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  1. #1
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    Can a Clyde ride a full suspension??

    I have recently started mounting biking and couple of years ago and have been riding a 26" Felt hard tail. I am looking to upgrade this year and am wondering if I could go full suspension at 260 lbs or should I stick with hard tail? I was also wondering if anybody has had trouble riding 29" wheels or should I pick something smaller like 27.5"?

  2. #2
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    I'm in at 240lbs w/ gear, and I've ridden some full suspension without problem. 260 might be pushing the limits though. This might be best addressed by e-mailing the shock manufacturer's directly to make sure their warranty will cover it.
    The air-shock on the giant felt a litle bouncy, but I don't think they set the pressure right. the specialized felt fine though. I currently ride a coil-sprung FS, and it handles my weight much better, at a slight weight penalty for the shock. Finding coil shocks is getting more difficult though except on downhill bikes, and thoose always have huge travel.

    I'm also on a 29er w/ WTB rims. No problems so far, but I don't do big air, just rocks, roots, and litle air.

  3. #3
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    Really depends on your riding style, if you're a hucker type rider, maybe not. I'm 250ish (for now) and I just picked up my first 29er FS (coming from 26 hardtail for years) and I couldn't be happier, but I'm not doing 6ft drops either at least with wheels off the ground 2 ft of air is plenty to get my adrenaline rushing. The FS makes a huge difference in all around comfort level, and I'm loving the monster truck like qualities of the 29 inch wheels. Mine came with a fox ctd and I was able to easily set up proper sag for my weight and was well within the pressure specifications. I say go for it you won't regret it. There are some deals to be had out there right now too.

  4. #4
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    Sure, no problems, particularly at your weight. I've fluctuated between 215# and 260# over the last 10 years of riding FS bikes, and haven't had any issues. That includes probably 20 days riding lifts riding downhill and flow tracks, several more days at bike parks hitting up to about 6 ft drops, tables, all that. Never had a suspension issue. I don't intend to ever ride anything else. I guess I should keep in mind that I have only had beefier "All mountain" style FS bikes, such as the Enduro in my signature, and love having a 36 mm stanchion fork, 20 mm thru-axles, 8" rotors, and other equipment that is about as heavy duty as it comes -- I've not owned a 'light xc' bike since my HT Stumpjumper -- but I don't think that at 260# you're going to stress out any bike beyond its capabilities. Of course, if it has coil suspension, you'll probably have to upgrade or change the coils to support the weight, as they come sprung for about 175 lbs as I understand, but the fact that they make heavier coils for heavier riders kinda answers the question, too!

    Can't help you re: 29 vs. 27.5, since I've only had 26" bikes, but I don't think you'll have an issue either way.

    Good luck!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the help! I pretty much keep it not he ground but ride some pretty rough terrain so thought FS would be nice.

  6. #6
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    Not an issue at all at your weight IMHO....I'm between 215 and 220 lbs. My full suspension bike is a 2008 Giant Trance X2 (26") I am at just under 6,000 miles on it, beat the snot out of it and have had zero problems.

    Giant's Maestro suspension is amazing by the way, I am still using the original pivot bearings. My Fox shock and fork are at PUSH right now getting a re build, can't wait to get it back on the trails!

    With the varied terrain here in Nor Cal, I also ride a rigid 29er singlespeed and a 29er hardtail......It's nice to be able to "switch it up"

  7. #7
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    I've weighed as much as 288 (Don't ask) and I've been riding a full suspension Stumpjumper for a few years. I did crack the 2008 frame. Specialized said it was a heat treating issue and replaced the frame. I've been on the 09 frame ever since.
    I weigh about 255 right now.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
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    310 and larger at times, been riding a FS since my 1997 Santa Cruz Heckler until it finally cracked 14 years later. Guess what I bought to replace it? You know it, Santa Cruz Heckler, and it's been rock solid since the day I built it up!

    This new Heckler I have setup with 27.5's... I am really pleased with the overall handling.

    I do have a 29 rigid, but i've yet to try out a 29 FS. So I can't really speak on the difference between the two.
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  9. #9
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    Been on a Giant Anthem X 29er for the past three years and have had no problems. My weight has fluctuated between 255 and 290 during that time. IMHO, you can ride a 29er FS as long as you don't go all weight-weenie with the components, but the same goes for any bike really.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the help everybody, I did email Fox to see what they suggest we'll see if I here something back.

