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  1. #1
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    Hard tail or full rigid: which did you choose and why?

    Thinking about picking up a SS MTB soon and amid searching for options I've seen a lot of both around the 'net. Will be used primarily on rolling, moderate single track. Just wondering what everyone else's decisions were based on. Thanks

  2. #2
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    HT... Unless you are using your bike for gravel grinding... I didn't realize how much I use that suspension on downhills until I tried a full rigid on some desert singletrack...

    I hated the full rigid... But I do own a full rigid gravel grinder... for gravel road riding..

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Thinking about picking up a SS MTB soon and amid searching for options I've seen a lot of both around the 'net. Will be used primarily on rolling, moderate single track. Just wondering what everyone else's decisions were based on. Thanks
    The rigid single speed my main bike. It is the bike that I take to races and for epic rides. Rigid feels more direct and 90+ of the time I prefer it for my style of riding. I ride and race this bike a lot. If I am planning a ride I tend to pick trails that work well for the bike and simply enjoy style of riding.

    My front suspension bike is setup with a dropper post. It's also single speed but having the squish fork and dropper post means that I am in good position if I ride with friends who like "beat you up" type trails. I have ridden this bike only a few times this year. It's nice to have it as an option but if I were ever to downsize to just one bike I would keep the rigid bike and sell the suspension/drooper bike.

  4. #4
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    Both of these dudes are right. You gotta ride both and pick the one that makes you happy.
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  5. #5
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    For what you quickly described, I'd definitely go rigid. give it a try, you can always add a suspension fork if you want.

    I've spend a lot of time both rigid and hard tail SS. Our Arizona terrain can be really brutal on rigid, I've got a Chupacabra 29x3.0" up front now, it helps take the edge off in a way a carbon bar could never dream of.

    Why? Because riding rigid is such a great experience. You feel the trail in a way you don't with HT or FS.
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    Well, yeah, but I have but one tiny LBS and they don't have a huge selection. Very nice stuff, but not a lot of it.

    Thank you, and everyone else for the input. Keep 'em coming

  7. #7
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    Full rigid here. For the reasons stated. Simple. Connected. Lighter. Lower maintenance. All the reasons SS is so great.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Why? Because riding rigid is such a great experience. You feel the trail in a way you don't with HT or FS.
    That's true if by "great experience" you mean getting your eyeballs rattled out of your head and feeling like someone beat you up with a bag of rocks. If you really want to "feel" the trail, ride a cyclocross bike - the skinnier tires have a lot more "feel" than a mountain bike tire.

    I'm kidding, sort of. But for me the advantages of a rigid fork are outweighed by a huge margin by the disadvantages. Especially if you like to go fast downhill, which I do. But in the end it's just another personal preference thing.

  9. #9
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    Course dependant a rigid can have faster lap times than with a front squish or full squish. But then again either one of latter can have faster times as well. All course dependant. I run a 2.35 on a carbon rim with a carbon fork with carbon bars on a ti frame. So mine is pretty compliant as rigid setups go.... With saying that I rode OP solo last year on this setup and I was feeling the chatter by morning.
    Just my 2cents.

  10. #10
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    Full Rigid. Id give the same old worn out excuses about a rigid fork being more "pure" and "connected" and "zen" and in line with the "ethos" of singlespeedery, but the truth is Im just too damn broke to afford a nice sus fork.

    However, that being said taking the POS Suntour pogostick off of my Marlin SS and putting on a Krampus fork was the best "upgrade" ever. Dropped like four pounds and really changed the character ofthe bike in a good way.

  11. #11
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    i built up my first SS 29er last year and opted for rigid. i love it. i love the immediacy of stepping of the pedals and surging ahead without any squish to absorb your effort. the only place it's a little slower is a bumpy downhill. sus fork is superior there.

    I have a new Rockshox Reba fork that's not being used that i could put on at any time, but i never have. it just sits in a box.

    it's a lot cheaper to try a rigid fork first ($70-90) and see if you like it. even less if you find one used. as opposed to a decent suspension fork will start around $400 and go up quickly.
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  12. #12
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    I agree with trying it. Rigid forks are supa cheap so try that first, with a decent volume front tire.

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    I chose my rigid singlespeed based on the nature of our local Wisconsin terrain. It also helps if you're relatively new to mountain biking as it forces you to pay more attention to your line, thus making you a better rider in the long run.

  14. #14
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    Good amount of tech here, and agree with all about simplicity, connection to trail, etc.

    But the required "stand to climb" way of riding a ss is intolerable to me with suspension.

    Rigid fork FTW!

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  15. #15
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    Go rigid and even if you don't like it at first, stay with it for a few weeks. It takes a while to adapt. Also make sure you run a high volume tire and somewhat wide bars.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    Good amount of tech here, and agree with all about simplicity, connection to trail, etc.

    But the required "stand to climb" way of riding a ss is intolerable to me with suspension.

    Rigid fork FTW!

    SPP
    That's a great reason too. I'd find myself locking out all the time when I had front squish and when I forgot or a climb popped up on me and I didn't have time, climbing was miserable.
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  17. #17
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    well it sounds like you want a rigid bike, they perform best on smooth single track, but once you throw alot of rockz in the trail your wrist may want some more suspension, or you will just go alot slower on down hills

    I ride a Hard tail with a remote lockout and I love that damn switch. I flip the switch on ever climb and even when I get on the butter smooth single track.....and to be honest it feels pretty damn rigid in lockout mode
    but I also ride all mountain and I like to ride it fast as possible

    But i guess were comparing a 900$ fork to a 100$ fork

  18. #18
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    I'll throw another 'go rigid' in. Rocky downhills would be a good place to use suspension.

    I ride singletrack and sandy forest on a rigid SS fatbike. Fat is needed because of the sand. The tire volume gives plenty of cushion for my hands and wrists. The ESI chunky grips made it even nicer.

