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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a good feed back on what I can pretty much look forward to expecting if/when I go full rigid.

I have been riding my C-dale 29er. For 2 of the 3 years I have it. I have rode it as a SS.

Really suck at riding.
Suck even worse when I try to race it.
And I am a realist guys.... I am pushing 40 and even if I do lose the perfect amount of weight. I will ALWAYS be a Clyde. 6'1" and even at my lightest in all of my glory I will never be below 210#'s I am NOT an elite class 150# cardio machine. And never will be. Thats just not how god made me. Nothing is gonna change it.

I have had 1 back and 2 neck surgery's in the past 2 years.

With all that said. I am ready to go full 29'er Rigid. For a few reasons
A) If SS Rigid was easy. The Roadies would be doing it!;)
B) I need/like/want/desire/love Simplesity in my life.
C) Love Bulletproof stuff. (see above)
D) Can't denie. That the Cost to Fun Ratio. Is off the charts. when it comes to SS rigid and the biking budget.

I am more then ready to pull the trigger on the 09 RL Mono. But I have one last lingering thought in the back of my head.
And it comes in the form of the metal plate and 4 screws I brought home from my last visit to the OR in my friendly neighborhood hosptial. LOL

I am concerned that my fat old body will just not be up to it. But I have been told that a rigid does not beat up your neck/back. It puts the pounding to your wrist's? Is this true? I have never really had trouble with my current hardtail. But IMO a hard tail is a 6"FS compared to a rigid.

Sorry so long. But I like to try and put all the info out there the 1st time.

Thanks for anyone who may wish to help me out.

Respectfully, Onlooker
 
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ride it

I'm a 40+ clyde too - but it doesn't have to be the start of the end. I've ridden just about every rigid fork out there, and some of the sus forks. It all depends on the terrain you ride - if you need descending control, you'll need susspension, but if you're in the midwest with fast flowing trails like me, go rigid. I suspect the south / west is also very rigid friendly.

If you're going to go rigid - get a custom or carbon fork. The stock Karate Monkey / On One / Redline / Raleigh / Qball / heavy steel forks are great, but offer no relief on dirt. I love my KM fork, and the Qball I rode...but when it comes to trail compliance, get a custom like Waltworks. Very compliant, light, and give it a few hours before you think you hate it....because I think you'll eventually like it if you live on favorable terrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
nanobiker said:
you are right. punishment go strait to your wrists, but it has to do with the handlebar as well;
sweep ones go easier with your wrist than the non sweep.
Really? Did not know that either. Carbon make a diff VS. standard Alum ones? Thank you again.

I like my bars pretty wide. Is there a some what "standard" out there for a sweep I should be looking at?
 

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Have you not ridden fully rigid before? Everyone's experience is different, based on how they ride, where they ride, and what they expect out of a bike.

I started off riding rigid mountain bikes. When I bought my first suspension fork in '94 it was a big change. These days, even thought a own a full-suspension bike, I put in more miles on rigid bikes. A lot of riders think that it's not possible to ride some trails rigid, but when I started that was the one option, so that's what we did - and it's still possible today.

I don't like bars with a lot of sweep, or bars that are really wide. What you like on your current bike is what you'll like on your rigid bike.

I don't know how the lack of suspension will affect you specifically. But if you ride with a loose grip, keep your arms bent, and get off of the saddle when the trail is rough, it's not that hard on the body. To me, single big hits are not an issue on a rigid bike as your body can absorb the impact. However, studder bumps and rock gardens are definitely more difficult to ride, as you can't prepare for and absorb each shock.

If you have the opportunity to borrow a rigid bike, try one before you buy.
 

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onlooker said:
Looking for a good feed back on what I can pretty much look forward to expecting if/when I go full rigid.........
With all that said. I am ready to go full 29'er Rigid. For a few reasons
A) If SS Rigid was easy. The Roadies would be doing it!;)
B) I need/like/want/desire/love Simplesity in my life.
C) Love Bulletproof stuff. (see above)
D) Can't denie. That the Cost to Fun Ratio. Is off the charts. when it comes to SS rigid and the biking budget.

I am more then ready to pull the trigger on the 09 RL Mono. But I have one last lingering thought in the back of my head.
And it comes in the form of the metal plate and 4 screws I brought home from my last visit to the OR in my friendly neighborhood hosptial. LOL

I am concerned that my fat old body will just not be up to it. But I have been told that a rigid does not beat up your neck/back. It puts the pounding to your wrist's? Is this true? I have never really had trouble with my current hardtail. But IMO a hard tail is a 6"FS compared to a rigid.
It IS a heck of a lot simpler with a rigid fork. Nothing to clean, nothing to lube, nothing to overhaul, no bushings to replace, no wondering if this year's model will be better than last year's model. I've ridden full rigid with Waltworks fork for the last two years. I actually bought a suspension fork off of ebay when I got the bike, figuring I could install it if I felt the need. I never felt the need.

