Would this be too mean?

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  • Would this be too mean?
  • mk1fan
    Member

    Right, the OH has just started riding and is doing very well (imo) considering that they haven’t riden for 10-years.

    They are currently riding my Handjob – and I have set it up for them with a 50mm stem and narrower XC riders.

    As you can see the build is a bit, errr, ecletic with the Tora’s up front.

    The OH is slight in build and the bike is a touch heavy up front for when they need to push.

    Here’s my question. Would it be wrong to replace the forks with some rigid carbon ones?

    It would lighten and balance the bike up. Still provide some ‘dampening’ but it there’s no escaping the fact that they wouldn’t be suspension. The OH does not ride quickly and I’d rather they learn to ride a bike than rely on suspension. They are going to moan about it but I’m minded to think the benefits will outway the (short term) drawbacks.

    Am I being cruel?

    z1ppy
    Member

    yes you basteward, stop being a skinflint and buy her some SID’s or 2nd hand reba’s…

    edit:
    far to much crap is talked about learning the ‘basic’s’, the choice will come down to does she want to ride or not, putting rigids on it when she been used to suspension is cruel and heartless & will probably discourage her.

    If she made the choice or in the case of many on here, “they” have decided themselve to go rigid it would be a different matter.

    Moses
    Member

    No, not cruel.
    Try it & see, but put a big fat tyre on the front to take some of the sting out of the bumps.

    Then if necessary, put the forks back

    mk1fan
    Member

    I’m happy to get some better sus-forks but I’d prefer not to bypass the skills part of learning to ride.

    theflatboy
    Member

    why do you refer to your OH as “they/them”? do you not know what gender he/she is? πŸ˜•

    juan
    Member

    Right, the OH has just started riding and is doing very well (imo) considering that they haven’t riden for 10-years.

    They are
    Basteward… Is one not enough πŸ˜€

    glenp
    Member

    For a fraction of the price of another set of forks you could pay for a skills session which would give her masses more confidence. A fully rigid bike will need more ability to ride, not less – what she needs is to learn how to ride on her feet and not all over the front of the bike, and that’s exactly what we start with on level one skills sessions.

    We are in Surrey Hills – allbikedup.com – or I would recommend any other outfit using the CTC system which is very progressive yet powerful.

    grumm
    Member

    Can’t you just adjust the pre-load so they are really stiff?

    mk1fan
    Member

    Juan, I think I have used the correct there, they’re or their. One is more than enough. Two mother-laws? No chance.

    Their gender is irrelevant to the question being asked. I’d rather advice based upon skills development rather than they should ‘MTFU’ or ‘it doesn’t matter ’cause they’re a girl’.

    I am aware that this is STW and the chances of it not ressorting to that level of adivce is slim but I’m optimistic πŸ™‚

    GaryLake
    Member

    Possibly. I plonked my Mrs straight on a full susser. There was always a gamble that she wouldn’t take to it but she has.

    She might plough on through sections relying on the suss but what’s more important – that she develop the skills to ride it perfectly on a rigid bike or that she’s riding at all and enjoying it?

    juan
    Member

    Well you should have then wrote ” The OH have” πŸ˜‰
    Get a fox or a dt…

    mk1fan
    Member

    glenp,

    Cheers, I may just do that – although I don’t think you’re that cheap πŸ˜‰

    They’ve only riden twice so far and I’m going over the basics. I know that a rigid bike needs more skill, that’s why I’m thinking off changing the bike.

    I’m getting them to ‘ride on their feet’ but I’m thinking that it would be better to start with a rigid bike which would encourage them off the front of the bike.

    I should add that we’re riding nothing more technical than a maintained bridleway at the moment.

    mk1fan
    Member

    juan,

    No, that would not have been good English. But I do see where you’re coming from. πŸ™‚

    mk1fan
    Member

    garylake,
    It’s great – and important – that they enjoy it and they are. There is the opportunity to do/get things ‘right’ from the very start and I think that’ll be worth doing for the long term.

    I don’t want them to get too good though.

    glenp
    Member

    You get what you pay for mk1fan, and a four hour session is about one third of the price of some new carbon rigid forks (plus I would say that the forks would only be temporary anyway). You are doing the right thing in encouraging to get away from the front of the bike – the difference is that we have the experience of thousands of level one sessions and can very quickly build up the technique in exactly the correct way. We honestly do get hundreds of pleasing comments from people who are genuinely surprised at how far they can progress in just one session – its all about getting them safe, smooth and assertive so that they can go about their riding with confidence and really start enjoying it.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    i tried rigid once, it was horrbile! Only any good in the winter when mud clearance becomes an issue.

    Yes spending time on a rigid and/or hardtail may make you a better rider on a full suss, but realisticly, id rather just enjoy myself than go through any form of self punishment just because i percieved it would make me a better person.

