Are there any "proper? Downhill bikes out there that actually pedal quite well?

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  • Are there any "proper? Downhill bikes out there that actually pedal quite well?
  • mikey74
    Member

    The Nomad is not a “proper” dh bike. Although something witha VPP or DW Link suspension may pedal better than, say, a true four-bar, such as a Spesh.

    Get something with a Cane Creek Double Barrel shock, and tune it to your liking.

    peterfile
    Member

    I’ve had a fair collection of DH and FR bikes over the years and very few could ever be described as pedalling well when compared to say a 5″ all mountain bike, let alone a HT etc.

    However, I’ve just built up a Shocker after playing around with one in Whistler at the start of the year (although admittedly I could only run it around the underground heated areas for obvious reasons).

    Despite the fact it’s a pure DH race frame with 9″ of travel, I was pretty astounded how well it was able to pedal when I cranked the pedals.

    I started building one when I got back to the UK and stuck a CCDB on it.

    I’ve not been able to ride it much thanks to injury the first weekend I took it out, but from the time I did spend on it, it’s unreal. I’ve only got as far as the stock settings on the CCDB, but considering I’m running at 33% sag, it’s like the rear end REALLY stiffens up when you put power on the pedals.

    I came off a Bullit with a DHX Air, and without a word of a lie, it pedals better than the Bullit. Granted, the geo and weight means it’s not something you ever really want to be pointing up a hill, but it’s far and away the most pedal efficient DH bike I’ve ever ridden.

    Two of my friends who were with me on the day I crashed both had a blast. One is on a 2011 Demo 8 and the other on Transition TR450, they both race too. They were pretty shocked (excuse the pun!) as to how well it pedalled.

    It absolutely pains me that I’ve still got another month or two before I can get out on it again 🙁

    GaVgAs
    Member

    Thanks peterfile,Theres quite a few rides up here in the lakes that are well suited to a full on downhill bike,The only downside would be the carrying,its inevitable your going to carry at some point but it would be great to pedal a bit if possible.

    Just need to get the idea up and running, 😉

    mildred
    Member

    I used to have a mk1 Orange 224dd as my all rounder, which pedalled remarkably well with the shock set up properly.

    nicolaisam
    Member

    I had a Nicolai ION-st,that seemed to pedal very well,used to ride it to my local hill,its 3 miles each way.rode it to my local woods and did a 12 mile loop on it.weighed 40lbs had fox 40’s and 230mm of rear travel.

    andrewh
    Member

    Burly enough for you? Pedal well.

    viv
    Member

    my lapierre froggy pedals ok(ish) with the pro-pedal on, it’s got 180 at the back and 160 up front, newer models will have the 180 fox forks though, component wise it’s not exactly full on downhill though

    andrewh
    Member

    Santa Cruz Bullit maybe? Has a Patriot got enough travel?

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    adjustable geo/travel bikes?


    peterfile
    Member

    You’ve really got to be brutally honest with yourself before buying a full on DH bike though. It’s a bit pointless for anything other than full on DH 🙂

    Something like a Nomad would probably be better if you think you are going to be any non gravity assisted distances.

    However, if you just need to put in a bit of rolling singletrack every now and then, a DH bike will be fine, but obviously a bit more of an effort than a 7″ FR bike.

    You would be amazing at what most good 7″ FR bikes will handle if you set them up well. You’re not likely to ever find yourself needing more unless you are pinning the WC course at Ft Bill every weekend.

    I just made the choice to swap the Bullit for an out and out DH bike because I was spending so much cash on the Bullit trying to make it something it wasn’t, no matter what you do they geo will never be what you could have with a DH bike. Figured I should just get another DH specific bike and leave all other riding to my other bikes.

    nowthen
    Member

    My SOCOM pedals damn well considering how plush the travel is… Almost more like a trail bike with 8″ travel really!

    How about considering an Intense UZZI which has same VPP suspension?

    psychle
    Member

    Mojo HD? Can run a 180mm fork up the front…

    GaVgAs
    Member

    180mm travel and nothing less,Nomad Carbon?

    geetee1972
    Member

    It’s a bit pointless for anything other than full on DH

    They are also quite hard to ride until you really get going on them. Most DH bikes these days seem to be built for some sort of up coming superstar; I was always pretty freakin average at DH and my Ion ST always felt, well just a bit vague, not actuallly all that easy to manage unless I was motoring a little.

