ride over the rough stuff. as with almost every other aspect when on an ss you will find you can go downhill much faster than you think you can and still be in perfect control.
    4) Does anyone ride a lower seat height than they would on a full suspension or hardtail? I've experimented a little here and it seems to make a difference shifting a little more weight off the front, although the price is less pedaling efficiency when seated. (I need to put on a quick release, but in the meantime...) Putting a gravitydropper on this bike seems a little perverse, not going that route
    personally no. i just get off the back end of the saddle if i need to. i prefer having more pedaling efficiency while in the saddle. once you get used to moving around the bike its a piece of cake. just takes time...

    regarding all the comments on "riding light", tensing up, and death grip on the bars im reminded of the scene in "kalifornia" where early is teaching brian to shoot the gun. he said "you gotta hold it soft... like yer pecker."

    that way you let the bike move under you rather than having each and every bump and jolt transfered TO you.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

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    Quote Originally Posted by eccentricbottombracket
    I hope the originator of this thread finds helpful insight from our discussion. There is no 'one size fits all' solution to any question.
    Yup. You have to use what works for you.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by eccentricbottombracket
    My posting was meant to answer the question "What specifically does 'riding light' mean?"

    The geometry/weight setup I advised is not really needed on a suspension setup, where being caught overweighted on the nose is a mistake that the shocks will often compensate for. On a rigid bike, it is more important to be able to get weight off the nose quickly in nasty technical situations. I don't suggest that one should ride around with the nose underweighted, but a slight rearward bias is better I find.
    actually i see it the other way around: a longer stem slowers teh handling and mutes the shock coming from the front wheel.
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  35. #35
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    aggressive riding with a rigid fork

    For me there are a few things that are key to being able to survive on my rigid bike. I like to run a short stem and very wide riser bars. That enables me to unweight the front of the bike and the wide bar (28" standard dia.) actually flexes slightly, which helps absorb some chatter. I also run a 2.4" Mutano Rapter in the front at around 35 psi. I love that tire - it is fairly light (under 600g I think), has all around traction, and feels really supple to me. Also, I have my bike set up with relatively slack geometry- I am running a Surly instigator front fork on a Kona Stuff frame, which gives me a HA of roughly 69-70 degrees.

    Of course, there is only so much you can do to make rigid riding easy. lol. So, do alot of forearm excercises and keep your elbows and knees loose. Think of yourself as a piece of jello flying down the trail. Or something like that.
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  36. #36
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    To anyone with rigid problems,

    I would agree with what many have said about riding light. Makes all the difference.

    But there's also talk of tire pressure. Even a few PSI can make a bunch of difference. And the great thing is that, as you learn to ride lighter, you can use less pressure, and be even more comfy. If you're not whacking your tire into things, you won't get pinch flats.

    The recommendations for tire pressure mentioned so far seem high to me. Of course your body weight matters, but at 165, I use as little as 15 PSI or so, even in a light 2.3 (Tioga Blue dragon, or Mutanoraptor, for instance.) Try going low.

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanmtb87
    Think of yourself as a piece of jello flying down the trail. Or something like that.
    INDEED!
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    actually i see it the other way around: a longer stem slowers teh handling and mutes the shock coming from the front wheel.
    I agree that a shorter stem quickens the handling. I was propsing a short stem to set the riders weight back to lighten the front wheel, and to quicken the handling as a (panic) response to obstacles.

  39. #39
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    I mostly ride with no more than 25psi front and rear, and prefer to have 20psi if I can get away with it.

    Nevegal and Rampage tires at lower pressures with a Ti seatpost and JJ Ti H-bars with ESI silicone grips all make for a sweet rigid ride.


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by eccentricbottombracket
    I agree that a shorter stem quickens the handling. I was propsing a short stem to set the riders weight back to lighten the front wheel, and to quicken the handling as a (panic) response to obstacles.
    shorter stem absolutely quickens steering, but the shorter the stem gets the twitchier the steering gets and the less vibration damping the stem will offer.

    longer fulcrum on a pivot point lessons the leverage needed to rotate, but increases the distance the end of the fulcrum needs to travel to affect the same rotation of the pivot point as a fulcrum of shorter distance.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  41. #41
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    Lay off the brakes, and "float." I've found relaxing and hitting stuff with some momentum with wheels that want to spin (not being slowed by brakes) will get you through some suprising stuff. Use the energy that is not being "wasted" by a fork, and bounce your self over the rough stuff. I recently did a race on a really rough course, and the ridged SS's were in the minority. I noticed that a lot of the Dual Suspenders were getting a smoother ride, but kinda plowing through the rough stuff. I hit it going too fast most times and let the death grip go on the bar and just let momentum take me over the top of the terrain.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-reg
    Lay off the brakes, and "float." I've found relaxing and hitting stuff with some momentum with wheels that want to spin (not being slowed by brakes) will get you through some suprising stuff. Use the energy that is not being "wasted" by a fork, and bounce your self over the rough stuff. I recently did a race on a really rough course, and the ridged SS's were in the minority. I noticed that a lot of the Dual Suspenders were getting a smoother ride, but kinda plowing through the rough stuff. I hit it going too fast most times and let the death grip go on the bar and just let momentum take me over the top of the terrain.
    Thats a very good point. I actually am not quite sure what psi I run in my tires ( I don't have a gauge), but I probably run them a little harder than I need to so that I can 'ping' off of trail obstacles without horribly pinch flatting. You can kind of hit little rocks and stuff with your front wheel to get some free air- its fun, try it. Just lean back, bend your knees, and stiffen your arms. lol. I guess run the tires as soft as you can without rolling the tire off the rim in corners or pinch flatting all the time.

