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  1. #1
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    'Clyde FS XC bike - better to skew towards AM?

    I ride with some incredibly experienced riders - 15-20 years each. We ride all over Southern California - San Diego, Lake Morena, Cuyamaca, Hollenbeck Canyon, Laguna. I've also climbed the upper part of Noble Canyon. I'd call it XC, lots of climbing, technical uphills and downhills. No drops really, both wheels stay on the ground. I can see getting into some rougher stuff as my skill improves. Moab is my dream pilgrimmage.

    They ride XC bikes; Santa Cruz Blur and Ellsworth Truth. The Blur rider has a tough, all-mountain setup (i.e. heavy, tough wheels), as he's a bomber, and tends to take the fastest path and blast through bumps. The Ellsworth rider is more towards light XC, with the lightest possible build, and he picks lines like a ballet dancer. They're both far, far better than me, and I'm learning every time I ride with them.

    I'm riding an aluminum hardtail, and I'm getting punished to the point I want to go FS. Now the issue for me is they're both built much smaller - 165-180lbs, 5-10" at most. I'm 255, 6'-3", and at best I might be able to hit 220. I'll settle for 235.

    So, the question I have is... because of my extra weight and size, is an all-mountain style 5"-5.5" travel bike more appropriate than a typical 4" XC bike to do the same kind of riding? Is my 'larger scale' better served by getting a slightly bigger/beefier bike all around? Will I be better equipping myself to keep up with them by going with a bit more travel?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Take a look at the Heckler. It can be setup XC or AM. I consider it to be a clyde XC bike. The handling is great, the suspension is simple yet efficient, and they are a good bit cheaper than many other comparable bikes.

    My setup includes the DHX 5 which yields 5.75" travel and a Marzocchi AM3 fork (130mm travel). I'm 260 at the moment and the Heckler is rock solid under me. I ride aggresive XC trails loaded with rock gardens, log crossings, creeks, root gardens, etc. There is little if any pedal bob on climbs and it loves going downhill.

  3. #3
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    I'd look at the Heckler or 575 with a coil shock.
    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
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  4. #4
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    575 is recomended for 235 and lower, Id hesitate on it. I like the heckler for you, but realize a competant build for your size on any bike will put you at 31lbs or so. Dont shy away from heavy duty parts. even at 235, if you get more technical, you will want the better parts any ways. some other bikes you may want to check would be the Titus Moto lite. Rayozza on here has one, and likes it alot. Call_me_Clyde really likes his Leader, and it isnt an expensive frame either. The new Sette Riddik frame may work, it seems to be a burly bike, but you would be a tester. Harveycycles.com has some good looking bikes too.

    good luck

    Matt

  5. #5
    The Mountain Bike Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by MS MSP
    I'd look at the Heckler or 575 with a coil shock.

    Yeah, those are two amazing bikes that I would look at if I were you too. Best thing is just to ride as many bikes as possible. The biggest thing I noticed is make sure you get the proper spring rate in the rear...most people in shops I found had no clue for a large dude so I contacted the frame and shock manufacturers to make sure I was getting the right size spring. As well, you will have to go with a coil over, anyone who tells you different is lying.

    Good luck man.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_
    575 is recomended for 235 and lower, Id hesitate on it.
    Matt
    Did not know that, thanks.
    If that's the case, go Heckler with a coil.
    At your current and projected weights, it will still laugh at the abuse you give it. .
    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
    2014 Giant TCX SLR2
    2013 Trek Stache 8
    2011 Giant Defy Advanced 0

  7. #7
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    The Heckler is a very good clyde bike. Go with a coil shock at your weight as well. The 575 is not recommended for dudes your size and is not available with a coil shock either.

    I am not sure what your budget is, but the Ventana X-5 is a another strong clyde worthy bike to take a look at. The X-5 has a low shock leverage ratio that is more suited to clydes than most other manufacturers.

    I would try to keep the build weight at around 30-32lbs for all the climbing you are doing. You can still have a pretty strong component spec in the low 30lb range.

