With a rear 9 spd drivetrain, more than likely you have cassette on the rear hub, not freewheel.
Do you have a triple chainring on the crankarm?
Going to a 32t rear cog from a 27t cog, the rear derailleur would require to have a long cage and chain would likely need to be lengthen.. if you're running triple chainrings, the front derailleur may need to be changed also.
Full suspension or Hardtail is mostly personal preference, if you're heavy to begin with, a well designed full suspension bike may just hold up better if you ride somewhat aggressively.
I don't know much about REI bikes, but if you want full suspension bikes that can take abuse, look up Marin Quad XC line and Giant Reign line for under $2000.
Originally Posted by Hair
But the 2007s have a CS 5600 freewheel. My bike is a 9 speed so I am assuming that my free wheel is the 9 speed equivalent of the 5600.
Can I gear this guy down? I'm thinking that I might currently have a 27 tooth on the rear. I would like to bump this up to a 32 tooth or similar. I know that I might need to get a different chain and derailleur. I have tried to make sense of the capability charts. I am not finding any useful info.
Next is I am thinking of getting a new mountain bike. I need something that is at least as relaxed as my cycle cross bike. I have never ridden a fully suspended bike or a bike with an air shock on it.
Do I need a fully suspended bike for riding trails?
Or can I get buy just fine with a hard trail?
My biggest issue with bikes is that I tend to knock the wheels out of alignment. I have a set of speed cities on my cycle cross bike. I have never need to alien them.
I am currently looking at an REI brand bike. I think that the fully suppended bike is in the 1600 to 2k range. Is this enough bike for a big guy to get fit on?