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  1. #1
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    New question here. There is obviously a market here but...

    Why haven't a few NFLers, NBAers, investors, etc. gotten together with some bike techies to cater to Clydes? Kona has the HOSS but where is the love? Kona should break HOSS off as a brand and offer slightly heavier versions of there other bikes. Maybe buy the IH name and build it into Iron "Clydesdale". (Not change the name just the focus)


    Should we look at freerides or certain geometry downhills or what? I would like a bike I can take to task(not that my skills have come back yet) and not have to worry about it.

    Just something I have been thinking about , thanks,
    Jay
    6'1"
    275#

  2. #2
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    Well you can adjust the geometry of a bike simply by changing the fork length. A frame designed for a 69 headtube angle should be plenty strong when used with a shorter fork at 71. Wheels are another obvious thing, if you have trouble with wheels going out of true, consider getting heavier rims, laced 36 spoke x3 by a wheelbuilder. If you bend or break bars/stems/posts consider getting heavier, stronger stuff like Easton Vice which can be had in XCish geometries.

  3. #3
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    theres kind of a clash.. its an athletic sport, most people who are athletic arent overweight. bicycles themselves are a pretty small market, specialty bikes even moreso.

    there is a lot of plenty beefy frames and wheels. most heavier riders struggle finding a fork sprung hard enough to support them.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info, ghettorider.

    tomsmoto, are you a clyde? I will be 12% percent body fat at 225 IF I gain no muscle. Look at all the "overweight" football players, they are not athletes? You must have a very narrow definition of "athletic".

    I look around and see far more people that are not 150lbs "bikers" that still have and ride bikes.

  5. #5
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    I had a friend back when I was working in a shop while going to college that was a former Pac 10 starting linebacker. He was a personal trainer...about 6'3" and 245lbs, ALL MUSCLE. He was absolutely an athlete. He kept destroying wheels and broke his frame (C'dale M800) twice. We finally got him on an Ibis Alibi with a Judy XL and Campy K2 rims and he stopped breaking things.

    I give kudos to Kona for the Hoss...though I wish they'd stop putting Dirt Jumping forks on it. DJ forks SUCK for anything other than Jumping. If they could get RS to make a Tora Solo Air with a 20mm axle (even though the QR is still quite stiff) that would be a great fork for the Hoss.

    There are plenty of heavy duty frames and parts out there, but really the Clydesdale market is still comparatively small overall. I mean its only been in the last 7-8 years that the companies have jumped on the Women's market. If the Clydesdale market continues to grow, there will be others making a specific bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClappR
    Thanks for the info, ghettorider.

    tomsmoto, are you a clyde? I will be 12% percent body fat at 225 IF I gain no muscle. Look at all the "overweight" football players, they are not athletes? You must have a very narrow definition of "athletic".

    I look around and see far more people that are not 150lbs "bikers" that still have and ride bikes.
    yup.. 200lbs at 22%

    better slow your assumptions down there buddy. the massively overwhelming majority of overweight people arent athletic, and i think you know that too. me, and even you at 225 arent really pushing the limits, weight wise, of gear. im a smooth rider and ride lightweight parts and sub 500gram rims built up strong. never break anything short of cheap rings.

    most of the current gear on the market thats not xc weenie light will hold a pretty heavy rider! a non butted 32 spoke ~500 gram rim will hold a big clyde riding aggressive xc. a 600 gram 32 or 36 spoke rim will hold a heavy clyde doing drops! the higher quality frames these days will take big riders without issue.

    its just forks. unless im missing a really high pressure 20mm fork, i dont think theres anything on the market that'll take a 300lbs rider, and no spring kits support more than 220ish lbs.

    i think a lot of people just have an irrational fear of bike parts given their weight. a buddy of mine thought he'd break my roadbike since hes about 220lbs and the tires looked "so small".. my roadbike is a beef cake though, he couldnt have broken it if he tried. build strong wheels, use reasonable parts and you're not gonna break much! it just falls back on no viable forks.

    the trick for full suspension bikes is low ratios! at 200lbs 2.5:1 bikes work great, my old 2.9 just didnt work out. couldnt get it to dampen right. my new 2.5 is perfect, always sprung well, always damped well.

  7. #7
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    ^It would have been an assumption not to ask if you were a clyde.

