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  1. #1
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    Super-max Clyde needs big help

    Ok, first things - I'm 340lbs, down from 388 in April. I have to get on a bike again but when I rode last I was 230lbs. Every new bike has a suspension fork except for the trek 3500 and the GF Mako - neither are that great but not bad for the price. The Trek can't be found here.
    What is my best option? I will be doing paved trail and street until I get below 300 so I plan on using slicks until then.
    Are there suspension forks for somebody my size? Not that will work but that will work as intended? If no, any thoughts?
    The fork is the main concern and because of my girth I want to be stretched out as much as possible so a long top tube would be nice. I need the stand-over of say the 19.5 mako but the reach of the 21. I think a new stem may help but I'm not sure. I am planning on 36 spoke wheels after the first set goes bad.

    So the two issues are the fork and bike size/top tube.

    Any and all assistance will be GREATLY appreciated as this is for me as much as for my health.

  2. #2
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    Well Bubba,
    I'm 270 6' and have a long torso. I bought a Kona Hoss Deluxe frame and put the compnents I wanted on it. Including a fork that was suitable (Marzocchi). I have the 20" frame which has a 24" top tube c to c. You can also get a suspension corrected rigid fork from several companies including Surly. Gary Fisher bike tend to have a longer top tube also.

  3. #3
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    In short, yes

    To answer your question, yes there are forks that will handle your weight. The problem is two-fold. First, very few bikes will be outfitted with them. Second, those that do have the beefier forks will be pretty expensive, and they will be on bikes that are made for more aggressive riding and not suitable for paved paths. Your dilemma is a difficult one. The ideal thing to do is to have a high end bike built specifically for you and your needs as a heavy rider. That investment is going to be substantial, probably topping the $2K mark. There is some hope, though.

    I've been recommending the Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc to clydesdale riders for months now. It's a nice bike, very well spec'd and has a fork that will handle your weight. Will it be the best fork option for you? No, but it will perform at your weight and won't break the bank. The bike lists for $880. Here's a link:

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...d=06Rockhopper

    From my personal perspective, here is why it works for us larger riders. The fork is dual coil and has 32mm stanchions (tubes). The dual coil is probably the most reliable spring system for larger riders. Yes, air works, but again, I believe coil is simpler and more reliable. The bike has disc brakes. This gives you plenty of stopping power. It also has above average drive train components, so you won't be looking to upgrade any time soon.

    That's pretty much my thoughts. If you have a couple grand to spend, then i would go with a custom build. If not, something like the Rockhopper is the MINIMUM investment you'll need to make in order to have a bike that will suit your personal needs.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  4. #4
    Au'Right!
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    Don't forget about the Kona Hoss series either! The fork is a DJ fork that has some serious wall thickness for the stantions and a pretty stought crown.
    Problem: "Bike has trouble going up steep hills."
    Fix: Recommend pressing harder on the pedals.

  5. #5
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    Ok, so the Hoss or Rockhopper. If I go with a more mid-priced bike like these I can afford a better fork. What would be the best choice without adding 10lbs or changing the geometry? Kona sells rigid forks - would that be a better option on a Hoss for now or somethign like the dirt jumper on the specialized?


    BTW - thanks guys. This could end up giving me many years I wouldn't have had so your input really does make a difference. No point in getting a bike if it won't work right and I won't ride it.

  6. #6
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    Nothing for now

    I would say try both bikes as they are for now. Educate yourself on the different fork options out there, and when you are comfortable with the options and the pros and cons of the available equipment, then make your purchase. If you're going to upgrade, you want to do it once and not twice. By educating yourself, you help avoid making that mistake.

    FWIW, Fox makes some forks with 34 and 36mm stanchions. Start there. They will be VERY expensive though.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  7. #7
    Making fat cool since '71
    Reputation: ImaKlyde's Avatar
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    Easy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Bubba
    Ok, so the Hoss or Rockhopper. If I go with a more mid-priced bike like these I can afford a better fork. What would be the best choice without adding 10lbs or changing the geometry? Kona sells rigid forks - would that be a better option on a Hoss for now or somethign like the dirt jumper on the specialized?