    I roder the Ion ST back to back at Gawton with my Helius AM and yes the Ion was quicker but there wasn’t a whole lot in it; maybe 10%?

    DH bikes, modern ones at least, really only come into their own if you’re racing or seriously quick IMO. Think about how easy it isn’t to man handle a 40lb machine with a 63 degree HA down a slope so steep you can’t hope to get off the brakes on because otherwise you’d be doing warp 9. The pros can let off the brakes because they’re that good, but your average punter will be making a right hash of navigating their way down at 20mpg max.

    A Nomad/Uzi VPX/Endruo/Alpine 160/Spicy/Helius AM will all let you makethe very most of the biggest official trails that the Lakes can offer and still have the potential to built into a 30lb AM bike.

    peterfile
    Member

    I’m a bit confused as to what we are talking about here?

    Thread says “proper” downhill bikes that pedal well, but then there’s a lot of references to AM and FR bikes.

    Sticking 180mm on a Mojo HD doesn’t make it a proper DH bike, it’s just a long travel bike, likewise all those adjustable geo bikes are not DH bikes.

    gavgas, do you mean a long travel bike that can handle trail duties as well as a bit of DH? Or do you mean an out and out DH bike? There’s quite a big difference, since a full on DH bike isn’t very useful for much else, whereas something like a Mojo HD is an all round machine.

    iron horse sunday, dw link travel linkage!!!!

    juiced
    Member

    OPer either want’s a DH frame for British DH were pedalling may be good at some places?

    OR wants a dh bike that can be pedalled and used as a trail machine too?

    I guess?

    loddrik
    Member

    180mm is just silly, you can’t use that sort of travel anywhere in the UK except for the Surrey Hills…

    peterfile
    Member

    OR wants a dh bike that can be pedalled and used as a trail machine too?

    I’d buy a big hitting AM machine for that, Nomad, Mojo HD etc. Buying something like an 88, TR450, 951, Shocker etc for trails is a waste of cash when there are far better tools out there for the job.

    juiced
    Member

    yeah agreed. i’d have thought a FR/ heavy duty AM bike with less travel would be better too. Maybe they need to ride to the downhill sections / places even before they start pushing up?

    hexhamstu
    Member

    If you want a “proper” downhill bike, it’s never going to pedal that well and your clearly looking for the wrong bike.

    PJM1974
    Member

    Hmm….I once rode a Specialized Big Hit at Thetford and learned a lot about DH bikes and pedalling (I’d turned up on an Enduro). It was hard work, but riding The Beast on it was like being on a cross between a recumbent bike with 888s and a sofa.

    If you need to pedal a lot, then you clearly don’t need a DH bike. Thankfully, these days there are plenty of machines that fill the gap between 5″ full suss and 7.5″ DH monster, if I were in the market for such a machine I’d probably be looking at a Specialized Enduro Evo (or an SX), a Marin Quake or even something leftfield like a Genius 180.

    peterfile
    Member

    7.5″ DH monster

    not many DH bikes out there sporting less than 8″ these days, let alone any monsters.

    PJM1974
    Member

    What’s half an inch between friends?

    Robz
    Member

    To be honest, this. Not really the place to be looking for genuine info or opinion about downhill bikes. As the previous posts prove.

    Any decent downhill bike, set up correctly will pedal well. For the job it was intended to do.

    A Nomad carbon is not a frickin downhill bike.

    jonnyvegas
    Member

    Mine….DH mainly but still ride it around the bridleways etc….

    had a nomad before this funny enough loved it but never trusted it 100% on rocky gardens etc like warncliffe Craggs stuff like that rear end hugged mint but front felt rather flexy or wrong as ran Fox 36RCs

    Now this is MUTATION……….It flys …………..
    Its like my ye old 2008 CR 250 without the Engine and only 32 lbs with my Spike rims x burgtec x AM tyres on..!(Mountain king 2.4 tubleless with stans)
    36 lbs + with the DH swampthings & burgtec x 32 syncros tho….
    Found a pic of the DH nomad too..

    PJM1974
    Member

    32lb????

    That’s lighter than my Marin Wolf Ridge.

    I love the sheer audacity of it, a DH Trek on Totems built as a very burly AM bike. Whoever you are sir, you deserve some kind of medal.

    Robz
    Member

    I think a few more stickers would really finish it off. There is space just under the seat clamp.