  43. #43
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    I have a Weirwolf in the front along with the Pace carbon fork and it dampens a lot more then I would have thought. Have a nano in the back which was in the front, and the difference in cush is very noticeable between the 2. I also use oury lock ons and agree that you have to concentrate on not griping too tightly.

  44. #44
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    The stock fork will beat the crap out of you no matter what, it has 0 compliance. I put a Salsa fork on mine...perfect.

    Big meats @ low PSI; Ramps, Nev's, or Bonty's

    Ride light.

    Better lines.

    Stay relaxed! I noticed that riding with suspension alot of people, myself included, tend to tense up and over grip without realizing it because the suspension absorbs everything for you. Bad habit. Stop.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by FODM
    Lighten up your grip on the bars. Lower pressure, bigger tires. Grin and bear it - it gets easier and you'll eventually look like Popeye.
    I actually found quite the oposite. When I tried this technique, insides of my pulms were getting destroyed, my nuckles hurt a lot. So I tried the counter-intuitive. Firm grip with hands on the grips, but relaxed, loose elbows and shoulders. Hands are fine now, and my upper body and arms are not as beat.

    just experiment with different positions and approaches. Biger tires, lower pressures, better lines, looking ahead, allhelps too.

    good luck
    dz
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  46. #46
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    I just switched to a carbon fork, and that made I noticable difference. But an even bigger difference was noticed when I dropped my tire pressure on tonights ride. 21psi in a Specilized Resolution 2.3 in front and about 25psi in a Nano in back. Best ride I've had yet!

  47. #47
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    Lots of good advice in this thread about 'riding light' or 'unweighting.' I'll add my take on it.

    I've never ridden suspension before, so I just naturally prepare for a hit when I see a root, rocks, or even just a bump in the dirt/snow. You want your elbows to break (not literally) and absorb the bump so you don't take it in the wrists or shoulders. I don't take any bump for granted.

    I do the same thing with my butt. Obviously, you get off the saddle on rough parts so that your legs act as shock absorbers. However, I don't get right off the saddle every time I hit a bump: Sometimes I push down with my legs while still pedaling, taking more of my weight off the saddle so I don't take the jolt. This is something that people riding fixies need to be good at, since they always have to keep pedaling.

    Also, like others said, you transfer your weight front and back a lot and let the bike move underneath you. This works really good on mogul-type bumps.

    In addition to good grips (I like the Ourys as well, but people have said that ESI Chunky grips are even better), don't forget gloves. In fact, I have been thinking about trying out mechanix gloves this year that are designed to absorb vibrations from using jackhammers and concrete drills and stuff.

    Regards,
    Anthony

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzm3
    I actually found quite the oposite. When I tried this technique, insides of my pulms were getting destroyed, my nuckles hurt a lot. So I tried the counter-intuitive. Firm grip with hands on the grips, but relaxed, loose elbows and shoulders. Hands are fine now, and my upper body and arms are not as beat.

    dz
    This is not counterintuitive. Most people prepare for a hit via tensing up. This is wrong. But if you relax nothing really happens to you. Your arms are relaxed with your technique and I second this approach on technical bits.

    Just watch any Nicolas Voillouz (sp?) video and you see he's gripping the bar firmly but arms, shoulders and legs seem to be made of pudding. (I know he's riding suspension, but still).

    For the longer fireroad downhill or flat section I switch towards the other technique of letting the hands loose around the bar.

    Also look that your saddle is not tilted nose down.

  49. #49
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    Lots of good advice and things to try out here!

    I've been riding rigid for several years and will say that I have found the best set-up that works for me over time and it involves many of the things posted above.
    Just have to let it evolve and get it as good as it can be.
    But remember the most important thing....Learn to suffer! You will!
    It will never be as good as suspension in absorbing bumps and rough terrain. Especially on long rides.
    Learn to use the advantages (lighter weight, better climbing, more precise steering) and limit your losses.
    My only other specific tip is 2-5 psi REALLY do make a heck of a lot of difference and at 165 with gear I run 23 to 25f-30-r with Resolutions.

