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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
I am looking to buy a new bike.
Can anybody recommend a full suspension 29er?
I'm 6'5" and 220 lb and will be riding it on trails that are hilly but not mountainous (Palos Hills in IL or Kettle Moraine in Wisconsin).
My budget is about $3000. Any ideas?
thanks
 

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One of Gary Fisher's bike via Trek.

I think the lowerend model of rumblefish or the alum. version of Superfly (Hi-fi???) are around 3k.

Or you can squeeze out 500 or so more and get a Santa Cruz Tallboy.
 

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If u can spring for the $$ the fisher superfly cant be beat. I have one. love it! The HiFi Pro is the alum version (little cheeper). Its really good too.
 

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Big Boy
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Giant anthem x 29er 2 looks like a pretty decent spec for the money. Only question would be the wheelset, but I havent ridden them so I cant comment on them. Other than that, I would look at stumpys. I understand a budget is a budget, but for 25% more (1000$) you would have a much bigger selection ie tallboy, jet9, 429 (maybe)
 

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Go for the Tallboy if you can stand the macaroni and cheese for another month. I'm doing it and loving every minute of it. Rode most everything in that price range and it was no contest for me. I'm 6'5", 38" inseam and I got a XXL. Fits me perfectly. Hucknroll.com delivered mine in 4 days.
 

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or die try'n
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Forget the Tallboy get the PIVOT 429

For 3 grand? I got the Tallboy because I am only 165lbs, and a light bike matters. With a decent build my Large TB comes in at 25lbs flat. But the Tallboy is no challenge to my Felt Nine Carbon at 21+ change. Get the Pivot 429 or a gut your size. Period
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey,
thank you all for your input to my initial thread:)
Now I am contemplating between StumpJumper29er (not sure whether comp or expert), Pivot Mach 429 or TallBoy...any thoughts? I probably have less knowledge than most of you guys although I have been riding since I was a kid - just never had a great bike.

I've had a lower back problem and wonder which bike has the best geometry to alleviate the problem.
Being 6'5" tall/230 lbs probably doesn't help.
thx
 

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Trail Ninja
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The Trek/GF Rumblefish 1 comes in 23" which may should fit a 6' 5" 220 lb guy (you can probably fit on a 21" too, but you're on the tall side for that size). I ride a Superfly 100 (carbon XC version of that design) like a trail/AM bike and love it and the Rumblefish takes it to the next level with the thru-axle front and rear, super plush 2-stage custom valved rear shock, and slacker HA. ABP design is my fav susp design. Only downside I can think of is that it's in low supply due to popularity, so expect to do some hunting or a few weeks/months worth of wait. People tend to keep them too, as there's none on eBay/craigslist or whatever. G2 geo is the only 29er geo that I have come to like as well.

Trek site

MTBR reviews, including last year's model

The pricier spec'd model, Rumblefish 2, got a good review at twentynineinches.com and took first place in their Top Ten Products of 2011 list.

The Giant Anthem X 29 doesn't really have large sizes and that 3.6k Tallboy is only available in medium from that retailer, but they do have a XXL size which is a smidge smaller than the 23" on the Trek (should be just your size).
 

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or die try'n
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Pivot 429

I have ridden all three of these bikes and will weigh in on my thoughts. Being only a 170 lb rider , weight was a key factor in my choices, since most FS 29ers are around 28lbs. I ended up buying the Tallboy, but the best ride and value was the Pivot 429. Here is a summary.

Tallboy - Ultra light carbon frame, cost me 4100 for the XT build in a Large, weighed 26lbs as delivered. I swapped out the 10 speed stuff and went with a 2 x 9 setup to save about 200 grams, got rid of the Avids since they sucked, and got the Marta's which saved about 100g, converted the TN-719 to tubeless and swapped the tires to Specialized 2bliss Captains and saved another 200 g. Total now is a sub 25 lb FS 29er. Outstanding ride, super plush, super quiet. Fox is custom at 110 because 120 was too slow and 100 was a hair too fast in the steering. I have the Fox 23 on the rear but would have preferred the Monarch since the Fox pushes through the mid zone way too fast. It is not as progressive as the Monarch. Top tube a little short in my opinion for a Large.

Pivot - Could have bought 3 x 9 XT build for about 3500. Biggest cost factor was the wheelset / hubs, and the brakes. Weighed in at 28 lbs as built in a Large. Outstanding ride in quality, comfort, and speed. Climbs better than the Tallboy IMO. Steering geometry is very similar to the Tallboy, quick and agile in the 100 setting, quick and stable in the 120 setting. Was a better fit for me in reality because the top tube is longer on the Pivot Large vs the SC, which I prefer. Biggest reason I didn't buy was the 2 pound disadvantage, which was huge for a light rider, But at your size and weight this is definitely a great bike.

Specialized Epic / FSR - Expensive, I could not for the life of me get the BRAIN to a tuning that i liked. Also it is a set and forget, so if I set it firm, it rode like a rock and sucked, and if I set it softer it pogoed on the climbs, and if I set it soft it just sucked. Also the Specialized geometry sucks unless you never ride fast, feels like the bike wants to push in the corners, causing you to lean in more to compensate, which in turn causes tire gription issues, which cost you speed. Nuf said. On the other hand if money is a factor, look to their models without the BRAIN. These at least offer on the fly tuneability, and they ride nice for the money. Sub 2000.

