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  1. #1
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    29er on college budget?

    Hey guys,
    I am looking to get myself set up with a nice bike for some light trail riding and all around use. I am 6'5 so am looking for something larger. I would love to get a nice setup for less than 700, and something around 500 would be perfect. I also want something that will last. I have been looking at bikesdirect and various other places, I am just curious what you guys have had and what would seem to be a good fit for me. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

  2. #2
    IdontShootPeopleAnyMore
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    i snagged a great deal on a rigid but well spec'd sette razzo for $300 for the full bike on c-list... keep your eyes open i guess... really havent heard good or bad things about bikesdirect bikes but they seem ok...

    good luck
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  3. #3
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    Several 29ers for less than 500 on bikesdirect.com. If you have the ability to build a bike you could probably build quite a nice rigid 29er, SS or Geared.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  4. #4
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    At 6'5 your options get very limited very fast, even among the hyper-budget 29ers. I believe your best bet is Specialized since they have a 23" frame size and they have a $580 29er in the Hard Rock 29er. This link here is out of stock in 23", but it's the first example I found of the bike I'd get if I were in your shoes. http://planocycling.com/product/spec...er-57511-1.htm

    Redline would be a hot choice too but they only go up to 21" frame size, and that would likely only fit you if you were 6'3-6'4 - My dad and a good friend of mine are both 6'5" and 21" just won't do. GT would be sweet too...but again they top out at 20" frame size. Motobecane also tops out at 21", so again no-go there.

    Fit is vital, so don't skimp on fit just to get a hot web deal, it'll never be worth it.

  5. #5
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    Giant Rincon available in a 22" frame size .

  6. #6
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    I say the dawes deadeye at bikesdirect is a decent bike for the price. I ordered one of them tonight. Maybe you can get away with the 21 maybe you can't, depends on your measurements I guess? If you are built like I am and have shorter legs and a longer torso a 21 would probably work fine with a different stem etc.

  7. #7
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    Don't overlook the Access 29r from Performance. The 9.5 can be had for around $600 and is avail in a 23" frame. I've tried one of these and ride the 19" frame and I'm 6'1"-6'2".

    If you have a local store, they might even have a few sizes on the floor. Might even be able to transfer one from another store.

    There is a pretty good following of this bike, considering the frames are inexpensive, but provide a nice ride and are of good quality. There are a few multi-page threads on here, just have to find them and ask.

  8. #8
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    Personally,
    I'd avoid ordering a bike off the net with the hope that it will fit. Given your height and the limited choices for someone that tall, I'd go visit some shops and see what is available in your size.

  9. #9
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    Stay away from cheap crap online. You're a big boy, you need strong stuff. Find a local dealer that you can test fit the bikes and get good support, like having the wheels and cranks checked after they break in.
    Last edited by Vermont29er; 01-23-2010 at 07:55 PM.

  10. #10
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    Huh? Online stuff might not be the best quality but a steel frame is a steel frame unless the welds are crap. Now a cheap alum. frame I would steer clear of as well. Oh well my local bike shop only sells trek stuff, which I'm not interested in, so to each their own. I weigh 260 pounds and ordered up a dawes so we will see how strong it is. I know one thing, when I was in college I couldn't have afforded any bikes that my local shop sells!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86waterpumper
    Huh? Online stuff might not be the best quality but a steel frame is a steel frame unless the welds are crap. Now a cheap alum. frame I would steer clear of as well. Oh well my local bike shop only sells trek stuff, which I'm not interested in, so to each their own. I weigh 260 pounds and ordered up a dawes so we will see how strong it is. I know one thing, when I was in college I couldn't have afforded any bikes that my local shop sells!
    not all steel frames are alike. Spot vs. Dawes, no comparison. suggesting someone who unsure of the proper size order a bike online is bad advice. imagine if the bike does not fit. 6'5" might be too large for a 21" frame. you have a $300 bike you can't ride.

    do yourself a favor and go to a shop for real fit advice. there a lot of closeouts are there now so you might find a deal.