    I rode a friends rigid 29r set up tubeless and it was pretty nice and connected without being too harsh.

  19. #19
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    The only guys who say rigid doesn't make you a better rider are those who went right to full suspension or HT and for ego reasons wouldn't dream of considering that they have less skills then they would have had if they'd started rigid. So don't listen to those guys.

    When riding rigid, it's a different style, you have to use body-English. You can't just plow over a root, you have to unweight the front end - use your legs, etc. You have to be a bit more present and conscious of the trail.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    The only guys who say rigid doesn't make you a better rider are those who went right to full suspension or HT and for ego reasons wouldn't dream of considering that they have less skills then they would have had if they'd started rigid. So don't listen to those guys.

    When riding rigid, it's a different style, you have to use body-English. You can't just plow over a root, you have to unweight the front end - use your legs, etc. You have to be a bit more present and conscious of the trail.
    You said it well. Won't be popular with some but you are correct.

  21. #21
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    How old are you ridged riders....I don't think I have seen someone riding a ridged bike younger than 40

  22. #22
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    39 here.
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  23. #23
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    to be clear I'm not trying to be a negative Nancy(even though I am) I just alway thought the best part about the ridged bike is that it makes trails fun again but I figured for that to happen in the first place you guys have already mastered these trails on whatever bike you rode before than you switch over to a ridged bike and then boom it's just as hard and fun as it was the first time you rode that trail

    could be totally wrong its just an opinion

  24. #24
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    OP here, I'm 33 and probably going to go full rigid. I haven't ridden one of those since I was a teen, and never any serious trail work. Although, I've never even been interested in FS bikes either. Maybe I should build a full squish fixie (Trying to wrap my mind around if that's even possible now... probably) with dirt drops and make everyone cry.

    Anyway, like I said, I'm going to go with rigid, possibly the Nashbar 29 or 27.5 offering, upgrade as needed and then down the road get myself a nice remote lockout fork, if I decide I'd like one at that time.

    Thanks everyone for the input, and feel free to keep it coming. I'm enjoying the reasoning you are putting into this, and appreciate the feedback.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    How old are you ridged riders....I don't think I have seen someone riding a ridged bike younger than 40
    Im turning 40 very soon. I have never owned a bike with gears or suspension. It's tough sometimes as I am getting older. Most of the younger guys here in Colorado are definitely more interested in full suspension/downhill bikes, but I think a lot of that is due to marketing really. When these guys go riding with me some of them get it right away and some don't. I have converted a few and their FS bikes are collecting dust now...

  26. #26
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    I have a 2013 Kona Unit full rigid SS and I love it. I have a squishy fork for it but rarely use it. I like the feel of the rigid fork especially since I got my Thomson Titanium flat bars. I like the way the bike feels and handles rigid.

    If I went with another squishy fork I would get one with remote lockout to try and se how I like it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    How old are you ridged riders....I don't think I have seen someone riding a ridged bike younger than 40
    Older = more of a point of reference. Younger riders are easily swayed by the omnipressece of suspension, and the knee jerk assumption that it has to be better. Or the sales pitch of the 20 year old salesperson who also lacks the knowledge. Those of us that started riding before suspension was so common know better. Some of us have come full circle back to rigid, and see right through the "cool" factor of suspension . A newbie isn't likely to have that maturity as a cyclist and point of reference.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    Older = more of a point of reference. Younger riders are easily swayed by the omnipressece of suspension, and the knee jerk assumption that it has to be better. Or the sales pitch of the 20 year old salesperson who also lacks the knowledge. Those of us that started riding before suspension was so common know better. Some of us have come full circle back to rigid, and see right through the "cool" factor of suspension . A newbie isn't likely to have that maturity as a cyclist and point of reference.
    I don't think that's entirely fair. Suspension has benefited the sport greatly, and is basically a necessity to be competitive in many types of MTB racing, such as (especially) downhill.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    How old are you ridged riders....I don't think I have seen someone riding a ridged bike younger than 40
    45

    I ride a KHS Softail with a suspension fork, 33/17 gearing.

    Other SS bikes are a Soma Groove, 26" 35/17, full rigid with a Surly 1x1 fork, and a Rocky Mountain Hammer 29, 29" (duh), 30-something by 19, and a rigid fork.

    It's good having the comparison between 26 and 29" wheels, the rigid front end really highlights that difference... and it ain't much. But that's another topic.

    Grumps

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    I don't think that's entirely fair. Suspension has benefited the sport greatly, and is basically a necessity to be competitive in many types of MTB racing, such as (especially) downhill.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying otherwise.Nor am I implying that anyone who like suspension is "immature" - I've been known to run a suspension fork.
    Just a quick stanpshot answer as to why it might seem a lot of 40+ ride rigid.


    Typing that earlier on my phone while waiting for a movie to start though, I had to keep it brief. I hate typing with the phone.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    That's true if by "great experience" you mean getting your eyeballs rattled out of your head and feeling like someone beat you up with a bag of rocks.
    Yep. On a rigid bike even a one hour ride can feel like a full body workout if you don't pick the smoothest trail. Great fun

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDriveLittleWedge View Post
    Most of the younger guys here in Colorado are definitely more interested in full suspension/downhill bikes, but I think a lot of that is due to marketing really.
    It is a different experience. Bike choice must depend on what you want out of a ride.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  32. #32
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    I went SS and rigid all in one go. I decided it was time for a new bike as my old one was fitted with rack and guards for commuting and was a pain to declutter for the trails.

    However when I looked at how I rode I seldom changed gear and the entry level (in 1998!) sus forks were woeful. Here in the UK even some £1000 bikes ($1500ish) still had fairly basic forks and for me, too many gears. I bought a Genesis Fortitude Reynolds frame rigid SS 29er and haven't looked back. I doubt I will ever sell this bike, it's such a joy to ride. I really don't miss gears, unless I have to use it for road work but then it's a mind set thing, sit and spin and all is good, on the trails it comes alive!

