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Rigid MTB Fork?! Any thoughts?

Old 11-15-22, 06:57 AM
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swordfish2011 
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Rigid MTB Fork?! Any thoughts?




I recently purchased a Specialized Epic Hardtail 2018 ( carbon frame ) and was thinking to change the RockShox Reba with a rigid carbon fork.
I don't ride on technical trails, and I like the 1kg difference I can save by doing this.
What are your thoughts on Rigid MTB Forks? Does it hurt much more than having a suspension fork? How is the handling?
I found this chinese manufactured carbon fork -> https://www.trifoxbike.com/29er-disc...oost-ta-tmk200 and I am thinking to give it a try.
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Old 11-15-22, 08:23 AM
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prj71
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Rigid fork...Sucks on trails. OK for gravel and forest roads.
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Old 11-15-22, 09:05 AM
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Can be done. Donít expect it to handle as well. Likewise, donít expect the weight loss to work miracles.

Get a fork with a similar axle to crown measurement or itíll change your geometry.

Depending upon the fork, if you get a bigger tire, 2.8-3.0 up front, itíll still be pretty capable.
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Old 11-15-22, 09:21 AM
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I wouldn't do it. I like suspension on a mountain bike when I am mountain biking. I have ridden full rigid bikes and it is less fun I still had a good time but I was a kid at the time, as an adult I have learned suspension is nice and weight savings is cool but suspension is better I could save weight elsewhere like go 1x ditch the front derailleur, second chainring, front shifter, the cable and housing associated with it.

If I wanted to save weight on suspension these are some light options:
https://www.ridefox.com/family.php?m=bike&family=32
https://www.sram.com/en/rockshox/models/fs-sids-ult-c1
https://www.intend-bc.com/products/samurai-cc/

Make sure you measure axle to crown as rosefarts said changing your geo could be not so good.
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Old 11-15-22, 10:03 AM
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don't like striking roots w/ a rigid fork
recently got a bike some might consider a rigid MTB even tho it's not. I might put bigger tires on it, but I'm not getting rid of the old hardtail I have
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Old 11-15-22, 10:30 AM
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Considering the ramifications of failure, I wouldn't use a carbon fork from a Chinese company. Try a Ritchey (with the considerations above) and, even though it may be manufactured in China, it's a lot safer IMO. (I have a Ritchey on my eMTB hardtail that is 10+ years old). BTW, you'll save more than 1kg (I think).

Last edited by 2old; 11-15-22 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 11-15-22, 10:48 AM
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If your riding terrain doesn't demand much suspension action, going to a rigid fork isn't a terrible idea. If the rigid fork dimensions are similar to the Reba dimensions, the handling dynamics of your bike shouldn't be significantly effected. Spend a little time poking around on some of the MTB-focused discussion forums, and you will find a subset of riders who are happily using fully-rigid bikes. If you look at the gravel racing scene, you can find some riders on fully-rigid MTBs. Gravel riding/racing isn't always smooth dirt roads. It really comes down to understanding what the compromises are, and whether the benefits are worth it to you. Personally, I think a super-light fully-rigid MTB would be a lot of fun. The first MTB I owned (1990) did not come with a suspension fork, and I rode it on pretty much all of the same roads and trails I ride my current MTB.
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Old 11-15-22, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Make sure you measure axle to crown as rosefarts said changing your geo could be not so good.
It's not a big deal on that bike. It has 100mm front end.

I put rigid carbon fork on my Niner Air Nine (turned it into a gravel road bike) and the AC is now smaller than it was with the 100mm fork and the slight geometry difference is not even noticeable.
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Old 11-15-22, 11:39 AM
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On typical single-track with bumps and roots it is a lot rougher than a suspension fork. But some find the challenge a bit more interesting.

You are going to notice the lack of suspension way more than the loss of weight.

I went through a rigid phase in the late 2000s as a way to spice up some of the smoother trails I was riding. Thatís also when I was dabbling in single speed. But I also had a geared FS bike at the time.

Both were intetesting, but after the novelty wore off, I went back to suspension and gears.

The only mtb I run rigid now is my fat bike.

As far as the fork length, you generally go a little shorter when going rigid, because the fork does not sag or dive under braking.

Last edited by Kapusta; 11-15-22 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 11-15-22, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
It's not a big deal on that bike. It has 100mm front end.

I put rigid carbon fork on my Niner Air Nine (turned it into a gravel road bike) and the AC is now smaller than it was with the 100mm fork and the slight geometry difference is not even noticeable.
Not necessarily but I wouldn't want to change my geo if I was comfortable on the bike and didn't want a more aggressive or upright position maybe. It is handy to keep in mind. I did almost swap a suspension fork both of 100mm travel but one had a significantly smaller A2C and it would have made my bike very aggressive in a way I didn't want.
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Old 11-15-22, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Not necessarily but I wouldn't want to change my geo if I was comfortable on the bike and didn't want a more aggressive or upright position maybe. It is handy to keep in mind. I did almost swap a suspension fork both of 100mm travel but one had a significantly smaller A2C and it would have made my bike very aggressive in a way I didn't want.
On 100mm suspension after you account for sag you don't even notice the change in geometry. It's not significant enough to be noticeable. Now if it was 120mm I'd agree with you.
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Old 11-16-22, 05:14 AM
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Did some more research, and watched some YouTube videos as well, and it seems that running rigid for a long time, even on easy trails, does have consequences, mostly joint pains.
So the thought of running rigid, is slowly starting to fade away
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Old 11-16-22, 11:20 PM
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My El Mariachi was sold new with a rigid fork. I refer to it as my flat bar gravel / fire road bike more than a mountain bike. Whether a rigid fork would work for you really depends on the terrain you ride, and ability to absorb vibrations. Typically, steel is a bit more forgiving than carbon fiber.

