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  1. #1
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    Overwhelmed by research and options

    Hello all.

    I am a heavy guy. 5'10", 270 lbs. I currently only ride to commute, but I am very hard on my bike. My last rear hub lasted 3 months.

    I got to do a little trail riding recently, and I had a lot of fun with it. I would like to pick up a new bike that can be used as a regular bike commuter, but also go offroad on trails on weekends. I am not concerned with weight or competitiveness. I want something that will not get destroyed, and is preferably light on maintenance.

    I have been looking in a lot of different places (including here!) and found no real kind of consensus. The only things I have seen universally recommended are wheels with an increased number of spokes and air forks. Are these necessary? Will they make a difference?

    I'm hoping for somewhere around $800, but I could go up to $1500 or so if it will make a difference.

    So far, the ones that look the most survivable to me are the Felt Nine 60, Jamis Nemesis Comp and the Breezer Thunder Expert. I have no idea how to tell if I am even in the right ball park.

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cottccid View Post
    The only things I have seen universally recommended are wheels with an increased number of spokes and air forks. Are these necessary? Will they make a difference?
    No and yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  3. #3
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    Cot,

    I just bought a bike and can empathize with you. I don't think your weight is really an issue unless you plan to ride really hard on rough trails. That is assuming you buy a "quality" bike and not one from Walmart. By quality I mean a $400-$600 bike from one of the major brands (Trek, Giant, Specialized, etc..). Below is a post I made summing up my experience. If you plan to ride mostly on the road, and not go on really rough trails (trails where you are jumping off things or riding fast over logs and rocks) then a dual sport bike from specialized or trek or whomever seems like a good fit for you. My opinion is all the major brands have very similar bikes and you won't go wrong with any brand. Find the shop you like best and buy their "major" brand. I liked a trek 8.3 DS model. Another thing I came appreciate is mountain bike knobby tires suck on the street. If you want to ride more than a few miles on the road, you don't want standard mtn bike tires. The dual sport styles have semi smooth tires that are good on the road and so so on dirt, depending on the surface. Good luck and make sure the frame size fits you comfortably.


    I just ordered an Airborne Seeker for $900. Every question I asked received 3 opposite answers. Very frustrating. I boiled it down to wanting a bike for non road riding. There are hybrids, dual sport bikes, hardtail mtb, and full suspension mtb. If this was my only bike I would have considered a dual sport bike, so it would be good on the road. I have a road bike, so this was mainly off road bike. I live in NE and there are a lot of rocks and roots on the trails. Ideal bike would be full suspension, but they are $1.8K+++. I decided on a hardtail mtb, with an air fork, 6'4", 250lbs. The airborne 29ers are hard to beat for price versus components. I would say the Seeker is one of the only under $1K bikes with an air fork

  4. #4
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    Go find a "Good" MTB. Good means air fork, solid components and strong wheels. Get a bike that is a true MTB, there are way too many to list and all have their strengths and weaknesses. Find what fits you and is available in your LBS.

    It is not that hard when you get rid of all the noise around you.

    If you are truly looking for someone to say "buy bike X" and you would listen to them based on a short e-mail, then good luck with your riding experience.
    HBSURFDAD
    2014 Stumpjumper FSR 29er evo. XXL.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBSURFDAD View Post
    It is not that hard when you get rid of all the noise around you.

    If you are truly looking for someone to say "buy bike X" and you would listen to them based on a short e-mail, then good luck with your riding experience.
    Condescending and unhelpful. Two for one!

    My opinion is all the major brands have very similar bikes and you won't go wrong with any brand.
    This is probably what I will end up doing. The more I look, the more similarities I see. But it never hurts to ask to find out what is actually important. This is a big purchase for me, and I would hate to find out I bought something I am going to regret later.

  6. #6
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    Cot,

    Do you want advice on what type (not brand) of bike to buy?? That is what confused me the most when I started out. If so, provide more info on your intended use and what type of off road riding you will do. For instance, you are getting opposite advice already on this post. If you will ride mostly on the street for commuting, I don't recommend a mountain bike type unless you plan to change the tires to something reasonable for the street. You will have a heavy duty bike, but you are dragging around a lot more weight than necessary. I boiled it down this way, ride mostly on the road --> get a hybrid bike. If you want to do some off road that is pretty smooth --> get a dual sport bike. If you want to do a lot of dirt and especially rough trails --> get a mountain bike.

    Once you decide what type, then posters can recommend more specific bikes and what is most critical for that type of bike. It sounds like you are somewhat educated on the mountain bike criteria. I wanted to ride on rough trails and I have a road bike, so I chose a 29 hard tail mountain bike model, mostly based on price, and I decided Airborne gave about the best components for the $$.

  7. #7
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    Cot,

    I re-read your original post and you described your overall use pretty well. I understand better now. I think you have a choice between a dual sport bike which will be lighter and better on the street and a hardtail mountain bike with a tire swap to something dual purpose (or better on the street). If you were lighter, go dual sport. At the weight of a clyde, it probably makes more sense to go mountain bike with a tire swap. I think the dual sport will be a lot more comfortable and easier riding on the road, but depending on your dirt riding it might not stand up to rough trails at your weight. If you want to bias towards the dirt performance, mountain bike with tire swap. The bikes you mention are the right type. I don't know much about them, sorry. I know the specialized hardrock is a good entry level bike, along with the trek mamba. The airborne guardian is good. You can glean some names from other posts. Anyway, a hardtail entry level mountain bike, in either 700 or 29 tire size is the right place to look. Talk to the LBS about a tire swap before you buy it.

  8. #8
    JHH
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    A good HT 29r with a set of slicks is a good call. Oh and spend at least $1500 to get Clyde "friendly" components. Santa Cruz's has a Highball build with a solid mix of parts for $1699 now.......
    Keep pedaling no matter what

  9. #9
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    Cot, sorry if my response was too direct. You know what you want and need, you state it well. The brand fanboys will only create noise, they have stayed away from here so far.

    Fit is huge, that is why a good lbs is key. Do you have any close? Get to them and see what they say.

    Good luck.
    HBSURFDAD
    2014 Stumpjumper FSR 29er evo. XXL.

  10. #10
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    The reason people throw out brands and models around here is because they are tested and clyde approved. As far as that term fanboy...I really wish that people that used it would take it and shove it up their a$$. Just because someone suggests brand X and model Y...that doesn't make them a fanboy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  11. #11
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    How about a Surly Pugsly? They're tough as nails. Traction is awesome and your weight will be a non issue.
    I like turtles

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    The reason people throw out brands and models around here is because they are tested and clyde approved. As far as that term fanboy...I really wish that people that used it would take it and shove it up their a$$. Just because someone suggests brand X and model Y...that doesn't make them a fanboy.

    I use the term for the blindly fanatic, the "you are stupid if you don't ride "x"". Fan is simply short for fanatic. As I said they are not commenting here. Making knowledge based suggestions is not fanboy behavior.

    Sorry I hit a sore spot for you, and I maintain an exit only policy so I will not be fulfilling your wish.
    HBSURFDAD
    2014 Stumpjumper FSR 29er evo. XXL.

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