    And my mum wants the handlebars back for her shopping bike by the way. 😉

    jonnyvegas
    Member

    Like i said i always wanted a Trek sess 88 so got a rare Large off e-bay sold the Nomadthen built the Trek up ..
    It is a scream bombing down rocky decents as when im walking back up sometimes i laugh then think HOLY S**T did i hit/Ride that..
    The trek does make you feel un real…it handles out to be honest as i just wish i was loads fitter.
    As with helmet,pads & gear on 18 stone so good rolling mass….

    Well i am big boned HE HE ! 😳

    jonnyvegas
    Member

    It was well scratched when i got it 🙄
    thus the 1.3 million stickers & i do have a OCD with them a tad…

    Wide Bars are evil !! 8)

    jonnyvegas
    Member

    PS was gonna have it sprayed up MINT but thought nar ,its a shredder not a show bike LOL….

    jonnyvegas
    Member

    PJM1974..THX fella….”Whoever you are sir, you deserve some kind of medal. “
    Id rather have pie & peas bud … 😀 Cheers ..

    Robz
    Member

    Sessions are awesome bikes and pedal very well too.

    jonnyvegas
    Member

    Got the Roco WC rear shock proper dialed now so its pretty good…
    Just turn the adjuster – full then point DH & GO GO GO !

    xiphon
    Member

    any 22x with a PUSH’d shock… pedals very well.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    xiphon – Member

    any 22x with a PUSH’d shock… pedals very well.

    My mate’s got a 224 with a Push’d shock and pedalling it up a hill is much like sprinting on a bouncy castle. Great bike mind and superb at what it’s supposed to do, but horrible pedaller by anything other than DH bike standards.

    colin@rush
    Member

    I used to ride a marin quake around afan on 4-5 hour XC rides and Shaums March was winning downhill races on it, so surely that qualifies it as a DH bike that pedals well 🙂

    Edit to add its a totally under-rated bike by anyone other than people that have owned one, the first ride i did on one at Cwmcarn DH (on a demo day) it blew me away far plusher than the Big Hit i was using at the time, i bought one straight away very impressive…

    GaVgAs
    Member

    Thanks for the responses folks,I agree your never going to find a proper dh bike the pedals as well/efficently as a 140 travel xc bike, although its interesting to find some people with designs that seem to be ok,I would like to do a few dh races at some point,and quite a lot of the local tuesday night rides are well suited to a big travel bike,we do about 10 to 15 miles with a lot of carry!

    mikey74
    Member

    How about an Intense Slopestyle?

    si-wilson
    Member

    Canfield The One, light DH/FR bike that pedals well.


    2011Onefull by srbwilson, on Flickr

    allthegear
    Member

    After breaking my XC bike, I rode my Santa Cruz VP_Free around Newcastleton (that’s the one with McMoab, right?) and was surprised at how reasonable it was.

    It’s got an 888 on at the moment so 200mm front and 215mm back – is that what the “cool kids” still count as full-on DH??

    Rachel

    legend
    Member

    Thanks for the responses folks,I agree your never going to find a proper dh bike the pedals as well/efficently as a 140 travel xc bike, although its interesting to find some people with designs that seem to be ok,I would like to do a few dh races at some point,and quite a lot of the local tuesday night rides are well suited to a big travel bike,we do about 10 to 15 miles with a lot of carry!

    would you want to carry a 40lbs bike that generally dont lend themselves to being easily carried though?

    Just get a long travel mince tank. It’ll be better for normal riding and easily survive a few races. If you then decide that DH is for you then look at getting a full-bore dh ride.

    The good-at-pedalling dh bike thing is a load of shite imo. 40lbs, 2.5 supertacky tyres, low tyre pressures, single chainring, wide bars, short stem, slack headangle, slack seat angle, tonnes of rear sag when seated, etc, etc….. doesn’t matter what the design is, it’s always going to lose against those odds

    legend
    Member

    Sorry Rachel, the VP-Free never was “full-on DH”. There’s a hint in the name 😉

    Premier Icon Bregante
    Subscriber

    (that’s the one with McMoab, right?)

    Kirroughtree 🙂

    My GT DHI with it’s mixture of I-drive and pro pedal rode up hills better than my sub5. You can sometimes find U Turn boxxers kicking about too, if you absolutely must ride up hills on a DH bike that combination would be my weapon of choice.

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 90 total)

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