A rigid fork offers something different and I like it, but I don't take it on the rougher trails that my suspension bike gets ridden on.

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Old 11-17-22, 06:44 AM
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I've had good experiences with rigid forks from https://www.carboncycles.cc/
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Old 11-17-22, 02:30 PM
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My first MTB had a rigid fork. What a difference when I got my first MTB with a suspension fork, even though it was a low end fork, it made riding much more enjoyable. Even "mild" trails with roots and some rocks were much more enjoyable. Don't think I'd go from a suspension fork to rigid, unless I was riding nothing but pavement.
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Old 11-18-22, 06:34 AM
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My first thought was to pick up a 90's steel frame mountain bike and spend some time on it. Even short travel forks do make a difference on basic singletrack. Your bike and your call.
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Old 11-18-22, 07:03 AM
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I have a 69er (mullet) with a suspension-compensated Icon steel rigid fork. It's a fun bike. I don't ride too crazy trails with it, but I also don't just ride gravel with it.
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Old 11-18-22, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
My first thought was to pick up a 90's steel frame mountain bike and spend some time on it. Even short travel forks do make a difference on basic singletrack. Your bike and your call.
That being said - an mid 90's Hardrock plus new tires and derailuer upgrade gave me a capable singletrack bike for not much cash. Installing the 2.25" tires made a world of difference when encountering roots/etc on trails over the original 1.75" tires. It was not a forgiving or comfortable than my current bike with a suspension fork but it was a great option to explore.

As much as I like to upgrade my bikes, removing a suspension fork from the bike in the original post and replacing it with a rigid piece seems like madnes... pure madness I say
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Old 11-18-22, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
That being said - an mid 90's Hardrock plus new tires and derailuer upgrade gave me a capable singletrack bike for not much cash. Installing the 2.25" tires made a world of difference when encountering roots/etc on trails over the original 1.75" tires. It was not a forgiving or comfortable than my current bike with a suspension fork but it was a great option to explore.
As much as I like to upgrade my bikes, removing a suspension fork from the bike in the original post and replacing it with a rigid piece seems like madnes... pure madness I say
especially if it's as involved & expensive as just replacing a fork, with the same thing, never mind switching something around. I swapped my 29er fork a cpl years ago & spent as much on tools as the fork. granted it's a cheap fork, but still ...
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Old 11-18-22, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
especially if it's as involved & expensive as just replacing a fork, with the same thing, never mind switching something around. I swapped my 29er fork a cpl years ago & spent as much on tools as the fork. granted it's a cheap fork, but still ...
I never even considered the tools to swap the fork in the equation. That makes the old CrMo Treks or Specialized bike look even more appealing. It defintely rode nice but was too small for me and it was far from light. I gave it to a friend as I was loading up all of my earthly possessions as part move for a new job. When forced to choose, the Specialized M2 is the proper size made much more sense to hold onto - better fit, better components, and 10 lbs lighter.
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Old 11-18-22, 03:58 PM
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The tools to install a fork are hardly complicated. I think just a pipe cutter and a file would do it. Something to hammer in the star-fangled nut.

The rigid forks available for MTBís are really heavy duty. Theyíre not 531SL. They depend on large, quality tires, aired down, to make a good ride. Like gravel bikes but worse. Itís not a path Iíd take except with plus tires on maybe a SS
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Old 11-19-22, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
I never even considered the tools to swap the fork in the equation. That makes the old CrMo Treks or Specialized bike look even more appealing. It defintely rode nice but was too small for me and it was far from light. I gave it to a friend as I was loading up all of my earthly possessions as part move for a new job. When forced to choose, the Specialized M2 is the proper size made much more sense to hold onto - better fit, better components, and 10 lbs lighter.
10 lbs is nothing to sneeze at. Recently got a luggage scale the small kind you hold in your hand. Weighed all my bikes. Discovered unsurprisingly that my mtb is 10 lbs heavier than my new hybrid/ urban 29er so Iím trying to figure out how that plays into itís future use
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Old 11-19-22, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
10 lbs is nothing to sneeze at. Recently got a luggage scale the small kind you hold in your hand. Weighed all my bikes. Discovered unsurprisingly that my mtb is 10 lbs heavier than my new hybrid/ urban 29er so Iím trying to figure out how that plays into itís future use
Exactly! I'm not a big guy and that makes a huge difference with transportation and storage. I loved the Hardrock but the M2 is a feather...
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Old 11-19-22, 07:09 AM
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I hesitated to weigh in because the answer is very dependent on the rider and the trails where it will be used, but... I wuill say that I have ridden a lot of pretty gnarly single track on my old rigid 1990 Canondale and still ride it some of the time. For some terrain it is still a great choice and it wouldn't be out of the question as an only bike.

Many of my closest to home daily rides are just chock full of real sharp edged bumps (roots). They are the constant stutter bump kind of trails with bigger ones on the little sharp climbs and descents. The rigid fork can be a bit jarring to my arthritic wrists there so I use my bike with a front suspension. If the rigid canondale had really fat tires it would help though.

I sometimes drive to some trails that are less jarring and the rigid canondale is a super nice ride there.

Fitting up the fattest tires that would fit on the rigid canondale would level the playing field between the two on the choice of which to ride where.
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Old 11-19-22, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Spend a little time poking around on some of the MTB-focused discussion forums, and you will find a subset of riders who are happily using fully-rigid bikes.
Or here even. Look at classic and vintage.
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