NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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I was going to suggest the Fox Terra Logic fork, but got beat to it. I'm a Clydesdale too, not into lightweight XC, so I use a Marzocchi Z1 with a 20mm through axle. The through axle stiffens up the front end considerably. I sacrifice weight for strength. Plus, I prefer the feel of a coil spring over an air shock. But that's just me!
Wheels, a good quality hub like Chris King laced in a 3 cross patter with double butted spokes (2.0/1.8/2.0) using wheelsmith or DT Swiss spokes. I like Mavic rims, and have also had good success wth Velocity although the Velocities are a bit heavier. Chris King hubs are top of the line, and there are other great ones out there. Check out Woodman Products. I'm using a set of Profile Racing Hubs that I absolutely love and they're pretty bombproof.
Tires are almost as important as wheels. As a big guy, you should compromise some weight in this department and go with a slightly wider tire. 1.9's don't cut it for us. 2.1 is the minimum and 2.3 is what I recommend.
I'm not a fan of the new XT or XTR STI integrated shifter/brake combos, I prefer seperate shifter pods. XT is all you need. The new Sram 9.0 triggers are very promising.
Discs. Everyone talks about the added maintenance of discs. I don't understand this. I've bolted my Hayes to my bike and have done little to adjust them other than changing the pads. I've used several brands, Hayes, Magura, Coda, Shimano and prefer my Hayes.
Cranks, you should be able to get a 24/34/46 ratio easily, but other than that and you'll have to custom order it. Plus, once you get above a 46 big ring, the front derailleur starts to give you a lot of problems with adjustments. The spread on the ratio is too great and you'll get you chain dragging when in the granny gear.
You didn't mention anything else. As a clydesdale, I recommend you steer clear of titanium bolts, stems, handlebars, posts...etc. I know the temptation to have all Ti stuff is great, but it won't hold up. Ti has a high strength to weight ratio, but it's not AS strong. The benefit of Ti is it's high modulus of elasticity. It will flex and return to initial state better and after much repetitions over steel or aluminum.
I recommend a Thomson Elite seatpost over any/all others. They're the best, don't look for any others. I have 5 bikes and 5 Thomson posts! The double bolt clamp is durable and allows for inifinite adjustabiltiy. Single bolt clamps do NOT hold up for riders of our "heft".
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger