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  1. #1
    Sweatin in Bama
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    Help with frame choice

    I am looking for a solid frame that will handle a 340 lb'er that has a tapered head tube, a 10x135mm rear axle and either 26 or 27.5" wheels. Oh, and I have a 120-150 mm front shock.

    I'm not looking to do anything crazy, just need something to help me lose some weight, get in to better shape and handle basic trails. No huge jumps or drops.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    I'd stick with a solid lower end mountain bike frame. they are strong and beefy, because the bike manufacturers expect them to be neglected and not maintained. Some of the brands carry them with tapered headsets too. I'm thinking the base Rockhopper, or Giant Talon. The shock length may be the issue because most low end frames weren't designed for that long of a shock (unless you keep it at 120mm travel).

    I'd focus on weight loss for the first 3-6 months, and after you loose some weight, start hitting the trails hard. Unfortunately, even a good fork will have difficulties at over 300lbs.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  3. #3
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    Check out On-One bikes Bike Frames | On-One Bikes. The 456 frames are rock solid and dirt cheap. These frames will handle anything it sounds like you are going to throw at them plus a lot more. They are definitely not the lightest things in the world but they are nice and sturdy steel frames that meet your criteria. They are also offered in either 26" or 27.5". I nabbed my buddy's 4650B (the 27.5" version obviously) off him for dirt cheap as a full build and it has been my main steed as I've gotten back into the sport and shed a hefty amount of weight over the past year. As a point of reference I was about 370ish when I first started riding again and this bike has held up to anything I've thrown at it with minimal complaints (I did blow up a cheap set up hubs but that was because of my ass not any engineering flaw). I am now down to 230 or so and find myself able to push this bike far beyond what I initially bought it for and it has no trouble keeping up and helping me continue to push harder.

    I am only now upgrading to something with a few more "high end" amenities of the modern bike frame and a good bit lighter frame as my passion for the sport has been fully rekindled and I am looking to move back into the competitive end as I continue to get back into racing shape.

    At your size the biggest issue you are going to run into is suspension and wheel integrity/quality. The money that you save by getting a cheaper frame like an On-One should be directly funneled into getting yourself a very solid wheelset. Get quality hubs that are known for holding up through heavy abuse (DT Swiss & Hope level hubs would be my minimum suggestion) and don't go with anything less than 32H at your current size. This is all coming from a guy who spent a lot of time recently on a bike at a very similar size to you so I am just trying to save you some of the nuisances that I dealt with in starting out on inferior quality wheels as a big guy. I don't know if you actually need this sort of advice as it sounds like you already have a number of pieces for your build and probably know what you are doing, but as someone who had been away from the sport for several years and returned recently while being significantly heavier than when I previously rode I ran into some issues that I didn't have to deal with previously and figured I would pass on some of that learning experience, lol!

    It sounds like you already have a fork so I won't go too much into that but I'd stay away from light air only forks. Marzocchi is my favorite go to when it comes to burly forks that perform well even for heavy duty riders. I know there has been uncertainty around the company as of late, but now that Fox appears to have taken over in the background and is offering full support for the M line it seems a safe bet again.

  4. #4
    Sweatin in Bama
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    I currently have 32H Azonic wheels wrapped in 2.4" Holy Rollers. Plan to run those till they break and then I'll look at upgrading. I also saw the Commencal (sp?) frames and they look pretty hefty too.

  5. #5
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    Commencal is a great company. I have a friend who is currently waiting on one of their new steel AM hardtails to add to his quiver, but currently rides a Meta AM (I think it's a 2014 model) and loves it. Have never heard him say a bad thing about the frame. He is also a bigger guy (6'+ and 200lbs+ though not quite my size) and has never had any issues with it.

    I'm sure those wheels are fine for you. Azonic have always been pretty solid as far as durability/reliability go. 32H should be fine. I see some people who run 36h but I really don't think such a thing is needed for someone of your size. I've been riding on 32H throughout the time of my slimming down process over the past year and the only issue I had was cheap hubs and cheap spokes. The rims my current wheels are built on were solid WTB rims so didn't have an issue with quality there and they have stayed nice and round. Once I upgraded the hubs and spokes to more rugged stuff I haven't snapped a single spoke or had the wheel go out of true. I do tend to be a fairly smooth rider, but I've been known to put my nose down and hammer through some serious rock gardens with no care about picking "a good line" on my hardtail and the new hubs/spokes have done a great job! If you find the hub bearings on your wheels being a weak point/needing replacements you might just look at throwing some upgraded hubs (DT Swiss 350s are really not too bad of a price point and are stellar).

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