  11. #11
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    260# 2012 giant anthem x 29er, and will never go back!

  12. #12
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    Of course! I ride Trek Fuel (26ER) and i'm 240....I Also have 29er HT Superfly...happy trails
    SWING YOUR LEG OVER IT AND PEDAL

  13. #13
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    260# on a 2004 Trek Fuel 70, now 230# on a 2013 EX 8. You will be fine. If anything, be smooth, it's easier on the gear.

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  14. #14
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    OP... Yes you can ride a FS bike that is for sure. I have done all types of riding throughout the years ranging from XC to DH to Trials to even Road. I have always been able to find a bike that fit the bill that I was looking for but it did take more time to find the right bike and will most likely cost a bit more to build up for a heavier guy (you and i are the same weight)

    I am currently on a Santacruz Tallboy AL (its a 29er if you dont know) and I have been ripping the trails on it. this bike replaced a Santacruz nomad carbon that I still have hanging in a garage. thus far the Tallboy has proven to be faster on ALL the trails that I rode the Nomad on but it probably isn't as tough but I'm no longer interested in doing big drops and have found the tallboy to be much more playful. it being a 29er has made no difference in the durability of the bike thusfar and I have close to 700 miles on it, but I did build a pretty strong wheel set for it.
    2500 mile goal for 2016

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  15. #15
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    The best thing I ever did was go to a full suspension. It is so forgiving for us 300 plus guys and helps the wheels. I am six six and I am looking for a 29r full.... I have gts broke a couple of frames that have been replaced courtesy of Performance.... Love my fox shocks

  16. #16
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    I'm 250 and riding a Turner Sultan that can take anything you can throw at it.

  17. #17
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    Full Suspension is Da Bomb. I miss it. Had for years then stopped biking for a bit. I'll skip the details... The bike I'm on now is a used hardtail. I demo'd a few Salsa bikes this fall at a local event. I was testing FS 29'ers and ride a 26". I asked a pile of questions of the reps because I push 230 and "remember" how to ride hard. I'm 50 and don't like going uphill but it's the only way to get to downhills for free (around here). Frankly, I just don't like working as hard at riiding so I was curious if an FS 29 would be forgiving and NOT break the bank ordering a ton of wheel and suspesion mods. The air suspension(s) from Fox have to, by necessity, be designed for some pretty insane forces. That wouldn't be an issue. Wheels and frame... The new All-Moutian/Enduro wheels are actually less expensive then their super-lightweight cousins for undersized people to XC on - much less, like half the price. Someone jokingly said "if you're going to be cliff jumping... DH frames are just way easier to use for that..." Makes sense. So.... FS a big YES. Any modern bike (Shimano SLX and above) can work. If you get to the point where you are getting competitive, that'll change a few things but you can buy solutions very easily.

  18. #18
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    I weight 200, 215 with gear and ride a FS 29er (Trek Fuel EX). I mainly ride XC - no issues as yet, and super comfortable compared to my HT 29er.
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  19. #19
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    I ride a Heckler with a DHX rear and a Recon fork. I am about 265lbs before my pack. Once I got the suspension dialed in for my weight it has been great, zero problems.

  20. #20
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    Just to pile on... I was 324 without my hydration pack when I bought and started riding my 2013 Spec Camber Comp. Now I am 299 and still riding the Camber along with my newly added Trek Domane.

    Summary: 260 is a lightweight for a lot of suspension designs.
    2013 Specialized Camber Comp
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  21. #21
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    Thanks for that, Knight 511. I'm just getting back into this and it is good to hear that FS may work for me as well. I may have to go 29er full suspension on my next bike, although I'm pretty happy with 26" right now.

  22. #22
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    240lbs pre-gear here and run 180psi on my rear shock on an XC bike. Max is 300psi. You're fine, especially on an AM bike.

  23. #23
    JHH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puma View Post
    Thanks for that, Knight 511. I'm just getting back into this and it is good to hear that FS may work for me as well. I may have to go 29er full suspension on my next bike, although I'm pretty happy with 26" right now.
    Puma you maybe
    And your 26 wheels spin you fast I see
    However as a clyde the 29s will glide
    much more effortlessly
    I say this from perspective at 245 pounds
    spinning my SC TallBoyC up big dirt mounds
    Keep pedaling no matter what

  24. #24
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    he's a poet
    and didn't know it

  25. #25
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    JHH
    Your Ode
    to 29er is as good as gold
    But gold it takes
    to get good disc brakes
    and suspension travel
    to take out bumps and shakes.
    But 29ers beckon
    and for good reason I reckon
    They have their attributes
    on rocky bluffs and mountain buttes
    But here on the plains
    with forest trails and meadow lanes
    26 handles these without too many pains.

