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Thread: Rigid 29ers

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    I always liked my suspension STIFF. I don't want it to be comfortable, I don't want it bobbing and diving and moving unexpectedly - I just want it to take the edge off hard hits. I don't want my MTB to ride like a 15yr old Cadillac.

    I can definitely ride chunky stuff faster w/a squishy fork than without! I tend the drive the bike through stuff w/the squishy fork, don't have to ride as 'light', you can just force the front wheel to take whatever line you want and let the fork take the hit for you while keeping that tire in contact w/the ground.

    My squishy fork is a Fox Terralogic, not sure if they still make them, but it's similar to the Specialize Brain fork/shocks - it stays rigid until you hit something hard enough (and 'hard enough' is adjustable), at which point it'll open up to absorb the hit(s) until things settle a bit. So standing and hammering up steep but fairly smooth trail - no bob. Rolling over smaller rocks and roots at low speed, it stays locked. But hit something substantial while moving at a good clip, it opens up. Love it.
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Anything I should do to tune the fork so it gels with rigid riding style so I can take advantage of the fork and not the other way around?
    Get a Fox 34. Seriously, they're that good.

    I too rode mostly rigid. I'd give a fork a go for a while, and then either the complication, unreliability, or lack of precision in low-speed chunk would make me take it off.

    The exceptions were Marzocchi (atom 80 and x-fly 100) and Manitou Minute. The combo air/coil spring in the latter is genius, but since you can't pre-load the spring it's tougher to tune. The Fox blows them away. Its action is so smooth, and it's so secure (stiff) that I thought it wasn't working. Until I flipped the lockout and heck yeah it works.

    Plus it's simple. Start firm and let air out until the o-ring tells you you're using the travel. Compression damper has three settings: let it flow, I'm really trying to pedal hard now, and yes I've asked for lockout but give a little if I screw up.
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    I always liked my suspension STIFF. I don't want it to be comfortable, I don't want it bobbing and diving and moving unexpectedly - I just want it to take the edge off hard hits. I don't want my MTB to ride like a 15yr old Cadillac.
    I can definitely relate to that. The following thoughts are a prelude to something I have been meaning to write down at length…

    I see two schools of thought in mountain biking. I often see riders with “plush” bikes. They get to a rocky section, shift down to their lowest gear, plant their butt on the saddle, and smoosh through everything. It’s like watching a tank just smash over everything. There seems to be little finesse or technique required. And it seems like, to some people, that’s the ideal form of mountain biking. That’s the “Cadillac” mentality. I can’t think of a more boring way to ride a bike. If you want it smooth and easy, go ride on the road!

    So my approach to setting up suspension has been based on that Cadillac approach. I try to set the spring by “sag,” which is far too low for my riding style. This is made evident by the frequency of crashes when using a suspension fork. The only time I hate my rigid fork is when I hit an unexpected obstacle on the trail and it kills all of my momentum – and my wrists – in the process. It’s those moments when I think a fork that would take the brunt of those impacts would be useful. “Small bump compliance” means nothing to me; I mitigate that by riding light and using big tires.

    I’ll try to squish fork again soon. Rigid is still just fine, but setting my suspension fork up so it suits my riding style (two bottomless tokens and a stiffer spring, dial up compression a bit, faster rebound, perhaps?) should help. There are better forks out there than my Reba, but if basic settings don’t help, I might try a different damper (RCT3?), which is surprisingly expensive. Cheaper than a new fork though!

    There you have it, I took a thread about rigid bikes and turned it into a justification to riding a squishy fork again. How rude!
    Jonathan - Austin, TX

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I can definitely relate to that. The following thoughts are a prelude to something I have been meaning to write down at length…

    I see two schools of thought in mountain biking. I often see riders with “plush” bikes. They get to a rocky section, shift down to their lowest gear, plant their butt on the saddle, and smoosh through everything. It’s like watching a tank just smash over everything. There seems to be little finesse or technique required. And it seems like, to some people, that’s the ideal form of mountain biking. That’s the “Cadillac” mentality. I can’t think of a more boring way to ride a bike. If you want it smooth and easy, go ride on the road!

    So my approach to setting up suspension has been based on that Cadillac approach. I try to set the spring by “sag,” which is far too low for my riding style. This is made evident by the frequency of crashes when using a suspension fork. The only time I hate my rigid fork is when I hit an unexpected obstacle on the trail and it kills all of my momentum – and my wrists – in the process. It’s those moments when I think a fork that would take the brunt of those impacts would be useful. “Small bump compliance” means nothing to me; I mitigate that by riding light and using big tires.