  50. #50
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    Dedicated thread for Singlespeed technique with pictures

    I think it would be cool to have a dedicated thread for rigid/singlespeed technique on crazy downhills, trials, freeride, and that sort of thing. That might sound kind of contradictory, but I think its a blast seeing what it is possible to ride on such a simple bike. I love trail riding with my rigid singlespeed and trying to do the same stuff I do on my 5" travel "big bike". Anyhow, if anyone else likes this kind of stuff, post up some pics. I think there is a guy on these boards- Aquaholic who rides lots of crazy stuff and drops on his Jones ti singlespeed. Thats awesome.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    2) Tire pressure: How low is too low? 20psi? Really? I've been running about 34.
    slide
    I don't know how much you weigh but for me at 195, 34 psi in an Exi on the front feels like a rock. I usually run an Ignitor on the front at 18 psi. I've never even hit rim let alone pinch flatted with that setup. Better traction too.
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  52. #52
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    here is a couple of pics of me playing around on my Surly 1x1 96'er haha. I ride this bike the same as my 5 inch bike. I can just go a bit bigger on the suss bike, but this bike absolutely flys. I have my best lap times on this bike running a 32x16.

    Again nothing insane, but some fun riding on a rigid bike! haha. Weeee, JC
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by grawbass
    I don't know how much you weigh but for me at 195, 34 psi in an Exi on the front feels like a rock. I usually run an Ignitor on the front at 18 psi. I've never even hit rim let alone pinch flatted with that setup. Better traction too.
    195@18psi????? WTF?!?!?!?! maybe in the parking lot! LOL

    im about 190 and if i ran 18 id have one beat up rim... IF i could keep the thing from pinch flatting. but then again i huck, ride some crazy rocky terrain, fly down gnarly downhill, and get some sweet air.

    glad it works for you though...
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  54. #54
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    i've been riding my monocog 29'er for about a year. ignitor front, oury grips and playing with pressures helped alot. the biggest benefit i found was going riding with guys that had been riding rigid for a long time. watching thier lines and flow thru the trails was a tremendous help in re-learning how to ride rigid. i went from a 7" FS to a rigid 29er. going from bulldozer to flow was awesome. check some local bike shops out and check some group rides out. just following along is a great way to learn....

    good luck and keep it up, it'll get better!

  55. #55
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    sweet...

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingBash
    here is a couple of pics of me playing around on my Surly 1x1 96'er haha. I ride this bike the same as my 5 inch bike. I can just go a bit bigger on the suss bike, but this bike absolutely flys. I have my best lap times on this bike running a 32x16.

    Again nothing insane, but some fun riding on a rigid bike! haha. Weeee, JC
    Cool pics. Thats pretty decent air on that rigid.

  56. #56
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    Great advice!

    Thanks for the new bike!

    Just got back from a long ride on the ss. Dropped the psi in my exiwolves to 28 in the front and 30 in the back. Awesome advice! Such a smooth ride it'll be difficult to pass this bike up for the fs. Of course the one section of steep and rutted fireroad was still brutal, but the lower psi sucked up all the bumps on the single track. Great ride!

    -slide

  57. #57
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    this is a great post, I read it all over I just built my first bike frame up, and i got a rigid fork and thanks to all on the advice, so grips and practice sold,
    my bike is Surly 1x1
    the snow is finally melting so im getting pumped not lon gnow

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    195@18psi????? WTF?!?!?!?! maybe in the parking lot! LOL

    im about 190 and if i ran 18 id have one beat up rim... IF i could keep the thing from pinch flatting. but then again i huck, ride some crazy rocky terrain, fly down gnarly downhill, and get some sweet air.

    glad it works for you though...
    I am (currently) 190ish. I am careful with the lines... I often run my Maxxis TT's below 20.

    The photo below shows 13.5psi (It was probably 16-18 before the gauge was put on it)





    The places we ride and not all that smooth either.

    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  59. #59
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    Lots of good advice put out here. Like it has been said many times already, riding light is the most important part of riding rigid. How I explain it, it is using the same technique on a HT to absorb hits on the rear and then applying that to the front. It definately takes some getting used to. That is also the same reason why so many of these guys can get away with running very low pressures. It will become second nature to unweight the front over things that you would not even think about with a suspension fork. I weigh about 155 and run a Conti 2.5 at @22Lbs. It feels great and rarely ever have I felt like pinch flats could be a problem, but if I get tired or something surprises me and my timing is off, then it is a different story. I have smacked a few roots pretty hard and felt it ding the rim, but I have always marked that up to bad handling on my part and not a problem with low tire pressure.

    Brian

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I got a monocog 29er back in December. I have about a half dozen rides in on it so far and love almost everything about the bike, but the rigid fork is beating the sh!t out of me! Climbing and slow speed singletrack is great, but going through the bumps at speed is harsh and descending steep rutted fireroads reduces me to a level of pathetic nooberness (tm) that I haven't felt in years.

    I've been eyeing the reba 29'er but have decided to stick it out with the rigid fork for a while hoping I might learn something. What do you do differently on your rigid than you do on your fs? Lay some tips on me.

