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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all from Sheridan, WY. Brand new to the forum.

I'm just starting to think about getting back into mountain biking. My last bike purchase was a Giant Sedona in about 1992 when I was in college. I still have it and it doesn't have a whole lot of miles on it, but I want to upgrade and start riding more.

I have been doing some research, and lots of reading here on the forum. But I would like some personal input as well.

I plan to spend somewhere in the $1000-1400 range and hopefully buy a pretty good bike to start out on. Most of my riding will be in the Bighorn mountains that are essentially in my backyard. I don't anticipate doing a lot of super technical trails. I really want an All-Mountain type bike that will do whatever I feel like on any particular day. I'm also a fairly big boy (6' 260lbs) and not as young as I once was (36).

I have talked to my LBS a little, and they are definitely recommending a Specialized FSR-XC full suspension bike. I have not ridden it yet but plan to soon. I have read some good reviews for this bike.

My other consideration at this point is a hardtail 29er along the lines of the Gary fisher X-caliber. I asked at the LBS and they seemed a little less sold on it. They currently don't stock any 29ers at all, nor any tires etc. for them. They are the only LBS in town also.

So, have at it. What would you do in my situation? Is there a distinct advantage to one vs. the other for me?
 

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Both good choices

First off, welcome to the forums. Glad to see you're rekindling the bike flame, and seem pretty serious about it. Given your circumstance, I'd go with the FSR for a few reasons. It's a good bike, and should suit your needs. I would first off ask them to swap the Recon air fork for a Recon coil fork. better for us larger riders, IMO. Unless you plan on doing all your own maintenance and repairs, the 29er might be a headache if you run into a warantee issue. While the 29ers are gaining in popularity, there is still a lack of tried and true wheelsets, tire aod fork options for them. If you already had a couple of 26" bikes and were building a stable, or if you were so tall that none of the 26" wheeled options fit you, I'd probably advise you differently.

Test ride the FSR, and if you like it, grab it. Highly unlikely you'll be disappointed. Be sure to buy the best equipped model you can afford. In essence, if you can get them to meet you halfway on the FSR XC Pro-do it.

Just my thoughts, your mileage may vary.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input. I'm still in the research phase right now. Any other good ones to look for in this price range that I may be able to find here in the NE corner of nowhere?
 

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Welcome to Mtbr!
If you are looking at the just the FSR xc that has a Rock Shocks j-3 coil fork rather than the Recon. I would think that you would want disk brakes so you would at least want a FSR xc Comp which has the Recon air. It has a more adjustable rear suspension and disc brakes. Or go a level up to the Pro with better rear suspension and better mechanical brakes.

For the same price as the pro (if you can afford it) the Giant Reign 3 I would get that over the FSR xc. Hydrollic disk brakes (Hayes Soles), X-7 Rear Derailleur, LX Front Derailleur, Rock Shocks Tora fork and Fox Float with rebound rear shock. The downside compared to the FSR Pro is that it has a less adjustable rear shock. No lock out or pro-pedal.

Some other full suspension bikes to look at would be the Giant Trance 3 & 4.

For HT the Giant XTC, The specilized Rock Hopper Pro Disc, and the Stumpjumper.

It all depends on how it rides and how it fits to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Should I be looking at stouter rides instead? I guess 6' and 260# puts me into the clyde class. I could stand to lose a few pounds, but even at my leanest I doubt I'd get below about 215. Maybe a Kona Hoss, or ???????
 
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