  33. #33
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    It takes more than a test ride to get a feel for rigid, there's definitely a learning curve.

    It's way cheaper to buy decent (or even excellent) rigid forks after market, and you get a way better deal on suspension forks if they come with a new bike. This mitigates in favor of buying a hard-tail, and then buying an aftermarket rigid fork to see how you like it.

    Just set yourself up for success. Look at the following:
    -- Cockpit. If you have a rigid fork, you have to keep your weight off the bars. This favors a setback seat post and a short stem. It's easier to make this work if the frame is a smidge too small than a smidge too big, for several reasons.
    -- Material. Whether you're looking at HT or rigid, you should kind of be thinking along the lines of steel (or, if you have the $, titanium).
    -- Wheels. You want to lean toward high volume, low pressure tires, especially in the front, if you're going rigid. 2.2 inch tires are OK but see if you can get more. Don't pay extra to upgrade your rims, unless they are giving you wide rims. Because I think all us rigid riders are gonna be on wide rims before it's all over with.
    -- Geometry. There are lots of 100mm suspension corrected forks out there so don't buy a frame corrected for a 160mm sus fork. Also be careful of G2 geometry, very tricky to retrofit a rigid fork.

    I guess it's not too too hard to find a steel frame HT with either an eccentric bottom bracket or replaceable dropouts that would hit all these points, plus give you the option to run 1x10 if you want.

    The one advantage of just going out and buying a full rigid ss, is you can get such a truly awesome bike for hardly any money. The idea of taking home a Superfly or a Kona or an El Mariachi* for less than $1600 is, to me, proof that there is a God, and that he wants us to be happy.

    Look. You have to ask yourself why we are even having this conversation. One day, I found myself drooling over an ad for a bike that had $8000 worth of gewjaws and farkles on it, and I asked myself, is this what it takes to make me happy? Am I really that hard to entertain? When I was 12, I had more fun than you could shake a stick at bombing through the neighborhood and the woods on an $80 Schwinn Stingray. If you're even thinking about a rigid SS, maybe you should just buy one.


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  34. #34
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    Fully rigid for me at 43, though I have a Knard on the front. I have a suspension fork in the corner of the garage that I inevitably remove after just a ride or two. I figure, if I'm going to deal with picking a line for the rigid rear end of my bike, might as well pick a good line for the front as well.

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  35. #35
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    32 y.o. here riding a Carve 29er SL rigid. Simplicity, maintenance, and weight all play a huge factor for me. Plus, I picked this up almost brand new for $800. Good luck finding a 20lb hardtail for that. I have used it to commute, to race CX and for all kinds of trail riding. I am definitely slower down techy DH than my riding buddies, although I don't know how much of that is skill or suspension. I am much faster up hill than most.

  36. #36
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    I bought a full rigid SS in 07 (Mary), and after 2 rides I ordered a suspension fork. I was 29 at the time, but my elbow shocks weren't up to riding the way I wanted to ride. Stuck a 100mm Reba on it and never looked back.

  37. #37
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    Lots of good responses here to sway you both ways, so I think it will help to sit down and think about how YOU will be using the bike, and what you are looking for on your rides.

    If you want to go as fast as possible both uphill and downhill and over techy trails, front suspension will be faster, preferably with a handlebar actuated lockout.

    If on the other hand, you are more about getting out into the woods, getting a good workout and having fun, I think rigid is the way to go. You will have to take the rockgardens and such a bit slower, but at the same time your skills will improve, and that will carry over to riding any bike over any terrain for the rest of your life.

    I'm 44 and have been riding mountain bikes for 25 years. I started out on the only thing available back then, rigid and gears. I rode wherever and whenever I could and loved it. I eventually upgraded to front suspension and then full suspension as the years went on. Then about 10 years ago, on a whim, I picked up a rigid steel 26" SS and knew I found my style of bike. I have not owned any type of suspension for years and couldn't be happier. I LOVE the lack of maintenance and the direct feel of the trail. I'm not some retrogrouch either, I have hydraulic discs, wide carbon rims, & bars with lots of sweep. Oh, and plus size tires, they rule! I am so committed to rigid, I have upgraded to bikes that are non-suspension corrected. I dabble in gears now and then, but never suspension!

    IMHO: Get a decent quality rigid steel singlespeed. The Nashbar bike will work, but you will have a much better experience if you spend a bit more money. After you buy the bike, ride it as often as you can for at least a month before even thinking about a suspension fork. Get to know the bike, play with tire pressure, gear ratio, body position, etc. until you get comfortable. Wide rims and tires run at low pressure, tubeless tires, big sweep bars can all help the experience. As others have mentioned, it takes a while to adapt to the rigid ride, learning line choice, weight transfer, body english, etc.

    And most of all, have fun!

  38. #38
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    I am on the fence on this one.

    My only mountain bike is a rigid 29er and I have been riding it for 1+ year. I started off with 2.0" tires and switched to a 2.3" in the front with lower pressure. For my type of riding, mostly XC on fairly tame trails, this setup is ideal. I don't mind technical riding with it either. Prior to this I rode a bike with front suspension and I will eventually put another pair of wheels on that frame to ride it again, but I suspect my weapon of choice is going to remain the rigid. I waver back and forth on it personally and the trails I ride are even pretty tame. I will be racing XC again soon and I am constantly asking myself if my setup is going to be the best one for the courses I'll be doing. I have ridden SS for about 15 years. I also ride road and cross, both geared. I am 38.

    I think your decision here should be based on the terrain you're going to be riding, your personal style, and your budget.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    As others have mentioned, it takes a while to adapt to the rigid ride, learning line choice, weight transfer, body english, etc.
    That goes both ways. When I rode a sus fork for the first time a few years ago, I really liked the plushness on the rough stuff, but just HATED the nose dipping everytime I braked...

