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Thread: Rigid, SS AM?

  1. #1
    s62
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    Rigid, SS AM?

    So, I just bought a closeout 09 Enduro SL, but I'm thinking I'd also like to try riding a fully rigid, SS bike in the same conditions. I ride in western North Carolina, so lots of twisty single track, brutal climbs, and technical descents.
    I like the all mountain approach to geometry. Slackened HA, still relatively steep STA, ready to climb and descend. Being able to drop the seat below the handlebars is a plus for me as well. I've been researching, and I'm having trouble finding frames or complete bikes that fit this description.
    Is it just a bad idea, or not many people are interested, or what? I'm thinking 68 or 69 degree HA, and 72-74 STA. I'd go with a 29er, but I'm perhaps a bit more interested in a good ol' 26er.
    Other than that, I want light, maybe steel, disc brakes, and simple simple simple!
    I think it'd be a real pleasure to bomb away on a rig like this. So much less to worry about mechanically, and it would enforce really smooth riding.
    I'm new to the whole SS/Rigid thing, so be gentle on me Thanks!
    09 Specialized Enduro SL Expert
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  2. #2
    DBY
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    Transition Bikes makes the TransAm frame that has a 68.5 hta and 72.5 sta. It's a 26er that can be run geared or ss, but also designed around a 140mm suspension fork. For a rigid fork CarbonCycles Exotic fork comes to mind, but I think that they only go up to 130mm geometry correction. That'd be better than nothing for keeping the frames geo somewhat intact.

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    The TranAm seems like a good choice at a good price, Evil have relaunched their Sovereign now and also consider a Dekerf Implant if you can stretch to it, I ran one for about 2 years in the setup you describe and it was near perfect!...

  4. #4
    s62
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    Thanks guys, those are exactly the type of frames I'm looking for! The Implant is way too expensive, but the other two are doable. I'm really liking the looks of the TransAm. Very excited to research this some more . . .
    Thanks!
    09 Specialized Enduro SL Expert
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  5. #5
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Are you sure you would want a HTA so slack with a rigid fork? A slack head angle with a 120+ fork will steepen up when you're on the front brake or weighting the front wheel, which helps a lot with handling. I would think a rigid fork with an HTA like that would just feel floppy.

    SC Chameleon fits the bill, even if it is a little bit more xc than the frames mentioned above.

  6. #6
    local trails rider
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    I think Evil Sovereign might work out pretty good with a shorter than specced (rigid) fork.

  7. #7
    s62
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    Yeah, I'm wondering if using the TransAm with a 130mm carbon fork will clean it up a bit. I'm not sure how much steeper the geometry would be if i had 10mm less on the fork. It's tough, because I definitely don't want sloppy steering, but I also want some slackness for going downhill.
    09 Specialized Enduro SL Expert
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    On-One Summer Season or 456??

  9. #9
    Retro Grouch
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    There is also the Specialized P frames; they even make one in cromo. HTA is 68.5
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  10. #10
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    I've run an On-One Inbred, Gunnar Rockhound, and now a Rocky Mtn Blizzard as rigid AM singlespeeds up here in New Hampshire. From what I hear our terrain is pretty similar. My personal feeling is you want to be careful about jacking up the front end too high - it will absolutely kill your ability to muscle up steep hills. Remember that when running a rigid fork you don't need a super slack head angle because your fork never compresses and the geometry never changes. Of the three frames I've ridden, the Gunnar and Blizzard each had a 438 mm Vicious steel fork, the On-One had the 63-mm suspension corrected fork it came with. Believe it or not, even though the On-One fork was the shortest, that bike had the most relaxed riding position. The Gunnar climbed like a beast out of hell, and the Blizzard is a good mix of the two. Another thing to consider is that you WANT somewhat quicker steering, because you'll need to pick better lines. Going straight ahead over stuff won't be nearly as fun on a rigid bike What might seem 'twitchy' at first will eventually become 'precise' and 'responsive'.

    There are a bunch of guys around here that run their rigid SS bikes everywhere the full suspension guys go - they just ride them differently - and they're riding bikes like Dean, Surly Karate Monkey, IF, Seven, etc. All of which are designed around a pretty XC geometry. My advice would be to pick a frame/fork combo that gives you the most neutral feel possible, one that is equally at home climbing, descending, and riding tech. If you're used to a long travel fork, that 'neutral' feeling might feel super XC to you but trust me - if the bike is too chopped out for the downhills, it's going to suck royally pedaling it to get there.
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  11. #11
    s62
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    Quote Originally Posted by PutAwayWet
    I've run an On-One Inbred, Gunnar Rockhound, and now a Rocky Mtn Blizzard as rigid AM singlespeeds up here in New Hampshire. From what I hear our terrain is pretty similar. My personal feeling is you want to be careful about jacking up the front end too high - it will absolutely kill your ability to muscle up steep hills. Remember that when running a rigid fork you don't need a super slack head angle because your fork never compresses and the geometry never changes. Of the three frames I've ridden, the Gunnar and Blizzard each had a 438 mm Vicious steel fork, the On-One had the 63-mm suspension corrected fork it came with. Believe it or not, even though the On-One fork was the shortest, that bike had the most relaxed riding position. The Gunnar climbed like a beast out of hell, and the Blizzard is a good mix of the two. Another thing to consider is that you WANT somewhat quicker steering, because you'll need to pick better lines. Going straight ahead over stuff won't be nearly as fun on a rigid bike What might seem 'twitchy' at first will eventually become 'precise' and 'responsive'.

    There are a bunch of guys around here that run their rigid SS bikes everywhere the full suspension guys go - they just ride them differently - and they're riding bikes like Dean, Surly Karate Monkey, IF, Seven, etc. All of which are designed around a pretty XC geometry. My advice would be to pick a frame/fork combo that gives you the most neutral feel possible, one that is equally at home climbing, descending, and riding tech. If you're used to a long travel fork, that 'neutral' feeling might feel super XC to you but trust me - if the bike is too chopped out for the downhills, it's going to suck royally pedaling it to get there.
    Thank you. This is super good advice for me. Again, being a SS rigid noob, I've not thought everything through. There are some great things to think about here. I'll look into those frames you guys have mentioned, and come back with some specific setups I'm interested in to see what you think.
    Thanks!
    09 Specialized Enduro SL Expert
    w/ E150 and Command Post

  12. #12
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    I guess if I had any other advice, it would be to not overspend on your first RSS bike. First off, it's such a different way of riding who knows if you'll like it or not. Second, the bike's going to take one hell of a beating until you get the hang of 'self-suspending', and it's always better to beat the crap out of stuff that didn't cost you a lot to begin with. Once you're hooked and have an idea about what you like and don't like, and what works well on the trails you like to ride, then you can spend the big bucks. Someone mentioned the On-One above - that's how I started. $500 for frame and fork, $100 for a SS wheel. The rest I built up out of parts laying around. It lasted me a solid 3.2 years and got me hooked.

    And finally, make sure you give it an honest shot. A dozen solid rides in a row should be enough to let you know if it's for you or not. But like I've said - it's such a different way of riding, you really need time and miles to re-train your body and adjust your riding style.
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  13. #13
    Monkey Junkie
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    Surly Instigator would fit the bill but would need a tensioner to run SS. Still a burly 26" frame that has a matching rigid fork. Not terribly expensive either..

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