5'6 17.5 inch 2009 GF Cobia 29r commuter ok? In China..,,,- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: What should I get?

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  • 2009 17.5 inch cobia

    2 66.67%
  • 2009 17.5 inch piranha

    0 0%
  • 2009 17.5 inch Marlin

    1 33.33%
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    5'6 17.5 inch 2009 GF Cobia 29r commuter ok? In China..,,,

    Hi! Im a 34 year old English teacher living in China for 8 years.I have not ridden bikes for 8 years and am pretty out of shap at around 85 kilos. I guess I should be around 65 kilos or whatever the equivillant of 140 pounds is.

    Im not lazy, just too much work to do blah blah blah. Here is the deal. Gary Fishers are all but impossible to find in china. I first staaarted riding GF in 1993 with the Aquilla, and then have had a joshua 1, and I forget the other bike that was half orange and half yellow with judy xc and xt stuff...

    Needless to say I am a big fisher fan.

    I am getting ready to buy a bike on payday. I plan on jumping in head first at least 80 kilometers a day. I currently spend more tha four hours a day travelling by subway, bus, and mmotorcycle taxi to all the places I teach. A couple of weeks ago I was jumped by 5 people on the bus for a cell phone I had... I guess that was the last straw. The subways suck. I am sick of people . I want to return to my solitude of commuting by bicycle.

    I used to live in Colorado where I would just ride and ride. Also, texas, Germany, etc. I am ready and there is no in-between. It is either bike 80km a day or nothing. I am so excited. I cant wait. I know it will be rough at first...

    But I never have time to work out after work and this is killing two birds with one stone.

    Jus the Facts...
    --I will ride on some dirt trails when I find them.
    --The streets in China are not very smooth.
    --Traffic may kill me
    --I will be taking lots of gear with me
    --Ill have a lot of lights
    --I need a rear rack and bag
    --I may like to take my kids on the back (one at a time I guess)
    --trailers may be out of my cost so may need a seat
    --I plan on finding the schwalla big apple if I can... although this is China and its hard to find anything
    --Color is not important
    --Cobia is pushing my expense limit.. but it may be the only one in China... in 9 more days it might not even be there to buy
    --the selection of Gary fishers in China that I have found are :2 piranhas , 1 marlin, 1 cobia all 17.5 inch. AS far as I know this is in all of China.
    --I often go down stairs, curbs, etc.
    --I am trying to get as much as I can out of the initial purchase.. I need something durable because my income in China is not always stable, and everything in China is fake or overpriced or non-existant. I need something which lasts for ever and ever and ever.
    -tried a Giant xtc 16 inch and it felt extremely to little and cramped..
    -tried a giant 17 inch atx pro1 and it felt like the top bar was way to cramped too..

    Cobia Pros-
    -Nice air tora shocks.
    -all around decent components
    -I only rode it for two minutes in front of the store... but wow. It feels comforatble and super cool ... Yet it has been eight years since I was on a bike.
    -rolling off a curve with it and the shock was like crazy comforatble. Felt like a cadillac.

    Cobia Negatives
    -Price i can cope... but it makes me feel a bit selfish towards my family... but it is pushing my limits. Especially since I have to buy a lot of gear with the bike immediately.
    -no frame mounts for rack... will have to get creative.. hard to throw the kids on a seatpost rack
    -its pretty expensive since the 2010s have came out... but it takes akmost 2 months to get a bike shipped from the US and though customs and I was told they would not bring 2010s to China.
    -29 inch tire selection is pretty small..,,,
    -I havent even tried to bunny hop with it yet because they were pretty picky about letting me ride it..
    -it felt real cool..
    -stock tires look like they suck so bad for the street

    1) Is it crazy and unheard of for a 5'6 inch guy ti ride a 17 inch 29er bike?
    2) riding 80 km per day 7 days a week in some dangersous traffic feasable less than a 26 inch?
    3) Will it be easier to cover larger distances with larger tires?
    4) Would a 26 frame , the pirhanha be more suited to a 5'6 rider?
    5)Anyone my size gone through this decision?
    6) my second choice would be the piranha with the tora sl coil
    7)third choice would be he marlin with dart 2 and vbrakes.

    Any other ideas about this?

