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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

First an introduction. I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA since 1967 and have lived in a few other cities around CA. I work (when it's available) in construction primarily as a carpenter but dabble in most of the construction arts. I first got into mountain biking about 14 years and a hundred pounds ago with a GT Timberline. Never got onto any really serious trails, but put MANY miles on that GT until it was stolen. I've recently enrolled into a Bariatric Options program through Kaiser and have been searching for a viable means of acheiving fitness. Still not sure if I'll go through with the surgery as it's VERY life changing, but the precursory program is definitely worth my time and effort. After walking was getting too easy and the gym too expensive, I've returned to cycling. I like the fact that we can push ourselves as hard or as little as we like without too much impact on the knees. Now the only impacts I have to watch out for are rocks, sign posts and moving cars. Luckily my reflexes are still quick enough to avoid most of those.



Anyways, I've recently purchased a bone stock Trek 3900 and am relatively happy with the bike and it's $160 price. But now I find myself yearning for a better, tougher ride that will allow me to tackle trails that would make that Trek scream like a frightened schoolgirl. Not that it would take much more than a bump in the pavement!

Being new to MTBR I posted in the All Mountain topic asking for bike suggestions, not knowing there was a section just for us fluffy people. The "Clydesdales" nomenclature didn't grab my attention. I don't know if I qualify as a "Clyde" as I'm only 5'7". Perhaps I'm better suited as a "Shetland Clyde". But at a current weight of 320lbs, I think this is where I belong.

And now for the point of my post...
I know this type of topic has been posted frequently, but everywhere I look, it's about 6'+ riders. Given my lack of stature I don't think the suggestions found there would/could apply to my situation.

I would like to find a bike that I can keep for a while that will stand up to my weight on level 4-6 (out of 10) trails and be efficient for cardio training on pavement. I'd like to try full suspension but can't spend much (sub $1k). I don't need bleeding edge components, but they should be tough, reliable and ez maintanence. The complete bike should be relatively light as I'm pulling enough of my own weight and don't need extra. I'm open to older model, used (not abused) bikes if anyone knows of any private parties with a bike for sale. :D Ebay (or the like) links will be appreciated. Mostly I guess I'm looking for an education. In my years off of cycling, the industry has changed drastically and has left me very out of touch with what's available/suitable for us heavy breeds. What should I be looking for in frames, drivetrains, geometry, size, etc.

P.S. If there are any other riders (male or female) in the Bakersfield, CA area of similar fitness level that would like a riding partner, let me know.
 

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there are a few web sights that you can get good deals on dissembled bikes and you can get a pretty good deal on a nice full suspension bike i cant think of the name off the top of my head but maybe someone else here will know of them and chime in. as for the bike the one thing i would get is a good air fork when i was looking for one for my bike i looked at the coil spring fork like the pike 454 and the fox vanilla its hard to find a spring for my weight . I weigh 239 lbs and most of the springs are for the 160 180 and 200 lbs range where if you use a air shock then you can adjust it to your weight and liking. People say that they are not as plush as a coil sprung fork but my Fox Forx 32 Talas RLC feels just as nice as my girlfriends fox vanilla. as for durability of components more expensive is not always better its just lighter as for sram and shimano its what you like best they are both good i run scram with a shimano crank. you may be better off buying a frame and piecing it together thats what i did. for your height a medium frame would probably be good for you but go to your locale bike shop and try different size frames.
 

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o and look at sette frames at pricepoint .com for a cheap frame they are not bad. here is my baby i have not bin able to ride in ky to wet i wish it would just snow or freeze the ground so i could ride dam the rain.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
motoxkfx123 said:
o and look at sette frames at pricepoint .com for a cheap frame they are not bad. here is my baby i have not bin able to ride in ky to wet i wish it would just snow or freeze the ground so i could ride dam the rain.
SWEET RIDE! Thank you for the input. I'll definitely check out that site.

Even though Bakersfield is the buttcrack of CA, we do enjoy ridable weather about 90% of the year. That is if you can stand to ride when it's 100+ degrees. AND we are within an hour drive of some very interesting mountain terrain.

Click Pics to follow link

Today I shopped a couple LBS's and found a...

'09 Mongoose Otero Super for $1100. They may be more negotiable when they start clearing out the 09's. It test rode NICE, very plush, but I'm a noob...what do I know? And what WILL I know until put it under some stress?



And a 2009 Specialized Eduro SL Comp (I believe) for $999. The model I rode looked just like this one but with V brakes. They said they would install cable discs for an additional $160. Or hydra discs for $320. It test rode ok, but the forks were VERY sticky. Salesman said they would smooth out after some use. Maybe I should have tried one of the other duplicate bikes on the floor. Could have just been a bad set. I don't remember if they were the Fox shocks shown in the link below, but they were spring, not air.



I've also been watching this auction on a 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 2. I'm estimating the bid will get up around $500. At that price, is this bike advisable for me? I've read some very good reviews and was excited until someone mentioned that this bike isn't for anyone over 210lbs. Does that apply to frame strength? Or something upgradable such as wheels, spokes, or shocks?