  40. #40
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    I got my Kona Unit last year and rode rigid up 'til now. I REALLY loved it--the whole feel of it, the climbing, etc but I was just getting too beat up where I ride here in SoCal--it's really rocky almost everywhere I go. Plus, I'm 55 and get a touch of the 'ol arthritis from time to time….was feeling kinda hammered after long rides--the descents being pretty brutal--I would just have to creep down at a snails pace.
    So, just last week I ordered I sus fork. Will get out for the first time with that on it this week.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    I have upgraded to bikes that are non-suspension corrected.
    Who makes non corrected frames and forks?
    I might even try a 29er some day, if there are some that are low enough in the front end to almost allow me some usable standover

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  42. #42
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    Hope rigid

    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Who makes non corrected frames and forks?
    I might even try a 29er some day, if there are some that are low enough in the front end to almost allow me some usable standover
    62 here.Rigid one9 Rdo,32-17,It does beat me up some but I keep coming back for more.Have a 2014 Team scalpel but ride my rigid mostly.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Who makes non corrected frames and forks?
    I might even try a 29er some day, if there are some that are low enough in the front end to almost allow me some usable standover
    If you are looking at the Nashbar SS bike, probably none in your price range

    IMHO, Jones Bikes makes the ultimate rigid mountain bikes. They range in price from $975 for steel frame and unicrown fork, all the way up to $4500 for a titanium Spaceframe and Truss fork. Yes, that's just for the frame and fork! There are few other steel options around that can be bought as a frameset and built up from there, Stooge and Genesis come to mind.

    But I wouldn't suggest getting any of those as a first singlespeed. Get a bike with a suspension corrected rigid fork, or get a hardtail and add a rigid fork. That way you won't be stuck if you don't like the rigid fork.

  44. #44
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    Both, although these two are different horses for courses.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hard tail or full rigid: which did you choose and why?-sedona-005-640x480-.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    If you are looking at the Nashbar SS bike, probably none in your price range

    IMHO, Jones Bikes makes the ultimate rigid mountain bikes. They range in price from $975 for steel frame and unicrown fork, all the way up to $4500 for a titanium Spaceframe and Truss fork. Yes, that's just for the frame and fork! There are few other steel options around that can be bought as a frameset and built up from there, Stooge and Genesis come to mind.

    But I wouldn't suggest getting any of those as a first singlespeed. Get a bike with a suspension corrected rigid fork, or get a hardtail and add a rigid fork. That way you won't be stuck if you don't like the rigid fork.
    That was me looking at the Nashbar, I'm the OP. I'm not opposed to putting one together myself, and I could, but the Bee's Knees seems like a solid deal. I'm not looking to conquer the world with this bike. It will see some light to moderate single track on weekends and a lot of cruising around my sub-urban town to improve my general skill as a biker. Lots of open lots and curbs and various other obstacles to muck about on. My funds are limited, I just started a new career path, and that Nashbar seems to offer a really good value and give me a decent platform to build on. It's either that or wind up not getting a new bike at all, and that violates the n+1 rule, which no one wants to see happen...

  46. #46
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    All of the above I've raced on 26"/ 27.5"/ 29 HT and rigid, carbon, steel, ti, and aluminum. Biggest advice is find something that fits you correctly. Tires/ correct pressure also makes a huge difference.

    Currently on a ti 27.5 with 100mm of travel.

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    There is full rigid.

    There is also - carbon fork, carbon bar, large volume tires rigid. This second option makes a very big difference with absorbing trail chatter. This is what most gravel grinder & most cyclocross bikes use now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blundar View Post
    There is full rigid.

    There is also - carbon fork, carbon bar, large volume tires rigid. This second option makes a very big difference with absorbing trail chatter. This is what most gravel grinder & most cyclocross bikes use now.
    I'm far too heavy to need the added expense of carbon. Also it's hard for me to trust it, even if it's rated for my weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    I'm far too heavy to need the added expense of carbon. Also it's hard for me to trust it, even if it's rated for my weight.
    I wouldn't write it off. There are other benefits of carbon than just the weight savings. Plus there are some cheapass frames from god knows where out there that you can start a really nice build with.

    I have a full carboner On One Lurcher frame and fork that I got for $600 if I remember correctly.

  51. #51
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    That Nashbar looks like fun.

    Clarify whether the stays are chromoly or hi-ten. Look carefully at the geometry, sometimes they don't do small sizes very well. On this bike, I like the 19" OK, I dunno about the 15, reminds me of the small Nashbar build I did for my daughter. Seemed like the back half of the bike didn't match the front half. Chainstays too long, top tube too short. She's happy with it but then, she's not riding blood-curdling singletrack.

    I like it that they put 2.1 tires on there, wonder how much clearance you have over and above that. 2.1 is good and if there's room for more, that's fantastic.

    I think 29" wheels is a huge advantage if you're rigid. But if you really have your heart set on 650b, I'll bet you get your $400 worth. I think it might be hard to beat for the price. Not much of a used market out there for rigid 650b singlespeeds, is there. Might be worth looking for a used surly 1x1, that'll take 650b I think. Should hold its value better than the nashbar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmygato View Post
    I wouldn't write it off. There are other benefits of carbon than just the weight savings. Plus there are some cheapass frames from god knows where out there that you can start a really nice build with.

    I have a full carboner On One Lurcher frame and fork that I got for $600 if I remember correctly.
    I know of the benefits, but I'd never really trust it not to explode into a cloud of carbon dust. Not because I don't know it would hold me, but because I don't believe it.

  53. #53
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    I'm 5 months shy of 50. I've been throwing myself at concrete and dirt (skateboards and bikes) since I was 10. I'm in decent shape, could easily stand to drop some lbs...but beer and Mexican food are SO good. I ride an aluminum hardtail SS with front suspension. My neck, back, and shoulders thank me for that. I'm running a 2.3 tubeless in front. I'm not a racer. I go fast when fast feels good.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is, ride what's best for you. If you can test ride a shop bike in a given configuration, do it. If you got a buddy that'll let you take a spin on a rig, do it.

