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  1. #1
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    Downhill suggestions for big guy

    Hey guys whats up, I'm new to the forum, and just getting back into mountain biking. A little background...I am currently 340 lbs at 5ft 10. I rode bikes (bmx & mountain) through high school, then went to college and gained some lbs. Now Im done with school, moved to Lake Tahoe, and am ready to get back into the active lifestyle I enjoyed growing up.

    My problem is since I have been out of the mtb world for abt 6 years I am very unfamiliar with all of the new frames, components, etc etc. Im looking to put together a downhill bike that I can ride at local downhill trails as well as lift access riding at northstar at tahoe.

    Im hoping to put this bike together by next summer and am hoping to lose around 50 pounds between now and then so I want to set up a bike for a 5ft 10 rider that weighs 280-300 lbs.

    I would like to make a strictly downhill bike that is as bulletproof as possible on a $1500 budget that wont break every time I go ride.

    P.S. Please no "you're too big to ride downhill bikes" or "get a rigid frame or hard tail first" (I'll be riding a kona hoss until the DH bike is done)

    Thanks for the help, looks like this is a great forum

  2. #2
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    I would suggest finding a used bike in good shape within your budget. $1500 hundy just isnt that much for a bombproof DH bike and youll benefit big time from other people taking the depreciation hit.

    When you say "strictly downhill" you mean you will be shuttling the thing everywhere you go? Maybe a bombproof Freerider is what your after? so at least you can pedal the thing a little....

  3. #3
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    Hey Man, Don't let anybody tell you different! I'm around 300lbs and have been riding DH for years. You do have to take some things into consideration but other than that, there is plenty of bikes out there. ANd $1500 shouldn;t be too hard to find something. Until I just went nuts the begginning of these year. That was always my budget for bikes.

    Some thoughts.
    Fork, Personally, something with a Air assist is a clyde friend. I never found a pure coil style fork with a heavy enough spring to suit my riding style without sitting too far into the sag. (I've had nothing but good luck with a Zoke 66RC3)

    Frame, LOW leverage ratio. Bullit worled well for me (7") Coil rear is possible but the Leverage ratio affects everything. On the bullit, I had a 650-ish spring on the shock. Right now I have a Trek Session 88 and I have a 750 spring and that;s the heaviest I found (Standard). I don't need more but they are even really hard to find that heavy now.
    Air shock could work but I never tried it.

    Brakes, Codes, Saints. Anything 4 pot will be your friend. Juicy 7's or Hayes will work but you'll have to work a lot harder to stop. I've run Codes for 2 years and the stopping power is insane.

    Other than that, Good heany duty wheels, Tires and Tubes and you should be good to go.

  4. #4
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    Yea, all of the riding I plan to do on this bike is lift access and shuttling, so uphill ability isnt really important at all.

    What do you guys think would work well as a DH wheel and tire set up for a 300lb rider?

  5. #5
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    Find a used Ironhorse Sunday. Low leverage ratio on the suspension which is good for the big guys. I've been using mine for two and a half seasons with some big crashes and its held up well.
    The negative though is they don't make them anymore so certain parts might be hard to find down the road.

  6. #6
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    What is a leverage ratio that I should be looking for, I tried searching the ironhorse sunday leverage ratio as a jumping off point, but found nothing. any other suggestions on strong frames with low leverage ratios. Sorry for all the noob questions, but everyone I ride with weighs in the 150's, and are absolutely useless when I ask "big guy" questions

  7. #7
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    Hey Turbo.

    Yeah, that's a tough one. Leverage ratio's aren't sexy and most people don't have a clue how that effects them.

    The best is hunting around on here and asking people. The other simple way is if you find a frame and the person doesn't know ask for the stroke of the shock. A shock is measured in Eye to Eye (Overall length) and Stroke travel (Piston movement) So a shock would labled as a 8.5 x 2.5 would have a stroke of 2.5" If you divide total travel by stroke you get basic leverage. (There is other impacts such as travel rate and curve of the travel compression)

    So on a bullit for example it has a 8.5 x2.5 shock with a travel of 7" So ratio is 2.8. which means for 1" of travel from the piston equals 2.8" of travel at the rear wheel.

    I know this probably sounds crazy amount of work for buying a bike but it can make the right purchase vs. the wrong one.

    The best way is to really ask around once you find something you like. Ask some simple questions from a broader perspective. If you go on the DH forum and don't say you're a clyde but other "non-clydes" are complaining of blowing thru travel and there is terrible ramp up at the end or a regressive curve(Like my Prophet) then that's only going to be worse for a clyde.

    Here's a great article about leverage ratio's
    http://www.racetech.com/page.aspx?id=44&menuid=103

  8. #8
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    I believe the leverage ratio for the Sunday is between 2.5 and 2.6. If you want to investigate further there is a long thread dedicated to IH Sunday's in the downhill section of ridemonkey.com.

  9. #9
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    Hello everyone. Here is a suggestion that may work for you! I am in the Denver area and found out that Trestle Bike park sells their downhill bikes from the previous year. I looked into it and found some great deals. I ended up with a Kona Stinky freeride/downhill bike that has held up great throughout the 2010 season. I was really surprised by the condition of the used bikes, expecting dents and large scratches etc. All the thing had was some surface scratches. Everything was in perfect working order. Total price: $1299 which included: elbow pads, knee pads, full face helmet (all used), new grips, new seat, and new tires, and a season summer lift ticket for the park!! Awesome deal if you ask me. I have been very very happy with my purchase. I would recommend checking the downhill parks in your area to see if they offer anything like this. Good Luck!

  10. #10
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    Here is my 2 cents. Make sure you get 36 not 32 spokes on any rim build. Every rim i've had built with 36 spokes has always held up better. My current set up are mavic 823's laced to hadley hubs. They have taken a ton of abuse. Butt honestly, any decent DH/FR rim that is built well will be just as good! So don't stress about the cost of a hub, focus instead on more spokes and have a quality builder put it together for you.

  11. #11
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    36h 823 Mavic for sure, I have about 500 miles on them now and they are great, on my 2nd XT freehub but for DH you might be just fine. I am building another rear now with a King hub. I am 6'4" 349lbs

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