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  1. #1
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    Best Full Suspension for 270 Pound Rider?

    Hi All,

    I'm brand new to this forum and first wanted to say hello. I did some searching on the forum and was unable to find an answer to my question so I figured it was time to ask.

    I am 6'2" and weigh around 265-270lbs. I am looking to get in to a full suspension bike and would like to see what everybody's opinions are on what the right bike might be for somebody my size.

    I rode BMX from the age of 13 until I endured some injuries when I was 21 which ended due to a knee injury. Having that BMX background I feel puts me in a little better spot when it comes to bike control so I'm not too concerned with having issues making the bike do what I want it to. The biggest concern is finding something that isn't going to blow apart. I have been drawn towards some of these new 29ers such as the Pivot Switchblade, Pivot Firebird29, Ibis Ripmo and Yeti SB150. I have tested out the first time mentioned and really liked both. Budget is not too much of an issue. Just more concerned with durability.

    Thanks in advance to everybody willing to read this and take the time to give me some insight.

  2. #2
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    My big smasher friends love their Banshee Primes. Race XC marathon and enduro on them.


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  3. #3
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    What sort of riding and what terrain do you anticipate riding in most of the time?

  4. #4
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    It will range but mostly all mountain type riding. I live in AZ and will be hitting some stuff on South Mountain as well as making trips to Sedona from time to time. Unsure how to describe that any better but both of those places have been in quite a few YouTube videos so thatís the best example I can think of.

  5. #5
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    Id look into Gorrila Gravity they have a decent amount of ramp up in their suspension making it easier to set up a shock for heavier guys, and not stress the shock and need maintenance less often. Their 29er Smash would be what you'd want to look at.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Id look into Gorrila Gravity they have a decent amount of ramp up in their suspension making it easier to set up a shock for heavier guys, and not stress the shock and need maintenance less often. Their 29er Smash would be what you'd want to look at.
    Another vote for GG. Great options for big folk, and a great company as well. Not the lightest frames around, but worth a look based on what you're looking for.

  7. #7
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    As you are a heavier rider and interested in the SB150 you might want to check Vital MTBís review (especially 4:18-5:00): https://youtu.be/iFIunD9uYjg
    The rider in the video is extremely light. 135 lbs if I got that right.

    I am lighter than you but this potential rear flex issue makes my decision pretty tough. I have even started a thread because of this. ;-) You can find it here: https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/y...n-1094353.html

  8. #8
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    I'm a confessed Trek fanboi and work with a Trek dealer... Bigger travel: look at a Slash, all trail look at a FEX.

    You're going to be running both of them close to max weight limit on both of them (300lb for rider+bike+gear) but they're well built and Trek CS is (in my experience) very good.

    The Slash is their all-mountain/enduro big riding 29er, you have to ride hard and fast to get the most out of it.
    The FEX, which I ride is a do-it-all trail bike with 130mm of travel. I really like how they ride.

  9. #9
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    I'm on a GG Smash here in AZ and ride SoMo, Hawes, GC, etc, etc. I'm only 175lbs so it's not set up for your weight, but it's a large (I'm 6'2") so you if you'd like, you can get an Idea for fit in terms of frame size.
    "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."

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  10. #10
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    You are going to need to test ride, more than a lighter rider, to ensure the suspension doesn't bottom out and that you can run a reasonable amount of pressure on the shock (rather than having to max it out). The trend towards big-air-volume cans and some of the current bikes is opposite of what you need, requiring more PSI and in some cases more than the shock can run. Low leverage rates will help, as in 5" of travel with a 2.5" stroke shock. Then there's the frame strength, a good bet is to be looking at something that is longer travel because those are generally stronger and better able to deal with the forces.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  11. #11
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    Definitely look for something stout in that Switchblade or Firebird 29 range. I really like both those bikes and it's cool to support a local company. Not applicable to those particular bikes, but you should take a hard look at something with a coil like a Transitions Sentinel/Smuggler or the aforementioned GG Smash. All of which are pretty stout.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chestont View Post
    but you should take a hard look at something with a coil like a Transitions Sentinel/Smuggler or the aforementioned GG Smash. All of which are pretty stout.

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    There is an upper limit for coils and unless you are going some exotic Ti spring, it's probably unlikely you are going to find/fit the necessary coil spring to support a 300lb rider. Unless we are talking an old-school Foes with their crazy low leverage rates (and terrible curnut shocks), but otherwise, a coil would generally be a bad idea IME. If we were talking around 220-240lbs, yeah, that'd be a better choice for durability, but I don't think there'll be any coils available to support his weight, again, unless you find some crazy low-leverage bike, and then you gotta make sure it's not a falling rate (which bikes that are usually paired with air-shocks often are).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    Based on something like Cane Creeks online spring calculator a 270lb rider would use a 600lb spring on a 140mm travel bike with a 57mm stroke shock. Obviously not a perfect representation of the broad spectrum of bikes OP is looking at, but it's not something that should be discounted as too exotic or unlikely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    There is an upper limit for coils and unless you are going some exotic Ti spring, it's probably unlikely you are going to find/fit the necessary coil spring to support a 300lb rider. Unless we are talking an old-school Foes with their crazy low leverage rates (and terrible curnut shocks), but otherwise, a coil would generally be a bad idea IME. If we were talking around 220-240lbs, yeah, that'd be a better choice for durability, but I don't think there'll be any coils available to support his weight, again, unless you find some crazy low-leverage bike, and then you gotta make sure it's not a falling rate (which bikes that are usually paired with air-shocks often are).
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chestont View Post
    Based on something like Cane Creeks online spring calculator a 270lb rider would use a 600lb spring on a 140mm travel bike with a 57mm stroke shock. Obviously not a perfect representation of the broad spectrum of bikes OP is looking at, but it's not something that should be discounted as too exotic or unlikely.

