Older, big guy lookin' for some advice... new to the sport (bmx racing)

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6/17/2019 6:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/17/2019 6:57 PM

What's up - I see lots of posts on here (from google) where it appears plenty of guys my size are 'getting into it', at some point.

I'm looking for advice - so I figure, why not post and see what comes up. Most of the posts I've seen are all fairly dated and I am curious as to more modern opinions.

I'm not young anymore at just shy of 40 years old, and I'm certainly not small at 6'5". I weigh in around 285-295 depending on time of year (I pack it on in the winter!). So I'm a big dude. I'm not stupid enough to stay it's all muscle and I'm too old to really care at this point. I've got a gut, but I'd like to see it diminished a bit.

I used to race motocross and was an athlete in multiple sports growing up. Then real life happened and I got fat and sedentary.

My boys have started showing a genuine interest in BMX. They've got a couple 20" Mongoose bikes (a Scan R30 I think, and a Legion something-er-other, if I remember correctly). They've been having a good time just going to the local track and trying it out on their own.

Lately they're asking "why not you, dad?" - and I started asking myself "yeah, why not me?"

I feel it could be a cool new chapter to my life and a fun thing that would help me lose weight and have some more fun in common with my kids.

Which brings me to my main questions:

Who likes what for fat, super tall old dudes?

I have been looking real hard at the Mongoose Title Pro XXL - for $270 it's a complete bike - it has good reviews, seems affordable. Sure, it's not going to set the racing world on fire, but this is a new sport to me - and I'm old and out of shape. From what I've read - it seems okay for entry level, or is it BS and it's garbage?

I also saw the Mongoose Title Elite Pro XXL (which is a couple bills more) - saw some online reviews for that - but wasn't sure what the big differences were. Is it worlds better? Worth the price difference?

Other recommendations? I'm so big I think a 22" top tube (is that the right measurement?) is what I'm after... but I'm just nervous to get on something and have it explode on me because I'm a giant. That would be really embarrassing - something I would like to avoid.

Forgot to add: there is a local bike shop here that sells Sunday & Eastern. He said he can get pretty much any size from 20" - 26" for around the $350-$425 price point. I have no idea about either of those brands.

My goals would be something that could be ridden around at the BMX track and (maybe) in the future competed on. Obviously I'd be going slow in whatever fat-man class I could find...

So any ideas or thoughts are welcome. I'm looking to stay south of $500. Hell, I'd prefer south of $350 if I could. But I'm looking for something durable I could ride/race on and enjoy the time at the track with my kids.

Let me know your thoughts (sorry for the wall of text).

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6/17/2019 8:00 PM

You have some pretty decent options for a budget of 500, I cant recall but there is a 21.25 complete one of the forum members mentioned just recently. There are some 22" wheeled/top tube options in that price range, I myself own a Framed Defendant pro but some of the parts were underwhelming. The dk vega/general lee can be had for around your price and usually get excellent reviews.

I have owned 2 Mongoose legions and they would be a nice platform to start off with. The tires and stem would need to be switched out. The tire compound they use just diesnt grip anything well in my experience. The pedals are a bit lightweight and the chain would need to be upgraded to one that can handle more torque. I will say, the kmc that comes on the legions would be the same chain youd find on almost any complete so thats a given. The stem is just a precautionary thing. Replace it before you replace your teeth, I dont trust it, looks like potmetal.

Eastern makes a bike called the shovelhead and Mishinn can tell you all about it. The newer models come in a 21" top tube variation.

I dont know much about racing bmx bikes, its a whole 'nother world but I typically associate higher priced parts with racing. Im not sure what completes are running, price-wise.

I do know if youre only riding for fun, a bmx set up for dirt would be a great all-arounder that you could ride on the streets, dirt jumps, pump tracks, etc.

74-75° headtube angle

13.75-14" chainstay

Decently low bottom bracket

32 or slacker fork

Longer reach stem

21 or longer tt

You'd be set, I feel.

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6/17/2019 8:37 PM

Yeah, that was the GT Team Signature Conway. [Link: https://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/conway-team-signature-1818]

It's mostly chromoly (which is great), comes in 21.25" toptube, and will definitely suit a bigger rider compared to most completes out there now.

I think someone mentioned a Sunday Soundwave frame as well, but I can't remember.

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Scooter kid trying to ride BMX.
Instagram: @scootereyn

6/17/2019 10:40 PM

readybmxer wrote:

Yeah, that was the GT Team Signature Conway. [Link: https://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/conway-team-signature-1818]

It's mostly chromoly (which is great), comes in 21.25" toptube, and will definitely suit a bigger rider compared to most completes out there now.

