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  1. #1
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    'nother FNG with the same question..

    Hey guys. I fully realize this question gets asked here (and every forum) WAY too often, so hopefully I don't get slapped.

    I'm 28, just under 6'7" and right now about 260 lbs. I want to purchase a bike to assist my weight loss goals and generally help with a healthier lifestyle. I've recently changed my diet, almost entirely, and hope to be below 230 lbs - my lowest weight since junior high. I went to the LBS that gave me good feelings, they had a few manu's but given my intended use, size, and budget they steered me to the Specialized Hardrock Disc 29.

    I burned too much time up in indecision to take advantage of the 2012 model closeouts, so now I'm looking seriously again albeit at full prices.

    My question is - is there any reason for me to look at the Sport Disc 29? It seems like my height/weight is going to cause increased component wear, so for the extra $120 +/- am I going to have more durability, or am I just going to be spending more money up front and then having to repair/replace later, anyway?

    My riding will be on the street 70-80% of the time, and on local regional/county park trails. Nothing crazy, but some rougher trails and steeper trails mixed in, will never be airborne in any of them.

  2. #2
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    From looking at the comparisons on the Specialized site, I'd probably go with the Sport Disc 29. It looks like the main differences are hydraulic brakes vs mechanical brakes. The shifters and derailleurs are what Shimano calls "MTB-style" on both bikes, but the components on the Sport Disc 29 are one level above the same components on the Disc 29. That could add some durability and/or performance.

    If you're mostly riding streets, and park trails, either one will probably work out for a while, until you know if biking is something you want to get into. But, as a big guy, you're probably going to wear an entry-level bike out fairly quickly (I'm about 260 so I know how it goes).

  3. #3
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    If non-specialized bikes are out of the question... I'd find the Sport worth the extra $120 srp, but worth is a subjective thing. The deralleurs are better, as is the fork and brakes; all things that will make the bike more fun to ride. OTOH, if you aren't pushing it, you might not notice or appreciate the differences. Spec bikes aren't necessarily great deals by themselves (a comp. priced GT from performance, for example, has better parts), but you [should] be getting support from the shop included, which you wouldn't get from an internet order.

    For your intended use, I'm not sure how much you'd really benefit from 29" wheels (which really shine in rougher terrain), and you might be able to save some $ going 26. The big wheels won't hurt anything, but they typically cost more.

    Your size/weight isn't really going to cause things to wear too much faster. Most wear in bike parts is caused by dirt and lack of lubrication. At the price point you are looking at, a lot of what increased cost buys you in things like gears is harder materials which do wear better and are less prone to failure (I say at that price point because at the very high end, what you buy is reduced weight, and often that actually means less durability).

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    Should I be looking at other models? I've never had a decent bike in my life, and am a little sticker shocked to be honest. I have no budget in mind because this is pretty much uncharted territory for me, but if I have to spend a lot of money (a $500 is a lot of money to me) I'd rather spend it in the place that offers the bang for the buck.

    Can you guys recommend some models in the sub $700 range that represent something that will support my size and intended usage? I don't mind upgrading over time, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on something only to find it not being up to snuff and wishing I'd spent more up front on something with a sturdier build.

    I do plan on riding more trails as my fitness allows it, so 29ers are something I'd like to stick with. I also need something comparable in size to the Specialized XXL frame size.

    I'm not afraid of research at all, so I'm not trying to put it off on anybody else. Just seems since I've been lurking for awhile that I tend to remember more the posts on things breaking with riders my size rather than what doesn't. I can't afford a $1000+ bike and $600 wheels later on, but I'm sure I'm misinformed.

    Thanks for any and all help. If any of you are familiar with/live in the north bay area in CA - the most hard core riding I'd be doing is Annadel.

  5. #5
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    My Dad and I have both had Good luck with Kona I'm 260lbs-down from 308 Jan 1 and ride a kona scrap which has been thus far pretty bullet proof. My dad rides is 6'5" and 350 lbs and rides a 22" Kona Mahuna. The Mahuna is $699 brand new and has 29" wheels, good spec and hydraulic disc brakes.

  6. #6
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    Thanks 1533 - I'll look into Kona's as well. Mahuna is definitely in my price range.

  7. #7
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    As long as you are buying a big brand with good backup, you should be fine. Stick with the 29er wheels (not just for rough terrain - those road bikes have the same diameter) and 22 or 23" frames should be a good area to be looking. The hydraulic brakes are so much better than rim brakes and you'd upgrade to them eventually.
    Don't worry about your weight and durability. I'm the same height and weight and don't overly trash anything. Just replace things as they wear out.

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