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  1. #1
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    Another bike rec.

    I have not ridden since college and have decided to buy a new bike. I plan to ride with the kids on hardtop and also some cross country as I get in better shape. I am currently 5'11" and 275 (down from 298 5 weeks ago). I should be down to around 200 in the next 10-12 months.

    I have been looking at a kona hoss deluxe, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, and the Cannondale F800. Any thought? Thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by caddis
    I have not ridden since college and have decided to buy a new bike. I plan to ride with the kids on hardtop and also some cross country as I get in better shape. I am currently 5'11" and 275 (down from 298 5 weeks ago). I should be down to around 200 in the next 10-12 months.

    I have been looking at a kona hoss deluxe, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, and the Cannondale F800. Any thought? Thanks for the help
    I've been riding a Hoss for a year now, and dropped from 290 to 205 in the process. I ride 5-6 days every week, commuting and XC trails on the weekends. I ride rain, snow or shine, so I've put the bike through it's paces.

    I love the Hoss, but there are a few weak spots as with any $1k build. The stock machine built wheels are barely adequate. I started breaking rear drive-side spokes after 4 months. It's been a battle to keep the wheels on the road since then. I've broken close to 20 spokes total on both wheels. At least I got some practice with a truing stand. I just forked over some $$$ for hand built hoops. They were a HUGE improvement.

    The stock fork is sturdy and heavy, but sucks as a trail fork. You won't break it, but it doesn't inspire confidence on rocky trails. Crank up the preload, and it's okay for street use, but it's a typical low end OE piece of crap. I just upgraded to a Rockshox Reba Race. I dropped 2 lbs off the bike, got a much better handling fork, yet retained the stiffness of the OE fork.

    I've had no trouble with the stock drivetrain, except when I whacked the derailleur hanger. My bottom bracket is starting to creak a bit, but after a year of riding in Oregon rain and mud, I'm not surprised. The bearings still spin smoothly, so I might just need to tighten it up a touch.

    The stock Shimano cable disc brakes have been surprisingly good. They're not as well regarded as the Avid BB7, but they've been reliable, adjustable, and have good stopping power in all conditions.

    The bottom line for me is the Hoss is a top notch, rock solid frame with a decent but not exceptional parts build for the price. I've replaced the two most glaring weaknesses (wheels, fork) and I plan to ride this setup until it's six feet under.

  3. #3
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    I have been riding a Hoo Koo for just over a month now and have no problems whatsoever (6"2..275). I just brought the bike in for the first tuneup, and only the rear derailleur and a couple spokes needed adjusting. When I was shopping for bikes I had my heart set on the Hoss, but the frame has a short cockpit which left me cramped. The Genesis Geometry on the Fisher fit me perfectly. I would definitely check out a few shops and make sure you get the right fit. I asked the dealer about upgrading wheels/forkI but he told me to the ride the bike, then replace parts as necessary. So far so good!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxcracer
    I have been riding a Hoo Koo for just over a month now and have no problems whatsoever (6"2..275). I just brought the bike in for the first tuneup, and only the rear derailleur and a couple spokes needed adjusting. When I was shopping for bikes I had my heart set on the Hoss, but the frame has a short cockpit which left me cramped. The Genesis Geometry on the Fisher fit me perfectly. I would definitely check out a few shops and make sure you get the right fit. I asked the dealer about upgrading wheels/forkI but he told me to the ride the bike, then replace parts as necessary. So far so good!
    I checked out the Fishers before settling on my Hoss. I like the Genesis geometry as well, and the build kit on the Fishers seemed just a touch better overall than the Hoss. For me, the Hoss fit better, and provided a clyde proof frame I could ride into the ground.

    Were your wheels noticably out of true after a month, or was this just a minor adjustment?

    To the OP, if you prefer the Fisher Genesis geometry, the HKEK is a great ride. The only question mark I've got with the '06 HKEK is the 15 gauge spoke specs. Bikes in the $1k price range have machine built wheels. As a clyde, I'd rather not take a chance riding thinner spokes. Most wheel builders wouldn't recommend 15 gauge spokes for bigger guys.

    Don't necessarily let the 15 gauge spokes scare you off from the HKEK. But, be aware that as a clyde, you're more likely to have wheel problems if you ride a lot. If you do, you can always pick up some budget minded hand built wheels for $150-250 down the road. http://www.greatdealsonbikes.com/ offers several budget priced wheels that are better than machine built. There are others like Larry at Mtn. High Cyclery, Chad at Red Barn Bicycles, Odds and Endos, etc that can hook you up with sweet wheels when you need to upgrade.

