Rigid Carbon Fork – Right For Me?

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  • Rigid Carbon Fork – Right For Me?
  • I know you can’t definitively answer that question as you don’t know me but if I give you some background, you may be be able and indeed be kind enough to offer up your reasoned opinion.
    My front suspension mountain bike has a Rocksox Tora steel stantion fork. It works as well as it does but there is no doubt, it is heavy.
    My riding is more long day on easier bridleways. I’m having a go at more technical stuff as I come to it but I have to be honest, I’m no threat and nor will I ever be a threat to Vanessa Quinn et.al.
    I like climbing and I’m getting better but when the trail goes down, so does my confidence.
    I ride a road bike lots. I’m currently doing about 200 miles a week on road and this is increasing month on month. I hibernate somewhat in the winter.
    In your opinion – if it were you, would the benefit of a lighter weight rigid carbon fork be a better idea than upgrading the Tora fork to a something around £350 with suspension which to be fair, will spend most of it’s time locked out?
    I think what I’m trying to ask really is: Is a suspension fork only really worth the bother for going fast over bumpy rocky tracks?


    I’d say you’re probably better off getting a decent suspension fork.

    In the worst case, a rigid fork can make the bike a real handful. If the frame is designed for a suspension fork and you put a really short rigid fork on it, the steering will get very fast and it might be bad for your confidence downhill.

    Front suspension (even when it’s at the Tora kind of level) gives you more grip for braking and cornering. If you end up panic-breaking into a corner, you might get away with it if you have suspension. You probably won’t on rigid.


    As a counter to the above, I’ve got a steel rigid and I don’t find it confidence knocking. It slows me down and makes me move on the bike more, look further ahead for obstacles etc, and I prefer it on smoother rides as it ‘feels’ quicker, more connected, more dependable.

    Having said that, then getting onto my HT with rebas I feel like I can fly! If you do long bridleway stuff, a rigid would probably be better for the majority of your riding, and manageable for the bumpy bits. If you’ve got the cash and want something that allows you to go faster and have more confidence then go for some boingers!


    Most people nowadays swap to rigids for a bit of a challenge and to lose some weight on the bike. You also have to be careful to get a fork with a similar axel to crown height as to not throw out the handling. My concern would be that you found yourself wanting to ride harder stuff and the rigids would hold you back or freinds would ask you to a trail centre or similar and the rigids would not cut it.


    Sorry double post.


    I say go for it.

    £100 gets you a decent pair of carbon forks (I’m pushing 16-stone with the kit on and my Exotic Carbon ones have been abused [some would say] on the trails with small jumps and drops). If the Tora’s have 100mm of travel then you’ll need a set of rigids with an a-c height of 445mm to keep the geometry as it is now.

    It’s nonsense that not having suspension holds you back.


    r freinds would ask you to a trail centre or similar and the rigids would not cut it.

    Rubbish, rode plenty of trail centres such as Afan, CyB and natural stuff in the peaks on carbon rigids. Most trail centres are smooth with the odd bit here and their thats rough. Okay I admit you won’t go as quick as your mates on the rough sections but it can be ridden.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Yes. I’ve been rigid off/on for a couple of years now. Works better on a 29er though. I ditched the Pace suspension fork from my old Inbred & loved it. I then swapped the 440mm rigid for a 470mm (29er) rigid & it was even better. The extra lift at the front really worked to ever so slightly take the edge off & gave a more stable ride. The Exotic carbon one is about the best carbon rigid I tried. On-One was bit stiff, Pace was too flexy. By far & away the best rigid fork I have ever used is the Singular Swift steel one. Really is lovely, but if I weren’t using the Niner steel one I’d be on the Singular one or the Exotic one. The Exotic alloy one is very good also. Your riding description is spot on for a rigid fork.


    OP I think it’s about whether you think you’ll ever get into more techie trails, as a suss fork will help you massively to develop that.

    But…a rigid one can be had for £75 sh and sold on if you think better of it, and @ don’t think a Tora is a terrible fork, so a more expensive one won’t transform your riding.


    If there is no reason to sell your suss fork (eg need the funds to get the rigid) then have both and get a matching crown race for your headset, swapping around is then a doddle.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Do you know which model of Tora it is? The most basic ones are pretty basic but there was a Motion Control version which was still heavy, but very nicely damped. if you have the basic ones (302/turnkey) then you could probably get a nice set of old-model Revelations, lose half a kilo or more and improve the performance too, for a pretty reasonable price.

    I love my rigid forks, and most folks would be surprised what you can ride on them but I wouldn’t want them to be my only forks- I swap them in and out of the bike, only takes 5 minutes once you’re used to it.

    But, being realistic I think I would have enjoyed it much less as a noob. I learned to ride mtbs before suspension forks were really an option and you know what? It kinda sucked. These days I’m a reasonably competent/confident rider and they don’t hold me back much at all but with less skill and more importantly confidence I’m not sure I’d be so keen. Suspension is a great tool.

    A lot of people’s reaction when they see you out and about is along the lines of “I can’t believe you’re riding this on a rigid” or “I can’t believe you can keep up on a rigid”. Actually it’s not that hard! But, it sounds like your confidence level would put you in the “I can’t believe” camp? And that’s not much use to you.


    I rode most of my Sunday rides last summer on carbon rigids. Yorkshire Dales riding on none technical bridleways, there were a few occasions when I really missed the sus forks, having to gingerly pick my way down a good descent, but not very often.


    Sounds as if you dont need front suspension. I would bet a large portion of people here too would find it easier with a rigid fork too.

    Thank you for your opinions. I can’t see myself having two forks and swapping them over more than twice a year.
    I think, due to the nature of my off road riding, the technical sections being occasional at most, I may just have been persuaded to go and get some Exotic carbon forks.


    I ditched the sus forks in favour of a carbon ridig suspension corrected one about 2 years ago and haven’t missed it at all.


    Good call.

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