  26. #26
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    I'm 245 before gearing up and ride a Banshee Rune pretty agressively with no issue's.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  27. #27
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    Without a doubt you can ride FS if you find the right one. Look for one with a lower leverage ratio. I ride a 2011 Trek Scratch Air 9. Replaced the rear shock with a Marzocchi Roco Air TST (which is great for clydes). When I was 325lbs, I ran the rear shock at less than 250psi. Good luck in your search, if you go full suspension, I know you won't be disappointed.

  28. #28
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    I now have over a year on my 2013 Camber Comp. After a solid year, I am still in love with the bike and am very thankful I didn't listen to morons that said a guy my size can't ride a FS. I was 324 without gear when the year started and now I am at 297. I haven't changed the way I eat, so I could lose more, but I like to cook and eat, so the slow loss is great for me.

    I did add a 2014 Trek Domane 4.0 to the stable in December. I never thought I would enjoy road riding (how boring!), but I was oh so terribly wrong. If I consider off road biking therapy, on road is like tai chi. The ride is so relaxing. The speed so addictive. Trek has made magic with the Isospeed decoupler... she isn't as plush as my Camber, but I can ride until my legs can no longer and my back and butt don't hurt at all. Here's to another year with lots more bike time.
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  29. #29
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    I tested a few FS from 26" and then tried the Yeti SB95 29'r, It was night and day improvement for me going from a pretty traditional FS 26'r to the Yeti SB 29'r with "switch" link technology, it really took out the pedal bob for me when climbing, way more efficient and it's been a love affair ever since. 225# and do have to air up to about 240psi on the Fox CTD shock, however it doesn't like retaining much over 225psi after a couple of days so it's a constant airing up before a ride to get sag numbers right

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by some dude View Post
    I tested a few FS from 26" and then tried the Yeti SB95 29'r, It was night and day improvement for me going from a pretty traditional FS 26'r to the Yeti SB 29'r with "switch" link technology, it really took out the pedal bob for me when climbing, way more efficient and it's been a love affair ever since. 225# and do have to air up to about 240psi on the Fox CTD shock, however it doesn't like retaining much over 225psi after a couple of days so it's a constant airing up before a ride to get sag numbers right

    My shock held 275 for 6month's easily, pulled it apart to add volume spacers and its still hold $250+ easily. If you shock is leaking its not right.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  31. #31
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    As Knight mentioned earlier, the Camber is a great bike for Clyde and super Clyde alike. Bike magazine just reviewed and gave it high praise. Here is a link to the review http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ozgr0f8vs4I.

    For reference, Im just south of 300lbs and took a spin on a 2014 Camber. Autosag adjust put me at 195lb rear shock pressure. Ideal considering that most rear shocks don't perform well when setup North of 250lbs of pressure. Im planning on a demo once the weather breaks.

    Im currently riding a Scalpel 29 and while I love the bike, the XX rear shock isn't up to the task of a superclyde. I leave the rear shock locked out full time. Just recently purchased a new Fox CTD from Suspension Experts. They are tuning it for my weight and riding style. Looking forward to its receipt in March. Something to consider if price and elected bike is not fitted with an ideal rear shock/tune with initial purchase.

    I spent a lot of time looking for a FS that would be trail worthy (i.e geared towards all mountain, not xc). Its important for anyone hovering around 250lb+ to consider leverage ratio, suspension design, and wheel stiffness. Wheels aside, a suspension design that works well for clydes is FSR and its variants, aka Rocky Mountain. Note that with Rocky Mountain bikes, rear shock tune will be required.

    Frame leverage ratio's are hard to determine. Most manufacturers don't list the stroke of the rear shock for given bike models making it difficult to determine the frame ratio.
    Its been a rule of thumb that if a bike comes with a Low tune shock, its probably a low leverage bike. There are a couple websites that show leverage ratio's of various bikes but their published leverage ratio's include the final ratio given with the shock tune.

