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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I know Im not too big for biking...but am I too big for mountain biking long term on a lower-end bike? Here's my story:

I havent biked in a few years, but since I am moving closer to campus I am thinking about getting a bike for commuting. But if Im going to be buying a bike, I want to get a mtb that I can take out on the weekends as well. However, the bike will be 90% commuting, 10% XC. That decided, I have started looking at bikes. What I have come across though is that recreational components (Acera, Deore, Alivio) tend to bind under high stress compared to higher end stuff like LX. Also, the forks on the few bikes I have ridden (Manitou Six and Axel Elite) have been way too soft and fully compressed when I stood up and pumped. Ive been told I need double walled wheels no matter what riding Im doing because of my weight.

Im on a budget though. I started off looking at Gary Fisher Advance, Trek 4300, Specialized Hardrock, etc. but saw that the forks and components would most deffinately perish under my weight. So I started thinking about budgeting more and have looked at Gary Fisher Marlin and Specialized Rockhopper and Rockhopper Comp. The Rockhopper Comp is out of my price range, but the guy at the store wanted me to ride it. He also wanted me to ride a Tassahara, but I had to go to work.

The guy at the shop said that springs could be added to most shocks for abour $30 to compensate for my weight. Is this a smart solution or will the wear on the fork (and the squishiness of the ride) be any less? The Marlin and the Rockhopper both have slightly better components (Mostly Deore, some Alivio) but how do I test a bike and make a decision without having the fork adjusted for my weight? Am I just too big for this?

Sorry about the incompleteness and rambling, its late and my head is swimming a bit from thinking about deraileurs and cranks and cassettes :eek:

Thanks in advance for any help, and I will deffinately be back to post more questions or to clarify some possibly incoherent statements made in this post :D
 

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Don't skid
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I wieght 260 and bomb the $hit out of my bikes, a Kona Coiler and a Specialized P2 Those probably aren't what you're looking for though. Expect to pay some bucks on your bike and be prepared to brake a lot of parts. Unless you're just ridding on pavement avoid anything that says XC. I probably ride harder than you from the sounds of your post though so take my advice with a grain of salt. BTW I had a 2000 Trek 8000 that lasted 4 yrs. It cost $1050 new and all I needed to do was repalce the rear wheel set. I was impressed the frame lasted, I have broke a Cannondale and a Specialized frame. My advice save up and buy a descent hardtail, you shouldn't touch a full suspensiopn for under $1500. Take a look at the Kona Hoss, its designed for us big guys. Hope I helped, let me know if you have anymore Q's.
 

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I am 6'1", 240lbs and use my bike for the exact same purposes you want to, 90% commute to work and 10% XC. I am using an alumium frame full suspension bike which seems to be taking my weight just fine. The suspension is a couple years out of date, '02 Judy C Fork and Cane Creek AD 5 rear shock. My whole bike after upgrades was only ~$800US so if I do bust some parts, they are easily and inexpensively replaced. My advice is to find a reasonably cheap bike with a sturdy frame and build it with some good but expendable components.
 

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Nervous Descender
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AdamOn6thStreet said:
OK, so I know Im not too big for biking...but am I too big for mountain biking long term on a lower-end bike? Here's my story:

I havent biked in a few years, but since I am moving closer to campus I am thinking about getting a bike for commuting. But if Im going to be buying a bike, I want to get a mtb that I can take out on the weekends as well. However, the bike will be 90% commuting, 10% XC. That decided, I have started looking at bikes. What I have come across though is that recreational components (Acera, Deore, Alivio) tend to bind under high stress compared to higher end stuff like LX. Also, the forks on the few bikes I have ridden (Manitou Six and Axel Elite) have been way too soft and fully compressed when I stood up and pumped. Ive been told I need double walled wheels no matter what riding Im doing because of my weight.

Im on a budget though. I started off looking at Gary Fisher Advance, Trek 4300, Specialized Hardrock, etc. but saw that the forks and components would most deffinately perish under my weight. So I started thinking about budgeting more and have looked at Gary Fisher Marlin and Specialized Rockhopper and Rockhopper Comp. The Rockhopper Comp is out of my price range, but the guy at the store wanted me to ride it. He also wanted me to ride a Tassahara, but I had to go to work.

The guy at the shop said that springs could be added to most shocks for abour $30 to compensate for my weight. Is this a smart solution or will the wear on the fork (and the squishiness of the ride) be any less? The Marlin and the Rockhopper both have slightly better components (Mostly Deore, some Alivio) but how do I test a bike and make a decision without having the fork adjusted for my weight? Am I just too big for this?

