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  1. #1
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    Is it really necessary for a heavier rider to get a "bigger" bike?

    I've been researching agressive trail/all mtn. bikes in the 130-160mm travel range. I'm a little on the heavy side at 235lb in kit.

    Some people seem to push heavier riders toward bigger travel, slacker bikes. Is this really necessary? Is a heavier rider any more likely to break a 130mm travel trail bike, than a 160mm travel all mtn. bike?

  2. #2
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    Is it really necessary for a heavier rider to get a "bigger" bike?

    No. They tend to push the larger travel rigs b/c they usually have more heavy duty wheels, air fork, components.

    Which will hold up better. Use the same bike buying equation that everyone else uses. What kind of riding will you be doing??

    This will determine what kind of bike you will get.

    Lots of misinformation out there.

    How long you been riding?? Location?? Budget??

    Then we can help better.

    I started on a 26" FS and moved to a 29er am ht. so it all depends on how you ride.

  3. #3
    some know me as mongo
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    it really depends on the bike. most of the time bikes with more travel are built stronger (and heavier). They also normally have lower leverage ratios suspension designs that are benifical to largr riders. that being said I have ridden bikes that are from 23 lbs (2003-2005) xc race hardtails (25 lbs in FS version in 2007-2009) to a 48 lbs FR/Bighit/DH bikes. they all worked very well for the way that they are suppose to be ridden. Rigth now I am in the process of transitioning from a Santacruz Nomadc (160mm) to a Tallboy (100mm) and this is because the Tallboy is much more inline with the way that I am riding now. I am no longer doing drops and large jumps like I use to in the past and am ridding MUCH longer distances.

    In all reality buy the bike that fits the way that you intend to ride it. make sure it is on the tougher side and have fun. BTW 235 in kit is not really all that heavy, myself with full kit (camelbak and what not) is about 280-285 lbs at the moment.
    27.2 miles ridden (going to be a slow start because of work )

    1868.3 miles ridden in 2013

  4. #4
    Master of the Face Plant
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    I was roughly your size and I ride pretty aggressive. I have been running mid to high end stuff on an 08 Epiphany. I had a Turner Flux, specialized Epic and some other bikes. There is really no need to go beyond that. If you are riding mostly XC a 4 to 5.5 inch travel bike will be fine. Your main problem will be wheels. A quality wheelset is a heavy riders best friend. A flexy wheelset will make your whole bike handle and feel like crap. I have a solid Stans ztr 355 on King hubs set. Very stiff laterally and strong. Thicker tires like 2.35's will save your rims.
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  5. #5
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    I appreciate the helpful responses. Most of you have confirmed what I thought, that a "bigger" bike is not necessary, but if I'm unsure, to err on the "bigger" side.

    A little background: I'm currently riding an '09 GF Paragon 29er (hardtail), riding it hard, and loving it. Sometimes I even question if I need a new bike, but I'm starting to feel like it's a matter of time before I break something. I'm located in Albuquerque, but planning on traveling around the SW on my next bike. Budget is $5-6k (shhh, don't tell the soon-to-be wife).

    An aggressive trail bike would probably be ideal for me (Trek Fuel range), but I'm tired of being held back by my bike, so I'll probably go a step "bigger" to a Remedy, Stumpy, or Mojo HD. I was totally sold on getting a 26er, but suddenly everyone's saying the new 29ers are handling just as well, so that's kinda taken me off-guard.

    Either way, I'm going to wait 'til all the '14 models come out, and demo them at Outerbike. Super psyched about the '14 Fox update, because that was definitely a concern.

  6. #6
    Master of the Face Plant
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    Dude, If you have 5k to spend go bigger. You can keep the weight down by spending a bit more on light parts. Trek just introduced a Fuel 29er I think. Ellsworth Evolves are nice. I rode one and it was crazy fast.
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  7. #7
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    I personally like the 'do it all' 6" travel bikes. I have a 36lb enduro, love it. Probably do a Nomad or one of the Pivot bikes if I can eventually. I was on a nice and light stump jumper for a while, and it worked fine. I did bend wheels, but I personally feel that it was more due to my lack of grace (born in Canada, inherently clumsy) than my weight. Rode a Kona hardtail for a long time too, doing drops and what not with that, and it was fine. So yes wheels are the most important thing to keep in mind. With your budget you'll be more than fine. And keep the GF for the easy rides. It's always cool to have choicesor a bike for a friend to ride.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  8. #8
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    This iss the issue I have found. I look for a fs bike that would perform correctly for my weight, and find I am looking at some beefy am or dh bike with wayyyyy too much travel for what I need. A 120mm fs bike exist for a beefy Clyde? Idk.

  9. #9
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    I recently picked up a Mojo HD and I have to say it is the best bike I have ever had. It is totally versatile. I currently have it set up as 150mm 650b 2x10. 2 weeks ago it was a 160mm 26" 1x10 when I spent a week at Downieville. It can also be set up as 140mm travel bike. After I got the HD and realized what it can do I sold my other bikes. In my opinion the HD is the only bike you need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelldify View Post
    I appreciate the helpful responses. Most of you have confirmed what I thought, that a "bigger" bike is not necessary, but if I'm unsure, to err on the "bigger" side.

