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Go make a difference
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In May I built up the full rigid Walt Works and since have done 2 solo enduros and a few backcountry rides, in addition to shorter rides on groomed trails. Last Monday as I was taking the bike off the rack on my truck, I noticed small cracks around the crowns on both fork legs on the back of the fork. After cleaning the dirt from the ride offthe bike, I noticed another crack on the front of the one of the legs.

Needless to say, I'm getting a Reba! Walt and I reviewed the situation and I'm sending the rigid fork back to him tomorrow and he's going to give me credit towards a Reba with poploc. I don't know how the other builders are, but Walt has been freaking outstanding! It's been great working with the guy!

Guess my concerns about riding rigid were realized and at least the thing didn't fail on me while I was riding -- that could have been painful! To be clear about something...I am a 215 pound rider and I'm not afraid of rock gardens or bombing downhill runs (I didn't get the nickname Hulk for nothin'!). This bike in the rigid setup has been outstanding. On groomed courses, I can see why folks like rigid. On backcountry stuff though, I can't do it; my hands just take a beating and there has been some concern in the back of my head about the fork folding underneath me. It has been a very nice learning experience, however, and I think I'll still end up building up another rigid, but maybe I'll keep it in the stable for the groomed stuff!

Bottom line:
Big boys break things. Walt rules! :thumbsup:
 

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k2biker,
Thanks for the post. It is very nice to see positive comments about a builder that had a part fail but how the situation didn't turn negative. Thank you for adding about your weight and ride style too as many just want to bash builders any chance they get. Walt does great work, it is cool that Walt is working through the situation and that you are happy with the outcome. Yes, rigid is not for all of us but wish you the best with the new reba, I hear nothing but good things about the reba!! :thumbsup:
 

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pardon me but

Putting on a Reba means what? Riding rock gardens and bombing downhills so the rear triangle goes through the same stress or even more stress. If a builder's fork fails what makes the frame any better? Positive response but I'd keep checking the frame for cracks.
 

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Don't be a sheep
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pacman said:
Putting on a Reba means what? Riding rock gardens and bombing downhills so the rear triangle goes through the same stress or even more stress. If a builder's fork fails what makes the frame any better? Positive response but I'd keep checking the frame for cracks.
Nope. Forks see some ridiculous stresses that a frame will NEVER see. It's a huge lever and the crown is the fulcrum point. Anybody that's been riding MTB's for a while will remember how forks were always the weak link, I was bending or breaking them monthly. It wasn't until composite forks (aluminum crowns, bolt in blades) like the Bontrager, Tange Switchblade or IRD came out that this problem went away. I for the life of me can't inderstand why people go back to this inferior technology when the potential for failure is so high.
 

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pacman said:
Putting on a Reba means what? Riding rock gardens and bombing downhills so the rear triangle goes through the same stress or even more stress. If a builder's fork fails what makes the frame any better? Positive response but I'd keep checking the frame for cracks.
Walt does great work and stands by his products. I have seen other trouble with a couple of his forks (which he went the extra mile on to correct things) but never have I seen any of his frames crack.
 

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pacman said:
Putting on a Reba means what? Riding rock gardens and bombing downhills so the rear triangle goes through the same stress or even more stress. If a builder's fork fails what makes the frame any better? Positive response but I'd keep checking the frame for cracks.
Where's this logic coming from? A spring in a fork absorbing bumps doesn't exactly transfer all that energy to the rear triangle. :rolleyes:
 

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bhutata said:
Where's this logic coming from? A spring in a fork absorbing bumps doesn't exactly transfer all that energy to the rear triangle. :rolleyes:
It's a hard tail, the rear wheel hits bumps and there's no rear shock.
The faster you go the more the rear triangle gets hammered.
Reba means more speed. QED

... and that's not even accounting for the possibility that with a front shock the rider may be more enthuasitic about drops.
 