  8. #8
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    Heckler with a coil. Many clydes out riding that rig. I have owned 3 hecklers over the years. They are great bikes, affordable, and reliable. I am about 240lb with a full camelback and rode a 550lb spring on the dhx or a 450lb spring on a 5th element shock. I put my rig through hard xc and endurance rides. I don't shy away from putting my bikes 4-5' off the ground. My only complaint on the heckler was the pedal feedback when hammering on short steep sections. I know several others in the 250-270lb range riding this frame without issue, especially for clydesdale XC.

  9. #9
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronny
    ... would try to keep the build weight at around 30-32lbs for all the climbing you are doing. You can still have a pretty strong component spec in the low 30lb range ...
    I have a Titus that comes in just at/under 32#, and it's a terrific XC bike for me (it's not an XC bike according to Titus, but for this 235# clyde it's just fine ) and has sustained many a mile at this point - it's three years of many miles old - last estimate puts it around 8k miles.

    My build is a mix of HD and "normal" bits. Strength where you need it (hubs, axles, driveshell, frame, and fork) and reasonable bits everywhere else and you should be good 2 go.

    My bike build has mavic xm321 rims, 32h double-butted spokes, CK hubs with HD rear axle/driveshell (backup wheels are same with Hugi FR hubs and they're running just as solid) and running 2.35" Kenda tires right now; fox vanilla fork, standard King headset, thompson stem and seatpost (lightweight but plenty strong for someone not doing big drops); easton carbon handlebar, wtb shadow-v saddle. Frame is no longer made, but comparable to the Titus SuperMoto in a 6" travel configuration.

    Having a robust frame is waaaay important. I've no personal experience with the hecker but I know a number of people that ride it and love it (and it obviously gets lots of love here).

    More costly but arguably even more durable XC-ish options are available from Ventana and Titus that would be solid items too. It's very possible that, contrary to the name, the Titus Motolite could be good 4-u - but you'll have to contact Titus themselves to confirm. If you're going to do major mileage getting a frame that is built with the fanatical attention to detail like expressed by Ventana and Titus can represent a big chunk Peace of Mind over time - but it's for you to decide. I spent large, but then I didn't WANT to exercise warranties, and I haven't, so I'm really really happy about it.

  10. #10
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    Here's another for the Heckler. Reason being - its a close approximation to a XC bike - but more durable. Too often big guys (like me) go to long travel bikes in the search for durability. The downside is that those bikes aren't designed for XC use. In the twisty stuff, I just can't keep up with my friends on XC bikes (Front tire pushes, i'm sitting 6" higher in the air then they are, etc).

    EDIT - I don't ride a Heckler. I was debating between my current bike (which has proven to be quite durable and enjoyable) and a Heckler. I thought I'd be doing more drops. A few broken arms later I want a more XC bike - hence my wish to go to the Heckler.

    I have no experience with this bike - but would be curious to know how a Transition Preston rides. 4" travel frame designed for FR use. Sounds like it could be a Clydesdale type XC (obviously I know nothing of the angles of the dangle etc).

    Good luck.
    Hi

  11. #11
    change is good
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    Unless you're totally opposed, you might want to check out the 29er board. I'm six feet tall, weigh 260 and have a El Capitan, which I like much more than my former Blur. Not bagging the Blur, the 5.5 frame would have been more appropriate for my then 225 pounds.

  12. #12
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    575

    575 has the RP3 that can be pushed for your weight. It would also be a good challenge for you and also good for you to get down to 235. I read message after message that says this is how much I weigh, now fit a bike to me.

    The 575 is a very stout frame that handles well going down as well as going up for light XC. I don't know why clyde always equals coil. A PUSHED RP3 can handle the clyde-

  13. #13
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    I'm running a Ventana X-5, and I love my bike. It's an AM bike as opposed to an XC, but I love the handling and it does fine for Athenas like me

  14. #14
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    I'm looking at new bikes and I think I've narrowed it down to a few.

    I'm 6'3", 220 XC'r. I push myself to participate in off-road tris, but I can't really "compete" in them given the level of competition. I currently ride a 9yr-old KHS Alite 3000 Hardtail. It's treated me real well, but things are starting to fall apart. Of course technology has vastly improved on these bikes in the last 9yrs and this bike has V-brakes. It's probably time for an up-grade.

