Friday, February 27, 2009

How rigid is rigid?

Last night I spun out for one of my favorite training loops. I grabbed the SS Monkey, clipped on the lights, and pedaled away. The first few miles is a paved section with a fair amount of climbing so I locked out the RST M29 fork. When I hit the dirt (which was a bit ahead of my usual time to that point) I decided to leave it locked out.

Ed the Tall has been running his new XXIX with the factory rigid fork and has been fairly happy. Many SS riders swear by a rigid fork and I have had a hard time coming to terms with that set up for myself. It can get pretty fast and bumpy here, but for long, smooth fireroad sections it would be great. I am not sure my old wrists would be very happy. Near the end of the ride I found my wrists were a bit tender so I cracked the compression damping open juuuust a bit. What a difference even 1" of travel made.

I found that the overall ride experience was not conclusive, but if I could get a compliant fork, a large tubeless tire, and a bar with some sweep I may be able to deal with it. I am wondering if the burly full sus fork is actually more abusive locked out compared to a well built steel/carbon non-sus fork? Not sure.

Still, it has me thinking. I may even set up the next SS with both...a rigid for some days and a quick swap to the M29 for rides that I know will be more beat-on-me.

Oh, one more thing...I cut 10 minutes off of my fastest time for that loop which means that either I was having a great day or my fitness is up. VQ awaits.

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