Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Can't ride rigid bikes anymore.

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Can't ride rigid bikes anymore.

Old 08-10-22, 11:52 AM
  #1  
Murmur1979
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Can't ride rigid bikes anymore.

For the last dozen years or so, I've almost exclusively ridden a cheapo (129 EUR / USD) full suspended MTB, on which I mounted a plushy sprung saddle and slick 42mm tires.

In anticipation of future endurance rides (or possibly even credit card touring) that I'd like to try, and because common knowledge is that a full sus MTB wouldn't be the ideal bike for that, I bought an used '90s rigid MTB to modify for the purpose.

Sure, its 52mm tires and the said plushy sprung saddle which I mounted on it, make it certainly more comfortable than un upright city bike (or a road bike), and yet the full sus MTB is noticeably more comfortable.

Infact, the asphalt where I live is definitely not in good conditions. Moreover, with the full sus I can steamroll over the many speedbumps I cross.

"Duh! Of course a full sus is more comfortable than a rigid!", you are thinking. Yeah, I know. I was just wondering if there's some of you who only rides suspended bikes, with at least a suspension fork, and maybe a sprung saddle. Especially for long distance riding. I know that almost all "advanced amateurs" cyclists ride rigid bikes even for long distance riding, and I wonder how they do it. I would probably be knackered if I'd try that.
Murmur1979 is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 12:18 PM
  #2  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,814

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2421 Post(s)
Liked 4,255 Times in 1,728 Posts
Originally Posted by Murmur1979 View Post
I know that almost all "advanced amateurs" cyclists ride rigid bikes even for long distance riding, and I wonder how they do it.
To be blunt, they’re probably not riding $129 bikes. It makes a difference.
tomato coupe is offline  
Likes For tomato coupe:
Old 08-10-22, 12:29 PM
  #3  
Murmur1979
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
To be blunt, they’re probably not riding $129 bikes. It makes a difference.
Actually, the 129 $ bike is the comfortable one...

Anyway, I doubt that an expensive road bike is even remotely compliant as a 129 $ full sus with a sprung saddle and wide tires, no?
Murmur1979 is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 12:49 PM
  #4  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,814

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2421 Post(s)
Liked 4,255 Times in 1,728 Posts
Originally Posted by Murmur1979 View Post
Actually, the 129 $ bike is the comfortable one...

Anyway, I doubt that an expensive road bike is even remotely compliant as a 129 $ full sus with a sprung saddle and wide tires, no?
Yeah, you’re right. Stick with the $129 bike.
tomato coupe is offline  
Likes For tomato coupe:
Old 08-10-22, 12:51 PM
  #5  
Murmur1979
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Yeah, you’re right. Stick with the $129 bike.
You have no arguments so you reply with sarcasm.

Do you think the most expensive road bike on 25mm tires is even remotely compliant as a full sus with a sprung saddle and wide tires?

Yes / no.
Murmur1979 is offline  
Likes For Murmur1979:
Old 08-10-22, 01:05 PM
  #6  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,915

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2094 Post(s)
Liked 1,338 Times in 849 Posts
O.P., you're missing the point. For long distance riding and touring, it's likely you're going to be more focused on efficiency than comfort. In addition, you're going to have to get into shape to push those pedals for hours on end. If you start to focus on riding (and especially pedaling) for longer times, you'll probably start developing some leg strength and endurance that'll let you tolerate a rigid bike for longer periods.
pdlamb is offline  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 08-10-22, 01:08 PM
  #7  
c_m_shooter
Senior Member
 
c_m_shooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 2,075

Bikes: Soma Pescadero, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker, Gravity SS 27.5, Monocog 29er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Liked 227 Times in 160 Posts
If your 129 suspended bike is working great, then I suspect you are not riding long miles. Or you are just a troll....
c_m_shooter is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 01:17 PM
  #8  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,538
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 792 Times in 478 Posts
What is your weight and what tire pressure are you running on those 52mm tires?
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 01:17 PM
  #9  
Murmur1979
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
O.P., you're missing the point. For long distance riding and touring, it's likely you're going to be more focused on efficiency than comfort. In addition, you're going to have to get into shape to push those pedals for hours on end. If you start to focus on riding (and especially pedaling) for longer times, you'll probably start developing some leg strength and endurance that'll let you tolerate a rigid bike for longer periods.
Thank you for your constructive post!

