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  1. #1
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    Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    I am 6 foot and 350lbs.

    I have been looking at the Trek X-Caliber 7. I have max $900. The guy at LBS said for $80-$100 he could Clydesdale the back rim for me. Is this something I should get done? My goal is to get a good starter bike and build it up over time with better components. I not Stuck on Trek so If I should look at another brand let me know.

  2. #2
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    Depends on what he means by Clydesdaling the rear rim. The plus is that they are 32h rims. Not as good as 36 but better than 28. Overall it doesn't look like a bad bike. I'd consider looking at used too if I were you. Just for more options.

  3. #3
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    $900 is a pretty tight budget. A truly beefy wheel for you could easily cost half that. What is the LBS doing for that $100? The Trek is definitely entry level, but in that price range, seems about average in the field.

    Tell us what your riding goals are, intended style of riding, etc. Trail riding, fitness riding. Do you know what the trails are like where you want to ride? Will you ride on pavement a lot? These parameters will dictate if its worth the extra cash for wheel work.

    +1 on the used bike option. Find someone local who is experienced who can help you search the classifieds.
    Goat Rider

  4. #4
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    I just picked up the X Cal 7 last week. It is a great bike for the money I think but I must warn you that at my 225lbs I think I am on the upper end of what the fork can handle. Not sure if heavier springs are available for it.

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    Used I am trying clist but I need 21.5 frame and those are harder to find. Road and bike paths for now. He said he had a custom rim builder. sounded like he would put a thicker gage spoke in the hub. just found out my LBS has a X-Caliber 29 2013 for $1150 vs 1699. Is the $250 worth spending? Big difference I see is RockShox Reba RL.

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    You don't need a 21.5" frame. I'm 6'7" and have 21" and a 23" mountain bikes. A 21.5" would be too big for you. Look at the next size down which shoild be more available and a much better fit for you.

  7. #7
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    6' tall would put you on a 17-19" frame. I'm 6'2" and one of my bikes was a 20" frame and it was a little too big for me. I tend to go a little larger rather than smaller, but for you, 21" would be way too big.

    And spokes...you might find out for sure...I'd guess the stock wheels already have 14g straight spokes...they could be 15g. I don't know that going from 15g to 14g would make much difference. Having the wheels hand built would certainly make a difference. Not sure if they can redo the wheel without taking it apart...just loosen it up and retension/true it by hand. That would save you $50+ just in the cost of spokes.

    And yes...an air fork will be a big improvement over a spring fork.

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    Ok will look into frame size then. I had a 7.3 fX the LBS put me in a 22 riding was fine dismount was special. I will test drive and let you guys know how it goes. Look on clist for 19 frames see what I find.thanks guys.

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    Buy the best you can afford and ride the heck out of it. Then if you are hooked/serious, upgrade to something really nice.

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    The FX was a hybrid bike designed for road riding. Mountain bikes come up a bit smaller in the frame so you don't clang your plums when on and off the thing. 19" will fit you better and there should be more of them. The FX bikes also had fairly short top tubes so you might feel a bit less upright on a mountain bike - but that can be sorted to get you comfortable.

  11. #11
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    @ 6' I'd be looking at a 18" or 18.5.

    The Airborne Seeker is a lot of bike for the money.

    Airborne Bicycles. Seeker

  12. #12
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    Road and bike paths, the stock wheels should be fine. As long as they're not some spindly race wheel. An air fork will serve you well. You can add air pressure to make it stiffer for you and customize the ride.
    Goat Rider

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    So the 19 fit well. So it looks like the x-cal 7 is what I will pull the trigger on. In the 8 all I see is a better fork but still spring not air and tires and Rims. What could I get for a Better rims right off the bat to make the x-cal 7 a safer ride? I don't care about weight just strength. From what I have learned on here so far 36h double-walled rims.

  14. #14
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    shimano M529 hubs on
    sun ringle mtx 33 rims.

    and later when you upgrade your fork you can upgrade the front hub to a 15mm.

    there is a guy on ebay that sells all kinds of fork to axle adapters , they are machined and run about $25 shipped.

  15. #15
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    If you have the budget...I'd go MTx33 rims with Hope hubs or better yet...Chris King hubs. That would be a wheel set for life...not just a slight upgrade from stock. A wheel set like that can be switched from bike to bike to bike. Look at it like a one time investment. It's a hard pill to swallow but once you do...you won't regret it.

