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Old 07-28-14, 09:02 PM   #1
BBRider
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Buying a new Specialized - Upgrading forks and other standard equipment ???

Howdy All,

I'm trying to get back into biking after a 15 year hiatus. I'm trying to decide between several entry level mountain bikes. Leaning toward Specialized, but not 100% decided.

My immediate question is regarding switching out the standard equipment, specifically the suspension forks and possible other components. Can a new bike be ordered with non-standard equipment? If not, do most bike shops offer credit for the standard equipment to offset the purchase price of upgrades?

My specific concern is selecting and equipping a bike to match my unusual body geometry (short and fat with a 28 inch inseam). Factory specs suggest that either a Hardrock Disc 26 or a Myka Disc 26 will accommodate my short legs. However, I don't trust the standard suspension forks (SR Suntour SF13-XCT 26" or SR Suntour XCT-MLO 26" respectively) to handle my current weight.

I'd also welcome any suggestions on other bikes that might be suited to my short and heavy body. Sadly, my budget is only around $600.
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Old 07-29-14, 05:25 AM   #2
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How much do you weigh?
Do you know what size bike you need?

A $600 bike will come with stock components, putting a new fork or other parts on the bike will be an extra cost that you'll have to pay for.

Had a look at the secondhand bike market?
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Old 07-29-14, 07:36 AM   #3
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How much do you weigh?
Do you know what size bike you need?
I weigh 255. I was 275. Dropping fast.
Based on my 28" inseam and wide build, I'm looking mainly at 13" an 15" frames. My limiting dimension is stand over height.
I'm also looking at some "women specific" designs, such as the Myka, due to more favorable stand over ratings. However, many such designs cater toward lighter riders, specifically with the shocks.

Quote:
A $600 bike will come with stock components, putting a new fork or other parts on the bike will be an extra cost that you'll have to pay for.
Not the answer I wanted, but what I expected. Thanks.

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Had a look at the secondhand bike market?
Yes. I found a sweet 2010 Kona Cinder Cone at my LBS. Sadly it is a bit too tall (my nads just barely clear the bar). The others I've found are all much too large. I live in an extremely remote area with few humans and fewer bikes. For some perspective on my remoteness, it is over three hours to the nearest WalMart. More relevant, there are only two small bike shops within 200 miles. The nearest one, Desert Sports of Terlingua Texas, has a knowledgeable and skilled owner that caters toward mountain bike rentals for tourists. He is also a Kona and Specialized dealer but does not stock any new bikes due to the nearly non-existent market down here.
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Old 07-29-14, 12:01 PM   #4
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stock shocks will work fine as your weight will rarely if ever be over the bars. If you have to switch out anything just focus on items to get your fit correct on the bike like stem, bars and saddle (typically the shop will swap these items out for you and discount price etc)..replace other components as they wear or fail. I think you'll be surprised how durable the stock bike is though.
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Old 07-30-14, 03:37 PM   #5
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If you are looking to upgrade before you have purchased, you are looking at the wrong bike, it is almost always cheaper to but a bike with the spec you need, rather than upgrade, especially with forks, which after the frame, are normally the most expensive part of a MTB to upgrade.
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Old 07-30-14, 08:03 PM   #6
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Here's a thought. Ask the bike shop is Suntour offers stiffer springs for the shock. When I picked up a Specialized FSR XC from a local shop some years ago, they made that change with a Manitou fork. I just don't know if Suntour offers the same option, but it's worth a try.
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Old 07-31-14, 02:45 PM   #7
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Last edited by lhrocker; 07-31-14 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Wrong thread
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Old 08-01-14, 10:19 AM   #8
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If you are looking to upgrade before you have purchased, you are looking at the wrong bike, it is almost always cheaper to but a bike with the spec you need, rather than upgrade, especially with forks, which after the frame, are normally the most expensive part of a MTB to upgrade.
Yup
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Old 08-01-14, 10:28 AM   #9
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Yup
+2. You're getting off spending the money you plan to use to upgrade it up-front. Manufacturers get better deals than you do, and they're able to pass some of that savings on to the consumer. Unless you *really* know what you're doing and plan on taking your time and scouring eBay and Craigslist for deals, you'll get a better build by buying complete and only upgrading as things break (with the obvious exception of pedals, saddle if it doesn't fit, tires if the stock ones suck for the conditions you're riding, maybe grips).
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Old 08-07-14, 10:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the helpful replies. I purchased a stock Specialized Hardrock 29er. It is a little big for me based strictly on stand over height, but fits me perfectly in every other measurement. I tested a few others, including some smaller bikes, but this one just felt best and was the most fun to ride. My only "upgrade" was the pedals. I also had to get a few basic accessories (helmet, water bottle, stand pump, bike pump, under seat bag, tools, spare tube, and slime in all three tubes).

I've been on a few short rides - pavement, trail, and off-road. I love it, but need to work on my conditioning before I can do any serious riding. In the meantime, I plan to push it a little harder each day, with an occasional rest day as needed. My butt is suffering less than I expected. My legs and lungs, on the other hand, are complaining loudly.
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Old 08-07-14, 10:19 PM   #11
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Regarding the stock shocks, I was told I was near the max recommended capacity at my current weight. All the more motivation to shed a few pounds. This bike is providing me with both the motive and the means to kill sixty or seventy pounds. Losing weight will also improve my stand over measurement since my big butt will no longer be forcing my crotch so far out in front of the seat and onto the sloped top tube.
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Old 08-07-14, 10:31 PM   #12
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I see you went with the Hardrock. Both of my boys, 11 & 13, ride a '14 Hardrock 29er's with hydraulic brakes. They really like them but are yearning for a full suspension Camber or Stumpjumper like I ride. My wife rides a '13 Specialzed Jett and absolutely loves it! We just got back from Mammonth where she rode it for 3 days and put over 100 miles of downhill on it. This year, she may convert it over to skinny road tires and pick up a Rumor before we go back to Mammoth next year.
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