Rigid Forks

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Shewie
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Rigid Forks

Post by Shewie » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:33 pm

Noob Question #2 :roll:

Having trawled the pages for the last few months it’s become apparent there is a love for rigid forks on a lot of bikepacking setups I see, why is that?

Is it purely a weight saving thing or are there other benefits? I’m considering a second bike to add to the fatty so currently looking at options.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:41 pm

Lighter.
Less to go wrong.

I have both (for both my fatbike and my main bikepacking bike) and like mixing it up. Plus and fat tyres do make a difference too.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:47 pm

Opinions will vary but for me and in no particular order they are:

Simplicity - there's really not much to go wrong.
Cost - both in terms of the intitial purchase (forks are now mad money IMO) and also ongoing servicing costs.
Weight.
Looks - I like things to look simple / purposeful.
The ride? - I like how rigid forks ride and I enjoy how they make me engage and think while riding.

They're perhaps not for everyone and many will chop and change to suit conditions but I generally ride fully rigid everywhere with no regrets :wink:
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Mariner
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Mariner » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:02 pm

Shewie

Are you looking at Steel, Aluminium, Carbon or ti?

Opinions based on my experience only:
Always amazed how light steel is and how well rides.
Aluminium just wrong.
Carbon not as light as was expecting and ok it works but the cost already.
ti that will loosen your fillings and have you seeing double before buying Rockshox.

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whitestone
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by whitestone » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:06 pm

Two of my three MTBs have rigid forks. So why?

The fat bike came with a rigid (carbon fibre) fork. I don't ride trail centres and certainly not on the fat bike so I've no need for suspension forks. The fat tyres have some suspension that soaks up "trail chatter" but it's undamped so once you get into rocky steps and boulder gardens then it's a bit of a wild ride but that's not what that bike is for.

The Cotic Solaris originally had suspension forks but I didn't look after them properly and so replaced them with a set of CF forks about four years ago. I've run the bike both with 29er wheels and tyres and with 650b+ wheels. Like the fat bike the larger tyres soak up the chatter but they aren't as wild in the rough stuff. Originally on the 29er wheels I had a 2.3" tyre up front but now I've a 2.6" and it has made things very plush. The CF fork is roughly 1kg lighter than the suspension fork. I did the Highland Trail with the bike in "rigid" mode.

Common to both is that the geometry remains the same no matter what you are doing on the bike. When a front fork compresses you get a steepening of the head angle and I for one find that very disconcerting*, it feels like the bike is going to fold under you. Once you get used to it it's quite surprising how you adapt, I've kept up with mates on FS bikes on some, not too technical, descents. A bit eyeballs out but doable.

If you want to fit things like Anything Cages to your forks it's much harder with suspension forks.

*I'm not alone - one of the founders of Orange Bikes finds rear suspension fine but struggles with front suspension.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:29 pm

Good point by Micheal re material.

Generally good and bad is available in any material - I've ridden some properly bad steel forks and I once rode some really good aluminium forks (Sonder Frontier). Travers Prong are possibly the nicest feeling carbon forks I've used but I often find it difficult to detect much difference between carbon forks unless they have round profile legs - they tend to flutter a bit.
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AndyTheBikeGuy
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by AndyTheBikeGuy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:56 pm

I had a Pinnacle Ramin 3+ that was my only MTB for about a year and it was great. Really simple, no faffing with lockouts or pressures, perfect for winter. It was really only when I rode bigger and rockier trails (and trying to follow the bigger boys) that I felt the need for some suspension.

Maybe ease yourself in slowly...
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shutupthepunx
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by shutupthepunx » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:25 pm

we all love smashin granny out of our wrists

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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by trob6 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:24 pm

I have recently purchased a new bike and after much advice from this forum I went with travers prong forks , always been a mountain biker with full suss or hardtail I had a little to learn but I absolutely love them now you just have to go a bit slower if its gets a bit rocky, I highly recommend them also they are very light and look brilliant.
What's the worst than can happen?

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Shewie
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Shewie » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:37 pm

Good info, thanks all

I think for the riding I have in mind rigid makes sense
Mariner wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:02 pm
Shewie

Are you looking at Steel, Aluminium, Carbon or ti?

Opinions based on my experience only:
Always amazed how light steel is and how well rides.
Aluminium just wrong.
Carbon not as light as was expecting and ok it works but the cost already.
ti that will loosen your fillings and have you seeing double before buying Rockshox.
Thanks Mariner

I'd kind of discounted carbon and ti straight away based on cost really, for a newly revived hobby I'm trying not to splurge too much, ti would be nice but too spendy, there's just something about carbon I'm not keen on, I feel like I'd be forever babying it. Interesting that you don't like ally, the last bike I rode in the late 80's was an ally and steel Raleigh Technium Chill which I absolutely adored (I'd love to know how small that granny ring was on that Biopace chainset)

I'm enjoying the steel Caribou but hoiking 16kg of bike + kit over locked gates will get old quickly, I had considered getting something light and nimble but I'm never going to ride a trail centre or enter any races so I'm going off that idea.

