How limiting is a rigid bike?

Anything specific to off-road riding.

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby mfitzy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:00 pm

The Specialized Hardrock used to be available with a rigid fork. If not new would be a good s/h buy.
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby craggybend » Thu May 22, 2014 1:05 pm

Have only just joined and appreciate only just coming into this. For medical reasons I cannot ride a road bike. Again for medical reasons I have been advised that cycling would be the best form of exercise. I settled on a steel frame designed with 29 inch wheels in mind. I cannot afford two bikes and the road bike option was out. However I wanted/needed a bike to do both road and off. Initially the bike was fitted with suspension forks, however they developed a fault and had to go back to the supplier to be fixed. I was not prepared to wait so I fitted a solid pair of steel forks, I have not gone back to the sus forks. After a good deal of searching and a couple of poor buys I found tyres that were happy on both tarmac and off road, so long as its not too muddy! Maxxis Crossmarks. I feel I now have the perfect do anything bike. It will quite happily "take on" and stay with a road bike on tarmac when I am feeling energetic ! It will also turn quite happily off tarmac straight on to dirt track, forestry etc and belt along at a good speed or just trundle, again depends on how energetic I am. Yes, it cannot go down hill at great speed over rough ground but it is great fun nonetheless. I have found you soon learn to pick the best route. So to answer your question how limiting ? Get the right frame, 29 inch wheels and the bike will go anywhere there are no limits !
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby Jughead » Fri May 30, 2014 6:53 pm

Had a Rockhopper for ever. When it came to replacing I opted for a CX bike. Shoved some Mavic wheels on along with Schwalbe Pro tyres. It really is fabulous offroad and I often use it to commute 15+ miles every other day. Love it. The bike's a steel Croix De Fer.
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby mill4six » Fri May 30, 2014 7:15 pm

If you're clumsy enough to ride into a deep hollow with a lot of weight on the front, suspension can get you out the other side where a rigid would have you over the handlebars. Very rough descents can be taken a bit quicker too but that might not be a good thing!
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby JohnClimber » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:14 pm

james-o wrote:Not very, or not as much as some would suggest, unless you define mountain biking by the speed across technically demanding trails.

Most (almost all?) MTBs are designed to use a sus fork so they may feel more jarring at the front than they need to when a rigid for is fitted.
http://www.jonesbikes.com/bike_design.html - An example of how to design a comfy rigid bike - these bikes may not be that readily available or a practical option for all, but from experience I'd say the ideas work and the design is sound. Better than sound really. Worth a read for perspective anyway.
Basically, get your weight back and away from the front wheel, use bigger width and diameter tyres and consider adjusting your hand/wrist angle by using different bars to help adapt to the different demands.
Suspension is great but it's not essential, I don't use it for most of my riding these days.


Seconded (if your pockets are deep enough)

I love mine with either it's skinny wheel on the front
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Or it's fat wheel up front for more technical trails if speed isn't as important but fun is
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I wouldn't do this on a full susser, but Jeff the builder doesn't seem to mind it being a rigid bike
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