    BTW - thanks guys. This could end up giving me many years I wouldn't have had so your input really does make a difference. No point in getting a bike if it won't work right and I won't ride it.
    The Kona Hoss is your best choice (price/durability/ridability...) at this point. I've been riding Marzocchi forks for 10 years or so and at one point hit 318-ish (don't want to admit hitting 320...) and other than spring rates never had an issue with them, mostly.

    I would advise getting a Marz with a 20mm axle. QR axles will be flexy as hell for you even on the street. You will, literally, be able to watch the fork flex...

    There are all sorts of options. I bought a one year old z1 QR20 a year ago and put it on an urban bike. The fork was $150, new seals: $35, new xfirm springs: $30. For just over $200 I had a burly "new" fork that will take *whatever* I can give that hardtail bike (at 250 now, but 250 landing a 4' drop to flat concrete has a bit of an impact). Good luck and welcome back!

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  8. #8
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    I am right at 300# and run a Manitou Black elite (02 model I think) it has adj travel 80/100 adj comp and rebound and has been a great fork for me, mostly blacktop and some single track xc been on the old Pantera now for 4 yrs and still going strong. I upgraded to the stiff spring not long after I got it and replaced seals in 04.
    That may be another option for you ... get a good solid bare frame and build it the way you want it.
    My old GT Pantera is a 99 model 7005 frame with full XT group (except the wheels which are LX 36 hole on Mavic d/w rims) and the whole build (including the fork) was about $600 back in 02 mostly thanks to ebay.

    keep those cranks a turnin

    Kevin
    There are two things in life you need to know to be successful:
    1 - Don't tell everthing you know
    2 -

  9. #9
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    I'm going to second (third) the Hoss, but I want to add that the "best" way to get it to meet your specs would be to build it up yourself. I just wonder if you could find a used Hoss, sell off the components that won't work and get some XXXXheavy duty stuff.

    The reason I say this is because I think the Hoss frame is just about the best option for a very clyde-worthy trail bike. Besides, you can buy a brand new Hoss frame for $210, unlike some other contenders whose prices get wayyyyy up there.

    Depends on how far you are willing to go. You will be able to do what you want with either the Hoss or the RockHopper as stock, but you would need to do some modifications to make it work just right for you. It might actually be cheaper to build it up from scratch (my build was about $1200).

  10. #10
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    I'm still around 350lbs and ride mostly singletrack stuff( and i can pretty much keep up with the skinny guy's!) and 6'2"

    Had the same problem as you with a fork. I know it's not a FOX or High end Marz but I have a Magura Asgard and it rocks it was cheap( $200 on blow out) is a air fork and is rated for a 8" rotor( A must for me for stopping power!) Super strong and easily handles my weight. NO FLEX either My old Marz flexed like a wet noodle

    I started with a HArdrock pro disc and pretty much as things broke built up my new and improved bike.

    Bike list

    Magura 100mm Asgard
    Specialized Enduro expert HT frame
    Avid BB-7's (8frt 6rear)
    FSA Gamma cranks (I broke two sets of stock cranks on the hardrock!!!)
    Deore xt front and rear derailer's
    Azonic Outlaw rim 36spoke ( Best deal for the money and just have been bombproof!!!)
    Cane creek s2 steel headset

  11. #11
    Fat guy on a bike
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    at 6'3 and 320, i have been putting miles on my rochopper comp disk and can vouch for its durability and rideability so far. The lockout on the tora is nice for the paved tracks. It also handles very well downhill, pretty good for a hartdtail so far.

    I've replaced the saddle with a gel, pedals for clipless, front deraileur to xt, and stem to a rise stem. After i put on the On-One Mary handlebar, i will be able to ride it for hours comfortably.

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