Lots more to investigate, thanks everyone

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:55 am

Rich, with regard to aluminium, I don't think anyone has much against it as a frame material but forks made from it tend be be very, very rigid, harsh and unforgiving.

Some people are a little wary of carbon but in reality, there's nothing to fear but you obviously need to invest before you discover that and it can be a leap of faith :wink:

Salsa sell some of the nicest steel forks Ive used.
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Alpinum
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Alpinum » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:23 am

Shewie wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:33 pm
Noob Question #2 :roll:

Having trawled the pages for the last few months it’s become apparent there is a love for rigid forks on a lot of bikepacking setups I see, why is that?

Is it purely a weight saving thing or are there other benefits? I’m considering a second bike to add to the fatty so currently looking at options.
It's because most bearboners don't often enough ride on chunky tracks.
They're not mountainbikers.

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Alpinum
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Alpinum » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:27 am

shutupthepunx wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:25 pm
we all love smashin granny out of our wrists
:lol:

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:38 am

I’m considering a second bike to add to the fatty so currently looking at options.
I saw yesterday that Alpkit have some ex-demo Sonders for sale inc' Frontiers ....... the only rigid bike I've ridden with an aluminium fork that didn't try and break your arms :wink:

I had one to test some time ago.
https://bearbonesbikepacking.blogspot.c ... ested.html
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Shewie
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Shewie » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:44 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:38 am
I’m considering a second bike to add to the fatty so currently looking at options.
I saw yesterday that Alpkit have some ex-demo Sonders for sale inc' Frontiers ....... the only rigid bike I've ridden with an aluminium fork that didn't try a break your arms :wink:

I had one to test some time ago.
https://bearbonesbikepacking.blogspot.c ... ested.html
I saw that last night Stu as I was going to bed, I've rung the Ambleside store seven times this morning to enquire about the red Frontier they have, nobody answering

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Shewie
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Shewie » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:54 pm

Finally got through after 3 hours and 10 attempts, it sold half an hour ago

lune ranger
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by lune ranger » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:19 pm

Alpinum wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:23 am
It's because most bearboners don't often enough ride on chunky tracks.
They're not mountainbikers.
Is that an attempt at humour?

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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by benp1 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:31 pm

That's a shame


I had two rigid MTBs but now only have 1, sold my El Mar

My Solaris is running a rigid Travers Prong carbon fork. I have suspension forks for it, I took them off a little while ago and haven't put them back on, even though it's a relatively quick job. I've enjoyed riding with them, you do get more beaten up but I'm rarely riding anything super quick or super techy

They mostly do natural stuff, particularly local stuff which is very tame and suits a rigid fork. It's been to a few trail centres as well and been fine, slower than suspension forks but no less fun. You definitely get more beaten up when it's properly rocky and fast

I saved 1.1kg off the front of my bike by switching, but I also like the way that it rides. Popping the front end over something is quicker, no need to load up the suspension

I don't do drops and jumps though!

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Shewie
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Shewie » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:17 pm

Quite like the look of the Cotic Solarismax, love that Mercury paint job

What’s the deal with swapping the suspension fork out for a rigid, does it throw the geometry out and make it unrideable?

Anyone know how quick you have to be to grab a new bike from Cotic? I’ve signed up for the newsletter so hope I get a heads up. Due Spring 2020 so time to save up

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:29 pm

Shewie wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:17 pm

What’s the deal with swapping the suspension fork out for a rigid, does it throw the geometry out and make it unrideable?
Not if you buy the correct length of rigid fork.

Look for the recommended axle-to-crown length. Remember that suspension forks will sag around 20% of their travel too.


To make swapping easier, buy a second "crown race" for your headset, or just cut a slot in the one you have so it slips on and off without tools.

Landslide
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Landslide » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:31 pm

Cotic list all their frame geometries based on a certain fork length with a stated amount of sag, so you can work out the a-c measurement and compare that to the rigid fork(s) of your choice.

Their newsletters seem pretty good at letting folk know about shipping times etc. Normally they'll get a small batch via express freight then a bigger batch a little while after. I'm pretty sure you can pre-order too.

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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by restlessshawn » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:11 pm

What do we think the lifespan of a carbon fork is (assuming no serious crashes)? My CX has a carbon fork on, a good one, but I still worry about running straps round it.

My inbred has a steel on one fork which is not the most forgiving but it’s ok. Some of the early on one rigid forks were worse as they had thicker wall tubes I believe. At least I never worry about it.

My 1966 Mercian has a steel fork that is super flexible, it’s like spaghetti holding your front wheel on!

Can’t remember when I last had suspension but I just don’t really like the way a simple telescopic fork changes the geometry of the bike under compression.

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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:14 pm

restlessshawn wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:11 pm
What do we think the lifespan of a carbon fork is (assuming no serious crashes)? My CX has a carbon fork on, a good one, but I still worry about running straps round it.
The previous carbon fork on my Amazon was 10 years old. I only changed it because the looks had always offended me :lol: I have no worries at about longevity.

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Shewie
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Re: Rigid Forks

Post by Shewie » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:22 pm

Thanks chaps :-bd

More research required ...

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