SS rigid for a first bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SS rigid for a first bike?

    Lookin at buying my first bike since I was a kid and trying to get back into Mountain biking. What's y'alls take on this? Not having much luck in the beginners corner.

  2. #2
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    29er

    Definitly get a 29er since your going ridgid. Since its your first try at SS and ridgid buy a used bike maybe around $500-700. If you do get into ss/ridgid, you may want to splurg on a nicer bike and a niner carbon fork makes a big difference, so its ~300fork, $500-1500 for the bike.

  3. #3
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    Good job!

    Since your getting back into it look at the Redline Monocog...

    ...go out and ride, take your time, enjoy yourself and the simplicity of SSing!

    Guess I should have added I have been riding SS rigid since 2005 and the Redline MC is around 500 bucks! I have a few of them they hold up well, I'm a clyde riding trials type NEPA rocks and roots.

    Glad your getting back, Good Luck!

  4. #4
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    I started SSing after about 10 months of mtbing. It is my favorite ride. Dependable, easy to maintain, and lighter than my geared rides. Until i finally get a full suspension, it will be my go to bike for nearly every trail i ride.

    If i started with a rigid SS, i don't know if i would have continued mtbing when i started. I couldn't climb some of my local hills in my granniest of granny gears. Front suspension really helped to not beat me up as i built up conditioning for longer rides. The geared setup taught me a lot about maintaining my bikes. There are still hills that i climb on my gears that i have to walk on my SS. SS is tough to start with. If you do start with SS, it will make you stronger faster.

  5. #5
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    Not sure what the trails are like around you and what kind of shape your in but a rigid SS may not be the best route. I've been on one now sence Christmas and love it. You will walk and you will be stoved up if your trails are like ours here in WV.

  6. #6
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    I think starting on a rigid SS will make you a highly competent rider. You will probably have stronger legs more quickly and be better at choosing lines than. Another bonus is you will spend much less time or money on maintenance, rebuilds, tuning, etc

  7. #7
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    Sweet another WVer on the forum. The trails here would beat you to death on a rigid bike. Especially if you were new and couldn't pick the best lane and what not.

  8. #8
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    Where you from Sickmak?

  9. #9
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    I am in Huntington, which is 40min west of charleston.

  10. #10
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    Cool, I'm just below Parkersburg. Not many SS up in this area, most of the time I'm out people are amazed I'm riding an SS.

  11. #11
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    A friend and I rode with a fifty year old a few months back who was riding a SS. He blistered us bad...it was crazy. He was riding a SS 29er with a steel frame and a high end fox fork. It was one of my first times riding again in 10 years, but I was still impressed how easily he smoked me and my friend. I have wanted one ever since. I am much much more technical than I was and I'm strong as an ox, so I'm hoping I can tear it up on an SS.

  12. #12
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    I'm just the opposite, I'm an Ox rider on a steel rigid SS. I've been looking for a suspension fork for mine but I cheap and don't want spend the coin. Heck I raced my first race last month on it, my plan was to finish and not be last which I succeeded in both. I've been working a bunch here lately and haven't been able to ride much but the old girl is calling my name right now though.

  13. #13
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    I stopped riding downhill bikes in 2001, then started riding again last year with a 2010 Kona Unit - rigid, ss, 29er, steel frame, got it for $700 since it was a previous year model.

    As for the ride, I love it. At first, there were parts of trails where I wish I had suspension and gears, but I got over that the second time I went back to the trail.

  14. #14
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    I've been thinking about getting a Nashbar SS 29er, but Im worried I'll quit riding my cannondale rush.

    There are some nasty hills here, but I'm already doing them without using the granny gears and I figure I can manage it with an SS.

  15. #15
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    I was a big BMX'er during my teens (did freestyle shows, etc.). I quit riding when I was 17 and didn't really touch a bike until 6 years ago (age 31) which was a 26" Redline Monocog!

    I was out of shape for riding, so I was definitely out of shape for SS, but I should've kept that bike. So basic, so awesome... but for some dumb reason I thought I needed "more bike"so I bought an Enduro. I am much wiser now.