    Regardless of your position the very existence of the Hoss is proof enough for me to think there is room in the market for more "clyde" specific bikes/gear. Just look at this forum.

    I am simply asking where is the love? I know there are people who could benefit from manufacturer/aftermarket participation.

    Yes, I know I can do research and find this and that, etc. But that is an opportunity for someone to offer a product to me. A clyde.

  8. #8
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    The market is very small, that's why it hasn't been done. Even if you add up all of the NFL/NBA/etc. athletes and all of us non-professional but athletic heavyweights the market is still small. Especially since not many of those people are mountain bikers. Believe me, I'm with you, I'd love more options when considering a new bike purchase. But for now we are stuck with what's out there on the current frame market and with using DH/FR components for XC riding.

    I own a Hoss, it's currently built up as my "around town" bike. I also own a Specialized Enduro for trail riding and a Big Hit for downhilling. Both of these bikes have been strategically upgraded (brakes, wheels, cranks, pedals, bars, etc.) for performance and reliability reasons (having to hold up under my 280lb carcass). They work for what I need, most of the time, but all of my bikes still leave something to be desired. For example:
    • Flex - every bike that I've owned has had an issue with flex. Usually it's the swingarm or chainstays, but sometimes I've experience flex in the front triangle or BB area. I'd perfer my frames didn't flex, but designing a frame that way would definitely add weight to the final product and that's not what most consumers want. Us clydes lose out.
    • Suspension performance - almost every bike I've ridden has required me to practically max out the rear air shock or utilize the highest rated spring available. I'm pretty sure this keeps the suspension from performing optimally (particularly the air shocks), since it's being pushed to the edge of its capabilities on every ride. This can be resolved by designing the suspension with a lower average leverage ratio, allowing lower air pressures or lighter springs. However, this will probably compromise the performance of the bike for "normal weight" riders in some way, so manufacturers will generally not go this route.

    There are other issues, such as stronger frames and parts are usually heavier and/or more costly, this has an effect on the total weight and cost of the complete bike. There is also the research and shopping around that goes along with this upgrading, not as simple or as economical as being able to purchase a clydeworthy bike off the shelf ready to ride.

    From my perspective there seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel, at least on the high-end of the suspension bike spectrum. Generally frames with a DW-link suspension have a bit lower leverage ratio than those with other types of suspension, which allows for lower air pressures or lighter springs and potentially greater tuning flexibility for the heavier rider. Current DW brands include Turner and Pivot, and it looks like the new RFX is going to have a rear through axle design, further increasing rear end stiffness. Plus the short links that make up the typical DW linkage are likely less prone to flex than the longer linkages of a 4-bar suspension or some single pivot designs.

    Other brands that are known for beefy/stiff frame designs Knolly and Ventana, they seem to be built for clydes who abuse their bikes. Of course, all of these bikes start at $2000 for just the frame, which doesn't fit the budget of most recreational MTBers. Maybe a current (or new) manufacturer will take a closer look at the needs of the more budget-minded clydesdale, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Regarding Ghetto's geometry adjustment technique: that is a far from ideal way to adjust the geometry on a bike. Using a shorter fork will steepen the head tube angle, which may be desirable for a rider looking for "quicker" handling. But this change also steepens the seat tube angle (can adversely affect the rider's position in the cockpit) and lowers the BB height, which depending on the terrain may not be desirable. Using a fork that is longer than the frame was intended for is potentially dangerous because the head tube is probably not designed to withstand the stress that the extra leverage will place on the frame. Plus, while is slackens out the head tube angle (which may be desirable), it also slackens out the seat tube angle and raises the BB height (which may not be desirable). Best bet: buy the ride bike with the correct geometry and components for the intended use to start with, even if you have to spend a little more. Changing things to make a compromise outside a bike's intended purpose usually does not turn out well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    Regarding Ghetto's geometry adjustment technique: that is a far from ideal way to adjust the geometry on a bike. Using a shorter fork will steepen the head tube angle, which may be desirable for a rider looking for "quicker" handling. But this change also steepens the seat tube angle (can adversely affect the rider's position in the cockpit) and lowers the BB height, which depending on the terrain may not be desirable. Using a fork that is longer than the frame was intended for is potentially dangerous because the head tube is probably not designed to withstand the stress that the extra leverage will place on the frame. Plus, while is slackens out the head tube angle (which may be desirable), it also slackens out the seat tube angle and raises the BB height (which may not be desirable). Best bet: buy the ride bike with the correct geometry and components for the intended use to start with, even if you have to spend a little more. Changing things to make a compromise outside a bike's intended purpose usually does not turn out well.
    To be entirely fair, hardcore use bikes do not differ in geometry all that much, IMHO they're really just tilted backwards, which lowers the headtube angle past 70, along with the seattube angle (moving the seat back) and raises the bottom bracket off the wheelbase, so adjusting it back by a couple degrees is probably not the end of the world. Then again I rig almost everything and then just "ride it out."