    Thanks
    slide
    Wow, it had not occured to me to run front tire pressure as low as some of the folks here. I figured it was asking for pinch flats, as I can't go much below 30 on my AM rig with a similar sized tire. I'm glad I read this. I'm going to try 25psi next ride. Thanks, good thread.

  61. #61
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    Be carefull...

    If you are riding rugged terrain the best way to get better is to get stronger in the upper body department. No joke a few pushups and pull ups will make a huge difference over time.

    Going with bigger tires with less PSI can be addictive and it happened to me. Then what I found happening is that I started to get carried away and was hauling around giant slow pig-rubber up front; slowing me down, sucking the life out of my legs, negating the benefit of a relatively lightweight SS. Using lower psi for a softer ride started to cause problems for me also. At the start of the ride when I was fresh I could pop the front end up and over all the rough stuff at will. As the day, or race, wore on I became less sharp and would commonly start to pinch flat as I fatigued by the end of the day. Someone once said to me that a fat tire up front with low psi is just an un-necessary crutch for rigid suspension. I thought that guy was silly but his words stuck in my head and I've come to feel he was right. While it take more strength and skill to handle a bike with a relative smaller tire at "normal" psi up front I find it overall faster, better and in the end more enjoyable to me. There is a happy medium. You can't run super skinny tires at high pressures or you'll get too beat up and you'll loose cornering traction. At this point I'm pretty settled on using even sized tires (front-rear) of my ride. Many will disagree, and when starting fully rigid the fat tire up front will help break you in. But remember these words, I did and it's worked out better for me. I'm 180#, ride very rocky single track with good riders on 5" plus travel bikes and I take turns setting the pace. PSI for my 2.1" tires is between 30 and 34 psi.

    Grip choice makes a huge difference. Go Oury, no doubt.

    Learn to unweight the front end. The wheelie is your friend.

    My carbon DH Monkey bars are the stiffest bars I've found. They transmit all the hits to your arms. Lighter carbon bars will flex more and give a more comfortable ride as will a lighter (vs heavier) aluminum bar. It's not the material.

    Give it time. You're body will adjust.

    Finally... you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like a squish bike. Get that idea out of your head and you'll be better off.
    Last edited by Miker J; 03-17-2007 at 07:02 PM.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeMojo
    I am (currently) 190ish. I am careful with the lines... I often run my Maxxis TT's below 20.

    The photo below shows 13.5psi (It was probably 16-18 before the gauge was put on it)

    The places we ride and not all that smooth either.
    i didnt doubt that you were running that low, and wasnt calling you a liar. i'm just saying with what/how i ride theres no way i could do it unless it was in the parking lot. you simply cant do trials type stuff or bomb down rooty, rocky terrain, or land 2-3 ft. of air (or more) on 18lbs without causing rim damage or pinch flats.

    the picture you posted is very much like a lot of what we ride around here. (where is that, btw?) i ride my ss like i did my fs... bomb down stuff, and riding that type of terrain at velocity pinch flats below high 20's.

    for example... theres some rocky stuff and air on the back side of porcupine in moab that i hit going well over 20mph (full rigid) and have pinch flatted, dinged rims, and even belched air from my tubeless tires from running @ 25psi.

    unless its smooth and rolling, when you ride at higher velocity you just cant run that low of pressure without problems.

    i'm not calling you a wuss, or saying you cant ride... so dont get all huffy. i'm just saying that going that low isnt compatible with how/what i ride.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    ..a few pushups and pull ups will make a huge difference over time.,,
    ...was hauling around giant slow pig-rubber up front; slowing me down, sucking the life out of my legs, negating the benefit of a relatively lightweight SS...At this point I'm pretty settled on using even sized tires (front-rear) of my ride...Learn to unweight the front end...Lighter carbon bars will flex more and give a more comfortable ride...Give it time. You're body will adjus... you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like a squish bike. Get that idea out of your head and you'll be better off.
    Easily the best post of this thread -- covered what I wanted to say and then a bunch more. The "big" front tire at a really low PSI probably requires at least a tooth lower gear, both on flats and uphill, to push it along. I'm not the technical stud that some of you are, but I do go long and find I'm much better off with my wheels being lighter rather than cushier and by doing enough work off the bike to assure that my girly-man arms are at least tough enough to handle the beating of 100 miles or more of off-tarmac riding on a "fully firm" bike...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  64. #64
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    I definately agree with what some people are saying about running monster front tires with low psi. This setup does tend to negate alot of the benefits of riding a rigid bike. Mind, I did put on a 2.5" Kenda Blue groove for the trail pictured below, but it definately made the bike sluggish. I'm not sure if the 'squish' gained was worth the added weight and all. I still think that my 2.4 mutano raptor pumped to the upper 30's is a good thing for the front tire. Despite the thin sidewalls and stuff, you can still do drops and rock gardens no problem and the tire has a great lively feel.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    If you are riding rugged terrain the best way to get better is to get stronger in the upper body department. No joke a few pushups and pull ups will make a huge difference over time.

