250 lbs casual trail rider now with 2 broken bikes - do I need an heavier enduro?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    250 lbs casual trail rider now with 2 broken bikes - do I need an heavier enduro?

    Hi all. First post. Looking for a new bike that won't break. For my type of casual riding, I should own a trail bike. But I've had 2 frame stress failures in the last 10 years of infrequent riding. Latest bike was a Specialized Camber Comp 29er and they don't carry that frame anymore. I'm 250 lbs and 6' 6". Trail bike frames seem to be getting smaller, and I wonder if I should move to a bigger enduro bike that might not fold under my weight? Sacrifice ease of climbing for durability?

  2. #2
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    I weigh substantially more than you and have yet to take out a frame.

    Trail bike frames arent getting smaller that's for sure. Just the design is changing

    Not sure what your casual riding consists of though.

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    Thanks. Maybe bad luck then. I ride less than once a week. A few small drops. Lots of roots and rocks.

    The Specialized replacement would be a Stumpjumper XL but its wheelbase is 1222 mm vs 1302 mm for the Enduro.

    Maybe I should move to carbon to avoid metal fatigue?

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    get the new enduro

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjolly View Post
    Thanks. Maybe bad luck then. I ride less than once a week. A few small drops. Lots of roots and rocks.

    The Specialized replacement would be a Stumpjumper XL but its wheelbase is 1222 mm vs 1302 mm for the Enduro.

    Maybe I should move to carbon to avoid metal fatigue?
    Given your size and weight (I'm pretty close to you in both respects) my advice is this. If you want an XC style bike, get a trail bike. If you want a trail bike, get a heavier trail bike. If you want a heavy trail bike, get an all mountain/enduro bike.

    Just be aware that as you start to moving into longer travel bikes, the type of suspension will matter more with regards to how it pedals. It sounds like you like Specialized, and maybe they've offered you a credit rather than a frame replacement due to the frame not being made anymore. Get the heavier purposed bike, and if you like, get it in carbon. A lot of folks will argue that AL is tougher but they don't know that metal fatigue is a real thing for guys our size. The tube lengths are longer, the leverage is greater, and the forces are multiplied in more ways than one. I too have a collection of broken frames, but I also ride bikes from a company with a lifetime warranty, generally speaking, so they deal with situations like these when they come up. That's the best advice I can give you - keep dealing with companies that have good warranties and stand behind them.

  6. #6
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    How are you breaking them? That is important to know. It could be as simple as the wrong size frame, which causes additional stress when you compensate to make it fit. Other things like chainstay yokes breaking is indicative of poor design and a common area that is highly stressed on bikes. In general, yes you need a heavier built bike to take the stress, but not necessarily all-out Fox 38, Nomad, Saint-components either.
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    If you're just hard on bikes, look into Guerrilla Gravity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjolly View Post
    Hi all. First post. Looking for a new bike that won't break. For my type of casual riding, I should own a trail bike. But I've had 2 frame stress failures in the last 10 years of infrequent riding. Latest bike was a Specialized Camber Comp 29er and they don't carry that frame anymore. I'm 250 lbs and 6' 6". Trail bike frames seem to be getting smaller, and I wonder if I should move to a bigger enduro bike that might not fold under my weight? Sacrifice ease of climbing for durability?

    Youíre a nowhere near the edge case of what a normal high end bike is designed for. The stump jumper replacement they are offering you should last you many years unless you are just constantly crashing hard or shorting jumps or something. And if thatís the case a longer travel frame wonít help that much (maybe a little).

    You probably just got unlucky with previous frames or had lower end frames that werenít as durable is my guess There are people over 200 pounds putting their stumpys through much more abuse then you suggest youíll do.

    Unless youíre starting to focus more on downhill riding I wouldnít suggest going with a longer travel bike.


    If youíre gonna by a new bike Iíd suggest a tallboy or Hightower. Iím pretty happy with my Tallboy. Iím 6í6Ē 220 and beating the hell out of it.

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    Thanks everyone for your advice.

    Specialized did offer me a little credit which is why I'll likely stick with them. I'd rather have my old bike fixed . I don't think there is any manufacturer that would replace a 7 year old broken bike with a new model?

    So my Specialized choices are the Stumpjumper or Enduro and the Stumpjumper XL is too small. I don't need the travel of the Enduro, but what I'm unsure about is how bad will it feel on the climbs/flats? I suppose I need to try to find a demo enduro bike as the shop doesn't have one in my size...


    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Given your size and weight (I'm pretty close to you in both respects) my advice is this. If you want an XC style bike, get a trail bike. If you want a trail bike, get a heavier trail bike. If you want a heavy trail bike, get an all mountain/enduro bike.

