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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-27-06, 09:22 AM   #1
PeeWeeHerman
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FRUSTRATED... what do I buy?

Hello all,

I'm new to this forum, and realtivly new to the latest and greatest bikes and components, so please excuse the long post and noOb terminology .

I am so frustrated as I've been reading, searching and browsing, and did I mention reading?

I went to a LBS and I am even more confused now. I am 6ft. 250lbs. and I perfer a freeride suspension bike.

The only riding I won't be doing is 20ft. drops or freestyle in a park. I'm not overly concerned about bike weight, although I don't want a tank as I am heavy already.

I plan to ride on the weekends (weekend warrior type) and 2-3 days a week for excersize/fun.

I read conflicing views everywhere about heavy dudes riding on rear air shocks, or weak forks. One site says I need a coil in the rear. Others say I need a HardTail. Others say I will be OK on airshocks/forks.

Then I read, 'this' component and 'that' component sucks for heavy dudes. And another site the product reviews are good. One bike will have a good shock, and crappy forks, with good drivetrain. And all the others are just vice versa. I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest. I just want quality and durability.

Where do I begin? I know my weight, height, and riding style (not a pro, but not a beginner), I know the terrain I ride, just about everything but huge drops. But with all this info I am SO confused, I 'm ready to explode!

I have looked at Iron Horse and I dig most of their rig set-ups. I've looked at a Santa Cruz Heckler. A Mongoose Single Black Diamond. IH Azure Comp., IH MKIII Sport, Intense Spyder.

I've got about $1200 to spend. Give or take a few bucks..... But, when I look at the specs on a bike, and customer reviews, I am always turned off from what I am reading. For a clyde, can I get a good reliable bike for this price? I don't wanna buy a new bike and have to upgrade it before I even ride it..... i also understand I have to take what is said on the internet that it can be biased or the person doesn't really understand anything except that a $5000 bike is the ONLY way to go....

HELP..... please...

Last edited by PeeWeeHerman; 09-27-06 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWeeHerman
Hello all,

I'm new to this forum, and realtivly new to the latest and greatest bikes and components, so please excuse the long post and noOb terminology .

I am so frustrated as I've been reading, searching and browsing, and did I mention reading?

I went to a LBS and I am even more confused now. I am 6ft. 250lbs. and I perfer a freeride suspension bike.

The only riding I won't be doing is 20ft. drops or freestyle in a park. I'm not overly concerned about bike weight, although I don't want a tank as I am heavy already.

I plan to ride on the weekends (weekend warrior type) and 2-3 days a week for excersize/fun.

I read conflicing views everywhere about heavy dudes riding on rear air shocks, or weak forks. One site says I need a coil in the rear. Others say I need a HardTail. Others say I will be OK on airshocks/forks.

Then I read, 'this' component and 'that' component sucks for heavy dudes. And another site the product reviews are good. One bike will have a good shock, and crappy forks, with good drivetrain. And all the others are just vice versa. I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest. I just want quality and durability.

Where do I begin? I know my weight, height, and riding style (not a pro, but not a beginner), I know the terrain I ride, just about everything but huge drops. But with all this info I am SO confused, I 'm ready to explode!

I have looked at Iron Horse and I dig most of their rig set-ups. I've looked at a Santa Cruz Heckler. A Mongoose Single Black Diamond. IH Azure Comp., IH MKIII Sport, Intense Spyder.

I've got about $1200 to spend. Give or take a few bucks..... But, when I look at the specs on a bike, and customer reviews, I am always turned off from what I am reading. For a clyde, can I get a good reliable bike for this price? I don't wanna buy a new bike and have to upgrade it before I even ride it..... i also understand I have to take what is said on the internet that it can be biased or the person doesn't really understand anything except that a $5000 bike is the ONLY way to go....

HELP..... please...
Straight up:
You are going to be constantly repairing and upgrading because of the stresses of freeriding anyway, no matter what! Look for heavy duty suspension components, and steel frame. Honestly, as a Clyde, the light weight components will suffer as far as reliability goes. Getv the best bike you can for the $$ and plan on upgrading and repairing anyway. I'm more of a roadie, so addressing MTB issues isn't really my forte, but the maxim goes lower cost, strength, lightweight, choose any two
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Old 09-27-06, 09:41 AM   #3
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To add to what I just said: I ride singletrack on a Royce Union (Dept Store Bike), and it held up to me at my peak riding weight when I re-entered the sport. Then I was in excess of 450 lbs. I bunged up some wheels, but the frame and fork (rigid...both of them!) held up to me. Mavic makes a pretty bombproof freeride wheelset and so does Rhynolyte. I run Alex wheels on the off roader myself, but I basically do single track and CCX myself when I go out in the dirt!
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Old 09-27-06, 10:21 AM   #4
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I think a quality air suspension part will hold up as well as coil stuff, but if you blow out an air fork or shock you don't have any suspension left. This may or may not concern you. I have been using an air fork (Manitou) and an air shock (Risse) without any problems for a few years. I don't freeride, but I have been hard on equipment and I think the air stuff is good.The biggest concern will usually be the wheels.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWeeHerman
...I just want quality and durability. Where do I begin?...
Look at the KONA and Specialized lines. You can't go wrong with their mountain bikes, most all of which offer not only excellent value for the money, but also wide availability. Ask the local bike shop for their help in selecting the model appropriate for your needs. If you don't get a good vibe, go to another shop. It's the JOB of the bike shop folks to know their stock and how to select the right bike for the customer. Happy shopping!
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Old 09-27-06, 11:39 AM   #6
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I'm just under 250 now and beat on an Iron Horse MKIII pretty hard. In my opinion the rear shock (air, radium r) is the weak link in this build (comp), but even it hasn't let me down. I get some decent air and bunny hop everything I see, or at least try to. I have yet to bottom that shock and I am running 30% sag.