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pacman said:
It's a hard tail, the rear wheel hits bumps and there's no rear shock.
The faster you go the more the rear triangle gets hammered.
Reba means more speed. QED

... and that's not even accounting for the possibility that with a front shock the rider may be more enthuasitic about drops.
I bet he has the same enthusiasm for drops now as before because that was mentioned at the fist post. The Walt Works stuff is every bit as good as the stuff you are riding on if not better...I mean pacman I do like your Kona or Sir Niner but you also gotta figure it was not made just for you like the Walt was for k2biker. My riding partner just cracked his Kona so please don't go off on Walt as other companies stuff can break too. A lot of love and pride goes into Walt's stuff but that is just my 2 cents. If you buy a factory bike or fork well that just means someone in a line welded it and hopefully they share our passion.
 

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Go make a difference
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
wow, get busy @ work & look what ya miss!

To answer a few questions posed:
> the fork is a disc specific straight bladed steel fork.

Pacman, I have personally broken two aluminum frames by different builders in two different places. I can round out a square taper or splined BB in about 3 months ( which is why I love my Race Face Atlas). I say this to say that I can really torque out some gear.

The frame from WW was built for a 200-230 lb rider using a little different tubing than would be used for a 155 lb rider. The frame is 853 steel, and therefore, I have much more faith in it than any old alum frame off the shelf. Most mass produced bikes are not built for clydesdales, but for 155-185 lb riders, who produce a whole lot less torque and put much less stress on a frame. Like Rivet, back in the day I could snap or bend a cro-mo fork in about 3 months, hence my move to an early generation Pro-Flex with the Girvin vector fork and away from cheap rigid bikes.

I went with full rigid on this build because I know Walt builds some outstanding stuff and takes care to make sure it's worthy to put his name on it. I wanted to try the new designs for old technology (i.e. rigid). I didn't want to spend an extra $500 on a fork! I figured since these other guys I race / ride enduros with can go rigid, why the heck can't I? I got news for ya, on fireroads and groomed course, the full rigid set up on this bike ruled! On climbs, it was outstanding. Like I said, I will build another rigid up for just this reason. But for my primary ride / race bike, I'll go broke trying to keep rigid forks on a bike...or else make a builder go crazy!

The cracks I found are tiny -- they're not glaring. One of the enduros I did was a 24 hour on the Conyers course - lots of exposed very bumpy granite, lots of stutter bumbs on downhills. Some of the backcountry rides I've done have long (1/4 to 1.5 mile) rock garden descents. I don't care what you're riding, that's a lot of continual stress on the front of your steed. As for drops, I don't do anymore drops than the next XC enduro rider, which is to say that if it ain't on trail or is bigger than like 2 ft, I don't ride it. Now, I've also sought out smoother lines since riding rigid just to maintain momentum. With a bouncy fork up front, I don't shy away from taking more direct lines but I still don't ride it like I would on a 5" travel bike (which I also have).

Again, you can't bash a builder b/c of something like this b/c every builder has stuff break. Walt has done a great job on building the bike and with how we're handling the issue. He would build me another fork and hope it would work, but given my concerns already, I'd rather have a bouncy fork. My concerns have nothing to do with the builder or the material, but b/c I'm a 215 lb dude that enjoys riding backcountry trails all day.

(Sorry that was so long...)
 
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still have faith

FWIW, I'm a 225lb rider with Walt rigid forks on my single speed and one geared bike. I don't ride the rock gardens and bomber downhills, but I have had no issues with my forks. I'm going to go home and take a close look at them, but just raced the SS last weekend at one of Michigan's toughest venues (Boyne), and they've been perfect for our terrain.
 

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pacman said:
It's a hard tail, the rear wheel hits bumps and there's no rear shock.
The faster you go the more the rear triangle gets hammered.
Reba means more speed. QED

... and that's not even accounting for the possibility that with a front shock the rider may be more enthuasitic about drops.
Faster? He's racing already, how much more speed are you expecting? Anyway, if what you're worried about was true, we'd be hearing plenty on here about Walt's frames breaking. I've never even laid eyes on a Walt, but I've read enough on here about positive experiences with 'em that I wouldn't hesitate to buy one based on worry about their durability.
 

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paintbucket
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I heard about your fork last weekend k2biker. Glad to hear Walt's setting you up right (as expected given his rep).

FWIW since yuo're talking about a second bike, I've got both a rigid and sussy fork, but only the one frame. It only takes about 15 minutes or so to switch between the two....
 
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