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    Looking at 700-750lb on TFT's spring calculator assuming approximately 290lb with clothing, camelback, etc. That doesn't take into account situations where the bikes rate may have to be augmented with a stiffer spring. The 700-750 range is generally why this is a bad idea. The problem is not only finding a 2.3-2.5" stroke SPRING at 700-750lb, but one that fits what you posted, a 2.25" stroke shock, which is a 200mm length shock. To put it simply, you run out of space much of the time. With more stroke, like 2.5-3.0, you have more shock-length for the spring and the coils can be further apart and bigger, so you get your higher rate. When the spring is short it is very difficult to have a high-rate spring.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  15. #15
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    Thanks for all of the advice so far. Appreciating every bit of it.

  16. #16
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    Cane Creek's calculator indicates you can use a 650lb spring for a 300lb rider. I do see what you are saying about finding a spring in that stroke size however. I only use Cane Creek in that size for reference because it's what I use on my bike. I don't know if such a spring actually exists because I've never looked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Looking at 700-750lb on TFT's spring calculator assuming approximately 290lb with clothing, camelback, etc. That doesn't take into account situations where the bikes rate may have to be augmented with a stiffer spring. The 700-750 range is generally why this is a bad idea. The problem is not only finding a 2.3-2.5" stroke SPRING at 700-750lb, but one that fits what you posted, a 2.25" stroke shock, which is a 200mm length shock. To put it simply, you run out of space much of the time. With more stroke, like 2.5-3.0, you have more shock-length for the spring and the coils can be further apart and bigger, so you get your higher rate. When the spring is short it is very difficult to have a high-rate spring.
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  17. #17
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    Trek bikes can handle a lot of weight. I actually rode a Specialized Stumpjumper for a couple years when I weighed 285 pounds. I'm down to 255 pounds now. You can also check out Transition bikes. I love my Sentinel
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  18. #18
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    Iím 6í3Ē 270 and have had no issues in the past 9 months on a 2018 Ibis Ripley LT v3. I ride in Austin/San Antonio - south Texas rocky chunk. Just put a Ripmo on order and suspect it will be my overall favorite, but keeping the Ripley thinking it will be faster and more fun on XC trails, weíll see.

    I rode Pivot Mach 429s in aluminum and carbon from 2011-2017 with no issues. Stiff rear ends and dwlink efficiency is hugely beneficial to me. Iíd be on a Trail 429 or Switchblade now if I hadnít decided on the Ripley.

    I havenít ridden the other bikes mentioned so canít help there. Cheers.

    Before that - late 90s-2010 broke 3 GT RTS frames, did okay on a Ventana el Rey, and had ghost shifting from rear end flex on a Santa Cruz Blur.

  19. #19
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    260lb here (also 7ft, which has sharply narrowed my options). I have an XXL GG Smash...cannot speak highly enough on how this bike performs. Itís been on double black tech in Whistler, smooth flow trails, and everything in between. Phenomenal all arounder for me...I drop up to 6ish feet (with this bike, gone a bit bigger on a DH), still using the RS SD air and RS Pike at 140 and 160, respectively. Itís been on some nice chunky tech stuff down here in SoCal as well, handles like a champ. It remains very fun and lively on more chill trails as well.

    Stays high in its travel, still really plush (both crush and plush mode work really well)

    Leverage ratio on GGs is perfect for us bigger folk. I got a coil RS SD to try out on it with a 650lb spring...havenít had time to source the right shim and install yet though....

    Also love my Waltworks steel FS...really good leverage ratio on that one too...160mm travel, 29+...great for loose and sandy stuff (most of SoCal most of the time) and wet trails, especially roots....FWIW, currently running an old school fox van coil on the WW which works really well. (I believe the leverage ratio is slightly higher on the GG)

  20. #20
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    Pivot bikes are built like tanks, so either the SB or FB would be good choices, I'd think.

    You might also look at the Transition Patrol; it's a pretty burly bike, too.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMassar View Post
    I live in AZ and will be hitting some stuff on South Mountain
    Heard a few guys call it "Pivot Mountain" instead of South Mountain because it seems like 2 out of 3 guys riding there are on Pivots. Not sure how well the Pivots suspension will perform for someone your size but they sure seem to hold up to the terrain.

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