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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Introduction & Inquiry.

    Name is James and I hail from southern Colorado (COS) but currently I'm touring the Persian Gulf (U.S. Army) for a year and I'm in need (desire really) of a mountain bike.

    After reading through several posts here I decided it would be wise to join and ask the experts their opinion on a purchase.

    I stand 6'3" tall and weigh in at 250lbs... so I'd really like a bike (components, pedals) that can handle me without failling after a month of riding.

    Where I'm at now will consist of mostly commuting. This riding does include rough terrain, not just paved roads. There won't be any hard-core riding style until I return home, in which I firmly intend to expand my horizons with mountain biking WITH the bike I purchase now.

    The problem is that there are only two brands available here: Trek and Gary Fisher.

    My question is... should I purchase something like a Gary Fisher X-Calibur 29" for around 1300$ (2008 model I think) or order something like a Kona King Kahuna from a shop back home and have a family member ship (weeks) it out to me? I've read several good reviews on the Kona... but have yet to see a price.

    Price is a slight issue. I'd rather not have to drop 1300$ (about the limit) for a bike, but I will if I KNOW that the components will handle my weight and abuse well. I do understand you get what you pay for.

    Thanks in advance for any input!

  2. #2
    Fantom Trail
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Motobecane Fantom Trail! $595. Great parts! Low price! Buy the bike and get a good mountain bike maintenance and repair book for references. Fix it yourself, safe a nickel or two. Good luck

  3. #3
    President, CEO of Earth
    Reputation: TobyNobody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    The parts that are most likely to be inadequate for a big rider are the wheels and suspension forks. Suspension forks, especially those included on mass-manufactured bikes are designed for average size people and seldom have enough adjustment range to hold up someone over ~220 lbs (in my experience).

    Most $1000 + bikes have wheels that would be strong enough if they were properly built, tensioned, and stress relieved... but most are not, and a lot of riding will often give you broken spokes on a bike after it is ~ one year old. Getting a competent wheelbuilder to retension and stress-relieve the spokes goes a long way to making a bike trouble-free for a Clydesdale.

    Other parts generally break after crashes or abusive riding, which are not large-rider-specific problems.

    General rule of thumb: if something breaks, it was not strong enough - get a better one.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  4. #4
    Fantom Trail
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I'm 6'2", 260, I thrash my fantom daily, with no problems. Check out you can't beat the value or the prices

  5. #5
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
    Reputation: donalson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    ... the army on you for weight loss?... sorry just know they (USAF) got onto my dad and made him loose some weight...

    no offense meant... just wondering ... that being said... Thanks you for serving... this country wouldn't be the same without people like you.

    anyway... the xcaliber looks like a fine bike for ya... as mentioned the wheels would likely be the weakest spot... 32 or 36 spoke would be preferencial over the 28 they come with... but they whould be fine... especialy with a little tweaking... they are tubless ready to boot.

    the fork should be fine... but you might want to ask in the 29er forum for bigger guys who've run it though...

    a nice part of the 29er's are that you can run cyclocross or full on road tires on it for around town/training type riding (i run kenda kross tires on one of my 29ers that gets used mostly as a road/city bike... $10 for the pair... when i want to roll off road with it toss on the fatties and go for it)

    only thing i'd make sure about is that the warranty is still in tact in the US if you buy a fisher over there... fisher changed the frame design for '08 which made frame failures less frequent (or so it seems)... but i've still read of some frame failures at the top tube/seatpost junction...

    good luck on your decision
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

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