Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74

    Another n00b looking for help buying

    I just moved into an area that is heavily populated by woods, trails, mountains, etc. (I live in Maine.) I rode a lot as a kid and would like to get back into it as a means of excercise and just plain fun. I do a fair amount of white water kayaking and love to be a thrill seeker so I assume my riding style would be the same. That being said, I'm a big guy, sooooo....my options seem limited.

    Since I can't exactly test any of these (I've been calling around) I'm sort of stuck with a blind buy. Any advice would be appreciated. I've been trying to look for something with good components including breaks and an air fork. I'm also looking for a 29'er because it seems like the smooth ride might be more up my ally.

    I am 6 feet tall and weigh in at a rugged 300lbs. This is without any gear.

    My current options. All appear to be pretty solid bikes.


    Kona Kahuna Deluxe

    Cannondale 29er Flash Alloy 3

    Giant XTC 29er 2

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    What are you looking to spend?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    I should also add, I am a bit concerned about not having full suspension since I might want to do some more bumpy terrain. Thoughts?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Ideally, I'd like to be under 2k. But I realize if I go full suspension I will have to jump over that price.

  5. #5
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,985
    The Recon Gold with a 20mm front axle and Speed Disc AM rims looks pretty solid on the Kona, the hubs being the possible question mark (which any bike in this price would be). The Giant also looks pretty solid. I would skip the 'Dale...QR front fork, skinny seat post, lighter weight rims.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    The Recon Gold with a 20mm front axle and Speed Disc AM rims looks pretty solid on the Kona, the hubs being the possible question mark (which any bike in this price would be). The Giant also looks pretty solid. I would skip the 'Dale...QR front fork, skinny seat post, lighter weight rims.
    I thought the Canondale had the same fork as the Kona?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    I should also add, I am a bit concerned about not having full suspension since I might want to do some more bumpy terrain. Thoughts?
    If you want full suspension, Check out Santa Cruz's Heckler R AM kit for $2399, basic single pivot design, low leverage ratio. SLX/XT drivetrain which would be solid for you. I have a Trek Scratch Air 9 which works great for me @ 325lbs. It's tough to find a FS bike with a good parts spec for $2k that will work for a big clyde. $3-4K has a lot more options but more than you want to spend.

  8. #8
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,985
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    I thought the Canondale had the same fork as the Kona?
    The Kona has a 20mm thru axle, the 'Dale has a 9mm quick release. It will be quite a difference in fork stiffness between the two.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    11
    I have to agree with mtnbiker72, I would highly recommend something with AT LEAST a 15mm thru axle. Im over 200 and I can feel a difference (I run a 20mm) and it is only amplified more by the fact that you want a 29er. I would say that if your budget tops out at $2k then stick to the hard tail arena. Better to have decent components and a good frame than to have crap components on an entry frame. I hate to say it but if you can buy used from someone who clearly has shown respect for the bike then you can walk away with a very nice bike and stay within your budget. Just don't be in a rush and wait for the right one.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Cool. So it sounds like the Kona might be the way to go. It seems like every time I turn around this is a new brand of bike I haven't heard of... The Fuji Tahoe 1 looks like a nice ride. Fuji Bikes | MOUNTAIN SERIES | 29ER HARDTAIL | TAHOE 29 1.0

    mtnbiker72, where did you see the 9mm quick release? To me, it looks like the same description. I mean, how would one know?

  11. #11
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,985
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    mtnbiker72, where did you see the 9mm quick release? To me, it looks like the same description. I mean, how would one know?
    The Kona specifically specifies a 20mm axle, the 'Dale does not. If it is not specified then it is going to be a 9mm QR.