    I've been riding a rigid inbred 29er (now geared with a suspension fork for XC), and now my SS is a converted On One 456.

    I feel that if a rider can master the SS rigid (especially a 26"), they can ride anything. I built a budget 26" rigid last year and it was very fun. I sold that trying to simplify my stable.

  16. #16
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    Returning to cycling in my middle ages about 4 years ago, my first-ever mountain bike was a rigid SS 26er (a converted '93 Zaskar). The simplicity appealed to me and, plus, I didn't know what I didn't know about gears, suspension, etc. It was slow going at first cuz I was fat, old, and weak (still am). But I got the hang of it - you will too.

    I too felt like I was "missing out" so I recently built up a geared FS bike. I hardly ever ride it. It feels like I'm driving a truck through the woods. My rigid SS is still my go to bike. The important thing is: get out and ride. I say go with a rigid SS. It's cheaper and simpler and you will become a fit, competent rider in pretty short order - unless you kill yourself or pop a vessel first! Good luck!
    Last edited by pexio; 07-15-2012 at 05:07 AM.

  17. #17
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    I returned to Mtb'ing last October. I was on a 26" Hardtail 3x8. I was having a good time but wanted to upgrade so I got a 29er FS 3x10. My riding enjoyment increased. On Memorial Day I decided to conver my 26" to SS. It is a blast, on most trails, part of the enjoyment is the ego though.

    The progression through the bikes allowed me to build my strength and stamina. I was close to quitting riding right after I started because I couldn't keep up. But I started riding alone and kept on the trails. I do not think I would have continued riding if I had started out on a SS, as I would have been disappointed in what I couldn't do because I was so out of shape. I now ride my SS about 85% of the time and my FS the other 15%, depending on where I am riding. If I could only have one bike, SS or FS? Luckily I don't have to decide that today.

  18. #18
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    I'm converting my old ironhorse warrior disc to a rigid SS soon. I was going to leave it a 1x8, but the crappy Altus derailleur is almost dead. The shifters and fork on it are junk also. The only thing remotely good on the bike is the frame. It's heavy, but doesn't have a scratch on it.

  19. #19
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    When i first started riding *trails*, it was on a SS Bianchi 26". I'd been commuting for awhile, and had been riding a FG to commute for at least a few years. I wasn't exactly a strong rider (being fat & drunk), but I wasn't totally out of bike-shape. Even so, trails on the SS kicked my @$$ a bit with the stock 52 gear-inches(32x16, 26") and I had to go to a 46". Nowadays, I'm older, slightly less fatter and way less drunk, pushing a 53.5" gear (with a much heavier bike) on these mostly flat South Jersey trails...

    Like someone else said above, get a redline monocog 29er,but plan on gearing down a bit. See what other SS riders on your trails are doing, and start out a bit lower than that. (eg, if the guys on your trails are running 32x18 on their 29ers, maybe go with a 32x20 or 32x21....)

    As for the suspension fork: my advice is to start rigid. I you feel like it's beating you up or slowing you down, spend enough for a GOOD suspension fork. Cheap suspension is basically worthless, in the long run. (Then again, I'm a committed rigid guy.)

  20. #20
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    Another vote for going rigid, man. I ditched the gears on my Rockhopper and went singlespeed about 6 months ago when I got back into riding. Now, I lock the fork, which I think is a RS Dart (not real sure about that) and I enjoy the ride more. Daily ride is the Trussville Sports Complex (Birmingham, AL suburb) and I feel more connected to the technical parts of the trail riding rigid. While I don't own the Redline Monocog 29er and have never rode a 29er, I like the appeal of that bike. The only complaint I've heard is the rear hub needing the chain tensioner that Redline makes. I'd say go for the SS rigid. If you think you can't keep up with your buddies, ride solo for a bit and then go out with them and kick their tails! Enjoy!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    Another vote for going rigid, man. I ditched the gears on my Rockhopper and went singlespeed about 6 months ago when I got back into riding. Now, I lock the fork, which I think is a RS Dart (not real sure about that) and I enjoy the ride more.
    I converted my RH also, but I did get a 29er rigid fork.

