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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there!
I know it is never-ending story and I have asked similar questions before in different threads but...
This year is a new bike year for me and I still have not found a winner ;)
I am looking for an alloy full suspension bike, which will be comfortable and relatively efficient in longer 70km+ rides in not so technical terrain, but it will also handle trips in real mountains. I am not planning any XC or enduro racing though.
I am posting in this forum because of my measurements:
Height: 196cm (6'5")
Inseam: 96cm (38")
Ape index: 1.046
Weight: 98kg (~216lbs)

I do not want to buy online, so I narrowed my list to below candidates available in my local shops. I have also picked only those, which are reasonably big (at least in my opinion):

Trek Fuel EX 8 (Size: XXL, Reach: 500, Stack: 650)
+ XXL frame
+ good specs
+ balanced handling

Trek Top Fuel 8 (Size: XXL, Reach: 510, Stack: 622)
+ XXL frame
- poor specs (RS Recon??)

Scott Genius 940 (Size: XL, Reach: 499.2, Stack: 627.5)
+ good specs
+ good climber
- low stack
- no lifetime warranty

Specialized Stumpjumper LT Comp Alloy 29 (Size: XL, Reach: 470, Stack: 656)
+ I just simply like this bike
- not the best climber
- short reach

Cannondale Habit 4 (Size: XL, Reach: 490, Stack: 634)
+ size specific suspension design
- heavy

Orbea Occam H20 (Size: XL, Reach: 500, Stack: 646)
+ nice geo numbers
+ good specs
+/- steep ST angle

  1. Should I even consider any of these bikes besides Trek? Of course my concern is sizing. Treks are fine, but I just would like to have some choice :)
  2. Does any tall rider here own any of these bikes (maybe except Orbea;)) and could share some thoughts?
Thanks!
 

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I'm 6'5" and the minimum reach and stack numbers for me are about 500mm reach & 645mm stack. Low stack numbers are going to be the biggest problem for tall people. The reach measurement is taken at the listed stack height, so stack height isn't simply how high the top of the head tube is but also determines how long the bike is. For example, the Orbea Occam is going to be longer (the steerer tube further away from the BB) than the Scott Genius even though the listed 'reach' is the same.
 

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Shartacular Spectacular
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What’s a “train” bike?

There are a ton of bikes you could consider, but if you don’t want to buy online, you’re limited to the brands sold within the radius you are willing to drive. What brands are available to you within this radius in addition to those you’ve listed? Have you test ridden any of these bikes? Sounds like you have things relatively narrowed down, if you haven’t started demoing I’d say you’re at that point (not sure if your comments on bike qualities/attributes are based on experience or information you’ve read elsewhere). After that it’s up to you to decide—go visit every bike shop within your acceptable driving radius and test ride or demo everything you can. This is probably the only way to free yourself from the analysis paralysis you’ve described being afflicted with for the past year. After all, what’s one more thread of asking questions after a year of researching and indecision?

Some ignorable or notable points:

This might be nitpicking, but the fine print on Trek’s website states that the rear swingarm on the full suspension bikes you have listed is only 5 years.

Not all “lifetime” warranties are created equal.

I have no idea what “riding in the mountains” means for you as this could be a lot of things to a lot of different people from high altitude cross country to gnarly DH and everything in between. Providing specific trails you have in mind could be of use. Trek top fuel is a more of an XC bike while the fuel EX is more up to the task of burlier trail riding and would likely be just fine for casual XC riding; however if you ride XC all the time and your mountain terrain is mild, the top fuel may be the better choice. Go test ride/demo and find out.

Keep in mind that depending on what “trips in real mountains” means, bigger guys tend to benefit from aftermarket shocks/tunes for maximum performance and comfort in gnarlier terrain.

Personally, I think all of the stats, metrics, opinions (including mine and this assertion), and things you’ve read are the least important criteria, and should be seen as a means of narrowing your search from all bikes to bikes in the segment most relevant to your intended use—just my opinion. You seem to have narrowed this down and it’s time to figure out what’s best for you individually. To this end, I would put the most emphasis on which bike I liked to ride most. Above you wrote of the stump jumper “I just simply like this bike” and if that’s based on actually riding it and the others, that’s all that matters. Get the bike you like to ride most, seems like a no-brainer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Shartist,
Sorry, "train" is a typo and I cannot find any editing option :confused: It should be "trail" of course.
The problem is that shops in this part of the world usually don't stock $3000+ bikes and even if they do, these are not XL/XXL sizes. There are some testing events organized by Scott, Specialized, sometimes Trek, but also no XL sizes available. That is why I asked for some owners opinions on these bikes, especially how they fit.
Good point with warranty limits - I need to check these terms once again.

It also looks like I have not described my riding - basically I am looking for 120-140mm bike, that pedals well.

@jeremy3220,
What bike are you currently riding? Your opinion points me in the Trek Orbea direction.
 

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I'm riding a Santa Cruz Megatower and a Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead.