    Besides, if you zoom in on the 'Dale you can see the end of the quick release.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Well I've been calling around for a few days now. Researching, etc etc. Originally I had my heart set on a nice 29er but one of the local stores has a new 20 inch, 2009 Kona Hoss and they're convinced it's the perfect bike to get a super-clyde like myself going. They're looking for around $900 for it.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    Well I've been calling around for a few days now. Researching, etc etc. Originally I had my heart set on a nice 29er but one of the local stores has a new 20 inch, 2009 Kona Hoss and they're convinced it's the perfect bike to get a super-clyde like myself going. They're looking for around $900 for it.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    I have a 09 Kona Hoss which I purchased in January 2010 for $749 from my LBS. $900 seems pretty steep for an 09' model. Very sturdy bike, cranks are OK at best, you will need to put a larger rotor on the front. I put a 203mm on it, otherwise I couldn't stop when going downhill. On rocky trails you will have more issues than if you were on a 29'er. Fork pogo's when out of the saddle. It's performance on rocky trails is what made me go with full suspension and spend 4 times more than I could have ever imagined I'd spend on a bike. It was worth it for the performance gains. It really depends on what type of trails you ride. If you ride anything technical and you want a hardtail, I would go with a 29'er. It will roll over stuff better.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    I have a 09 Kona Hoss which I purchased in January 2010 for $749 from my LBS. $900 seems pretty steep for an 09' model. Very sturdy bike, cranks are OK at best, you will need to put a larger rotor on the front. I put a 203mm on it, otherwise I couldn't stop when going downhill. On rocky trails you will have more issues than if you were on a 29'er. Fork pogo's when out of the saddle. It's performance on rocky trails is what made me go with full suspension and spend 4 times more than I could have ever imagined I'd spend on a bike. It was worth it for the performance gains. It really depends on what type of trails you ride. If you ride anything technical and you want a hardtail, I would go with a 29'er. It will roll over stuff better.
    I'd definitely prefer a 29er, but to be honest, I'm very new to the sport and who the hell knows whether or not I will stick with it which is what makes the $900 price appealing. They said they'd give me 10% off on accessories but I don't see that as a real steal.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    I'd definitely prefer a 29er, but to be honest, I'm very new to the sport and who the hell knows whether or not I will stick with it which is what makes the $900 price appealing. They said they'd give me 10% off on accessories but I don't see that as a real steal.
    It is a great bike for what it is. I put a over 4k miles on it and loved it. I just realized that to ride more difficult trails, I needed more. In the 2 years I had it, I fell in love with Mountain biking again and realized that it would be worth the investment to be able to ride the trails that I wanted too. I spent $4k on my full suspension bike and it was worth every penny. Maybe finding out if you like the sport is a safe way to go. If you do pull the trigger, definitely upgrade the front rotor to a larger one if you do any sort of downhill stuff. Good luck, I am sure you'll have fun with what ever you choose. Just make sure the frame fits, I am 6ft tall like you but have shorter legs, I have an 18 inch frame and its standover height is a little over 30inches. the 20 inch frame has a stand over height of 32". I just thought that should be something you are aware of.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    It is a great bike for what it is. I put a over 4k miles on it and loved it. I just realized that to ride more difficult trails, I needed more. In the 2 years I had it, I fell in love with Mountain biking again and realized that it would be worth the investment to be able to ride the trails that I wanted too. I spent $4k on my full suspension bike and it was worth every penny. Maybe finding out if you like the sport is a safe way to go. If you do pull the trigger, definitely upgrade the front rotor to a larger one if you do any sort of downhill stuff. Good luck, I am sure you'll have fun with what ever you choose. Just make sure the frame fits, I am 6ft tall like you but have shorter legs, I have an 18 inch frame and its standover height is a little over 30inches. the 20 inch frame has a stand over height of 32". I just thought that should be something you are aware of.
    Standover means literally standing with the bike between your legs, right? Sorry, I'm completely ignorant to the terms. I am exactly 6 feet. Maybe even 5'11" and 3/4s or something like that. When I was talking to a local dealer about a Specialized bike they were all about the 19incher for me. Sounds like 20" may be a bit too big.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    Standover means literally standing with the bike between your legs, right? Sorry, I'm completely ignorant to the terms. I am exactly 6 feet. Maybe even 5'11" and 3/4s or something like that. When I was talking to a local dealer about a Specialized bike they were all about the 19incher for me. Sounds like 20" may be a bit too big.
    Basically thats what it means....did you sit on the frame?