Sorry about the incompleteness and rambling, its late and my head is swimming a bit from thinking about deraileurs and cranks and cassettes :eek:

Thanks in advance for any help, and I will deffinately be back to post more questions or to clarify some possibly incoherent statements made in this post :D
I'm 6'3" and was about 220 when I got back into riding- down to 205 now. I bought a Trek 4900- which has taken a lot of abuse and has served me well. It's a decently light bike for a bike guy. I've upgraded the stock drivetrain components as they've broken (damn those Alivio shifters just will not die- still waiting for them to break for good so I can put my new XTs on). I recommend getting disc brakes- they stop your 200+ pound a$$ a lot better than V brakes, especially in the wet (every day here in the northeast). The Judy C fork on that bike (Pilot on newer models) was not a high tech fork but it worked ok- I replaced the innards with an Englund Total Air system ($75 on Ebay) which offers superior adjustability over the stock Judy. The Bonty cranks are not the most durable or stiffest but they too will not die! Being a bigger guy, one thing to watch out for is the quality of the build of your wheels. Handbuilt is far superior to machine built, IMO- make sure they are properly tensioned and built with high quality spokes and nipples (no cheap PricePoint build jobs!). Stay away from the really lightweight stuff. Cool thing about the Trek frame is that you can easily change out a few components and go from a comfy upright "newb" position to a much more aggressive position as your skills or needs change.
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Too big: no way!

AdamOn6thStreet said:
OK, so I know Im not too big for biking...but am I too big for mountain biking long term on a lower-end bike?...

Ive been told I need double walled wheels no matter what riding Im doing because of my weight...

The guy at the shop said that springs could be added to most shocks.. Am I just too big for this?
Do it, you're not too big. Definitely consider strength over lightness when you select stuff. Get a burly frame with a good warranty as your first consideration, maybe even a dirt jumping frame. A strong fork should be another priority. Sturdy wheels would be third. Make sure the shop tensions them properly, they'll last a lot longer with high, even tension. If your components break, you can replace them with something better at that time.

Learn to ride smoothly. Shift under low chain tension, not when your're struggling up a hill. If you have coil suspension (recommended), make sure you have the proper springs for your weight. Most biggies I know ride Marzocchi forks, but Fox's seem strong too. Lower end Rock Shocks should be avoided by Clydes in my opinion. You can pick the brains of this board for more info on forks.

When you start to ride, find patient friends willing to go at your pace or ride by yourself until you start to get conditioned, then work up to group rides and harder stuff gradually.

Good luck. You're going to have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey thanks for the replies so far, guys. As to Bob's post...I only have one friend that bikes right now, and Im afraid to ride with him. He's kinda the Urban asualt type...doesnt jump or anything...just rides hard on the pavement in ANY weather conditions and has fallen and scraped himself up at least 3 or 4 times in the last year (bad enough that he had to go to the University Doctor). I have ridden a bit before though. Ive done Pike's Peak and Crested Butte, plus a few lesser known trails in Colorado. When I was younger I did the Hotter'n Hell 100 (just the 25 mile) three years, all on a mtb, they are just more comfortable to me. I fell once on Pikes Peak. It was pretty spectacular, but I walked away with just a bruise and kept riding the rest of the way down. My front wheel slid into a groove in the dirt that was perpendicular to the direction I was traveling in and I flew over the handle bars.


Anyway, back to where we were. How is the Manitou Six's reputation for heavy guys? Is the Judy TT considered a lower end Rock Shox?

Im thinking that since Im mainly doing commuting first that if I could find a good frame and a good fork, I could deal with lower end components on the road like Alivio or Deore.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh, another thing that I was going to ask about. I will probably want to get some hybrid tires for the bike (smoother center for road with some nubs on the sidewalls). What are some good ones for me to look at?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok im not sure how this message board works....is this how I reply to the main thread? Everything else Ive tried has replied to a specific post.
 

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Sirstopsalot
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clydesdales

Dude you should try the Clydesdale forums (clydesdales are people who bike and are over 200 lbs)
AdamOn6thStreet said:
Ok im not sure how this message board works....is this how I reply to the main thread? Everything else Ive tried has replied to a specific post.
 

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Sirstopsalot
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104 Posts
good frame

6 years ago I got a Cannondale frame has a have a life time warnty 3 weeks ago I cracked it but they dont make the frame any more so the will give me a jekly frame but all my parts dont swap over so I have to buy some new parts not happy but I still get a new frame but I dont want to spend any money on somthing that might break in a few years and do this all over again so I am looking for a stronger bike. :rolleyes:
 

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Derailleurless
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I wouldn't overanalyze things too much. On a budget eye at minimum a Deore level build, but I think with your eyes set on LX and higher you're on the right track.

I weighted in at as much as 235 for a few years, and didn't have much trouble with air suspension or abnormal component failures, and just one frame breakage. This was primarily XC riding with no real hucking.

Of everything that's been mentioned here, the red flag goes up for the low end forks you're asking about. I'd definitely look for something beefier, such as a relatively inexpensive Manitou Black, and expect to do a spring swap to get it up to your level. I also second the motion to look at disc stoppers, even an inexpensive front-only Avid install works magic over V brakes for big dudes.

At your size (height, not weight) I encourage you to pay a visit to the 29"er forum. Big wheels for us big guys has some validity. Problem is price -- there ain't much in the way entry-level big wheeled rigs to catch your attention. Bang for the buck is still with the 26" crowd.

Last bit of advice: If you end up sinking more than $600 bucks into this bike, why not visit some local shops or your classifieds and find a junker commuter to lock up on campus? Nice bikes stand out and, depending on where you are, have a tendancy to roll away when you're not looking.
 
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