  16. #16
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    Re: Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post
    So the 19 fit well. So it looks like the x-cal 7 is what I will pull the trigger on. In the 8 all I see is a better fork but still spring not air and tires and Rims. What could I get for a Better rims right off the bat to make the x-cal 7 a safer ride? I don't care about weight just strength. From what I have learned on here so far 36h double-walled rims.
    Keep in mind with the Suntour fork on that bike you can do the Suntour Customer Loyalty Upgrade and get their bottom level air fork for under $200. I plan on doing this in a few months.

    (You can get an even better fork than that too, if you want to spend more)
    Noob on a 2014 Trek X-Caliber 7
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  17. #17
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    If your looking for good bang for your buck, I suggest you check out Airborne bicycles. They build a good solid bike with good components, the drawback is that they are mail order, but they have great support. They have a great line 29er XC bikes Airborne Bicycles. Cross Country 29"

    PS I am a bit biased, I have an Airborne, it's a great bike!

  18. #18
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    I am cool with the MTx33 $140-200 from what I found. thank you JohnFl,Nubster.

    spokes are the last part of the puzzle ?

    Nubster
    Holy crap I almost had a heart attack looking at those hubs. What size hub do I use for the bike? Can I just get a king for the rear for now or is that unsafe. Or at $400 do they come in a set?

    Tomahaw
    How long is that Loyalty program good for in the first year?


    Is there a good bike book I could read?

  19. #19
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    can I build just a rear rim? Mtx33 with hope hub for now or is that just weird?

  20. #20
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    Re: Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post
    I am cool with the MTx33 $140-200 from what I found. thank you JohnFl,Nubster.

    spokes are the last part of the puzzle ?

    Nubster
    Holy crap I almost had a heart attack looking at those hubs. What size hub do I use for the bike? Can I just get a king for the rear for now or is that unsafe. Or at $400 do they come in a set?

    Tomahaw
    How long is that Loyalty program good for in the first year?


    Is there a good bike book I could read?
    I'm not sure if there is a time limit on the upgrade program. What the gentleman from Suntour told me is you do it thru your dealer, so I'm sure they can find out for you, and I'll find out in March when I take mine in for its 30 day tune up.
    Noob on a 2014 Trek X-Caliber 7
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post
    can I build just a rear rim? Mtx33 with hope hub for now or is that just weird?
    Not weird at all. My bike is a Chris King single speed rear and Hope front. The rear would be the one I'd build first if only doing one at a time. It will take the brunt of the abuse. Hope in IMO the best bang for the buck. I also have a rear Hope wheel build and it's handled everything I could throw at it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post

    Nubster
    Holy crap I almost had a heart attack looking at those hubs. What size hub do I use for the bike? Can I just get a king for the rear for now or is that unsafe. Or at $400 do they come in a set?
    Not a set. They are pricey hubs. Maybe look for used. I paid $200 for a great condition Chris King single speed hub that I had build on to an MTx33. Awesome wheel. Hope is great too. If you can find a used one...they should be pretty cheap. You're looking for a 135mm disc brake rear hub 36h.

  23. #23
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    Thanks everyone for all the information and help. x-cal 7 Done! I will keep the hubs and rims for now and swap a big apple road tire on. I need time to build up strength and ass resistance for the seat. Right now I am 394 lbs. So once I lose 47,173.6g I will give my self new MTx33 rims and hope hubs and start hitting some dirt! Once I Get the bike I will post a pic.

  24. #24
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    Trek marlin 29er reduced brand new with extras
    Ok guys clist caught my eye today. Trek marlin 29er 2012 19 inch retail $659
    1.Bontrager AT-850
    2.lock out front fork
    Is this an ok Deal $600 looks clean.
    Xcal 7 $941.99 afte tax.
    What do you all think? good upgrade bike? what should the price be?

  25. #25
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    IMO I think you are better off with the Xcal. The component list on that bike is much better. If you honestly think you'll ride any amount...get the best you can afford right off the bat. Otherwise, you'll end up trying to sell or upgrade the cheaper bike, loose a bunch of money doing so, and it'll cost more in the end.

