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Hello MTBR! I've been researching and Googling and feel a bit overwhelmed really. I'm going to get back into mountain biking (used to be an enthusiast but that was 15 years ago). Main qualifier about me is I'm 6' and weigh about 250# - which is why I need to rediscover a sport I once loved! At this rate I'm going to get diabetes, heart disease, or worse!

Anyway...in my searches and studies I'm finding that the Gravity 29point3 is tough to beat as far as what I'm looking for. I want an "entry level bike" that will sustain my girth and will handle well as I lose the spare tire! At $749 from bikesdirect can anyone suggest other bikes I might be interested in with comparable specs? $750 is really about as high as I want to go right now...at the most $900 but that might leave a sick feeling with me.

Is there any feature I should focus on considering I'm not in the best shape? You guys are extremely knowledgeable and I appreciate your help.

Gravity 29point3
FrameALLOY 6061 Aluminum with TrailTested Design. D-Section, Hydroformed Downtube with reinforced Gusset, replaceable rear derailleur hanger, water bottle mount
Fork29" SUSPENSION FORK, ROCK SHOX TK 29" 100MM Long Travel, Lockout
NOTE: Due to 2014 changes, some equipped with Rockshox XC/TK/32 forks, FSA Gamma Drive cranks, and Elixir 1 brakes. No Choice.
CranksetSRAM or FSA 22Tx32Tx44T x175mm, ALLOY BLACK CRANK arms
Bottom BracketSealed external bearing, 68mm
PedalsMountain Platform
Front DerailleurNo Choice: SRAM X7 or SHIMANO DEORE FDM591, 31.8mm clamp
Rear DerailleurSRAM X7 long cage, for 30 Speed
ShiftersSRAM X7, 30 speed, trigger shift
CassetteCassette 11-36t 10 speed
ChainKMC DX10, for 30 Speed
HubsGravity by Formula Sealed Ball Bearing Disc with Quick Release
SpokesStainless steel
RimsWTB SPEED DISC 29x32H, Black anodized Aluminum
TiresWTB PROWLER SL RACE, 29x2.1
BrakesAvid Elixir 1 or Juicy 3 Hydraulic Disc Brake, 185mm Rotor front and rear
Brake LeversAvid, Hydraulic Brake Levers
HeadsetCaneCreek VP-A42E Sealed Bearing threadless 1 1/8 in
HandlebarBlack Finish Aluminum 6061 T6, 610MM x 31.8mm
StemBlack Finish Aluminum threadless EXT:90MM(15.5"~17.5")/110MM(19"~21")x10 DEGREES
Tape/GripWTB DualCompound
SaddleWTB SpeedV
Seat PostBlack Finish Aluminum Mountain 27.2mm x 400mm
(insert min 2 inches below lowest top tube weld / maintain clamp collar tightness)
Seat Post ClampSuper Light Alloy with Quick Release

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Yeah!
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1,457 Posts
I'm riding a 2010 Cannondale F5 at 400Lbs and had no issues for three years outside needing to upgrade to 2.0 spokes. Yes, I do ride trail, in a most hauling of the derrier kinda way. Most trail bikes can handle 250Lb with zero problems. if you want to factor your (rather light ;) weight into your purchase, I'd say go for 32 spokes on the front rim rather than 28. Beyond that, watch out for low-end bikes sporting urban gearsets. "MTB Style" is a keyword to be avoided.
 

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Shirtless Singlespeeder
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506 Posts
If at all possible, find a local bike shop. THAT may be best bike decision you will ever make. Other than that, yes the folks around here can be very helpful. Good luck.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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4,989 Posts
If at all possible, find a local bike shop. THAT may be best bike decision you will ever make. Other than that, yes the folks around here can be very helpful. Good luck.
This. Because, look, it's all well and good to think you're getting a great deal on a bike. But ask yourself what that deal looks like when something fails that should be under warranty and you have to deal with that yourself, or when something needs work or requires a tool you don't have? Buy the bike from any reasonable LBS, and not only will you not have to deal with the warranty issues personally, but most offer free service and tuneups for a year, some offer free tuneups for as long as you own the bike.
 
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