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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Been a long time since I've been on my MTB. Probably 6+ yrs. Went for a ride with some friends a few weeks ago & been on the bike every few days since.

I'm now in my mid-50's, 6'-3", 240lbs, live and ride at 5,000+ft elevation. Currently riding my old '96 Specialized Stumpjumper FS M2 that's had more than a few upgrades, including springs in the RockShox Judy fork to help support my weight. The bike is still in great shape, is light at only 22 lbs, shifting is butter smooth, climbs anything I can keep the pedals moving on, etc. However, damn its a harsh ride. That M2 frame is STIFF!

So, after the recent rides I'm starting to think about getting myself something current and comfortable to ride. Something that'll do everything from easy bike path rides with the wife to high mountain trails around Lake Tahoe. Most of my riding will be somewhat rocky, single track loops with just as much climbing as descents. Like the idea of keeping the price down under the $2000 range if possible.

There are a few bikes that have caught my eye and two in particular... a Canyon Neuron AL 6.0 or Marin Rift Zone 2. Both full squish, both just under 2K, both 29'ers. Both of these have some of what I think I want, but neither have everything. I think I'd like a SRAM Eagle NX group, 1x11 or 1x12 group set, dropper seat post, at least the shock being by Fox, etc. The Marin has nearly everything, but not sure about the RockShox shock and fork set up. The Canyon has a similar set up but a 2x11 SLX gear set. Looking at the Canyon website I really like the idea of a Canyon Neuron AL 7.0, but that one is currently $800+/- more than the 6.0. But is it worth the extra coin? It does get me the component set up I think I want + it has Fox shock and forks.

Also wondering about maybe another hardtail but with tubeless 27.5+ set ups. I hear they ride more comfortably than a typical hardtail, may climb better that a full squish 29'er, but how about the rocky descents? Rear end probably still somewhat harsh on sharp hits yes?

Sorry, for the long post. Just got tons of unknowns to figure out. Any help would be awesome!
 

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Returned to riding like you in my late 50’s at about 235lbs (6’2.5”). I’ve come full circle over the last 3 years, starting with a cheap hardtail, adding electric assist, making the jump to full suspension (Niner Jet 9 & Santa Cruz Hightower), returning to hardtail, then full hard with carbon forks and no electric assist. I turn 60 later this year and found I had a hard time making FS climb well and that I ride much slower than I did when I was younger, so FS isn’t a requirement for getting out, exercising, site seeing and having fun.

If your current bike does the trick, then just ride it. If you’d like to try out some of the new geometries, go for a few test rides. The 27.5+ and 29+ hardtails made today have enough cush for me. A strong wheelset will be essential at your size. I was popping spokes when I got back into it with the cheaper bikes wheelsets.

If your goal is fun, check out the Trek Stache 29+ and the Banshee Paradox. Both of these frames have the latest geo with playful short chainstays. I just started building up a new Paradox V3, so I can’t comment on the ride feel yet, but I have ridden a Trek Stache and really enjoyed it.

If you like to bomb downhill fast, then definitely go with a FS bike. It may be a bit harder to climb with, but the suspension will pay off when flying down rough trails.

The plus hardtails meet my needs at this age. I just hope I can fully transition away from the electric assist bikes that got me back into the sport and still have the same fun factor on each ride. Down to 229lbs at this weeks doctor office weigh in. That made me very happy. 212lbs is my goal, while keeping a smile on my face and not killing myself in the process. Good luck!
 

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Actually went a head & ordered a bike last night. Went the full-squish route & ordered a YT Jeffsy 29 AL.
Test rode one and wasn't terribly impressed. It was decent but not amazing. I rode the top end $5500 carbon frame version. I'm a lot heavier and the shock just did not work for me. At 240 you may have better luck. Not sure how well the level of Fox shocks that come on the AL bikes work for heavier riders. I hear Fox shocks are generally better in that regard. I know that at 250-260 last year my RockShox shock on my Release was a complete no-go. I sold it and replaced with a Manitou which is much better. Hopefully it works for you and you have a better experience with the bike and shock. I think the shock was a major reason I wasn't crazy about the bike. I'm hoping next year at Dirt Fest I'm back down to my fighting weight of 240-250 from my current 295 and I can give it another go assuming YT is there doing demos again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update...
Received my Jeffsy 29 AL a little over a week ago & so far it's been pretty damn awesome. Love the ride, fit, feel, handling, climbing, etc. On the first ride on my new Jeffsy the 1st thing I noticed was that it just felt natural. Got on it & didn't have to think about what I was trying to do. Just did it. Dawned on me about 15 or 20 min into that first ride that the bike was probably the easiest to ride bikes I've ever been on. Just need to fine tune a few things. The shock & fork settings are close I think. I have new Speedplay Frog pedals I'm still unsure about, might go back to SPD clipless pedals. I also haven't gone tubeless yet but plan to soon.
 

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Why would you choose that bike, because its a fat bike or is there something about the geometry/wheelbase/tube angles you like?
It isn't a fat bike, it's a plus bike and yes, that's a big part of it. The steel frame and geometry all adds to my enjoyment of this bike. I'm not one of those steel is real people... I had FS bikes and aluminum hardtails and all sorts of stuff. My fat bikes and my Krampus are my favorites. Being a tall Clyde, the 29+ wheels and tires are what regular stuff is to smaller people.
I rode Krampus rigid for over a year and fell in love with the way the steel frame rides. I recently got a great deal on a Rockshox Yari and now the bike is killer.
On a side note, quite a few older people ask me what bike would be best for them and I almost always recommend fat bikes. Some of them bought fatties and couldn't be happier. Here on Long Island they open up beach riding which is a nice option.
 
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