Don't forget ...
Originally Posted by wireless
I just want to go out and do whatever my skills let me to do. Which means moderate riding for the first year and next year too. Mostly on trails around Chicago area. John Muir, Palos and Deer Grove were 3 trails I tested on rentals.
Plan to do some bike testing this weekend.
Don't forget the Outback in Portage. www.outbacktrail.org
. All our Chicago riders love the place.
At 6'5" you should be on an XL bike (21") at least. Maybe an XL. What you want to look at is not the seat tube length by which most bikes are advertised, but rather the effective top tube length. Your combo bike likely has a more relaxed geometry with a shorter top tube. A serious mountain bike will have a longer top tube that will stretch you out better.
At 6'3" and a 34" inseam I ride a 23" Giant Yukon but it's a recreational frame. I fit a 21" Gary Fisher (longer top tube) just about right. I have a 22" Surly Karate Monkey (29er) on the way, now I'm starting to worry if it will be too big. I guess I'll have to wait and find out.
In any case, at your size you should definitely be leaning towards a 29er. Your bike will look a lot better without those little wheels attached to a large frame and it will roll a lot better as well. Check out www.ninerbikes.com
. They have a nice selection of hydroformed steel 29ers. Check out http://www.twentynineinches.com/
for more 29er information. The 29er forum on mtbr.com
is also helpful. Give em your stats and what you want to ride and what you want to spend and they'll point you in the right direction.
If you want to ride the outback, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I'll be happy to show you the place or arrange a ride with someone who can.