1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Beginner 29" bike rec for 225# rider

    I have a hybrid that I ride around my neighborhood to the veloway and back. My twin boys are turning 12 in August and it is time to ditch the 24" Huffy and get them real bikes that they can ride to school as well as some of the trails we have around Austin. One likes the Hard Rock 15" and the other is looking at a Trek 3500. Do they really need disc brakes that can come with the bikes or is it just the cool factor? They are featherweights at about 80# and 5' each.

    I want to ride with them so I will need a beginner trail bike as well. I took a Trek Mamba for a parking lot spin and it felt really good but I'd rather keep the purchase price under $700 or less (Spouse doesn't see what is wrong with the anchors they have right now even though they weigh 35# each so spending $2k on 3 bikes is nothing she'd tolerate). I've looked hard at the Airborne Guardian as well as a few of the Gravity bikes from Bikes Direct.

    The Guardian comes with an X28 shock while the Mamba comes with an X32. I am about 225# and in my wildest dreams won't be under 180# ever and from what I've read here, the RockShox x28 could be an issue. I doubt I will ever get too vertical in my rides but I guess you never know.

    How long do you think I can ride the x28 before I start really noticing problems if I'm not riding over too many logs and boulders?

  2. #2
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    The x28 and x32 are both entry level forks. They work, but from my experience it seems like nobody designs forks for 225# riders. You have to adjust them. the 32 will be stiffer and stronger. If you weigh 225lbs I don't think you will notice a couple lb difference between bikes.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Moe. I ended up asking Jeremy with Airborne his thoughts and I think I will go with a Guardian and if I end up needing a better shock/bike down the line, I will gift it to my wife who is my height but way lighter.

  4. #4
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    An air fork is really the way to go with your weight. Even a 32mm coil would need at a new spring. 28mm needs a new spring and will be too flexy.
    A BD Gravity Point 1 with a Raidon upgrade at 175 or Recon Gold at 240 is 625 or 690.

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