    I’ll try to squish fork again soon. Rigid is still just fine, but setting my suspension fork up so it suits my riding style (two bottomless tokens and a stiffer spring, dial up compression a bit, faster rebound, perhaps?) should help. There are better forks out there than my Reba, but if basic settings don’t help, I might try a different damper (RCT3?), which is surprisingly expensive. Cheaper than a new fork though!

    There you have it, I took a thread about rigid bikes and turned it into a justification to riding a squishy fork again. How rude!
    At one point you could get a Specialized Brain damper installed into a standard Reba fork. Not sure if that's still the case, but it's worth looking into IMO.

    And yeah - I've seen plenty of folks set up their bike like a caddy so they can just smoosh through everything (perfect word BTW). It works fine if you're not going fast, but that smooshyness compromises handling elsewhere, especially when things do get fast.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers



    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    two bottomless tokens and a stiffer spring, dial-up the compression a bit, faster rebound, perhaps?
    I am not as familiar with Rock Shox forks anymore as I only really deal with and build with Fox forks and that's what I run on my own personal rigs (Fox 34 120 and 130 to be exact). So my comments relate to Fox but I assume they can be applied to Rock Shox:

    The more tokens you add, the more you reduce the air chamber and the more progressive the fork feels deeper into its travel (meaning it stiffens up at the bottom of its stroke to prevent bottoming out). I believe air pressure needs to be adjusted (less) with more tokens. All Fox 34 x 120's come with 4 tokens pre-installed (The tokens pre-installed depends on how much travel and the type of fork too FYI). The tokens are meant to be added if you feel like you're blowing through your travel too quickly in the fully open mode. In the fully open mode, you've got about 22 clicks to fine-tune its firmness or plushness (so 1 click is Firm, 18 clicks is plusher). Air pressure I've found to start with their settings for your weight and then adjust up or down to your preference of feel. (I believe I'm about 20 psi under what they say to start with with 4 tokens.) Rebound if set too fast will buck you in tech because it'll compress with the first hit, then slap back down INTO the next hit jolting you. Too slow and your fork dives and isn't back up in time to meet the next hit, so your weight is now technically lower and shifted forward. If that happens you're going down possibly as the fork dives? Because we have a variety here in my neck of the woods i.e. really big rock gardens but lots of chatter with rocks and roots that are a constant down the trail, I set my rebound to about 5 clicks which is dead in the middle of its adjustment to balance out everything.

    Fox's tuning PDF is pretty informative as is their tuning guide. There's also a lot of vid's online for tuning your suspension fork and what steps in order should be. It took me a handful of rides to get it "just so".

    I had for years preferred my SS to be fully rigid but about 3 years ago, maybe it was age... but my shoulders were screaming. I do know I had swapped models of carbon rigid forks and the new fork was WAY more stiff than the older one. But that was it... Suspension fork added to the SS. I like the idea of a fully rigid single speed but the trails here are just too rocky and rooty. Perhaps if I was living somewhere else in the US I'd feel differently.
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    I run my pike pretty soft- around 120 psi for my 220 pound weight

    I also use the fancy dials on it more than I used to. Drop the travel to 120 for dedicated climbing trails and leave it on ‘trail setting’ while climbing.

    I run a bunch of tokens so it ramps up pretty hard, but when I come off something wrong I expect it to bottom out from time to time.
     

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew flowers View Post
    I run my pike pretty soft- around 120 psi for my 220 pound weight

    I also use the fancy dials on it more than I used to. Drop the travel to 120 for dedicated climbing trails and leave it on ‘trail setting’ while climbing.

    I run a bunch of tokens so it ramps up pretty hard, but when I come off something wrong I expect it to bottom out from time to time.
    IMO your suspensions SHOULD bottom out - you wanna use it all. You just don't want it happening too often, or too hard.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    I always liked my suspension STIFF. I don't want it to be comfortable, I don't want it bobbing and diving and moving unexpectedly - I just want it to take the edge off hard hits. I don't want my MTB to ride like a 15yr old Cadillac.

    I can definitely ride chunky stuff faster w/a squishy fork than without! I tend the drive the bike through stuff w/the squishy fork, don't have to ride as 'light', you can just force the front wheel to take whatever line you want and let the fork take the hit for you while keeping that tire in contact w/the ground.

