Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nassau County, NY
I'm shorter but I a little lighter and went through purchasing a 29er this week. I'm about 5'11.5", 285lbs (as of today) with a 30" inseam. I'll be doing a combination of trail/road, wtih possibile commuting. Looked at a couple of different bikes but ultimately settled on the Cannondale Trail SL2 29er Red Medium. You should be able to get it for around $1000-$1100 OTD. I'm very pleased with it and have put a little over 18 miles on it in the past 3 days. Haven't ridden in almost a decade, so my ass hurts and I'm a little sore overall, but I'm having fun with it.
If you're looking for a little bit less, the Cannondale Trail SL4 29er was $730 OTD at my LBS.
Ultimately, try out a ton of bikes and settle on whatever feels best in the short time that you are able to ride it if you're in my price range (which was $700-$1100). I did a bunch of reading over at the MTBR Forums and here, and the gist of it was until you start getting into about the $1500 range, the bikes will be pretty similar at the same price. I'm a newbie, so overall, the bikes I tested felt very similar, but I loved the color on the bike that I went with.
Last edited by BigJohn20; 06-12-11 at 07:47 AM.