  26. #26
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    I'm a Clydesdale (roughly 270-295, 5'11") and I'm picking up my new X-caliber 7 tomorrow at my LBS. I posted about it over on bikeforums.net and everybody seemed obsessed with the idea that I'll have to upgrade to stiffer coils to get optimum performance for my weight. Well, apparently Suntour uses some "sealed cartridge" system that isn't serviceable so it would be stupid to attempt to void the warranty with an aftermarket upgrade. While I don't plan on doing anything too extreme with the bike, I can honestly say that I never had any issues with the old Rock Shox on my 2008 26" Kona Firemountain HT (most of the components on the bike are heavily worn however and it would cost more to fix it up than the bike is worth).

    So I was in the market for a new 29" Hard Tail, and the X-Cal 7 fit the bill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk3Niner View Post
    Keep in mind with the Suntour fork on that bike you can do the Suntour Customer Loyalty Upgrade and get their bottom level air fork for under $200. I plan on doing this in a few months.

    (You can get an even better fork than that too, if you want to spend more)
    I've never heard of this loyalty program. I'll have to ask my LBS about it. At any rate, if the coil shocks give me trouble, maybe a "loyalty" upgrade will do nice. So far I only tested it on grass and concrete in the back lot. A bit of pogo wheelies and curb jumps was about the best I could do to test out the shocks and I was only able to test ride the X-cal 4 and 5 for bike fit (the 21.5" 7 they had in stock was too high) so the 7 should be a big improvement in terms of brakes and front fork. I'll say the 29er wheels sure do jump curbs far more easily than my older 26er Kona, but for the real test, I can't wait to hit the trails tomorrow! Bike Shop told me when I visited on Friday, they had a bright orange 18.5" coming in Monday so they'd put my name on it. Called again Monday and they just unloaded it off the truck so they had to keep it overnight for assembly. Can't sleep much tonight thinking about that new bike I'll be getting; that phone call can't come soon enough, LOL!

  27. #27
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    Guys he just came down to $450.

    My question is the bike fully upgradable for the future. The forks can be swapped down the road and drive train right? Is there much difference in the frame beside the internal stuff on the x-cal. This will be used as a road bike and paths until I drop 104 lbs so hopefully a year or so then more aggressive after that. Sorry if it sounds like I am beating a dead horse.
    Last edited by TwoTons; 02-25-2014 at 05:58 AM.

  28. #28
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    Re: Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post
    Guys he just came down to $450.
    For the X Cal7? That's a great deal.
    Noob on a 2014 Trek X-Caliber 7
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  29. #29
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    No for the 2012 marlin 29er.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarDust4Ever View Post
    I'm a Clydesdale (roughly 270-295, 5'11") and I'm picking up my new X-caliber 7 tomorrow at my LBS. I posted about it over on bikeforums.net and everybody seemed obsessed with the idea that I'll have to upgrade to stiffer coils to get optimum performance for my weight. Well, apparently Suntour uses some "sealed cartridge" system that isn't serviceable so it would be stupid to attempt to void the warranty with an aftermarket upgrade. While I don't plan on doing anything too extreme with the bike, I can honestly say that I never had any issues with the old Rock Shox on my 2008 26" Kona Firemountain HT (most of the components on the bike are heavily worn however and it would cost more to fix it up than the bike is worth).

    So I was in the market for a new 29" Hard Tail, and the X-Cal 7 fit the bill.


    I've never heard of this loyalty program. I'll have to ask my LBS about it. At any rate, if the coil shocks give me trouble, maybe a "loyalty" upgrade will do nice. So far I only tested it on grass and concrete in the back lot. A bit of pogo wheelies and curb jumps was about the best I could do to test out the shocks and I was only able to test ride the X-cal 4 and 5 for bike fit (the 21.5" 7 they had in stock was too high) so the 7 should be a big improvement in terms of brakes and front fork. I'll say the 29er wheels sure do jump curbs far more easily than my older 26er Kona, but for the real test, I can't wait to hit the trails tomorrow! Bike Shop told me when I visited on Friday, they had a bright orange 18.5" coming in Monday so they'd put my name on it. Called again Monday and they just unloaded it off the truck so they had to keep it overnight for assembly. Can't sleep much tonight thinking about that new bike I'll be getting; that phone call can't come soon enough, LOL!
    Thing is...a bad fork can and will cause you to crash if you ride with much gusto. I've had it happen. A crap fork will flex laterally and can cause the front wheel to wash out. I though by riding my junk Suntour that was stock on my RockHopper locked out that's all I needed to do. It only took a few rides to feel the massive flex I was getting in the curves on my trails. As my skill and fitness improved and I rode harder...I started crashing on these curves. It only took a few times to figure out it was from the fork flexing. Replaced with a good fork...never happened again. Well, at least caused by fork flex.

