- Are there any "proper? Downhill bikes out there that actually pedal quite well?
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 🙁
Posted 7 years ago
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, 😉Posted 7 years ago
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.Posted 7 years agogeetee1972Member
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.Posted 7 years ago
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.Posted 7 years ago
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.Posted 7 years ago
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.Posted 7 years ago
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.Posted 7 years ago
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 …………..Posted 7 years ago
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..
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 ! 😳Posted 7 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
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.Posted 7 years agocolin@rushMember
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…Posted 7 years ago
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!Posted 7 years agoallthegearMember
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??
RachelPosted 7 years agolegendMember
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 oddsPosted 7 years ago
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