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Thread: rigid forks

  1. #1
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    rigid forks

    I am all about simplicity that's why I love single speed. and I love rigid forks because they have nothing to go wrong nothing to fail no oil to leak they don't need rebuilt and they are super lightweight. but somebody help me understand why I enjoy beating my body to death. Some of the trails around these parts that are very hilly and steep are also used by horses and they can be pretty rooted in chopped up. they're still fun to ride and I enjoy the technical challenges but I gotta admit if I had a suspension fork I could go down them that much faster. it just beats the crap out of my arms the jack hammering motion that I get from going down a lot of these trails. I actually had to turn my wrist watch upside down because it was beating a solid bruise on the top of my hand and leaving a welt. is it worth it? I can't even mount my GoPro on my handlebars because the footage is so bouncy. But honestly where I mount my GoPro is the least of my worried I just thought I would throw that in.for the record I am riding on a salsa steel fork. what to do what to do. any of you guys ever been in this situation and loved your rigid fork for the weight reduction in the simplicity but ended up going back to sophisticated suspension fork for the extra speed and less abuse on your body?

  2. #2
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    Rigid is a style thing and works for some people. Other people ride with a style that needs a squish fork.

    I ride rigid because honestly I really find that it is comfortable. Earlier today I did a six hour race on rigid. Something like 65 miles of single track at Warrior Creek. The trail there is not super rough but it has it's moments. I ride all my local trails rigid and although I own a suspension fork it sit on the wall in my shop waiting for me to get around to selling it. Even when I go out to Pisgah I find that I prefer rigid. The reason is that because I spend most of my time rigid I can't really adapt to switching the bike to suspension for just one or two days.

    Rigid requires a style that is light on the front end of the bike. The rider must pick lines and understand how to lift or unweight the front end as they are hitting stuff. I don't really take the hits with my upper body but rather let the bike move under me. Basically riding smooth is the key. Occasionally it means slow down a bit in really nasty gnar but for most of the areas that I ride the heavy gnar is less then 5% of the time on the trail.

    Personal style and technique are key to most aspects of riding. I find that I really need to pay attention to bar grip and remind myself to actively shift from firm grip to draping my hands on the bar as often as possible. With rigid firm grip is key but at any points where you can get away with just draping you hands on the bars you need to transition quickly so your hands can recover. Especially in something like a six hour race good grip management allows for control without fatigue. Also, for me Ergon grips on a sweep bar are critical. Currently I run the Answer 20/20 bar with the sweep specific Ergon grips.

    Depending on your personal style you will find the setup that works for you. Spend some time on a good squish fork and time on the rigid. Try both and keep playing with your bike position, grips, and riding techniques. Don't worry about what works for others, you may find your style and trails mesh better with a little squish.

  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    What febikes said ^^
    + I really enjoy the challenges more than I miss the additional speed that I could handle with suspension technology. On a rigid fork, something primitive in may says it is ME overcoming the challenges and not a piece of gear.

    Another person will have different preferences and priorities.

    "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"

  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Uh huh. There's something to be said for the connection, the immediacy of a rigid fork. It's interesting how many people think it's absolutely crazy, and won't even consider it, while others prefer it. To me, for SS it only makes sense, while my other bike is FS and geared, and I don't think I would own a geared hard tail again, or ever put a suspension fork on my SS. As mentioned, style and technique have to be adapted to riding this way - the whole light hands heavy feet thing really comes into play, and you have to keep you upper body loose. As far as the watch bruise - I've had that. My solution was actually to buy a lighter watch. While it's nothing to do with why I ride rigid, I still, deep inside, get a kick out of showing up at very technical, rocky trails and having people on FS bikes tell their friends on hard tails they're crazy for not having FS at that trail, then unloading my rigid SS, and just have them stand there shaking their heads while I ride off. Like pertime said, I think they don't realize they can ride that trail without all those bells and whistles. From a personal standpoint, those bells and whistles didn't exist when I started riding mountain bikes, so I had the advantage of already knowing what was possible.