I think someone mentioned a Sunday Soundwave frame as well, but I can't remember.

The Conway is full chromo. It has a 12" BB though. That's pretty high. The Fit Harti is 21.25 and more of a trails geo. It has a 74.5 head tube and an 11.5 BB iirc.

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6/18/2019 12:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/18/2019 12:44 AM

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6/18/2019 6:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/18/2019 6:24 AM

Like Bullet said: "... racing bmx bikes, its a whole 'nother world... ". That is a fact compared to BMX freestyle (which this forum is concentrated). That is not to say that any bike here couldn't be "raced" or even just ridden at a track. They just aren't as well suited as they tend to be less stable & more "twitchy" in their handling characteristics. As for the Eastern Shovelhead, it is a great bike for the money. Although, I would say that it probably isn't as big as you might need. At your size, I wouldn't recommend anything that isn't 100% full chromoly. Frame, fork, bars, etc...; you are moving and shaking a lot of heft & I'm sure you want every chance at not having your bike fail on you. Normally, I'd tell most everyone to get a 20" (wheel) bike. But for what you are looking to do, I would be looking at a 22, 24, or maybe even a 26" (wheel) bike. IF you were to race, chances are, the other people in your age group would also be on larger wheeled bikes so that wouldn't be an issue. As the wheel size increases, so does the frame size (top tube). So, to sum up, Stronger is better (Chromoly) and you should probably be looking at a larger bike (well.... duh?!). As for Chromoly bikes, be careful. You can read some deceiving info. For instance, some sites might insinuate that a frame is 100% chromoly such as this:

Photo

As you can see in the black section (an online retailer) it looks like a full chromoly frame and fork. On the right, is the actual manufacturers specs and it clearly states that the front triangle is full chromoly, not the entire frame. Also, in this case, it appears that the fork probably has a chromoly steerer tube only and the retailer expressed it in such as way as to present it in the best possibly light. The fork legs are probably hi-tens steel (not as strong).

I know this is a lot of info. I apologize for that.Hopefully this is helpful. Let us know if you have any other questions or if you need any further explanation.

P.S. The Fit 22 that JaX posted is a pretty decent bike & as a "trail bike" would lend itself to stability (much like a race rig). It's 100% 4130 and is sized for your bigger frame.

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6/18/2019 12:53 PM

I think this would be a nice bike for someone your size that's into racing: Atlas

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6/18/2019 2:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/18/2019 2:48 PM

You guys have really given me some good food for thought.

Maybe I need to take my time and save up some more money - I can't find anything used near me in the names/brands/sizes you guys recommend and some of those suggestions are awfully steep (some over the $500 max I was looking to spend).

I suppose it's like everything else in my life - being tall/big means I have to pay more to play like everyone else.

Anyhow - I'll keep my eyes peeled for some used bikes. I think I'm gonna try and go with a 24" wheel and a 22" (or bigger) top tube.

Is ChroMoly that much stronger than the 6061 aluminum? Just curious - I see what (to me) appears to be high end bikes offering aluminum... wish I was a metal worker so I'd know better!

Also, are the Mongoose bikes I mentioned in my original post simply not worth pursuing?

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6/18/2019 4:10 PM

TallGimpstar wrote:

What's up - I see lots of posts on here (from google) where it appears plenty of guys my size are 'getting into it', at some point.

I'm looking for advice - so I figure, why not post and see what comes up. Most of the posts I've seen are all fairly dated and I am curious as to more modern opinions.

I'm not young anymore at just shy of 40 years old, and I'm certainly not small at 6'5". I weigh in around 285-295 depending on time of year (I pack it on in the winter!). So I'm a big dude. I'm not stupid enough to stay it's all muscle and I'm too old to really care at this point. I've got a gut, but I'd like to see it diminished a bit.

I used to race motocross and was an athlete in multiple sports growing up. Then real life happened and I got fat and sedentary.

My boys have started showing a genuine interest in BMX. They've got a couple 20" Mongoose bikes (a Scan R30 I think, and a Legion something-er-other, if I remember correctly). They've been having a good time just going to the local track and trying it out on their own.

Lately they're asking "why not you, dad?" - and I started asking myself "yeah, why not me?"

I feel it could be a cool new chapter to my life and a fun thing that would help me lose weight and have some more fun in common with my kids.

Which brings me to my main questions:

Who likes what for fat, super tall old dudes?