  12. #12
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    the specialized hard rock 29er is a very good buy in my opinion. find a specialized dealer in your area and try one out. it was my choice before i decided to go singlespeed. i too am a insanely wealthy college student...

  13. #13
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    I'm 6ft 5" and got a 23" Hardrock Sport 29er , 21" was a tad too small. For the money its great value, lifetime warranty for original owner on the frame.

  14. #14
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    dude just take out some extra money thru ur financial aid and buy the bike of ur dreams

  15. #15
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    6'5" and weigh 270lbs and have been happily flogging my 23", $89 aluminum Access frame.

  16. #16
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    that sounds like a pretty tempting thing to do though it has drawbacks. you end up paying alot more interest later (particularly if your loans are unsubsidized) so that 1000$ bike is gonna cost you perhaps 1500-1700. it's probably not a good idea at any rate. buy the bike of your dreams later when you graduate.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuddebac
    Hey guys,
    I am looking to get myself set up with a nice bike for some light trail riding and all around use. I am 6'5 so am looking for something larger. I would love to get a nice setup for less than 700, and something around 500 would be perfect. I also want something that will last. I have been looking at bikesdirect and various other places, I am just curious what you guys have had and what would seem to be a good fit for me. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
    You can get more than $700 on a GSL.

  18. #18
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    Don't get anything from Bikes Direct if you want something of good quality and something made to last. Now that bikes direct has been mentioned this will turn into a 30 page thread of pointlessness.

    Wait for something secondhand. You won't really get anything decent for $700, let alone $500 brand new. You'll probably have to get something rigid, which isn't a problem, and will make you a better rider. You're better off getting a rigid fork than a crap suspension fork. You'll learn to pick better lines. You might get something cheaper as a single speed, but don't get a single speed if you don't want to.

    IMO keep an eye out for the following, all of which come in big sizes, and all of which are good value.
    Surly Karate Monkey
    Kona Unit
    Gary Fishers of any kind
    Niners of any kind

    I would see a $100 alloy frame as a last resort. I would rather take up ultimate disc or something than ride a bikes direct bike. Just my opinion.

  19. #19
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    take your time. stay with mtbr.com & post up and read for a while. Google up GT Peace 9r.. (maybe another option for you).
    roccowt.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Dunlop
    Don't get anything from Bikes Direct if you want something of good quality and something made to last. Now that bikes direct has been mentioned this will turn into a 30 page thread of pointlessness.

    Wait for something secondhand. You won't really get anything decent for $700, let alone $500 brand new.
    Bikes direct has a good track record of good quality bikes, and if they do break they have a good track record of replacement.

    Second hand will have no warranty, and you dont know how it has been treated.

    I would only by second hand if you dont mind paying for a tune up right away, and having no warranty.

    Motobecane has a Lifetime Warranty, also which is supported by Bikes Direct.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Dunlop
    I would see a $100 alloy frame as a last resort. I would rather take up ultimate disc or something than ride a bikes direct bike. Just my opinion.
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I have to wonder if you've actually tried one of the $100 alloy frames. I did, I'm glad I did, and I would do it again. It rides great and I like this bike as much as any bike I've ever owned. . . . maybe more.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I have to wonder if you've actually tried one of the $100 alloy frames. I did, I'm glad I did, and I would do it again. It rides great and I like this bike as much as any bike I've ever owned. . . . maybe more.
    Definitely more, don't lie now jeffj. With the built up wheels with Flows, steel ring gears instead of soft as swiss cheese Ti, and Kenda Karmas that stick like glue for you, you've been as happy as a pig in a mud bath lately.

  23. #23
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    There's been a lot of threads about all the shenanigans people have to go through when trying to get a warranty claim through Bikes Direct. A college student doesn't need those hassles.

    A cheap aluminum frame is going to fail eventually under a big guy.