    Going with bigger tires with less PSI can be addictive and it happened to me. Then what I found happening is that I started to get carried away and was hauling around giant slow pig-rubber up front; slowing me down, sucking the life out of my legs, negating the benefit of a relatively lightweight SS. Using lower psi for a softer ride started to cause problems for me also. At the start of the ride when I was fresh I could pop the front end up and over all the rough stuff at will. As the day, or race, wore on I became less sharp and would commonly start to pinch flat as I fatigued by the end of the day. Someone once said to me that a fat tire up front with low psi is just an un-necessary crutch for rigid suspension. I thought that guy was silly but his words stuck in my head and I've come to feel he was right. While it take more strength and skill to handle a bike with a relative smaller tire at "normal" psi up front I find it overall faster, better and in the end more enjoyable to me. There is a happy medium. You can't run super skinny tires at high pressures or you'll get too beat up and you'll loose cornering traction. At this point I'm pretty settled on using even sized tires (front-rear) of my ride. Many will disagree, and when starting fully rigid the fat tire up front will help break you in. But remember these words, I did and it's worked out better for me. I'm 180#, ride very rocky single track with good riders on 5" plus travel bikes and I take turns setting the pace. PSI for my 2.1" tires is between 30 and 34 psi.

    Grip choice makes a huge difference. Go Oury, no doubt.

    Learn to unweight the front end. The wheelie is your friend.

    My carbon DH Monkey bars are the stiffest bars I've found. They transmit all the hits to your arms. Lighter carbon bars will flex more and give a more comfortable ride as will a lighter (vs heavier) aluminum bar. It's not the material.

    Give it time. You're body will adjust.

    Finally... you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like a squish bike. Get that idea out of your head and you'll be better off.
    all Yup.



    I also moved away from a big front tire... Now run Maxxis TTs front and rear, not the EXception... the thicker sidewalled 70a durometer tire.


    I use Monkey Lite (?EA 70) carbon bars, work well.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    i didnt doubt that you were running that low, and wasnt calling you a liar. i'm just saying with what/how i ride theres no way i could do it unless it was in the parking lot. you simply cant do trials type stuff or bomb down rooty, rocky terrain, or land 2-3 ft. of air (or more) on 18lbs without causing rim damage or pinch flats.

    the picture you posted is very much like a lot of what we ride around here. (where is that, btw?) i ride my ss like i did my fs... bomb down stuff, and riding that type of terrain at velocity pinch flats below high 20's.

    for example... theres some rocky stuff and air on the back side of porcupine in moab that i hit going well over 20mph (full rigid) and have pinch flatted, dinged rims, and even belched air from my tubeless tires from running @ 25psi.

    unless its smooth and rolling, when you ride at higher velocity you just cant run that low of pressure without problems.
    Oh, I am very certain that it was 16-18 psi. And as mentioned above those are the 70 durometer Maxxis TTs.

    I learned on a hardtail, have been riding rigid for over 5 years now, and only recently got a FS bike. I am so used to the rigid HT thing, I am having a hard time learning how to bomb stuff on the FS.

    Much of the riding I do is low speed finesse. And yea, if I "bomb down stuff" I am most likely not going to have the control needed to run those pressures.... Also those pressures can become tricky at speed as the front tire may begin to roll off the rim.

    If I know I am going to be riding fast, I'll run them in the high 20s (~28psi). Keep in mind at all times that the 70a durometer Maxxis TT has a fairly thick/stiff sidewall.

    As for location, I am in San Antonio. Most of our rides are in the Texas Hill Country. That ride is one of our favorites at Hill Country SNA

    Other great rides within an hours drive of SA include:
    Government Canyon SNA

    Flat Rock Ranch

    And the Madrone Trail at Canyon Lake



    More info and photos/descriptions of these trails at AustinBike.com

    http://www.austinbike.com/mtb/hillcountry/index.asp

    http://www.austinbike.com/mtb/govern...nyon/index.asp

    http://www.austinbike.com/mtb/comfort/index.asp

    http://www.austinbike.com/mtb/madrone/index.asp
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

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    My tip is to to stay relaxed and don't fight the bike.Be confident in yourself ....... float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeMojo
    Much of the riding I do is low speed finesse. ~ If I know I am going to be riding fast, I'll run them in the high 20s (~28psi)
    this was the point i was trying to make. lower pressures are viable only for low speeds.

    otherwise people might go out there with 20 or less psi and damage their rims (or themselves) from pinch flats or tires rolling and unseating.

    i thought that looked like the hill country!

    i'm up in waco. every ridden cameron park? i'd invite you down for a ride but some ditzy broad in a car took me out on my road bike a couple weeks ago and i'm off the bike for another month. shattered collarbone, separated shoulder, two sprained wrists, cracked & bruised ribs, contusions to my noggin, pulled muscles and tendons, and some respectable road rash.

