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V-Shaped Rut
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
That doesn't mean I took a viagra before the ride. (although I did ride a trail called viagra, hmmmm....) Anyway I blew a fork seal so while the fork is at the LBS I needed something to ride. I had two choices: A noodley '02 sid race, and a surly 1x1 rigid fork. Why not give this rigid thing a try?

The setup, so we're clear about comfort issues: kona unit (that means steel frame) 26", answer carbon bar, odi rubber grips, 2.1" tubeless kenda nevegals at 30 psi.

First impression after throwing the fork on: "Wow, the front end is retarded light."

So, I went on one of the more mellow vegas trails. Its rolling hills, a few extended but not steep climbs. I started out going up and was thinking, "Man, I'm just gonna leave this fork on here, it climbs AWESOME!" Handling was razor sharp. You have to unweight the front a little to avoid jarring as you scramble up rocks but no big deal. I even climbed up a trail that you normally only go down, the efficiency is just awesome. Comfort didn't seem bad either, low PSI tubeless, check. No aluminum anywhere, check. Dodge baby heads, check.

I got to the halfway point in my ride and hung out a bit. I was thinking this was pretty cool. Then I started to go downhill..... Hit up the trail known as viagra. Its fast, relatively smooth and banked. Its easy to hit 25mph and I was loving the handling of this fork, just on rails. However after 5 minutes of fun I got to see the downsides of riding rigid. As I headed back toward town there were spots of rocky technical downhill. You've got to really pick your lines and even then it can be jarring. My hands got beat on a little. At one point I was going through some baby heads at speed on the flats and got off my line. Hit one, bounced me over to another, then another and finally into a larger rock. OTB I went!

Luckily I had passed and pulled out of sight of some local racer girls so there were no witnesses. :D

My total ride was only 1.5 hours or so and my hands were feeling it at the end

No I'm kind of on the fence here. The steering and climbing efficiency was incredible. The weight and cost thing is cool too, a $70 part shaving close to 2 lbs off the front of the bike? Ok.

On the downside I don't think I'd want to ride 3+ hours with that fork, at least not around here. The comfort is a big issue.

I'm sure there have already been arguments to eternity about rigid vs. front suspension. But what do you think? Is there something about my setup that I could change to make it more comfortable? Like buy a 29er with 2.3" tires? Or am I just a *****? :eek:
 

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big_slacker said:
Is there something about my setup that I could change to make it more comfortable? Like buy a 29er with 2.3" tires? Or am I just a *****? :eek:
Sounds like you're looking for an excuse to buy a new bike!

If you've been riding suspension for a while the rigid feels really rigid. Your body will adjust pretty quickly. Soon you'll find yourself picking smoother lines and your hands will toughen up. Ride the new rigid setup a few more times before you change anything.

The cheapest option to increase comfort with a rigid bike is to put a big front tire on it, at least a 2.5".
 

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SS XC Junkie
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505 Posts
I have a Turner Sultan and Haro Mary. The Mary is a fully rigid SS with a carbon fork, 2.4 mountain king in the front with 25psi, a wierwolf 2.55 with 23psi, and a Thudbuster st seatpost. My weight is 250lbs. Even with these parts and pressures, the Mary is not as plush as the Sultan but it's surprisingly NOT harsh on the trail. IMO one thing you have to do with the rigid bike is get used to riding with loose arms, wrists, and hands AND you gotta get used to riding a little further back on the seat. I can ride 2+ hours on the Mary battling roots the whole way and have no problem with my hands or forearm pump. It takes a while to get used to a rigid front end.

My brother has a tricked out Motobecane Outcast. He likes running it w/ 35psi in his Nevegals. I've ridden it a couple of times but it is a day and night difference over my Haro and it is HARSH in comparison. If he lets the pressure down the bike feels a lot better but he likes the higher pressure.
 

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smell the saddle...
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I run fully rigid, and when I rode Nevagals I unknowingly ran them at 30 psi also. I ended up swapping to ExiWolfs and run them at 20 psi in the front and 25 in the rear. I would not run anything more, I might even play around with less. It makes a HUGE difference. As you noted picking your lines is also very important. If you ride the same trail repeatedly you'll find the best lines to follow with trial and error and the downhills won't be a problem anymore.

Assuming from your photos, you are less than 200lbs, and also since you didn't note you were riding sharp jagged rock, I'd say the low psi will suit you fine. I'd be curious from your first ride to the next with lower psi and better lines if your review changes some.

"It's go time, all aboard the pain train" - Izzy Mandelbaum
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, I'm 165 with a full tank of gas. But I did note I ride in vegas (buried in that book) which has the most sharp jagged rocks of anywhere I've ever ridden. I can try lowering a bit, but I don't know anyone here that goes as low as 20psi. I did make a point to loosen my grip. I'll give it another couple of tries.
 

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It took me 5 or 6 rides to get used to rigid - give it more time. Single-digit braking was different, and soreness in the triceps . . . if you have any wrist or elbow problems I would stay away.
 

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WWYD?
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1,603 Posts
Weirwolfs

Try the Weirwolfs on the front, I just ordered another one for my singlespeed. They're 2.55, but looks like a 2.5 at 27 psi. They are real cushy. You've got about 3/4 of an inch of travel.

I'm matching it up with some Titec Jones J-bars. I also loosen my grip when I can to keep the hands a little fresher. What I like about rigid is the steering precision you get.