  31. #31
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    Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    FWIW, I picked up an unused 2006 Hardrock in an XXL for $250. The thing is larger than modern XXLs, even bigger than an XXL Ogre. Something line that would leave lots of room in your budget. I'm6'4" & 255 (now) with 37" inseam and 38" sleeves.

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk3Niner View Post
    For the X Cal7? That's a great deal.
    I'm jealous... Did you get the Orange or the red/black? I'm guessing it was an older model or your LBS was desparate.

    Well, I picked up the bright orange X-cal today and went riding. Swapped out the saddle and intalled LED lights, and a bottle holder. Total bill was $1050 with accesories and tax... Hit the trails in the woods and my first impressions were pretty good. The bike handles excellent with the ups and the downs of the trail. It's soooo much faster on the trail than my old 26" Kona. I noticed after the ride I had a little over an inch of travel left but none of the trail was exceptionally rough. If I ever hit really rough stuff I may dial up the pretention a bit. The hydrolic brakes are very responsive and the lockout lever was nice for a brief moment when I left the woods and hit the asphalt MUP. Then I realised I was having more fun on the trail, dropped the lockout and dissappeared back into the woods. In the past I never made it to the end of the trails on my Kona and finished the return trip on the MUP. Either way, I'm loving this new bike!

  33. #33
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    Re: Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    I got the orange one too.

    Noob on a 2014 Trek X-Caliber 7
    Dirt, Sweat and Gears - my new outdoors blog

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    ^^Nice. Glad to see it getting some use!

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    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er $700 vs the Trek x-cal 7 is there $180 difference ? I have given up on clist people want $60 off msrp for 2 and 3 year old bikes. I will be ordering on Monday. Thank eveyone for helping.

  36. #36
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    I'm a noob so my opinion isn't worth much but when I was comparing these same bikes it seemed to me the Trek came with better components. I liked the brakes better and the drivetrain seemed smoother. Also I think the fork that comes on the XCal7 is a little better.

    The biggest for me was the comfort. The 19.5 XCal just felt right.

    You've test ridden each I hope? Which felt better? In this price range comfort is king, or so I'm told.

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    Hopefully tomorrow got to call shops see if they have anything in stock.

  38. #38
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    A 2014 rockhopper 29 is $880 msrp. And it has the tapered head tube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post
    Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er $700 vs the Trek x-cal 7 is there $180 difference ? I have given up on clist people want $60 off msrp for 2 and 3 year old bikes. I will be ordering on Monday. Thank eveyone for helping.
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnFL View Post
    A 2014 rockhopper 29 is $880 msrp. And it has the tapered head tube.
    My main beef with the HardRock is the 80mm travel on the front fork. If you're a weenie and you're only riding it on light trails, the 80mm is probably sufficient, however nearly every other XC bike model has got 100mm forks. My old Kona FireMountain 26" HT had 100mm travel, and while I don't recall ever bottoming out the Rock Shox fork even with my clydesdale size, I did get within a half inch or so of doing so on several occasions. Honestly 80mm would have sounded like a downgrade to me. Ultimately, I had my eye set on the Rockhopper 29 for some time, but after having walked into my other LBS (I have divided loyalties), I ultimately decided on an 18.5" Trek X-Caliber 7. I love the bike and it feels right and shifts like butter. The Rock Hopper does use a slightly lighter frame than the Hard Rock though I'm not sure how they compare weight wise to the X-Cal series. For Clydesdale riders however a slightly lighter frame probably won't improve performance as much as it would with a weenie. Either way I'm happy with my purchase and I feel they're both worth the entry price. One weird design choice I do not understand with the RockHopper is the base model has a triple chainring whereas the higher models have doubles with low and middle gearing. IMO, you need that large chainring (unless you're desparate to shed a couple ounces off the bike), not for the trails, but if you need to ride on pavement to get to the trail the large chainring comes in handy, and also if you're a speed addict on downhill trail sections.

    Either way, I'm happy with my purchase, but do test ride both the RockHopper 29 and the X-Cal 7 if you have LBS in your area that carry both Trek and Specialized.

  40. #40
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    On just about any bike under $1000 the fork is the first thing that needs to go (except the Airborne Seeker).
    Last edited by johnD; 03-01-2014 at 08:03 PM.

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    Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    I didn't read the whole thread and not sure if you have bought a bike yet.