    Then again, i accidentaly left my forks locked out the other day and didn’t notice untill the bottom of the decent!

    mk1fan
    Member

    glenp,

    I wasn’t questioning your points or the value of your pricing structure. I am fully aware of the benefits of tuition.

    I’ve just had a look at your site and it looks a possible goer. It won’t be until I get back from the MA though.

    I’m leaning towards getting some rigid forks. I’ll be wanting to out the Tora’s anyway. I can use a set of rigid forks as a spare whilst the suspension forks are being serviced so the investment won’t be a short term one off.

    Heck, I may even keep the HJ a rigid for those XC blasts – I miss my SM1000 πŸ™

    Sorry to hijack a bit, but what skills does one learn by going fully rigid? I only ask because I genuinely don’t know, having never ridden without front suspension. Does it help with having to learn to bring the bike up over roots and things?
    And what does ‘getting off the front of the bike’ mean??

    cheerzies

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    and i thought learning to ride bikes was supposed to be fun, not some kind of purgatory…

    thepodge
    Member

    far too much is made of going rigid, suspension doesn’t make you blind, you can still pick the same good or bad lines whatever bike you ride.

    I’d say that if you make her bike rigid then she’ll not enjoy the ride as much and is more likely to give it up.

    GaryLake
    Member

    mk1fan – you really do run the risk of just putting her right off it all though.

    I know it was all rigid forks back in the day and we all got on fine, but it is tough (I still ride rigid now and again) and MTBing was a lot less popular back then – had to be hard innit!

    Just leave the Tora on. If she’s having trouble lifting the front end, it’ll be technique more than the fork weight that’s the issue anyway, if she’s anything like my Mrs she’ll be trying to lift the front with her arms and upper body alone and not using her body weight and legs through he cranks… Technique!

    Olly
    Member

    get some coils with a nice soft spring, or some airs with negative air pressure.

    “skillz” are learnt on a hardtail

    rigids are for roadies πŸ˜‰

    Right, the OH has just started riding

    I’d leave her to it for six months at least – then she can make an informed decision. Is she allowed to make her own decisions?;-)

    mk1fan
    Member

    jam bo, I think you might be in for a nasty shock if you ever end up in purgatory. πŸ™‚

    Riding is fun and I’m not behaving like an East German Olympic coach. I would (at some point in the future) like for my OH to come away with me on my riding trips and be able to enjoy it. Well, at least have the option to come and not feel isolated from a part of my life. There is a certain selfishness to that but I’m not giving up riding just because I’m with them.

    At the present time they wouldn’t be able to ride to terrain we do. I would like them to develop and have the skills to be able to. It’s also from a social point of view – being able to join some of the STW social rides for instance.

    I feel that riding a rigid means you concentrate more on reading the terrain, your choice of line and your position on the bike. Get used to these and you’ll optimise any suspension you choose to use.

    glenp
    Member

    m_k – personally I don’t think you’ll learn anything valuable at all by going fully rigid. Just my opinion, but I think it would tend to get you picking smoother lines, which aren’t necessarily better lines. Plus I am absolutely certain that the pressure of riding rigid would have you looking down to closely inspect the trail, which is a terrible idea. My old Explosif is set up rigid these days, but it doesn’t get much use!

    As for getting off the front of the bike – that means riding on your feet and not leaning on the bars. I could tell you more, but that would be on a professional basis!

    GaryLake
    Member

    Wonders if OP is just looking to justify a nice set of rigids for his old bike πŸ™„

    You seem adamant that this is the best thing for your mrs even though everyone else with experience of this is telling you don’t.

    Obviously we don’t know her, but why ask if you’re so sure this is the way to go?

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Carbon forks don’t do anything like the job of removing the sting as well as you might hope – I have some on my commuter, as they are light and I’m happy to take a bit of a beating on any rooty rocky bits on the way home. They also work wonderfully as a foul weather option with the mud around here. However, compared to me Rebas, they are far from fun.

    Enforcing them upon your OH to somehow magically make her a better rider is a terrible idea. Give her a bike she wants to ride, everything else will follow. My wife was delighted when I got a set of SIDs on her hardtail, and bought herself a full suss when she wanted one, not me. I don’t think she’d have got that far if I’d inflicted upon her my own sense of ‘real’ mountain biking.. she’d have stuck to running and may have enforced that on me 😯

    My reasoning is this: If she gets into it enough, she can decide for herself what she wants. Until then I’ll do what I can to make sure she’s got a bike she wants to ride and has fun on when she does ride it.

    Thus, my GF has a nice set of SIDs (when I’m not ‘borrowing’ them, ahem).

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I rode rigids for yonks, often still do. I’m not very convinced by the idea that it creates any zen-like trail-god-ism particularly. I like a light bike, am not gnarly and can ride fluidly on rigids without getting too beaten up, but that isn’t the same skill set as being able to ride a hardtail in serious terrain.

