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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    Middle age NOOB looking to buy his first MTB. Is 160mm fox full suspension to much?

    I am looking at buying a Trex Remedy 7 with full fox suspension, as my first bike, there a some rocky mountain hill trails near me that might call for it.

    I am 225lbc -- My question is all that suspension going make the bike less manageable on trails that are not that rocky and are more smooth. Since I am not that light in weight maybe having more suspension will help?

  2. #2
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    That is a lot of travel for normal XC type riding but if you're taking bigger drops or hitting bigger objects then it may be fine. Weight has no affect on how much travel you should have, just how it's tuned. That much travel will make it a bit less climbing/ hard acceleration friendly but should give a plush ride.

    That much travel is usually when you're more interested in a smoother ride going down than going up, you give up a little climbing "feel" for better descent ability. I have a 100mm 29er, 2013 norco revolver, and it's a very good aggressive XC to entry level enduro racing (so some reviews have stated). Kind of grey areas for the genres. 160mm is usually for reasonably gnarly terrain. I'm 220 lbs. My "fix" for getting the suspension right was sending shock and fork to push for a custom tune, much better afterwards. The 2013 fox CTD damping sucked.

    Test rides are the best way to go. If you can't leave a parking lot with the bike start running the bike off curbs or down stairs (longer travel bikes, not hardtails) if possible.

  3. #3
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    I've sometimes wondered if bigger people might like longer-travel bikes more than I do. I'm back under 150 lb, and I find some of the bigger bikes to be quite a lot to manage. I liked a 140 mm bike okay at a demo day recently, though, and I really like my 100 mm 29er.

    To me, it's really more of a matter of emphasis. I like climbing, and I compete sometimes. So I like a bike that handles well on the way up. Not that I don't enjoy descending - that's what grabs most of us, I think. But I get annoyed at a bike I have to fight on uphill singletrack.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    If you were to survey mtbr on "more suspension vs. less suspension" then I think in general "more suspension" would win. People prefer going fast, going downhill and having possible mistakes masked by the suspension. A minority (not a small minority but a minority) seems to prefer better climbing and nimbler bikes. It's impossible to know where you'll end up but as a heavier and older rider the deck is probably stacked in favor of more suspension. The biggest argument against FS is people looking at really cheap ones but you don't have that problem.

    Do check out multiple FS bikes though, to get an idea how they compare.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    If you were to survey mtbr on "more suspension vs. less suspension" then I think in general "more suspension" would win. People prefer going fast, going downhill and having possible mistakes masked by the suspension. A minority (not a small minority but a minority) seems to prefer better climbing and nimbler bikes. It's impossible to know where you'll end up but as a heavier and older rider the deck is probably stacked in favor of more suspension. The biggest argument against FS is people looking at really cheap ones but you don't have that problem.

    Do check out multiple FS bikes though, to get an idea how they compare.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    If you were to survey mtbr on "more suspension vs. less suspension" then I think in general "more suspension" would win. People prefer going fast, going downhill and having possible mistakes masked by the suspension. A minority (not a small minority but a minority) seems to prefer better climbing and nimbler bikes. It's impossible to know where you'll end up but as a heavier and older rider the deck is probably stacked in favor of more suspension. The biggest argument against FS is people looking at really cheap ones but you don't have that problem.

    Do check out multiple FS bikes though, to get an idea how they compare.
    Well said! Couldn't agree more...

  7. #7
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    A demo day or two would give you some important info.
    Check with your lbs about any coming up. Niner, Giant, Trek all bring different travel bikes you can take out over the same terrain to compare.
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