    Just be aware that as you start to moving into longer travel bikes, the type of suspension will matter more with regards to how it pedals. It sounds like you like Specialized, and maybe they've offered you a credit rather than a frame replacement due to the frame not being made anymore. Get the heavier purposed bike, and if you like, get it in carbon. A lot of folks will argue that AL is tougher but they don't know that metal fatigue is a real thing for guys our size. The tube lengths are longer, the leverage is greater, and the forces are multiplied in more ways than one. I too have a collection of broken frames, but I also ride bikes from a company with a lifetime warranty, generally speaking, so they deal with situations like these when they come up. That's the best advice I can give you - keep dealing with companies that have good warranties and stand behind them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Given your size and weight (I'm pretty close to you in both respects) my advice is this. If you want an XC style bike, get a trail bike. If you want a trail bike, get a heavier trail bike. If you want a heavy trail bike, get an all mountain/enduro bike.

    Just be aware that as you start to moving into longer travel bikes, the type of suspension will matter more with regards to how it pedals. It sounds like you like Specialized, and maybe they've offered you a credit rather than a frame replacement due to the frame not being made anymore. Get the heavier purposed bike, and if you like, get it in carbon. A lot of folks will argue that AL is tougher but they don't know that metal fatigue is a real thing for guys our size. The tube lengths are longer, the leverage is greater, and the forces are multiplied in more ways than one. I too have a collection of broken frames, but I also ride bikes from a company with a lifetime warranty, generally speaking, so they deal with situations like these when they come up. That's the best advice I can give you - keep dealing with companies that have good warranties and stand behind them.
    But once a week riding over 5 years doesn't cause failure level fatigue.

  11. #11
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    How is the stumpy too small. Its wheel base is the longest I've ever ridden. Miss my shorter stays of my previous hardtail. I'm 6'1 290ish lbs

    Dont look at wheel base, not a good judge of anything as the linger the wheel base, the worse it corners when on tight trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    How is the stumpy too small. Its wheel base is the longest I've ever ridden. Miss my shorter stays of my previous hardtail. I'm 6'1 290ish lbs

    Dont look at wheel base, not a good judge of anything as the linger the wheel base, the worse it corners when on tight trails.

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    The stumpy xl fits up to 6' 4" according to Specialized. Same for the Enduro I suppose, but it's got higher reach and wheel base.

    Anyway, I went with the Enduro hoping it stands up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjolly View Post
    higher wheel base.
    wheelbase is not a fit dimension. It absolutely DOES affect handling, but it doesn't affect fit in the slightest. It does get a little longer as frame size increases, but this is an effect of a larger frame, not the reason for the larger frame size. Put another way, wheelbase cannot tell you if a bike will fit or not.

    At 6'6, you need a bike built for tall riders. You're very much on the outside of what a lot of companies build bikes for. Not all of them, though.

    In my years of riding, I've known guys who have been hard on bikes - prone to breaking a lot of things. Their size was often (but not always) a factor, but it seems to me that a bigger one is skill. A very skilled rider can do amazing things with a lighter duty bike that a less skilled rider would never be able to get away with. Add weight into the equation, and the margin gets tighter.

    As Cotharyus said, it's a good idea to move up in in the burliness category to get increased durability. Yeah, maybe you'll end up with something that has more suspension travel than you really need, but the key thing is to get a frame and components (mostly the wheels, which take the brunt of the abuse) built tougher for more demanding conditions. The Enduro is a good choice for that reason.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, Harold.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    wheelbase is not a fit dimension. It absolutely DOES affect handling, but it doesn't affect fit in the slightest. It does get a little longer as frame size increases, but this is an effect of a larger frame, not the reason for the larger frame size. Put another way, wheelbase cannot tell you if a bike will fit or not.

    At 6'6, you need a bike built for tall riders. You're very much on the outside of what a lot of companies build bikes for. Not all of them, though.

    In my years of riding, I've known guys who have been hard on bikes - prone to breaking a lot of things. Their size was often (but not always) a factor, but it seems to me that a bigger one is skill. A very skilled rider can do amazing things with a lighter duty bike that a less skilled rider would never be able to get away with. Add weight into the equation, and the margin gets tighter.

    As Cotharyus said, it's a good idea to move up in in the burliness category to get increased durability. Yeah, maybe you'll end up with something that has more suspension travel than you really need, but the key thing is to get a frame and components (mostly the wheels, which take the brunt of the abuse) built tougher for more demanding conditions. The Enduro is a good choice for that reason.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Youíre a nowhere near the edge case of what a normal high end bike is designed for. The stump jumper replacement they are offering you should last you many years unless you are just constantly crashing hard or shorting jumps or something. And if thatís the case a longer travel frame wonít help that much (maybe a little).

