Which AM/DH frame?

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  • Which AM/DH frame?
  • _tom_
    Member

    Thinking that instead of buying a complete seperate DH bike I might just buy a full sus frame and put the existing parts from my Trailstar on it. By AM/DH I mean that I want it to be mainly focussed on having fun on the downhills and jumps but also able to climb if I put the seat up and put some effort in.

    My Trailstar currently has 140mm Pikes on it. I know these will be a bit short for a DH bike so I was thinking I would upgrade these eventually to Lyriks or something. So I would like something that will ride well enough with the Pikes until such time as I can afford better forks.

    Was thinking a 2nd hand Specialized Pitch frame as the completes come with Pikes, yet can be ridden with up to 160mm forks? Also need something made for fatties as I’m currently 16.5 stone, so the shock needs to be able to go hard enough to give me the correct amount of sag.

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy
    Subscriber

    Think you need to be realistic;

    Are you going to have only one bike?
    What sort of riding do you usually do?

    Plenty of bikes you can build up that will cope with most you can throw at them, but I wouldn’t call them DH bikes..

    _tom_
    Member

    Well at the minute all I’m really riding is DH.. I only have weekends to ride my mtb at the minute and I’d rather be having fun on downhills than working hard on xc too much. I have a road bike which I ride weekday evening for “training” rides.

    My current mtb is a compromise anyway, being more of a dirt jumpy bike than xc or downhill. I get by well enough on it, I’d just rather have the confidence of a slack head angle and some rear bounce for roots and rocks.

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy
    Subscriber

    Why not a dedicated dh bike then? And push to the top with a bike smile on your face 😉

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    plenty of 140-160mm travel bikes can handle dh courses with ease

    spesh sx trail, sc heckler, kona coiler, etc etc

    you might not be winning any races xc or dh on them but bags of fun!

    _tom_
    Member

    Why not a dedicated dh bike then?

    Seems a bit limiting to have as my only mtb is all. I’d still like to be able to do an xc ride if I fancied it.

    I was saving for a complete dedicated dh bike to have as a second one, but it seems unnecessary to have 2 mtbs “just in case I fancy an xc ride”, especially considering I’m only on just above minimum wage!

    chris_mbuk
    Member

    thats where the alpine 160 comes in 🙂 buy it

    coogan
    Member

    5 Spot with a coil shock is reet good giggle downhill. Or if bigger, I’d be having a long look at one of these when they arrive.

    _tom_
    Member

    I think even just the Alpine frame by itself would be out of my budget. Saving up about a grand for either a 2nd hand complete or 2nd hand frame, finishing kit (seatpost, clamp etc) & new drivetrain as mine’s fooked.

    How much rear travel should I be looking at? Probably won’t want to go above 160 on the front.

    What sort of downhill tracks do you ride?

    If its nothing too long (likef ft bill) or rough, why not just get a 5 inch travel frame (like blur 4x). Probably faster than a proper downhill bike on the non rough stuff and would work better for jumps. If you start getting into downhill properly then you can sell it and get a proper dh bike.

    _tom_
    Member

    Main places I ride are Stile Cop, Woburn and Forest of Dean. Was absolutely battered after the uplift I did at FoD on my hardtail 😆

    stew1982
    Member

    How about an enduro sl with coil shock and spec AFR shock for the odd xc if you want to lighten it a bit.

    Premier Icon richwales
    Subscriber

    Cannondale prophet if you’re after 2nd hand.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Enduro would be getting my attention I think. Or a Wolf Ridge if I wanted to go smaller. That said there’s loads of bikes that’ll do it, if you don’t want race pace- my Hemlock with its 2 degree head angle reducer, its fattest tyres and its lyriks in makes for a seriously capable descender (ie, gets me down DH trails alive, which is some feat as I’m rubbish) but if I put its Revs back in and skinnier tyres on it’s back to being a brilliant allround trailbike.

    mildred
    Member

    Dirt magazine have been spunking over a Last Herb Am – “Fastest trail bike on the Planet” apparently.

    The am or fr look ideal.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    I’ll second the suggestion of a used Prophet.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    On your budget, maybe a used SX Trail?

    Would be perfect for FoD DH tracks I reckon.

