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Sub $100 Entry level 29er SS for Clydesdale

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Sub $100 Entry level 29er SS for Clydesdale

Old 03-23-15, 08:32 PM
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TourDeHood
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Sub $1000 Entry level 29er SS for Clydesdale

6'3" 280 lbs occasional cyclocrosser here looking for a fun, easy MTB/do-everything bike that would give me access to trails my Kona Jake struggled with. I used to commute on a SS city bike and I miss it so I want SS, plus a front shock so that I can avoid the sore wrists, etc that I used to get while pushing my Jake on trails.

I have looked at the following..but aagain, I am a noob so open to other suggestions.

Kona - Unit
Charge - Cooker SS ( I know NOTHING about Charge but just love the look of it )
Surly Karate Monkey (if the price is right)
Redline - Monocog

Obvs none of those bikes have the shock I want, but I am assuming it is an easy upgrade...right? Also, I am assuming that I need the shock solely based on my cross bike on the trails experience. Perhaps rigid on these bikes is good enough for what I want. Not sure.

As a big, athletic dude I am going to pound this thing, so it needs to be durable. Any thoughts?


On a side note, found a 2010 Marin Alpine Trail 29er on Craigslist for $500. Great condition, has the shock, but on the downside also has gears. Good deal and/or good bike? or just stick to my original plan?

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Old 03-24-15, 10:39 AM
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Is the upgrade easy to do? Sure, probably have a U-tube on it. But the cost, that's something else. Once you start talking a quality shock with at least rebound control, possibly an air shock, you're talking money. I don't know what the least expensive fork is but I'm sure you're in the $400 range for an air fork, probably more. The Fox shocks on my old 26ers started at $600. If you want a really good shock, the least expensive way to buy it is on a new bike that's built that way. Manufacturers pay suppliers a fraction of what you pay because they don't have packaging or middle man handling costs.
As for the Marin, used 29ers tend to be a little pricey. As the 27.5 gains in popularity and as more 29ers are out there, that will change. Still $0.62 cents on the dollar for a five year old 29er isn't bad. If you like the bike, go for it. If the added weight of the gears is an issue, don't. I find if I don't like a bike, I tend not to ride it. If I buy what I want, I ride it more. Hope this is helpful.
BTW, I used to work on a consulting gig up in Framingham. I shipped a spare MTB up their and used to ride Callahan park. Great ride, I miss it.
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Old 03-24-15, 10:58 AM
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Here's a front suspension SS 29er for $400
Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29 SS Single Speed 29er Mountain Bikes
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Old 03-24-15, 12:28 PM
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Thanks for the response.

Im realizing now that the Karate Monkey's that I have been lusting over, are actually no longer made. The "ops" is not the bike for me.

Neither is the Redline

Looked at the Gravity. The price is right but I'm willing to spend a bit more in exchange for being able to test fit/ride and brand reputation

Thanks for the info re: forks (had no idea they cost that much). One of the biggest motivators for this purchase is how my wrists felt after ridding my cyclocross bike in certain sections (and not being able go into others at all). Feel like w/o a fork, I'm basically having a similar experience to that with my trusty Kona Jake. Is that fair to say?
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Old 03-27-15, 06:26 PM
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Since my last post I have narrowed it down to a 2013 Karate Monkey (Demo bike, $900 shipped) and 2014 Kona Unit.
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Old 03-28-15, 06:35 PM
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I have the unit and love it.
There are several cheaper and easier options you can try in place of a suspension fork if $$$ is a concern to help with the wirst/arm pounding you might encounter.
I swapped the grips for oury. I find the larger grips softer and absorbed abit more of the frontend chatter, and i didnt need to grip the bars as hard which helped with hand fatigue.
Larger front tire. I have a 2.4 chunky monkey on the front. Made a big difference over the stock tire in softening the ride.
Other things that can help are carbon bars and fork.
The unit is tubeless ready as well, running tubless can lower the psi of the tire, provide more "squish" without pinch flat worries.
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