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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys, I've been lurking over here for quite some time. I have been coveting a 29er for a while.

Here is my situation. Today I discovered a crack in the chainstay of my 23" Giant Yukon frame. The thing is still rideable but I know it's days are numbered. Despite my "lifetime warranty" Giant says they have no replacement frames to send out in 23". They can offer a 21" frame which I know is too small with it's Geometry. I am 6'3" with a 35" inseam and gorilla shoulders and arms ... 280#. I need steel and large steel at that.

Giant is offering me a $120 credit that my dealer can use to upgrade my frame. We could find nothing over 21" in steel. About the best thing we found in QBP was the Karate Monkey at 22".

If have two XT hubs on the way along with some rims. I could ditch the 26 inch wheel build and get 29er rims. Which ones??? Is the Rhynolite XL available in 700cc?? Can I run Exiwolf 2.3" on a Karate Monkey?

Those of you of similar size to myself, would I fit a Niner Bikes 21 inch frame? This is the only other option I would consider. What about the Soma frame? If have demoed Fisher bikes in 29ers and I found their XL bikes quite comfortable (obviously I'm not buying a fisher). Are the Niners comparable?

If not ... can someone point me to a decent oversized steel 26er frame out there. Thanks.
 

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probably not exactly what you're looking for but...

I'm 6'5" with a 34-35" inseam, 230 lbs, with pretty long arms. I picked up a Redline Monocog 29er in a 21" and it fits great! For the first time in my adult life the stem on my bike is 100mm (i'm used to too short top tubes and 120-130mm stems). The 21" monocog has an effective top tube length of 25.5 or something like that".

For comparison I ride an XL (22") Giant NRS Air and use a 110 or 120mm stem on it--depending on the bar.
 

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I'm the same exact size...

And run a 22" Karate Monkey, I'd definately go that route again. They do make Rhyno Lites in a 700c, go 36 holes... Exi-Wolf's (wolves?) do fit barely in the rear when you run a front derailleur. Use the Monkey Nuts that come with the frame if you go this route. No Front Derailleur/Gears? No problem. The only issue with KM's (and some other frames) is that a Reba's top cap/knob thingie can smack the downtube unless you use a King with 4 or 7mm tall (Ventana) crown race, a CC S3.5 headset, On One makes one as well. I use an FSA Orbit XL(roller bearing lower cup) with a 2mm spacer (Cheapest...)
Hope this helps, if you were in VT I'd say get over here.
 

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willtsmith_nwi said:
OK guys, I've been lurking over here for quite some time. I have been coveting a 29er for a while.

Here is my situation. Today I discovered a crack in the chainstay of my 23" Giant Yukon frame. The thing is still rideable but I know it's days are numbered. Despite my "lifetime warranty" Giant says they have no replacement frames to send out in 23". They can offer a 21" frame which I know is too small with it's Geometry. I am 6'3" with a 35" inseam and gorilla shoulders and arms ... 280#. I need steel and large steel at that.

Giant is offering me a $120 credit that my dealer can use to upgrade my frame. We could find nothing over 21" in steel. About the best thing we found in QBP was the Karate Monkey at 22".

If have two XT hubs on the way along with some rims. I could ditch the 26 inch wheel build and get 29er rims. Which ones??? Is the Rhynolite XL available in 700cc?? Can I run Exiwolf 2.3" on a Karate Monkey?

Those of you of similar size to myself, would I fit a Niner Bikes 21 inch frame? This is the only other option I would consider. What about the Soma frame? If have demoed Fisher bikes in 29ers and I found their XL bikes quite comfortable (obviously I'm not buying a fisher). Are the Niners comparable?

If not ... can someone point me to a decent oversized steel 26er frame out there. Thanks.
Why would you not buy a Fisher? Your dealer dosen't sell them? I wouldn't let the $120 steer you away from a good bike that fits. I have a Fisher 293 and it is sweet. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Braking frames ...

bglimpse said:
Why would you not buy a Fisher? Your dealer dosen't sell them? I wouldn't let the $120 steer you away from a good bike that fits. I have a Fisher 293 and it is sweet. :thumbsup:
I'm breaking frames. Fishes are ultra-light and likely thinner walled then the Giant frames. It's too bad too because I rode a test drove a Paragon 29er in 19" the other day and while it felt a tad too small, I got the sense that the 21" would be perfect. But for the record, this dealer is not a Fisher dealer. He deals Giant, Raleigh, Redline, DB. There are other shops in the area and I'm on good terms with all of them and do business in multiple places. But this the guy I bought the bike from.

I am also very cash constrained. My dealer is going to let me buy at cost for the things I need to make the switch. That is, any part that does not transfer from the old frame to the new frame ... I get to buy at cost. The bicycle will be geared.