    Premier Icon MussEd
    Subscriber

    If you’r intent on saving up a grand you’ll get a half decent full DH bike for that and get to keep your trailstar?

    You say all you’re riding is DH so why worry about limiting yourself if you’re already doing it?

    http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/672278/

    http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/714782

    That took me two mins – might not be exclusive but will be better compromise than what you’re proposing…good luck

    geetee1972
    Member

    Tom – the Last Herb AM is supposed to be amazing, but they are pretty heavy (frame without shock is 3.6 IIRC) so a complete build will be no lighter than say 34lbs with kit that’s going to handle what the bike can do.

    I’d worry less about the amount of travel and more about the quality of travel and the geometry, especially given where you’re riding it – you could look for something between 140mm and 160mm but the benefit of the shorter travel bike will be that you can put something like a Pike on the front and still have good performance with lighter weight and lower cost.

    Those locations are great; FOD is the one I am very familiar with and it’s sooo much fun, but it’s not especially demanding so you can get away with quite a light bike. I think that Rowan Sorrell won a number of the short course races there on an Orange Five.

    Your budget is tight though so you’ll be needing to get something off of eBay I suspect if you want a full suss frame. The Pitch is the obvious choice as it’s so capable and the frames seem to be very reliable; plus if you bought one new and then sold the new parts, using your kit from the DMR to swap over, then you’d likely make enough back to stay close to your budget.

    Be very wary about buying a second hand Spesh Enduro from 2005 to 2007. That would be absolutely THE bike to have second hand for what you want to achieve, but they have a habit of cracking around the chainstay, even the reinforced ones can break (I went through three chainstays and on the third breakage I also found a crack in the main frame, but luckily I was the original owner so Spesh gave me a whole new 2010 frame!) You won’t have a warranty if you buy second hand.

    peachos
    Member

    Have a look at the Norco Six. you can find em on PinkBike / Ebay dirt cheap and they’re a great, solid frame that can be used for riding XC but are great on the DHs. I use mine for big mountain riding, trail centres, uplift days & occasionally some XC. It’s a very similar bike to the SX trail & will accept triples as well as LT forks. 150/170mm out back. Would be perfect for your budget & requirements. I love mine.

    http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/list/?q=norco+six&category=0&pmin=&pmax=&region=5

    If you’re a short-ass Winstanley’s still have one in a small size – http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/product/7604/Norco_Six1_Bike_2006

    I use a Santa Cruz Bullit for general trail duties, it’s built pretty tough and with U-Turn Lyriks it still climbs pretty well. Weights about 37lbs or so. I find it only really struggles if you try to hustle it on flat ground, apart from that it’s quick enough. I paid £400 for my frame, with a set of 888s that can swap on in 5 minutes for DH tracks, and a few other bits.

    If money was no object I’d probably look at the Trek Scratch or the new Cannondale Claymore for what you’re after as they’re both very light and the Claymore is very adjustable for getting up the hills in the first place.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Tom – one other consideration for you:

    Devinci Hectik 2 Frame – £1199

    You could race the Mega Avalanche on this very competitively. I’ve ridden one a few times and they are excellent; seriously competitive against things like the Spesh Enduro, Orange Alpine 160 etc, but considerably cheaper right now.

    James is your man at Freeborn. He’s had one for a while and can tell you more about them. 01403 251 252

    Twin
    Member

    commencal meta? nice and cheap secondhand, climbs well, flies down. might not be as DH oriented as you want tho, but I haven’t found the limits of mine yet. and i’m 17.5 stone so it can take the weight you’re after.

    Dango
    Member

    See you’ve started a thread for Pitch or SX frame wanted, Enduro might be better, enduro’s are good with 36’s up front, the SX will be a bit too heavy to pedal around (tried that) but pretty close to a DH bike with Totems

    kamina
    Member

    I like my Intense Uzzi a lot, works well on DH tracks but is fine on trails too. I have a Lyrik on the front, would not work well with the Pike. Enduro Evo should be really nice too.

    geetee1972
    Member

    I like my Intense Uzzi a lot, works well on DH tracks but is fine on trails too.

    Great suggestion, but you might have missed this point:

    Saving up about a grand for either a 2nd hand complete or 2nd hand frame, finishing kit (seatpost, clamp etc) & new drivetrain as mine’s fooked.