  10. #10
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    Very informative posts, thank you to all. Maybe I have indeed over estimated the need for clyde gear. Nevertheless I think someone could make a go of it. A manufacturer could just offer a clyde build on their beefiest frame or something; Call it what it is, "marketing". At least that is a start. I will look closer at the Hoss, though I was wanting to go FS on my next bike.

    Perhaps there is a way to circumvent the need to do all the shopping around by starting a sticky with lists of gear that clydes have found to work. If there is such a thing I have missed it. It would be helpful.

  11. #11
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    Isn't Zinn trying to make a go of it?

    I've only recently been made aware of them (they sponsor the Clyde/Tall Forum), so I don't know much about their bikes. I did, however, order some clothing from them and they definitely seem to aiming their marketing efforts towards us.

  12. #12
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    I think I see your perspective on this, but I have to disagree. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "hardcore use" bikes, I assume that you simply mean bikes that are meant to be ridden aggressively (IOW, not casually). But the geometry of "hardcore" bikes can differ tremendously depending on intended use. For example, the typical XC race bike may have a HTA of 70* to 72* and a 72* to 74* STA. A Super D race bike may have a 67* to 69* HTA and a 67* to 72* STA. A DH race bike will have a 64* to 66* HTA and usually a very slack STA. These bikes are all intended to be ridden "hardcore" but are NOT the same frame just lifted and tilted backward. They are designed from the ground up as purpose-driven machines.

    Ignoring the different uses, even if you compared a XC race bike with a "normal" XC bike - there may be a difference of HTA and STA upwards of +2*. They are still designed differently - the HT and ST are attached to the frame at slacker angles, the manufacturer does not just put a bigger fork on. The BB height (and standover, wheelbase, etc.) can then be manipulated to be (within reason) what the builder wants them to be. The handling difference (how the bike "feels") between these two approaches will be quite different.

    Some expert riders (definitely not me) can tell a difference of 1/4* HTA. That's unbelievable. I definitely can tell a difference of 1*, and I know that I prefer slacker HTA's (~67* for trail riding). And I have tried to turn steeper frames into slacker ones by running taller forks. It didn't work, and when I researched why things started to make sense: while I enjoyed the slacker front end the change altered all of the other metrics in a bad way and threw off the "good feel" of the bike. Now, having owned and ridden several (many) bikes with purposefully designed slack angles I can really tell what feels "right" and what does not.

    Of course, we've got individual perspectives on what feels right so it's a good there are lots of options. I do think we're all better off letting the manufacturers sort out what the best iterations are of each style of bike, IMO the less trial and error we have to got through, the better. Personally, I've gone through enough error for a lifetime of cycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghettorider
    To be entirely fair, hardcore use bikes do not differ in geometry all that much, IMHO they're really just tilted backwards, which lowers the headtube angle past 70, along with the seattube angle (moving the seat back) and raises the bottom bracket off the wheelbase, so adjusting it back by a couple degrees is probably not the end of the world. Then again I rig almost everything and then just "ride it out."

  13. #13
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    One bike I did not see in the list of bikes for Clydes in this thread is the Chumba XCL. I recently bought one because the frame is so beefy and strong for a FS bike. I am 6'2" 270 and can be hard on equipment. Worth a look at for anyone interested in a FS bike that's also built to take the punishment.

  14. #14
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    I doubt we will see much more "Just for Clydesdales" product -- like the Kona Hoss -- from major manufacturers.

    If I were a product manager at Specialized who rides with a bunch of big guys, I'm sure I'd want to have engineering cook up a special "Super Stump" with a beefed up linkage, a lower leverage ratio, and a custom tuned air shock.

