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Thread: Advice needed

  1. #1
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    Advice needed

    Hello All,

    I have been a long time reader of MTBR forums and reviews and always found the advice here useful and am now in the market for a purchase and wanted to get some thoughts from the regulars here that might be able to give me some guidance.

    I am a bigger rider (6'3" 265 pounds) and I while I havent ridden in many many years I am fairly confident about the type of riding I want to get into and that is the all mountain category doing some urban assault possibly as time permits. I am looking for something with the all-mountain type geometry and a long travel front fork (120mm+) As I am a beginner I am not seeing myself jumping off big things and being super aggressive at first but I want a bike that will be able to do that as my skill and courage grows and even just hold up to the normal riding I might be doing as I am a bigger rider. I will mostly be riding local trails with some pretty fun descents and stuff. My budget is around 1500.

    Given the research I have done so far I am leaning very heavily toward the Kona Five-0 (probably the deluxe for the better drive train and wheelsets) but before I got to far down that path I wanted to see if there was any sage advice that anyone was able to chime in with. I have seen some reference to the NS Core 1 and Core 2 but I have been unable to find any dealers to be able to get a pricepoint established for what either of these might run me. I am open to any ideas that might be out there for different options. I am a bit reserved on the idea of building up my own bike from the frame for a number of reasons. I understand that for the true hard core enthusiast that is the only way to go but as I am a beginner and just starting I want to focus more on the basics to begin with and I will consider building up a new bike down the road (really like many of the frames I have seen on here in my looking around... sinister, cove, santa cruz, etc)

    I have been reading the different posts on this particular sub-forum and have found tons of useful information but nothing that really answered some of my lingering questions. Basically I wanna get as much bike as I can for 1500 but know that in this category and market that is still a pretty limited number.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you are able and willing to share.

  2. #2
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    If you want to buy a new bike at that price point you should check out RS Cycle They have really good prices on Iron Horse which is a heavier, sturdier bike. If you're aiming more at trail riding I suggest the Mk III. If you're aiming more at freeride you should check out the 6Point or possible 7Point series.

    Unfortunately you're making a compromise either way. If you get a burly freeride bike it's never going to ride as fast and light as a trail bike. If you get a trail bike you're not going to be able to push it very far when freeriding.

    Personally I'd suggest getting a trail bike first because most likely it will take at least a year until you're comfortable riding jumps and large drops. When you do get comfortable you can sell that bike and buy a beefier bike.

    The only thing I can't take into account for you is your weight. I'm only 155 so maybe some of the heavier guys can pitch in here. Dunno if any Clydes are riding Mk III's or the like.

    Good luck either way and I'm sure you'll have a blast regardless! If you can, get some of your friends into riding, turns it into a whole different experience. Also you might want to pick up the book "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" CRAZY helpful.

  3. #3
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    Not many bikes going to stand up to your weight on true AM trails. You could go after a DH bike but they are heavy and not a lot of fun on trails. A friend of mine was looking last year, like you is tall and heavy so I suggested a Dirt Jump bike. Talk about an indestructible and great geometry bike for trails the dirt jumpers fit well. We are talking hard tails so it's going to be a little rough but most full suspension AM bikes are built around 180 lbs riders. So you would have to get shocks and forks prepped before your first ride if you go AM. My fried ended up on a Specialized P1: we had do a few modifications to get his long legs in the bike but he was most happy after we installed a lay back seat post, high rise bars, and a high rise 80mm stem. He is on Mavic 729 rims, 2.5 hook worm tires, and running a dirt jumper 3 front fork. Bike is holding up very well for him. BTW, he was a little over 300 lbs and 6'4" when he started riding last year.

    As time goes by and you drop some lbs then the doors will open... but if your on a limited budget I don't know how you can customize a FS bike that will actually fit your size and weight for $1,500. Don't get me wrong there are some DH bikes that will fit, but they are expensive and heavy. IMO you will be more likely to stay on the trails if your having fun and pushing a heavy DH bike up the hills aint no fun. Good luck in your quest.

    PS: there is a Clydesdale forum here on MTBR, they may have better advise. Here is the link; http://forums.mtbr.com/clydesdales-tall-riders/

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input and sorry for my oversight in not adding that I was explicitly looking for a HT not a FS. I have always preferred HT over FS. After doing more research I am leaning toward a Santa Cruz Chameleon based bike... either buying it with one of the their AM kits or sitting down with the dealer and doing a more custom build.... Anyway still researching and am certainly open to more thoughts... thanks again for what has already been offered.

  5. #5
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    You don't necessarily need a DJ bike, more so a Hard Tail, especially around that price range. I've heard good things about the Bionicon's for heavier riders, but that is outside your price range unfortunately. If I were you, I'd go with a Kona Hoss or Kula, even though they are geometrically geared towards XC, just starting and getting a better base for what your needs are would be ideal. Or if you opted for a Full Suspension setup, if I were you, I'd still probably stick with a Kona Howler or a Trek Remedy (I don't know if you could find one in the price range, but its still a suggestion). Also if I were you, I would go with coil suspension, front and rear (if applicable) for the best ride performance.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes. As flyag1 pointed out, they have the clydesdale forums which could be beneficial towards you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntlarson
    Thanks for the input and sorry for my oversight in not adding that I was explicitly looking for a HT not a FS. I have always preferred HT over FS. After doing more research I am leaning toward a Santa Cruz Chameleon based bike... either buying it with one of the their AM kits or sitting down with the dealer and doing a more custom build.... Anyway still researching and am certainly open to more thoughts... thanks again for what has already been offered.
    Frame is a lot like the older Spec P bikes.

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