    In short...Not one of use can tell you what'll be best for you.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMS View Post
    I'm 5 months shy of 50. I've been throwing myself at concrete and dirt (skateboards and bikes) since I was 10. I'm in decent shape, could easily stand to drop some lbs...but beer and Mexican food are SO good. I ride an aluminum hardtail SS with front suspension. My neck, back, and shoulders thank me for that. I'm running a 2.3 tubeless in front. I'm not a racer. I go fast when fast feels good.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is, ride what's best for you. If you can test ride a shop bike in a given configuration, do it. If you got a buddy that'll let you take a spin on a rig, do it.

    In short...Not one of use can tell you what'll be best for you.
    I know that, which is why I didn't ask for advice, just what you're using and why. Thanks for the input

  55. #55
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    I went with suspension cause I was after that elusive all mountain single speed. Something that climbs great and decends like a mad man on meth!!


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  56. #56
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    Yep. Gotcha. I'm riding what I ride, cause I'm getting older and I've beat myself to hell over the last 40 years...a little squish, and a little bigger tire up front softens the things I've done to myself.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

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    Get a nice suspension corrected rigid bike. You'll have nicer components because none of your $$$ is going into a suspension fork. Ride it for a while, get some skills, then add a suspension fork if you feel the needs. Buying a good rigid bike leaves you with options.
    Buying a hard tail, you're less likely to then buy a rigid fork later and give it a fair shot.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    Get a nice suspension corrected rigid bike. You'll have nicer components because none of your $$$ is going into a suspension fork. Ride it for a while, get some skills, then add a suspension fork if you feel the needs. Buying a good rigid bike leaves you with options.
    Buying a hard tail, you're less likely to then buy a rigid fork later and give it a fair shot.
    I'm glad I did this--rode the Unit 29r rigid for almost a year before deciding to put a sus fork on it, which will happen this week. I ended up with a 2.4 in the the front and settled on quite low PSI and it's been great-- my riding improved a TON. But as I say, in my case where I ride and some nagging 55-yr old joint issues convinced me to go for the sus fork---for now! I will go back to rigid at some point I'm convinced, in particular if I ever move/travel somewhere less rocky, mountainous, and brutal.
    Now as far as SS goes, that ain't changing any time soon!

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    im 21 and been on an aluminum frame/carbon fork rigid for over a year. been set up at singelspeed and now 1x10, will be 1x11 when my xt cassette arrives. I will keep that bike forever it is bad ass! I now own a remedy 9.8 29er and I love that thing. I think the key to enjoying rigid is a combination of a few things. 1.) suspension corrected fork, something too short just feels likes crap to me! A 2.) carbon seatpost that offers damping - in my case i went with a full Syntace cockpit 3.) very nice carbon bars (with ESI chunky grips) dont skimp here! 4.) high quality tubeless tires. EDIT: Id like to add i love riding rigid because of its quick acceleration, balanced weight, and just the ability to really work/manhandle the bike, it becomes very easy to maneuver the bike when it is set up rigid (gathered from my experience on trails in Orange County)

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Who makes non corrected frames and forks?
    Genesis did. Here's my Fortitude SS. Not sure on their latest offerings




  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlipSpace View Post
    Genesis did. Here's my Fortitude SS. Not sure on their latest offerings
    I see they have bike/frameset named Longitude in that vein now.
    "a mid-fat, 29+ compatible, bikepacking/adventure-ready, fully rigid 29er with versatility in spades!"

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by blundar View Post
    There is full rigid.

    There is also - carbon fork, carbon bar, large volume tires rigid. This second option makes a very big difference with absorbing trail chatter. This is what most gravel grinder & most cyclocross bikes use now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    I'm far too heavy to need the added expense of carbon. Also it's hard for me to trust it, even if it's rated for my weight.
    Most reviews for the cheapie Ebay carbon forks and handlebars are actually pretty good. It is well worth the vibration absorption that they offer to look into these. Larger volume tires running at around 25psi also make those longer rides much more bearable.

    Look at the cyclocross forums to see what they are doing now-a-days with rigid frames.

  64. #64
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    That Nashbar bike looks decent enough as a starter. I would suggest signing up on their email list and waiting for a sale. You can often get 20% to 30% off, even on complete bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radioinactive View Post
    im 21 and been on an aluminum frame/carbon fork rigid for over a year. been set up at singelspeed and now 1x10, will be 1x11 when my xt cassette arrives. I will keep that bike forever it is bad ass! I now own a remedy 9.8 29er and I love that thing. I think the key to enjoying rigid is a combination of a few things. 1.) suspension corrected fork, something too short just feels likes crap to me! A 2.) carbon seatpost that offers damping - in my case i went with a full Syntace cockpit 3.) very nice carbon bars (with ESI chunky grips) dont skimp here! 4.) high quality tubeless tires. EDIT: Id like to add i love riding rigid because of its quick acceleration, balanced weight, and just the ability to really work/manhandle the bike, it becomes very easy to maneuver the bike when it is set up rigid (gathered from my experience on trails in Orange County)
    ^+1
    I use ESI Extra Chunky grips on one of my bikes, and ODI Rogue grips on my other bike. The bigger diameter softer grips make a huge difference.

    The larger volume tires run at lower pressures also make a very big difference.

  66. #66
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    I hope this isn't considered a hijack....

    A number of the suggestions the OP has gotten are to go steel or titanium for the frame and use carbon fork/cockpit/wheels to absorb trail chatter. Other than a lack of carbon frames being marketed as SS specific by the bigger bike outfits, why no love for a full carbon SS? There was one mention of carbon frames from God knows where.

    OP: Is a chiner carbon build a consideration? One of the chiner companies is rolling out a + size compatible frame very similar to the new Stache. I've been considering a SS rigid build on that frame. I believe it could build up around 18-19lb for less than a new Stache 5 which is AL.