  5. #5
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    I don't plan on getting rid of my rigid fork. I can appreciate everything that's been said here as that's why I went with rigid in the first place. I just wanted something that wasn't going to break down leak oil need rebuilt and weigh several pounds. I have a lot to learn on the light upper body thing I admit. I still catch myself having locked elbows and I forced myself to lean into it a little bit to get my elbows bent so I know that's my fault. I was planning on upgrading to some nice carbon forks down the road but the more I've read on the comparisons between steel and carbon I'm not sure I would like them. They say that carbon forks ride a little harsher then steel. And I think my salsa Forks that I got are supposed to be more lively then the surly forks that are out there so I imagine I have a pretty decent fork on my bike right now.

  6. #6
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    I think rigid forks and ss bikes are a natural fit because of all the standing and high gear grinding they require.

  7. #7
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    I rode my normal trails rigid then got a squishy fork. Realized I walked more up the short steep climbs and was slower up long gradual climbs and not too much faster going down hill. So I switched back. I get props from the old guys who ride and hike the trails and weird looks from the everyone else.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by worrptangl View Post
    I rode my normal trails rigid then got a squishy fork. Realized I walked more up the short steep climbs and was slower up long gradual climbs and not too much faster going down hill. So I switched back. I get props from the old guys who ride and hike the trails and weird looks from the everyone else.
    I will admit when I ride front squish I Bob going up hills. I do climb much better with rigid. I proved that yesterdsy.

  9. #9
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    I agree I feel like a ball in a wave pool sometimes. My fork is properly setup too maybe I will try a higher end with remote lockout someday but right now I don't feel I need it. I'm moving to Maryland at the end of the summer from Hawaii so we will see.

  10. #10
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    @iowamtb - the Salsa Cromoto is a great fork, known for being a good combination of compliant and lively. I rode one on my el mariachi for years. The only carbon fork that I've enjoyed as much as the cromoto is the Carver470. Enjoy being rigid!

  11. #11
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    I went from riding a fully suspended 26" to SS rigid 29" back about 6 years ago. I loved SS rigid set up but got tired of being beaten up by the trail. I lost some fitness, rode less trail, went to 1x10 with a squishy fork for the past couple of years. I've come to the conclusion that my riding style is much more adapted to rigid SS. I'm faster & smoother naturally on a rigid single speed bike because of having ridden similar set ups growing up. I'm committing to rigid SS, much more trail time & better fitness (why oh why can't beer & bar food be fitness food?) this year with the intention of riding the Hampshire 100 SS & unsuspended. I know I can do it, it's simply a matter of wanting it bad enough.

    I said all that to say this: if you end up with a suspension fork for a bit, don't be surprised if you end up back on the rigid.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior
    (why oh why can't beer & bar food be fitness food?)
    That's why I sometimes drink light beer instead of dark beer! LOL!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCSS View Post
    @iowamtb - the Salsa Cromoto is a great fork, known for being a good combination of compliant and lively. I rode one on my el mariachi for years. The only carbon fork that I've enjoyed as much as the cromoto is the Carver470. Enjoy being rigid!
    That's good to know! I didn't feel like spending the money on another fork anyways lol..

  14. #14
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    I feel like I'm a bit slower on the rough parts but quite a bit faster on the quick parts because the suspension isn't soaking up part of the energy I'm trying to convert into forward motion.

    The pounding gets old at times, running high volume tires helps but I do find myself saying "Bend those elbows, bend those elbows" over and over. (Which is also what I say when I'm on a motorcycle; love what Febike said about draping your hands over the bars, that's precisely what you're going for on a motorcycle too, and for pretty much the same reason; it's a mental exercise in keeping your arms/shoulders/neck loose. It has a lot to do with being able to control a bike with precision.)