    Check out this Breezer 29er.

    Breezer Cloud-9 29er PRO LG Orange
    Last edited by BigJZ74; 02-28-2012 at 01:17 PM.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    Basically thats what it means....did you sit on the frame?

    Check out this Breezer 29er.

    Breezer Cloud-9 29er PRO LG Orange
    I did today. Haha, and you were totally right, too tall.

    It appears that if I go Kona I will need a 19inch for a 26er and an 18inch for a 29er. The 18inch was pretty snug but the woman said if I went to a 17inch, the handlebars would be too close to the seat for my size.

    That breezer is definitely a sweet looking bike, but I'm so weary of buying before I (at least) stand over. Especially today. Heh. Would it come assembled?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    I did today. Haha, and you were totally right, too tall.

    It appears that if I go Kona I will need a 19inch for a 26er and an 18inch for a 29er. The 18inch was pretty snug but the woman said if I went to a 17inch, the handlebars would be too close to the seat for my size.

    That breezer is definitely a sweet looking bike, but I'm so weary of buying before I (at least) stand over. Especially today. Heh. Would it come assembled?
    Sorry, you'd need a medium, this one is too tall.....

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    Sorry, you'd need a medium, this one is too tall.....
    damnit. That looked like a sweet bike and a great deal. I was all ready to order that. lol

    Now I want to cry....
    Last edited by Aquayonex; 02-28-2012 at 05:24 PM.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    damnit. That looked like a sweet bike and a great deal. I was all ready to order that. lol

    Now I want to cry....
    ...

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    ...
    Any other sites around with that kind of deal?

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    312
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post
    Any other sites around with that kind of deal?
    I'll see if I can find something

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    I'll see if I can find something
    I've been thinking about the Kona Kahuna Deluxe, or the Specialized Rockhopper. I know the Kona is a slightly better bike, but I really dig the look of the silver rockhopper (stupid I know...) But those are two local shops. The rockhopper is in stock, but the Kona can be ordered and I'm told it will be in and built in about a week.

    I wonder, are there issues with riding these bikes over roads that have been salted? As a general rule, the sale in Maine destroys metal. Big rust.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    27
    I am the same size as you 6' and right about 300 give or take a couple.

    When I got into the sport about 10 years ago I did not want to spend a bunch of money on the first bike. I spent about $600. I ended up spending about $200 bucks a year for the next couple of years replacing and upgrading various components as needed.

    10 years later I still ride a 26" hartail, but the only parts ont hat bike that have not been upgraded or replaced is the handlebar, stem and shifters. I have over $2500 in the bike, but it was spread out and did not hit the wallet all at once.

    I would recommend buying a bike on a budget that you feel comfortable with right now. You can always upgrade to the FS 29er of your dreams a couple years down the road and you will appreciate that bike more once you understand the advantages it brings to the table. I did eventually buy a FS bike after 6 years of riding the HT. Trek has swapped out two frames over the years for me.

    Think of the kid whose first car is a corvette or something similar. They don't really know how to utilize all of the ability of the car due to their inexperience. Get a reasonable first bike and ride. Once you gain some experience, you will be able to pick out your next upgraded bike based on the type of riding you do.

    Also I do recommend buying a bike with a lifetime warranty on the frame. I am on the third HT frame. Guys our size break stuff. Plan on breaking stuff more often that others your ride with. Plan on upgrading the wheelset and seatpost at some point if you buy a HT. I have never ridden a bike with a through axles, so I can not speak to the benefits, but have had no issues with 9MM QR axles in my primarily XC riding in where I live in SW PA.

    Good Luck

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •