Not in a million years- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Not in a million years

    I never thought I'd be interested in SS. Now I'm intrigued. I decided to ride (road) yesterday in 34/17 gearing up a steady steep climb by my house. My legs were pumped afterwards and I felt great. Now i'm going to try a similar gearing on my MTB on a longer fire road climb. The only drawback was going down and flat sections. Granted I was on a road bike.
    I think it may be time to give SS mountain biking a try. Now should I go rigid or suspension fork?

  2. #2
    Just A Mountain Biker.
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
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    I always gravitate back to rigid on a SS, but I also have a fully for the rides that really demand it. If my SS HT was my only bike, I would probably consider a squishy fork more.


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  3. #3
    Squ-eti
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    I recently converted an old 26" Yeti ARC to singlespeed, and it's brought new life back to a bike that I wasn't really having as much fun on as I used to (29ers and fatties have spoiled me by showing what's possible with bigger tires and better geometry).

    SS you always have to be on the gas and aggressive and that suits that bike perfectly.

    I'm running a suspension fork, but with the air pressure so high that it's practically rigid lol. You'll be standing and pedalling alot more with SS. It's no fun seeing all your efforts bouncing up and down in front of you...
    "Trails? Where we're going we don't need, trails!"


  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    A suspension fork with a bar mounted lockout is, honestly, pretty nice. I did the rigid thing for a long time, but my job is physically demanding, and taking a beating from the bike in addition started to cause pain in my elbows. The suspension fork has ended that. Don't worry about not being able to pedal on downhills or how fast you can pedal on flat sections of trail. Learn to pump the trail, and once you get moving, then pumping, you'll go faster than you can pedal anyhow. I end up using my brakes behind guys on geared bikes who can still pedal but don't understand pumping the trail.

  5. #5
    Downcountry AF
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    I always vote rigid. It's Challenging, which is part of the fun, but it's also more efficient. The first ride you will be amazed how quick it accelerates out of a corner or how fast you can mash up a hill. Plus a carbon fork will save a ton of weight over a squish fork. (I'm rarely concerned about weight but this is a simple way to save pounds in one move) It's fun going up, and challenging in technical terrain. You'll build new skills and learn to carry momentum everywhere which will translate to your geared/suspended bikes.

    I really have nothing bad to say about a rigid SS. The only exception may be if it's your only bike and you live/ride terrain that's super chunky and technical, and/or you do endurance rides on super bumpy trails. It can wear you out physically much faster than a geared suspended bike. If you are just out for fun or fitness, SS FTW!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  6. #6
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    I run front suspension on my SS, but it's a pretty low travel fork. I think I could get my bike under 15 lbs with one of those rigid carbon forks, so it's enticing on that aspect for me. But the terrain around here is gnarly enough I don't think I'd enjoy it as much fully rigid.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  7. #7
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    I suppose it will depend on what i can find used. I don't have the time to build up a frame. If I find a good deal on a bike with a suspension fork, I can always buy rigid and change it. This won't be my only bike so rigid could be nice for a completely different type of bike

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    an older Karate Monkey, Redline Monocog, Kona Unit, Raleigh XXIX, Haro (whatever they made a few years ago), Vassago Jabberwocky, etc should be easy to find cheap. There's someone near me selling to older Jabbers and I would buy one except they are the old frame that won't work with the tapered steerer tube on my fork.

  9. #9
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    I'm old(er) and a little tired. For me a suspension forks keeps things fast and comfortable, and I really like that. If you want, get a bar mounted lockout and you have the best of both worlds.

    Shoot, I've gotten so bad now that I usually ride my full suspension single speed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    an older Karate Monkey, Redline Monocog, Kona Unit, Raleigh XXIX, Haro (whatever they made a few years ago), Vassago Jabberwocky, etc should be easy to find cheap. There's someone near me selling to older Jabbers and I would buy one except they are the old frame that won't work with the tapered steerer tube on my fork.
    Someone has a Unit near me but he wants almost $900. I might as well buy new.
    Still hoping for that large Ros 9.
    Last edited by crewjones; 07-21-2017 at 01:14 PM.

  11. #11
    Armature speller
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    I keep going back to rigid and really enjoying it. For a month or so. Then my wrists and kidneys make me put the suspension fork back on.

  12. #12
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    I like rigid just for the challenge. I grew up riding BMX through mountains so there were certain skills required. Hyper focus on choosing the best line through the obstacles, keeping relaxed grip and arms to absorb the shocks, staying on toes. In some ways I feel like riding suspension is too easy. You can just plow through everything with less skill. YMMV. I'd say to try rigid and if you are having pain then try suspension.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, Ok I think I can do this. rode 17.5 miles in 32x19 in sycamore canyon today. It was a brutal climb without using my gears. I only dismounted once when I got hung up in a rut. The whole time I was completely second guessing my decision but I kept my right hand off the shifter. I was completely spent at the end but the workout was incredible.
    If I get a dedicated SS it will be much lighter than the FS trail bike I rode today so I think I'm ready for it.

  14. #14
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    That's encouraging!

    I used to think SS was only a crazy masochist kind of thing a long long time ago. There's a lot less to it than that.



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  15. #15
    eri
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    I'm finding now that the ss seems to be the only way I can get mtb satisfaction. But I have a 29er ss with dropper and 120mm fork. On everything I can ride I'm about the same speed as on my fs 26er...

    With shorter fork and longer stays and I simply couldn't ride my trails. I've seen people that can ride that stuff rigid but thats superman territory from where i stand.

    Besides being more fun and interesting the standing helped my back and knee pain.

    Good on you for trying ss with a geared bike, I never did.
    the truth is always a gift because it offers the recipient of that information the chance to change the outcome - Grace Choi

  16. #16
    Armature speller
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    My geared hard tail (26" Stumpjumper M5 in XL) weighed just under 10kg. My SS (29er Kona Unit) is just under 12kg.
    I wish the Stumpy was able to convert to SS

  17. #17
    Combat Wombat
    Reputation: BrianU's Avatar
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    I have been mountain biking since 1990 and got hooked on SS about 15 years ago. Have been running a rigid fork for the last 13 years. IMHO two major things to consider when deciding squish or rigid.....the terrain where you do the majority of your riding and is speed a priority for you? While my favorite local trails are anything but smooth, I have been to trails where if they were what I rode most of the time, I would run suspension. Second, I do not race. Although I am usually pretty good at not embarrassing myself when I do occasionally ride with a group, part of the experience that keeps me from getting beat up is taking the time to pick the best line for a rigid bike. That can often mean not taking the quickest line from point A to B. If I ever decide to partake in our state series, considering the effort, time and money involved, I would run a suspension fork.

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