    I really question whether a flat bar is right for this. Those ergon grips put your hands in a much better position to soak up the bumps. Watch what happens to your elbows when you grab hold of those things. I think you get much better alignment between your wrist, elbow and shoulder; your arms are much better shock absorbers than the MP joint of your thumb, eh. My wife has 45 degree sweeps, which accomplishes much the same thing, and I wonder if that might not even be better, I have some H-bars on the way to try it out. Mostly though I find it requires a more active riding style, way more time out of the seat. Habit I picked up as a kid and pretty much always rode that way.

  15. #15
    The White Jeff W
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    I looked through some of your posts and noticed your bar is much lower than your saddle. I try to set up my bar height so that there isnt a lot of weight on my hands. When seated I have pretty even weight distribution between my hands and rear end. Seems to help with the beating. Out of the saddle - stay loose, big volume/low pressure front tire, maybe try some Ergon type grips.
    No moss...

  16. #16
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    So are you saying it might help to raise my bars?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    So are you saying it might help to raise my bars?
    Ideally, unless you have some "out of the norm" body geometry, the tip of your saddle should be in-line with the junction of your stem faceplate and handlebar.
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  18. #18
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    in-line is a little too relaxed for me. i prefer the bars a few inches below the saddle.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  19. #19
    The White Jeff W
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    Its personal preference, of course, but for me it helps to not have so much weight on my hands. When I bought my SS it came with a flat bar and 100mm zero rise stem. My first ride was on a smooth gravel rail trail. After 10 miles my hands were killing me. I changed to a 70mm stem with 8*rise and it helped, but I still had some discomfort. I added a low rise bar and now I can do long trail rides with little hand pain
    No moss...

  20. #20
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    Mostly I ride a SS 26" hardtail and a rigid/geared fatbike, I'm building up a SS 29er atm and still haven't decided on a fork, I had a romantic notion for a couple days of picking up a carbon rigid fork for it. It only took a short loop on some of our local trails (by fatbike) to quickly forget that idea. My wrists were buggered . If I lived somewhere else with a different assortment of tracks then it could certainly work. IMO it's all about where you ride there's no amount of smooth riding and optimal line choice that would get me on a rigid fork here.

  21. #21
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    So are you saying it might help to raise my bars?
    It is worth a try, if you have room for adjustment. I like my bar a little below seat level. It depends on body and bike proportions, and personal preference.

    One way to put my approach to rocks and roots is that I keep telling myself: "Don't hit that with your hands! Don't hit that with your hands!" so I take them with my feet - or ideally, if speed and comfort level allow, skim over as many bumps as possible, instead of hitting them at all.

    "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"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    It is worth a try, if you have room for adjustment. I like my bar a little below seat level. It depends on body and bike proportions, and personal preference.

    One way to put my approach to rocks and roots is that I keep telling myself: "Don't hit that with your hands! Don't hit that with your hands!" so I take them with my feet - or ideally, if speed and comfort level allow, skim over as many bumps as possible, instead of hitting them at all.
    I have 20 mm of adjustment I can go up. I will play around with it. I lowered my bars a couple weeks ago and thought that felt better but that was on rides on smooth track. I will play around with my bar height and see how it feels on rough stuff.

  23. #23
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    i borrowed my friends rdo fork last year to try it out, while i did love it....my body is beat from years of abuse/wrecks/surgeries etc. i know that i physically cant ride the rigid fork day in and out. about a week /3-4 rides is all i can do. so i just bought my own rdo fork for the one 9 ss, and will run the squish on my sir 9 ss. i'm to lazy to bother switching the fork on/off. i'll just grab the bike of the day and rock it

  24. #24
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    I love having my rigid. I've put a surly krampus fork on my in bred. Rides like a dream . Goes where I point it. No brake shudder. No flex when I'm out on the bar ends standing. Just smooth power transfer. I use , a 12 degree sweep flat bar with ergon grips with the full bar end. Wonderful.
    Riding this setup has also made me that much better when I get on my 160mm travel full sus . Rather than bash over obsticals I find myself picking the cleanest lines and maintaining speed. Also remaining in a tougher gear on hills .