I have been looking real hard at the Mongoose Title Pro XXL - for $270 it's a complete bike - it has good reviews, seems affordable. Sure, it's not going to set the racing world on fire, but this is a new sport to me - and I'm old and out of shape. From what I've read - it seems okay for entry level, or is it BS and it's garbage?

I also saw the Mongoose Title Elite Pro XXL (which is a couple bills more) - saw some online reviews for that - but wasn't sure what the big differences were. Is it worlds better? Worth the price difference?

Other recommendations? I'm so big I think a 22" top tube (is that the right measurement?) is what I'm after... but I'm just nervous to get on something and have it explode on me because I'm a giant. That would be really embarrassing - something I would like to avoid.

Forgot to add: there is a local bike shop here that sells Sunday & Eastern. He said he can get pretty much any size from 20" - 26" for around the $350-$425 price point. I have no idea about either of those brands.

My goals would be something that could be ridden around at the BMX track and (maybe) in the future competed on. Obviously I'd be going slow in whatever fat-man class I could find...

So any ideas or thoughts are welcome. I'm looking to stay south of $500. Hell, I'd prefer south of $350 if I could. But I'm looking for something durable I could ride/race on and enjoy the time at the track with my kids.

Let me know your thoughts (sorry for the wall of text).

I had to join Vital just to give you some advice and my opinion. The Mongoose Title bikes are really good bikes to get started on and can be built up with better parts as you progress if you'd like. At your weight I would really look at the Title Elite as it has a chromoly fork and bars. I don't think the standard Title does; at your weight I wouldn't trust a hi-tensile fork or bars. I believe a lot of tracks have partnered with Mongoose and they use the Title bikes as loaners at their tracks. At your size, I would suggest a chromoly frame, but you're not going to find a chromoly complete race bike in your price range. As an example, I've been looking at the Subrosa Speedwolf but the frame alone is almost $400. I would also suggest an XXXL if you go 20". But you would have to look at the serious race companies for that, so again the Title bikes would be fine.

All of the bikes suggested here are not racing bikes and wouldn't really be ideal on a track.

A 24" is not a bad idea at your size. I don't know what your goals are but if you plan on actually racing and not just riding the track, keep in mind that the cruiser class is not broken down by skill level. So you'll get thrown in with experts and perhaps even former pros. To make it a little more confusing, USA BMX does allow beginners to ride a cruiser in the 20" class. Once you're able to advance to Intermediate then you have to start riding a 20" in class or just ride the 24" in cruiser. I guess if you don't ever plan on winning, you can ride the 24" in Novice 20" forever, LOL.

For what you want to do and looking to spend the Mongoose Title bikes will be good. You just have to decide 20" or 24". I like 20s but I'm only 6'0".

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6/18/2019 5:31 PM

TallGimpstar wrote:

What's up - I see lots of posts on here (from google) where it appears plenty of guys my size are 'getting into it', at some point.

I'm looking for advice - so I figure, why not post and see what comes up. Most of the posts I've seen are all fairly dated and I am curious as to more modern opinions.

I'm not young anymore at just shy of 40 years old, and I'm certainly not small at 6'5". I weigh in around 285-295 depending on time of year (I pack it on in the winter!). So I'm a big dude. I'm not stupid enough to stay it's all muscle and I'm too old to really care at this point. I've got a gut, but I'd like to see it diminished a bit.

I used to race motocross and was an athlete in multiple sports growing up. Then real life happened and I got fat and sedentary.

My boys have started showing a genuine interest in BMX. They've got a couple 20" Mongoose bikes (a Scan R30 I think, and a Legion something-er-other, if I remember correctly). They've been having a good time just going to the local track and trying it out on their own.

Lately they're asking "why not you, dad?" - and I started asking myself "yeah, why not me?"

I feel it could be a cool new chapter to my life and a fun thing that would help me lose weight and have some more fun in common with my kids.

Which brings me to my main questions:

Who likes what for fat, super tall old dudes?

I have been looking real hard at the Mongoose Title Pro XXL - for $270 it's a complete bike - it has good reviews, seems affordable. Sure, it's not going to set the racing world on fire, but this is a new sport to me - and I'm old and out of shape. From what I've read - it seems okay for entry level, or is it BS and it's garbage?

I also saw the Mongoose Title Elite Pro XXL (which is a couple bills more) - saw some online reviews for that - but wasn't sure what the big differences were. Is it worlds better? Worth the price difference?

Other recommendations? I'm so big I think a 22" top tube (is that the right measurement?) is what I'm after... but I'm just nervous to get on something and have it explode on me because I'm a giant. That would be really embarrassing - something I would like to avoid.

