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  1. #1
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    1st Mountain Bike - 6'8" 220lbs

    Have finally decided to get a mountain bike (actually my wife finally gave the OK). I want to start on the inexpensive end ($350 - $400) and upgrade components as I go. So I need a decent frame. I followed this approach with my road bike - 69cm Cannondale (mid 80's) and eventaully upgraded everythiing but the handlebars. Anwyay, I have 37 " inseam and sleeve length. I borrowed a 21" Trek 4500 last weekend and had to put the seat waaaay up. I rode single track that was pretty technical in some places. It felt fine going uphill, but I felt like the bike was going to pivot forward on the front wheel going downhill. I've done a good bit of research, but have reached analysis-paralysis. Any and all suggestion welcome!!
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I think that any bike you get for around 400 bucks is going to have a very run-of-the-mill frame - basic aluminum. Nothing wrong with it, but not anything that is going to reward you down the line for making dramatic upgrades to it.

    I'd say that your biggest obstacle will be finding a company that produces a large enough frame for you. I know that Fuji offers a single model in a pretty large size, and it happens to be right in that price range - the Nevada 2.0 is offered in a 24" size. Although it will almost certainly have to be special ordered from whatever shop you go to. It's a solid, entry level trail-worthy bike. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    go to some bike dealers and see what they say

  4. #4
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    The Trek 4500 comes in a 24" frame as does the Giant Yukon. I would buy one of these to start and then if you like riding, start saving up for your next bike. I wouldn't waste money upgrading either one of these bikes.

    I am 6'8" 225 riding a 24" Trek 4500....currently saving for a 23" Turner Sultan.

    Just my thoughts

  5. #5
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    i bought the 24" yukon (i'm 6'10"), and it fits pretty well. the components aren't great, but you can ride it until it breaks, then either upgrade parts or start saving for a custom.

  6. #6
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    You should check out the local shops to see what they have...

    Be skeptical of what shop employees tell you. THey are not generally dishonest, but often are not familir with the fit needs of the bigger rider, and will sometimes reccomend a bike that is too small simply because it is the biggest one they have.

    I think a good rule-of-thumb is that if you can not get full leg extension on a bike with the stock seatpost fully extended (not out past the max extension line) then the bike was not designed for you.

    Good luck!
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  7. #7
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    I Am 6'9" And Ride A 29er And Love It

  8. #8
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    Try a 24" Specialized HardRock. I think it would be a better fit than the Trek because of the longer top tube. If you can find the cash, a 29" Rockhopper would be a good option.

  9. #9
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    I checked out the geometry on the Trek and Specialized websites and I noticed that the Trek has a longer headtube - almost 2 inches longer. This could mean that it is possible to have the handlebars higher in relation to the seat, if that is what adarmcsu is looking for.

    My experience, although I am not as tall as a lot of you folks, is that the headtube length is an important dimension that limits how high the bars can be set without needing a super tall gooseneck or a bunch of spacers.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  10. #10
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    Specialized Stumpy FSR is available in XXL

  11. #11
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    I don't know if there are too many places selling Stumpjumper FSRs for under 500 bucks, tho.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bselbe
    I Am 6'9" And Ride A 29er And Love It
    Which 29er are you riding at that height?

  13. #13
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    DOH! my bad, missed that part

  14. #14
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    Specialized have 24" Hardrock for $420, however, I'd recommend you to get a decent set of disc brakes considering your weight.

  15. #15
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    220 lbs isn't that heavy, and a well tuned set of rim brakes are considerably cheaper and allow for more of the budget to go towards quality, rather than gadgets.

    I am 250 lbs, have ridden hydraulic and cable rim brakes, and hydraulic and cable disc brakes. My current bike has rim brakes and they work real nice.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  16. #16
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    True, the headtube is 45mm shorter on the Specialized than the Trek, but the top-tube on the Trek is really short for such a big bike.

    Anyway, if I were adarrncsu I'd try both and see which I liked the best. And find a good shop that will swap bars and stems to get the right fit. Seat height is the easy part.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the replies

    I really appreciate all the helpful information. Decided to go with the Specialized Hardrock. Called my LBS and asked if I could order the Hardrock Sport ($420) in a 24" frame. Answer was YES. However, upon further review, the bike does not come in a 24". After talking directly to Specialized they informed me that the Sport is not available in a 24", neither is the Comp Disc. Apparently the Geometry chart on the Hardrock page is only accurate for the Pro Disc. The Hardrock Pro Disc is available in a 24", but at $660 is out of the price range right now. It looks like my best bet is the Giant Yukon at $550 or a used bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bselbe
    I Am 6'9" And Ride A 29er And Love It

    At your height I would go for one of the cheaper 29ers. Parts quality will be ok and the frames are worthy to be upgraded. Think, Raleigh, Monocog, etc......

  19. #19
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    Motobecane??

    What are your thoughts on the Motobecane Outcast 29? I've found a couple of web sites that I can get a complete bike in a 21" frame for $400 - MSRP is $800.

  20. #20
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    If you are serious about the $400 budget, this is about your only option.
    Quote Originally Posted by tdailey
    The Trek 4500 comes in a 24" frame as does the Giant Yukon. I would buy one of these to start and then if you like riding, start saving up for your next bike. I wouldn't waste money upgrading either one of these bikes.
    Or, maybe the Specialize Hardrock. People will talk about a bunch of different things like 29" wheels, but at that price you need to stick to entry level. Which is a smart place to start if your budget is tight or you're not sure you will stick with it.

    If you moutain bike, you will break things, so get it from a near-by bike shop so you can bring it there for repair. Ideally, a shop that sells and services mountain bikes, some shops focus on different bike segments. You might try asking people that live around you to recommend shops.

  21. #21
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    If you're still looking, I'm 6'8" 280lbs (okay okay.. 290..) and didn't find too many frames out there. I settled on an '08 Rockhopper disk in 23" and it fits beautifully. I don't feel cramped up across the top bar like I did with the Trek 4500. Bikes that don't come in a size around your budget and height are Specialized Hardrock, Trek 4300, Trek 6000, or any Cannondales (F7/6/5). Bikes that do are the Trek 4500 as you know, Rockhopper (base model with v-brakes is very reasonable and has the M4 frame), and Kona Blast. The LBS around me carry those brands, so those are the ones I looked at extensively.

    It sucks.. I ended up spending more than I wanted just cause of lack of options. Finding a good fit is a whole lot more important than finding a better deal and a poor fit. Good luck!

    there's an LBS near me (Kansas City) that still has an '07 Rockhopper disk in 23". I can't recall the price, but it was something like $490.. don't quote me! They're out there!

  22. #22
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    Do some googling and forum searching about Motobecane. That was enough to scare me off the brand for sure.

  23. #23
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    I did and I didn't like what I found!!. On the bright side I've my price range to $600 or so. Took a while to convince my wife. So now I'm looking at Rockhopper 23" (TT = 66 cm) and maybe even the Hardrock Pro Disc. The Trek 24" still only has a 61.4 cm TT. I could always just get the Giant Yukon and spend the rest of my budget on upgrades.
    Thanks for everyone's help. The advice on this forum was much better than that at the LBS.

  24. #24
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    I feel your pain...I am 7 ft, 260, started off with Giant Yukon, rode that for a couple yrs until the top tube completely ruptured. (I'm not a hardcore rider) Got a replacement frame, and put Sram X9 derailleurs and Rockshox Tora Uturn fork on (adjustable 85-130). Pretty good bike with those components on. Now riding a Ventana El capitan (29er) and LOVING it! An approach with the wife is...going cheap now means MUCH more expenditure later....good luck

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