You're right, it's very difficult to find XXL bikes to demo. I still think you should try and demo something to at least figure out how much bike you want (XC vs long travel).
 

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Yup...the curse of being tall. Average person does not consider we can't just go ride a few bikes and decide. Very few XL/XXL frames kicking around in shops or at demo's to ride!

I've owned FS bikes for over 20 years and every one I bought before being able to test ride because there's none around to try. 2012 Heckler was my first longer travel bike (about 150mm F/R) and it was a game changer for the New England tech terrain I ride. I had to put on a Thompson 'setback' seatpost to give me a little more cockpit room but I loved that bike. It was also a proven reliable design which is important to me because I've broken a few frames over the years.

Now riding 2018 Kona Process 153 (see sig) which is an absolute beast and built like a tank. I chose 27.5 over 29 for the tight trails...if I had more fast/flowy terrain I would have gone with 29. Most comfortable bike I've ever had regarding cockpit room. Newer geo is super fun, awesome in the chunk and it really climbs great for a big burly bike. Kona also has good reputation and warranty. I'm 1.5 years and 2000+ miles into it and I love it more every ride. They have smaller travel bikes that may be worth checking out if 160mm front/153mm rear is too much.

I'm 6'4" 215 w/36" inseam
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@jeremy3220
Yeah... Hightower would be number one on my list, but it is slightly above my budget.

@sturge
+1 for Kona. I was thinking about Kona, but Process super short seat tube scary me a lot:lol:
Fingers crossed for the new 2020 Process 134!
 

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Newly updated Kona Process 134 should be coming out soon in both 27.5 & 29. Should have massive reach #'s like the 153
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Fuse6F

Strive is really big bike, but it is too much travel for my riding...

I think, I will be waiting for 2020 Fuel EX, 2019 Hightower discounts, new Process 134 and maybe updated alloy Jeffsy or at least CF Comp version with SLX/NX. Pro version is nice, but above my budget.

Well, at the end it is not that bad with the available choices :)
 

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I'm 6'4" (1.92m), 270# (~120 kg) and am riding a Rocky Mountain XL that is almost too big for me. With the saddle forward and smaller stem, feels good. The dropper at maximum insertion was just my usual height. Worth looking if you can find a dealer nearby.
 

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roots, rocks, rhythm
A little of this and that........nothing cheap! Try to buy local, which is really hard!
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That took awhile and now you got to wait......
At least now you got something to look forward to in the Spring!

I will add, it is tough to find a bike that fits when you can't demo any and just looking at the specs online doesn't really tell you everything about the bike. All the bikes I own were bought and then I went from there, which worked out most of the time.........Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks,

Buying a bike is hard, especially for us — tall people. Shops usually don't have big sizes in stock, and you have to place your order quickly because manufacturers produce only a few of them. A positive thing is that the owner of the shop is also a bike fitter, and he told me that it should be good. Otherwise he will just keep the bike.
 

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Agree, I only 6'3" but more leg that normal and typically end up on the largest bike in the lineup, bikes are getting longer reach but the stack heights are pretty low and never seems to go up proportionately as you size up... Look at pictures of medium/average sized trail bikes, saddles are pretty much even even with the grips, now look at pictures of tall guy bikes posted in this forum, our seats are towering above our bars like a race road bike :eek:

I have never seen a decent XL full suspension bike in stock at a bike shop, usually just one base model hard tail in stock. What shocked me most was being stuck with the bike the shop orders for me even if it does not fit, sounds like you found a good LBS.

going to be a long wait :eek: but worth it knowing it should fit and your not stuck if for some reason its not right.

Thanks,

Buying a bike is hard, especially for us - tall people. Shops usually don't have big sizes in stock, and you have to place your order quickly because manufacturers produce only a few of them. A positive thing is that the owner of the shop is also a bike fitter, and he told me that it should be good. Otherwise he will just keep the bike.
 

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Agree, I only 6'3" but more leg that normal and typically end up on the largest bike in the lineup, bikes are getting longer reach but the stack heights are pretty low and never seems to go up proportionately as you size up... Look at pictures of medium/average sized trail bikes, saddles are pretty much even even with the grips, now look at pictures of tall guy bikes posted in this forum, our seats are towering above our bars like a race road bike :eek:

I have never seen a decent XL full suspension bike in stock at a bike shop, usually just one base model hard tail in stock. What shocked me most was being stuck with the bike the shop orders for me even if it does not fit, sounds like you found a good LBS.

going to be a long wait :eek: but worth it knowing it should fit and your not stuck if for some reason its not right.
your correct.

My 18 SJ xxl has a stack of 686. And i run a full steerer tube and another 35mm riser bar. So while i cant touch my toes anymore. My 39" inseam likes the standing position. Could use another 40mm reach as my 70mm stem is a little long. And yes i know a 70 negative stem would add some reach. So i may do that in future.

looking for a bike w 700mm top tube 520 reach 74 seat tube and 460mm chain stay. 67 head angle. 700 stack. 150/150 travel 29er 3.0"
 
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