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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to mountain biking, would like to get into it pretty heavy. I am a pretty heavy guy and am 6'4" so I figure a 29er would be right up my alley. I am looking for a cheap geared 29er...any suggestions as to what I should specifically be looking for? Also, should I be looking at the largest frame made most likely? Thanks for you input and I am sure I will have many more questions.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Are you planning to stay heavy? If this is a diet device, you should be well served with a Fisher. For long-term big-guy-ness, you may wish for something burlier soon. say, over 220lb?
The ultimate big-guy-bike will always be the Surly Karate Monkey. I own an XL, and it kicks my butt, and easily handles my 220lb buddy. Should fit a 6'4" rider fine, that's what I am, my buddy is 6'1 or so.
Recommended for any bug-guy-build in 29" would be a man sized rear rim (560g+) with 36 spokes. IMO it's really worth it.

You being new to MTB'ing you're no limited by prejudices. If you decide to have a bike built up by an (online) LBS, you get to build a bike that makes sence TO YOU. My personal suggestions would be to especially rear handlebar reviews. On this forum handlebars with lots of back sweep are really popular, more than anyway on the WW(W). Then, with 29"er we're quite progressive anyway. Consider the On-One Mary bar for general off-road riding, it works with any frame that fits your body.

I think www.speedgoat.com allows you to build a virtual bike all the way up. A very 29"-friendly shop. Also look in the sticky thread where to find a 29"-friendly LBS near you. Other LBS"s will just try to sell you a 26"er they need to rid off. But that's just an assumption based on my time as a bike salesman :)

Good luck, and don't be shy to ask Q's that seem stupid! at times the search function works miracles, sometimes not. Worth trying also.

Happy trails,

J
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What models are some that would be worth me looking into? When I look around on the internet I just seem to go around and around in circles.

This is a hopeful diet device, I think it should work though...Thanks again

Also, how much should I be looking at spending? It seems as though I can only find expensive expensive product online.
 

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Purveyor of Fine 29erness
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Expense will greatly depend on what is important to you. For $899, you can get Fisher's enrty level 29er, the Cobia. It has decent parts, including disc brakes and an air shock, and would be a good place to start, if you were planning on upgrading parts as needed ro when you could afford it.
For about $1500, you could get something a bit more "custom", such as a Karate Monkey, or On One Inbred, with similar components. The cost factor will vary here based on choices such as rigid fork, disc brakes, etc.
There are lots of big guys on this forum, so I'm sure they will chime in with what they like.
George
 

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Bike Breaker
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I am 6'4 220 and ride a XL cobia. Other than the warranty issues with tire rubbing and seattube cracking it has done fine. I wonder sometimes if i should have went with a monkey, but fisher and my LBS and have been helpfull to fix any problems. The fork is great, brakes are marginal, wheels flex like noodles. Defiently a good base to start with. Although its up in the air as whether I should have started with a frame and speced hevier duty parts. Now i just will upgrade as they break:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How much money would go into building an On One Inbred or a Karate Monkey bike from the frame up? Would I save any money doing it this way or not? Also, should I look around at 26 inch tired bikes? Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
 

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I live to bike
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DreamAndDayUnite said:
How much money would go into building an On One Inbred or a Karate Monkey bike from the frame up? Would I save any money doing it this way or not? Also, should I look around at 26 inch tired bikes? Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.
It is usually MORE expensive to build a bike from the frame up rather than buying a full bike.

With entry-level components, you could build up a Karate Monkey for $8-900 pretty easily, $1000-1200 with a careful selection of better components.
 

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my 2 cents

I'm 6'3" 200lbs, just bought an XL Fisher X-Caliber, $1250. Very happy with it. Compared it to the cobia in the store - x-cal felt noticeably lighter, probably due to upgraded wheels and fork.
 

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Future Rainbow Jersey
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depends on what the definition of inexpensive is...

As other posters have stated, your best bet for inexpensive, geared 29ers lie with the GF Cobia for around $800-$900, or the X-Cal for around $1200-$1300. As a matter of fact, if you can track down an '06 leftovers of any of those bikes (rare, but I managed it late last year, snagging an '05 X-Cal), you can save anywhere from 10-30%. You might have to wait another month or so, but '07's are starting to roll out now, so maybe not even that long.

The KM or the On-One are definitely other routes you can take, but I'm definitely not as informed on that tip. Check the classifieds here as well, you might be able to snag something.
 

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more 2 cents...

There are also several other offerings coming out for '07 that should be relatively inexpensive: kona, haro, jamis (I think) are coming out with geared 29ers. Others like Van Dessel might be considered. Do some searching on these boards and you'll learn lots. But all these bikes have slightly different geometries and may feel better or worse to you. Your height is a good starting point for finding the right sized bike, but you also need to consider inseam length, arm reach, etc. So just a reminder to take your time and ride as many different bikes and sizes as you can, and take your time on the test rides. I bought my XL x-cal after riding the L for 20 minutes, the XL for 20 minutes, then coming back a week later and riding them both again for 20 minutes before confidently going with the XL. Unfortunately when I rode them it was only in the parking lot, but I atleast could hop a few curbs and spend as much time as I could. Some shops have demos you can take out on trails - look into this.

Cobia or if you've got the extra cash X-cal is a good starting point, though - you get a lot of bang for the buck, and you've got to start somewhere before you start making the inevetable opinions on aluminum vs. steel, flat bars vs. riser, geared vs. ss, shimano vs. sram, etc. etc. etc.
 
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