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  1. #1
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    Newby Tall Rider

    Hello all,

    I am 34, 6-9, 240 lbs. I haven't owned a bike in 10 years (Rockhopper - loved it), so I want to ease back into it. I also haven't owned a 29er yet, so I'm really excited to feel a bike that fits me better.

    Do you guys have any suggestions for starter bikes? I'm hoping to spend around $1,000, but from what I've seen and read, if I want a bike that fits, an XXL frame is the way to go. That blows the budget right there. Also, I was looking at Specialized - do they make hardtails and non-suspension 29er bikes with XXL frames?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    Hey caltexman1, glad you found your way to the Clyde/Tall forum. A few questions, if you don't mind:

    • Not to get too personal, but what's your inseam?
    • What type of riding to you expect/hope to do?
    • Have you tried throwing your leg over any bikes at your LBS, just for reference?
    • Do you have access to an LBS that sells Marin bikes? Marin makes a line of 29ers that includes a 22" frame with a standover height of 34.8".

    http://www.marinbikes.com/2009/us/tech/tech_29er.php

    The Marin Alpine Trail 29er starts at roughly $800. Their line of "urban" 29ers inlcudes the steel framed Muirwoods that starts at less than $700.

  3. #3
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    Hey man, thanks for the questions.

    * Not to get too personal, but what's your inseam? 38 inches
    * What type of riding to you expect/hope to do? I hope to do roads and trails mostly, and work my way into other stuff. I'm thinking hardtail with rigid fork to begin.
    * Have you tried throwing your leg over any bikes at your LBS, just for reference? I will do this this weekend.
    * Do you have access to an LBS that sells Marin bikes? Marin makes a line of 29ers that includes a 22" frame with a standover height of 34.8". Not sure yet, will also find out this weekend.

    Anything else?

  4. #4
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    REI sells Marin bikes and it looks as if you have three REIs in the Austin/Round Rock area:
    http://www.rei.com/FindStores?state=TX&radius=900

    The Rockhopper Comp 29er comes in a 23" frame with a 34.5" standover and MSRP of $940:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=38431&eid=107

    It looks like there are three Specialized dealers in your area:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCDealerLoc.jsp


    I'm hoping some of the taller guys with direct experience with any of the larger frames will pop in with a couple of suggestions for budget/height.

  5. #5
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    Thanks much, man. I've been looking at that Rockhopper Comp 29er with the 23-in frame as well. Would I just replace the shocks with a rigid fork?

    The more I think about this, the more confused I get. I'd love to just get a single speed and work my a$$ off. I run everyday and lift weights 3x per week, so I'm in good shape. I noticed that Marin Hamilton single speed as well. I guess I can spend $500 for an urban bike, or $1k for a nice XC bike. Decisions decisions...any other input is appreciated.

  6. #6
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    XXL Specialized Rockhopper 29er (23")

    Check out the Comp for Expert. Just lock the fork out. Beefy, only weak spot are the wheels. I had an Expert, moved up to FSR.

    6'6" 235lbs

  7. #7
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    Ok, with the REI anniversary sale this weekend, I can get the Marin Hamilton for about $400. That sounds pretty unbeatable for a start bike. I figure I'll use the SS to get in shape, then upgrade later if I need something beefier. Either way, I would already have an inexpensive SS in my quiver. Thoughts? If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm always open.

  8. #8
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    Good timing!

    Power to you if you have a SS soul. Man, I'm too fat and lazy to take on the committment of a single speed, but I know those who have them generally love them. That being said, I too simplified my re-entry into MTBing after eight plus years out. I'm a cheap bastard to boot.

    Since I couldn't afford a suspended (ht or fs) with a decent fork, I chose to go with a rigid steel frame. This eliminated both cost and problems in terms of having to play around with a suspension fork that just wasn't meant to take the punishment that a 300# clyde would give it. It also allowed me to get a relatively better grade of components than what I otherwise would have been able to afford. I chose the GT Peace 9r Multi. The large frame was just right for my 6'1" body.

    One thing I like about the 9r Multi vs a SS is that - should I ever be brave enough - I could convert it to a SS without too much effort. Or, it could *very* easily be converted to a 1x9, which might make more sense for me when I able back in shape and able to get a higher grade bike for my MTBing efforts.

    For me, the GT Peacer 9r Multi was a cost-effective way to test my mountainbking resolve. It was the right decisioin for me and it took a single ride for me to realize what I had been missing these last few years. I now *know* that I will be biking regularly and will be able to justify a greater investment in my MTB future. In the meantime, I have a rock solid steel-framed rigid 9r with which I'm very happy.

  9. #9
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    Hey dog,

    That's great advice. Maybe I get the GT 9R, knowing that if I ever want to get an upgraded bike, I can simply convert the 9R to an SS. I'll give that some serious thought. Thanks for the insight!

  10. #10
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    While I really do like my Peace 9r Multi (GT does make a SS version of the 9r, btw), it may very well be too small of a frame for you. The Specialized and Marin frames will probably be better fitting frames for your height.

    For me, having just returned to the sport, I was concerned that a SS may be too much, too soon type-of-thing, so a geared bike was a better choice for me - not that may not necessarily be the case for everyone. Since you're already in great shape, a SS with a subsequent HT/FS purchase later on may be a good way to go.

    Go ahead and call me a wussy, I can handle it.

  11. #11
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    I am the same size, 81" and 240#. I ride a Single Speed Motobecane Outcast 29er (frame only, every other part has been swapped out) and a Gary Fisher Caliber 29er. In the 29er category, I would def. recommend a hard tail for your 1st bike, just more for your money. Steer clear of GF's too, just not clyde worthy (althought the geometry is historically pretty good for us). The new Specialized line looks promising, but I cannot speak from personal exp.

    In my last year of riding SS, I have come to really enjoy it. You can have a lot more bike for the money, and it WILL make you a stronger, better rider. In general, look for a TT measurement of at least 25" to be happy. If you are mechanically inclined, you could build up an Outcast like I did for well under $1K, and can clyde-proof the parts. If you buy an off the shelf bike in the price range you are speaking of, many many of the parts will need to be replaced as your riding advances. The sad facts are that many stock parts are built for people well under 200#, even if the wheels and frames are bigger.

  12. #12
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    Pitch, thanks for the info. I sent you a PM.

  13. #13
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    Ok, so I just ordered the Marin Hamilton SS for about $410 from REI. Now I have to wait 2 weeks because it's backordered. Guess that gives me time to gear up! From what I've read, it sounds like I'll need to upgrade the seatpost to Thomson and likely the handlebars as well.

  14. #14
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    Congrats, caltexman1! Look forward to seeing the pics when it arrives!

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    I'm in no position to offer advice, but I too am a newbie to riding, and we seem to be along the same lines in terms of size and riding preference. I bought myself a Gary Fisher Mamba 29er with a 21" frame, and it came in right around $1000 Canadian. I have a 34" inseam though so that may be too small for you, I don't know. I've only ridden it once so far, but I like it. If others can offer reviews or opinions on this bike, feel free to do so.

    Enjoy the ride!

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