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  1. #1
    Member StarDust4Ever's Avatar
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    Looking for new 9'er hardtail Jamis or Specialized

    A little bit about me, I'm a 33 yr Clydesdale rider, 275lbs. I enjoy going fast on the open road and riding trails. (I already have a Felt SR-81 so I'm covered for the "road" part). My old 26" Kona Fire Mountain is pretty worn, so I'm looking to upgrade to a 29er rather than fix up the Kona. I live in Louisiana, so there's not mountains per say, but the terrain varies considerably. Many of the trails here are like up, down, up, down, flat, up, down, up, down, flat, etc... Mostly dirt and tree roots, however arkansaws has real mountains and that's only a couple hundred miles north and it isn't inconceivable that I would take the bike on a vacation trip sometime and steeper terrain.

    For me the hardtail bike strikes a good balance between price, speed, durability, and versatility on the trails and I've decided that the extra clearance afforded by 29" wheels is the way to go. I want to spend somewhere in the $700-$800 ballpark; sure there's better bikes out there but the "$1000 and up" category is outta my league atm.

    Originally I was looking at the Specialized HardRock Sport disc 29
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...-sport-disc-29

    which seems like a perfect match, but I'm a bit put off by the fact it only has 80mm fork travel. My Kona had 100mm so this would seem like a downgrade. Another issue is being a Clydesdale, I would probably weigh down the shocks a little more than most so that extra headroom is necessary IMO.

    This got me looking at these two bikes: $880 Specialized RockHopper 29 or $730 Jamis Durango 29 Comp...
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik.../rockhopper-29
    http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...at_grp=mtb29_3
    The Rockhopper 29 and the Durango Comp both have 100mm shocks, the same 44-33-22 chainring and 9-speed 11-34 cassette ratios, hydraulic disc brakes (the Specialized sports a slightly larger 180mm front disc but does that really matter?), and the frames appear to have similar geometries.

    I know Specialized is getting to be a really popular brand name, but all else being said, if the bikes are essentially the same, I could save about $150 by getting the Jamis, plus the couple that runs the Scooter Store (which sells Jamis) are really nice, or do I get the Specialized from the bigger LBS down the road?

    I'm open to suggestions for other bikes but it's got to so be something I can source locally from an LBS, get fitted for a proper frame size, and test ride before I commit to buy.
    Last edited by StarDust4Ever; 02-21-14 at 12:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ncfisherman's Avatar
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    Part spec on the bikes is very similar. One thing you'll have to consider is that they are both coil forks. Coil forks typically come stocked with mid-weight springs and you would need the extra-firm.

    I don't want to deter you from the Scooter Store, but I would be interested in the level of expertise of the bicycle mechanics. If buying from a LBS is one of your stipulations, than you want to go with the most experienced -- maybe that's not even the big "S" LBS.

  3. #3
    Member StarDust4Ever's Avatar
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    Update: I went by another LBS today, River City Cycling. Got an Trek Excalibur 7. The bike shop will have it ready Monday, yay!
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...29/x_caliber_7

    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Part spec on the bikes is very similar. One thing you'll have to consider is that they are both coil forks. Coil forks typically come stocked with mid-weight springs and you would need the extra-firm.
    Not sure about the coil bit. I'll have to ask the guys at River City about that. What about just dialing up the pretension adjustment?
    Last edited by StarDust4Ever; 02-21-14 at 05:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    That fork definitely won't be suited to your weight, you will need a firmer spring if you can get one.

    With some low end Suntour forks you can't get firmer springs.

    Contact Suntour North America and see if you can get a new spring that'll suit your weight: http://www.srsuntourna.com/consumer/contact/

    I read a post on another forum where the 250 lb owner of a new Trek X-Caliber 4 was only getting 24mm of travel from his Suntour fork with 100mm of travel, he had the preload set at hard as it could go.
    He contacted Suntour about getting a extra firm spring, they said the spring in his fork was only rated for a 180 lb rider and they didn't make any other springs for the fork he had, they basically said the fork he had wasn't suited for his weight and he'd have to upgrade to a new fork that could handle his weight.