    A little background: I'm currently riding an '09 GF Paragon 29er (hardtail), riding it hard, and loving it. Sometimes I even question if I need a new bike, but I'm starting to feel like it's a matter of time before I break something. I'm located in Albuquerque, but planning on traveling around the SW on my next bike. Budget is $5-6k (shhh, don't tell the soon-to-be wife).

    An aggressive trail bike would probably be ideal for me (Trek Fuel range), but I'm tired of being held back by my bike, so I'll probably go a step "bigger" to a Remedy, Stumpy, or Mojo HD. I was totally sold on getting a 26er, but suddenly everyone's saying the new 29ers are handling just as well, so that's kinda taken me off-guard.

    Either way, I'm going to wait 'til all the '14 models come out, and demo them at Outerbike. Super psyched about the '14 Fox update, because that was definitely a concern.

  10. #10
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    Depends on your height as well. If you are very tall, a slacker head tube can mitigate some of the Endo tendency...

  11. #11
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    The mojo sounds nice......but 140mm is a lot of travel for most riders.100-120mm might be better suited for a good all around bike?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    The mojo sounds nice......but 140mm is a lot of travel for most riders.100-120mm might be better suited for a good all around bike?
    I personally don't feel that 1400mm is a lot of travel considering that the mojo with the dw link pedals just as good or better than most bikes with less travel.

  13. #13
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    I personally go for the longer-travel bikes for the very reason of the sturdier build of the frame. I choose my own parts and build up from the bare frame, too. So far, everything (HT, too) that I've ridden in the "XC" category has lasted less than 2 years. I got 5-1/2 out of my Dakar XLT, and expect 6+ from my present Kona Coiler. (We're pretty close in size, BTW). As long as I feel I can get silly on a bike, I'll be above 140mm travel -- when 'retirement time' comes (and I can't physically handle what I enjoy doing now), I'll just cruise...somewhere in that distant future is an Electra Rat Fink, waiting for my more 'sedate' days............................
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate3510 View Post
    I personally don't feel that 1400mm is a lot of travel.
    I do!! haha

    I get the fact that the bikes are built to last, or at least take more abuse. I will have to find a burley bike with a dw link and see how it holds up under my 275lbs of week climbing force.

  15. #15
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    There are a lot of clydes on this board who ride the Trek/Gary Fisher racing hardtails like the Marlin, Mamba and X-Calibur. Travel has more to do with where you than your weight. I am in the rocky and rooty Northeast and more travel helps a lot. If I was able to ride some of the flow trails I read about in other places I would not be riding the same bike.
    He who dares....wins!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I do!! haha

    I get the fact that the bikes are built to last, or at least take more abuse. I will have to find a burley bike with a dw link and see how it holds up under my 275lbs of week climbing force.
    I was about 75lbs heavier than you currently are when I first started riding a 140mm travel bike. Even with the archaic (by todays standards) suspension technology there was back then I had a bike that pedaled and climbed very efficiently. Weight really does not play a role in suspension effectiveness any more. There is a guy on here that is about 450lbs that rides and loves his Turner 5-Spot.

  17. #17
    turtles make me hot
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    I don't really consider you heavy. I weigh a good 25 pounds more than you and I ride a Stumpjumper with FS and 29" wheels.
    While I did ruin the stock wheels, I've been riding the bike for 4 years virtually trouble free because of diligent upkeep.
    I like turtles

  18. #18
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    220 lb naked, with packs, water and gears, probably closer to 235. I ride rigid. Stock wheels I had (Alex EN, 32 spokes) would get slightly bent out of true if I do a big bunny hop on asphalt, but no problem with Flows with 36 spokes
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  19. #19
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    6'0 335 riding a large kona process . Changed out the monarch for a coil and the thing rides like a dream . Have no fear of ever running to any issues with this rig.

  20. #20
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    Is it really necessary for a heavier rider to get a "bigger" bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelldify View Post
    I appreciate the helpful responses. Most of you have confirmed what I thought, that a "bigger" bike is not necessary, but if I'm unsure, to err on the "bigger" side.

    A little background: I'm currently riding an '09 GF Paragon 29er (hardtail), riding it hard, and loving it. Sometimes I even question if I need a new bike, but I'm starting to feel like it's a matter of time before I break something.
    .
    I am just over 300lbs and ride an '11 Trek Cobia 29er. It has held up fine for me. The frames are rates to 300lbs. I am not jumping, riding a lot of drops,or dealing with significant rocks. Most I have done is snapped a chain. I just got a new wheelset as the stock were too flexy...feels more solid now.

  21. #21
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    +1 to suspension travel has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with riding style and terrain. If you're looking for a 120-140mm technical XC to All Mountain type bike, take a look at the Niner Rip9 also.

    Match the suspension to how and where you ride. Buy strong wheels/rims, and don't go too lightweight on components (carbon bars, XTR deraileurs and cassettes, etc).

    You can buy the weight weenie stuff, it's your money. You'll probably back off to XT/SLX/X7/etc the second or third set after you shred a few lightweight parts and decide that weight weenie components are for 150 pound bikers.

    My XC rigs are in the 28-29 pound range. That is a good weight versus reliable maintenance window for me. I've ridden anywhere from 305, to my current 220 lbs. I ride 100-120mm suspension, as the terrain in the South doesn't require big hit gear.
    - Cody

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