Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I get the 'rigid' thing. Finally.

In my mind, front forks are supposed to squish. It is a bumpy world out there and I am darn sure that technology is there to help us overcome things likes rocks, ruts, and trail irregularities. But, that can be said for gears as well, in that gears are the technology that helps us overcome changes in terrain and elevation.

So, I never got the 'rigid' thing. But, 29ers helped me see a hardtail as a viable alternative once again, something I would never say about a 26er. Singlespeeds helped me see past the limitations of one gear in that, technology, while a benefit, can also be a distraction; derailleurs, shifters, etc.

Riding with Ed the Tall the other day, him perched on top his stunning new Selma SS, he remarked that, after moving from a rigid XXIX to a hardtail with a Reba fork in the Selma, he understood that there was a symbiotic thing going on between an SS and a rigid fork to where it almost makes sense. And lately, I have come to see that appeal as more than a luddite's dream, but actually a somewhat logical progression.

However, where I live seems just over the top for me and I cannot quite bring myself to ditch the sussy fork for a harder, sterner choice. I see pics of Midwest singletrack and the buffness makes me think that a rigid fork is a natural there, but here in So Cal? I know I would love the way it would climb...hey, what XC rider does not want to shed 2 lbs of fork weight? But I fear that aging wrists would ache and I know I would have to slow down in sections that would ping me around like a pin ball at the arcade.

I don't want to slow down as I like going fast.

Yet I might enjoy slowing down if I try it. Maybe I would like going slower?

It is, as the King of Siam said, "a puzzlement".

I am not over the edge yet, but at least I get it now, even if I don't go there myself.

1 comment:

Fonk said...

I brought my 'cross bike out for my last couple of MTB rides and really enjoyed it. I could feel it a little more in the back at the end of the ride, but not much. Though, yes, I did have to take some of the more technical descents a bit slower than I would on my MTB w/ squishy fork.