I am 6'8" 285lbs. I currently own a Trek 7200 Hybrid....
This bike has a 25" frame with 700c tires and fits me great. I originally bought it for leisurely riding around my neighborhood for exercise, but I also wanted the ability to handle some dirt trails if the occasion called for it. Well, I recently found out there are all these great single track trails around here and I went to try them out with a friend. My bike did not cut it. Gear shifting is slow, chain popped off a few times, and I had a hard time with some climbs. I am sure there are many reasons for this, but I was also told the geometry is a big part of it.
So I am looking for a mountain bike to tackle some of these rough single trails around here. I am confused on what would be best. I am partial to Trek, but I am open to other brands. I was looking into full suspension bikes, but I was told that with my weight the bobbing might be too much for pedal efficiency. I was also told to look at 29ers. The trek 69ers interest me as well.
I was browsing this forum a bit before I posted, and I saw some large guys like myself have custom bikes. Sounds great and all, but spending even $1500 on a bike would be pushing it for me. I want as good as a bike as I can get for as clost to $1K to $1.5K as I can get.
Now I do fit my bike really well, but in addition to the problems I was having on the trails, the bike felt too large. While I am 6'8", I am fairly proportional as my pants inseam is only a 36". The largest mountain bike I have seen this far is the trek 4500 which is available in a 24" frame. I worry about the components though, as its only a $500 bike. Also, it lacks disc brakes, which I would really like to have.
I was looking at some Trek full suspension and hard tail models. They mostly max out at 21.5" and the Gary Fisher 29ers I was looking at online seem to max out at 21" frames. I have not tried any of these bikes in the store, but I noticed a few when I had my bike in for some maintenance, and the 21-22" frame models seem like they would work for me, but I am not entirely sure.
So I guess my questions is, what would be best for someone my size, with my budget, who wants to do some rough singletrack riding? I have my urban adventure bike, so I really just want some to tackle the trails. I see full suspension being useful, but I want/need efficiency climbing since the trails by me have a lot of quick climbs and descents. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Also, I would like to mention that it is awesome that there is a forum for us big guys. There isn't much in this world that caters to us.
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