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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I have only been riding trails since September when I got my 09 Specialized Rockhopper 29er Expert HT and LOVING it, I am obesessed!

I am 6'2" and 285lbs and I am starting to do some intermediate trail stuff and am looking to go full suspension. I have also started doing some small jumps and drops on my 29er (I know, at my weight and with this bike I am giving these rims a run for their money :thumbsup: ). Well, I am really enjoying that stuff and would like to do more and am debating on going FS 29er or FS 26. I figure since I like my 29er, that would be the option, but I am not sure when you factor in my weight that 26 is the better choice. If this matters for the debate, probably want to spend between 1.5k and 3k, I know wide gap, but if I can spend less.. who wouldn't want to :)

Thanks for any and all help!

- Brandon
 

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I vote 29er, but you'll have to spend at the very top end of your range for something that will hold up for you. (for that matter, there aren't too many 29er FS bikes under $2500, anyway). I went from a 6" travel 26 to a 4.5" travel 29 and love it. If you'd rather spend less, you'll do better looking at 26ers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply :) I think I agree with you after running 2010 enduro and a 2010 SJ 29er around the parking lot of my LBS. After riding the 29er the 26 feels SO tiny and just not right. I am sure that I would adjust on the trails, but I think I am going to continue after a FS 29ers. the SJ felt pretty nice, but I need to get on a few more before I choose. Sultan, RIP 9... any other ideas for a FS 29er?
 

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I'm only 225 lbs and 6'1" but I do ride a 2010 Rockhopper Expert 29 as well. Like you, I just got back into off road riding and I'm finding I'm gravitating to the same riding you are. So I too have been sort of thinking about a FS bike...I doubt I will go that way, in fact I just ordered a Fargo cause I'm going to go more adventure riding (distance and overnights) but for what its worth, I decided that if I was buying a FS bike this year it would be the Sultan. This is based just on what I hear, what I read and what I see. No actual experience but man, what a beautiful design and set up. My 2 cents....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yea in person the rip 9 out pretties the sultan... but I hear the sultan is a super machine. I think this question will have to be answered by some demo days. I was just reading about the intense tracer 29er coming soon... seems pretty cool.
 

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The Niner RIP didn't do it for me. But the Intense....ah yeah.

These bicycles are like my sport motorcycles; I don't have the skill levels to extract even 50% of what the bike is capable of. Any of the machines you go with are going to work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea same here, I just enjoy the buying / looking process alot :) Once I get out there the bike looks at me like "This all you can do... get a huffy"
 

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Are you still riding that Rockhopper with the stock fork, the Dart 3?

I swapped mine out for a Reba Team 29. Made a HUGE difference for me.
 

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jumps and drops = 26. If the rear wheel is 'out back behind you somewhere,' you're gonna progress into a wall eventually. FS vs. HT is less important.

I wouldn't start shopping for a new bike after only 4 months of trail riding. I might go fork shopping (really, a dart? they don't even make an appropriate weight spring for you) and i might start experimenting with cockpit set up and layout, but it's not new bike time yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My RH is the expert version and comes with the tora - it seems fine to me :thumbsup:

As far as the jumps and drops. I know that the bigger wheels can't help things for wheel integrity. But what is the major disadvantage with 29ers and jumps?

As far as the new bike, you may be right about not the right time. I will probably end up buying one by spring... but looking is to fun not to :)
 

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what scottzg was referring to is the fact that your opinion will change significantly over time. the type of riding you want to do, what you find valuable in a bike, etc. as you ride and become more educated about these things the "right" bike for you will also change as your opinion does.
$3k is an expensive mistake. If you wait a year or two you'll be more likely to ensure that your opinion about what you want in a bike will be more refined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's a good point. I wasn't even considering 26ers a month ago... so things do change. More than anything I just see all this plush suspension with the guys I go riding with and FS jealousy sets in :) The good thing (and bad thing) is my buying processes are never short. :) So we will see what happens
 

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bran12081 said:
My RH is the expert version and comes with the tora - it seems fine to me :thumbsup:

As far as the jumps and drops. I know that the bigger wheels can't help things for wheel integrity. But what is the major disadvantage with 29ers and jumps?

As far as the new bike, you may be right about not the right time. I will probably end up buying one by spring... but looking is to fun not to :)
From personal experience the big wheels, which contribute lower center of gravity and longer wheelbases/longer chainstays that makes them harder to pop and/or get into a manual (harder to get yourself to pivot over that rear wheel). This is going to be further magnified by the fact that you probably have a xc oriented bar and stem. You can still drop and jump with your 29er it's just not going to be as agile as most 26" bikes.

If you're getting into drops and jumps I would say go for neither a 29er or 26er FS. Get yourself a nice progressive hardtail or BMX to use around town. It's a much cheaper option, will take the abuse of being tossed around, it will develop oodles of skill without having to make it out to the trails and is easy to sell as there's lots of boys and girls out there looking for a nice huckable street bike.
 

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At your size, I would think that if you are used to a 29'er, the 26" will feel tiny for quite a while, if not always. I'm 5'9" and been riding a 29'er for 3 years and 26" feels tiny to ME. Check out Lenz bikes - he makes some frames that guys are getting some pretty decent air on, and they seem to hold up well. At your size and weight, I would definitely recommend going 36 spoke on the wheels, and maybe even consider a 6-spd option on an SS-style hub for more spoke triangulation - hence stronger stiffer wheel. The ounce or so per wheel you will add in weight for 4 more spokes per wheel will give you much more wheel strength. Also, consider a burlier rim, Salsa Semi or Gordo, or a Stans Flow, etc... when you spec the wheels. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmm - that's an interesting thought. With the stuff I am going off (being so small) I would look like a giant tool... but, who cares :) Not a bad idea. I tried out a too small for me Pitch Pro yesterday and it seemed pretty solid for the moola. It seemed like a sort of AM pocketknife :)
 
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