  25. #25
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    Started riding SS on my GT Peace 9R rigid over 4 years ago, but recently built up an ROS9 with a Pike fork, really digging the combo. The Pike climbs really well, and can really attack the DH stuff. A nagging left hand injury prompted going with the Pike, but I'm really having more fun now.

  26. #26
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    I have a rigid fork on my back-up SS bike. It's an old Litespeed-built titanium frame with a Spicer ti fork. Very light and rigid, but punishing if you forget which bike you are riding (my SS hardtail is steel, BTW). When I ride it on fire roads though, it feels like I'm cheating.

    I just try to remember to loft the front more over obstacles and rough sections.

    JMJ

  27. #27
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    that's one thing I gotta admit about the rigid fork it just doesn't add much weight to the bike.

  28. #28
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    I just don't wear a watch.
    18" rigid Unit

  29. #29
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    Riding rigid and riding with suspension are two very very different riding styles. I've done both and love each for different reasons. However I can't say either setup is faster or slower, it depends on the course and fitness. Weight is irrelevant, to a point, when comparing the two riding styles if your fit is correct.

  30. #30
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    I am not opposed to a squish fork assuming it locks out all the way.

    Maintenance on a squish fork is not a common occurrence (unless you have a Lefty). I ride 2 forks from '09, one of them had defective seals that had to be replaced and the other is about due for new seals.

    Setup- forgetting to lock or unlock a suspension fork can be a challenge at times. I've been burned both ways here and there- big drop with locked out fork when not expecting it and catapult launch over bars when I forgot to set the fork up stiffer on technical stuff.

    My first SS came with a Fox fork. I've since migrated to steel forks on SS bikes- sure a rigid fork is lighter but I don't generally ride over really big logs anyway and I can climb fine with a couple more lbs on board (either in a bulkier wheelset or with suspension fork).

    I haven't been a fan of rigid carbon forks thus far... even on a steel bike frame it is just to much rattling around for my aging bones.
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmf032 View Post
    I just don't wear a watch.
    LOL should have known that was coming.

  32. #32
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    I switched form a rigid Kona Unit to a Reba, and I am loving it. The area I ride in, around Perth, Australia, is VERY rocky and rough. I had blisters on my hands regularly after 50km of rigid riding. I also went over the bars on a few occasions trying to navigate over rough rocky sections, and always lost time on the downhills. The Reba was the same price as a carbon fork, is simple to setup and maintain, and allows me to lock out on uphills, if needed. I still smash it on the uphills, and I am also able to keep up on the downhills. It makes my SS riding so much more enjoyable in these parts of the world. Horses for courses!

  33. #33
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    I have my steel 26" SS built up with a ritchey P-650 carbon fork, a bit longer than a 26" fork which work well, lots of clearance for mud etc and a nice ride. My Ritchey P-650 also has the Ritchey Carbon fork and it would make a wonderful SS but currently set up as 1by10, 18/34 gearing is the magic ration for the Ritchey with no tensioner if anyone is interested.

    My Sunn 26" Exact ti has a Morati ti fork on it and this gives a superb ride. But those forks are pretty rare now! Carbon or ti for me ti is better but so hard to find,

  34. #34
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    For almost 10 years a raced on a rigid, singlespeed setup and that includes tons of endurance races (8 hour solos). For the first time last year (at 52) I used front suspension with remote lockup. It certainly made it easier on my body - especially in the 8 hour races. I don't think I will go back to rigid. I am now 53, and there are limits to what kind of abuse an older man can take.