What are you guys' thoughts on these bikes. I was told both of the new bikes would handle my weight just fine, but the wheels may become a weak point. Which is ok for now, but as I progress into more demanding terrain, I would upgrade the hoops, spokes and tires anyways.
 

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with out a doubt the Specialized Enduro for $999. just the fox fork is worth $400 of that at least as for it being sticky if it is fox it will clear up after a few rides they just have to ware in and then there like butter. as for the breaks i would upgrade your self there is nothing to it and defiantly go hydro brakes and if you do them your self it will be most likely cheaper and better brakes i would go with the Avid Elixir 5 Hydraulic Disc $89.11each thats what i have and i love them feel very good i think better than the shimano xt breaks. also Specialized has a much better Warranty and the frame would most likey be the stronger of the 3
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yeah, upgrading to disc myself definitely is the way to go. I am mechanically inclined enough to do it well.

BUT! I was mistaking. I looked at SO MANY bikes that day they just kinda ran together in my mind. The Specialized is actually the 2009 FSRxc at $1k. Sorry, I'm starting to have more and more senior moments. The forks are RockShox Tora 302. The good news is, the hubs on this bike are disc ready.

 

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MrGoodHammer said:
Yeah, upgrading to disc myself definitely is the way to go. I am mechanically inclined enough to do it well.

BUT! I was mistaking. I looked at SO MANY bikes that day they just kinda ran together in my mind. The Specialized is actually the 2009 FSRxc at $1k. Sorry, I'm starting to have more and more senior moments. The forks are RockShox Tora 302. I looked at SO many bikes that day, they all kinda ran together. The good news is, the hubs on this bike are disc ready.
Specialized are a solid brand, usually spec their bikes well for the price. I would definitely go the disc brakes and if you can afford it.... hydraulics. Much easier to use and when set up properly one finger operation! Good luck!
 

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the hubs are def a +. i looked up some reviews on it there is nothing really bad about it that i could find. there are a few small things the seat is to hard people say they like the brakes for being liner pull brakes but want to upgrade to disk and there was a few complaining about the fork having to much flex witch in your case may be a problem so i would look into a upgrade for that. maybe a Marzocchi - Bomber 44 ,Fox 32 Talas 140RLC ,Rockshox Revelation ,( Rockshox Pike 454 witch is coil shock but a bad ass one ).
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I was wondering have you ever thought of getting a higher end hard tail you will get a good shock and high end components nice rims for around the same price. hard tails can be just as good as a fs and it will be much lighter. then if you ever wanted to upgrade to a fs you could take the parts from the hard tail and put them on a fs frame and have a decent fork and components.

here is what i did with my first bike. i had a trek 4300 $500 bucks bought a Titus frame $1500 bucks put the cheap parts on it and rode like that and upgraded parts over time and ended up with a nice bike. trust me it is worth the time if you plan on ridding a lot.

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to this frame

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THEN THIS.

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This way you get the bike you want maybe not right away but you learn a lot on the way on how to tune and work on them.
 

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Clydesdale 29er
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To get back to the Bariatric topic. I had The Lapband procedure in August of last year.
I was 375 pounds then and I'm now down to 273 pounds. It will change your life. It's
not always fun because it makes you stop eating but I can't fault the results. Biking
is now my passion not food. in May of this year I got an REI Novara Ponderosa 29er.
A 29er might be to big for you but I found the larger wheel easier to ride. It's a hardtail
and for 95% of the trails I ride it has been a great bike. I did just upgrade the front fork
to a Reba SL as the Dart 3 is a little light for us clydes. I have now put near 1000 miles
on my bike and I feel great.
 

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MrGoodHammer,

There are a-lot of choices out there,and the Specialized you are looking at is a good choice for a grand.You might want to check out some "Out Of Bounds"type bikes before you make a purchase.I'm 6'6" 275 pounds,and just love my '05 Kona Coiler.It's pedal friendly,and holds up to abuse etc.Many XC rigs just don't hold up to my riding style.

Also I would consider other alternatives to surgery for weight loss,as there are some risky complications.That's the great thing about riding,weight loss happens naturally as a result.You sound dedicated,and that is all you need to make a change.....:thumbsup:
 

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Clydesdale 29er
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I agree that there are risks to surgery. Gastric bypass is permanent and has some major
drawbacks. Lapband is simply a restriction device around the top of your stomach that
limits the amount of food you can eat in one meal. It is adjustable and removable with
no damage to your system. It was day surgery for me, though some may opt for an
overnight hospital visit. It's all done orthoscopically(SP?).

Mountain biking has required me to get more stitches than this surgery has.

