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I'm 6'3", 205, and in the market for a solid trail bike. I ride everything from xc to 3-4' drops, and I love to bomb down the trails as much as grind up the hills. I want 5-6" travel, 35 lb or less if possible, and a price ceiling of $2800. Durability is more important to me than weight, but I don't want to be lugging around a 40 lb bike.

Just browsing around, I've come up with the following bikes to consider:

Kona Dawg Primo
Kona Coiler Deluxe
Specialized Enduro Elite
Santa Cruz Heckler
Giant Reign 2
Iron Horse Hollowpoint Mk III Expert

Are there any on that list that jump out as inappropriate for my size or intended use? Are there any others I should consider? My absolute price celing is $2800, and I'd gladly spend less if I get a good value.

Thanks in advance...
 

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Jim, You should post this and look in the clydsdale forum. this exact type of post has been discussed many times for " Bigger guys"
 

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Cambria Bike is advertising both the Ellsworth Joker and Distance for $699. The Joker is 7" of travel and the Distance is 5" of travel. Both frames are very sturdy downhill, but the single pivot design makes them good climbers. From there you could custom spec your parts. Both bikes could be built up in the high 20 to low 30 lb range.
 

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clyde advice

You can't go wrong with the mid-price Coiler, but it's going to be at the upper limit of your weight range. If I were to get something from SC it would be a Bullit. You can still get a new frame from Cambria for $1200, which is probably going to put the complete bike out of price range. You can find some used in the ads section that are within your range. I'm not a big fan of the Dawg, since they put less clydes-worthy components on it. It's basically meant for someone of "average" weight who wants to ride aggressive XC. At 205# bombing down hills and dropping 3-4', you would need to replace the wheels and fork after half a season.
 

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Hey, I 'm an inch taller and about the same weight (with my gear). I've been faced with exactly this issue for a while now.

My conclusion - Sinister Splinter ER or MX. I have not found another bike that feels as "right" to me as these do. I also managed to find a LBS that will hook me up with a good build on one for about your budget. If you want a lighter bike, go with the ER. If you want a beefier bike, go MX. The ER is 4"-5" and the MX is 5"-6", but they can each be run with the shock from the other, so you could get an ER with 6" of travel (or an MX with 4"), if you wanted. Do a search over on Ridemonkey or Bustedspoke for some photos. I have seen an ER built up at 27lbs. I have riden an MX built up at about 36 with a full on DH oriented build (RF North Shore cranks, Manitou Sherman, 8 tracks, Diabolus, 2.5 tires). They are pretty much the same bike except that the MX has more gussetting, beefier chainstays, and a rear through axle.

The coolest thing about the bike (aside from its extreme level of workmanship) is the pull rod which lets you adjust the head angle by up to 3* without tools. You can go from a trail bike with 70* HA to DH /FR bike with 67* HA while on the trail. Totally changes the feel of the ride and takes no time at all.

Other bikes that have been OK for me include the new Enduro and the C'Dale Gemini (which seems really underrated to me). I hated the Prophet, even though I tried to like it. The Coiler is also a great bike, although the TT is a bit short for my liking.
 

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Hey-
Look at the Marin QUAD TARA line. I have done my research and ordered one off of ebay, so I have not ridden the one I bought just yet-
but I have ridden a demo of the 4" bike.
There doesn't seem to be much demand for the bike, despite overwhelming popularity abroad, awesome suspension design AND 4-6" adjustable travel...Not to mention lifetime bearing warantee, having a bike that not everyone else does and getting a great spec for less than some other builds. I have seen builds at less than 30 lbs, which is pretty good for a 4-6 inch travel rig. I have read nothing bad about durability.
The beauty of it is you can pick up any model and upgrade parts, but with your budget that shouldnt be a problem! The frame is the same accross the board on the quad taras.
Do some research and see if you can get one out for a ride in your part of the country-
and watch ebay b/c of the lack of demand!
ALso, adrenalinebikesdotcom sells the frame for 699 now, and you can build from there.
I would also look at the 4lb. heavier frame on that site from versus, the blitz.
 

