Thinking of going fully rigid... but...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thinking of going fully rigid... but...

    worried about how it will take up roots(not small, but not gigantic ones too), rock gardens and generally the kind technical sections consisting of mid-sized to big rocks.

    Im currently using a Commencal Combi 06 frame for my SS setup. Its my only bike. frame is has alot of scratches and paint rubs but generally it is a really light and nice frame. Its my only bike, and i got it secondhand, still being a student.

    Now im talking about how both the fork and frame will hold up. Frame has reinforced welded gussets(Is gusset the right word? it has a sort of welded reinforced piece where the downtube meets the headtube).

    Im glad to receive any comments or help from you guys

    P.S: Im planning to use a Kona Project II steel fork for this. 26inch if you guys would like to know

  2. #2
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    It won't be as comfortable as a suspension fork - but it will be every bit as fun. It takes some practice to learn to ride light, you'll have to relearn when to pull up on the front wheel as the front will be lighter now, etc.

    Frame ought to be fine - sounds burly enough.
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  3. #3
    CB2
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    You'll learn to pick better lines and ride light over stuff. Often the best line is to lighten the front end and ride the crest of the rocks.

  4. #4
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    Yeah Im excited by the amount of weight shavings a rigid fork will provide me too. Should make me faster while climbing.

  5. #5
    jdg
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    The Kona Project 2 isn't very compliant; I have one and it is stiff. Try a salsa fork instead.

    I've been riding fully rigid since April including rides in the GW Nat'l forest and I will say that a suspension fork would be welcome for the rocky descents. Otherwise I don't miss it.

  6. #6
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    Does the salsa fork cost alot more as compared to the Kona?

  7. #7
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    The Salsa fork is about $150 and AWESOME!!!

    I've been doing the fully rigid thing for a year and a half and I've had a WB Rock Solid and the Salsa Cromoto Grande. I like the salsa the best, it's very comfy.

    Anyways as far as riding rigid... I've recently discovered that I LOVE rock gardens. I had ridden some smaller ones but found some bigger ones in the area and had TONS of fun on them. Big roots and rocks in the trail are easy to deal with you just have to be careful about picking your line. If you decide to go for it, like it's already been said you'll learn to ride it and pick your lines. And you'll save some weight.

  8. #8
    jdg
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    You can likely find a used Salsa fork at a good price. I bought an extra one for $40 and sold it for the same price.

    I agree that rigid works well with rock gardens.

  9. #9
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    Picking lines is one thing. But you'll also learn how to ride with the rigid and time your pedal stroke and pulling on the bars when needed.

    You can drop your front tire on the back side of roots and such to help you pump the terrain and keep you moving forward.

    I actually take the faster line vs the smoother line. Especially with the 29-er, there really isn't much that I give up to FS guys. In fact, the more technical, the more advantage I have.
    Just get out and ride!

  10. #10
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    Suspension allows you to go longer, more comfortably, and faster at a minimal weight penalty.

    I have two hard tails and one FS bike. Love all of them for their own reasons. However, even the way I ride my lighter 24lb hardtail basically requires suspension. I see alot of riders on the very trails I am riding on with rigid forks... I just cant ride with that kind of (to be brutaly honest) hindrance. Im no dare devil, but I know my suspension is allowing me to take turns and technical sections faster with more confidence and ease.

    Im a firm believer in learning the basics on a hardtail, but I dont believe riding rigid improves skills. Its just its own skill..... RIding a suspended fork is its own beast that is just as difficult to take full advantage of. Rigid does however toughen ya up and give a more brutal work out haha!

    But you'd be lying to yourself if you claim rigid made you faster skill wise. Saddle time is saddle time. We all get better every day.

  11. #11
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    I agree that you get faster and better with saddle time. And I agree that susension has its own riding technique to be fast.

    But I think you get faster and better quicker with a rigid. And you get the same "fun" factor without going warp speed. The suspension hides a lot of mistakes and laziness imho. Which is fine and dandy on an epic ride or where you just want to cruise. It also allows you to go faster on downhills and gnar...which is fun up to a point. At some point, the energy involved because of the speeds can get a bit hairy for me. That's why I don't do lift assisted downhills...I tried it. Was great fun. And felt that I'd leave that to the youngin's.

    Again, rigid is not for everyone. Some just want to ride. Some want to try new things. It's all good. On my group ride, I have many that shake their heads at me. But they know that we are all out having fun. And if I couldn't keep up with the group, I'd grab my FS/geared bike. And on some trails I do.
    Just get out and ride!

  12. #12
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    Comparing my rigid ss to my geared short travel fs bike:

    rigid fork corners much better, allows me to carry more speed through turns, even bumpy ones.

    rigid fork feels much better for climbing, especially out of the saddle. Sure you can lock out a suspension fork or just run it really hard or with high compression damping, but you still have the weight penalty and some lateral flex.

    rigid fork is much better for picking lines through technical rocky sections where the rocks are too big to just hit hard with suspension anyway.

    However, rigid forks are less forgiving of mistakes made when picking lines - if you do hit something big really hard, you have less forgiveness. I actually did an uphill endo on one of my first rigid rides when I got a little lazy and slammed into a rock while cranking hard on the pedals. This trait doesn't bother me at all - just pay attention and don't hit big things hard without unweighting or lifting the front wheel.

    The only situation where I find a suspension fork to be a big advantage is on downhill trail sections that are not really very technical but are rough enough that at high speeds a rigid fork starts to bounce around so much that you may loose control. It is much easier to go faster on such sections with suspension. However, I like the challenge of trying to force myself to take a particular section like this as fast on the rigid fork as I would normally dare to do with a suspension fork. I use Ergon grips and the larger grip surface really makes it easier to maintain control when the front end starts to bounce around a lot. It really teaches you to ride "looser", which can be a big advantage on any bike.

  13. #13
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    Rigid Rocks - I have ridden a rigid monkey the last 2 years and am now on a rigid Niner with carbon fork. I love the feel of rigid. Climbing is way better. It is lighter and one less thing to screw around with. It does make you pick your lines and it will pound the body a bit more but think of it as a much better workout. The gnarly downhills will be a bit slower but you will make up the time going up. The niner carbon vs steel is also night and day and if you can swing it you will love it. Just my .02

  14. #14
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    Depends where you ride and the severity of the trail. As everyone else has already explained the heavy rocks and roots on a downhill can be tough. I've done some Xterra races that had 4 miles of babyhead rocks on the course. It was tough on a hardtail, I certainly wouldn't try it rigid. However, think of going rigid the way people think about trying singlespeed. You turn off your brain and ride. I don't worry about gears, shifting, or if my fork is compressing correctly or leaking oil. It allows you to concentrate on the trail and improve your riding. Being on a 29er does make it easier.
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