    My squishy fork is a Fox Terralogic, not sure if they still make them, but it's similar to the Specialize Brain fork/shocks - it stays rigid until you hit something hard enough (and 'hard enough' is adjustable), at which point it'll open up to absorb the hit(s) until things settle a bit. So standing and hammering up steep but fairly smooth trail - no bob. Rolling over smaller rocks and roots at low speed, it stays locked. But hit something substantial while moving at a good clip, it opens up. Love it.
    Have the same and LOVE it. I can't be relied on to turn suspension off and on.

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoogs View Post
    Have the same and LOVE it. I can't be relied on to turn suspension off and on.
    I think it depends where you live. Riding here is gain 2-600m if elevation with the fork shortened and stiffened, then leave it open for the trip back down.
     

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    If talking custom, several folks around here are KILLING IT. In no particular order ::
    Garro @ Coconino
    Kris @ 44 Bikes
    Mike @ Zanconato
    Nate @ Zukas Cycles


    Solid suggestions. Tweaking my interest of late: Gallus, Blackcat. I'm having one built by my friend Lyle Wiens (a steel Allroad/700c Frame/Fork) Lyle Wiens (@lylewiens) • Instagram photos and videos

    I have steel bikes by SyCip (a steel SS/29 Frame/Fork) and Hunter (a steel Cruiser/26 Frame/Fork). Can't recommend them enough and if Lyle was too backed up they'd more than likely be my go tos for another steel 29er.
     

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew flowers View Post
    I think it depends where you live. Riding here is gain 2-600m if elevation with the fork shortened and stiffened, then leave it open for the trip back down.
    I wish it were that easy, didn't matter how long or short the climb is ... I didn't remember until half way through the backside, if at all.
    Working through some things before I inevitably order an Enve.

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoogs View Post
    I wish it were that easy, didn't matter how long or short the climb is ... I didn't remember until half way through the backside, if at all.
    Working through some things before I inevitably order an Enve.
    I was just thinking before this thread started about that ENVE mtn. fork and a singlespeed paired to it...
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    I was just thinking before this thread started about that ENVE mtn. fork and a singlespeed paired to it...
    oh for sure in NE that would be great

    I also error on the side of plushness, as I'd rather climb with an open fork then descend with a closed one
     

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    This whip gives me hot sweats, but I can't stand a 44mm HT with this fork. If it were my bike I would have to go 1 1/8" HT or a carbon rigid that would marry better aesthetically.



    Something I was thinking about today, throwing this out there, would it be crazy to build a custom 29er w V-brakes in 2018? Are there powerful options for mtb? Would the weight / maintenance advantages be worth it?
     

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    Something I was thinking about today, throwing this out there, would it be crazy to build a custom 29er w V-brakes in 2018? Are there powerful options for mtb? Would the weight / maintenance advantages be worth it?
    Probably yes, that would be crazy. Because if you ride where there's little slop or chance of freezing the rims, why not just find a vintage bike and be done with it?

    The weight advantage would be meaningless, and there might not be one at all when you consider the wheels. The three things that have revolutionized my mountain biking are 1) disc brakes (I ride often in sub-freezing conditions), 2) tubeless tires (I pinch flatted often on rocky trails), and 3) carbon rims (I dented many rims because of #2). Okay four things, 4) plus-sized tires.
    Tee Aitch

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Agree, no reason to build a mtb with V-Brakes.

    A compromise would be BB7s with Paul Love Levers.

    But I just can't see any good side to V-Brakes off road.

    -Joe

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Another 'stay away from rim brakes' vote. For the wheels alone.
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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    V-brakes are out thanks was just curious as I heard someone say once how silly light his ss v-brake mtb was so I thought the brakes might keep the bike even simpler for maintenance.

    Below is the pic I posted earlier but I don't see it. Love this whip apart from HT > fork aesthetics but the steel tubes are speaking to me

     

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Agreed. There's something that looks right about a bike built around a rigid fork with proper clearances and no allowance for 4" of travel that will never happen. Ditto with the head tube, if the steerer is steel, 1-1/8" is large enough.
    Tee Aitch

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    Default Re: Rigid 29ers

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Agreed. There's something that looks right about a bike built around a rigid fork with proper clearances and no allowance for 4" of travel that will never happen. Ditto with the head tube, if the steerer is steel, 1-1/8" is large enough.
    I think I would rock a carbon fork too although the HT has to marry with the fork. I'm not sure what CF rigid forks look best with steel tubes for I presume most are tapered right?

    Geo wise can the builder achieve the same with a CF fork? yes when you build to that spec right? Or is there a further advantage with a steel fork built to sit in one place?
     

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