    oh, AND it totalled my new bike... a sweet bianchi cross concept with exhaustive upgrades. i was lucky and found another new in the box 06 ( the 07 is ugly) and most of the components are salvageable and can be moved over.

    if you like i can let you know when i'm on a bike again. i'd love to have a local show me around down there, and i'd certainly be glad to host you here.

    if you race, try to make it to the outback blowout... its a blast!

    www.keepwacowacko.com
    Last edited by monogod; 03-18-2007 at 07:07 AM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like a squish bike. Get that idea out of your head and you'll be better off.
    cant say i agree with that. with good technique and physical conditioning you would be amazed at how fast rocky downhills can be navigated on a rigid. ESPECIALLY on a 29'er.

    not only is riding that kind of stuff at speed a blast, but seeing the reaction of someone on a fs when a rigid bombs past them is priceless!!!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    i thought that looked like the hill country!

    i'm up in waco. every ridden cameron park? i'd invite you down for a ride but some ditzy broad in a car took me out on my road bike a couple weeks ago and i'm off the bike for another month. shattered collarbone, separated shoulder, two sprained wrists, cracked & bruised ribs, contusions to my noggin, pulled muscles and tendons, and some respectable road rash.

    oh, AND it totalled my new bike... a sweet bianchi cross concept with exhaustive upgrades. i was lucky and found another new in the box 06 ( the 07 is ugly) and most of the components are salvageable and can be moved over.

    if you like i can let you know when i'm on a bike again. i'd love to have a local show me around down there, and i'd certainly be glad to host you here.

    if you race, try to make it to the outback blowout... its a blast!

    www.keepwacowacko.com
    I have never really taken the time to 'ride' Cameron Park. I have raced it on several occasions. I guess the last time was the NORBA Nat.

    It was not a good course layout for SS. I have not been back since. I need to go up and just go ride sometime.

    If you are ever in the SA area, drop me a line. PM me here or on BikeMojo.


    Sorry about your wreck, that sucks.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    cant say i agree with that. with good technique and physical conditioning you would be amazed at how fast rocky downhills can be navigated on a rigid. ESPECIALLY on a 29'er.

    not only is riding that kind of stuff at speed a blast, but seeing the reaction of someone on a fs when a rigid bombs past them is priceless!!!
    How many real DH races do you see won on a rigid?

    I have ridden with couple of people on rigids who could just beat be down a rough hill on my 5-1/2" AM rig. Very impressive, and I can see the smile on their face as they pass me. Put them on a dual squishy and the smile is from the first beer they are finishing when I catch up.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    How many real DH races do you see won on a rigid?
    irrelevant red herring that is wholly and totally extraneous and superfluous to your original comment and my response. no one was talking about dh racing.

    you said...
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like a squish bike. Get that idea out of your head and you'll be better off.


    thats total crap. with good technique and physical conditioning you can haul ass down rocky downhills and beat the majority of riders (excluding pro dh racers since you now want to bring that into the equation) down the trail on their big hit bikes.

    just cuz YOU cant do it and have resigned yourself to it and have gotten it out of your head doesnt meant is cant and isnt being done nor that it shouldnt be considered.

    can i go as fast down a gnarly rocky section on my rigid as fast as on my fs bike? no. and i didnt say i could. but on my rigid i can go faster than most can on their fs, and i know lots of other people who can too.
    Last edited by monogod; 03-18-2007 at 11:19 AM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeMojo
    If you are ever in the SA area, drop me a line. PM me here or on BikeMojo.
    will do. same nick on bikemojo?

    and yeah it does suck. i'm going to miss the ouachita challange this year because of it. i have two tour entries available if anyone is interested.

    hopefully will be able to race the blowout at the end of april and still make my bi-yearly moab trip in may.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  73. #73
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    .....How many real DH races do you see won on a rigid?.....

    irrelevant red herring that is wholly and totally extraneous and superfluous to your original comment and my response. no one was talking about dh racing.

    No, completely relavent sinse what I was repsonding to was your disagreement with the statement that you don't bomb rocky downhills on a rigid the way you do on a fs bike. The point is that when someone want to ride a rough dh section the fastest, they ride fs.

    you said...

    you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like a squish bike. Get that idea out of your head and you'll be better off.


    No, I did not. That was Miker J, though I agree with him. He is not saying you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like anyone else on a squish bike. What he is meant was you'll never bomb down rocky downhills at breakneck speed on a fully rigid like you would on a squish bike



    thats total crap. with good technique and physical conditioning you can haul ass down rocky downhills and beat the majority of riders (excluding pro dh racers since you now want to bring that into the equation) down the trail on their big hit bikes.

    With good technique and physical conditioning you'd beat even more if you were on a fs bike.

    just cuz YOU cant do it and have resigned yourself to it and have gotten it out of your head doesnt meant is cant and isnt being done nor that it shouldnt be considered.

    can i go as fast down a gnarly rocky section on my rigid as fast as on my fs bike? no.