  5. #5
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    The spokes just needed a slight tweak, they were not noticeably out of true. If and when I destroy these wheels, I would opt for 36 hole 14 gauge. Like I said, love the Hoss, but the fit wasn't there.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback.. The biggest problem I am having now is finding a LBS with one of these in stock to try out. I have called every shop within 2 hrs and all have offered to order for me, but none have any of these three available. Do other folks have this problem? I hate to spend that much on a bike I haven't ridden.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by caddis
    Thanks for the feedback.. The biggest problem I am having now is finding a LBS with one of these in stock to try out. I have called every shop within 2 hrs and all have offered to order for me, but none have any of these three available. Do other folks have this problem? I hate to spend that much on a bike I haven't ridden.
    If you can't find a HKEK, Hoss or F800 anywhere local, see what they do have. You can get a good idea of what you like on a similar ride.

    A Tassajara Disc is a close approximation to the HKEK. They have the same geometry, but the HKEK has a lighter frame, some minor drivetrain upgrades, better Hayes hydro discs, and a better shock. You can at least determine whether or not you like the stretched out Fisher geometry.

    For the Hoss, I am surprised that no local Kona dealer has a Hoss or Hoss De Lux in stock. In any case, all Kona XC hardtails use the same geometry. The Hoss frame just has a beefier tube set, forged bottom bracket shell, head tube, dropouts and a replaceable derailleur hanger. You can gauge bike fit and ride feel on a Caldera, as their build is almost identical. The Hoss De Lux has better cranks, wheels, and a beefier fork to go along with the clyde worthy frame.

    I'm not too familiar with C'dale, but I'm pretty sure the F600 and F1000 have the same frame geometry. You can see whether or not you like how they fit in general, and determine which bike your budget can buy.

  8. #8
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    Other bikes to consider in your price range that seem to be durable are:

    Specialized Hard Rock Pro Disc - '06 only has a 2x9 drive train w/ bash guard. If you want a triple, you have to look elsewhere.

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc - a few more bills than the Hard Rock, but a solid build. Not as beefy frame as the Hard Rock or the Hoss... more in line with the HKEK or F800.

    Trek 6700 - Only Trek ~$1k hardtail with a decent fork.
    Iron Horse Warrior Race

    There's a lot of others worth considering as well. If you're having problems finding what you want, I'd take inventory of the brands available to you locally, and get out and test ride all you can. Don't narrow yourself down to just a couple models if you haven't riden many current offerings. I test rode bikes for a good month before deciding on my Hoss.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsiff
    Other bikes to consider in your price range that seem to be durable are:

    Specialized Hard Rock Pro Disc - '06 only has a 2x9 drive train w/ bash guard. If you want a triple, you have to look elsewhere.

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc - a few more bills than the Hard Rock, but a solid build. Not as beefy frame as the Hard Rock or the Hoss... more in line with the HKEK or F800.

    Thanks again for the help. I looked at the Rockhopper Pro Disc but did not have enough time to ride. I'm going back later this week to give it a try. I felt a little cramped on it.

    I have decided not to rush this. I'm going to ride several brands before I make any decisions.


    What are your thoughts on hardtail vs FS? Most shops seem to have a bigger selection of FS. I found a Giant Trance 3 that was on sale and seemed to fit me well. I have to go back to road test it as well. Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by caddis
    Thanks again for the help. I looked at the Rockhopper Pro Disc but did not have enough time to ride. I'm going back later this week to give it a try. I felt a little cramped on it.

    I have decided not to rush this. I'm going to ride several brands before I make any decisions.


    What are your thoughts on hardtail vs FS? Most shops seem to have a bigger selection of FS. I found a Giant Trance 3 that was on sale and seemed to fit me well. I have to go back to road test it as well. Thanks again.
    Hardtail vs. FS is really a personal decision. It really depends on what you want, where you plan to ride, and how much money you're willing to spend.

    You get more for your money in the $1k price bracket with a hardtail. Hardtails are great for mixed road / off road use. They are fine for most XC use, climb better than FS, and generally have less to maintain and go wrong. Full suspension is better if you're mainly riding off road, especially on rocky, rooty trails, and like to bomb down hills or jump.

    If I were looking at a serious entry level bike, I'd look in the $1000-1300 range for a hardtail, and the $1500-1800 range for a FS rig. You can buy a cheaper bike, but there are a lot more compromises at lower price brackets. If you plan to ride a lot, don't sell yourself short. You'll pay the difference in broken parts or upgrades before too long.

  11. #11
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    Thanks again. I tested a Cannondale Rush 600 today on a day trip to Blackwater Bikes in WVa. I felt very comfortable on the bike and the guys in the shop were great. They gave me agood deal and I ordered a new Rush 600. Now I just have to wait a couple of weeks to go back over and pick it up.

    Thanks to all with the suggestions. Readings the various forums on this site were a great help in picking my new bike

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