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  1. #1
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    Yet another "which bike should I get" thread.

    Hi guys. Been lurking for a while and figured I'd finally post. I'm looking to upgrade to a new bike and could use some advice. I'll go by the template on the FAQ sticky:
    • Budget: $2000-$3000
    • Considering: Stumpjumper HT 26, Santa Cruz
    • Riding Type: Mostly XC but can't resist bombing off drops and jumps.
    • Preference: HT but that's partly what I need input on.
    • Age: 37, Wt: 250, Ht: 5'7"
    • Sources: Prefer LBS.
    • Suggestions: I welcome alternative suggestions


    I currently ride the only MTB I've ever owned, a basic Rockhopper, that I've had for 3 years. Despite treating it like my BMX bike when I first got it, it has held up well. But I'm ready for a component upgrade, and buying a new bike seems cheaper than upgrading everything. After researching, I have some questions/concerns:
    1. I have no complaints about my HT and have been focusing on HT's because I don't like the idea of one more thing, the rear shock, bushings, linkage, etc., to maintain and have to worry about standing up to my weight. However, would an "All Mountain" bike be a better choice for a Clyde who feels the need to get some air occasionally?
    2. If so, what makes them better? Do they come standard with better/stronger components?
    3. "All Mountain" bikes appear to be more expensive than XC. Would upgrading, say, the forks and wheels on a HT XC put me in about the same class (strengh-wise) for the same money?
    4. What should be my main concerns? I'm thinking forks and wheels. Are there any complete bikes that come standard with a fork and wheels that will meet my needs. Keep in mind my cheap XC has held up pretty well, though I did recently "upgrade" to some Rhyno Lites and my Rockshox Dart-3 fork leaves a lot to be desired.
    5. I think I'm too short for a 29er, plus my current ride is a small 15" frame, so I don't think I want to make that big of a jump in bike size. However, if I do limit my search to a HT 26", will I severely limit my options? On my last visit to the LBS I noticed most of the bikes were either 29er or FS.

    Sorry for the long post. Any advice y'all can give will be appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Marcus

  2. #2
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    You can for sure stick with a hardtail, but you should be looking at more of an All-Mountain hardtail. To do this, you probably have to think outside the box a little to some lesser known brands. Here are some examples that should work for you and match your riding style and build:
    Transition TransAm
    Cove Stiffee
    Chumba HX1

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the links. I had no idea there were All Mountain HT's. I'll definitely check them out.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    You can for sure stick with a hardtail, but you should be looking at more of an All-Mountain hardtail. To do this, you probably have to think outside the box a little to some lesser known brands. Here are some examples that should work for you and match your riding style and build:
    Transition TransAm
    Cove Stiffee
    Chumba HX1

  4. #4
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    You should look for demo days at local trails and/or ask local shops if they'll let you demo some bikes, preferably on trails. It might make sense to at least try a couple of full suspension bikes before you rule them out.

    How big are those drops?

  5. #5
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    Funny you mention that. I was at an LBS looking at Stumpies and the salesman told me about a Specialized Demo this coming weekend at a local trail. Talk about good timing. I can't wait to try some FS bikes.

    Not too big of drops, maybe two feet. Here's a pic from when I first got my MTB and didn't realizes stuff like this would kill my cheap wheels. I don't do that much any more, however I would like to be able to if I could find a bike in my price-range that could take the abuse.



    Quote Originally Posted by tenbsmith
    You should look for demo days at local trails and/or ask local shops if they'll let you demo some bikes, preferably on trails. It might make sense to at least try a couple of full suspension bikes before you rule them out.

    How big are those drops?

  6. #6
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    It would be cool to hear your impressions after the demo if you get the chance.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenbsmith
    It would be cool to hear your impressions after the demo if you get the chance.
    The demo was very cool. I was concerned I would be on a bike set up for a 150 lb guy, but they ask your weight and dial the bike in for your weight, so the suspension and tire pressure was right. They had several bikes to choose from, but most were very high end (lots of Carbon and nothing lower end than a Campy), which was disappointing as I really wanted to test ride a bike that I could actually afford.

    I only got to test ride a 26" Stumpy FS S-Works (like I can afford an $8000 bike, but that's all they had in a medium). The geometry felt great, not much different from my Rockhopper. The suspension took a bit to get used to since I've only ever ridden a HT. I was very impressed at how the suspension absorbed bumps. I guess I was expecting a kind of bounciness, like hitting a bump in an old Buick or something, but instead the suspension just absorbed the bumps like they weren't there. The "brain" seemed to work well as I didn't notice any sag or bouncing on climbs. I did notice the brain cause a sort of catching before the suspension kicked in at times, which I've read complaints about. Didn't seem like a big deal, but for others who are used to a certain FS feel it might be. I think I'm changing my mind on the FS vs. HT decision. The FS made for a really smooth ride.

  8. #8
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    I have found my Cannondale Rize (Now the RZ) to be a good happy medium between an XC and a true all-mountain bike. I have had both XC and all mountain bike and this Rize really hits the spot between the 2. I have one of the originals that has 130mm of travel now they have a short and long travel version. Might check it out if there is a Cannondale dealer near you.

    As far as wheels...no matter what wheels you end up with make sure the spokes are good and tight even cheaper wheels will hold up to us clydes okay if the spokes are tight.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Cove Stiffee

    I agree with several posts before. the Cove Stiffee would be a great bike. It was built on the North shore to handle some burly hits. With it's hard tail design it will also pedal quite nicely.

    Also, taking into consideration that your're a big guy the durability of a bike will be a factor - another plus for the Cove.


    The link I gave you above will take you to the bike photos, spec options and pricing of the bike. They will also give free shipping and a free pair of Five Ten shoes if you buy a bike from them. Good Luck.
    http://www.bicycleworld.tv - Dig it! -Thanks

  10. #10
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    Excellent advice, I am looking for a bike for my bro who is desperate to loose weight, he is 6'2" and 350 lbs, needs a bike for rehab. Strength and fit is THE most important factor right now.

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