    I have a 2012 xcal. I'm 6'1 200. The reba fork is def better than springs. I'm on a L (19) and fits me just fine.

    Don't redo the wheels til you need it. Spend that $100 and get the fork rebuilt (upgrade over the factory and it can be set for your weight)

    Then go tubeless!

  42. #42
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    Re: Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by jstein649 View Post
    I didn't read the whole thread and not sure if you have bought a bike yet.

    I have a 2012 xcal. I'm 6'1 200. The reba fork is def better than springs. I'm on a L (19) and fits me just fine.

    Don't redo the wheels til you need it. Spend that $100 and get the fork rebuilt (upgrade over the factory and it can be set for your weight)

    Then go tubeless!
    The XCal is question here comes with suntour spring fork.
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    Just get a rigid fork. Then the whole 80mm vs 100mm, spring vs air debate it mute.

    I'm a clyde, ride full rigid and approve of this message.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Just get a rigid fork. Then the whole 80mm vs 100mm, spring vs air debate it mute.

    I'm a clyde, ride full rigid and approve of this message.
    Well, when I ride pavement I lock out the fork. Otherwise, I use the suspension whenever I'm on the trail. I dialed up the pretension to reduce the sag a bit but now I'm finding it's a bit rough on my wrists. I also got a Cloud 9 spring suspension seat. Say what you will butt thanks me for the cushy ride. Currently I've got the front tire at 50psi and the back at 60psi. I may drop it to 40 front 50 rear. Clydesdales need more psi in their tires to prevent pinch flats I know that much, but if I go a bit softer in the front the tire will help absorb the micro vibrations and let the shocks handle the larger bumps. For comparison I've been riding 100psi front / 130psi rear on my 700x25 road tires. Dropping from 120 down to 100 in the front definitely helped my wrists a lot. I'm thinking a similar drop from 50 to 40 will help with the X-Cal 7. I also wear padded open fingered bike gloves (or ski gloves when it dips below 40, which is not that often in Louisiana).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk3Niner View Post
    The XCal is question here comes with suntour spring fork.
    I understand that the Suntour forks use a "sealed cartridge" system and as such the coils are not upgradable. Should I decide to upgrade my fork in the future, what is a more Clydesdale friendly option?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk3Niner View Post
    Keep in mind with the Suntour fork on that bike you can do the Suntour Customer Loyalty Upgrade and get their bottom level air fork for under $200. I plan on doing this in a few months.
    I want to know more about this "loyalty" program. Does the entry level air forks have a sufficient pressure rating to "top them off" and adequately support a 275-300 lb rider? I definitely don't want to over-pressure the fork and then either start leaking, or one day hit a massive bump/landing and blow off the gasket.

  45. #45
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    Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.-img_20140303_221348_193.jpg
    A lot has happened on this post. X-cal7 was not in stock Sunday. Told them to let me know when it's in. I was Browsing clist today and saw a 2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er for $450 got him down to $400. I know this is a starter bike but I am happy.l now can start riding. Thanks everyone for your help an advice.

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTons View Post
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    A lot has happened on this post. X-cal7 was not in stock Sunday. Told them to let me know when it's in. I was Browsing clist today and saw a 2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er for $450 got him down to $400. I know this is a starter bike but I am happy.l now can start riding. Thanks everyone for your help an advice.
    Nice. I just hope the 80mm travel in the fork is enough. Be sure to get back in touch to let us know how it rides.

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    At my weight right now just using it as a road bike. I just ordered big apple tires 29*2.35 see how they work with their tubes. After a year I will change the fork to an air fork and bomber rims and hubs and that will be my xmass to my self.

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    Hi all. This Clydesdale needs a bike.

    That's great. Half of your original budget and no pesky sales tax.

    Enjoy!

    What size frame is it?

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    Be careful about tire clearance. Not sure about the Specialized, but my Trek has a 2" rear tire and a 2.2" front. The rear tire is slightly thinner to ensure proper chain clearance. There's about 3/8" clearance from the chain in bottom gear, so anything bigger would be cutting it close. They do make street tires for mountain bikes. Get something with low tread and air it to maximum rated pressure for minimum rolling resistance. For Clydesdale heavy duty, I also recommend a spring suspension seat. Always the first thing I do with a new bike purchase is swapp out the "weenie" seat for a cushier ride.

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    I asked in the 29er parts area about the tires and one guys said they would fit hope he is right. the frame is 19.

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