    I think I've narrowed it down to the Kona Dawg Primo or the Santa Cruz Blur LT. Both appear very durable which is, of course, important to us Clydes. Both, especially the Kona appear to be XC/AM hybrids.

    I guess I should be loyal to KHS and at least check out what they have out there too. I'm taking my time on this decision. I'm not in a big rush because I kind of like my current bike, but one more somewhat major blow-out (it's going to be the gear shifters) and I'm moving on.

    What do you guys think?

  15. #15
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    what about Giant???

    I'm 6'2", 203lbs.

    I finished my custom Reign, not too long ago. It's a real 6" travel bike, which I managed to build just shy of 30lbs. Wasn't cheap though...

    But I'm in love with it. Climbs like a 4" XC rig and it rules, sorry, it reigns on downhills.

    I would take a look a the stock Giant Reigns they have in stores - If you want to spring for the Reign1, that's an awesome bike. If not, take a look at the Reign2 - probably the best bang for your buck.

    You will love climbing on the Reign - the Maestro truly, really works. Stable as concrete.
    And it can take a beating... just take a peek at the Reign Action Shots thread on the Giant forum.

    Plus you'll get it cheaper than a Heckler.

    I loveees ma Reign.
    Quote Originally Posted by Khemical
    wizzler is a must. although then it consumes all your waking and sleeping thoughts until you can return.

  16. #16
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    All good recommendations

    If you have a couple grand to spend, they are great recommendations. If you're more budget conscious think about the Leader 626S. I ride one and you can get the frame with a Manitou swinger coil for $625. Here's a link:

    http://downshiftcycles.sslpowered.co...c85a0718dc747b

    Check my profile, it has the build specs for my bike. Total cost was less than $1400. Good, solid working man's bike that can handle the weight and abuse I throw at it. BTW-I go between 230 and 250 lbs, and the bike has yet to disappoint me. Check the reviews on it under mtbr's 2005 XC full suspension bikes.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  17. #17
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    Hmmm...all the mtbr reviews say $500. Perhaps the 05 model? What would cause a $160 jump...maybe the shock?

    Still, it seems to be my only other option if I don't wanna change shifters, brakes, wheels, and hubs.

  18. #18
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    Yes, shock is different

    Quote Originally Posted by Jodiuh
    Hmmm...all the mtbr reviews say $500. Perhaps the 05 model? What would cause a $160 jump...maybe the shock?

    Still, it seems to be my only other option if I don't wanna change shifters, brakes, wheels, and hubs.

    The '05 came with a Cane Creek AD 12 for $500. There has been a price increase on all the '06 models, so now the frame with the CC AD 12 is now 535. For $660, the frame comes with your choice of a Manitou Swinger 3 Way air, 4 way air or 4 Way coil. (See the AM & FR frame section of Downshift Cycles web site for these options.) You can also get it with a Fox DHX Air, or Marzocchi Rocco, but you're on your own to find the mounting hardware (i.e. spacers or reducers)

    Happy hunting.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  19. #19
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    Got it. I did a little poking around and found some folks talking about a DW-link suspension working well with this shock. Also, some mentionings of the Cane Creek AD-12 not having any kind of propedal type valving?

    Most of the reviews of the Cane Creek were overwhelmingly positive. The same can't be said for the "manipoop" as one gentlemen put it, haha. Then the Roco seems it would sap all kind of pedalling efficiency.

    I mostly do XC singletrack in AZ, but we have lots of rocks. And of course, when I get my kahunas a bit more focused, National awaits. It's some pretty harry downhill action. I'm currently riding a Trek 930 from 1993 or so. I brought in from NW Indiana to AZ in 2000 and pretty much broke everything on it. This forced me to frankenstein it. I just got back in the sport after a 5 year hiatus and stuck a Marzocchi MX Comp ETA on it.

    So I'd be nice to keep the the "pedal sap" down to a minimum if possible. Oh, and my wheels, rims, shifters, and brakes would all have to be replaced if I wanted to go FS...unless I luck out and snag a nice FS with Vbrake bosses. So is this Leader frame all my dreams come true?

    SORRY for the thread jack! I'll make my own if nec...

    EDIT: Oooh, now I see they have the Fox RP3 in there for XC!!

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