  67. #67
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    I've spent the past 4-5 years SS only with a mix of rigid and front suspended bikes. I greatly prefer the rigid setup myself, however after having a repaired shoulder...... I'm going back to a front suspended bike. That said I think the ticket is to have both a rigid & suspended fork that you can swap back and forth.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    however after having a repaired shoulder...... I'm going back to a front suspended bike.
    I feel you on that. My damaged and partially repaired lower back is why I just bought my first full suspension bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALshooter View Post
    I hope this isn't considered a hijack....

    A number of the suggestions the OP has gotten are to go steel or titanium for the frame and use carbon fork/cockpit/wheels to absorb trail chatter. Other than a lack of carbon frames being marketed as SS specific by the bigger bike outfits, why no love for a full carbon SS? There was one mention of carbon frames from God knows where.

    OP: Is a chiner carbon build a consideration? One of the chiner companies is rolling out a + size compatible frame very similar to the new Stache. I've been considering a SS rigid build on that frame. I believe it could build up around 18-19lb for less than a new Stache 5 which is AL.
    My issue with carbon is mental. They just feel fragile to me. I can't do it.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALshooter View Post
    I hope this isn't considered a hijack....

    A number of the suggestions the OP has gotten are to go steel or titanium for the frame and use carbon fork/cockpit/wheels to absorb trail chatter. Other than a lack of carbon frames being marketed as SS specific by the bigger bike outfits, why no love for a full carbon SS? There was one mention of carbon frames from God knows where.

    OP: Is a chiner carbon build a consideration? One of the chiner companies is rolling out a + size compatible frame very similar to the new Stache. I've been considering a SS rigid build on that frame. I believe it could build up around 18-19lb for less than a new Stache 5 which is AL.
    I think the reason is cost. Even the cheapo Ebay carbon frames that may self destruct at any moment are more expensive than the entire bike the OP is looking at.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALshooter View Post
    I hope this isn't considered a hijack....

    A number of the suggestions the OP has gotten are to go steel or titanium for the frame and use carbon fork/cockpit/wheels to absorb trail chatter. Other than a lack of carbon frames being marketed as SS specific by the bigger bike outfits, why no love for a full carbon SS? There was one mention of carbon frames from God knows where.

    OP: Is a chiner carbon build a consideration? One of the chiner companies is rolling out a + size compatible frame very similar to the new Stache. I've been considering a SS rigid build on that frame. I believe it could build up around 18-19lb for less than a new Stache 5 which is AL.
    Carbon frames are great if you don't have to pay for them and never wreck. But in my opinion, carbon is disposable once you wreck it. Ti, steel, and Alum don't damage as easily and are cheaper to replace/ reweld. It's great material, just not practical for mtb.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    I think the reason is cost. Even the cheapo Ebay carbon frames that may self destruct at any moment are more expensive than the entire bike the OP is looking at.
    Unless you are 350+ Lbs, and you ride some knarly trails, then carbon is OK for some components. I would never buy a cheap carbon frame. Without breaking the bank, this is what I was thinking:

    CroMo steel frame, On-one Inbred 29er Single Speed horizontal dropouts.
    On-One Inbred 29er Single Speed LTD Edition | On - One

    Tigron MTB Carbon rigid fork (this one has very good reviews).
    Trigon MTB 29er XC Full Carbon Rigid Fork MC07A New | eBay

    Carbon riser bar.
    Hylix Carbon Riser Handle Bar 31 8 640mm 660mm 720mm 130g XC Fr MTB Super Light | eBay

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by blundar View Post
    Unless you are 350+ Lbs, and you ride some knarly trails, then carbon is OK for some components. I would never buy a cheap carbon frame. Without breaking the bank, this is what I was thinking:
    Again, I know carbon is fine, but I can't convince myself that I'm willing to ride it hard. That, combined with the added expense means I should just avoid it. I'm not badmouthing carbon parts, but It's just not for me. the On One steel frame seems good, and it's not a bad option. I'm really interested in trying 650b for this one, but a 29er may be an option. I'd really rather find a used frame in the US and save some money though, in that case. I'd really not interested in dropping more than about $700 on this bike.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Again, I know carbon is fine, but I can't convince myself that I'm willing to ride it hard. That, combined with the added expense means I should just avoid it. I'm not badmouthing carbon parts, but It's just not for me. the On One steel frame seems good, and it's not a bad option. I'm really interested in trying 650b for this one, but a 29er may be an option. I'd really rather find a used frame in the US and save some money though, in that case. I'd really not interested in dropping more than about $700 on this bike.
    I did not know what your budget was. For some reason, I was thinking that you were looking to build your own bike.

    Nashbar has a really nice Cromoly Steel rigid single speed 27.5er for a very good price at around $500:
    Nashbar Bee's Knees Single-Speed 650B/27.5" Mountain Bike

    Dirt Rag Review: Review: Nashbar Bee?s Knees 27.5 singlespeed | Dirt Rag
    Just add a descent set of flat pedals and you are good to go.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by blundar View Post
    I did not know what your budget was. For some reason, I was thinking that you were looking to build your own bike.

    Nashbar has a really nice Cromoly Steel rigid single speed 27.5er for a very good price at around $500:
    Nashbar Bee's Knees Single-Speed 650B/27.5" Mountain Bike
    Just add a descent set of flat pedals and you are good to go.
    Talked about it on page 2 it seems like a winner, but there are Kona Unit SS bikes that pop up used from time to time for around the same price. Also worth considering, for me. We'll see what comes up when I'm actually ready to make the purchase. Thanks

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Talked about it on page 2 it seems like a winner, but there are Kona Unit SS bikes that pop up used from time to time for around the same price. Also worth considering, for me. We'll see what comes up when I'm actually ready to make the purchase. Thanks
    A new Kona Unit is 29er only, and runs for around $1200 delivered to your local shop.

