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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will start off by saying I haven't ridden much in almost 4 years. I first had a crappy Schwinn "Target special" that I destroyed within minutes of deciding I wanted to ride trails. Moved to a Specialized Rockhopper which was solid but fell in love with a 2006 Kona Hoss. I rode it only a few months and then signed a baseball contract which prohibited me from riding, skiing, climbing and anything fun pretty much. :nono:

I have since moved on from baseball and got a real career and have the itch to ride and I predict it will consume me and become my #1 hobby since I have left all sporting behind.

I am 6'1" 270lbs (255-270 depending what week it is) at the most and never breach 270. I won't be cutting much weight, maybe down to 240-250 since I don't need the bulk anymore but I'm a big guy naturally and have a large muscular frame that will never see 205 again :p

I loved the Kona Hoss but they seem pretty hard to find these days and before I go on much of a search I figured I would ask here and see what else has come around since '06.

What I want:
- $1,000 for complete bike (less is welcome, slightly more is possible if it is absolutely required)
- Hardtail (Selling me on a FS would be very hard, you can try if something real stiff fits my budget and requirements)
- Disc brakes

Where I ride:
- Northern Minnesota
- Dirt, mud, rocks, water, snow, you name it
- Some trails, mostly hiking trails and deer paths. I will primarily be on 125 acres of Federal Bureau of Prisons property that nobody else will be riding on
- Some pavement (2 miles into town for small grocery items, etc)
- No significant drops or large rocks
- No significant downhill runs, more long and jumpy downhills with long lazy climbs

I will be riding relatively hard and want a bike that can keep up since I will probably grow into the sport and don't want to leave my bike behind my ability 3 months into the spring time and spend the summer on a sub-par bike.

I am not opposed to building my own, I don't have much experience but if no real proprietary tools are required, I can build pretty much anything and enjoy spending time doing so.

I'm happy to buy at my lbs (90 miles away at best :() but online would be nice and parting it out or buying complete on eBay (5,000+ transactions for me) is perfectly acceptable.


With all that said, let me know what you guys think!
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Konas have a slightly slacker head angle than a lot of other bikes. So you might consider a Kona Blast or Cinder Cone. You'll probably want a new spring kit for it, and even that may not give you a stiff enough ride. So a very sturdy air or a dirt jump fork might be better.

Check out the Clydesdale forum - it's devoted to this subject, so you may find better information. You've got about 100 pounds on me; my idea of plenty stiff may not do it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AndrwSwitch said:
Konas have a slightly slacker head angle than a lot of other bikes. So you might consider a Kona Blast or Cinder Cone. You'll probably want a new spring kit for it, and even that may not give you a stiff enough ride. So a very sturdy air or a dirt jump fork might be better.

Check out the Clydesdale forum - it's devoted to this subject, so you may find better information. You've got about 100 pounds on me; my idea of plenty stiff may not do it for you.
Thank you for the input, I looked for Clydesdale section and missed it entirely! :madman:

I'll see how the feedback comes in here as I don't want to spam repost in 2 sections.
 

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I'm 5'10" and outweigh you. I just upgraded to a Giant Talon 1 29er. Weather has been crap in MD so I haven't been out much yet. What little I have been out I like it so far. Lists for $940 I got it for $900. Been using my LBS for 3 years now so they know me well. This is what they recommended for me as an upgrade.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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I'm the same weight as you and I have ridden the XTC 29er1. It will handle you just fine:

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/model/xtc.29er.2/7366/44092/

I am currently riding a Marz 44 TST2 fork on my own 29er HT and it will handle you with no problems. The frame (and fork) has a tapered headtube AND A 15QR axle for even more front end stiffness. It does make a difference.

The stock wheels are sturdy and you get Shimano hydraulic discs (180mm front amd 160mm rear).

If you can find a dealer to knock off a little from the $1,300 msrp, you'll have a good bike for a clyde type like yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Score 2 for Giant recommendations. Thanks guys.

As for going 29er, does the larger wheel create any problems for strength and lateral integrity? I've been out of the game for too long and 29" weren't really around when I rode before (at least not like they are now I don't think.)
 

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Never trust a fart
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Your limitation will be the wheels regardless of riding a 26er or 29er. Go for something with a decent wheel set. If not, make sure to set aside some cash for a wheel set upgrade.
 

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tool_462 said:
Score 2 for Giant recommendations. Thanks guys.

As for going 29er, does the larger wheel create any problems for strength and lateral integrity? I've been out of the game for too long and 29" weren't really around when I rode before (at least not like they are now I don't think.)
Theoretically they wouldn't be quite as strong as a wheel with a smaller diameter, but there's a lot of clydes running 29er wheels out there. A good set of wheels should hold up whether you're 170 or 270 pounds if you use them as they're intended.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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tool_462 said:
Score 2 for Giant recommendations. Thanks guys.