    I will be packing my gear into this bag I think:

    and immediately getting:
    pdm540 pedals
    SHM086 shoes
    topeak fenders


    Component Group Unspecified
    Brakeset Avid BB-5 w/160mm rotor brakes, Avid levers
    Shift Levers SRAM X.5
    Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.5
    Crankset Shimano M442, 22/32/44 teeth
    Pedals Wellgo LU-216A
    Bottom Bracket Unspecified
    BB Shell Width Unspecified
    Rear Cogs 9-speed, 11 - 34 teeth
    Chain Unspecified
    Seatpost Bontrager SSR, 27.2mm diameter
    Saddle Bontrager Race
    Handlebar Bontrager Big Sweep OS
    Handlebar Extensions Not included
    Handlebar Stem Bontrager SSR
    Headset 1 1/8" Semi integrated

    Hubs Shimano M475
    Rims Bontrager Ranger Disc 29er, 32-hole
    Tires 29 x 2.10" Bontrager XDX 29"
    Spoke Brand Unspecified
    Spoke Nipples Unspecified

  2. #2
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Wow, that`s a lot of explanation for the initial question over which of these three bikes. Your general situaltion sounds so interresting that it`s tough to not go OT with questions about that, but i`ll try hard not to!

    I`ve heard of or seen the names of all those models, but I really have no idea what they are, so I`ll stay out of your poll. I do have some comments about the rest of the post though, take them if you want.

    If you got rolled on the bus, I can`t imagine you being much safer in the same area on any bike. Since you`re apparently trying to keep it on the cheap, maybe you could skip out on the bike shoes and pedals- as previous threads have shown, a whole lot of us prefer cheap BMX pedals and standard shoes around town anyway. Whatever you`re considering that has "less than 26 inch" wheels (folder?), I would think very uncomfortable over rough surface- never tried it, so Icould be wrong. You want to ride 80 km per day, 7 days a week? In traffic and rough roads? You`re a serious studmuffin! Last observation: with probaly over half of all the new bikes and bike gear for sale in the US comming from Taiwan, it`s a shame that you can`t get it "imported" to mainland China. Good luck to you.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Which part of China do u live? I just back from a vocation from Beijing.

    I agree traffic is horrible. Many cyclist and cars don't obey traffic rules.

    But living standard is dirt cheap. Taking a subway train to any where cost only 2 yuan. Street food of just as little as 30 yuan can fill yr stomach until u can't take it. A simple breakfast of 4 yuan is adequate.

    I bet the bicycle in China is equally cheap. I saw lots of those multi gear 3x 8speed City bike. Looks sturdy and only complain I have is the shifter which is the most trigger switch.

    Of Cos I admit if u want something better, u need to look for a professional and nice bicycle shop. The best brand u can bet to get good bicycle is Giant.

    Other than that I don't see any high end looking bicycle.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I ride my old marlin to work every day, it's done me well. For racing next year I'm gonig to step up to a nicer bike, but for commuting I figure the less you spend the better

  5. #5
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Having seen some of the bikes people commute on in China, I'd say that any "real" bike would put you at a serious advantage.

    I'd say for that distance, definitely go 29er and even consider road bike gearing. I made the move to a 50 tooth front chainring and it made a world of difference on the road. I'd go as skinny as you dare with the tires (some 700x25-30 'cross tires would be ideal, and consider drop bars or at least some bar ends that will give you some hand position options. You are not limited to "29er" tires... look at 700c options, rim size is the same.

    If it was me I'd be looking at a cyclocross bike instead of a true mountain bike. I don't know if that's an option over there, but for that kind of distance, road bike geometry and gearing would be an advantage.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jkmacman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    i'd either get a giant if i had the loot, or try and get one of those bambo bikes i been hearing about.

    i didn't vote in the pool since at 5' 6" a 17.5" frame is too big for you? i'm 5' 9.5" and ride a medium or 17.5 bike. I don't think it matters as much on a mtb as a road bike, but i had a road bike too big, and had an accident so i got rid of it, and it actually costs a lot to buy frames and have them rebuilt
    Look to where the river ends, or where the river starts...

  7. #7
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Get something shittier. I mean, won't someone just jack your bike?

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