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Big guy would like a starter bike recommendation

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    Big guy would like a starter bike recommendation

    I'm all raring to jump into my third conversion, using a BBSHD on a hardtail hybrid our mountain bike. I want something for exploring the jeep trails around here, not for single track. Problem I've had in finding donor bikes is I'm 6'5" (195cm) tall and want an XL bike frame with 29in or 700mm wheels and tires at least about two inches wide. And that can accept a BBSHD.

    I don't intend to make the conversion immediately, but will spend some time riding the bike in its natural state.

    This is a smallish town, and it's hard finding specific bikes in the used market, so it looks like I will probably buy a new one. Since I intend to spend an additional $1,000 on the conversion, I obviously don't wan to start with a hideously expensive donor.

    I'll probably crosspost over on Endless Sphere as well, though they will probably yell at me there.

    #2
    6'5" as well. GT used to be my go-to brand because they offered XXL (2XL) frames and I felt the 'triple triangle' frame design added some extra stiffness to the rear, especially in the 'fish tail wagging' side-side bending mode. I don't think they make anything in a 2XL frame anymore, but if you came across a ~10 year old GT Avalanche or similar, that might be something to consider. You might also try searches for GT and 2XL or XXL and see if anything comes up...possibly you could get the frame and add other parts to your liking. What I don't know is how suitable that frame is for a BBSHD conversion. Seemed like we had at least one other user on here several months ago who did a conversion like that, and I don't immediately know of anything 'showstopping' like a bizarre bottom bracket or anything.

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/gui...ame_specs_4678


    Outside of that, you might take some of your body measurements ...is your height mostly legs or mostly torso, or combination of both - and use those against geometry charts of various frames to help guide a decision. I seem to be fairly leggy, so what ever frame I end up with, I typically have an extra long seat post and 170mm crank arms to help make some room between my chin and knees.

    When I got the itch for an electric bike, I started down the same road...what frame could I find, add e-parts/kit to buy and have an ebike. Considering I was starting an ebike build from zero, having to order everything, bit by bit, shipping, etc, there wasn't a large difference in building vs just buying something prebuilt...and this is coming from an avid DIYer.

    So overall, lots of options out there, you might have to do some searching, measuring and comparisons to see if one is right for you.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by simonov View Post
      I'm all raring to jump into my third conversion, using a BBSHD on a hardtail hybrid our mountain bike. I want something for exploring the jeep trails around here, not for single track. Problem I've had in finding donor bikes is I'm 6'5" (195cm) tall and want an XL bike frame with 29in or 700mm wheels and tires at least about two inches wide. And that can accept a BBSHD.

      I don't intend to make the conversion immediately, but will spend some time riding the bike in its natural state.

      This is a smallish town, and it's hard finding specific bikes in the used market, so it looks like I will probably buy a new one. Since I intend to spend an additional $1,000 on the conversion, I obviously don't wan to start with a hideously expensive donor.

      I'll probably crosspost over on Endless Sphere as well, though they will probably yell at me there.
      Haha - they tend to be a bit less "filtered" over there... I always laugh when folks panties get wadded over here feeling like they're being chastised or condescended, by comparison this is typically "polite" although like all internet forums differences of opinions get expressed... I learned a long time ago that it's just the interwebs and not to take anything personal no matter how hard the troll tries


      Anyway I wouldn't stress too much on frame size, especially with electric... you clearly aren't going have a problem finding a frame small enough LOL - the opposite tends to be more of a problem , i.e. getting af frame that's too big. Seat posts can always been extended and there's a lot of latitude with handlebar positions. I'm not what would be called short (180cm) but have a silly short inseam (~75cm - orangutan build) and I'm missing a leg so I've found that going small on the frame and extending the seat up high (I've got a suspension post that gets it up real high) and raising the handle bars works well for me.

      I'm running a fat tire hardtail with tires that are ~29" diameter and a 120mm fork and the crank is pretty high compared to most so a small frame (it's either 17" or 18", don't remember which but think kit's the 17) with a generously low dropout which makes it easy from my short crippled legs to stand over and then once I'm moving I'm way up high...

      Click image for larger version  Name:	boris_0889.cont.jpg Views:	0 Size:	333.7 KB ID:	151012

      Comment


        #4
        I would think about how you will be sitting on a powered bike. Wind resistance is almost a non factor except for range. So sitting upright becomes an option. I think 29 wheels are good idea so you won't have to get extreme with riser bars and headset extensions. But sitting upright the top tube can be one size smaller than otherwise for someone your height. You'll have more bikes to choose from in L than rare XL size. Not all 6'5" are built the same either, proportion that's long legs, or long torso can vary some too. Most hybrid bikes have crappy forks that aren't suitable for any offroad use, and I don't like them for fast street either. But Gary Fisher Dual Sport, or Trek DS may be suitable. But there are so many MTB donor bikes out there I would use one of those.

        Comment


          #5
          AZguy and Retrorockit both brought up a good point. In my post, I was mainly discussing 'pedal' bike fitment for work out or non e-bike riding, and I basically transferred that stance over to my e-bike because I usually ride it the same way -as much power as my legs will supply 'plus' the e-bike power.

          BUT - if you intend to ride more as an e-bike with only pedaling enough to keep the motor engaged, or even going with a throttle and using pedals as a foot rest, then the size becomes a bit less important because you're not trying to get 'ideal' leg extension for human power pedaling.

          Comment


          • AZguy
            AZguy commented
            Editing a comment
            FWIW I still have pretty much "ideal" leg extension and put a lot of effort into pedaling all the time - the suspension seatpost gets the seat up appropriately high and an adjustable stem put the handlebars in pretty much the perfect spot even though the frame is smaller than what might be recommended for my height - I'm just shy of 6' and it's a 17" frame... you do make a good point about if you aren't into the pedaling all that much however it sounds like the OP is

          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            With a battery and a BBSHD the whole wind resistance, and tire width/ pressure part of the equation changes immensely.
            For offroad the stance may or may not change due to body english considerations. But on the street not staring at the top of your front tire has big advantages.
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