    What gearing are you running? Are you using a tensioner?

  22. #22
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    Check out the Civilian Luditte at Huck & Roll for around $786.....I compared it to the Redline and the Surley single speeds and you get more for your money.....I just ordered one myself. Can't wait to get it....It will replace my 26er single speed.

  23. #23
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    I started back up after a 20 year gap on a rigid 29er SS and it was hard at first (SS is just hard sometimes even now), but it kick started my riding again and helped me start to relearn my lost skills. What's the OP current fitness level like? I was fairly strong from lots of hiking, backpacking and climbing. I live and ride in a hilly area.

  24. #24
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    I learned how to ride on a rigid SS... they're called BMX bikes.

    At any rate, rigid and SS will force you to learn excellent bicycle handling skills. You'll be a better rider, faster.

  25. #25
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    I got back into riding on a SS 29er rigid, after probably 6 or 7 years of neglect. Its like riding a big BMX bike like everyone says. If you were going from a suspension bike to rigid it might be a hard switch. If you have nothing to compare it to you'll be fine.

    Being rigid you will always be slower on the downhill and uphill in technical terrain. Sometimes you cant pick a good line and have to plow into stuff, having no squish you can get bucked around alot.

    Im riding a Dawes Bullseye that keeps getting modified. We dont have much smooth single track on my local trails so im going to have to switch to a suspension fork to save my back, and so I can start beating the guys downhill(Im usualy always first to the top).

  26. #26
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    Just been riding for 2 years. I still remember my 1st accidental rigid ride. I locked out the fork on my HT going up and forgot to release it coming back down. The end result was that I have a bad migraine for 2 days from the chattter on the fire road. LOL

    And now my only bike is a rigid 26er. I love it so much! You gotta get your fundamentals right and it will reward you with fun and thrills. Remember this mantra, heavy legs, light hands.

    IMHO it's good to start on rigid to get a solid fundamental skills. Then as you progress, and gotten a FS bike, you'll fly.

  27. #27
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    I started out riding a 26" Monocog and i have never had a geared, squishy bike. i am about to finally buy a suspension fork after years of riding rigid though. Riding SS rigid teaches you

    +to pick your lines carefully rather than tank your way through everything
    + stand up and pedal up hills without looping out backwards or just sitting and grinding your way up in a low gear
    +use your body as suspension for landings and traction
    +basic components to work on, no need to fiddle with bend derailleurs, worn pulleys, cable tension, limit screws, sticky shifters, etc

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by borbntm View Post
    Check out the Civilian Luditte at Huck & Roll for around $786.....I compared it to the Redline and the Surley single speeds and you get more for your money.....I just ordered one myself. Can't wait to get it....It will replace my 26er single speed.
    One was on my front porch waiting for me this afternoon. It is very nice in person and a lot of bike for the money; it's a couple hundred less than some well known brands and the carbon fork appears very nice. The only really week point are the super heavy wire bead tires. Can't wait to hit the trails.

  29. #29
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    I started on SS, then went rigid a few years later when I switched to 29er. I don't know if this was mentioned but not only is the initial cost less, the maintenance and parts replacement cost over the years is nil compared to squish and shift.

    Most rigid and SS bikes are suspension corrected and have cable routing and sliding dropouts so you could always switch the bike to suspension and gears if you wanted if you decided it wasn't for you.

  30. #30
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    where do you live? what kind of trails do you have? it really depends on your terrain I think. I would never recommend anyone start with a rigid SS where I live (Montana Rockies) for example. Too steep and too long climbs. You would be pushing a whole lot more than riding which is no fun. You should get the bike that is the most fun, that will keep you stoked to ride....which may be full sus rig, maybe a SS rig, may be a geared HT.....it really depends.

  31. #31
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    My first MTB was a rigid 26" SS. I knew that's what I wanted to ride so I did it. Never rode any bikes really in my life besides learning how to ride one. I've ridden it all over NC, including Pisgah. I love it. Never owned a different style mountain bike and I'm on my second one because I thrashed hell out of my first.

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