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My Rigid Rental Rig Realized

I have some friends who are worried right now. So I just want to jump in and assure them that they're not having a fever dream or experiencing Inception. Rather than being my best MS-Paint project ever, these are legitimately real photos of a rigid Marin El Roy that you* can take out and ride on your favourite trails, with proceeds benefiting said single-track.

I've been talking about this project for so long that every time I bring it up I experience firsthand how Ponce de León felt. I see you rolling your eyes in perfect time with that softly exasperated sigh. But here's a physical map to the fountain of truth. It has modern geo, real tires including a 29x3" Bontrager SE4 up front, CushCore inserts, big brakes, and an unmistakably rigid, long-travel fork corrected, RSD fork.

Shimano 11 speed drivetrain on Marin Elroy
Relax, it's not a single-speed. The 11-speed XO derailleur and shifter are well used and still going strong - thanks Jac!

You might still really dislike rigid bikes after you ride the El Roy. Most likely you will not race out and build one or even buy a rigid 29+ setup for your current hardtail. But, whatever your opinion afterward, at least it will be a current one. That is to say, not something rooted in 26x2.1" Farmer John tires, road bike geo, and cantilever brakes. This beauty even has a dropper post.

*[I mean, as long as you live near-ish the North Shore and I can make a medium-ish rig work for you. I'm genuinely sorry short-and-or-really-tall folks, I could only do one]

An aggressive El Roy frame meets RSD's 510mm axle-to-crown rigid fork, a 3" Bontrager SE4 tire, and a massive CushCore Plus insert.
An aggressive El Roy frame meets RSD's 510mm axle-to-crown rigid fork, a 3" Bontrager SE4 tire, and a massive CushCore Plus insert.


I've long been inspired by every dude on the trail, or on the internet, who's taken one look at my Waltworks V2 and proceeded to tell me how awful it is riding a fully rigid bike, a "double hardtail" if you will, on the Shore. This is based always on first-hand experience with a late '80s or early '90s rig with a 71-72° headtube angle, a stem longer than a beer bottle, practically hard-plastic 26" tires, a bar about as wide as the laptop I'm typing on, and rim brakes with wet pads. Heck, even pedals and shoes have progressed exponentially since then!

#JerryWillowsHatesMyBike and you might too. But at least give it a chance with that 3" SE4 running about 10psi and a CushCore Plus insert backing it up.

Marin El Roy
Just to make things super confusing, I also have a blue El Roy in the same frame size that I use a test mule for Mine has an SR Suntour Durolux, XT LinkGlide Drivetrain (with thumb shifter), and you can't borrow it.


Even if you f*cking hate riding my rigid El Roy, it's still a win on multiple fronts. You can honestly say that you tried something new and I'm full of sh*t, or maybe you like green eggs and ham, even as a sometimes food? And there's also the money raised for the trails.

Thanks to the bike being provided and Jac & Geoff at Essential Cycles covering insurance the $95/day rental rate is being split with $30 going to the NSMBA, $30 to the TORCA, $30 to the FVMBA and just $5 going to admin costs (processing fees).

It's a shot in the dark, but we're hoping to raise a few bucks and have a bunch of fun doing it.

Marin Elroy with RSD Fork
My only recommendation is to go ride the same trails you normally would. If you prefer North Shore jank, then take the rigid bike down North Shore jank.


I have a couple of tweaks to make to the setup when I'm at the shop turning wrenches tomorrow, and then hopefully the El Roy will be live for rent starting this weekend. If you do decide to book it, please include your height in the work order so we can guestimate a stem length for you.

Rigid-Roy is now Live and you'll find it with the other rental rigs .

Marin El Roy with RSD rigid fork
And yeah, you might not get along. But Rigid-Roy will definitely give you an experience, and all it costs you is a $30+$30+$30 donation to awesome trails (and a $5 processing fee).


This has been in the works for a while and I'm so stoked to have put in the shake-out ride today. We're here! Thank you, everyone involved, for your patience with me never mind participating to begin with.

  • Thank you to Chris & Scott from Marin Bikes for believing in my brand of crazy (well, maybe not Scott) and hooking me up with this cosmetically-imperfect El Roy for this project. It's ready for a hard summer changing and or reinforcing folks' opinions about rigid bikes.

  • Thank you to Alex from RSD for first of all making this fork, and then for answering my crazy e-mail about this project.

  • Thank you to Cam & Pete, my employers at I paid actual money for many parts on this bike but there's a pile of stuff like the PNW dropper post and e13 remote, rebuilt FSA bottom bracket, the Race Face chainring, the Bontrager rear tire, and the SQlab 60X saddle that carries forward from past reviews that I've put together.

  • Thank you to Will W. for being a proper hoarder of bike parts and also for selling me his collection of thought-extinct 3" Bontrager SE4, not XR4, tires.

  • Thank you to Larry Talker, AKA Model-T, for being my fellow traveler on this rigid, Plus-tired, single-speed, janky North Shore trail journey. If there was just one of us, I'd think they were crazy. But together we're at worst eccentric.

  • Thank you to Jac and Nice Guy Geoff at Essential Cycles. I turn wrenches for them on Saturdays and sometimes other days, but I grind their gears seven days a week. Without access to their rental insurance, this project wouldn't be possible. Being able to use their booking software, the shop's hours, and payment collection and disbursement capabilities is all key as well.

Thank you for reading and renting, or maybe referring a friend. In addition to the monies raised, I'd truly appreciate any photographs and quotes - good and bad - about your experience that you wouldn't mind me using as I continue to push this project.


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