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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a new MB. Finally time to retire my trusty 1985 Schwinn Sierra :D Last year I bought a Walmart cheapie Mongoose with suspension to make sure I was going to get back into this before dropping too much cash on a good bike. I did learn that I definately want to get back into riding, and you get what you pay for. The Mongoose has taken a shit and I don't want to put any money into a pos bike.

I want dual suspension, and I need a very durable bike. I wiegh 265 now, and I doubt I will ever get much below 250. I ride for fun and excersize only, but I have always been very hard on bikes. I understand lighter is better, but in my case, I should probably give up some lightwieght for durability.

Lately we have been riding in Almaden Quicksilver park doing the loop from Hacienda up to the refinery, down to Guadalupe resovoir and then return on the back side. We will start doing the Kennedy Rd trails when we get in a little better shape.

I am interested in the Giant AC1. It looks like a very durable bike. I like the big front axle.

The Kona bikes look pretty good too.

I am going to go around to a few shops today, but thought I would post here to see if you guys had any opinions/suggestions for me.

Thanks, Mark
 

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I loooove my '02 AC1. In my opinion the 2002 has a lot better components than the 2003.

Get one, when you're working out a deal 'tell the shop you want to trade out the stem, seatpost and rear spring for beefier stuff (especially at your weight), check out the Azonic Shorty stem and maybe a Thompson seatpost. Stay with the 27.2 post diameter, if you remove the spacer you won't be able to lower the seat much.

Maybe trade the pedals for platforms, unless you aren't going to jump much and want clipless for XC.

You're gonna have to get that higher rate rear spring, I'm only 160 and mine is borderline too soft (I have to max out the six-turn preload to get recommended sag.)
 

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yes the ac would be a good bike but i think giant raised the prices some this year. pretty much any companies "trail/5 inch travel" bike will hold up to your weight if you arent jumping.

some bikes to look at

giant vt (what i just got. i LOVE it)
giant ac
kona stinky
specialized enduro/bighit comp
cannondale gemini 900
santa cruz heckler

jamis dakar xlt 2.0 --- check this one out. i think its the best bang for the buck bike you can get. 1900 at bicycleblowout.com


those are all great bikes. they all have different geometries and ride differently. make sure you get some beefy wheels and cranks that will hold up to someone your size.

ride alot of bikes and give the decision some time. you will find the bike that really works for you. unless your getting a great deal dont wouldnt buy a bike until youve tried lots of them.


AND try to take them on a ride longer than just in the parking lot. take them for a spin around the block, ride through a park, ride up a hill... you will get a much better feel for the bike.
 

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Your on the right track. I was thinking right away of telling you Kona or Giant and then you said it. Giant and Kona both have there susp. design dialed. .o2
 

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I have the 02 AC1 also ........... the only complaint I have is I cant raise and lower the seat post enough. I wish I wouldn't have gotten an interupted seat tube bike, but I got a good deal on mine so :D

I weigh 220 and the bike is very sturdy for me, the fork is very stiff and the swingarm dosnt flex either ........... I think I put a 250lb(?) spring in back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice. Please keep it coming if you have more.

I went and checked out some shops yeterday. It seems not many people stock the Giant AC1. One guy had 2, but they were not assembled. He tried to sell me a Giant NRS1. It was nice, and light, but did not seem as durable. He said I did not need the AC1, I would never use all the suspension or need the extra strength. If I listened to advice like that, I would still have a NP 203 and D-44 in my Ramcharger. I am sure I would have had to fix them again too.

I checked out a Kona Stinky Deluxe also. It looked like a pretty nice bike. The Marzocchi Jr. T fork looks very nice. The tires looks very aggressive also.

So I think it is between the Stinky Deluxe and the AC1. The only problem is no one had an AC1 I could ride.

The Kona may have an advantage due to better tires and not having the seatpost minimal travel issue. Also more suspension travel and more aggressive tires. But only a LX front dr.


The Giant NRS1 the guy wanted to sell me and the Specialized Enduro FSR I looked at both had air shocks. That did not seem as durable to me as a coil shock. I can see having shock seal problems in the future. Does that sound correct?

Thanks for all your advice so far, and like I said, Please keep it coming if you have more.
 

