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  1. #1
    My Brain Hurts!
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    Clyde Opinions Wanted

    I've done a ton of reading as of late and will most likely upgrade from my current bike in a little while. Tons of choices but recently I became aware of Bikes Direct. Other than the price difference, which of these 29'ers would you go with and why -

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29COMP

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29Elite

    I am leaning towards the Elite myself and require a durable bike. At these prices a wheel upgrade is real easy...(I'd probably go to 34 spokes in back for sure)

    A little background on me -
    I am a clyde and with gear in the cold weather season push 300 when riding. I am getting that number down but lets go with it! I ride mainly N.E. Wisconsin and the south/central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Lots of dirt, mud, sand, some rock, tree roots and leaves. Some climbing, some descents but nothing of any real distance compared to those out west. I don't huck, do drops or jumps, unless I overshoot the course. (But then that is usually called crashing)

    I am very (read that VERY) leery of a full suspension bike with my weight and currently ride a hard tail. A little bike background, I sold my 2007 Trance 2 as I did not like the feel of the rear end and bought a 2010 Rincon. I want to move up to a 650b (possibly) or a 29er. Lots to decide but one cannot overlook the quality components on the BD bikes at their price points!
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  2. #2
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    you cant go wrong with either one of those. i ride a moto, a 700HT that i paid 550 for. for what its worth, when i started riding i was 267 pounds naked, so probably pushing 280 with clothes and gear. as much as i beat that bike, one thing i never had a problem with was the wheels, strangely enough. my rear hub went tits-up on me after a few months, which prompted an upgrade, but in general the only thing i have "broken" has been a derailleur hanger and several saddles (and a seatpost.)

    dont be leery of an FS rig. this one Shimano DynaSys, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2011 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles is well-appointed, and could easily handle your weight. its twice the price of that fantom, but its got really good components all around (except, as usual, the wheelset) and the only thing youd probably want to replace right off is the pedals and grips.

    if it wasnt for the hardon i have for a yeti asr-5, i would not hesitate to get my next bike from BD. just make sure you know how to put one together
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  3. #3
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    I wouldn't worry too much about full suspension handling your weight. I probably weigh at least 280 with gear and camelback and I've been pleasantly surprised with my Giant Yukon FX frame. I upgraded to a FOX air fork this summer to go along with the air shock in the rear and find that I am much happier with the adjustability of the air springs than the "heavy" mechanical springs I had previously had in my forks and shocks. I was really afraid that with my weight and agressive riding style I'd blow the seals out of both air shocks, but I've scared myself a few times this year and had at least 6' of air under the tires a few times and am happy to report the suspension held up just fine despite using every mm of travel.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a fully suspension rig from bikesdirect either. I bought one for my stepson last summer and am fully satisfied with getting a great value. Another friend and coworker I just got into the sport similarly bought from bikesdirect and is loving his first real trail bike.

    As the wheels may be one of the cheapest components on a budget built bike though, I would hesitate to go with 29" wheels just because I've heard they can have flexing problems with clyde riders...As I understand it, the market has fixed this problem and you can get very stout 29er wheels at a pri$e...but they are not likely to come stock on any showroom bike. I ride 26er still personally; but a friend of mine who goes about 225 and bought a $3500.00 FS 29er reported he experienced flexing with his wheels and wished he'd stayed with 26.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by big terry View Post
    you cant go wrong with either one of those. i ride a moto, a 700HT that i paid 550 for. for what its worth, when i started riding i was 267 pounds naked, so probably pushing 280 with clothes and gear. as much as i beat that bike, one thing i never had a problem with was the wheels, strangely enough. my rear hub went tits-up on me after a few months, which prompted an upgrade, but in general the only thing i have "broken" has been a derailleur hanger and several saddles (and a seatpost.)

    dont be leery of an FS rig. this one Shimano DynaSys, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2011 Motobecane Fantom 29er | Shimano DynaSys full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles is well-appointed, and could easily handle your weight. its twice the price of that fantom, but its got really good components all around (except, as usual, the wheelset) and the only thing youd probably want to replace right off is the pedals and grips.

    if it wasnt for the hardon i have for a yeti asr-5, i would not hesitate to get my next bike from BD. just make sure you know how to put one together
    Don't get me started on a Yeti! It's my budget keeping me away from stuff like that!
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaHag View Post
    I wouldn't worry too much about full suspension handling your weight. I probably weigh at least 280 with gear and camelback and I've been pleasantly surprised with my Giant Yukon FX frame. I upgraded to a FOX air fork this summer to go along with the air shock in the rear and find that I am much happier with the adjustability of the air springs than the "heavy" mechanical springs I had previously had in my forks and shocks. I was really afraid that with my weight and agressive riding style I'd blow the seals out of both air shocks, but I've scared myself a few times this year and had at least 6' of air under the tires a few times and am happy to report the suspension held up just fine despite using every mm of travel.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a fully suspension rig from bikesdirect either. I bought one for my stepson last summer and am fully satisfied with getting a great value. Another friend and coworker I just got into the sport similarly bought from bikesdirect and is loving his first real trail bike.

