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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'd like to take the opportunity to tell you a bit about myself. I have been a chunky guy since birth. During my younger years I was somewhat active. I played around the neighborhood with all of the other kids and stayed out all day. In my 8-14ish years I buckled down to become more studious. I read a lot, and mostly did geeky things, none of which helped me keep a decent physique. Now I'm 18 and I have become much more active! I downhill longboard, played football, did marching band (top 20 in the US; 30 time consecutive state champion), and I love to ride my stationary bike and weight lift. My uncle has recently (the last couple years) gotten into mountain biking. I have always wanted to join him and his buddies when they offered, but I was always scared my weight would limit me. I have always been the strongest kid I know, easily lifting my uncles (225# and 245#) at age 12, however I tipped the scales at 346# about a month and a half ago and I realized that I'm not just a burly guy, I'm morbidly obese. I have since gotten myself down to 319# and I plan to keep on going! My goal weight is #225 and to gain two more inches in height (I'm 5'10" right now)

Anyway, this isn't a weight loss forum so I'll get to my question. I have decided to grow up and get a mtn bike to join my uncle and his buddies. My budget is $700. It's not much, especially with how heavy I am, but it is what I can do. I want a bike that will last me 3 years under pretty decent riding. I'm going to be riding to work every day (3 miles each way) but I will be doing dirt trails and minor drops (6" or less) with my uncle. I know that I will need a hardtail, which I am fine with. I have read that I need double walled tires with 36 spokes or more? I have heard the Kona Hoss be suggested, but it is out of production. I rode my uncle's bikes for a couple minutes to get a feel of it. He has a Specialized Rockhopper and a Fezzari. The Fezzari was not a hardtail, so I didn't ride it much. Fezzari is based locally, so I am wanting to get one of those. I have been looking at the Fezzari Lone Peak (27.5" tires) and the Fezzari Wasatch Peak 29er. I don't know if either of these will hold me?

That last paragraph was a bit jumbled, but what it comes down to is that I am looking at those two Fezzari's. I have also looked at the Giant Revel, Specialized Rockhopper, and Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc but I want to support Fezzari if at all possible.

One other thing that I have heard is that you can buy a good, solid framed bike and replace the fork to a rigid fork (whatever that is?) for about $300? Is this a good option?

So yeah, that's my uber long, disjointed first post. I want to thank you guys. I have been reading a ton over the last few days and I have noticed that this forum is extremely nice to fat guys that join, something that is not often found. So thanks a lot! And thanks for the help!
 

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F/K/A warmachine15
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I do not have experience with the two bikes you mentioned, but I will give my go to answer for people with that budget, GT Avalanche hardtail. They are tough as nails which is good for big guys. They are a little heavy though.

Probably not the suggestion you were looking for, just throwing it out there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion, but is the Avalanche even still available? I did a quick Google search and didn't see anything for sale come up.
 

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Well, I was 345 when I started biking a couple of years ago (260 now). I went with a Surly Karate Monkey for the frame but added a front suspension fork and custom wheels to it. I'm not sure what area you're in but I would highly recommend Craig's list for your situation. Find something durable (strongly recommend cro-molly steel vs aluminum or carbon for super clydes,) buy it and ride it. At your size you will most likely break things sooner or later so you can use that as the sign that you need to upgrade components :) You need to put down some miles before you'll figure out what you really want in a ride anyway .
 

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F/K/A warmachine15
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Congratulations on your weight loss and determination to continue. Now that you've already made some real progress and committed yourself to the rest of your journey, don't feel that you have to get down to 225 as fast as possible. Going from 346 to 319 in a month and a half is seriously fast, and not necessarily in a good way.

I don't want to be negative, I really respect what you're doing (I'm trying to lose weight too), but be good to your body. You didn't gain it all in a few months, please don't look to lose it all in a few months :thumbsup:

-Edit-

Lots of good ideas in this thread for someone with a similar budget and weight. Definitely think about the fact that a rigid fork will be both better and cheaper than a crap suspension fork. If you don't go used, you're unlikely to do better than a crap suspension fork with your budget.

http://forums.mtbr.com/clydesdales-tall-riders/overweight-newbie-who-overwhelmed-901759.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice Balto! I didn't starve myself or anything. I ate until I was full; I just eat whole foods now. The pounds just shed off!

