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.
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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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    HT Shock? Which to get?

    I am so close to buying my first real mountain bike. Seems every time I look at a bike something new pos up to consider. I have picked out the Specialized Jett for its light weight, disc brakes and 29er....but am struggling with the front suspension....go coil or air? I am a heavy rider and heard the air shocks may not be able to be dialed in for someone over 180lb. I don't anticipate going on extreme overly aggressive trails but figure washboard roads are very likely. So will the coil shocks be the best for me?

  2. #2
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    Air

    Not being a woman I can't comment directly on a women's specific bike but I wouldn't limit myself to those. Test ride as many as you can, I think you will find air forks are superior.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  3. #3
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    Either will work if you get above Suntour 'X' series forks.
    Rockshox XC32 is a coil. They have different coil springs for different weight ranges. But these weigh 5lbs. Air can be 3.5lbs.
    Good air forks can be lighter and work better. And are the only choice if you are a heavy rider over 230.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Either will work if you get above Suntour 'X' series forks.
    Rockshox XC32 is a coil. They have different coil springs for different weight ranges. But these weigh 5lbs. Air can be 3.5lbs.
    Good air forks can be lighter and work better. And are the only choice if you are a heavy rider over 230.

    I think the question I really am trying to ask....are there weight limits to air shocks? Or coils for that matter?

  5. #5
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    HT Shock? Which to get?

    I am at 250 on a XCR coil. It seems to do ok but I am new also.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstoffel View Post
    I am so close to buying my first real mountain bike. Seems every time I look at a bike something new pos up to consider. I have picked out the Specialized Jett for its light weight, disc brakes and 29er....but am struggling with the front suspension....go coil or air? I am a heavy rider and heard the air shocks may not be able to be dialed in for someone over 180lb. I don't anticipate going on extreme overly aggressive trails but figure washboard roads are very likely. So will the coil shocks be the best for me?
    At least RS sells spring for weights in excess of 180lb. The normal extra firm spring is recommended for 185lb+. The spring is going to set you back at least $30 bucks and even though it is easy to change a spring expect a $30 charge to change it at a shop. Air forks will not have an upfront added cost (ok you need a pump) and almost all can be adjusted for weights well in excess of 200lb. Half the threads on the Clydesdale sub forum covers this for the 200+ crowd.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstoffel View Post
    I think the question I really am trying to ask....are there weight limits to air shocks? Or coils for that matter?
    How much are we talking about?
    What kind of riding are you doing?
    RockShox, for example, lists air pressure recommendations for rider weights of 200-220 for a Reba as 135+psi with a maximum of 200 which would take you up to about 300lbs.
    The XC32 coil spring fork has a black X-Firm part available for 200-220lb rider weight. No part is listed for more weight.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstoffel View Post
    I think the question I really am trying to ask....are there weight limits to air shocks? Or coils for that matter?
    Yes, but they're usually over 300 lbs when there is one. Just to have all our pedantic nit picking out of the way: shocks go on the back of the bike and forks go on the front of the bike. So on a Jett, we're talking about the fork rather than a shock; just so we're clear.

    Air forks are better* if you can afford one.

    *I've said this before but the reason everyone says air forks are better is because at the lower end of the spectrum the damping systems are more sophisticated in an air shock than in the coil shocks because air shocks are more expensive. That's it, that's the only reason: price. If you move up into the high end ranges coil forks and air forks, let's use Fox for an example, you can get the same dampers in a coil or an air sprung fork and they are both pretty great. The air fork will typically be lighter while the coil fork will tend to be a little more responsive through the travel. Anyway, my point is that it doesn't matter if you're using an air spring or a coil spring the most important thing that defines the performance of a fork or shock is the damping system**.

    **Unless you can't get a spring to match the spring rate that you need, then buying a coil fork would be pointless.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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