Yeah I'm aware that more power mean less weight on saddle and hence less need for suspension.

Regarding efficiency, well that's an interesting subject. A few years ago, I remember finding several scientific studies which proved that a suspended fork is either more efficient or not less efficient than a rigid fork, even on roads (I should search for those studies again).

Also, I wonder if, below a certain level of comfort, efficiency also decreases in very long distance riding. One thing I know is I couldn't ride for hours on a rigid bike with narrow tires. Not only because I'd feel much less safe, but also (and mainly) for comfort.
Murmur1979 is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 01:18 PM
  #10  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,318
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1539 Post(s)
Liked 1,219 Times in 724 Posts
Originally Posted by Murmur1979 View Post
For the last dozen years or so, I've almost exclusively ridden a cheapo (129 EUR / USD) full suspended MTB, on which I mounted a plushy sprung saddle and slick 42mm tires.

In anticipation of future endurance rides (or possibly even credit card touring) that I'd like to try, and because common knowledge is that a full sus MTB wouldn't be the ideal bike for that, I bought an used '90s rigid MTB to modify for the purpose.

Sure, its 52mm tires and the said plushy sprung saddle which I mounted on it, make it certainly more comfortable than un upright city bike (or a road bike), and yet the full sus MTB is noticeably more comfortable.

Infact, the asphalt where I live is definitely not in good conditions. Moreover, with the full sus I can steamroll over the many speedbumps I cross.

"Duh! Of course a full sus is more comfortable than a rigid!", you are thinking. Yeah, I know. I was just wondering if there's some of you who only rides suspended bikes, with at least a suspension fork, and maybe a sprung saddle. Especially for long distance riding. I know that almost all "advanced amateurs" cyclists ride rigid bikes even for long distance riding, and I wonder how they do it. I would probably be knackered if I'd try that.
I would ask what distance rides you have been doing on your full suspension mountain bike. I would also ask how well the rigid bike you bought fits you. Fit is at least as important to comfort as a cushy ride. Fitness is another factor in being able to ride long hours in comfort. In my 50+ years of riding long distances I have learned that my ability be comfortable on my bike is closely linked to how many kilometres I have done so far that year. The one thing I do know is that my full suspension $3000+ mountain bike is the last one I would choose for a 100+ km ride
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 08-10-22, 01:21 PM
  #11  
Murmur1979
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
If your 129 suspended bike is working great, then I suspect you are not riding long miles. Or you are just a troll....
No, I'm not riding long miles at the moment (I rode 30 miles a few times). What do you mean with "working great"? Efficiency, reliability, comfort?
Murmur1979 is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 01:30 PM
  #12  
easyupbug 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,292

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 450 Post(s)
Liked 386 Times in 286 Posts
I suspect you have a physical condition that is behind the criteria you laid out which also strikes me a difficult. I am far from an expert at endurance rides or credit card touring having done very little but you are in for a challenge if with a heavy bike doing a half century endurance ride or even carrying extra kit for credit card touring unless your showers/meals/shelters are very close.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 01:32 PM
  #13  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
rsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 3,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1268 Post(s)
Liked 2,396 Times in 1,391 Posts
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
If your 129 suspended bike is working great, then I suspect you are not riding long miles. Or you are just a troll....
__________________
Beikforoom Cyclist “No regerts” 🚴🏾‍♂️





rsbob is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 01:54 PM
  #14  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 20,787
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5362 Post(s)
Liked 4,938 Times in 2,590 Posts
If you want to do touring you can get a bike with suspension of some kind if you feel you need it. A loaded touring bike is heavy already and the addition of a few pounds for suspension shouldn't be a big deal. When I've done credit card touring (no camping) my bike weighed 55 or 60 pounds. I've ridden with guys who had bikes close to 100 pounds.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 08-10-22, 02:02 PM
  #15  
ofajen
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,580
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 497 Post(s)
Liked 806 Times in 513 Posts
Originally Posted by Murmur1979 View Post
I know that almost all "advanced amateurs" cyclists ride rigid bikes even for long distance riding, and I wonder how they do it. I would probably be knackered if I'd try that.
I spend a lot of time out of the saddle, particularly over anything rough, so arms and legs are the suspension. To my mind, suspension is for single track. YMMV.

