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
Image

Or it's fat wheel up front for more technical trails if speed isn't as important but fun is
Image

I wouldn't do this on a full susser, but Jeff the builder doesn't seem to mind it being a rigid bike
Image

Image

Image
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby Bikefayre » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:56 pm

Watch out for narrow frames as these only take a 1.9 tyre size. Look for a bike with wide rear forks, you want at least the thickness of your pinkie on each side of the tyre at the bottom and top of the rear frame. Minimum tyre size is 2.10 for off roading, cheap bikes do not always take this size. For a mountain bike secondhand buy two as you can use the forks with suspension and a disc brake on the best frame, [one a non suspension frame, the other a rigid frame, combining the two makes a good mountain bike], the frame has to be the same depth at the forks as it a straight swap. Combining the two should result in a mountain bike with a hardtail, no rear suspension with a decent v-brake, Shimano Acera are cheap and fit a decent cable brake such as the Tektro IO or similar to the front suspension forks plus replace the disk with an Aztec or any decent make. Wheels can be got from woollyhatshop.com Shimano Megarange gears from sjsjcycles.co.uk- derailleurs and freewheels. For a good all round tyre try the Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB, perfect for older bikes. E-mail me at womblebikesscotland@outlook.com for more help.
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby Bicycler » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:31 pm

As the OP, some of the early posters were correct in guessing that my interests laid more in pootling off road touring than full on MTBing. For the past year or so I have been enjoying riding an old rigid Rockhopper for this purpose which has been great fun.

I thank all the posters for their responses and I particularly like some of the more adventurous pictures :)
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby deliquium » Sat May 02, 2015 12:42 pm

Bicycler wrote:As the OP, some of the early posters were correct in guessing that my interests laid more in pootling off road touring than full on MTBing. For the past year or so I have been enjoying riding an old rigid Rockhopper for this purpose which has been great fun.

I thank all the posters for their responses and I particularly like some of the more adventurous pictures :)


Thanks Bicycler for resurrecting/updating this post. Having been a tarmac only rider since 1957 or thereabouts (apart from a brief dismal attempt at owning and riding an Orange Clockwork across muddy rutted Wiltshire bridleways in the 1990s), I discovered yesterday a shared use hardpack trail Lôn Gwyfrai from Rhy Ddu down to Beddgelert, which I rode on a 1987 Raleigh Avanti 531 ex mountain bike frame, now revamped into the 'Summer' shopping bike LINK. This was on 26" x 1.5" Vittoria Randonneur Pro road tyres.

I loved it!. It's only 3.5 miles of tarmac road away before I'm "off road" and can't wait to explore more of the Beddgelert forest NON-TECHNICAL :D hardpack trails.

But the tyres were a bit non grippy on some of the steeper gritty parts, so I'm thinking of buying Schwalbe Land Cruisers, which are available for £20 a pair and building back up the 1990 Raleigh Blueridge 531 frame and forks that I tired to sell and couldn't* into a gentle easy forest track pootler.

Should I go for the 1.75" or the 2.1" and is there any reason these shouldn't be suitable? There's clearance on the frame and I won't be fitting mudguards. I don't want to go fast 8) I won't ride through mud :wink:

* viewtopic.php?f=32&t=95709
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby reohn2 » Sat May 02, 2015 5:31 pm

deliquium wrote:
Thanks Bicycler for resurrecting/updating this post. Having been a tarmac only rider since 1957 or thereabouts (apart from a brief dismal attempt at owning and riding an Orange Clockwork across muddy rutted Wiltshire bridleways in the 1990s), I discovered yesterday a shared use hardpack trail Lôn Gwyfrai from Rhy Ddu down to Beddgelert, which I rode on a 1987 Raleigh Avanti 531 ex mountain bike frame, now revamped into the 'Summer' shopping bike LINK. This was on 26" x 1.5" Vittoria Randonneur Pro road tyres.

I loved it!. It's only 3.5 miles of tarmac road away before I'm "off road" and can't wait to explore more of the Beddgelert forest NON-TECHNICAL :D hardpack trails.

But the tyres were a bit non grippy on some of the steeper gritty parts, so I'm thinking of buying Schwalbe Land Cruisers, which are available for £20 a pair and building back up the 1990 Raleigh Blueridge 531 frame and forks that I tired to sell and couldn't* into a gentle easy forest track pootler.