The fit is the biggest thing I'm concerned about here. I don't want to make a switch and find myself really constrained. I like feeling "stretched out" on the bike. Can I assume that most 29ers have longer effective top tubes due to the toe/pedal clearence issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks ...

WEBERTIME said:
And run a 22" Karate Monkey, I'd definately go that route again. They do make Rhyno Lites in a 700c, go 36 holes... Exi-Wolf's (wolves?) do fit barely in the rear when you run a front derailleur. Use the Monkey Nuts that come with the frame if you go this route. No Front Derailleur/Gears? No problem. The only issue with KM's (and some other frames) is that a Reba's top cap/knob thingie can smack the downtube unless you use a King with 4 or 7mm tall (Ventana) crown race, a CC S3.5 headset, On One makes one as well. I use an FSA Orbit XL(roller bearing lower cup) with a 2mm spacer (Cheapest...)
Hope this helps, if you were in VT I'd say get over here.
Thanks for the info, unfortunately I live in Northwest Indiana (near Chicago). This is good feedback. I'm really leaning toward the Karate Monkey right now as it has been well received and it is cheap. I'm getting dealer prices on it.

While test driving a Paragon, I discovered that I do want that Reba fork. Unfortunately, it's $$$. Maybe the dealer will give me dealer price on that as well ??

OK another question ... anyone have NoTubes working with a Rynolite Rim and a WTB ExiWolf. I currently run downhill tubes for flat prevention but this will not be an option on 29er. I HATE flats and I hate patching tubes. Any experience with this combination ... anyone???
 

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willtsmith_nwi said:
I'm breaking frames. Fishes are ultra-light and likely thinner walled then the Giant frames. It's too bad too because I rode a test drove a Paragon 29er in 19" the other day and while it felt a tad too small, I got the sense that the 21" would be perfect. But for the record, this dealer is not a Fisher dealer. He deals Giant, Raleigh, Redline, DB. There are other shops in the area and I'm on good terms with all of them and do business in multiple places. But this the guy I bought the bike from.

I am also very cash constrained. My dealer is going to let me buy at cost for the things I need to make the switch. That is, any part that does not transfer from the old frame to the new frame ... I get to buy at cost. The bicycle will be geared.

The fit is the biggest thing I'm concerned about here. I don't want to make a switch and find myself really constrained. I like feeling "stretched out" on the bike. Can I assume that most 29ers have longer effective top tubes due to the toe/pedal clearence issue?
I am 6'3" with a 35" inseam and gorilla shoulders and arms ... 280#.

My god get a 29'er now:eekster:

I also suggest a Fisher for your situation. Remember that a 29'er will take less of a beating than a 26'er.
 

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Hey Willtsmith, I'm also 6'3" but weigh a bit less. I'm planning on going with the Paragon because I like the idea of the bigger wheels, but I noticed that Fisher has a new 26" steel bike called the Ferrous. The XL (or 21") has a 25.5" effective top tube, which is the same as the Paragon. Might be something worth looking at. I hope this suggestion doesn't get me tarred and feathered by the 29" community! :D
 

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I am 6'6 and love the fit of my 22" KM. I am just a tad cramped buy not nearly as bad as my older 26ers, you should have no problem. I run it ridged with a surly fork, if you can't swing the reba you should try the surly for a while it's pretty cush.
 

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Well, the 23" Yukon you were riding had a 24.0" top tube (C-C, I believe. not sure about effective top tube). A large Karate Monkey (20 inch) has an effective top tube of 24.3" the XL (22") has effective top tube of 24.9" (C-C is 24.2"). If the Yukon was comfortably long, the XL Monkey should be great. You'll also have a more performance-oriented bike (the Yukon is a recreational model and has a more upright/laidback position than the high-end/performance model bikes). And it sounds like you ride a good deal, so your skills are probably ready for a better geometry, anyway.

Cool that Giant is giving you a credit since they don't have a frame in stock (I'm assuming that $120 is probably cost for the Yukon frame). Not a whole lot of cash, but getting the KM at shop price means you're almost halfway there, not bad!

And yes, you should have no trouble with Exiwolves on a KM since "Fatties Fit Fine"! Don't know about that particular combination for tubeless. (You could always use the downhill 26 inch tubes in the 29er tire--tube won't be quite as thick, but probably still thicker than a normal 29er tube) Or add slime or Stan's to the tube if the tubeless conversion doesn't work.

Sounds like you got a great shop hooking you up! If they can't hook you up with a deal on the Reba, you could always run the Monkey with the rigid for awhile, see how you like it, then pay for the Reba or look for one used to get it cheaper. The Reba, of course, is a major upgrade from the fork on the Yukon. You could try to get Giant to give a little extra since you would need to replace the fork to go 29er, but unlikely they will (and if they did, it would probably only be about 20 bucks, anyway)

Speaking of large Yukons, we sold a guy a 25" Yukon at the bike shop I used to work at. That thing was HUGE! And with only 26" wheels, it looked funny and out of proportion. I'm hoping Giant will get into the 29er game now that it appears Specialized and Cannondale are getting into the act.
 

