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MTB Fork: Rigid vs Suspension


Christopher Brunsdon
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And age old debate: Rigid vs Suspension

 

Now I have one of those awesome Suntour XC shocks on my hardtail. I commute 90% of the time and the worst my bike has seen is Koggelberg.

 

The fact that the OEM crap has lasted 2500km is amazing but it is way overdue for an upgrade, but that is still about 8-10 weeks away.

 

Now my budget is R2K and Kiwi has a good deal going on a suspension shock, my LBS, Williams, also showed me a descent Suntour too (with remote lockout, etc).

 

But now I'm seeing carbon rigid forks popping up.

 

Now why I'm considering Carbon is the insane uphills on my commute (76% in max Max HR this morning for 35 minutes).  I've also found that cheap suspension shocks are rather crappy.

 

In the sub R2K range, which is better?

 

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Aha Rigid Carbon....... That's a great choice!!

 

 

 

I recently added a carbon fork(Nuke proof from CRC) on my Litespeed hardtail, I didn't want to get another 80mm suspension fork. You save a lot on weight, the climbing is awesome, and off road riding isn't all that bad...?

 

The Carbon soaks up a lot of vibration, however, it's not meant for fast technical decending, where handling comes into play...!!

 

It will take anything you throw at it, the question is.......WILL YOU TAKE IT???

 

 

 

All in all a great upgrade, especially if you comute a lot!!

 

 

 

I RECOMEND IT!!

 

 

 

 

 

ENJOY!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And age old debate: Rigid vs SuspensionNow I have one of those awesome Suntour XC shocks on my hardtail. I commute 90% of the time and the worst my bike has seen is Koggelberg.The fact that the OEM crap has lasted 2500km is amazing but it is way overdue for an upgrade' date=' but that is still about 8-10 weeks away.Now my budget is R2K and Kiwi has a good deal going on a suspension shock, my LBS, Williams, also showed me a descent Suntour too (with remote lockout, etc).But now I'm seeing carbon rigid forks popping up.Now why I'm considering Carbon is the insane uphills on my commute (76% in max Max HR this morning for 35 minutes).? I've also found that cheap suspension shocks are rather crappy.In the sub R2K range, which is better?

 

[/quote']

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I've got a Carbon fork on my singlespeed, and really like it

 

I've put a 29er wheel on the front to take a bit of the hit off the bigger stuff.

 

Speak to William if you're interested, he sourced one for me locally for a good price (Tek, I think the brand was) but my bike is old so I had to find an 80mm suspension corrected fork for it as opposed to the 100mm corrected fork he had could get. (The reason being the 29er wheel already raises the front end, and didn't want to add an extra 20mm onto that)

 

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but how long do wheels last? I say you can learn more "how to ride" when spending time at a pump track then with this story, If youre looking for thrills thats another thing, but this wont teach you how to ride.

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Chris why don't you get yourself an older rigid MTB with slicks for commuting and then get the MTB ship-shape for mornings in Eden / Helderberg / Jonkies? The best of both worlds will always leave you lacking on one side or the other.

(PS I have an old rigid Giant ATX gathering dust on the indoor trainer which I'm not sure what I'm going to do with if you are interested? Welcome to come check it out...you know where I live!)

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It teaches you ride smoother, and over things rather than into them.

 

Also you have to be a bit more aware of what's coming up.

 

Just a question: is there proof that the wheel on the rear of dual suspension bike lasts that much longer than on a hardtail?

 

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@XTC1, that is another option. I'm trying to weigh up the options of converting my current MTB (which is anyway a basic Giant hardtail with VBrakes) to a full commuter and then getting a dual-sus.

 

Cash is a issue, especially with another little hubber on the way.

 

I did see a really nice commuter on wiggles last night and this got me thinking about carbon rigid fork (and other commuter upgrades).

 

 

The Wiggle Commuter: about R14K

 

20100317_031448_focus-maleta-20.jpg

 

 

 

 

cbrunsdon2010-03-17 03:15:43

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@Flowta: Thanks for the advice, it seems that on all the threads I've googled for, rigid-carbon owners all say the same things and this has been proved on this thread.

 

Will speak to William as I've only ever been happy with his advice. He is also knows the places I ride.

 

The fork approach is like my brakes, I am happier to ride XT VBrakes on my bike than settle for some inferior disc brakes due to budget constraints.

 

Good old tech is better than crap new tech.

 

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It teaches you ride smoother' date=' and over things rather than into them.

