I posted this as a reply in another thread but decided to put it in its own thread to 1) avoid hijacking that thread completely and 2) get the input of anyone that might not have read or be following that thread.
Basically I am building up a bike, I mean that in the generic sense of I am either buying a complete bike from an LBS or going in and sitting down and telling them what parts I want for them to build. I am 27, 6'3", and weigh in at 265 - 270 lbs (being that I am not really that active sitting all day for work and all night after work, once I start riding I am expecting/hoping some of the weight to drop off). I am just getting back into the sport after getting too busy to ride in high school and college (oh how I regret letting that happen. I grew up and went to school in Vermont >.<). Anyway here is what I am thinking about and looking at.
To begin with I am not 100% sure of the type of riding I will be doing. I have been out of the sport for a number of years and am breaking back in. I want to do some more aggressive riding eventually, some ups downs (aggressive XC to trail to all-mountain type stuff), and possibly some urban assault but that is the most unlikely.
What I am in the market is a medium to high end hard tail (really not interested in FS) with a slack geometry (or "all mountain" geometry per the marketing category) that can take a long travel front fork (120+mm with preference around 130 or 140... possibly go with a Pike with uturn or something along those lines so its adjustable, still debating/researching/deciding). My budget is kinda tight at 1500 but I could go as high as 2000 as a max for the right set-up/deal. I had been eyeing the Kona Five-0 or five-0 deluxe but the marzocchi fork seems problematic and from what I have been told I should look more at the air suspension due to my weight as its tough to find spring strong enough to be effective for higher weight riders and air is more adjustable at no extra cost and lower hassle. It just takes a little more initial work to get set up.
So with the five-0 partially discounted I was researching more different bikes and frames and have really settled on liking the Santa Cruz Chameleon and am therefore leaning strongly toward a build based around that frame. I am very interested in hearing from fellow clydes who have built up Chameleons and what components they went with (particularly the fork/headset and wheelsets) and how they like the bike. That said, though, I am open to other suggestions still.
My current bike is a trek 4500 that I bought in college having done zero research and I really dont like it and hardly ride it cause it just doesnt fit and feel right. The geometry is off and its a bit too big for me at a 21.5" frame (though that could be more of a geometry issue than strictly a frame size issue). The riding I have done with that it has held up ok but I want to buy a bike that I can grow into. In other words even though I am still a relative noob coming back into the sport and wont be doing a ton of super aggressive riding initially I intend to grow into that and dont want to deal with the hassle of buying now to have to sell and upgrade in a year cause I want a different/better bike.
any thoughts are welcome :-)
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