  5. #5
    Member StarDust4Ever's Avatar
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    I'm picking the X-cal 7 up tomorrow. Wish me luck. I never had any issues with the 100mm Rock Shox in my old 26" Kona Fire Mountain (which was actually a lower end model compared to what I'm replacing it with), and I've taken it on some pretty rough terrain. I read somewhere most adult hybrid, cruiser, and mountain bikes are rated up to 300lb, and most road bikes (except maybe the high-end "wieght weenie" models which would be a wasted expense if you're overweight) can handle 250-275lb riders. My Felt SR-81 strait-handled road bike, I've been riding for over 7 years and I've never had any issues with structural integrity but I've also taken good care of it. The handlebars creek a little but they've done that since day one. Mountain bikes are built to absorb a moderate level of punishment, so unless I decide to take up dirt jumping I don't think I'm going to break anything. And if I did, I'd probably break myself before I break the bike! Yeah consumable parts like chains and brakes will likely wear a bit faster with heavier rider but so what? If the shocks sag a bit too much for my liking I'll just dial up the pretension. Maybe I'll upgrade to air shocks someday but I have no plans to do this anytime soon. Another option would be to install 120mm shocks so that it rides at a proper height with the added sag. But such geometry probably wouldn't work too well for climbing when all the weight shifts backwards...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarDust4Ever View Post
    I'm picking the X-cal 7 up tomorrow. Wish me luck. I never had any issues with the 100mm Rock Shox in my old 26" Kona Fire Mountain (which was actually a lower end model compared to what I'm replacing it with), and I've taken it on some pretty rough terrain. I read somewhere most adult hybrid, cruiser, and mountain bikes are rated up to 300lb, and most road bikes (except maybe the high-end "wieght weenie" models which would be a wasted expense if you're overweight) can handle 250-275lb riders. My Felt SR-81 strait-handled road bike, I've been riding for over 7 years and I've never had any issues with structural integrity but I've also taken good care of it. The handlebars creek a little but they've done that since day one. Mountain bikes are built to absorb a moderate level of punishment, so unless I decide to take up dirt jumping I don't think I'm going to break anything. And if I did, I'd probably break myself before I break the bike! Yeah consumable parts like chains and brakes will likely wear a bit faster with heavier rider but so what? If the shocks sag a bit too much for my liking I'll just dial up the pretension. Maybe I'll upgrade to air shocks someday but I have no plans to do this anytime soon. Another option would be to install 120mm shocks so that it rides at a proper height with the added sag. But such geometry probably wouldn't work too well for climbing when all the weight shifts backwards...
    I think the point others are making is that you should explore getting a firmer spring for the shock on the bike that you are getting. Assuming one is available, it will dramatically improve your suspension performance at moderate cost. If you bought your bike from a good shop they should help you out with this.

    Hope you enjoy the new bike.

  7. #7
    Member StarDust4Ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpach View Post
    I think the point others are making is that you should explore getting a firmer spring for the shock on the bike that you are getting. Assuming one is available, it will dramatically improve your suspension performance at moderate cost. If you bought your bike from a good shop they should help you out with this.

    Hope you enjoy the new bike.
    I'll look into it. Thanks.

    EDIT: Holy cow! Some dude from MTBR is also getting the X-Caliber 7 and they weigh 100 pounds more than me!
    http://forums.mtbr.com/clydesdales-t...ke-900269.html

    Well if they can do it, I can... Famous last words but I believe there's some truth to this one.

    I also noticed someone mentioned something about a Suntour "Loyalty" program:
    Keep in mind with the Suntour fork on that bike you can do the Suntour Customer Loyalty Upgrade and get their bottom level air fork for under $200. I plan on doing this in a few months.

    (You can get an even better fork than that too, if you want to spend more)
    Not a bad deal. If I have any trouble out of the fork suspension, I might try upgrading to air shocks. I'll have to ask my LBS if they know anything about this program.

    But first order of business, swap out that "weenie" seat with a cushy Cloud 9 suspension seat! My butt will thank me later, LOL!
    Last edited by StarDust4Ever; 02-25-14 at 02:41 AM.

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