Also, I got that comp for $1280. Performance has some killer deals when you can hit a 20% off. Pay your $20 and become a performance team member and that already low price would earn you $128 in store credit (team performance points). Good for a new helmet and camelback, multi tool, tire repair kit, etc.
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Old 09-27-06, 11:43 AM   #7
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I can't say much other than the suspension issue: IF you can find a bike whose supension can be tuned for your weight (and in the 1200 region, this certainly ought to be possible) then go for it, as it will probably take a lot of the sting out of things.
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Old 09-27-06, 11:57 AM   #8
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Thx ppl....

The LBS did indeed carry Specialized and Giant. I saw a Mongoose or two... As others have said here, he also confirmed that I'd be ok on an air suspension bike with my frame/build/weight....

Sadly enuff, he had no left over 2005 models, all new floor stock was priced at $2000 and above. So like you guys said, maybe I'll just get a nice bike with quality parts for about $1200 and then get better components as I wear the bike out...

Are their any components to avoid? Any specific areas to look at when buying a bike.....crank set, forks, shock, rims... are any of those more important?
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Old 09-27-06, 02:09 PM   #9
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Kona and Giant would my first two choices.

I have ridden/raced Konas since '97 and had never had a problem with strength. For the last 3 years I have been riding a Stinky frame that sees (well it did, I sold it to make room for some new rides) constant 6' to 8' drops. Yeah they are on the heavier side but strength is more of a concern then weight for us larger freeriders/dh'ers. You will get used to the weight anyhow.

The Giant Riegn is a very decent frame as well. I have ridden one a few times and it had no problems handling my weight and the bike was a blast to ride.

Specialized does make a sturdy bike, I just personally do not like them but they do handle the abuse and a lot of riders like the way they ride.

As far as not wanting to upgrade right away, if you are new to riding then what ever components come stock should work well for a while. Just keep in mind, with your weight and if you ride your bike hard YOU WILL be buying new parts a bit more regularly then the lighter riders. It just goes with the style of riding you want to do and your size.

Personally I have found LX and better components to do a decent enough job for a new rider and as your abillities improve you can upgrade along with them.

I would suggest, if you do not know how to yet, learning to do your own "tune ups". Adjusting cables/derailuers, keeping the headset, cranks, stem, etc. torqued properly. It will pay off in the long run.

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Old 09-27-06, 02:33 PM   #10
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I'd also recommend looking into Specialized Enduro line of bikes. They are normally out of your price range, but if there are any closeouts, you could find one close to your budget.

I have always steered away from air only because even though you can pressurize the shock to the appropriate sag, you are usually at the upper limit of the threshold.

With that, I will add that my latest bike is a Specialized Enduro SX Trail (their beefiest Enduro). I bought it as a leftover '05 and it has a Marzocchi 66vf air fork on it. I have been riding on it for about 4 months and haven't had one issue.

The rear is a Progressive 5th coil over.

Another good buy is a Santa Cruz Heckler. They are advertising that their builds start at $1550. I'd recommend considering this as an option. The Heckler is a good frame and you can upgrade as you go, but a mid-level starting point vs entry level
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Old 10-02-06, 11:39 PM   #11
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Well, I got my Giant Rainier (2005 model) when I was fluctuating between 348 and 352 pounds. I commute on it every day, hit the trails on it almost every weekend, sometimes twice in a weekend, and go on family rides once a week with it. The only thing I did was geat a decent quality rear wheel laced up for me (36H Velocity Cliffhanger). I've ridden rock gardens, logs, creeks, hills, mud, 20inch drops, table top jumps, and many other abusive things to it. A few weeks ago I had to replace the bottom bracket, big deal, 30 bucks. Not bad for many thousands of miles worth of fun. New the bike costs $600.00 or so. I think people get all up in arms about brand and all because they have their favourites or have been won over by snazzy advertising.
This is my two cents on the subject.
For $1200.00 you should be more than able to get a high quality bike, upgrade the wheels if needed, and still have enough left over for a 12 pack and a french lesson from a quality escort
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Old 10-03-06, 08:48 AM   #12
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peewee, as long as you know what you want, look on eBay for deals. In the $1000 range, be sure to use an escrow service if you buy.
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