    Bikesdirect has a rigid 27.5er ss for around $350:
    27.5 Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity SS Single Speed

    Also available with squishy fork single speed for around $400:
    Front Suspension Gravity SS Single Speed 27.5
    This one comes with a bottom of the barrel cheapo Suntour (terrible) pogo stick fork.

    Personally, I like Nashbar bikes more than the Bikesdirect bikes.

  77. #77
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    Skipping BD, no interest in another al frame at this time, and they don't seem to offer the same quality as the Nashbar.

  78. #78
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    Don't offer the same quality? Their frames probably come from the same sweat factory.
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  79. #79
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    A few things.

    I have that On One SS frame (in 26er version) and it's very good quality. Not light, but steel with a nice amount of give to it that makes it perfect. With that said, you'd have a LOT of trouble building up anything like a $500 bike around it.

    Not much quality diff between the BD and Bee's Knees. Both have pretty low end stuff but the brakes are better on the nashbar. The BD bike is $100 cheaper AND has a suspension fork which would give you some upgrade ability.

    AL frame might seem like a disqualification but I think geo matters a lot more than material. I've had an AL SS (Misfit DiSSent) and it was actually very comfortable even on longer rides. That doesn't mean the BD ride will be, but since you're buying without riding I agree on going with the steel ride.

    The Bee Knees is probably ideal for what you're looking for.

    On the subject of carbon, I had a superfly for about a year. I was always nervous riding it hard because it was so light and thin walled. I liked that it was light but real or imaginary I always though it was gonna fold in the middle of a rock garden. I replaced it with a Ti SS and was much happier with that.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    Don't offer the same quality? Their frames probably come from the same sweat factory.
    Possibly, but BD doesn't have a steel single speed offering, and the components are better on the Nashbar

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    Both.

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    Ok, which one first?

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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Ok, which one first?
    I would go with the Nashbar.

    The first thing that I would upgrade after some rides on it stock would be seat (WTB Pure V) and grips (ODI Rogue). Much improved comfort with these 2 simple upgrades for little money.

    Second upgrade after I wear down the stock tires would be larger volume tires 2.3 or 2.4 if you can fit them (to run at lower psi) and maybe even tubeless. Ideally at around 22 psi to greatly improve traction and comfort.

    And lastly, aftermarket brake pads (Nukeproof trail Organic) at the end of the season. Most brake problems can be easily fixed with a good set of brake pads. Cheapo pads often glaze over quickly and squeal badly.

    Nothing wrong with upgrading a few years latter on to a good air fork, as long as it has adjustable platform compression/lockout (Fox Float CTD or Rockshox Reba RL).

  84. #84
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    Started over 5 years ago(age 52) on a rigid GT Peace 9R SS gotten from Nashbar at an awesome closeout price. Rode the crap out of it over just about everything. But this past January got a ROS9 frame off ebay for about half MSRP and built up as SS with Pike 140mm 51mm offset. I have to say, having more fun than ever with the geo and cush. Jumps, rocks, and flat out hauling ass thru turns and straightaways much more enjoyable now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Ok, which one first?
    I would go with bees knees
    I was looking for the same thing as you with a similar budget in mind, I picked up the bees knees because it was a steel frame with ok brakes (they do the job)I've been slowly upgrading as I go, so far I did grips,bars(760mm),stem(45mm),saddle, pedals and tires (tubeless) with the stock wheels.
    The bike is great had no problems thus far

    heres a a pic of how it sits (19' large frame)


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    I am 60 and been fully rigid since near day one.....started on the road and never liked the squish. If your position is good and you use your legs and your head you should be good the majority of the time.

  87. #87
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    Rigid but primarily because I'm as skint as a badger and can't afford anything else. I've owned two sus forks, a high-end Pace back in the late 90s, which was beautiful, and then a Manitou X-Vert. When the seals on that blew about 11 years ago I went back to rigid. Been thinking about getting some bounce, but then I've been thinking about getting a derailleur as well, and haven't pulled the trigger on either one of them.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenggiest View Post
    I would go with bees knees
    I was looking for the same thing as you with a similar budget in mind, I picked up the bees knees because it was a steel frame with ok brakes (they do the job)I've been slowly upgrading as I go, so far I did grips,bars(760mm),stem(45mm),saddle, pedals and tires (tubeless) with the stock wheels.
    The bike is great had no problems thus far

    heres a a pic of how it sits (19' large frame)

    That's perfect! Can I have it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    That's perfect! Can I have it?
    For 1 miiiiiiilllllllion dollars!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenggiest View Post
    For 1 miiiiiiilllllllion dollars!!!!!
    Hard tail or full rigid: which did you choose and why?-one_million_dollars-.jpg

    It's all yours, pm me and we can exchange addresses

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    I put a sus fork on my 2014 Unit about a month ago, and I'm already ready to put the rigid back on. Bike just isn't the same, even with the lockout on. Even though I felt beat up a bit before, that bike simply rides better rigid--more fun, lively--I lost the "character" of the bike with the sus fork on it.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    How old are you ridged riders....I don't think I have seen someone riding a ridged bike younger than 40
    46 and still fully rigid.. Wait a minute, what were we talking about here?

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenggiest View Post
    I would go with bees knees
    I was looking for the same thing as you with a similar budget in mind, I picked up the bees knees because it was a steel frame with ok brakes (they do the job)I've been slowly upgrading as I go, so far I did grips,bars(760mm),stem(45mm),saddle, pedals and tires (tubeless) with the stock wheels.
    The bike is great had no problems thus far

    heres a a pic of how it sits (19' large frame)


    I have a Nashbar Bee's Knees too!

    21" frame (I'm 6'4")
    50mm stem
    720mm Forte flat bars
    Forte platform pedals
    WTB Silverado saddle
    Surly 22t cog

    I got mine on sale for $400 and added about $150 in upgrades. You really can't beat the value. I had an old suspension fork on it from my dirt jump bike, but went back to fully rigid. I might try some wider tires to compensate for the lack of squish.