    Think the Uzzi, nice as it is, might break the budget a little 😯

    bazzer
    Member

    Second hand Patriot frame, with something like Lyriks or 36’s

    I have just sold mine and until I got my Sunday I used it for everything from local rides to Whistler bike park. Lots of Cwmcarn uplift days etc.

    Was OK on all day rides too, bit heavier than some long travel bikes, but the build was strong, no point have a flimsy set of wheels on a 6″ travel bike.

    _tom_
    Member

    Thanks for all the replies, so much choice and I still dunno what to do 😆

    Still thinking about doing the whole “hardcore hardtail” thing like I have been doing, but with something slacker and able to take bigger forks. I know I can get away with a lot more dodgy landings and roots on a full sus though! Also I’m tempted to work up to doing the Fort William endurance DH thing next July, think it would probably be hell on a hardtail!

    And yes I rode a mates Uzzi a while ago at FOD and loved it. Bit heavy and ott for me though. Also I think I’d prefer something a bit more “flickable” rather than a barge that sticks to the ground.

    I’ve got a hardcore hardtail – 456 Carbon with Lyriks – and while it is quick, it’s not on the same page as the Bullit for DH type stuff. The thing with the 456 is that if you hit something a bit too hard with the front wheel, you’ll get away with only being slightly out of control, until the rear wheel then hits it and you end up in trouble. With the full-sus the rear end will behave much more like the front, so if you can get the front through it, generally the rear will play the same game without trying to kill you.

    Both are really good and fun to ride, but the difference between front and rear wheel performance on the 456 is a big consideration with how fast you get through stuff, there’s much less room for error I guess is my point.

    toys19
    Member

    Someone mentioned a bullit up there, I have two bullits, one in trial guise and one in more Dh the trail guise one is 32 lbs, ok it does have carbon bars, cranks and pace carbon forks for lightness but it still feels capable of anything..

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Yeah Patriot is a good call too. Bit heavier than some more AM-style bikes, but very sturdy and capable of doing more proper DH riding if required. Excellent fun to ride too.

    You could probably pick up a decent used SX or Patriot for a grand, and then why not keep your HT?

    But if only having one bike, maybe something like a Pitch would be the better option.

    For a hardtail don’t discount the 456 or 456 SS, thyere long and in SS guise, slack, pretty much how a DH bike should be.

    I took mine to Spain with me with 150mm X1 RC2’s up front, and supertacky 2.5″ tyres, it was ace. Only suffered on big downhills where after 5 minutes of abuse I was completely shot and couldn’t hold the bars any more!

    Full sus, if your buying new look at the transition covert, the guy who runs Whight Mountain owns one and I’ve a bad case of bike envy. 2nd hand I’m thinking the same as you, pitch or prophet.

    I_Ache
    Member

    How about one of these I just built this up and it runs great. £200 for the frame and shock! All the rest was on my 456 apart from the seatpost.


    DSC_0356 by i_ache, on Flickr

    I_Ache
    Member

    Oh and the frame cant weigh much more than a Trailstar. Full build 32lbs.

    U31

    Kinnel, if he gives me a grand, Tom can have my Patriot!

    carbon337
    Member

    Nobodies mentioned a burly built Five yet?

    Run with pikes initially then with Lyriks ( i have one with lyriks)

    Short stem, wide bars. Few beefy components. Bobs your uncle.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    I recently managed to get a refurbished Patriot 66 frame off e-bay and built it up with sturdy wheels, my coil Pikes, a 65mm stem and some light DH bars, Dual and bash up front and flat pedals, everything else XT or LX. 205/185 hope floating rotors, and an as new RP23 air shock from an Alpine. Having had a five and then a blur 4x I’m loving the new build, its a fab all rounder and feels super planted. So far I’ve used it for some Alpine xc and lots of general mucking about, and the Pikes are working great with the frame. I thought about trying Lyrics but I don’t think I’ll bother for now.

    Got a Five with Lyriks – insanely adaptable bike. Love it.

    Want a big rig, but for 90% of my riding the Five works.

    carbon337
    Member

    Over 3 mins and nobody has slated the five for being overprice/ugly blah blah nonsense.

    STW you disappoint me.

    Premier Icon neil853
    Subscriber
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