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  1. #1
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    Purchase advice with sub-$1k for uber clyde at 315 lbs

    After many hours of researching MTBR and other online resources, I'm finally getting a post in here to get some feedback on my upcoming purchase:

    I'm 6' 1" , 315 lbs currently and on a quick drop the past month (down 45 lbs) from walking, diet, etc and want to step it up with bike riding and preferably even commuting to work 3+ days a week ASAP (5.5 mi each way with notable hills, but relatively good pavement. I used to ride a road bike on mainly flat surfaces every day but 20 years passing since then categories me as a beginner to intermediate rider, but not a complete noob.

    Budget: as high as $1k, but prefer to keep $650+ knowing that at my current weight and possible commuting use I may be beating on this bike a bit to need even stronger wheels or regular LBS attention.

    Type: hybrid vs. comfort bike? I'm leaning to comfort to increase the likelihood of me riding more and likely selling the bike in 6+ months once down a good chunk of weight again.

    Material: for now I'm avoiding carbon due to my weight. I would still prefer go aluminum frame though vs old steel alloy.

    Any front suspension? I'm wary of doing any front suspension at my weight, but figure if it has lockout I'll be fine for now and that might extend how long I keep the bike.

    Gearing: given the weight and hills still involved here, I'm hoping to still get away with a 7 or 8 x 3 gearing but figure I can't cheap out or expect to break them and be stranded at some point.

    Wheelset: 29er or 26"? a lot of advice has pointed to getting a 29er for an uber clyde like myself, but I have yet to ride one to be convinced. This is where I'd love to get the wheels I need on the bike but if I must buy (or have built) then obviously need to pay less for the initial bike purchase. Be sure to get 36H wheels vs. 32H regardless of diameter?

    Used or New: not against going used, but with plans to put some decent miles/time at a above 250 lbs weight, I'm cautious in buying a used bike unless expecting to upgrade at least the wheelset.

    Convert my road bike? I also have a great condition Cannondale CAAD8 road bike and an old Trek Y33 full-susp bike to consider converting, but since both have some or a lot of carbon and the suspension has no lockout, I figure both are out. Selling the Y33 may just help fund the comfort bike purchase a bit.

    It's hard not to just try to do a Northrock XC6 from Costco at ~$350 and maybe upgrade the wheelset if needed or even return it if it doesn't stand up to my weight or abuse, but I believe the lack of a lockout and other iffy parts may make it a waste of time. Stilll tempting if it could serve its purpose for 6 months while getting down to ~250 lbs weight. (or possibly find the Northrock XC29 er at $480 with better components). Unbeatable return policy if it doesn't work out.

    I plan to get some test ride time this weekend at a few nearby LBS locations that carry at least Trek (Shift? FX?) and Specialized (Hardrock?); maybe GT (Karakoram 2.0 29er?); maybe even a Cannondale SL4. I'm excited to get back out riding ASAP but want to get some hands-on research and feedback here before pulling that trigger.

    With the $500-$1k budget mentioned and all the factors I listed, what do you suggest?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by nostra; 10-27-2012 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'd definitely go with a mountain bike. A used kona hoss would be sturdy and within your budget if you can find one.
    Hey sexy mama, wanna kill all humans?

  3. #3
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    Hey Nostra,
    Personally I wouldn't settle for a big box bike. If I were you, and I was, I would look for a good used deal. I know there is a lot of interest placed on a good wheelset but I picked up a nice 05 Stumpy w/ Mavic 317's and haven't looked back. I wreak havok on those rims/tires and they come back for more. Bikesdirect is a good source too if you really want new. Also with our size I really dig a 29er. The Stumpy I have is a 26, but I plan on hitting those same trails w/ my Dos Niner when I get to know those trails better. Not sure where you are but Craigs is always a good shot to check used too, plus you can test ride to see if it fits you. Anywho, the important thing is to get something you like and ride the shiz out of it! Hopefully this bunch of words made some sense...

  4. #4
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    Mountain bike is the way to go in my opinion. Their designed for weight and to take a beating. Anyhow, I'm at 275lbs down from 280~ and I ride a Cannondale Trail 7 (Hard-tail w/suspension Fork) and a KHS XC 104 (Full Suspension). Either one of these bikes supports my weight with zero issues. Now personally, I would highly recommend the Cannondale Trail 7 (or 6) if you're just commuting around town with light offroading. It's a fairly light and maneuverable bike. I live down town Dallas and uses it for tooling around town as well as hitting the local mtb trails. Price range is $500-575 and comes with a life time frame warranty.