  94. #94
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    Fully rigid here at almost 45. The wide enve bars and 2.4 ardent at 15psi made all the difference in feel of the bike. After 25 years of mtb and jumping on every fad that came along, I've finally found a bike that makes me giggle and smile like my red line bmx did as a kid.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  95. #95
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    Quote Originally Posted by socal_jack View Post
    Started over 5 years ago(age 52) on a rigid GT Peace 9R SS gotten from Nashbar at an awesome closeout price. Rode the crap out of it over just about everything. But this past January got a ROS9 frame off ebay for about half MSRP and built up as SS with Pike 140mm 51mm offset. I have to say, having more fun than ever with the geo and cush. Jumps, rocks, and flat out hauling ass thru turns and straightaways much more enjoyable now.
    Long Travel hardtails are a blast. My Honzo with basically the same spec as your ROS.

    Hard tail or full rigid: which did you choose and why?-10646664_10153463837008357_2608761505970659802_n.jpg

    on the rigid vs front fork. According to strava my I am almost never faster on fully rigid bike. If you like the feel and simpliciest sure ride with no fork, but even on the flattest and smoothest of trails its almost never faster.

  96. #96
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    Skillzzz

    Quote Originally Posted by praharin View Post
    Thinking about picking up a SS MTB soon and amid searching for options I've seen a lot of both around the 'net. Will be used primarily on rolling, moderate single track. Just wondering what everyone else's decisions were based on. Thanks

    If you have skills a 29er hard tail with 2.4 tires and a carbon front fork will work.

    If your the type to like to ride in the middle of the trail so that you have lots of room on either side, you need a full suspension.

    If you can navigate a 5 inch line between rocks, roots and holes at mach speed - then you have skills and a ridged will work just fine.

  97. #97
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    My latest bike is complete. Had to borrow some parts from the bin until final parts are in, but at least I can ride...

    Full rigid goodness....

    Kona Big Unit SS
    Kona Private Jake SSCX
    DiamondBack Release 3
    Norco Torrent HT 7.1

  98. #98
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    I rode a rigid fork on central Texas trails a few times before giving in to the squish. non-stop ledges and rock gradens= might as well just leave the bike at home if you are going to ride rigid and just hike in some boots. props to the madmen with rubber bones who ride rigid around here.

  99. #99
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    I am new to SS and rigid, but like it. I have a 150mm FS 29er and a rigid 9ZERO7 w/ 4.8" tires, and a SS Karate Monkey w/ 2.4 Ardent/2.35" Ikon/Blunt35. FS 29er is a blast, but feels like a big boned girl at times. Real comfy ride. 9ZERO7 is a monster truck that can climb like a sob (rigid and grip for days). I picked up the Karate Monkey for a killer price, and love the simplicity and nimble feelz. I am a big dude, so being able to stand up and climb w/o suspension is awesome. But you really need to be paying attention to the trail, and being lazy is not rewarded.

    I plan to keep the 9ZERO7 and KM rigid, but am looking into different fork options for the KM to help smooth out the ride a bit.

  100. #100
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    Officially Old SS Rider

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    Older = more of a point of reference. Younger riders are easily swayed by the omnipressece of suspension, and the knee jerk assumption that it has to be better. Or the sales pitch of the 20 year old salesperson who also lacks the knowledge. Those of us that started riding before suspension was so common know better. Some of us have come full circle back to rigid, and see right through the "cool" factor of suspension . A newbie isn't likely to have that maturity as a cyclist and point of reference.
    Jack wants to write something this morning about single speeding, and since he just turned 56, and did a 39 mile 5k of climbing SS ride yesterday on his rigid 26" Ti hardtail with a Vbrake in the back and a Shimano CX77 mechanical disc brake up front, and a Mountain Cycles carbon fork on the front, and an all important Ti seatpost, Jack has something to say.

    First of all of he were to start over he would definitely go full rigid because SS climbs are epic fun full rigid. Now, a remote lockout on a good fork is a worthy alternative, and Jack would do that, as long as the weight was kept low by using a carbon frame. But then, Jack would put a dropper post on the bike.

    But even then, Jack is ecstatic over his current design build because it is simple and light. He doesn't expect to set any records descending and simply rides down the hill using everything he knows, and learns more by accident. In the end, it is harder, and longer, and sometimes brutal, and yet so effing satisfying.

    That said, over the birthday, Jack did ride his full suspension with a group of friends on DOWNieville and was glad that he didn't bring the SS. It would not have worked with the group dynamic.

    Jack usually rides the SS alone. He doesn't race. When he did race for a period back in the day it was always on geared bikes.

    Jack thinks it is important for him to ride SS because of the exercise it provides, not of only the body, but also the mind and the spirit.

    Jack also thinks 650b/27.5 has got to be the better format for SS.

    Jack is small at 5'8". He has a Specialized Carve SS 29er that he seldom rides because the aluminum frame and Chisel carbon fork are extremely punishing on the DH compared to the good old Dean Colonel Ti, and that the wheelbase length just doesn't fit right for Jack on the preferred narrow single track.

    All said though, Jack daydreams about a full suspension SS with lockouts front and rear, but that's just blowing smoke.

    Jack rides different bikes, and SS is not a religion. Jack realizes he would rather ride a new 27.5 / 6 " trail bike, like the Bronson for example, upon visits to the desert SW and other gnarly places.

    But for local rides, even on technical trails, the SS adds an exciting dimension to trails Jack knows all too well. Certain difficult sections retain an element of the unknown and outcomes are never certain on the SS. Whereas a dialed all mountain bike would reign the terrain, the rigid SS forms a gymnastic synergy which may be dangerous and perplexing, yet never boring.

    In truth, each pedal stroke is your last. Single speeders know it and live it.

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