    This is EXACTLY Miker J's point, and the point that I was agreeing with, and the reason I brought up DH races. Even you are saying that you do not bomb a rough dh section the same on a rigid as you do on a fs bike. So what part is total crap?

    but on my rigid i can go faster than most can on their fs, and i know lots of other people who can too.

    This is the part that is, as you say, an irrelevant red herring that is wholly and totally extraneous and superfluous. This is a discussion about how one rides rigid vs fs, not a d!ck measuring contest.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    blah... blah... blah...
    take a day off dude... you dont have to act like a belligerent a-hole EVERY day of your life...
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Pot, meet Kettle.

    On a more serious note, I read about your accident, and it really sucks. Hope you get better and continue to rip on whatever you are riding.

    I'm not a beligerent a-hole, I just play one on TV.
    dang it... you stole my line! when i hit quote to reply you hadnt edited it, but it came up with your edited reply. i HATE when that happens...

    so my original response (although its now lost its thunder) was...

    lips, meet arse.

    btw... i'm not a belligerent a-hole, i just play one on tv.


    "great minds..." as they say.

    thanks for the pity, cant wait to ride again.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    will do. same nick on bikemojo?

    I am aLaN on Mojo. Same avitar though.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    take a day off dude... you dont have to act like a belligerent a-hole EVERY day of your life...
    Pot, meet Kettle.

    On a more serious note, I read about your accident, and it really sucks. Hope you get better and continue to rip on whatever you are riding.

    I'm not a beligerent a-hole, I just play one on TV.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    dang it... you stole my line! when i hit quote to reply you hadnt edited it, but it came up with your edited reply. i HATE when that happens...

    so my original response (although its now lost its thunder) was...

    [I]lips, meet arse.
    Don't worry, I still chuckled.

    This thread is becoming very d!ck-lips-@ss rich.

  79. #79
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    Personally, I enjoy riding a rigid, however most of the trails I ride aren't that tech. If I rode often in places w/ lots of high-frequency bumps, I'd probably need a suspended fork.

    Just me tho...
    G

  80. #80
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    tires and gloves

    I know what you mean about those rough fire roads. I have not found any way to smooth them out as well as a suspension fork does, but a plush front tire at low pressure helped me the most. I also put on a second pair of gloves before taking on a particularly long, fast, rough fire road descent. The gloves reduce the beating on my hands, but sometimes my arms vibrate so much that the muscles feel like they are trying to peel off. A relaxed grip helps if I can see far enough ahead to know that I do not need to be on the brakes. I guess slowing down is another option, but who wants to try that?

  81. #81
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    I don't think I saw this advice but, my biggest thing to learn with a rigid fork was to lay off the front brake. Typically, on a front susp bike I'd use both f / r brakes if I needed to when decending. Finally figured out to mostly reley on the rear brake if I needed to scrub some speed on bumpy decents...........

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by IFrider1
    I don't think I saw this advice but, my biggest thing to learn with a rigid fork was to lay off the front brake. Typically, on a front susp bike I'd use both f / r brakes if I needed to when decending. Finally figured out to mostly reley on the rear brake if I needed to scrub some speed on bumpy decents...........
    I don't. I use the front brake just as much and hard, just differently. You just need to learn when and when not to use it.

    A sussy fork will let you use the brake more continuously but the on/off/modulating method I use with rigid improves the braking with suspension, too.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by IFrider1
    I don't think I saw this advice but, my biggest thing to learn with a rigid fork was to lay off the front brake. Typically, on a front susp bike I'd use both f / r brakes if I needed to when decending. Finally figured out to mostly reley on the rear brake if I needed to scrub some speed on bumpy decents...........
    You know, I have been finding this as well. I have always been of the mindset that the front brake is your freind, and with front suspension I am usually pretty front heavy on the brakes. However, I am finding with my rigid I need to be more careful in the rough stuff, as the front wheel is not actually touching the ground very much compared to a suspension fork, and I loose control of the front end more easily. Hopefully this will change as I get better, which would be nice because I still cringe at myself when I find myself relying too much on the back. It just feels sloppy. I find myself thinking of all the times I rag on people to "Ride it, don't slide it." I imagine the basic concepts I apply to suspension will apply to rigis as my arms become more suspension-like. The biggest thng is knowing WHEN to brake hard, and I guess with rigid that is a little less forgiving.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    You know, I have been finding this as well. I have always been of the mindset that the front brake is your freind, and with front suspension I am usually pretty front heavy on the brakes. However, I am finding with my rigid I need to be more careful in the rough stuff, as the front wheel is not actually touching the ground very much compared to a suspension fork, and I loose control of the front end more easily. Hopefully this will change as I get better, which would be nice because I still cringe at myself when I find myself relying too much on the back. It just feels sloppy. I find myself thinking of all the times I rag on people to "Ride it, don't slide it." I imagine the basic concepts I apply to suspension will apply to rigis as my arms become more suspension-like. The biggest thng is knowing WHEN to brake hard, and I guess with rigid that is a little less forgiving.
    As a side note: Braking bumps on trails did not form before suspension became common on mtbs. I have discussed this with several "old-timers" and all have agreed.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    As a side note: Braking bumps on trails did not form before suspension became common on mtbs. I have discussed this with several "old-timers" and all have agreed.
    Do you think it is suspension itself, or the increased traffic sinse suspension came around?