    As the wheels may be one of the cheapest components on a budget built bike though, I would hesitate to go with 29" wheels just because I've heard they can have flexing problems with clyde riders...As I understand it, the market has fixed this problem and you can get very stout 29er wheels at a pri$e...but they are not likely to come stock on any showroom bike. I ride 26er still personally; but a friend of mine who goes about 225 and bought a $3500.00 FS 29er reported he experienced flexing with his wheels and wished he'd stayed with 26.
    If I go full suspension and Bikes Direct, I would probably stay with a 26'er. I am really jammin on the idea of 650b wheels though. but alas, BD offers none...so far anyway. I could easily go KHS and full squish and 650b and the price is not unreachable, but I love the price and waaaay better components on BD! Leaves a lot of room to upgrade rims...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfGumby View Post
    I've done a ton of reading as of late and will most likely upgrade from my current bike in a little while. Tons of choices but recently I became aware of Bikes Direct. Other than the price difference, which of these 29'ers would you go with and why -

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29COMP

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29Elite

    I am leaning towards the Elite myself and require a durable bike. At these prices a wheel upgrade is real easy...(I'd probably go to 34 spokes in back for sure)

    A little background on me -
    I am a clyde and with gear in the cold weather season push 300 when riding. I am getting that number down but lets go with it! I ride mainly N.E. Wisconsin and the south/central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Lots of dirt, mud, sand, some rock, tree roots and leaves. Some climbing, some descents but nothing of any real distance compared to those out west. I don't huck, do drops or jumps, unless I overshoot the course. (But then that is usually called crashing)

    I am very (read that VERY) leery of a full suspension bike with my weight and currently ride a hard tail. A little bike background, I sold my 2007 Trance 2 as I did not like the feel of the rear end and bought a 2010 Rincon. I want to move up to a 650b (possibly) or a 29er. Lots to decide but one cannot overlook the quality components on the BD bikes at their price points!
    I concur with your opinion of being leary of F.S. bikes at your wieght of 300lbs. I started out 7 months ago weighing in at 305. My first bike purchase was a Superfly 100 FS which I liked very much. Unfortunately, I set the rear shock pressure up to 300 psi and would still occasionally bottom it out on intermediate single track. At that pressure the rear shock, rp2, didnt offer any small bump compliance. When setup with more modest pressures, the bike would bob with heavy pedaling which I hated. Moved up to 120 mm front/rear on a Rumblefish and still had trouble getting the rear suspension dialed. In fact the DRCV rp23 was worse. From my experience, rear suspended, air sprung coils, are not made for riders above 250 lbs. Fortunately, ive lost 60 pounds. Ended up purchasing a cheap Cannondale single speed so I could stop worrying about the more expensive Rumblefish on the back of the car while I was in office. Purchasing the hardtail SS was a revelation as I finally figured out that FS rigs, at our weights, were killing pedaling efficiency. As strange as it might seem, the SS was easier on climbs because standing and pedaling, and overall high torque pedaling, was actually getting to the ground making it easier to climb.
    Getting back to your question, both bikes are a bargain. I dont think you will notice the difference in parts spec. The fork differences are marginal and comes down to weight between the two. Performance is on par otherwise. Looking at the brakes, the avids are reviewed better but in the end, both are hydraulic. The frames are identical. The remainder of the parts spec is a wash. If you think you are going to step up to another bike latter on, definately get the comp. If not, the elite is a better choice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by t51rmkiv View Post
    I concur with your opinion of being leary of F.S. bikes at your wieght of 300lbs. I started out 7 months ago weighing in at 305. My first bike purchase was a Superfly 100 FS which I liked very much. Unfortunately, I set the rear shock pressure up to 300 psi and would still occasionally bottom it out on intermediate single track. At that pressure the rear shock, rp2, didnt offer any small bump compliance. When setup with more modest pressures, the bike would bob with heavy pedaling which I hated. Moved up to 120 mm front/rear on a Rumblefish and still had trouble getting the rear suspension dialed. In fact the DRCV rp23 was worse. From my experience, rear suspended, air sprung coils, are not made for riders above 250 lbs. Fortunately, ive lost 60 pounds. Ended up purchasing a cheap Cannondale single speed so I could stop worrying about the more expensive Rumblefish on the back of the car while I was in office. Purchasing the hardtail SS was a revelation as I finally figured out that FS rigs, at our weights, were killing pedaling efficiency. As strange as it might seem, the SS was easier on climbs because standing and pedaling, and overall high torque pedaling, was actually getting to the ground making it easier to climb.
    Getting back to your question, both bikes are a bargain. I dont think you will notice the difference in parts spec. The fork differences are marginal and comes down to weight between the two. Performance is on par otherwise. Looking at the brakes, the avids are reviewed better but in the end, both are hydraulic. The frames are identical. The remainder of the parts spec is a wash. If you think you are going to step up to another bike latter on, definately get the comp. If not, the elite is a better choice.
    I'm not familiar with the two FS bikes you mentioned having; but I'm curious what different kind of linkage system they must be using vs. the maestro suspension my Giant has. I'm running about 210psi in the stock Giant air shock and don't have any pedal bob issues. Yes it will use the full travel in the rough, but it's supposed to take the hits so you don't have to.