    You probably just got unlucky with previous frames or had lower end frames that werenít as durable is my guess There are people over 200 pounds putting their stumpys through much more abuse then you suggest youíll do.

    Unless youíre starting to focus more on downhill riding I wouldnít suggest going with a longer travel bike.


    If youíre gonna by a new bike Iíd suggest a tallboy or Hightower. Iím pretty happy with my Tallboy. Iím 6í6Ē 220 and beating the hell out of it.
    what this guy said...I'm 220, 6-0 on a XL Tallboy and ride pretty hard. my boy Don is on a Hightower LT XXL and he's about your size and maybe a bit lighter, but not by much...he jumps everything he sees! And SC pretty much has lifetime warranty on frames...so there's that.

    SO if you can nail down a new Hightower or older Hightower LT I think you'd be pretty stoked!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    wheelbase is not a fit dimension. It absolutely DOES affect handling, but it doesn't affect fit in the slightest.
    He's right. You want to look at reach (length) and stack (height). Depending on your body's geometry, riding style/goal, and flexibility mobility at 6'6" you probably want a reach between 485-520mm (shorter for more XC riding, longer for more DH oriented), and a stack of 640-670mm probably.

    I'd suggest looking at numbers, and not what MFG's recommend. Basically anything over 6'4" starts to get tough. Santa Cruz (I've 2 of them) tends to be better for tall guys than Trek or Specialized, but specialized is improving lately. Some of the smaller guys work well too for big guys like guerrilla gravity (I've got 3 of those)

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    Following up in case anyone is interested. I bought the Specialized Enduro largest size S5. There was no demo available to test.

    So the bike is an improvement over my old Specialized Camber in many ways (plush, my weight is centered better, storage, travel), but for me it has one major problem - pedal and chain ring strikes.

    Nobody seems to mention pedal and chain ring strikes so I wonder if it's my weight or increased occurrence of high centering the longest Enduro size. From the factory, using the recommended rear psi, between linkage and shock sag the bike sinks close to 3" under my static weight and the shock compresses to 40%. I've since switched to flip chip to give me 7 mm more clearance and increased the rear shock pressure to 300 psi so the shock is at 30% under my static weight. Better, but I still hit the chain ring on rocky/rooty trails more than my old Specialized Camber even though that had 2 front rings. I've crashed on rocks twice now due to strikes and can't ride some sections I used to ride.

    So if you're big like me and ride lumpy trails, the Specialized Enduro might not be for you.


    Quote Originally Posted by rjolly View Post
    Hi all. First post. Looking for a new bike that won't break. For my type of casual riding, I should own a trail bike. But I've had 2 frame stress failures in the last 10 years of infrequent riding. Latest bike was a Specialized Camber Comp 29er and they don't carry that frame anymore. I'm 250 lbs and 6' 6". Trail bike frames seem to be getting smaller, and I wonder if I should move to a bigger enduro bike that might not fold under my weight? Sacrifice ease of climbing for durability?

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    The Spesh bikes, as well as many others have this problem. And because of your long legs, shorter crank arms are not really a good option.

    However there are set up changes you can explore to still maintain the correct 30% sag in the rear & 20% in the front, but that keep the bike more stable while in use improving your clearance while actually riding.

    Start by setting the sag fully correct, then work on dialing in plenty of LSC so when pedaling the bike remains nice and high.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    If you're just hard on bikes, look into Guerrilla Gravity.
    I agree the trail pistol would be great. Their leverage ratio would mean less stress on the shock if sticking with air.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjolly View Post
    Following up in case anyone is interested. I bought the Specialized Enduro largest size S5. There was no demo available to test.

    So the bike is an improvement over my old Specialized Camber in many ways (plush, my weight is centered better, storage, travel), but for me it has one major problem - pedal and chain ring strikes.

    Nobody seems to mention pedal and chain ring strikes so I wonder if it's my weight or increased occurrence of high centering the longest Enduro size. From the factory, using the recommended rear psi, between linkage and shock sag the bike sinks close to 3" under my static weight and the shock compresses to 40%. I've since switched to flip chip to give me 7 mm more clearance and increased the rear shock pressure to 300 psi so the shock is at 30% under my static weight. Better, but I still hit the chain ring on rocky/rooty trails more than my old Specialized Camber even though that had 2 front rings. I've crashed on rocks twice now due to strikes and can't ride some sections I used to ride.

    So if you're big like me and ride lumpy trails, the Specialized Enduro might not be for you.
    This is one aspect of modern bikes that people donít talk about quite as much. The lower bottom bracket height that you are referring to makes it turn and descend much better, but it does lead to more pedal strikes.

    The upside, is that most people find that over time they get used to the new height.