    I ask this because I don't encounter braking bumps often in most places I ride on the east coast, but I have encountered them, and mostly out west (CA). The places I do encounter them have two things common to them all. First is that it is not too rocky (at least on the sections with braking bumps). The other is that these are heavily used trails. These two things rarely come together on the east coast, but they often do out west. All of the bumps I encounter these days are just rocky anf rooty sections.

    Or could it have to do with that more people are riding faster with suspension and braking harder with v's and disc? I know you can kiss a good section of steep DH goodbye as soon as people with DH rigs figure out a way to shuttle it.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Do you think it is suspension itself, or the increased traffic sinse suspension came around?

    I ask this because I don't encounter braking bumps often in most places I ride on the east coast, but I have encountered them, and mostly out west (CA). The places I do encounter them have two things common to them all. First is that it is not too rocky (at least on the sections with braking bumps). The other is that these are heavily used trails. These two things rarely come together on the east coast, but they often do out west. All of the bumps I encounter these days are just rocky anf rooty sections.

    Or could it have to do with that more people are riding faster with suspension and braking harder with v's and disc? I know you can kiss a good section of steep DH goodbye as soon as people with DH rigs figure out a way to shuttle it.
    The increased use of suspension, not an increase in traffic. The trails we discussed were as heavily used pre-suspension as after, and the bumps started forming shortly after suspension became common.

    Suspension does let you brake harder/longer than rigid. It also goes into a grab/skip/grab/skip cycle that forms the bumps. This is the same mechanism than forms washboard sections and braking/climbing bumps on gravel roads.

    A rigid bike will just skid when the braking traction is exceeded rather than going into the cycle.
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  87. #87
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    I hear you on the rough fire roads. I haven't figured it out either and Thanks for asking the question. This is a pretty useful thread for the most part. For what it's worth I put a 2.5 WeirWolf LT on my Monocog and run kinda low pressure, It did feel better than the Exi. butif you're gonna follow the skinnier tire advice then that won't matter. I'll be looking for some other forks soon and I like the idea of a carbon or TI bar but my Mary bar feels so good on the climbs.

    Anyway to sum up a 2.5 weirwolf feels plusher than the stock Exi wolfs.
    There's always money in the banana stand.

  88. #88
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    Weird idea, probably dangerous

    So, the other day I'm riding along, thinking about nothing in particular, I get this idea...

    What if you put your 25.4 bar into a 31.8 stem and shimmed it with something shock-absorbing, like say some tough rubber. (Piece of grip? Inner tube?) It's not going to take up bumps, but it might do something for vibration. On the other hand, it could just be suicide when your bars come loose on a downhill or something.

    Thoughts?

    Regards,
    Anthony

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo
    So, the other day I'm riding along, thinking about nothing in particular, I get this idea...

    What if you put your 25.4 bar into a 31.8 stem and shimmed it with something shock-absorbing, like say some tough rubber. (Piece of grip? Inner tube?) It's not going to take up bumps, but it might do something for vibration. On the other hand, it could just be suicide when your bars come loose on a downhill or something.

    Thoughts?

    Regards,
    Anthony
    Interesting. My first thought on that is that it would make the bars pretty flexy when you are yanking up on them during a tough out of the saddle climb, somthing common when ss'ing, which was my reason for going rigid in the first place. On the other hand, with the right material......

    You know, they used to have suspension stems. I don't know what they felt like new, but I rode an old one with a bunch of play and it was pretty scary.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Interesting. My first thought on that is that it would make the bars pretty flexy when you are yanking up on them during a tough out of the saddle climb, somthing common when ss'ing, which was my reason for going rigid in the first place. On the other hand, with the right material......

    You know, they used to have suspension stems. I don't know what they felt like new, but I rode an old one with a bunch of play and it was pretty scary.

    You might think of an older Roox bar. FPS is the key!
    Flex Protection System

    FPS-XC-RACING-HANDLBAR-silv.jpg

    They say:
    "still available - the FPS handlebar in the classic xc-shape. FPS stands for "flex protection system". it prevents the handlebar from notches made from the stem and it avoids contact corrosion between different materials. the yellow shim is also reducing the peak of stress for the material and this leads to a longer lifetime of the handlebar and to a plus in safety!"

    and more:
    "material: seamless aluminium 7075-t6 // weight: 145 g"

    And it comes in polished silver! BTW this shan't be spam.

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