    Sorry for the long post. Ive been doing a lot of research to find the perfect bike. Been pulling my hair out to come up with a short list of bikes to pursue. Best of luck with your search.
    P.S. My shortlist would be any FSR equipped for out of the box performance. Pivot 429 if you are more XC orientated. Rocky Mountain if you don't mind getting your shock tuned.

  32. #32
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    Fresh owner of a new fs Giant Trance X 29er 2 (2013) here. At the moment >300 lbs and going down hopefully. Coming from a light XC hardtail, Trance seems robustly built (enough to support clyde weight) and yet fairly light.

    I was worried about rear suspension high leverage ratio and Monarch's 275 psi max pressure. Fortunately I'm getting proper sag (30%) with only 190 psi, therefore I even have headroom to play with higher pressures. RS Recon fork at 110 psi ATM, also a lot of headroom here.

    I'm going to upgrade stock wheels to proper 36 spoked hand made pair (Hopes laced by alpine 3 to mach1 540 rims) for piece of mind.

  33. #33
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    I'M 300 PLUS AND i HAVEN'T REPLACED MY STOCK 32 SPOKE WHEELS YET... THE DUAL SUSPENSION ALSO SAVES ON THE WHEELS , TAKES THE HARD HITS TO SQUISH SUSPENSION...

  34. #34
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    You should have no problem finding a FS bike for you. I suspect what you will hear back from Fox is - "Maybe". Fox doesn't know what the leverage ratio is unless you pick a bike first. Still it doesn't hurt to ask.

    I am at around 250# and have ridden several FS bikes - Trek Fuel 9, Mach 429 (Alum & Carbon), and now a Hammerhead Thumper. None of those bikes had suspension problems at my weight (probably 275# with gear).

    I have had more trouble with wheels than suspension. Now I run Stan's Flow rims as my standard setup. I ran I9 wheels for a while but I seemed to exceed the fatigue life on the spokes after a year or so. I kept breaking spokes until I replaced all the spokes. Then I got another year or two before starting to break spokes again. Oh, I'm not easy on bikes and wheels. I generally lift my front wheel and pound my rear wheel through stuff.

  35. #35
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    Can a Clyde ride a full suspension??

    I picture say more than words sometime. 250 pound rider


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  36. #36
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    I checked a few years back and all the fox stuff had a weight limit of 300lbs at that time. Right now I am 305 without gear. I stayed away from FS because of that, but also price at the time.

  37. #37
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    Can a Clyde ride a full suspension??

    I had the same apprehension with the stated pressure limits for both Fox and RS shocks. The guys at Suspension Experts put my concerns to rest. Keep in mind that the initial pressure is static and rises with more compression.

    To update, The custom tuned Suspension Experts shock is fantastic. For the first time over many bikes, I have stiff pedaling, small bump compliance, and mid stroke. Never new what I was missing. Highly recommend for Clyde's unhappy with their mid to high leverage bikes.


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  38. #38
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    The easy answer is yes! The more complicated answer is it depends on what frame/shock combo. Whilst you can hop on almost any modern FS bike and ride it without blowing it up, It doesnt mean its going to ride great. Regrettably getting something thats going to be worth making the switch to FS is gonna cost. Most big brand Bikes (Trek/specialzed/giant/etc) design bikes for the "Average" rider so they tune the smaller shocks (monarchs/Float/etc) to what they think would think will suit said rider. You really should look into some of the "Boutique" brands if you want a good riding FS bike. Typically they come with bigger volume (air and oil) and longer stroke (hence lower leverage ratios) shocks both of which work out well for heavier riders. For example I weigh about 250-260 rtr. I had a trek slash that with even 265psi in the chamber and a volume spacer still bottomed out more than I would like when at the park (the set up was great for trail riding though). I now have a knolly chilcotin still weight the same but with only 170psi CCDBA and it rides like butter. Its smooth off the top, and takes big hits without skipping a beat.
    Last edited by Ominous; 05-03-2014 at 01:46 PM.

  39. #39
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    255 in my birthday suit. usually ride with about 15lbs of clothes and gear plus my 35lb tank puts me over 3 bills of trail weight. I Ride a 2006 Jamis Dakar with a 2005 Marzocchi All Mountain SL up front and a Fox RP23 in the back. I go hard and fast on the downs and for 500+ trail miles I have not had any suspension problems. My drive train on the other hand is a different story, but I am not sure that my DT woes would be any different on a hardtail.

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