Forgot to add: there is a local bike shop here that sells Sunday & Eastern. He said he can get pretty much any size from 20" - 26" for around the $350-$425 price point. I have no idea about either of those brands.

My goals would be something that could be ridden around at the BMX track and (maybe) in the future competed on. Obviously I'd be going slow in whatever fat-man class I could find...

So any ideas or thoughts are welcome. I'm looking to stay south of $500. Hell, I'd prefer south of $350 if I could. But I'm looking for something durable I could ride/race on and enjoy the time at the track with my kids.

Let me know your thoughts (sorry for the wall of text).

blammo585 wrote:

I had to join Vital just to give you some advice and my opinion. The Mongoose Title bikes are really good bikes to get started on and can be built up with better parts as you progress if you'd like. At your weight I would really look at the Title Elite as it has a chromoly fork and bars. I don't think the standard Title does; at your weight I wouldn't trust a hi-tensile fork or bars. I believe a lot of tracks have partnered with Mongoose and they use the Title bikes as loaners at their tracks. At your size, I would suggest a chromoly frame, but you're not going to find a chromoly complete race bike in your price range. As an example, I've been looking at the Subrosa Speedwolf but the frame alone is almost $400. I would also suggest an XXXL if you go 20". But you would have to look at the serious race companies for that, so again the Title bikes would be fine.

All of the bikes suggested here are not racing bikes and wouldn't really be ideal on a track.

A 24" is not a bad idea at your size. I don't know what your goals are but if you plan on actually racing and not just riding the track, keep in mind that the cruiser class is not broken down by skill level. So you'll get thrown in with experts and perhaps even former pros. To make it a little more confusing, USA BMX does allow beginners to ride a cruiser in the 20" class. Once you're able to advance to Intermediate then you have to start riding a 20" in class or just ride the 24" in cruiser. I guess if you don't ever plan on winning, you can ride the 24" in Novice 20" forever, LOL.

For what you want to do and looking to spend the Mongoose Title bikes will be good. You just have to decide 20" or 24". I like 20s but I'm only 6'0".

Very commendable. smile

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6/18/2019 6:54 PM

Chromoly is a lot stronger than Aluminum. You do NOT wanna take one of those 6061 race bike frames down a big stairset. But at the higher price point, they get better constructed. Racing people tend to be very particular about weight, so..any ounce matters basically. Standard makes high end chromoly race stuff still, however. But aluminum typically is what you'll see any higher level racers riding. Chromoly is more-so for the freestyle community, as we really beat up our parts.

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Refs: Future FBM, Warchol2 WtfKennethXp Riversiderider TCbmx Riversiderider JakeSalbert

6/19/2019 5:20 AM

There's nothing wrong with aluminum bikes. THey just aren't suited for freestyle. You could go with an aluminum race bike but I'd be sure it is a stout built frame, due to your size and weight. Aluminum will be stiffer and you will probably have more options in a race bike with aluminum thrown in the mix.

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6/19/2019 8:16 AM

Would building my own (buying a chromoly frame / forks) be cheaper?

For example: with PC's, you can 'build your own' and get a better setup for the same price as the prebuilts. Is BMX the same way?

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6/19/2019 8:21 AM

Looks like you want a Race Bike. Buy a Race bike not a freestyle bike. You height is a problem for stock completes so that 22" Mongoose would be a good option.

Id truly recommend looking for a used XXL/ XXXL complete. Facebook has lots of race for sale groups. you might be able to score a very nice, strong complete of after market parts for almost the same price.

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6/19/2019 8:23 AM

TallGimpstar wrote:

Would building my own (buying a chromoly frame / forks) be cheaper?

For example: with PC's, you can 'build your own' and get a better setup for the same price as the prebuilts. Is BMX the same way?

you will build a better bike but will cost more.

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6/19/2019 8:56 AM

Subrosa, Cult, and S&M have chromoly race frames but no completes. Supercross had a chromoly frame but I think it was a limited run. But if you don't want to build it up yourself, which will get expensive, an aluminum complete is the way to go.

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6/19/2019 9:18 PM

blammo585 wrote:

Subrosa, Cult, and S&M have chromoly race frames but no completes. Supercross had a chromoly frame but I think it was a limited run. But if you don't want to build it up yourself, which will get expensive, an aluminum complete is the way to go.

Don’t forget the Colony GTi! Comes in 21.6

http://colonybmx.com.au/products/gti-mk1-frame/

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Don’t put 25.4 bars in a 22.2 stem.