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Rigid Mountain Bikes

JessopJessop Posts: 3
edited March 2013 in MTB general
BikeRadar Readers,

I'm currently looking to purchase a new mountain bike. At first I looked at Hard Tail Mountain Bikes but after talking with experienced bikers I have decided to go for a Rigid MTB with no suspension at all. This decision is for two reasons:

1) On my budget of £700 - £900 I feel that buying a bike with suspension compromises the quality of other components on the bike because good quality suspension is expensive.

2) while I want to ride my bike on trails, I also do a lot of road or flat surface biking where suspension is not really required.

I had considered trying to build my own Mountain Bike to fulfil the needs I wanted in my own bike but as I lack experience I felt this a poor decision, and it turned out to be very costly.

I have found it hard to find any quality Rigid Mountain bikes in my price range online. It seems that most bikes are hard tails and when I show my mountain bike friends them they don't really approve of them.

What I would like from you readers is some suggestions on Rigid Bikes that fulfil what I'm looking for. Any suggestions would be welcome,

Kind Regards,



  • VWsurfbumVWsurfbum Posts: 7,881
    My opinion is suspension is evolution, Rigid is for road bikes.
    I had a rigid fork on my HT 29er, ok it was fine, but not as good as a decent set of forks. and a decent set of forks will lock out when you hit the roads anyway.
    Kazza the Tranny
    Now for sale Fatty
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    There are rigids availabel in your price range, but as they come from more 'boutique' manufacturers with higher costs, you won't save anything over suspended ones from the more mainstream ones, so while you think buying suspended may compromise other components the fact is that the people doing the buying are getting you a better deal.

    On-one is probably a good bet though, can you spec a whippet with rigids in your price range that you'd be happy with? That or get a well specced bike, swap to rigids and sell the fork.....

    Have a look at Boardman Urban MTB's from Halfords they are probably the best specced off the peg.
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    Pick a bike you like, get a suspension corrected rigid fork (Salsa Cromoto or some carbon variety), sell the suspension fork that came with the bike, enjoy. Ohh and put the widest version of your favourite tyre at the front.

    There is nothing wrong with rigid forks, as long as you run a wider rim/tyre and you pressure is closer to 20 rather than 40 PSI. That's where most of people do it wrong.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    As that spec is kicked into a cocked hat by the Rockrider 8.1 with suspension for less money it kind of proves my point.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    There's a 3-bike rigid test in a non-Future magazine this month ;) Cannondale SL29er took the prize, though it's also a singlespeed.

    That inbred's a disaster tbh, £600 for that? As TheBeginner says, you can get better suspension bikes for that much (or better hybrids if that's what you want). The Boardman monsters it on spec, in every area (except possibly that damn silly cranks)

    Sad truth is there's not many quality rigid mtbs out there. But I'd be going to Halfords if I were you, theirs is an excellent attempt. To broaden the choice you can pick out one of the many half-decent hardtails with poor forks which seem to have taken over the world these days, it's amazing how much you can spend on a mountain bike and still get a Suntour XCM or Rockshox spring-on-a-stick. Sell fork unused for £20, fit exotic carbon forks, great success. Probably makes more sense as you're less committed to the rigid course.

    As for the whole "why" question- I love rigid mtbs. But, I wouldn't have one as my only bike, and to be blunt you need to be reasonably good to make them work on more challenging trails.

    The idea should be that spending less on forks means spending more on the rest of the spec but in practice, they're nichey so more mass-produced suss bikes tend not to be much different. For road-bashing a suspension fork with a lockout is just as good (though road grime isn't that good for the forks).
    Uncompromising extremist
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    There are some bikes at this price with mid to high end suspension on them, just have to look around.