    FWIW: I've been as heavy as 380; but never really rode my mtn bikes above 320. I beat my previous full suspension 2001 Giant Warp DS-1 until the frame broke last November. I'd ridden that from naked weights ranging from 275-320 and really enjoyed the full suspension. The 2012 Giant Yukon FX frame I got in warranty was built up with mostly new mid grade parts and I've beat on it all of this season with no complaints to the suspension. I'm currently down to a morning weight of 265-270 so like I said, I'm at least 280 with gear if not more...and I don't see the 15-20lbs difference between myself and the OP being a deal killer for FS.

    But bike choice is a really personal preference and thankfully they make something for everyone if you take the time to look. I'm just encouraging and open mind to other clydes who'd like full suspension.


  8. #8
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    Low linkage ratio's are more clyde friendly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Low linkage ratio's are more clyde friendly.
    I've read that here but am unclear how to figure that out. I asked that question at a bike shop and got looked at like I was from Mars or something....

    If I go full sus it will be a bike such as this one,

    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2012 Motobecane Fantom 29er | SRAM X9 full suspension mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles

    or a 26" version or a 650 if BD starts offering them. I have been noticing that a ton of hardcore riders around here are still running hard tails vs suspended bikes too...

    My main issues for full suspension is if they are easier on the knees and back...I have no real qualms about handling or the feel of a hardtail.
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  10. #10
    turtles make me hot
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    My brother has the black Fantom 29er. Not a bad bike by a long shot.
    Get that and get some Flow EX's or something. The bike will be fine.
    I like turtles

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfGumby View Post
    I've read that here but am unclear how to figure that out. I asked that question at a bike shop and got looked at like I was from Mars or something....

    1: find a new shop. I wouldn't buy a suspension bike from someone who didn't know that, nor would I let them touch my bike with a wrench. It would be like if your car mechanic didn't know what a steering wheel was.


    2: leverage ratio is travel/shock stroke. That BD bike you mention doesn't list stroke, but since they do say it's a 165mm eye to eye, it's probably 38mm (that's the only stroke listed on RS' web site: Monarch R | SRAM). So 100/38 = 2.63. Typically ratios range from about 2.5 to 3 or so (yes, there are outliers, like Foes, but most bikes I've seen fall in that range), so that bike is kind of in the middle.

  12. #12
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    probably go to 34 spokes in back for sure)
    I don't think so....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogii View Post
    I don't think so....
    I think he meant 36h?

    I'm on rigid (2010 Kona Unit) with 36h (Flows with CK, 14g DT spokes) at 220 lb with plenty of air time, and my wheels have been solid.
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4nbstd View Post
    I think he meant 36h?

    I'm on rigid (2010 Kona Unit) with 36h (Flows with CK, 14g DT spokes) at 220 lb with plenty of air time, and my wheels have been solid.
    Yup, typo...or brain fart... I did mean 36 hole...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    1: find a new shop. I wouldn't buy a suspension bike from someone who didn't know that, nor would I let them touch my bike with a wrench. It would be like if your car mechanic didn't know what a steering wheel was.
    Hee hee hee....Yup! I don't think I'll be going there for service...


    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    2: leverage ratio is travel/shock stroke. That BD bike you mention doesn't list stroke, but since they do say it's a 165mm eye to eye, it's probably 38mm (that's the only stroke listed on RS' web site: Monarch R | SRAM). So 100/38 = 2.63. Typically ratios range from about 2.5 to 3 or so (yes, there are outliers, like Foes, but most bikes I've seen fall in that range), so that bike is kind of in the middle.
    Cool. And FWIW my Master plan is to continue the weight loss and drop another 40 pounds or so...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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