  5. #5
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    try to find one of those green 2011 gt karakoram 1.0 29ers with the recon air forks on them.
    performancebike.com used to sell them online, and you might be able to find one at one of their stores. they were about 800 bucks a while back. the recon fork is the key here. google this bike up and check it out.
    roccowt.
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  6. #6
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    Do others feel that focusing on the air fork and potentially going used is worth older model shifters / derailers?

    Seems like a very good idea to keep the bike longer and for more versatile use. I did find a used '11 GT 1.0 Karakoram 29er that I hope to see later today.

    The 29ers also sound like a good idea, but I wonder given so many more 26" wheeled bikes if I should go 26" and plan to do a $200-300 wheel upgrade to 36H and decent spokes vs. a 29er.
    Last edited by nostra; 10-27-2012 at 01:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostra View Post
    Do others feel that focusing on the air fork and potentially going used is worth older model shifters / derailers?

    Seems like a very good idea to keep the bike longer and for more versatile use. I did find a used '11 GT 1.0 Karakoram 29er that I hope to see later today.

    The 29ers also sound like a good idea, but I wonder given so many more 26" wheeled bikes if I should go 26" and plan to do a $200-300 wheel upgrade to 36H and decent spokes vs. a 29er.
    if you found the green 1.0 karakoram with the recon front fork...take a real good look.
    the recon air fork and the solid frame it has is a real good deal.
    ...what kind of price did you get?
    roccowt.
    rocnbikemeld

  8. #8
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    No response yet from the seller of the '11 GT Karakoram 1.0 29er yet, but he wants $700-750. If I could get it for a tad less and in great condition that would be a buy!

    I gave a look to the Giant Revel 0 29er ($700) and Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er ($700) and Overdrive Comp ($1k) at a LBS but need to more comparative research before pulling that trigger. I also saw the Northrock XC29 for $480 in person at Costco and found it a good fit at 18" and decent components, but again question any big box bike compared to what another few hundred spent might get me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostra View Post
    No response yet from the seller of the '11 GT Karakoram 1.0 29er yet, but he wants $700-750. If I could get it for a tad less and in great condition that would be a buy!

    I gave a look to the Giant Revel 0 29er ($700) and Diamondback Overdrive Sport 29er ($700) and Overdrive Comp ($1k) at a LBS but need to more comparative research before pulling that trigger. I also saw the Northrock XC29 for $480 in person at Costco and found it a good fit at 18" and decent components, but again question any big box bike compared to what another few hundred spent might get me.
    check your private messages
    roccowt.
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  10. #10
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    Good advice, Zarr. Thanks!

    I ended up getting a 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Comp 29er from someone very close to my house for a decent price. I may end up switching the fork out for a Recon Silver if it looks like it's needed.

    My next purchase is to get some Big Apple street tires (suppose 2.35 vs 2.20) on it vs the WTB Wolverine nobbies on it now. Quickly followed by some lights (maybe Niterider Lumina 650 front and Cygolite Hot Shot rear).

  11. #11
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    put the recon on it.
    roccowt.
    rocnbikemeld

  12. #12
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    Recon Silver fork and street tires on their way...

  13. #13
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    I definitely also recommend looking into used ones from craiglist. I myself weighed 275 when first got my bike. Got a great deal on a 2012 Giant xtc 29er 2. I got it for 800 and it was practically brand new. You will find great deals on craiglist. I say for your size also go with 29ers they will feel like they fit alot better. Thats my two cents good luck

  14. #14
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    Im a big guy 6'4 300+ and I love my Trek 4500 Disc. It comes in frames up to 24 inchs.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostra View Post
    Good advice, Zarr. Thanks!

    I ended up getting a 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Comp 29er from someone very close to my house for a decent price. I may end up switching the fork out for a Recon Silver if it looks like it's needed.

    My next purchase is to get some Big Apple street tires (suppose 2.35 vs 2.20) on it vs the WTB Wolverine nobbies on it now. Quickly followed by some lights (maybe Niterider Lumina 650 front and Cygolite Hot Shot rear).
    If you got the recon air 29er fork, you'll need a shock pump to pump the air in it.Look on ebay for bicycle shock pumps...and some have tire pump capability too.(combo pumps)
    ...pricepoint.com has the sette brand shock pumps which are cheap and pretty good.Personally,I like pumps that have a hose as the air delivery source,like the topeak mountain morph.There are other brands like that too, and some combo pumps aloow for the use of a CO2 cartridge too.Cannondale makes one that's sold on ebay.But then you'll need a separate shock pump.To me it's best to carry a combo shock/tire pump when you ride to avoid any air issues.
    roccowt.
    rocnbikemeld

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