Should I go for the 1.75" or the 2.1" and is there any reason these shouldn't be suitable? There's clearance on the frame and I won't be fitting mudguards. I don't want to go fast 8) I won't ride through mud :wink:

* viewtopic.php?f=32&t=95709


It's a nice trail :) .
What TP's do you have in the Rando's?
I've ridden it a couple of times on the Vaya/Hypers(700x38s,45fr 65r) no worries,though I do find it better to sit in and twiddle a small gear on any loose stuff.

There's also a nice trail from Capel Curig(accessed past the car park by Joe Browns shop)parallel with the A5 to Llyn Ogwen then the small lane to Bethesda,then over to Llanberis and back up the pass :)

I was going to say you don't know how lucky you are,but I know you do :)
Pedal up,pedal down,pedal round,
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The bicycle is one of the best objects in our lives, whose form has been honed to perfection over time by trials and trails, which is beautiful in its utilitarian form....
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby deliquium » Sat May 02, 2015 7:20 pm

reohn2 wrote:
It's a nice trail :) .
What TP's do you have in the Rando's?


For road use approximately 40 front and 45 and a bit rear

reohn2 wrote:There's also a nice trail from Capel Curig(accessed past the car park by Joe Browns shop)parallel with the A5 to Llyn Ogwen then the small lane to Bethesda,then over to Llanberis and back up the pass :)


I didn't realise one could do an off road track from Joe Brown's to Llyn Ogwen - MUST investigate, cos the A5 trunk road is OFNADWY!

I know and love the lanes from Bethesda to Llanberis - but prefer to avoid the traffic strewn Llanberis Pass and take the longer minor lanes via Ceunant and Waun Fawr back home

You'll have to come over, be kind, and show me how to ride off tarmac John?

NO I am NOT ever going to have disc brakes or suspension forks - BY THE WAY :mrgreen:
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby Manc33 » Sat May 02, 2015 9:19 pm

Bicycler wrote:People went mountain biking before suspension.


People went down bridleways and canal paths on road bikes, before mountain bikes came along. :P

How far back do you wanna go with this? :wink:

If you put a 32/36h wheelset on and something like 25c Marathon Plus (that have an all purpose tread) I can't see why going down trails would be that bad, you'd just have to learn how to handle skinny tyres on a trail. Handling will be harder but damaging the bike or being bumped around, I wouldn't be too worried about.

My only concern would be the wheels not having enough spokes, mine are only 20/24h, but why are the potholes along canal paths and trails any worse than English roads anyway - they aren't! There's potholes not even 100M from my house that will just bend the rear wheel if you went over it too fast. On my street there's a grid running parallel to the kerb as well. I have never in my life seen anything that dangerous on a canal path or bridleway! Yet there it is right on my street.

Some parts of the UK's roads are just ridiculous. Like riding over a load of 1cm cubes or something, except the cubes are stuck there... they call it "tarmac" lol. All peeling away in layers.
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby reohn2 » Sun May 03, 2015 1:01 am

deliquium wrote:I didn't realise one could do an off road track from Joe Brown's to Llyn Ogwen - MUST investigate, cos the A5 trunk road is OFNADWY!

Yep,just follow the road 'till you run out of tarmac :)

I know and love the lanes from Bethesda to Llanberis - but prefer to avoid the traffic strewn Llanberis Pass and take the longer minor lanes via Ceunant and Waun Fawr back home

Agreed!
I just love the that road from Waun Fawr

You'll have to come over, be kind, and show me how to ride off tarmac John?

We'll definitely have to get together for a ride when I'm over your way,hopefully in the not too distant,not so sure I can teach you anything though,you looked pretty capable to me last time we met :)

NO I am NOT ever going to have disc brakes or suspension forks - BY THE WAY :mrgreen:

I don't blame you about the suspension forks,but the discs are really good off road 'apparatus' :wink:
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby Bicycler » Mon May 04, 2015 1:52 am

I knew someone with a Blueridge! Blue and orange IIRC. I loved the MTB colour schemes of that era and Raleigh really did some of the boldest. All too boring these days. We're in a world of blacks, whites, silvers and 500 shades of grey and all the worse for it.

Glad to hear you've found a new type of cycling to enjoy :D
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby Merry_Wanderer » Tue May 05, 2015 10:53 pm

I ride on green lanes, bridleways and the like, including some singletrack on a Surly Disc Trucker with 1.75" wide tyres and drop handlebars. It is a much better bike on and off road than my old mtb
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Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

Postby deliquium » Wed May 06, 2015 8:05 am

Merry_Wanderer wrote:I ride on green lanes, bridleways and the like, including some singletrack on a Surly Disc Trucker with 1.75" wide tyres and drop handlebars. It is a much better bike on and off road than my old mtb


What tyres do you use?
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