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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 03-15-08, 07:59 AM   #1
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Clydes and the SS 29er....

Somehow, I got the great idea to commit to 8+ MTB races this summer. Since I'm kind of hard on equipment, I'd sort of like to get a backup bike. Unfortunately, those 8+ races are going to eat up a lot of my bike budget for the year...

The concept of a single speed 29er always intrigued me and I'm not above playing as many of the Clyde/SS/29er cards as possible to find an empty spot on the podium. Plus they're kind of cheap.

So my first concern is obviously wheels- there's a lot more wheel there to bend and break. Any experience with stock 29er or aftermarket wheelsets?

I've also been pleasantly surprised by the ride provided by the steel fork on my 'cross bike and would seriously consider going with a rigid fork on a SS 29er. Curious how that's worked out for others as well.

So if anybody has some insight to share with a 205 pounder who's only chance to make up time is completely bombing the downhills, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 03-16-08, 06:55 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience except a few test rides on a couple models. The idea intriques me. Let us know how you make out.
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Old 03-17-08, 07:49 AM   #3
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Old 03-17-08, 07:52 AM   #4
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I test rode a Redline Monocog 29er and LOVED it. I wish there was a way to properly convey LOVED but that's as close as I can get . In fact, I pretty much think about one constantly.. it's a sickness.

My next bike will either be a SS 29er or a 1x9 29er I've decided. I saw a Salsa El Mariachi frame this weekend and.. oh lord. SEXY. Steel. SEXY. Built up as a SS... *whistle*.

But, you know, the price premium over a Karate Monkey frame is enough to get a nice suspension fork . Anyway, I highly recommend a extended test ride on one. You may never stop thinking about it!
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Old 03-17-08, 07:54 AM   #5
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There is a little more wheel to worry about, however all the 29ers I have ridden have had double walled rims.

Check the gauge of the spokes also.

Brass nipples improve strengh also.
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Old 03-17-08, 08:51 AM   #6
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I'm a huge fan of 29" wheels, even at my 5'10" height. I rode a SS for a while, but my knees couldn't take it (I have a plastic knee cap from a motorcycle crash, and several old hockey injuries). If you have the legs to ride a SS, then go for it.
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Old 03-18-08, 04:44 AM   #7
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Howard Zinn uses 29ers on some of his customs:
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Old 03-18-08, 11:01 AM   #8
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I have a Redline Monocog 29er. Ready to ride I'm about 230lbs. I have somewhere between 500-700 miles of dirt on it. It is an absolute blast to ride. I haven't changed anything on the bike besides the saddle. The stock wheelset is decent. I haven't had any problems with it yet, but I haven't been too hard on them either. The fork on the MC is very beefy. Not the most forgiving fork for being steel. From what I've heard it is about the least compliant steel fork to come stock on a SS 29er. But if you're looking for an inexpensive bike that is tons of fun to ride, the MC29er is it. If you have a bit more to spend check out the Raleigh XXIX and the Surly Karate Monkey(amongst many others).

See also the 29er MTBR forum. They have a rides thread where you can check to see if someone in your area has a bike you can test ride on your local trails.
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Old 03-18-08, 11:14 PM   #9
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My friend found one of the original Bianchi 29ers from back when and started riding it in Denver. He pretty much never rides his IF custom anymore.
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