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ya i dont think you want an air shock at your weight.

i think giant fixed this years ac in regards to the seat height issue and put a hole in the seat tube that the seat could come out of. not sure though

but the kona or ac would both be great bikes. the kona is probably a quite bit heavier with the dual crown fork and 7" travel.

but they are both great bikes. get what you feel comfortable on.
you might enjoy the ac1 a little more going up hills than the kona. it seems like it was designed with that more in mind. the kona was designed for free-riding/downhill and has pretty a slack head of 67* . great for descending but they also make pedaling uphill pretty ackward. the ac has a 69* head angle which is right inbetween cross country (71*) and dh (66ish usually). My advice would be before you buy a stinky make sure you ride it up a steep hill and see how it feels.

id also check out the specialized bighit comp. its also got a slacker head angle but its also pretty inexpensive.
 

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I noticed that you're from the Bay Area. If you happen to go to the Pacific Bicycle in Mountain View, I suggest you stay away from the manager named Dave. One of the other mechanics back there, Phil, is pretty cool however.

Garner's is also decent, in Redwood City. Good luck with your purchase!
 

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i've ridden just about every bike on the market and IMHO the best all around bike is a Santa Cruz Bullit with the 5th element shock. I must admit that i'm more oriented towards freeride/dh, but i took one on a trail ride also and it rode like a dream. The 5th element is truly badass. I'm talking with a guy right now about trading my Le Toy for his. This bike will hold up to anything you can throw at it, and you'll have 7" of rear travel to soak everything up.

-Steve
 

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Bullit = great bang for the buck. Can't go wrong.. I hear the 5th element has helped with climbing as well?

You can actually build them up pretty lightly! I was surprised at how light some of them came out to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the food for thought. I will try to check out the Bullitt. I still need to find a AC1 assembled that I can ride. I will check some more out next weekend.
 

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why don't more people look at the rocky mountains? they are moderately priced ( a little on the high side) but are very strong with a good parts spec. the slayer is a pretty nice rig. I weigh about 220 at 6'3 and bought the ets-x. Fairly pricey, but I absolutey love this bike. I ride bay area and auburn trails, nothing really freeride, mostly xc to aggressive xc.
 

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If you're going to look at rocky mountains, I'd suggest going to Trailhead Bicycles. I think they deal with them. Speak with Lars, but the few experiences I've had with them, the staff is great.

For Santa Cruz, try Stan's Bicycle near Vallco. There's actually a Bullit with a Boxxer setup in the store window. 2880 I think was the price tag. Drool.
 

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Yah, those Bullets are nice. Pretty pricy though, probably a grand more than an AC. Screw the NRS unless you don't ever want to jump.

You can make the AC a super-beefy reasonably light all-around bike just by going to lighter tires (stock DH ones are 1300g), that Stinky is at least ten pounds heavier.
 

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Sirachi said:
If you're going to look at rocky mountains, I'd suggest going to Trailhead Bicycles. I think they deal with them. Speak with Lars, but the few experiences I've had with them, the staff is great.

If that is the shop down in san jose somewhere, I spokje to Lars when I was shopping too. Everything you said is absolutely correct. I would have liked to buy from him, for their sevice alone, but it was too far a drive
 

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Sirachi said:
If you happen to go to the Pacific Bicycle in Mountain View, I suggest you stay away from the manager named Dave. One of the other mechanics back there, Phil, is pretty cool however.

Dont worry they closed awhile ago......... ;)
Thats where I got my AC1 at there closing sale for 1700 out the door
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I went to Stans today and checked out the Santa Cruz bikes. Very nice. They had the Bullit there, but looked like the Heckler might be better for what I want. The Bullit was a little too set for downhill. I think I am going to get the AC1. I went to the shop with the best price, and they are going to check on what spring Manitou recomends for my weight. But it looks like the AC1 is the one.
 

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Kyron said:
Dont worry they closed awhile ago......... ;)
Thats where I got my AC1 at there closing sale for 1700 out the door
I think you're talkin about another one.. I'm pretty sure they're still there. I hope one of the mechanics got commission instead of the manager. I know I sound bitter, but I've really disliked the way he's treated me, as well as some friends.
 

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440-fide Ramcharger said:
I went to Stans today and checked out the Santa Cruz bikes. Very nice. They had the Bullit there, but looked like the Heckler might be better for what I want. The Bullit was a little too set for downhill. I think I am going to get the AC1. I went to the shop with the best price, and they are going to check on what spring Manitou recomends for my weight. But it looks like the AC1 is the one.
Sounds great! Giant makes a good ride. One thing though, Santa Cruz customer service has just ROCKED. Plain flat out great. And they're right over the hill too, so you can head on over there if you have problems. My friend with his Super 8 broke his swingarm. They warrantied it, no questions asked, and they even let him test ride the V10 when it first came out. Great guys. Just a FYI :)
 
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