    But frankly, with a lockup (which I use a lot), I don't miss the rigid.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  35. #35
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    Custom rigid steel fork (waltworks) and 29x3" tire (29x2.4" for smoother trails). I do not miss my Fox/RS forks--at all. The key here is to spend $300+ on a custom fork from a reputable builder. I've had quite a few production forks--Surly, Salsa, Niner, etc. I have yet to find one that matches the compliance and performance of a custom fork (this is with the same 29x2.4" tires on both the rigid and suspension forks). Adding a 29x3" tire made it even better.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Custom rigid steel fork (waltworks) and 29x3" tire (29x2.4" for smoother trails). I do not miss my Fox/RS forks--at all. The key here is to spend $300+ on a custom fork from a reputable builder. I've had quite a few production forks--Surly, Salsa, Niner, etc. I have yet to find one that matches the compliance and performance of a custom fork (this is with the same 29x2.4" tires on both the rigid and suspension forks). Adding a 29x3" tire made it even better.
    ^+1 I went this route (Waltworks) recently and, after dialing in the cockpit, have been amazed at the resultant ride quality. Last weekend I did a 60 miler with no hand/arm discomfort, it was a revelation. This summer I'll give a 29x3" tire for fun.

    Many of the production rigid forks, like the OP's Salsa, feature AtoC measurements to match yesterday's XC rigs. Knowing what I do now, if I had to do it all over again, I'd focus on matching the fork to the frame geo and leaning towards the taller end of the AtoC spectrum.

  37. #37
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    I adjusted my cockpit on a 12 mile ride this morning and what a difference. I have been back and forth since I built this bike. First cockpit too cramped so I moved seat back and felt better. But on my long ride today I found it hard to not keep weight off my bars and every washboard was getting to me. Granted this was a xc style gravel road ride but still. So I stopped halfway home and moved my seat BACK forward about an inch and immediately I can comfortably ride with hands more relaxed as I am not leaning forward so much. I am just about dialed in on this new bike now and it just keeps getting better.

  38. #38
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    I'm riding the stock Kona P2 fork and I'm looking at getting a Waltworks when I move to Maryland this fall.

  39. #39
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    wide bars and good grips helped me. I have a geared hardtail with a Revelation which I take when I know I'll need it. I also have a geared rigid and an SS rigid. The geared rigid is a fatbike that I switch to a fat 69+er in the summer with a Krampus fork. It has a Raceface Atlas 785 riser bar and Troy Lee lockons. The SS rigid is a Specialized Carve SL with a Promax carbon 780mm wide 30mm riser bar and Specialized Body Geometry grips. I also found I absolutely need one finger braking and the levers closer to the bars to prevent hand soreness.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    I adjusted my cockpit on a 12 mile ride this morning and what a difference. I have been back and forth since I built this bike. First cockpit too cramped so I moved seat back and felt better. But on my long ride today I found it hard to not keep weight off my bars and every washboard was getting to me. Granted this was a xc style gravel road ride but still. So I stopped halfway home and moved my seat BACK forward about an inch and immediately I can comfortably ride with hands more relaxed as I am not leaning forward so much. I am just about dialed in on this new bike now and it just keeps getting better.
    I've been messing around with my H-bars and agree that the less reach, the less my hands hurt. But moving my weight back a bit lightens up the front end and helps it float over stuff rather than banging into it. I'm gonna try a shorter stem and see what shakes out. I think I was carrying my center of gravity too far forward to begin with so YMMV. Nice bike by the way.

  41. #41
    local trails rider
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    I still have my first real mountain bike. Then, 10 years ago, the guys at the shop were a little concerned that it might be too short for me. Over the first year or two, I kept fiddling with exact seat position and bar height and width - and got them where I want them. Soon after conversion to singlespeed, I recognized the feeling that a shorter stem might be better for going down the hills and over the bumps, but worried about the uphills. Then, one day I was riding uphill on the edge of this gravel pit on a ridge side - and was thinking that a shorter stem would position me better for uphills too So, I went from 110 to 90 mm on that bike. Perfect!

    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by TampaDave View Post
    I've been messing around with my H-bars and agree that the less reach, the less my hands hurt. But moving my weight back a bit lightens up the front end and helps it float over stuff rather than banging into it. I'm gonna try a shorter stem and see what shakes out. I think I was carrying my center of gravity too far forward to begin with so YMMV. Nice bike by the way.
    I can see your point. To me moving my ass forward required less abdominal and back muscles to hold my weight off the bars.