    Ask around campus about where is a good bike shop, then go there.

  24. #24
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    buy a bike from a guy that's graduating and moving on to the bike of his dreams
    wherever you go, there you are

  25. #25
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    Learn about the options. Find what frames have a reputation for holding up. The entry level Speshy sounds like it'd be best for your budget. GT's have long top tubes but low standover...might be made to work for you. I found that some shops were really helpful as they got to know me (I sold my car so I could afford college/grad school). Not all will be like that, but when you find one that understands your budget/needs you're golden. If I were your size, I'd be concerned about having both a reliable warranty and go-between (the LBS) to help if there are problems.

  26. #26
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    College, eh? You're young, bouncy, and flexible, and your muscles will respond well to the increased stress of a single speed, so if I were you I'd start looking for a no-speed bike. Fit also might be a bit of a problem, as often larger-sized bikes (you'll be looking at at least a 21" if not a 23") can be a bit tricky to fit.

    With both of those things in mind I'd head to my local Redline dealer and look at the Monocog or possibly the D440 if you really want gears (though it's a 1x9). Unfortunately, these bikes only come in a 21" as their largest size, though, so you'd want to make sure that it fits. Also, if you want to throw on a suspension fork you could see if the shop could work you out a deal on a RS Tora or a Manitou.

    If that didn't work the GT Peace series might, but it seems like Performance is out of stock on larger sizes at the moment. Luckily, this Access bike might work out instead: the fork isn't much, but the rest would be more than serviceable to get you started.

    Like I said, if it were me I'd look for something in the single-speed flavor that I could test ride before buying, but there are other good options out there for you. Most important is that you just jump in and start riding -- you'll figure out the details later! Ah to be young...

  27. #27
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    You guys have really given me a lot of great information, the hunt is on. And since I am in Oswego Ny for the semester, and we get a ton of snow, the bike hunt can go til late spring. keep the information coming and I will update you guys as I go. Thanks so much

  28. #28
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    Yes, I have tried $100-$300 frames. They blow donkey nuts. Moreover, on a $500 budget one will still be stuck with crappy parts despite the cheap frame.

    I maintain that second hand is the way to go. There are many options, just keep your eyes peeled on craig's list.

  29. #29
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    I have one for sale that will fit you i'm 6'4 and it is in good condition i don't know if you want a single speed.

  30. #30
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    Cuddebac, do like Big Wheeler said get yourself a new Monocog 29er with the 21" frame for $450.00 or less, I'm 6' tall and I have at least 8 to 10" of seat post in that down tube still. It's a single speed and that is all you need for right now. Besides as a college student you aren't going to have the time to go off riding down the side a mountain every day! Your going to ride it all over campus! Get yourself a set of street tires and keep your knobbies for when you do have time to off roading! Don't dick around with used bikes or craigslist you will just waste your money! Take it from an "old codger" save your money for when you graduate and then get a slick new bike that you will enjoy for a long time. besides what would you do if you spent $1500-$2000 on a nice bike and somebody rips off your bike on campus? Your screwed! Buy a nice Monocog 29er which you can easily sell later at a decent price!

  31. #31
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    Singlespeed will make you strong. It's hard at first, but then it's just awesome. Less maintenance too.

  32. #32
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    My buddy rides this http://www.diamondback.com/bikes/mtn.../overdrive-10/ in a 22" frame and has nothing bad to say. He's 6"6' and weighs 260lbs. He paid $549.99 from *****. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a "cheap" bike seeing how hard he's flogged it Also, while ***** isn't a "bike shop", they will do warranty claims and such for you which would be harder if you bought a bike online...

  33. #33
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    Hey Guys, So I went to the local shop at home and was looking at the specialized rockhopper and hardrock 9ers. They are charging msrp, and I was looking online. what about the access 9.5 for 599 on performancebike.com? Because then I would be saving on tax to. Any ideas?

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