Otto
ofajen is offline  
Likes For ofajen:
Old 08-10-22, 02:13 PM
  #16  
Herzlos
Full Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Scotland
Posts: 390

Bikes: Gravel, MTB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 587 Post(s)
Liked 466 Times in 272 Posts
Originally Posted by Murmur1979 View Post
Regarding efficiency, well that's an interesting subject. A few years ago, I remember finding several scientific studies which proved that a suspended fork is either more efficient or not less efficient than a rigid fork, even on roads (I should search for those studies again)..
How much does your full suspension bike bounce when you pedal? That bounce is wasted energy that could have been used to propel you forwards on a rigid bike. Your suspension units are easily 1kg each, so your full suspension bike is at least 2kg heavier than a rigid bike which is significant on a 15kg bike.

A lot of the rest of it is down to tire choice, riding position etc. A full suspension bike is naturally going to be more comfortable in terms of dealing with road surfaces, but it will take more work to cover a given distance, and won't be as comfortable in terms of body position over a longer ride.
Herzlos is offline  
Likes For Herzlos:
Old 08-10-22, 02:26 PM
  #17  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,432

Bikes: Day6 Semi Recumbent "FIREBALL", 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 995 Post(s)
Liked 660 Times in 420 Posts
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
If your 129 suspended bike is working great, then I suspect you are not riding long miles. Or you are just a troll....
Originally Posted by Murmur1979 View Post
No, I'm not riding long miles at the moment (I rode 30 miles a few times). What do you mean with "working great"? Efficiency, reliability, comfort?
I've ridden my 2002 - $100.00 - TARGET MAGNA 7spd - Aluminum Frame - Suspension Fork, Spring Seat Post - Springy Cushy Wide Seat - Upright Bars - Front Basket - Rear Rack - 26x1 3/8 tires on 100 mile FLAT SW FL roads in my 60's.
p.s. - bike has 15,000+ miles
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 03:17 PM
  #18  
Iride01 
Plz hurry Dec 22!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,913

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4881 Post(s)
Liked 3,401 Times in 2,357 Posts
You want to do some long rides on pavement but you bought a mountain bike for that?

Seems you'd need a road bike of either the touring flavor if you are going to be loaded with stuff or just a endurance geometry if you are going to be unloaded other than bottles and emergency kit.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 04:09 PM
  #19  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,423

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1804 Post(s)
Liked 1,941 Times in 1,190 Posts
Suspension can be a good thing, but cheap suspension generally is not good.

If you are serious about investing in suspension that will take the edge off and just not be an around town anchor, you’ll need to spend some money.

I’m not sure exactly what is available for very light touring, but I would think that something like a Lauf lightweight fork might be nice if you are not running front panniers.

I can’t imagine rear suspension on a touring bike, but I could see where a high quality suspension seat post like a Redshift might be nice.

In the end I suspect that you will probably opt for a lower end solution. If you can find an older softail mtb with front suspension it might work for you.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 04:24 PM
  #20  
Branko D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Liked 394 Times in 241 Posts
Rigid bikes are fine on the road because with an adequately chosen tire pressure (I run about 88-90 psi* on my road bike, anything more would be excessive) and if the bike fits you well, you've got all the suspension you need. For any potholes / speed bumps you unweigh the saddle a bit and absorb the hit by letting your body move.

Of course it's going to depend also on body weight, you probably will at least need wider tires if you are overweight to find comfort, and again - you would want to try with lower pressures and then work your way up.