    I went from a 2012 XC bike to a 2018 ďenduroĒ bike, and had a ton of pedal strikes at first. But over time my brain re-adjusted to what I could/could not pedal over, and I rarely have pedal strikes now. I suspect your experience will be similar.

    Other things you can do include less sag. Potentially you cantake out a volume spacer from the shock, to give you more linear spring rate, and make you ride higher in the travel. Also, thinner pedals do help as well (not sure what you have now).

    Good luck .

  21. #21
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    If your bike sag is set at 40%, you donít need a bike, you need a Barcalounger.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    This is one aspect of modern bikes that people donít talk about quite as much. The lower bottom bracket height that you are referring to makes it turn and descend much better, but it does lead to more pedal strikes.

    The upside, is that most people find that over time they get used to the new height.

    I went from a 2012 XC bike to a 2018 ďenduroĒ bike, and had a ton of pedal strikes at first. But over time my brain re-adjusted to what I could/could not pedal over, and I rarely have pedal strikes now. I suspect your experience will be similar.

    Other things you can do include less sag. Potentially you cantake out a volume spacer from the shock, to give you more linear spring rate, and make you ride higher in the travel. Also, thinner pedals do help as well (not sure what you have now).

    Good luck .
    Great advice! Thanks.

  23. #23
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    Certain bikes have much lower bottom brackets, which are stupid here on the east coast.

    I have one bike, 150mm rear travel, and I can pedal strike lightly, often.
    Then, my Trek Supercaliber, only 60mm, I very rarely lightly pedal strike.
    My 2015 Remedy, I never pedal strike.

    Specialized is notorious for low BB, which I cannot stand.

  24. #24
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    I'm 6'4" 220 and been riding FS for years in rocky New England singletrack. I've broken a few frames over the years so my focus is on robust design when getting a new bike. Last two bikes (SC Heckler and Kona Process 153) have been bulletproof. A bash guard is standard equipment for clearing all the rock walls and obstacles around here. For years my old 3X big rings served as bash guard but with 1X system I need to protect it. Pedal strikes were a bit more common when I got my newer geo Kona but I've adjusted my suspension and riding so it rarely happens now. Learning to fine-tune fork / shock and experimenting with setup will be time well spent.
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  25. #25
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    Fox 38 up front...

    Coil out back...

    6'6"!? XXL

    I'm 245lbs and I buy/build my bikes burly

    Have destroyed several rear hubs in my day

    Let the jockeys ride the XC rigs

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  26. #26
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    I found a diff shock helped keep my bike up higher. Which meant less pedal strikes. Where before i had to ride like spiderman throwing the bike to the sid to raise the next pedal higher to avoid the strike.


    But strange your smashing chainrings on a long travel enduro bike. Me thinks that there might be room to improve your technique.

  27. #27
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    Using more 'biological suspension' helps too...for us bigger dudes getting off the seat and using our long arms and legs to gobble up the terrain has it's advantages!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    Using more 'biological suspension' helps too...for us bigger dudes getting off the seat and using our long arms and legs to gobble up the terrain has it's advantages!
    Agree. Iím 250 with gear. Been on a aluminum Norco Sight (known for being built tough) for a couple years with no issues but Iím not a guy that is out hitting every jump on the trail either. Iím off the seat on the fast and rough stuff too.

    That said, Iíve spoken to several Clydes who swear by Knolly for being built to withstand more weight. Probably be my next ride if the Norco ever craters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I agree the trail pistol would be great. Their leverage ratio would mean less stress on the shock if sticking with air.
    Not any more. Since they switched to carbon their largest size isn't close to the old alu version.

    You might want to look at a tuned shock. You're at the outer limits of what you have. I'm in the process of getting Avalanche suspension to custom rebuild a shock for me (6'7", 250lbs). Also, come over to the Clydes forum!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Not any more. Since they switched to carbon their largest size isn't close to the old alu version.

    You might want to look at a tuned shock. You're at the outer limits of what you have. I'm in the process of getting Avalanche suspension to custom rebuild a shock for me (6'7", 250lbs). Also, come over to the Clydes forum!
    Well. That sux. Craig at Avalanche is great. Even if you are not heavy his work is magic. I was 225lbs for years. I dropped to 170lbs and resent my shock and fork cartridge in to be reshimed. Best suspension I've ridden.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Fox 38 up front...

    Coil out back...

    6'6"!? XXL

    I'm 245lbs and I buy/build my bikes burly

    Have destroyed several rear hubs in my day

    Let the jockeys ride the XC rigs

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  32. #32
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    Fyi, I'm on a 2020 stumpy. 700lb rear spring but just installed cascade link and putting 800lb spring in. At your weight 650lb spring should be about perfect.

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