A close friend of mine has been having some health issues over the past year and it finally took a trip the Mayo Clinic to sort it out. He received positive news that his rare condition (Parsonage-Turner Syndrome) has the potential to resolve itself but he has some work ahead of him. There really isnít any treatment other than be as healthy as he can to give his body the greatest chance to recover. He's tired of being sick and has a baby on the way, so he sounds determined to make changes. I offered my help with knowledge of biking and he seemed really excited by the idea.
Heís roughly 6í1Ē, in the mid to high 200 lb. range, has a back that isnít the best and his condition can get him winded quickly. I figured biking offers a good workout while being able to throw needed rests/coasts in easily and feel like you are still accomplishing something. Iím hoping someone can check my math/ideas here (based on what Iím gathering from the forum) for assembling a solid, reliable rig for him. I would say that 100% of his riding will be pavement, gravel berm, or gravel road in a flat, rural, Midwest area. Here is what Iím thinking:
Frame - Steel, mountain hardtail (steel will be a little more compliant; a more upright geometry should be okay for his back; I need to measure him for sizing)
Fork Ė Rigid steel (I never see him trail riding so I think a rigid fork will be fine for now and offer less complexity)
Wheelset Ė 29er with 36 hole rims/hubs (from what Iím reading, rim size doesnít really matter but 36h is pretty standard for a heavier load), probably XT level hubs and Sun Rhyno Lite rims unless we find a decent prebuilt option.
Tires Ė Schwalbe Big Apples or similar (high volume will provide some suspension, offer float if he drops off the pavement to a soft berm, good for pavement and should be fine for gravel pounding)
Components Ė Deore level will probably be fine, anything better is a bonus. I will probably suggest 3x9.
We have yet to discuss budget. That will ultimately dictate buying parts/full bike used, a mix of new and used, go with something new from a shop or I piece something together. I just want to make sure my head is in the right place as I continue to do research and help him out as there are details to consider that I wouldnít typically think about for my personal riding.
Iím trying to be especially mindful of the wheelset. It sounds like guys with low spoke counts or weak hubs end up destroying them.
Thanks for any help and/or recommendations!
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