*Pumps can be quite inaccurate. After calibrating mine, I found that what I thought was 105 psi was actually more like 95.
​​​​​​

​​​​​
Branko D is offline  
Likes For Branko D:
Old 08-10-22, 05:05 PM
  #21  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 20,787
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5362 Post(s)
Liked 4,938 Times in 2,590 Posts
Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Suspension can be a good thing, but cheap suspension generally is not good.

If you are serious about investing in suspension that will take the edge off and just not be an around town anchor, you’ll need to spend some money.

I’m not sure exactly what is available for very light touring, but I would think that something like a Lauf lightweight fork might be nice if you are not running front panniers.

I can’t imagine rear suspension on a touring bike, but I could see where a high quality suspension seat post like a Redshift might be nice.

In the end I suspect that you will probably opt for a lower end solution. If you can find an older softail mtb with front suspension it might work for you.

John
​​​​​​2 of my friends have bikes with the Lauf fork and both are very happy with them.

Remember the Cannondale Silk Road? It had a Headshock, I think 20mm, and a suspension seatpost.

Bikepacking has become a thing for mountain bikes so bags and storage options are available.

When I ride my enduro type bike on the road I just switch on the lockouts unless it's a rough road, then I let the suspension work.

Both touring bikes I have owned had flexy steel forks and long wheelbases and could fit large tires. I used 32s for a 3000 mile tour but I have also used 23s on week long trips.
One of the Lauf guys.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 08-10-22, 07:46 PM
  #22  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,884

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 118 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9136 Post(s)
Liked 5,565 Times in 3,213 Posts
There is more than one way to skin a cat. Some are just bloodier than others.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 07:56 PM
  #23  
james89
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Neither a 90s mountain bike nor a $129 full-suspension bike would make my list of bikes I'd even consider for touring. Regardless of what success others claim to have had with their cheapo rigs, if you're serious about long-distance riding, I'd look for a bikepacking, gravel, or touring bike that can handle tubeless tires of 38 - 50mm width, in either 650b or 700c, and run them at ~35 psi. If that's not comfortable enough, you can add a suspension stem and/or suspension seatpost. But honestly, if distance riding is in your future, you're just going to have get "knackered" a lot until you HTFU.
Whats the H stand for? Lol
james89 is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 12:21 AM
  #24  
Ironfish653
Dirty Heathen
 
Ironfish653's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,891

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 SoftRide, 1989 Klein

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 735 Post(s)
Liked 624 Times in 385 Posts
There's really no substitute for time and miles in the saddle. Just like any physically demanding activity, you're going to have to do it often enough, like every other day, at least, and push yourself to go faster, farther, climb harder, in order to condition yourself for the kind of rides you imagine yourself doing.
The more you do it, the more you will find that your chosen-for-comfort steed is holding you back if you're trying to do more than ride around the neighborhood at 10 mph for an hour a couple times a week.

I rode a lot as a teen, did some other stuff for a couple decades, and made a re-entry into sport about 8 years ago. I put the time into training, adding a second -hand touring "road" bike to my old MTB, then a more modern road bike as I took on longer, more challenging rides.

THe more you ride, and the more kinds of rides you do, the more you learn what your strengths and weakness are as a rider, and you'll be more able to understand what characteristics in a specific bike can make the most of what the rider brings.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 08-11-22 at 10:32 PM.
Ironfish653 is offline  
Likes For Ironfish653:
Old 08-12-22, 07:22 AM
  #25  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,585

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 594 Post(s)
Liked 475 Times in 312 Posts
As mentioned a couple of times above, comfortably riding a road bike takes technique and experience. Scan the road, identify obstacles, and if you can't avoid them you unweight and let your body flex rather than the bike. There's also a certain amount of HTFU.

A MTBer friend from out of town was visiting me and wanted to go for a short ride around my town. I loaned him a road bike. I was appalled at how much punishment he was taking. Every little bump was telegraphing up his spine and arms. I could see him wince. Less than ten miles into the ride he had enough neck and hand pain we aborted the rest of the ride and went home early. I realized too late he had no idea how to ride a road bike. And I know there are MTB techniques I've never mastered.
andrewclaus is offline  
Likes For andrewclaus:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.