    £700, with a Reba RL: ... tAodckQAOg

    £840, recon Race, full SLX and CrossRide wheels: ... 1b1s2p2476

    And if you can stretch to a grand: ... Suspension
  • My winter/training bike is rigid.. it's a Sanderson Life frame with an On-One carbon fork, 1X9 gearing and and is a 69'er. I run a big high volume tyre on the front and the bigger front wheel definitely gives a plusher ride.. well worth considering the 69'er option is you're heading down the rigid route.
  • VWsurfbumVWsurfbum Posts: 7,881
    I'd just like to say i wasn't recomending the On-One, just giving idea's.
    I'm with SS and Northwind.
    Kazza the Tranny
    Now for sale Fatty
  • Thanks Guys for all the replies, really helpful :)
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    I don't get these "fatbike" things, where would one of those be more useful than a normal bike? Surely it doesn't snow here often enough to warrant buying a bike solely useful for snow.
  • anj132anj132 Posts: 299
    what about a Klunker ? £485 Maybe not for all but a little different
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Rigid bikes are a bit of a niche, so if you want one I think you're better off building it up yourself.

    They are great though, and it sounds like an ideal bike for you. What about a rigid 29er? The on one scandal is a night light cheap 29er frame (or 26er if thats what you want)
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    anj132 wrote:
    what about a Klunker ? £485 Maybe not for all but a little different
    Optional front brake - and the rest doesn't look much better. Rubbish for the sake of style, but I suppose it would appeal to some idiots.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Jessop wrote:
    1) On my budget of £700 - £900 I feel that buying a bike with suspension compromises the quality of other components on the bike because good quality suspension is expensive.

    All the high volume mainstream sales are with suspension forks, so your best value bikes are there. If you really want a rigid, the best suggestion was to buy a suspension corrected rigid fork, and sell the suspension fork that comes with the bike.
  • I don't get these "fatbike" things, where would one of those be more useful than a normal bike? Surely it doesn't snow here often enough to warrant buying a bike solely useful for snow.

    Don't knock it until you've tried it.
    The On One Fatty is a great trail centre fun bike and the Salsa Mukluk makes a great all day tourer and beach riding bike.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    My choice is a rigid 29er - Ritchey P29 with a Pace RC31 fork. Velocity P35 rims and 2.4" tyres. We have lots of loose sand and soft mud around here so running the tyres tubeless at 20psi gives me grip whereas a 26er on 2" tyres is just digging a trench. Looking at getting some Surly Knard 3" tyres - I just like riding stuff a regular MTB can't cope with.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    My SS is currently a rigid bike but its mostly used on roads, tow paths and fire roads. If I was to use it for proper off road riding it would have gears and a sus fork fitted, I like my wrists, knees and fillings too much. There is a point where it ceases to be function and becomes fashion.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • mcnultycop wrote:

    Would be awesome to have one of these to just mess around on :)
    Specialized Hardrock 06
    On One 456 Summer Season 2010 neon orange!

    “…get it in your head, then there’s nothing else important for the next couple of hours than getting that particular line done…” – Danny MacAskill
  • JayKay3000JayKay3000 Posts: 163
    My m8 has a halfords bike with suntour foks. It was not super amazing, but he went everywhere I went and the fork locked out without problem although the fork had a bit too much ping to it and it a bit of play locked out, but most do at the sub 1k level. On a low end bike the front fork is the most important thing, gears will mainly be limited to number and naturally stock pedals are naff even on 1k bikes so if you can get a bike with a rock shox fork then it'll be up to the job and most come with disk brakes although they may be the older cable operated rather than hydraulic.

    I find a hardtail great for commuting and longer distance the problem is not the front shock for road riding but the tire choice as a full on trail tire will drag like it's in treacle on the road, but I put a set of conti race kings for commute duties which have grip for light trail work too - although I got em for mostly for the slick running as I'm retiring my hardtail from the trails.

    Most of these low end bikes have good frames, they just can't afford to spec em or they have better models that share the same frame so either get something from the plus 1k range or rail the cheaper bike till the parts fall off as my m8 with the halfords bike may have weighed a million pounds compared to mine, but his smile was as big as mine when rolling.

    With the rigid bike only I had a rigid 26er when I was a kid and you need to get tires that can squish a lot because that's your suss or you just knacker your upper body from having to move through the bumps and stuff that's why these fat bikes are a good option as they pretty much have 80mm travel in the tire if you pressure it right.
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