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willtsmith_nwi said:
...Can I assume that most 29ers have longer effective top tubes due to the toe/pedal clearence issue?
No, you can not assume that. The effective TT length is more important in fit than the seat tube length and is the first thing I look at in sizing a new frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks ..

Jwiffle said:
Well, the 23" Yukon you were riding had a 24.0" top tube (C-C, I believe. not sure about effective top tube). A large Karate Monkey (20 inch) has an effective top tube of 24.3" the XL (22") has effective top tube of 24.9" (C-C is 24.2"). If the Yukon was comfortably long, the XL Monkey should be great. You'll also have a more performance-oriented bike (the Yukon is a recreational model and has a more upright/laidback position than the high-end/performance model bikes). And it sounds like you ride a good deal, so your skills are probably ready for a better geometry, anyway.

Cool that Giant is giving you a credit since they don't have a frame in stock (I'm assuming that $120 is probably cost for the Yukon frame). Not a whole lot of cash, but getting the KM at shop price means you're almost halfway there, not bad!

And yes, you should have no trouble with Exiwolves on a KM since "Fatties Fit Fine"! Don't know about that particular combination for tubeless. (You could always use the downhill 26 inch tubes in the 29er tire--tube won't be quite as thick, but probably still thicker than a normal 29er tube) Or add slime or Stan's to the tube if the tubeless conversion doesn't work.

Sounds like you got a great shop hooking you up! If they can't hook you up with a deal on the Reba, you could always run the Monkey with the rigid for awhile, see how you like it, then pay for the Reba or look for one used to get it cheaper. The Reba, of course, is a major upgrade from the fork on the Yukon. You could try to get Giant to give a little extra since you would need to replace the fork to go 29er, but unlikely they will (and if they did, it would probably only be about 20 bucks, anyway)

Speaking of large Yukons, we sold a guy a 25" Yukon at the bike shop I used to work at. That thing was HUGE! And with only 26" wheels, it looked funny and out of proportion. I'm hoping Giant will get into the 29er game now that it appears Specialized and Cannondale are getting into the act.
Thanks for the advice. I'm resolved to get a Karate Monkey now using as much of my existing equipment as I can. As I'm so cash poor, I'll probably just start out with rigid and buy the Reba fork when I get some extra $$$. Maybe I can convince the shop to let me buy the suspension fork later at dealer price.

What blows is I just bought spokes, rims and hubs to build a set of 26 inch wheels ... DOHHH!!! Oh well, I only paid $25 per hoop for Rhynolite XL rims. I might be able to find someone else around with the same appreciation for WIDE as I have.

I have two new 36 hole XT hubs, I'll probably order some Rhynolite 29er rims and lace them up. I'll be ordering a new thudbuster in the smaller tube size (damn you cro-moly and your tiny tubes). Anyone have any idea on what front derailleur to buy? I have read around about the tire clearence issues. Other than that, all my old equipment should transfer over.

Yes you are right about XL bikes looking ridiculous with 26" tires. I can imagine that 25" looked absurd. I too hope that the 29er market will eventually reach a "critical mass" where everyone carries them and every frame large and over is automatically a 29er just like XS frames use 24 inch wheels. Use the right wheel size for a persons size. And while we're at it ... we have to get companies to start using THICKER tubing on XL bikes instead of just making them longer.
 

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I decided to check and see what kind of bike The Amazing Shrinking Man ( http://theamazingshrinkingman.blogspot.com/ ) is riding and he had a link to this site:
http://www.supersizedcycles.com/

Not making a recommendation, this thread just brought it to mind. And I'm certainly not trying to be critical, I'm 6'1" and currently 260. Somewhat to my amazement, my old Trek hardtail aluminum frame has held up very well to a few years of hard riding and abuse.

At your size, I recommend that if you don't do this already, you learn how to maintain your own wheels. Get a truing stand (I use a Spin Doctor model) and make sure you keep your spokes tensioned properly. Oh yeah, you did just mention picking up stuff to build a pair of wheels, so perhaps you're on top of this already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Frames made by Giant ..

bhutata said:
I decided to check and see what kind of bike The Amazing Shrinking Man ( http://theamazingshrinkingman.blogspot.com/ ) is riding and he had a link to this site:
http://www.supersizedcycles.com/

Not making a recommendation, this thread just brought it to mind. And I'm certainly not trying to be critical, I'm 6'1" and currently 260. Somewhat to my amazement, my old Trek hardtail aluminum frame has held up very well to a few years of hard riding and abuse.