  43. #43
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    I've heard very high praise of truss forks. Precise steering, yet much easier on the hands than any conventional rigid fork - even carbon ones.

    My setup is a tall (480 mm) full carbon fork, 2.35" front tire at 19 psi and a Midge bar to get a wrist-friendly position.

  44. #44
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    Well, I hadn't ridden one of my favorite trail networks on a rigid bike in about 5 years until last night. It's a rocky, rooty rough place to ride. I lost a water bottle, lost my grip & lost the desire to ride a rigid fork all the time. Back to a squishy front end for me unless I'm riding somewhere relatively smooth.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    Well, I hadn't ridden one of my favorite trail networks on a rigid bike in about 5 years until last night. It's a rocky, rooty rough place to ride. I lost a water bottle, lost my grip & lost the desire to ride a rigid fork all the time. Back to a squishy front end for me unless I'm riding somewhere relatively smooth.
    that's why I refuse to put a water bottle holder on my frames. I have two Camelbacks ones my wife's and one's mine. They were giving to me free by my work as a dish network promotion. my wife never used hers its still got the tags on it. and if I don't feel like putting the bladder in it, which I haven't been doing lately, I just throw a bottle of water in one of the pockets along with my air pump in my emergency tools.

  46. #46
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    Get yourself a King Iris. Have yet to lose a bottle. I typically don't wear a pack. Pack-free is the way to ride!

  47. #47
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    I already posted this in another thread somewheres, but here's some rigid riding tips based on my experiences in life and such:

    Bad Idea Racing: Share the Wisdom Wednesdays ((on Thursdays) but on Tuesday this time): Part Eight

    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    I already posted this in another thread somewheres, but here's some rigid riding tips based on my experiences in life and such:

    Bad Idea Racing: Share the Wisdom Wednesdays ((on Thursdays) but on Tuesday this time): Part Eight

    Thanks for the link.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    I already posted this in another thread somewheres, but here's some rigid riding tips based on my experiences in life and such:

    Bad Idea Racing: Share the Wisdom Wednesdays ((on Thursdays) but on Tuesday this time): Part Eight
    Lots of good sh*t here^ I was being a pansy ass because I got the crap beat out of me last night. I think my hate was lower than normal because I had a good race (for me) SSunday. I channeled my rage, properly bled my brake (did I mention I had to run my front brake lever at max extension due to being an incompetent mechanic & leaving air in the line) & rode the bejesus out of the same trails tonight. I'm on board with all of it -wide bars are just silly, pushups are better than planks & crunches for core work, my Ikon 2.35 rides better at 17 than it does at 18 in the front & I think 18 might work out back, my seat & bars are pretty even, I ride slow plenty but need to work on the fast part & I'm getting a suspension fork for when I don't feel like getting the crap beat out of me & I'll be running it at the Trans Sylvania epic 3 day (I'll be the slowest guy in SS)

    Thanks for the link, Rich, GOod stuff.

  50. #50
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    I ride my Sir9 rigid SS with Niners carbon fork. I had an older Sir9 with a steel fork. The carbon is stiffer and lighter. The steel is nice if you like softer feel and don't mind loosing some precision steering. That's one of the skills you'll develop with a rigid fork is the pin point accuracy. Also using your body as the suspension. This improves your skill for your full suspension bikes too. Along with body position. There's no dought you need to be on your game when descending technical trails but it's doable with fineness. Flat, wide bars and Ergon grips help, and XT trail pedals. I set my up like this to be able to slightly change hand position and feet position while descending. And the XT brakes for the fineness. I've rode SS for several years and this is my third SS bike and second rigid. IMO SS and rigid just goes well together. I like my full susp. bikes and feel more confident when I hit big stuff that might bottom my shock or fork.
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  51. #51
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    Niner carbon rigid

    Hi there, this might be the right place to ask this, but for those that have a Niner carbon fork, does anyone get a bit of a shutter or wiggling when applying the front brake? Maybe wrong rotors, any ideas?rigid forks-img_0027.jpg.
    Many thanks and ride on

  52. #52
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    I wish I had a Niner fork and could comment. Good luck . I just wanted to say, that's one nice looking ride!
    18" rigid Unit

  53. #53
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    A loose headset causes brake shudder in the front. Put your crotch to the top tube, hold the front wheel between your legs, apply front brake firmly with one hand while grasping the upper headset cup with your fingers (other hand obviously). Then rock back and forth: any slack in the headset will be obvious.