To each there own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those are some great suggestions. I've been doing lots of research and exploring options. I've started piecing together a bike in a "Shopping Cart" at Pricepoint.com. Wow, that's a process! Comparing component prices, reviews and availability. I've found it easier to piece together and build my computer than a bike. But I enjoy all the learning and strategy, and my computer rarely helps me get my heartrate over 150bpm. Your input is invaluable and appreciated. Keep 'em coming! :thumbsup:

Hey motoxkfx123, howzabout helping me end my search early, and just sell me that Titus of yours for $1000? Huh? Please? :D LOL

As far as Bariatrics go, I'll make the decision of whether or not, and/or which type to get after seeing the effectiveness of the diet/exercise education I'm going through right now. Having never participated in an organized program, I'd like to see if I can pull off permanent and maintainable fat loss without surgical or pharmaceutical aid. Even with my active profession, the only way I've been able to lose fat in the past is with obscene amounts of ephedra. At my peak (circa 15 years ago), I weighed 200lbs wearing size 34 pants at about 10% body fat. But that was a VERY destructive lifestyle. I did little in the way of keeping a proper diet and goal oriented exercise. From what I understand, the lap band is losing favor with bariatric surgeons because of the fact that it was once thought of as reversible but have found it's reversal to be increasingly invasive the longer it's in place. After a few months, the body starts growing permanent tissue around the device that becomes dangerous to remove. In spite of that information, it is still the procedure that I'm leaning towards. But again, I'll do more research and counseling with the surgeons office to come to an educated decision if, and or when the time comes. If all efforts fail, I'll just have to accept the fact that I, like many others in this forums topic, are genetically predisposed to being fat and it is out of our control. I'm just not looking forward to "dumping syndrome", possible wheat and lactose intolerance, and other risks involved. But I'd also like to be able to tie my shoes without feeling like I'm going to pass out. I'd like to actually be able to fit in the seats at the local sports arena. I'd like for people to look at me and not prejudge me because they automatically assume I have no self-respect due to my size. And so on, and so on. So, if it takes cutting out a chunk of my intestines to achieve that goal...buddy, sign me up!
 

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You have an awesome attitude,and so your half way there already! I just wanted to take a moment to thank you,because the motivation that people like you have,keeps me on track to achieving my own goals.When I reach those goals whatever they are,the ultimate feeling of success comes from,being able to pass it on to others,thus continuing the cycle......:D I no longer have any excuses,you know....I can't ride because it's too cold,or it's raining etc.I actually enjoy rides in the rain,because either way I'm one step closer than if I had not chosen to ride......:Keep on Keepin on!.....:thumbsup:
 

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Dumping is not an issue with lapband. It is reserved for the Gastric bypass folks. The only
foods I have trouble with are sticky doughy foods that make a plug and take a while to
pass the restriction point. I also stopped drinking carbonated beverages as they can foam
up causing some discomfort. If you have any questions I am more than glad to share my
experiences so drop me a PM.

Geoffrey
 

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I grew up in Bakersfield also and now I live in Fresno. I still go to Bakersfield about once a month and usually ride while I am there. There is a really good group locally "Southern Sierra Fat Association" ssfta.com that I think does weekly rides that are not too challenging. If you want me to let you know next time I am in town just pm me your e-mail.
 

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Hey, good luck with the weight loss. My missus's old man had the lap band done and he lost heaps of weight just by having not being able to eat much food. He was at approx. 170kg/375 pounds and he's lost over 50 kg/110 pounds and has kept it off pretty well. The problems he does have since he had it done are that he can't eat steaks unless he chews them very well as the pieces tend to get stuck in the smaller opening and he also can't really eat white bread unless it's toasted. He is 63 years old and he had the surgery when he was 61. The only exercise he has done is walking or doing garden work. He has changed his diet for the better which also had a fair bearing on his weight loss. Hope this info helps you make an informed decision. By the way i'm approx 6'8' and 330 pounds and embarking on my own fitness/weight loss journey.
 

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BigSwede said:
MrGoodHammer,

There are a-lot of choices out there,and the Specialized you are looking at is a good choice for a grand.You might want to check out some "Out Of Bounds"type bikes before you make a purchase.I'm 6'6" 275 pounds,and just love my '05 Kona Coiler.It's pedal friendly,and holds up to abuse etc.Many XC rigs just don't hold up to my riding style.

Also I would consider other alternatives to surgery for weight loss,as there are some risky complications.That's the great thing about riding,weight loss happens naturally as a result.You sound dedicated,and that is all you need to make a change.....:thumbsup:
+1 on the Coiler.
This bike is designed for serious abuse so will happily handle your weight.
I got this bike for one of my friends (similar weight), he has happily thrown it off some multi foot drops in very hard terrain. The bike can hack it.

It is not as pedal efficient as some of the others out there, but you are doing this for exercise right?

Something heavy and strong like a coiler will suit you fine. Getting something too light and it snapping not only jurts your wallet but can hurt you too.
 

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MrGoodHammer, you are the perfect canidate to change to a 29er! I by the way am also a carpenter (Framer) for years and until last May weighed in at 280lbs at 6' and just got back into cycling after not being on a bike for 47 years.

When I went looking for a bike I wanted something that would carry my size be able to take a lot of punishment and not cost an arm and a leg! I went to my local bike shop and looked at a lot of bikes. I decieded on a 21" Redline Monocog 29er, Single Speed. By Christmas I had lost 60lbs. and ride 10 miles a day on that beast! I bought the bike new for $450.00 at my LBS. Don't try to keep up with all these guys with the fancy light weigt bikes, get yourself a tank and learn to ride single speed regulary and watch the pounds fall away!
 

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