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jimsiff said:
I'm 6'3", 205, and in the market for a solid trail bike. I ride everything from xc to 3-4' drops, and I love to bomb down the trails as much as grind up the hills. I want 5-6" travel, 35 lb or less if possible, and a price ceiling of $2800. Durability is more important to me than weight, but I don't want to be lugging around a 40 lb bike.

Just browsing around, I've come up with the following bikes to consider:

Kona Dawg Primo
Kona Coiler Deluxe
Specialized Enduro Elite
Santa Cruz Heckler
Giant Reign 2
Iron Horse Hollowpoint Mk III Expert

Are there any on that list that jump out as inappropriate for my size or intended use? Are there any others I should consider? My absolute price celing is $2800, and I'd gladly spend less if I get a good value.

Thanks in advance...
I think you can't go wrong with the Heckler. It is a very capable xc bike, yet it will take many true 4 foot drops to flat even at your weight. I am not terribly familiar with the other bikes, though I would be leary of some long travel xc bikes. Just because something has 5"-6" travel does not mean you can be doing true 4' drops.
 

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Good call on the Heckler. You can run up to a 6" travel fork on it also. Nice versatile bike at a reasonable price. Lots of color options, too.
 

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Go on E-Bay and check out the Scott Nitrous 22 SL, I got one for a real low price, but they've got them for around $1500 and only used 2 months! 6"-7" fork and real burly.
TJ
 

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jimsiff said:
I'm 6'3", 205, and in the market for a solid trail bike. I ride everything from xc to 3-4' drops, and I love to bomb down the trails as much as grind up the hills. I want 5-6" travel, 35 lb or less if possible, and a price ceiling of $2800. Durability is more important to me than weight, but I don't want to be lugging around a 40 lb bike.

Just browsing around, I've come up with the following bikes to consider:

Kona Dawg Primo
Kona Coiler Deluxe
Specialized Enduro Elite
Santa Cruz Heckler
Giant Reign 2
Iron Horse Hollowpoint Mk III Expert

Are there any on that list that jump out as inappropriate for my size or intended use? Are there any others I should consider? My absolute price celing is $2800, and I'd gladly spend less if I get a good value.

Thanks in advance...
If you are just doing 3-4 footers occasionally and to tranny, then all the bikes on your list will work just fine for you. The Heckler and Coiler are the toughest on the list. The Coiler is the least xc friendly of the bunch and is more of a freeride bike than a trail bike. The Coiler will be 35lbs+ also. The Coiler frame is actually a Stinky frame with less travel. Kona makes tough bikes and the Dawg can take some abuse and still be a good xc bike.

The Heckler is an excellent hooligan bike that has one of the best strength to weight ratios for a frame. Not too heavy, but can handle serious abuse. A great trail bike.
 

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With $2800, you could probably find an '05 Giant Reign 1 instead of the 2 and get some better parts. 'Course, the 2 will save you a little cash. The Reign will fit the bill for you quite well. Of course, so would any of your other choices. Take 'em for a ride and see which you like best!
 

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I'd go for the Yeti 575 due to it's strength/weight combination (mine is 28 lbs built with tought parts, including a 400mm Thomson seatpost and 819 rims). However, a Ventana X-5 may be a bit better-suited for small-to-medium drops since it is beefier. It can be built up to 30-32 lbs with solid parts. I love climbing and my ASR-SL is a killer on the uphills but it will not work for you. I think the 575 is very close and the X-5 a decent climber. After those two, I would consider a Turner Five Spot, a hell of a nice, tough, bike and a good climber as well.

Ventana X-5, Yeti 575, Turner 5 Spot are my choices for you. Just get all three and be the envy of riders everywhere :D
 

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Depends on who you talk to.

mechmann_mtb said:
Specialized Enduro.

because it comes with the best fork.
For 2005, the fox 36 is a mixed bag.(If this is the fork you are referencing). There have been a number of experienced riders on mtbr and elsewhere, that didn't like it and have had numerous problems with the 36. The 36 does not get the claimed 150mm of travel, and it is more like 145mm or less. There have been many reports of stiction problems, travel loss, and poor small bump compliance.

The Fox is also a complete $rip$ off for a Fork. The RS Pike is getting rave reviews, has far less reportable problems, and is only a fraction of the cost, with the travel range being very similar. I would get a Pike or a Zoke before the new Fox. Hopefully, for 06 the problems have been fixed.
 
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