Also you have to be a bit more aware of what's coming up.

Just a question: is there proof that the wheel on the rear of dual suspension bike lasts that much longer than on a hardtail?
[/quote']

Sorry That wasnt a arrogant I closedminded take it or leave it chirp, I was in a hurryWink Let me start over. Maybe the question I should ask is do you want to do this to win races and lighten your bike on the climbs? try something different? or Improve your technical abilities?

 

I have quite some knowledge on at least one of the above topics. and would like to share.

Let me tell you where I come from to give some foundation for what im about to say. I started riding Hadtails with barely any suspension on a trail I built in my back garden In school, much like most kids do today appart from that it was 10 x biggerWink the Neetlings, greg minaar and the who's who of the late 90's and early 20th all visited whenever they made the trip down to the garden route.

 

So where am I going.. This trail was a mix of 4X dirt jumps, dual slalom and pump track.  at a pump track you learn to "flow" which  I think is actually what youre trying to achieve (If you were riding the rigid to get smoother) The whole Idea of pumping is to try and lift the bike over the up part of a jump/ bump which whould slow you down, and put the weight of the bike and your body comming down, on the downslope which propels you forward, faster. So once you have gotten use to this Youll find yourself looking out for any bump on which you can excersise/exert this "pump", be it speed bumps, the pump track, a bump on your local singletrack etc etc. take a look at a downhill run of some of the classics like Barel- Nico- Peat they look like they are permanently "bouncing" down the trail. go youtube, do it, NOW!Wink

 

So take your FS bike, Or whatever you have down to the trail and do a gravity run..No pedalling use whatever you can find to "pump" or bounce off to keep your speed up. The thing with suspension is that your bike will absorb more of the rough and sharp in things, so you can use rougher things to pump over(am I making sense), I often find myself leaping over whole rock gardens by hitting  a biggish rock right at the start of it, like a little launch (FS helps here- Hugely) one also learns to launch with a lot more Finesse by riding with softhands and springy legs(this the Rigid might help with but my fear is you might not be able to hang on with "soft hands" or a light grip). this way you can use something as blunt as a Brick to launch 50cm high instead of 25cm high from just a normal bunnyhop. So in essence, youre actully hopping with your own "spring" force but hitting that little brick in this case at the exact right timing will double your hight, If in turn you can time this so you also have a little downramp to land on, this again boosts your speed upon touchdown.

 

I did duall slalom & 4 X and Dirt jumping untill 2008 and have been racing marathon, trailriding and roadracing for the last 3-4 years.

 

I ride a set of 1.65kg wheels on a 5'' santacruse Blur LT with a lightweight parts package, I have not trued a wheel In about 4 years(no lies), and you can come look how I ride. The key is to unweigh the bike before you actually hit the pinacle of the bump/ramp (the part that your bodyweight pushes against) I find one cannot so it for every little bump, the bike takes those out the equasion but when you "smoothen the line" like you have the option of doing in Garmin- graphs(sorry for wayout example) the FS simplifies the trail into something you can respond to at speed, and when travelling at speed and you get into a situation where you cannot react fast enough, it might save your front teeth. 

So I have, Ive ridden everything, and find that the FS, when practiced correctly, Is actually the best  for learning the Smooth line.

 

 

Sorry For the LOOOng explination, but this experiance came over years and years of Riding and I would dig If others can share the Joy of shreading a rugged trail appart, with others stunned, looking on.Wink
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I agree that the FS is the fastest and will get you out of situations that you don't know how you got into them...But you're like me Started on a rigid bike and learnt how to shred that then moved onto a HT then FS and by far the FS is the better bike, Problem I've seen tho is that the majority of guys haven't progressed, they go straight to a FS and don't know their or their bike's abilities.

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Thanks Bos & Techguy

 

I agree on the "go straight to jail, do not pass go" approach to upgrading ones ride.

 

I'm enjoying my hardtail and would love a FS but finances prevent me from getting a proper FS for now. In the past I've only had rigid and I do remember how much more different the ride was (even though they where GAME crap).

 

I also remember in my BMX days when I was 8/9 how much better I handled my ride on the track. This was in Australia where every kid did BMX races on a Sunday with the most wicked tracks.

 

Well I'm going to chat to my LBS, Williams, first to get some more advice. With only two guaranteed races for me this year due to a rather hectice schedule (Stellenbosch MTB Challenge and Lourensford Classic) I might be tempted to start a commuter conversion on my ride and save up for a FS next year.

 

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