456 downhill performance

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  • 456 downhill performance
  • Premier Icon billyboy

    My preferred bike since I bought one second hand last January has been a 456 and I now have a Ti and a steel one. Last week I rendered the one I had taken with me to the Lakes unuseable and I reverted to my older Pace 303. The Pace is a gorgeous ride but it is not as good going up or across tricky stuff as the 456 so I was on a slight downer….. until we did a few steep rocky descents and I remembered how utterly secure the Pace feels going downhill.

    Why can’t I get either of my 456s to feel as bombproof on the downhills?

    The Pace is fitted with an RC41XCAM bolt thru fork, the 456s with a Pike Air U turn bolt thru and a Fox Talas QR.
    The RC41 does have a longer crown to axle height. Is that it?
    I prefer the suspension action on the Pace although the fork does not have the general features that I quite like on a fork (lockout/travel adjust options rather than the lockdown) but the other two forks are both quality kit. Is it as simple as the linnear nature of the Pace fork?
    The Pace is a medium, the 456s are 18″ so slightly bigger. The Pace has a 100mm stem and the seat is pushed back. The 456s have 90mm stems and the seats are pushed foreward. Getting out over the back of the seat to adjust your centre of gravity for the descents is equally achievable on all the bikes so I don’t think it is a size problem.
    I don’t know what all the different angles on the bikes are. Is it a geometry thing?
    Any suggestions gratefully recieved.


    BURN HIM!!!!! 😉

    Premier Icon DezB

    Too much choice

    Premier Icon brant

    Getting out over the back of the seat to adjust your centre of gravity for the descents is equally achievable on all the bikes so I don’t think it is a size problem.

    Sounds like you’re doing that all wrong. Stay centred and low, not off the back.


    Try a coil fork I find they are usually more fun DH for some reason.

    Premier Icon Woody

    Lots of variables to affect things but I would have thought the main differences would be the longer bolt through fork raising the bars a touch and the (IIRC) more compact effective t/t on the 303.

    I noticed a big difference between my Compo and Inbred and more recently my 456 and MC Rumble, which I had set up (I thought) almost identically.

    The only conclusion I could arrive at was that there IS a big difference in certain siuations between ali and steel and that it doesn’t matter what I ride I’ll still be crap, so should stick to one bike 🙄


    Personal choice along with the riders physical build (that can match the shape of a particular bike aswell)? I bet there are riders out there who can ride total XC frames alot quicker than they can more freeridey’?

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    456s seem to have quite a short head tube (only ever seen pics)

    in addition to a shorter fork, maybe your hands are lower by enough for it to feel different?

    Premier Icon billyboy

    These were not “stay centred and low” type slopes. I felt I had to be out back or it would have been dangerous. Even after my pleasant reunion with the 303 I’d still ride the 456 out of preference. I’m really pleased with mine though it’s fair to say I’ve never had bikes that I’ve needed to go through such evolutionary spasms with to get what I want from them. They’ve had more stem, bar, seatpost and saddle swaps than anyother bikes I’ve ever owned. This is just the last part of the jigsaw on the road to perfection!
    Work (still) in progress!!

    I’m pretty crap at riding too but the Pace definately increases my downhill ability while the On One serves me better for everything else.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    I ran my 303 with coil Pikes at 140mm & it was superb. It would go downhill as quick as my Enduro, no problem. My skill (& balls) being the limiting factors. Not at all the bone-jarring ride of the older alloy hard-tails I’ve owned. (Zaskarrrgh!!!)
    It actually improved the harder it was ridden. On the flip side, if tootling along was the order of the day then it was a bit harsh. Hence why I kept the Enduro. Loved owning it though.
    I’d love to try a 456 or even better a Ti456 they sound spot on.


    Can’t fault my ti456, I reckon I can go faster downhill on it than I could on my old enduro. Or does it just feel faster? Either way it’s a lot more fun.

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