    Loosen stem cinch bolts, gently tighten the top cap bolt to preload bearings, make sure stem is straight and tighten cinch bolts. Alternate between them while tightening.

  54. #54
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    Saul,

    Many thanks for the reply, but my headset is right as rain, tip-top and tight (but not overly), the shutter or vibration seems to come from the axle/fork area, I was just thinking it might have something to do with the torque that results from braking (disc brakes) and that it might be specific to carbon (Niner specifically) forks as they do flex some.

    Thanks Saul and we'll see if a Niner owner might know....have a good weekend of riding.

  55. #55
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    I have a Niner fork, the through axle was not adjusted right so when it was closed there was still some play, it comes with the Rock Shox Maxle and there is a small allen key in the end that can be adjusted to take the play out, I could feel the play when riding but took me a few rides to figure out what the problem was as I hadn't had a Maxle before having only returned to MTB recently.

  56. #56
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    As above, an insufficiently secured front wheel is another potential cause for brake shudder.

    The fork legs bend a bit but it doesn't cause the thing you describe. The problem must be elsewhere.

    Could be the rotor also.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    The fork legs bend a bit but it doesn't cause the thing you describe. The problem must be elsewhere.
    I have ridden a lot of carbon forks that shuddered during heavy braking. I have no experience with the Niner and wouldn't expect it to do that but just saying that in some cases it is a problem.

  58. #58
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    Last few years I rode almost exclusively rigid - Salsa Cromoto Grande - but then installed a Reba for a long race over notoriously rooty terrain. It took several rides to get used to the feel of the squishy fork, but once I did I found I really liked it. When setup right, it makes the bike feel lively and playful and no qualms with rumbling straight through the gnarly stuff. And I'm definitely faster downhill with suspension.

    That said, I've found that my technique has gotten lazy. Riding rigid really forces good technique, such as keeping your weight on your feet/bottom bracket, light hands, picking good lines, and floating over bumpy stuff, rather than just point and shoot. So now I've just built up a new rigid SS.

    One thing's for certain, rigid riding makes old trails new again.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    Last few years I rode almost exclusively rigid - Salsa Cromoto Grande - but then installed a Reba for a long race over notoriously rooty terrain. It took several rides to get used to the feel of the squishy fork, but once I did I found I really liked it. When setup right, it makes the bike feel lively and playful and no qualms with rumbling straight through the gnarly stuff. And I'm definitely faster downhill with suspension.

    That said, I've found that my technique has gotten lazy. Riding rigid really forces good technique, such as keeping your weight on your feet/bottom bracket, light hands, picking good lines, and floating over bumpy stuff, rather than just point and shoot. So now I've just built up a new rigid SS.

    One thing's for certain, rigid riding makes old trails new again.
    I will agree with what you said. When I had a cheap pogo stick on the front I just plowed through everything kind of like rough sex lol. With a rigid you got to finesse the trail with more technique kind of like making love lol! I love my Cromoto Grande! It is a nice fork and no brake shutter for me.

  60. #60
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    The Niner fork itself will most likely not be the source of the brake shudder. Check your skewer or brake mounting or rotor.

  61. #61
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    I have no experience with the Niner fork, but it could be the fork itself. It would be a function of compliance vs. dampening characteristics of the fork design, I think. I have a Bontrager Switchblade carbon fork on one bike which always shudders under hard braking, regardless of headset adjustment, skewer or rotor tightness or anything else. Meanwhile I have a Carver XC-470 on a different bike that is smooth as butter under the same trail conditions. The Carver is noticeably more compliant, and I assume it's also better at damping the rebound motion.

