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Golden Bears United
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385 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, it has been more than 5 years since last visited this forum. A while back, with no wife, kids, and career, I was blasting around in a converted SS. Then, I got off the bike for years until last summer.

I built up a Salsa A La Carte with some decent parts (Race Face, King, XTR) and set it up as 1x8. My thought was to get used to it before I jumped to SS. Now, I think it's time.

Two questions:

1) Will 34x20 gearing be okay for Northern Cal? I was on 32x18 before and could clear all trails in the area, but that was 5 years ago, with 20 less pounds of extra fat to carry around.

2) Will Rigid be okay? I have a Salsa CroMoTo rigid on order to replace a really old Zoke Bomber. That thing doesn't have a lockout, bottoms easily, weighed over 5 lbs, and bobs the heck out of me when I stand up. But I am still having second thought. Please convince me that a RIGID is doable for the NorCal trails.

Thanks. :thumbsup:
 

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Premium Member
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8,470 Posts
Yes by all means do it!

And enjoy the lightness and feeling it will give you. Don't try to follow your friends along a steep rocky downhill at warp speed, instead find yourself a nice place to ride and see if you can learn how to become one with your ride. Pick smoother lines and try to maintain momentum. Make it your goal to enjoy the bike for what it is!

G luck...
 

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local trails rider
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12,300 Posts
In a lot of places, SS and rigid are a matter of attitude. The major negative that I have found is that group rides with gearies can be difficult because the "rhythm" ... hmmm, speed distribution ... is different.
 

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(slight return)
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2,139 Posts
Go for it. I didn't set out to go rigid, my wife surprised me with a monocog for xmas a year and a half ago. I kept thinking I'd put a reba on it but eventually got hooked. I rode my rigid ss pretty exclusively for 3 months this winter and have now settled back into splitting my rides between it and a fs geared bike.

It takes a while to get used to riding rigid again. I got beat up for the first couple months and was intimidated to try some of the more tech sections of trail at first. After a year and a half I now ride almost everything that I ride on my fs on the rigid, although not always as fast. It has actually improved my descending abilites on my fs.

-slide

[edit: Oh yeah, I also ride in Nor Cal...]
 

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Registered
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99 Posts
Go for it - however, to really take advantage of the wight savings you might want to consider an On One SL carbon rigid fork - light, super strong (no wieght maximum as with White Industries etc) and the carbon soaks up a little bit of the bump...
Basically you have to ask what do you enjoy more - going downhill fast with abandon or spinning on flats and climbing. If it's the latter - get a rigid fork and enjoy - just pick your lines and learn to ride properly again. If it's going downhill fast, however, then get a new light weight suspension fork - you'll see a big difference from the 5lb Bomber.
 

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I wasn't Kung Fu fighting
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152 Posts
I'd avoid the carbon

fork because that Salsa fork is very compliant. I've used a cromoto fork for 2 years now and don't have a complaint. It was supposed to be a place holder while I decided which uber carbon or custom fork I would buy... No need. I'm not sure where in NorCal you are, but I started riding 17 years ago at Annandale in Santa Rosa... lots of climbs and rock gardens, but back then no one could afford front suspension, we were all rigid. We lived... in fact I went pretty damn fast on those trails. I still have a geared 5 Spot for long days in the saddle or times when I just went to go as fast as possible down hill, but you'll love your rigid SS... Just through a big high volume front tire on there and you're golden.
 

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Golden Bears United
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385 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, I feel better now. I never cared for going fast downhills, so speed is not a priority for me. I just want to make it UP the hills quicker than now. It seems from these comments that the Salsa rigid might be compliant enough to do the job for me.

I'm in Oakland and mainly ride in the east bay, with Mt. Tam occasionally. Carbon stuffs are out of the question. Aside from the exhorbitant costs, I just don't trust its strength and fear of cracking.
 

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Bite Me.
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4,531 Posts
Carbon is really pretty durable. I ran a Pace RC29 through some pretty rough terrain for 2 years without a single issue, but if you have no faith in it then that's what really matters - go steel. Fully rigid punishes you more, but it rewards you more too, if that makes any sense.
 

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820 Posts
Yes, yes to both...you'll love the Salsa Cromoto. I don't do severe downhill technical that are strewn with rocks with my SS, because I really haven't the skill yet. But like the others have said...it really does take the stutter/edge out of some fairly rough stuff. And 34/20 is probably about right. I've got a flip flop with 19T/20T. Why bother you might ask, but 20T definitely gives me a needed edge, off road.
 

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7,490 Posts
Less maintenance, more fun.

Just make sure your handle bar isn't too rigid, and adapt your riding style.
 

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142 Posts
I tried riding my Mary rigid for a couple months but I couldn't take the beating I got on our rooty trails here in GA and SC. The stock bar would probably have helped with the harshness of the ride but I had the shop swap it for a stiff riser bar when I bought the bike (I tested it w/ the stock bar and I just couldn't get a good feel for it). I had fun riding the rigid, but my elbow shocks just weren't up to the task any more so I picked up a Reba. Guess I just wasn't hardcore enough.. lol
 

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Golden Bears United
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385 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd definitely stick with the rigid CroMoTo now after all of your comments. The fork should arrive next week. Also, I just found out that my front ring is 32t, not 34t, so the setup will be 32x20. It seems light, but I probably could use some help. Thanks!
 
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