Whatever your choice consider these things. The FOX fork with 15mm axle is a fantastic ride at 4lbs. The REBA is nice and lighter, but flexier @ 3.75 lbs as a standard QR. Specialized throws all kinds of loops into the picture with 20mm REBA's (outdated), and 9mm Thru REBA's (stiffer than QR, but it's a Specialized thing). Also the newer models of bikes are leaning toward the 142mm rear end standard (135 now) and are offering thru axle designs on the rear hubs also. Gearing - 29ers are by design 10 percent larger than a 26er, so the gearing should be reduced by 10 percent to match the design. That said, it the rear cassette remains the same (11-32/34/36) you don't need a 44 front crank ring on a mountain bike. So consider a front double crankset in the range of a 27 / 40. I ride a 26 / 36 with an 11 / 32. If you're a gear masher go with a 40, if your a spinning goat go with an
11 / 34 9 or an 11 / 36 10 speed rear.

Good Luck.
 

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Rumblefish I ($3000) or Trek Hi-Fi Deluxe($2600). Try the frames for fit! I'm 6"4" and ride a 19" Paragon so the 21" might work for you. There are lower and higher priced versions of each depending on what you really end up wanting or needing.
 

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or die try'n
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About the G2 Thing

Gary Fisher and Trek both make outstanding bikes as is verified by some of the members above. The main difference in many of their bikes including the Superfly (which I rode also) is their geometry AKA the G2. If you are considering a bike or a fork with the G2 mods, make sure you test ride before buying. G2 can be a love / hate deal. Research what G2 is and means to the handling of a 29er bike. Basically it moves the front axle slightly forward as compared to a non-G2 fork. The effect is quicker steering. GF does this to counter a slack head tube angle to make slow speed steering / climbing feel less heavy side to side. At moderate speeds the G2 provides a neutral feel, just like most other geometry bikes. But at super high speeds 40+, where a typical slack head tube is very stable, the G2 can become squirrely and scary, and act like a very steep head tube angle. Therefore the resulting geometry is not very symmetrical when compared to a bike with a steeper head tube angle and NO G2 fork. Other bikes will ride with a more uniform transition throughout the speed range, resulting in a more consistent feel. I ended I buying the Felt Nine Elite over the Superfly for this reason alone.

Ride before you buy.
 

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Trail Ninja
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A 6' 4" rider on a 19"? I assume it's on the small side for you but you feel like you managed to make it work [barely] and that's why you suggested a size up despite being only 1" shorter than the OP?

The G2 geo is really overhyped and people sometimes get disappointed when they think it should've made them do everything better or make their bike be able to do it all as well as bikes made for that discipline. I'm generalizing here, but I think its main benefit is to minimize the handling drawbacks sticking 29er wheels into a frame with 26er geo while retaining that 26er geo for a similar feel, but with big wheel rolling benefits. It does that by simply changing the offset of the fork to reduce trail to improve steering and adjusting the front end, top tube length, stem, etc. accordingly to maintain wheelbase and cockpit length (fit) as opposed to other brand's attempts to improve steering/stability altering HA, top tube, wheelbase, BB height, etc.

Regarding your experience, the SF100 is an XC bike and it does have a steep HA (71d, standard for most XC bikes). I own the SF100 and I push it harder each time I ride a familiar trail. It feels fine up to about 25 MPH. Any faster and my fingers are ready on the brakes and I'm coasting in an attack position, then I reride it and try it again even faster. That seems normal for an XC bike, but in the SF100's case, I think it's more like my personal speed comfort level than the bike's, as it keeps asking to be pushed harder and my comfort level is expanding. The Rumblefish is a trail bike with a 69.5d HA which would ride more like a 26er with a similar HA, except this has 29er wheels and should handle descents even better than the SF100.

The Pivot 429 is a solid bike and I was considering it too. I even regret missing out on a bargain for 2600 complete (used). I see they added an XL size too, but it's quite a bit out of his price range. OMG, the white with Cobalt blue looks so amazing.
 

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getjohn said:
Gary Fisher and Trek both make outstanding bikes as is verified by some of the members above. The main difference in many of their bikes including the Superfly (which I rode also) is their geometry AKA the G2. If you are considering a bike or a fork with the G2 mods, make sure you test ride before buying. G2 can be a love / hate deal. Research what G2 is and means to the handling of a 29er bike. Basically it moves the front axle slightly forward as compared to a non-G2 fork. The effect is quicker steering. GF does this to counter a slack head tube angle to make slow speed steering / climbing feel less heavy side to side. At moderate speeds the G2 provides a neutral feel, just like most other geometry bikes. But at super high speeds 40+, where a typical slack head tube is very stable, the G2 can become squirrely and scary, and act like a very steep head tube angle. Therefore the resulting geometry is not very symmetrical when compared to a bike with a steeper head tube angle and NO G2 fork. Other bikes will ride with a more uniform transition throughout the speed range, resulting in a more consistent feel. I ended I buying the Felt Nine Elite over the Superfly for this reason alone.

Ride before you buy.
I've never experienced this on my HiFi's. :confused:

*edit* I never go that fast!
 
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