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Old 11-16-12, 09:23 PM   #1
DiscTruckerMF
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What kind of shock?

So I'm really interested in getting a 29er as my next bike. I dont live in a particularly great area for MTB'ing. (nyc) but i do a ton of road cycling and I like it but I'm looking for something a bit more interesting. IT's possible to take commuter trains away from the city and go hit some trails and I figure a 29er could also be good for snowy weather commuting instead of my surly trucker. The big problem is that I'm a big dude 6'3" 250 lbs. I know there are coil shocks and air shocks. I don't know much about where the technology is at but it just seems like nothing in cycling is made for anyone over 200lbs let alone 250. What should I be looking for in a shock? Should I not even bother with one and go with a rigid fork i.e. karate monkey or ogre

lastly, I just tried tubeless cx tires on my trucker so I can start hitting some dirt trails. I'm not sure it's going to work out as it seems like I still need to get pressures up to at least 50psi and I'm not sure the bead is going to like that but I'm going to give it a shot. With the massive volume of a MTB tire will I have anything to worry about if I go tubeless?
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Old 11-18-12, 10:18 PM   #2
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At 250 pounds, yes, you would benefit from a coil shock and fork if you have trails that have some jumps and drops. (I have no idea what type of stuff you'll be riding after you get off the train from NYC.)

If you have more mild trails, then air spring suspension is a lot cheaper and will work fairly well.


Regarding MTB tubeless-- it's a solved science. If you buy wheels that are UST or have a similar bead, and tires that are also UST or similar, then it will work like magic and you won't have anything to do except add sealant every 1-3 months and air up the tires before each ride. I'm never going back to tubes or trying tubeless with wheels/tires that don't have the UST bead and center channel.
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Old 11-18-12, 10:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
At 250 pounds, yes, you would benefit from a coil shock and fork if you have trails that have some jumps and drops. (I have no idea what type of stuff you'll be riding after you get off the train from NYC.)

If you have more mild trails, then air spring suspension is a lot cheaper and will work fairly well.


Regarding MTB tubeless-- it's a solved science. If you buy wheels that are UST or have a similar bead, and tires that are also UST or similar, then it will work like magic and you won't have anything to do except add sealant every 1-3 months and air up the tires before each ride. I'm never going back to tubes or trying tubeless with wheels/tires that don't have the UST bead and center channel.
Picked up a set of WTB TCS wheels and have them setup with CX tires. the front tire is not a tubeless approved tire so to speak but seems to be doing fine since it's only at about 40-45psi. The rear tire is a kenda happy medium SCT (sealant compatible tire) i've got it at 50psi and it seems to be doing well. good to know about the coil shock vs air shock, I was under the impression that the air shock was the better "hi-tech" stuff but I will certainly look more into this. I'm a bit stunned at how expensive shocks seem to be. Id' have thought they would have come down a lot more in price.
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Old 11-18-12, 11:42 PM   #4
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An air shock can support 250 pounds doing normal trails and even some drops. But the problem is when it's aired up that high it will loose small bump compliance and it will have difficulty damping the (air) spring effectively. Coils don't have the first problem, and that second should be ok too on higher-end coils.

Air shocks & forks are very flexible and they weigh less than a coil. That's why they are so widely used on short and mid travel bikes.

You definitely don't want CX tires on technical singletrack.
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Old 11-19-12, 07:43 AM   #5
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I know quite a few dudes your size who are riding the piss out of air forks, without any troubles. And some on coil as well. Find something that suits your budget, ride it. At your size, and if your budget supports doing so, I'd suggest something with a thru-axle, either 15mm or 20mm. Nicely stiffens up the front end - something very noticeable at my 150# even.

Re: tubeless. Same thing. Know a lot of big dudes on tubeless, no issues. IMO, here it's worthwhile to do it with full UST tires, as they're just going to work better running not-crazy high pressures at your weight, without folding the sidewalls over or feeling like mush. Fatter tires will let you get away with less pressure for better traction, and less teeth jarring, and less destroying of wheels around here.

Plus, they withstand the rock stuff around here without being slashed as much as non-ust tires. Again, IMO.

Take the train up to Sprain/Graham/Blue and ride the **** out of things. I'm up in Danbury, CT - ride those spots a fair bit.

Last edited by scrublover; 11-19-12 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 11-19-12, 05:04 PM   #6
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good info so far guys. much appreciated. Do you have any specifc brands or models of fork I should look into? is it worth looking into a used fork or is that something that you dont take chances on?
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