As for going 29er, does the larger wheel create any problems for strength and lateral integrity? I've been out of the game for too long and 29" weren't really around when I rode before (at least not like they are now I don't think.)
AladdinP said:
Theoretically they wouldn't be quite as strong as a wheel with a smaller diameter, but there's a lot of clydes running 29er wheels out there. A good set of wheels should hold up whether you're 170 or 270 pounds if you use them as they're intended.
:thumbsup: Nods head in agreement.

Watch this video of two guys on 29" wheels:

 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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OP, do you remember what size your previous Kona was?

Based on the geometry for the '10 frameset...

The Five-O looks like it runs a little bit long, which is good for a bigger rider, but I'm not comfortable guessing someone else's bike size over the internet. It depends on a lot of things, including core strength, flexibility, power-to-weight ratio, physical proportions, etc. etc. It's also a little slacker than most Kona hardtails, although I'm not sure about the Hoss. So it ought to be a little more stable on the way down, and have slightly worse climbing manners, especially on singletrack or switchbacks. Not sure if that's an issue for you. Since it comes with a 140mm fork, you can reduce the travel to make it favor climbing a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Eville140 said:
Is an 18" going to be big enough for a guy 6'1"?
Bet you'll need atleast a 19 or 20"
You are right. I didn't realize it was only 18" available, I need 19.5-20" to feel comfortable.

@AndrwSwitch:
It was 19" I'm about 90% certain. It fit me well.

I talked to them and the Five-0 sits a little longer than the frame would suggest they said, but I'm not willing to save $100 if it's going to get me stuck with an uncomfortable ride.

I really need to find a place with more than 1 or 2 brands of bikes so I can get a feel and go from there. Sucks living in the middle of nowhere.
 

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Hi Tool,

Great overview of your requirements, and you've already gotten some good advice.*

What is striking to me is that you have 2 of the*best reasons I can think of for buying a bike on line, and tooling up to do any work yourself:
1. "local" shops are >=90 miles away
2. I'd want to be very efficient with repairs when riding on prison grounds ;-)

Using the following as a guide, and understanding that you are looking for a bike for the long haul
> What I want:
> - $1,000 for complete bike (less is welcome, slightly more is possible if it is absolutely required)
> - Hardtail (Selling me on a FS would be very hard, you can try if something real stiff fits my budget and requirements)
> - Disc brakes*

I would suggest that you look at something similar to the following, and use what is left in your budget to purchase any specialized tools you might need to assemble and maintain:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_comp08.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_trail08.htm

Or, in 29er flavor:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom29_elite_xi.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/windsor_cliff29pro_xi.htm

I've had good luck buying from bikesdirect in the past, so all of the above came from them as examples of decent component mix for the price point online. I would also not hesitate to purchase from other online dealers that had a bike which interested me that I was comfortable buying from (I'd include JensonUSA, CambriaBike and Performance in that list, FWIW).*

I did do a search of "Motobecane" on the clydesdale forum, and was surprised that they were not only represented well there, but their 29ers in particular have a lot of clydes riding them. (Note, I was not looking at any of the specific bikes above when I searched the clyde forum, just the brand in general.)*For any given bike you consider, I would recommend that you*check out the Clydesdale forum perspective on the included fork (and wheelset, if possible) as this will be a weak link in our weight class. I'm also a clyde: run 255 w/o gear, and carry an inordinate amt of water most of the time (100+ oz).

In terms of what tools you might need, I'll use my Motobecane as an example. It came largely assembled, but did require that I had the following to complete assembly and adjust before getting out on the trails:
- Typical metric Allen wrenches
- Torx driver (for installing rotors on hubs)
- Shock pump (for air fork)
- Cable cutter*
- Possibly a philips screwdriver

Nothing real specialized, and not much else you'll need to enjoy any bike until you find that NOS Kona Hoss frame and decide you want to move the parts over! IMO, that is one of the great benefits of buying online -> you'll get a nice component group all neatly packaged on a bike you can ride around until you can find/afford the frame you know you want. At that point, you have to decide whether you like the donor bike, or want to upgrade frames.

Anyway, this is the approach I would take in your shoes. I think the toughest call to make 90 miles from a bike shop is going to be 26" vs. 29". As I said, I was pleasantly surprised by how many clydes use the bigger hoops!

Enjoy the buying process. I hope you end up with a rig that serves you well,
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you Paul for the valuable information! I'm leaning that way now, I haven't taken the plunge just yet so I appreciate the extra feedback. We are slated for quite a bit more snow in the near future so I'm not in too much of a hurry as I don't want to start riding until it's a bit muddier out since these trails aren't run by anyone other than lots of deer and wolves.
 
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