    Merida would cook up a couple thousand frames, partially assemble the bikes, and ship them to the states. Specy dealers in the states would see the "Super Stump" in the catalog. Most would go "Pshaw!" and not bother. A few dealers would bite. The Super Stumps, with their $3000 (or so) price tag, would mostly sit on the sales floor and collect dust.

    The Clydesdales would say "Honey, I saw the perfect bike for me over at Sport Barn!" and end up buying a surplus '08 Stumpjumper at a massive discount, utterly intending to "beef it up later with the money I saved."

    Would this project make any money? Probably not. Would my bosses applaud me for doing it anyway, for the Clydesdales? Probably not. Would I get fired for wasting hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in company resources? No, because there are people at Specialized with sharp red pens who shoot down nice but stupid pet projects for a living.

  15. #15
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    You're a rosy fellow, aren't you! Ha!

    I don't think it would have to be "just for clydes" to cater to clydes but I partially see your point. Take out all the sarcasm and you are left with "there isn't enough of a market to cater to heavy guys".

    One question for you guys.....what about the frames for tall guys? I don't see that many 6'5" guys around, period. But there are quite a few bikes/frames that have sizes for them. Is that so different? Not saying there are a LOT of choices but there are more that are specific to their height than to someones weight.
    Last edited by ClappR; 05-15-2009 at 09:02 AM.

  16. #16
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    It seems there are lots of component choices, just few completed bikes. And as for the demographic, the clyde category isn't granular enough to identify 'a' bike. It's a diverse group and you almost have to take the current spread of bikes/applications and reapply it, which makes the numbers appear smaller.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClappR
    One question for you guys.....what about the frames for tall guys? I don't see that many 6'5" guys around, period. But there are quite a few bikes/frames that have sizes for them.
    No there are not. There are few and most usually the lower-specced bikes. Try combining the height with the weight THEN you'll be in minority-world too.

    Do you know what percentile of the population you are? I know that at 6'7" tall I'm in the 99th percentile - on the planet! I just have to accept that stuff is mostly made for 80 - 90th percentile, which fits the vast majority. You need to put yourself into context to appreciate the scale of things. Then work to find what works for you.

  18. #18
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    the market just realy isn't there... just look at the clyd forum vs the rest of MTBR... or any other cycling forum with a clyd section... the clyd section is miniscule relativly to the

    and then take into consideration at how many of the guys come in here looking to drop a little weight... or a lot... and then how many are on tight budgets and such...
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  19. #19
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    WELL HELLLL! Okay, I feel better. Maybe it isn't such a good idea. Can we at least get a sticky going with some bike and equipment choices or something? Do I need to try to start another thread or would someone who actually knows something like to do it? Clydiki for info or something?

    Just trying to learn something and make it easier on the next guy to find.

    Thanks guys, for shooting down a dream(j/k)
    Jay

  20. #20
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    If you want a hug, best look elsewhere - tough love is the order for the Clyde Community.

    You just need to do the math and work out how much of a minority we really are.

  21. #21
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    I don't need to do any math. The point was moot from the start as I am obviously barking up the wrong tree. Realizing this, my goal is to gather information in a repository that the next newb clyde can utilize. I don't have access to a local community with the depth of knowledge and experience that is present on this forum. I doubt there is one.

    Next goal: Do research on what works, what doesn't and try to provide a thread for newbs such as myself to assist them in their endeavors. If the sages of this site would give input, it would be a much better resource.

    That in and of itself was the real goal. Making it easy to get what works.

    By the way, the love I was looking for was not from the Clyde community but for it. A bit of offerings from the manufacturers, shops, etc.

  22. #22
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    There is alot of information on the forums, and some attempts to collect it into a stickey. The trouble is the information can be very fluid with time and varied by application/implementation. There have been numerous discussions and lots of information shared: Best rims, best spokes, best hubs, manufactured vs handbuild, where to buy, who builds them, philosophies of building, 29 v 26, DH, HT, and so on....

    I'm not saying it can't be done, but it will surely take a labor of love and a thick hide.

    Oh, and my edit: this community is really great at sharing information. Everyone goes thru it: research, buy, bend, break, research, upgrade.... it's a viscious cycle! (no pun intended)

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