Help for a newbie- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help for a newbie

    Hi,
    I'm looking at purchasing my first real mtn bike. I'm 6' 4", 300 lbs. I shed 60 lbs. walking, now I need a more interesting form of exercise. Cycling is the most interesting and convenient. So, I'm looking at a mix of road and trail, mostly road. I can only afford 1 bike right now. My LBS carries Cannondale and Fuji. I think a 29er will suit me best due to it's stability and speed on road. They have a left over Fuji Tahoe Comp for $800, or I can order a Cannondale Trail SL 2 29er for around $1,000. Can I get advice on which one will be the sturdiest? When I was a teen I used to destroy cranksets regularly on my department store bike. Given my size, will I benefit from any immediate part swaps? Any other recommendations or advice? Thanks in advance, Chris

  2. #2
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    Bike components, especially on the bikes that you have listed are much better than anything past or current on a department store bike. The thing that I would be most concerned with is the wheelset but if you are planning on spending most of your time on the road and riding carefully offroad I see no reason why either of these bikes wouldn't be a good choice.

    that said what I would do is go to the store, try them out, have them fit you to the bike and pick the one that is the most comfortable to you, the one the fits you best and ultimately the only that you like the best. If they can't fit you on the bike, that is they tell you to pick the one that the stand over is best on go to another shop and get fit. Pay for a bike fit if you can, it will allow you to maximize the comfort and time you spend on your bike and greatly reduce the chance you have of getting injured due to bad fit.

    If you have questions regarding fit ask here. Hope it all goes well and congratulations on the serious weight loss!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks! I found the Cannondale in Tampa, so I'll get a chance to test it out. I was worried about ordering blind. Now what do I need to watch out for on the wheels? I won't be doing anything hard core yet. My knees are still a bit sensitive from football injuries and I need to shed a few more pounds before I feel confident in ripping it up off road.

  4. #4
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    The 29er wheel is inherently a little weaker than a comparable 26er wheel and most wheels are built with probably an average rider weight of about 180lbs so you are certainly above that. There is a huge margin of error on that so it isn't like they will fold on you while just riding along but if you get faster and start to jump and ride rough (vs. smooth) they will eventually let you down.

    Best bet is to ride them and keep and eye on their trueness. Buying from a shop will let allow you to bring the bike in for adjustments and it would be prudent for you to have the wheels retension after your first month and then probably then each 3-6 months of riding.

    But of course the more you ride the less you will weigh and this will become less of a problem over time.
    Last edited by rockcrusher; 05-04-2011 at 02:57 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks. That's the explanation I was looking for.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    The 29er wheel is inherently a little weaker than a comparable 26er wheel and most wheels are built with probably an average rider weight of about 180lbs so you are certainly above that. There is a huge margin of error on that so it isn't like they will fold on you while just riding along but if you get faster and start to jump and ride rough (vs. smooth) they will eventually let you down.

    Best bet is to ride them and keep and eye on their trueness. Buying from a shop will let allow you to bring the bike in for adjustments and it would be prudent for you to have the wheels retension after your first month and then probably then each 3-6 months of riding.

    But of course the more you ride the less you will weigh and this will become less of a problem over time.
    Great advice.

    Congrats on the weight loss and have a great time riding. If you find you have to get a sturdier set of wheels, I would advise you to find a local wheelbuilder that will take your weight and style of riding into account. You will spend less than buying something off the shelf and have a lot less chance of throwing that money in the fire.

  7. #7
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    Kw, I'll do that. That will give me big peace of mind.
    "Life sucks, get a [email protected] helmet!" Dennis Leary

  8. #8
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    I have a Fuji Tahoe comp and a 2010 Cannondale Trail SL 4. The Tahoe is a tad bit more comfortable, but the frame on the Cannondale is better. I would def take the Cannondale over the Tahoe.
    When the **** did we get ice cream?

  9. #9
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    Cr, why is the Fuji more comfortable? Is it the seat or the posture it allows you? If you don't mind my asking, what's your body type?
    "Life sucks, get a [email protected] helmet!" Dennis Leary

  10. #10
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    I'm about 5'9 and around 210 lbs. I'm a former hard core bodybuilder so I'm very stocky. Both bike's comfortable. The cannondale's pedal efficency is way better. Cannondale alumumium much better than fuji. Front fork a POS on fuji. Cannondale is way more smoother and faster. I def would not buy the fuji again. I'm going to turn it in to commuter bike. I would have to spend $800+ to get it up to par with the cannondale trail SL. Get cannondale, you'll be way happier. That Cannondale Trial SL 2 is alot of bike for the money.
    When the **** did we get ice cream?

  11. #11
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    Bigworm it looks like we are both in similar situations. I to am 6'4" and 290lbs coming off a weightloss. I was curious if you settled on a bike yet and what shop you went to? I noticed you said something about tampa and i am about an hour away from there. My LBS had the fuji and told me the same about the cannondale but the 1k was a bit out of my range as my initial range was $600.

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