I rode one of my regular trails a couple of days ago on a fully rigid bike. I know - some folks choose to do that all or most of the time. This however is not a common part of my riding choices over the past number of years. Sure, in 1984 it was what we had. But when suspension came along I abstained for awhile but ultimately joined in and have not headed back to rigid for any length of time …. um ….. ever, for my trail riding. So, on the few occasions when I’ve had a need to ride rigid, it’s always been a tenuous and temporary step in that direction.
Thursday last was one of those times. There was this part that needed some ride testing time, and a rigid fork was what was required to fit the bill. Off I went, expecting to repeat in some form my memories of early steel fork riding from umpteen years ago. Our embedded rock and rattly terrain offered plentiful opportunity for me to tickle those cobwebbed thoughts, riding experiences, and trail-beat hands of my younger self. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way.
Sure, it’s bumpier. It’s a different ride style altogether. But it was satisfying, frankly. Change of pace – slow down a bit, and treat the terrain differently. Finesse up and over, transfer weight to prep, transition and exit those features. It makes me a little more aware of some of the smaller things on the [more...]