    Apart from the weight I can’t see that they have any real advantage for a beginner. They are, quite simply, not as good as a half-decent fork unless you’re interested in weight or are particularly upsetr by brake dive.

    I’m about to build an mtb for my wife, and while I have On-One carbons and MX comps in the shed, the MX comps are going on unless she says she’d prefer the rigids. πŸ™‚

    ah, okay. Well, to answer the OP, you might be being cruel, but I think it depends mainly on your OH’s temperament. When I was just beginning, I found bumps and small rocks/stones scary. I agree with the point made that fully rigid forks could make a beginner rider tend to look directly at the trail, in order to avoid rocks etc, instead of looking where one needed to go. However, if your OH is a bit braver, this might not affect them too much.

    If I was your OH I would say you are being cruel πŸ˜› and I would probably have avoided anything technical and cried until I could go home.

    However, your OH might not be a big wimp/sulk like me.

    mk1fan
    Member

    I’m still undecided about doing this.

    The suspension is set up correctly for them (according to the sag etc..)but they’re only using about 20mm of travel (over and above the sag). Not sure whether this is because they aren’t going fast enough to activate the fork or that there is a fault in the fork.

    We’re only riding bridleways at the moment and the most technical bit they have encountered is a few shallow roots – which they handled excellently.

    They are really enjoying it (so much so that they are the ones upset about not riding theis weekend) but are currently riding down the hills slower that they are going up them!

    They have picked up getting out of the saddle very quickly and positioning their weight whilst there too. Which considering they’ve only riden twice in the last ten years is great progress. Going to move onto brake control and then riding shallow dips at the Headley Heath bomb holes and then cornering techniques.

    They’ve been mentioned already but light weight and lack of maintenance are both big plus points in favour of rigid forks. They don’t do the squishy thing when you’re climbing out of the saddle, and you get a really nice precise feel which can actually make it easier to clear technical obstacles.

    You get used to using your arms to absorb shock which is important as there’s no suspension system yet produced that’s going to compensate completely for riding like a sack of spuds. A big-ish tyre will roll over a surprising variety of terrain too.

    The bad bit is when you try and blat straight through a bumpy bit that you normally ride with suspension forks, but if she hasn’t already got used to suspension then it won’t be a problem.

    glenp
    Member

    Sounds quite positive so far, but I think there are potential problems with the speed control going downhill – if someone is going very very slow downhill it usually means they are perceiving danger that doesn’t actually exist. In turn that means that when you introduce any other factor (narrowness, steepness, slipperyness, whatever) then they will tense up even more, look down even more and try and sit down and/or put their foot down – those things are more dangerous than what was originally causing the fear.

    My tip is to work a lot on looking further ahead and not looking at the ground at all. Practice riding along and being aware of your hands without ever actually training your eyes down. Roll over tree roots (or find a handy log) and look through, not at. Once you are good at that the perception of speed is drastically reduced and you can move on with renewed confidence.

    nbt
    Member

    on-one are doing some right good deals on rebas at the moment. Splash the cash, she’ll thank you for it

    tinsy
    Member

    mk1fan, I would say if she is using 20mm of the suspension over the set sag then thats about right for the riding your talking about, I would be more worried if it was bottoming out on bridleways and shallow roots. Just leave it alone and let her ride it without it changing setup each time she goes out.

    Later on if she likes it enough build a bike for her.

    mk1fan
    Member

    My most used phrase at the moment is ‘look where you want to go’.

    Their speed control is a concern and they are ‘perceiving danger’ which leads to them not breathing, tensing up, pulling on the brakes more. Although, their skilss have moved on loads from their first ride.

    They’re starting to trust that the bike will roll over obsticles but still do look at the ground right in front of them too much. I just reitterate that they should scan forwards fom between 5-20 metres along the trail ahead.

    They’ll get there, it’s getting the trust in the bike that’s the hard bit!!

    glenp
    Member

    You’re kinda doing the right thing, except not 5-20 metres. 50-200 metres. Or more. Just the same as driving a car.

    Where are these trails that let you see 50-200m ahead of you? The norfolk broads? πŸ˜‰

    glenp
    Member

    Even if you can’t see the trail surface, that’s how far ahead you should be looking. You will naturally scan up and down anyway but it is very important that you don’t put your main focus close to the bike and look up every now and then – other way round.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    mk1fan, your affectation in describing your missus in the third person plural aside, you’re frankly over thinking all of this.

    If one is a bike geek, one stresses about component choice and suitability. If one is a person who fancies a bit of low pressure cycling, then rigid or suspension will be the least of one’s worries.

    This is about your missus (sorry, “they”) doing some cycling. Focus on her (sorry, “them”) deriving some pleasure from the overall activity and not from the minor detail as to whether the front of the bike has enough bounce.

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