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@adelorenzo
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1,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering what people are doing for drops on their fully rigid bikes?

I've been hitting stuff some around 2 feet with a transition (so more like 3-ish feet? How do you measure a drop?) Feels pretty good, I really focus on my technique to make it a smooth landing, but I'm wondering about the limits of a fully rigid bike with a carbon fork.

Appreciate anyone's thoughts or experiences on this.
 

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Professional Crastinator
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6,699 Posts
I'm wondering what people are doing for drops on their fully rigid bikes?

I've been hitting stuff some around 2 feet with a transition (so more like 3-ish feet? How do you measure a drop?) Feels pretty good, I really focus on my technique to make it a smooth landing, but I'm wondering about the limits of a fully rigid bike with a carbon fork.

Appreciate anyone's thoughts or experiences on this.
Ha ha - depends on bike, fork, and technique.

I have a steel bike with a steel fork.
The highest I've done is about 4 ft. to flat in a stone quarry - 1 time. I landed like a pallet of bricks, but the bike was fine. I weigh 185#. I figure anything below 4ft. is safe, even with bad form. With good form, probably almost anything is OK if your bike is built for it. Dropping to transition seems to afford a much larger margin for error

What the heck is Aqua aiming at in that photo?! :confused::eekster:
Or is he getting ready to flap his arms vigorously?

-F

PS - more HERE (not 29er-specific)
 

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hispanic mechanic
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2,706 Posts
I'd do 2-3' drops on occasion on my rigid fixed, although not always intentionally...
Technique is more important than equipment. Remember, there are guys dropping off of roofs on 20" bikes and riding away smoothly. If you absorb the hit yourself, you and your bike will be fine.

Los
 

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Do the long spokes and extra contact patch of the 29" wheel give you any extra cushion compared to landing hard drops on a rigid BMX bike, rigid 24" cruiser, or rigid 26" DJ bike?

Is it really different?
 

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hispanic mechanic
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2,706 Posts
Um, in my admittedly outdated experience, I'd say, kinda. I remember a bigger difference between 20" and 24" than when I went to 26". I moved to 29" wheels after a major DH injury cured me of the need to do any serious drops.

Los
 

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Monkey Junkie
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593 Posts
I've done a few small drops to transition on my KM. Probably about 3 ft. I have a recent BMX background so that helps with technique, but a good transition really helps. I wouldn't worry too much about breaking your bike. I would imagine that your carbon fork is plenty strong enough to handle any drop you are willing to attempt on it. I'd be a bit more concerned with a steel fork to be honest, because of the possibilty of bending out the legs (Which I've done in the past on 2 steel BMX forks). Still, I'd say it's highly doubtful that you'll have any issue especially if you are relatively smooth and dropping to trani. I'm relatively comfortable hitting small drops on mine, and I built it with a burly headset to take this sort of abuse.
 

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Professional Crastinator
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6,699 Posts
Do the long spokes and extra contact patch of the 29" wheel give you any extra cushion compared to landing hard drops on a rigid BMX bike, rigid 24" cruiser, or rigid 26" DJ bike?

Is it really different?
If all other things were equal I'd say yes, but I think seat height (or, more specifically, 'nad clearance) contributes much more. Lower your seat and it's all different - and prob'ly better.

-F
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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46,452 Posts
Ha ha - depends on bike, fork, and technique.

I have a steel bike with a steel fork.
The highest I've done is about 4 ft. to flat in a stone quarry - 1 time. I landed like a pallet of bricks, but the bike was fine. I weigh 185#. I figure anything below 4ft. is safe, even with bad form. With good form, probably almost anything is OK if your bike is built for it. Dropping to transition seems to afford a much larger margin for error

What the heck is Aqua aiming at in that photo?! :confused::eekster:
Or is he getting ready to flap his arms vigorously?

-F

PS - more HERE (not 29er-specific)
Ha,ha looks to me like he just dropped the landing gear and is "aiming" at the runway. Stewardeses please take a seat and all passangers fasten your seatbelts we are coming in hot.
 

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@adelorenzo
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1,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the feedback.

BMX wheels are mad strong, but then again you look at the guys riding fixed freestyle on 700c wheels and they are doing some pretty crazy stuff.

Landing correctly I don't think is any harder on the carbon fork than, say, a bumpy high speed run through some rocks or major roots. Nose casing or landing to flat, OTH....
 

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137 Posts
I have been wondering this same thing. I am about to purchase a bike with a rigid niner carbon fork but already had the thought of trading in the fork for a squishy one. I figured being 6"1 ish and 210 was a little much for one. I ride a lot of rocky technical areas. Would I really want to trade or just learn to ride the rigid? Bike is a Niner Air 9
 

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transmitter~receiver
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9,334 Posts
I completely disagree. Carbon will fail catastrophically with zero warning. I've seen someone do an 5' drop on a carbon rigid and the fork shattered.
A 5' drop on any XC bike is pretty stupid.
At least if a steel fork bends you won't always instantly eat dirt.
It's not nearly as black and white as you paint it, of course. Most carbon failures are cracks that people discover before anything bad happens. 99% of the bikes on that ridiculous website (you obviously know which one I'm talking about) were in serious wrecks or hit by cars.
My buddy ate dirt instantly when his steel fork snapped without warning.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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9,334 Posts
Do the long spokes and extra contact patch of the 29" wheel give you any extra cushion compared to landing hard drops on a rigid BMX bike, rigid 24" cruiser, or rigid 26" DJ bike?

Is it really different?
not any appreciable difference, no.
 

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Professional Crastinator
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6,699 Posts
This isn't me, but here's the expert drop at Ray's MTB before they "de-tuned" it. Not a problem for a rigid.

It is now rideable in both directions, but doing the drop you easily clear the run-up from the backside, so it's still just as high, but doesn't look as scary. That little transition ramp is the lifesaver. Of course, for the big boys, that same size ramp is enough to land on from the upper deck in the rafters.

-F
 
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