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bi-winning
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try a SS on the trails for the first time. Peter (nogearshere) from Misfit Psycles brought a fleet of demo bikes to the local Tuesday night race series. Before the race, I decided to go for a ~5km lap on one of the bikes. Rigid, SS, 29er.

My overall impression was good. I believe the gearing was 32,19 or so. The bike was a lot lighter than the fs bike I am used to riding, so climbing was surprisingly easy. The bike felt pretty at home on the trails. The bike was equipped with 29x2.3 WTBs, which helped smooth out the trail, as I expected. Obviously not the same as 3" of suspension, but not bad for a rigid bike. When the trail turned to open doubletrack which pointed downhill, there was no large chainring at my disposal, so instead of a push of a lever, I had to turn to spin fast/coast, spin fast/coast. Obviously, there needs to be some loss when you move from 27 gears to 1.

In the short time I spent on the bike, I was unable to notice any disadvantages to the 29" wheels. The rigid fork did make me miss my Ergon grips a little bit, as I found my hands getting more rattled on rooty sections. A wider handlebar than I am used to provided some extra control which further helped to compensate for the rigid fork.

So, I can see that you don't need to be totally crazy to ride such a bike on the trails. But, I don't think I will be tossing my geared fs bike and replacing it with a SS.
 

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bi-winning
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sonoranbiker said:
No need to replace your FS bike, just get a 29er rigid in addition to it.
$$$. I only work 4 months a year (student) and I already bought a CX bike this year, which technically is a rigid 29er. :p
 

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bi-winning
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
taikuodo said:
how steep were the hills you could climb? I got some steep road sections going up to the trail where you can easily go 30-35 free falling if you don't brake.
It's tough to quantify the steepness of a hill without taking measurements, or having something to reference it against. But, like i said, the short climbs on the course really did not give me much difficulty at all. It was not the toughest climbing course by any means. I was fresh when starting the lap.

As the climbs get steeper, the SS will force you out of the saddle where some geared riders will sit and spin, but you can still get the the top. As fatigue kicks in, of course it gets tougher again.

As a note, I don't use the small chainring on my geared bike, so i never go lower than 32/34, and am used to climbing out of the saddle when things get steep.
 

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7daysaweek said:
Haha. Tried that. I haven't had my fs, geared bike on the trail since. :cool:
I'm experiencing the same phenomenon. Not sure if it is the 29" wheels or the SS that I'm liking. I do miss the rear suspension, though. I'm thinking I might try out a steel frame vs the aluminum one I currently have...I am feeling a little "beaten up".

I'm taking the SS camping next week. That'll make it 4 weeks of SS'ing and 0 time on the 5-spot. I am gonna' hang the SS up and force myself to ride the Spot. I'm hoping that the composition of my quiver will become obvious then.

Will it be...

- 5-spot and SS?
- 5-spot goes bye-bye and gets replaced by a Sultan; SS stays?
- 5-spot goes bye-bye, current SS goes bye-bye, and I build a *nice* SS?

It should be interesting. I *know* I'll be keeping a SS/HT around; it is a really good workout and I like the idea of having a "less expensive yet very capable" bike for when I go camping.

If I did a lot of epics, I know I'd keep the 5-spot (Sultan) 'cause it is more comfortable. However, 99% of my rides are less than 2 hours long. In the rock gardens of the NE, the aluminum SS gets to be a bit tough on my old 'n broken body in the 2 hour window too...which is why I wanna' try steel...'just need to take a little more of the "edge" off.
 

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1.)Definitely go steel. I'd never even consider aluminum for a rigid SS.
2.)Better a nice SS'er than a mediocre (not that your 5 spot is that!) gearie.
3.)Do what you can to compensate for the lack of susp. I'm looking at replacing my bars, and also going with the Ergon grips as well.
4.)Just keep doin' it. Your 5 spot will soon having spider webs growing off it.:)
 

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Doggity said:
1.)Definitely go steel. I'd never even consider aluminum for a rigid SS.
2.)Better a nice SS'er than a mediocre (not that your 5 spot is that!) gearie.
3.)Do what you can to compensate for the lack of susp. I'm looking at replacing my bars, and also going with the Ergon grips as well.
4.)Just keep doin' it. Your 5 spot will soon having spider webs growing off it.:)
Thanks.

I got the Rig from a friend for a *really* good price. It was fine at first, but once I was comfortable on it and started going faster, it got a little "bumpy". Not horrific, mind you. If I was 25 years old with a good back and knees, it'd be fine.

I don't need to do much with the front end; I have a Reba SL on the front. I have a Serfas Performance Rx saddle (off the spot, actually) that makes all but the rough stuff fine.

The 5-spot will never get to the point of growing webs...if it looks like that will be the case, she's gone. Too many $$ sitting there to collect dust.
 

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When going totally rigid, just consider the effect of the handlebars. I have found this makes a big difference to the feel and the impacts felt.
 

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rkj__ said:
So, I can see that you don't need to be totally crazy to ride such a bike on the trails. But, I don't think I will be tossing my geared fs bike and replacing it with a SS.
Thanks for that! :thumbsup:

Glad to know that I have not been totally wacked out for the last 3 years or so...... and me, only 6 mos short of 60 years young. :D

Does riding it fixed and rigid make me a candidate for the looney bin? :cool:

I do like the contrast of my FS geared 29er and my rigid SS 29er. Each compliments the other.
 

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It's the Fleegle I find most comfortable, but it does get a bit noodley if you are hauling hard on it.
 

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slocaus said:
Yeah, I'm a rookie; started riding / racing road in 1968, bought my first MTB in 1979, I think I have a new passion. :cool:
Haha... well speaking of Rookie's. I'm 22. started riding about a year ago. Got so hooked that I've been through 2 full-sussers before I got my current rigid/ss/29er/ultimatetrendfollowerbikethatilovesodontsayanythingbadaboutitorillbesad, and just bought a fixed track bike for commuting to campus.

So 4 bikes/yr... so far. I'm loving this.

Anyways, I noticed a comment above about the importance of handlebars, so just to contribute to the thread, I ride a carbon rigid fork, with easton monkeylite sl's, oury grips and a 2.2 nevegal tubed at 25 psi. After about the first 3 rides, no hand/arm comfort issues since, except on the roughest of trails.
 
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