    So I think the fork could definitely be the cause, but again I have no experience with the Niner.
    It never gets easier, you just go faster. -Greg LeMond
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    JeffL,

    Thanks for the insight, I think you may be onto something, but I inspected the disc pads and noticed they were very dirty and slightly pitted. I'll start with the least expensive part first and switch out the pads. Other Niner fork riders have said theirs do not shutter, but we shall see, I'd hate to replace the Niner fork since otherwise I'm very pleased with it. Or like many things, I'll just live with it and adjust...

    Dig it and ride on

  63. #63
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    The Bonty Switchblade sometimes shudders so bad it's scary and I think something's gonna fly apart. But it's been like that as long as I've owned it. If your shuddering has always been like that, then maybe you have to live with it. But, if it's a new symptom then I'd be worried about what has changed and fix it rather than "dig it and ride on." If it's not brakes or headset, then I'd inspect the fork very carefully for any cracks. One problem with carbon is that its failure mode is not kind. As others have mentioned, I wouldn't expect the Niner fork to have this problem out of the box. If a crack is causing the vibration you should stop using the fork immediately.

    Hopefully it's your pads...
    It never gets easier, you just go faster. -Greg LeMond
    I'm not as fast as I think I am. -JeffL

  64. #64
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    JeffL,

    Understood, I wasn't trying to be too cavalier, I know if the fork failed I'd be in serious trouble. I've closely looked over the fork looking for defects (cracks, splintering), but she's clean, I meant if the nature of the Niner is to shudder, than that's what I'll live with, it's not horrible. Again thanks for your input and yes I agree the pads would be preferable.

    Take care,

  65. #65
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    What do you weigh? At ~220 lbs I've noticed a shuddering like sensation with my niner fork (straight steerer, QR with XT skewer, 180 rotor) in the past. I converted my front hub to use a 9mm DT swiss RWS skewer and that solved the problem. The conversion may not be an option, but it could be a matter of getting a different skewer.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  66. #66
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    I have a bonty switchblade on my rigid 29er SS. I weight about 200 lbs.

    It shutters under hard braking. I think it's due to the stanchions not being big enough. The diameter of the fork leg is kind of small in my opinion. Other similarly designed forks seem to have bigger stanchions.

    But the niner fork is a bladed stanchion and I would think that blade design would prevent the shuttering.

    I have never owned a niner fork, so it's hard for me to tell for sure.

    I also have a salsa cromoto fork (zero shuttering) but I prefer the flickability of the switchblade. The carbon fork is just more fun to me.

  67. #67
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    The same flex that makes a fork more comfortable is the same flex that will make a shudder when braking. Scalloped brake rotors will do this more than others, and some brands of brakes are more susceptible to it as well. When I had BB7's on my MCF with the stock steel fork and Clark "gator" rotors, they shuddered like crazy. Switching to XT brakes with IceTech rotors and no shudder at all. YMMV

  68. #68
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    I prefer riding rigid over my full suspension bikes on most of my local trails. I also think it's how you build it up. My Sir9 has the Niner carbon fork stem and bars with Ergon grips. I run Blunt35 rims/Hadley SS hub and 2.35 nobby nics. XT brakes RF Next SL cranks.XT trail pedals. The point is, having a steel frame is more forgiving and pairs with a rigid fork better IMO. Having wide Ergon grips helps your hand. Wider XT Trail pedals helps your feet. Together with wide rims and tires helps smooth it out. Personally I love to finesse my Sir9 through technical narrow lines and unweight and hop as needed. Changing direction is faster with a rigid fork and if I ever wanted to spend the bucks I'd soften it up with a Thompson Ti handlebar before getting a suspension fork.
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  69. #69
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    XT brakes are the best!
    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    Switching to XT brakes with IceTech rotors and no shudder at all. YMMV
    [COLOR="Black"]HARDMTNBIKER on Instagram

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