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So, here's the point of my game--to increase performance for the least amount of money (ie. beat the system). It's not fun just plopping down several thousands of dollars (at least not for me).

I've noticed that the lighter my bike gets, the better I ride. I think the correlation between weight and performance is linear--at least so far. So, when does this line start to curve?

Now, that being said, consider this: I can lose about 2.25 lbs from my bike by changing my 4.75ish lbs suspension fork for a less than $100 rigid fork.

I ride in Austin--cross country with some "all mountain" or "free ride" sections which are limited. You know, some rock gardens here and there and lots of misc. rocks, roots. But, I'd say 90% of the time my trails are hard pack with the typical little bumps along the way.

Now, your opinions. Do you think the linear correlation breaks down when I lose the 100mm of travel in exchange for the weight loss? My bike's around 26lbs. I'd love to get it down to 24lbs but wonder what will happen if I go fully rigid. I've been riding with my fork locked out to see, but then again, I've got that 2lbs extra in the front (and a recent pinch flat). So, I'd really like to hear from those who have gone rigid for the weight savings and their experiences. Or maybe you're the old school guy who used to ride that way because that's all there was and now you can talk about the difference suspension forks make in a very meaningful way.

Go ahead, and have some fun with this inquiry--it's ok. Thanks, bros.
 

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Texan
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My current bike is a rigid and I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, this wasnt a WW build, it was a budget build using left over parts and was supposed to be my urban assault bike. Other than having the heavy tires on it, it handles the city and the light trail duties very well. It also climbs like no other bike I have ever riden before. Part of that might be due to having the wrong/short fork with a low front end.

I ride from home to the trails. That first 4 miles I fall back in love with the bike and am surprised how fast it is even with those heavy ass tires. (Nevegal up front and SB8 in the back). The first few miles of my trails is easy singletrack stuff and after that it gets gnarley. We dont have the rocks yall do in Austin, but we got them roots. :p Thats when I start to hate the bike. Maybe because Im an old fart at 50, but it beats the crap out of me and wish I had a suspension fork on it.

But Ill never be totally happy with any single bike. No such thing as a "Do it all" type bike without giving something up, somewhere. IMO, I wouldnt build a rigid just to lose a couple of pounds. That 2 pounds isnt rotating mass and you wont feel the difference as much as you would getting a really sweet wheelset and losing the weight there.

Or consider getting something like a Reba at 3.5 pounds. It's no WW fork but you still can lose over a pound and its a great fork.
 

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monster member
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Start watching ebay or craigslist, etc. Or call your lbs every once in awhile to see if they have a rigid fork they swapped out on a new bike that they'd sell for cheap. Remember to get one corrected for your frame.

I'd think you could get a cheap steel one for $50 or less to try it for a season. You'll have fun doing something different, and I doubt you'll hate it. I'd look for one with a bend or a curve to it hoping that it'll flex a bit. Those straight-blade forks look too rigid to me.

I loved riding my full rigid bike all through the 90s, but the drawback was that it's so rocky here in the northeast that I had to keep about 45psi in the tires. That got too hard on my wrists and hands and I can't really take it anymore. But I always miss the lively feeling. I still think about converting my old hardtail back to rigid with CF handlebars, ergo grips, a CF rigid fork, and tubeless tires to see how forgiving that would be, but haven't felt like spending the money yet. :confused:
 

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I busted the RS Dart 3 on my Rockhopper and replaced it with a Surly Instigator fork. Very strong, lighter, faster when really hammering on the road, very capable on trails. Highly recommended.
 

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Fully rigid was great back in the late 80s when I didn't know any better. That was also in the northeast. Switched over begrudgingly around '94 (living in AZ at the time) and never looked back. I'm back in the northeast now and I'm still on a suspension fork/HT frame. For the rocks and roots around here, I would never consider fully rigid. I had my fork locked out last week while riding by mistake and noticed it immediately. I would say find other places to drop weight. First place is probably your tires since it sounds like you're still running tubes ... another switch I begrudgingly made but never regretted.
 

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I ride both rigid and squishy. When I am on the rigid I dont find myself missing the front shock, what I do miss is the rear suspension (I get tired of having the bike smack me in the ass). I never thought I'd say that. I rode HT for years and always swore I didn't want a full suspension, I have it now and I love it. If I was all that concerned with weight, I would loose the squishy fork, the rigid is a lot of fun.
 

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pedal pusher
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2,712 Posts
I sold my 2.8lb SID Race for a 1.9lb carbon rigid, and it was one of the best upgrades I've ever made. Losing a pound up front is nice, but it wasn't as noticeable for me as it would be for you, since you'll have even greater gains.

Overall, I can rarely tell when I'm riding rigid. Through rock gardens or sections of trail covered with roots, it's definitely noticeable, but on most terrain, I forget I'm not running a cushy fork. Basically, expect to go a little slower downhill (although that'll be minimized once you learn to keep your arms and legs relaxed more) but you'll make up for it during climbs.

My next bike will probably have some sort of suspension, but this one will remain rigid indefinitely. If you get to the point where you actually like riding a rigid bike, I think it might be hard to go back.
 

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pedal pusher
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Gary, mine looked the same way when I was using a Mosso aluminum rigid fork with a short a-c length. When I got a longer fork, it put the front (and the BB) back at the height where they should be. Pedal drag was the first thing I noticed with such a low fork, and I was worried I'd be hanging up on logs once the parks were ready to ride.
 
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