So I am going to put a rigid fork onto whatever I buy until I am light enough to make use of the suspension fork. So my question now is, since I am a complete newb, looking at the components of the Fezzari Lone Peak, Specialized Hardrock, and GT Avanlache 3.0 Hydraulic Disc model; which has the best components? I will be putting a Karate Monkey rigid fork onto whichever I get and then put the suspension fork back on later.
 

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at 310lb I bought a DB overdrive 29er. paid just under $500 at performance.
It has (and still does) handle my weight well. Have not needed to do anything other than basic maintenance, not even to true the wheels.

Fezzari Bikes look great. Also check out Airborne Seeker or Goblin
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think that I am going to get the Lone Peak from Fezzari. Are there many options for high end forks for 27.5" wheels? I want to eventually put on a nice suspension shock when I get down to my goal weight.
 

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27.5 is getting more and more popular. I don't own one so I dont bother checking to see whats available but just from what i've seen in shop and trail that wont be a issue.

The Fezzari looks good. Ask them about swapping the tektro brakes for BB7, or at least BB5
 

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Affordable frame is the way to go, wheel size is a bit irrelevant. What you'll want to spend some money on if you start seeing much elevation change is going to be good wheels, and decent brakes (hydraulic disc ideally).

The Fezzari Lone Peak has a lot of decent looking hardware, but the honest answer is that both the wheelset and brakes will be a limitation if the trail gets bumpy or you see much elevation change - mechanical disc brakes are just plain iffy in my experience, and Alex 17 wheels will work if you're riding pavement with a mountain bike, but if you start to have much fun, especially if it involves even briefly leaving the ground or going over half softball sized rocks, they'll find a new and less useful shape to adopt. which is bad.

If you have a Performance Bike near you, you can probably get one of their Access frames, put a rigid fork on it, but you'll still want some things like an external bearing crank (instead of the crap square peg ones), and decent brakes really do help, but those are slightly pricier parts.
 

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Fezzari Bikes

I have found that customer support at Fezzari is really great. They will size you and fit you and change out stem length, crank arm length, bar width, and other stuff for free. Also, those guys are very knowledgeable. They can recommend a bike and change/upgrade suspension components and wheels to fit your needs and do so very cheaply.

I don't ride a Fezzari, but I will be buying an Abajo Peak with several upgrades and changes to their spec'd bike this summer. They quoted me an upgrade to Stans Flows wheels (I am also a Clyde and need stout wheels) and some other stuff for me for much cheaper than I could get anywhere else.

Send them an email and/or call them on the phone with your questions. They have been very helpful to me so far, and I haven't spent a dime with them yet.

Or since you live so close, drop by and talk the them in person. I am a nine hour drive from them, or I would do that myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the info Centurion! I am going to call them soon and see what it costs to get the brakes and wheelset upgraded!
 

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Fezzari Bikes

Good idea about upgrading wheels and brakes. I plan to do the same.

They quoted me around 200 for switching to gripshift and an upgrade to Stans Flows. That was in December and is dirt cheap. Cost will depend on the cost of the wheels on the spec'd model you are buying vrs the cost of their current stock wheels in their latest mass purchase. They don't do huge mark ups...so you get a killer deal.

Since Shimano SLX and XT brakes (both better than their spec'd Avids) retail for under 200 bucks, I wouldn't think they'd be a real expensive upgrade either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jeez, everything is so expensive! I'm hoping to get a few minor upgrades and keep the Lone Peak under $750
 

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Remember that you will be subtracting the price of the existing brakes from the price of the upgrade brakes. Or wheels. Or whatever else you would like to upgrade. And their start out price seems to be lower than what I can get at normal retail prices.

They buy components in large qualities at wholesale prices, and they don't mark them up real high. I have upgraded/swapped out components on bike purchases from local bike shops in the past where they bought the old component back at wholesale price, then sold me the upgrade at normal retail. Fezzari doesn't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I called Fezzari and asked them my questions. I got Jesse and he was super nice! I wanted to upgrade to hyraulic disc brakes and a beefier wheelset. It's going to be $150 to upgrade to Avid Elixer brakes and $429 to upgrade to Sun Ringle Charger Expert wheelset. So my bike total would be $1108 + sales tax.
 
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