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Bad cat!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a rigid kona unit ss and had fun on it, but never raced it. Trails where I live are not bad fully rigid, but I would lose a bit of speed on the downhills. Now have a spec stumpy ht (older 2nd hand sworks 29). It's light already, but fork seems to be leaking from neg air a bit and toying with the idea of sticking a rigid carbon fork on it, a chisel probably. That would make it silly light, shaving roughly two pounds off the front. Think it would be worth the loss of downhill speed or end up a wash? Anyone with experience racing rigid vs front suspension?
 

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I've done both. People do well on both. I'm sticking with the suspension fork up front because I stay fresher. You can go fast downhill on a rigid bike, it's just going to take a toll on you.
 

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It's light already, but fork seems to be leaking from neg air a bit?
Why do you think the fork is leaking from the negative air chamber? The negative chamber has a very small volume, so each time you connect a pump the pressure will drop significantly as the fork fills the pump head. This effect can sometimes fool people into thinking they have a leak.

If your course is smooth a rigid may be faster, but a suspension fork will make up for the weight on most courses. Unless you are very competitive though, you might as well run whatever you like the best.

Are you a first time racer? If so, I would run what you brung and have fun. After you do a few races, you will have a much better idea of what you want to do with the bike.
 

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Bad cat!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^^^ Fork started clunking just a bit on top out, checked neg air on return home and it was down to 50psi or so, had just checked air and set at 90# a few days previous getting bike ready after winter. It only loses about 5psi on connect/disconnect. But anyway it's fixable even if leaking, just got me thinking about a rigid fork again. Raced last summer some, and have done a couple of 50 mile races. This would be for shorter xc races and fast, shorter training rides--I have a dual suspension for more brutal or longer rides. Just wondering if anyone was really liking their rigid race setup and felt stoked about it, or had tried it and had a bad experience...

Just thinking of the climbing "wow" factor mostly, and whether folks had found it a worthwhile trade off for a slightly more cautious descent.

Also just wanted to say I've enjoyed some of the training discussion that goes on in various threads--found it very helpful in trying to put together something a little more organized than 'just riding more'. Thanks for the input regardless!
 

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mnoutain bkie rdier
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It totally depends on the course you race. If the course is mild, then you might benefit from the 2 lb drop in weight IF there are a bunch of climbs.

If you find you are getting beat up on the descents, then it's time to throw the shock back on.

.02
 

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Even on the tamest course around here, a pure dirt trail in town, I find rigid to be slower. It's not the downhills that get me, it's the corners. Trying to rail the corners when your front tire is bouncing up and down loosing traction is challenging. Now we aren't talking much time, maybe 5 seconds per 10 minute lap, but it's noticeable in the corners.

I like riding rigid for fun (with a 2.4" tire at 20psi) but for racing I'll take the weight penalty for faster downhills, faster cornering, and happy hands.
 

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Bad cat!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input--I'll think on it a bit more while pedaling. It's certainly possible where I live, and I did enjoy the sharpness of the handling and the sense of being really connected to the trail. At least when the trail is fairly buff! Braking bump washboards do suck as I recall...hmmmm. Hopefully snow will be off the local course used for racing reasonably soon and I can go ride it again and check it out.
 

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^^^ Fork started clunking just a bit on top out...
Does your fork have a rebound adjuster? If so, you may also have it set too fast. Thats usually the first sign of "topping out". You should be able to pack it down with your body weight then quickly lift (like to pop a wheelie or lift over a curb) and not feel a thud. If it does, slow down the rebound.

I usually have to speed up my rebound until i start getting the thud then back it off when i'm testing out new pressures or after a service. This will keep it from pogoing too quickly while also not packing up on the quick chatter.
 

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Bad cat!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jetboy, I'll play with that and see.. It's a dual air Reba, very plush fork and working great until this. Usually keep the rebound about midway. But seems to be holding air just sitting around--need to get out and ride it to see if it repeats, been riding my other bike.

Thinking I might try some cx this fall however, and the stumpy with a rigid would probably make a good learning sled, so still might order one. Probably the first guy who passes me with a rigid in the local xc beer league will tip me over the edge...I know, I know, ride more, it's the engine! Gear is fun though.
 

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SSOD
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depends on riding style. I love running carbon rigid fork with a 2.35 or bigger aggressive tire upfront at low psi. build up your core and learn to float over rocks and roots and ride light. I wouldn't ride rigid if your riding places like pisgah but I know several guys racing rigid ti bikes or carbon and their times are same regaurdless of bikes.

There is no perfect gear or setup. Run what ya brung and let the course sort out the rest.
 
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