Here's a pic of my 1X9 with the tire.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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15,215 Posts
big_slacker said:
That doesn't mean I took a viagra before the ride. (although I did ride a trail called viagra, hmmmm....) Anyway I blew a fork seal so while the fork is at the LBS I needed something to ride. I had two choices: A noodley '02 sid race, and a surly 1x1 rigid fork. Why not give this rigid thing a try?

The setup, so we're clear about comfort issues: kona unit (that means steel frame) 26", answer carbon bar, odi rubber grips, 2.1" tubeless kenda nevegals at 30 psi.

First impression after throwing the fork on: "Wow, the front end is retarded light."

So, I went on one of the more mellow vegas trails. Its rolling hills, a few extended but not steep climbs. I started out going up and was thinking, "Man, I'm just gonna leave this fork on here, it climbs AWESOME!" Handling was razor sharp. You have to unweight the front a little to avoid jarring as you scramble up rocks but no big deal. I even climbed up a trail that you normally only go down, the efficiency is just awesome. Comfort didn't seem bad either, low PSI tubeless, check. No aluminum anywhere, check. Dodge baby heads, check.

I got to the halfway point in my ride and hung out a bit. I was thinking this was pretty cool. Then I started to go downhill..... Hit up the trail known as viagra. Its fast, relatively smooth and banked. Its easy to hit 25mph and I was loving the handling of this fork, just on rails. However after 5 minutes of fun I got to see the downsides of riding rigid. As I headed back toward town there were spots of rocky technical downhill. You've got to really pick your lines and even then it can be jarring. My hands got beat on a little. At one point I was going through some baby heads at speed on the flats and got off my line. Hit one, bounced me over to another, then another and finally into a larger rock. OTB I went!

Luckily I had passed and pulled out of sight of some local racer girls so there were no witnesses. :D

My total ride was only 1.5 hours or so and my hands were feeling it at the end

No I'm kind of on the fence here. The steering and climbing efficiency was incredible. The weight and cost thing is cool too, a $70 part shaving close to 2 lbs off the front of the bike? Ok.

On the downside I don't think I'd want to ride 3+ hours with that fork, at least not around here. The comfort is a big issue.

I'm sure there have already been arguments to eternity about rigid vs. front suspension. But what do you think? Is there something about my setup that I could change to make it more comfortable? Like buy a 29er with 2.3" tires? Or am I just a *****? :eek:
Lots of good suggestions here. It does take some time to get used to. You don't ride the same way as with a suspension fork. After a few rides I really started enjoying it on it's own terms. It helped hone my bike handling skills, and that spilled over to my FS bike just like ss spills over to my geared bike. That said, after about a year it just started getting old for me and I went back to a suspension fork. That was about a year and a half ago, and I may go back to rigid for a little while just for something different again.

Personally, I think the appeal is the challenge and purity of it, and the skills it refines. I never found an actual performance advantage of rigid over a 80mm fork with a lockout unless the trail was really smooth, which does not happen much around here.
 

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SS XC Junkie
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505 Posts
kapusta said:
That said, after about a year it just started getting old for me and I went back to a suspension fork. That was about a year and a half ago, and I may go back to rigid for a little while just for something different again.

Personally, I think the appeal is the challenge and purity of it, and the skills it refines. .
Me too. I thought it I was going to be SS rigid for life until I got bored with one gear and no suspension and got the Sultan. My Mary with all her mods is a fun and comfortable bike but the Sultan is day and night difference in ride quality, speed, and comfort. I got really good (and still am) at plowing through roots, climbing, and drops with the rigid but on the Sultan it's like a leisurely day in the park. For me spending time on a rigid SS has greatly improved my riding as well as my ability to pick good lines. Switching between SS rigid and FS geared keeps the riding exciting too.
 

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conjoinicorned
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3,525 Posts
i've been riding the local trail network for 15 years, the rigid SS really changed the trails and made them fresh and even challenging again. i don't ride exclusively on the rigid, but she definitely gets the most miles.

plus it makes the FS bikes feel that much plusher and faster!

i really believe that every single dedicated, long time MTB rider should have a rigid SS in the stable.
 

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ferday said:
i've been riding the local trail network for 15 years, the rigid SS really changed the trails and made them fresh and even challenging again. i don't ride exclusively on the rigid, but she definitely gets the most miles.

plus it makes the FS bikes feel that much plusher and faster!

i really believe that every single dedicated, long time MTB rider should have a rigid SS in the stable.
Like the old 38 Special song: Hold on loosely, but don't let go.
 

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I got a Haro Mary about a month ago - still mostly stock. I've been riding the mess out of it and each time I get a little better and a little less sore. At first it was my elbows and between my shoulder blades. This past weekend I put 20 tough miles on it and had no noticeable problems. I think I have managed to develop a reaction to the trail which finds me hovering the seat more and loosening my grip/elbows in rough sections all of which has made the difference. I agree 100% with the tire pressue comments - makes a big difference.
 

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You could try running it as a 69er. I am sure it would mess with your head tube but hey, it is worth a go. Maybe you will be into that kind of thing.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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15,215 Posts
jjcools said:
You could try running it as a 69er. I am sure it would mess with your head tube but hey, it is worth a go. Maybe you will be into that kind of thing.
Oh, my! I failed to register that he was doing this on a 26" wheel. Ouch! Yeah, if there is one place 29er makes a huge difference, it is on a rigid.
 
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