At your size, I recommend that if you don't do this already, you learn how to maintain your own wheels. Get a truing stand (I use a Spin Doctor model) and make sure you keep your spokes tensioned properly. Oh yeah, you did just mention picking up stuff to build a pair of wheels, so perhaps you're on top of this already.
The aluminum frames from most big manufacturers are all made by Giant. It's just part of their business. If yours has survived it's probably a combination of me being just plain bigger and riding it on trails that may be a big rougher.

In any case, all aluminm frames are destined for the trash heap. Every time you flex it, it cracks ever so imperceptibly until something gets out of control. One day, I'll get myself a titanium bike. In the mean time ... it's steel for me.

I looked at that site, they didn't even have any frame sizes listed. Given their target audience, I wouldn't trust their bikes for anything other than recreational use.
 

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I doubt Giant had a hand in building my Trek. The frame's from '96 or '97 and everything else has been replaced, usually more than once. Most of the time parts were replaced just for the sake of upgraditis, not because it was broken. I bought it used and have been riding it since 2002 and I'd be pretty surprised if the trails you ride are much rougher than mine, although I will admit to not doing much major jumping. I usually seek out the rougher, more technical trails and usually bomb right through the rough stuff.

And FWIW, alum frames don't crack every time they flex, but they are much more subject to fatigue than steel and ti so they're a lot more subject to cracks after repeated flexing. I've even been my non-replaceable derailluer hanger and had to re-align it a couple of times. I'm not under any illusions that my frame is going to last forever, like I said before I'm amazed it's lasted this long. If it's still alive when I can afford a 29er, I'll still keep it around as a back-up.

I posted that other site just as a matter of satisfying my own curiousity, but I did notice they had a statement that they custom-sized all their bikes. Considering the name of their parent company (Internet something or other), I'd highly recommend a reputable custom builder before I'd ever send anyone their direction. For one, Walt's on this forum and he makes a great product for a fair price, though I understand if it's out of your budget. There are many others, of course.
 

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Front Derailleur...

willtsmith_nwi said:
Thanks for the advice. I'm resolved to get a Karate Monkey now using as much of my existing equipment as I can. As I'm so cash poor, I'll probably just start out with rigid and buy the Reba fork when I get some extra $$$. Maybe I can convince the shop to let me buy the suspension fork later at dealer price.

What blows is I just bought spokes, rims and hubs to build a set of 26 inch wheels ... DOHHH!!! Oh well, I only paid $25 per hoop for Rhynolite XL rims. I might be able to find someone else around with the same appreciation for WIDE as I have.

I have two new 36 hole XT hubs, I'll probably order some Rhynolite 29er rims and lace them up. I'll be ordering a new thudbuster in the smaller tube size (damn you cro-moly and your tiny tubes). Anyone have any idea on what front derailleur to buy? I have read around about the tire clearence issues. Other than that, all my old equipment should transfer over.

Yes you are right about XL bikes looking ridiculous with 26" tires. I can imagine that 25" looked absurd. I too hope that the 29er market will eventually reach a "critical mass" where everyone carries them and every frame large and over is automatically a 29er just like XS frames use 24 inch wheels. Use the right wheel size for a persons size. And while we're at it ... we have to get companies to start using THICKER tubing on XL bikes instead of just making them longer.
This link should help...
http://www.surlybikes.com/spew12.html

Any 28.6mm clamp, Bottom Pull, Traditional(Bottom Swing) derailleur should work. I got my XTR on ebay for $25 new. It's an odd size "these days" with all the fat tubed alloy frames that need a top pull derailleur.
 

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willtsmith_nwi said:
The aluminum frames from most big manufacturers are all made by Giant. It's just part of their business. If yours has survived it's probably a combination of me being just plain bigger and riding it on trails that may be a big rougher.

In any case, all aluminm frames are destined for the trash heap. Every time you flex it, it cracks ever so imperceptibly until something gets out of control. One day, I'll get myself a titanium bike. In the mean time ... it's steel for me.

I looked at that site, they didn't even have any frame sizes listed. Given their target audience, I wouldn't trust their bikes for anything other than recreational use.
Given your needs, I'd take a long hard look at Surly, myself! The Supersizedcycles site does have a nice trail bike now, but frankly, it's really a citypath bike that's beefed for bariatric cyclists and styled to look like a mountainbike. It has a single ring crank and a 9 speed cluster, so it's uses offroad would be limited at best. The other bikes I'd look at might be the Thylacine Ti frame, custom from Australia. Their stuff looks pretty clydeworthy and not a bad price for a Titanium frame! I have the link up for Supersizedcycles because I really support Joan in her particular mission, to get Bariatric folk out on a bike and trying to improve their lives, but for any serious offroad use, I really need to suggest another option!:D
 
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