Sure, rock gardens can be a little tougher. And drop-offs and waterbars are a little more harsh. But, it isn't too bad. You adjust your technique. You might find you're a tad slower on the downhills. No big deal. It is nice that the fork stays exactly where you put it. Great steering precision, and no change in front/rear weight distribution when you go over stuff.

I can't really speak to whether or not a budget rigid fork would be great for you or not. They're generally heavier built than a custom, however, a custom builder might well build something just as burly for you... could be a stock fork would be spot-on. Are you set on getting a new bike, or are you planning to try rigid on the C-dale? Couldn't you just replace the fork on the C-dale? Or are you in lefty-land?

FWIW, I find that the only parts of my body that ever have any pain or ache riding rigid is my wrists. Back is fine, neck fine. You try to keep it all loose, but over the rough stuff, you DO have to hang on, so the wrists get it a little sometimes.
John
Denver
 

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It'll hurt the first few rides. If you stick with it, you will learn to keep your elbows bent and float over the bike more. Remember, trials guys ride rigid and look at what they can do on a bike. If you get cocky and try to hang with full suspension guys on rough rocky rides you will be unable to walk for a couple of days afterward. (I am not as old as you and have not had neck or back surgery, so ymmv)
 

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You may want to look into some Ergon grips if you are using riser or straight bars, I definitely feel the difference vs regular grips. I haven't had any wrist issues since I swapped.
 

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I've been riding/racing rigid for the past year and this is what I've learned (rode suspension for the 12 years prior except for first 2 years when suspension was in its infancy):

1. As others have said, it takes time to acclimate. Give it time when you make the change, and stay on familiar trails for a while. Once you're used to the ride characteristics of the rigid fork branch out.

2. I rode a Kona P2 fork for about 6 months prior to receipt of my Waltworks fork. The WW fork is definitely nicer, but I'd still ride rigid if all I had was the Kona fork.

3. You can drop your full susp friends on downhills, you just have to know the trail and your capabilities. Again, takes time.

4. You may want to start a bit of upper body strength training prior to going rigid. It makes the transition easier.

5. Real racer types on suspension will probably still be faster unless you're also a racer type, in which case you may embarrass them in a few months.

6. You can win races full rigid against suspended/geared riders (if rigid and SS), and you can race enduros/6hr/12hr/24hr races. Work up to it.

Just my $0.02 based on my experiences.
 

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I am currently 50 and periodically have neck and back related pain (just wait you young guys/gals!!) and can give you my .02 on rigid bikes. I started riding and racing mountain bikes back in the mid 80's when all bikes were rigid. Back then the suspension was the tires and riding rigid bikes over tough terrain really developed bike handling skill's pretty quickly. Fast forward almost 25 years and I still find I always revert back to a rigid set-up.
Don't get me wrong, I have had a boatload of bikes over the years, and have had numerous lightweight XC FS bikes, and a few hardtails thrown in for good measure. Regardless, I always fall back to the simplicity, lightweight, and the agile and responsive handling that is the trademark of a good rigid set-up.

I think that if you are in reasonably good shape, rigid is a great option. If you have physical problems a rigid bike can beat you up, and not just your wrists. I find that fork choice, tire choice in front (Think big low-pressure), and the choice of bars can really make a big difference. Fork-wise steel can be ok, but some are really harsh and others pretty nice. A ti fork like a Black Sheep Unicrown would be a great choice albeit pricey. Regarding bars, I have used a wide variety of bars, and for me I stay away from aluminum and steel bars on rigid bikes and use either a CF bar, or optimally a decent ti riser bar (hard to find these days). The combination of a decent fork, a big front tire and the compliant bars can really make a huge difference.

The last thing that I would note is that all of what I said above is directly impacted by where you ride. I have lots of tight twisty singletrack in Missouri, which is really perfect for riding rigid bikes. Out west and in the mountains things get faster and rougher fast, and makes rigid a less forgiving option.

At the end of the day make sure you weigh your health situation as your past surgeries should be considered. Not saying that you should let those things make you a shut-in or that you should avoid serious mountain biking, but as Clint says " A man's gotta know his limits".

Good luck and keep riding!!
JR
 

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If your over 200 lbs and ride heavy you may want to re-think a carbon fork. The mountain biking community is full of stories that will help you change your mind. Happy Trails
 
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