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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I havent biked in a few years, but since I am moving closer to campus I am thinking about getting a bike for commuting. But if Im going to be buying a bike, I want to get a mtb that I can take out on the weekends as well. However, the bike will be 90% commuting, 10% XC. That decided, I have started looking at bikes. What I have come across though is that recreational components (Acera, Deore, Alivio) tend to bind under high stress compared to higher end stuff like LX and XT. Also, the forks on the few bikes I have ridden (Manitou Six and Axel Elite) have been too soft and fully compressed when I stood up and pumped. Ive been told I need double walled wheels no matter what riding Im doing because of my weight.

Im on a budget though. I started off looking at Gary Fisher Advance, Trek 4300, Specialized Hardrock, etc. but saw that the forks and components would most deffinately perish under my weight. So I started thinking about budgeting more and have looked at Gary Fisher Marlin and Specialized Rockhopper and Rockhopper Comp. The Rockhopper Comp is out of my price range, but the guy at the store wanted me to ride it. He also wanted me to ride a Tassahara, but I had to go to work.

The guy at the shop said that springs could be added to most shocks for abour $30 to compensate for my weight. Is this a smart solution or will the wear on the fork (and the squishiness of the ride) be any less? The Marlin and the Rockhopper both have slightly better components (Mostly Deore, some Alivio) but how do I test a bike and make a decision without having the fork adjusted for my weight? Ive heard that the Manitou Six might not be the best fork for a Clyde, but I can't afford any bikes that I have seen so far that have better forks. The Rockhopper, Marlin, and maybe even the Wahoo (Judy TT) are the most feasible for me to afford. If I can beg, plead, bargain, or con....i might be able to afford a Tassajara.

Here's Me: 6'4" 245lbs and I have ABSOLUTELY no more than $500 to spend on a bike, and unless I just cannot get ANYTHING for it, I want to stay around $400. I know I could look for a used bike, and I know if I "just spent $150 more dollars" I could get a "much better bike." I also know I could buy a bike and then upgrade the fork, but I'd rather not have to do that immediately. All of these bikes however still have recreational grade components. The Rockhopper and Marlin have Deore rear D's and Alivio fronts. I know these aren't BAD, so I think I'll be OK with them and if they break I can then upgrade.
 
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