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  1. #1
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    AM-DH crossover bike?

    I am at a crossroads, I can't decide if I should buy a full dedicated downhill rig (Demo 8II) or build up a big all mountain bike (Nomad or HD with 180 vanilla and a coil rear). I have never gone lift riding but plan to a few times this year. Most of the trails I ride require some degree of pedaling and I mostly want a big hit bike for jumps and big drops. I've built up my tallboy LTc as big as it will go and you guys would probably agree jumping with clown wheels should be cancelled. I'm keeping the LTc for long trail rides but thought it would be a good discussion what are the limits of a burly nomad and is a demo 8 overkill for non lift assisted riding. (Of note I was offered a new 2012 demo 8 II with xo, CCDB and a boxer for 4.2k)


    I posted this in the DH forum as well to get contrasting opinions, but as of now I'd say I'm a all mountain rider but keep finding myself in bigger and bigger situations.

  2. #2
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    There are some AM type bikes that can be built up to do some DH and Park stuff very effectively.

    Look at:

    Canfield Brothers The One: very versatile
    Knolly Delirium (if you can find one)
    Cove G Spot
    Trek Slash (or Scratch).
    Intense UZZI
    Specialized Enduro EVO


    Not sure about the Demo 8 as an AM bike but the Nomad may pass as a sometimes park bike with the right build although I don't think it's going to be quite as durable/appropiate as some of the bikes listed above, all (or Most) of which are approved for 180 forks. You can even put a dual crown on the Knolly I believe without voiding the warranty.

    Realize that no AM bike is going to hold up to continuous DH/Park runs as well as a dedicated DH rig.
    Last edited by KRob; 01-29-2013 at 02:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    I've had my Enduro at different bike parks probably 10 days last year, and I was pretty happy with it. The first day there, I was hitting bigger stuff than I had previously hit. My brother and I swapped bikes for a few runs last year (late '00's Glory), and agreed that the Enduro feels pretty much the same -- just as stable and confident going down the hill, just slightly less travel, to the point that he is looking at getting rid of it and going with something like the Enduro. He just doesn't ride lifts enough to warrant a dedicated DH bike anymore. Bikes like the Enduro pedal a lot better and are more versatile if you aren't just hitting the resort all the time.

    I'm not saying its a direct swap for a true DH bike. If I was hitting resorts and stuff weekly, I would have a true DH rig in the stable. But I was honestly very happy with the Enduro this summer. I didn't feel like the bike was holding me back at all Particularly if I were going to pedal up very often, I would prefer a burly AM bike over a DH rig.

    I'm sure many of the other bikes KRob mentioned would be great options as well -- he's ridden a lot more bikes than most of us have!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I'm sure many of the other bikes KRob mentioned would be great options as well -- he's ridden a lot more bikes than most of us have!
    Actually I just added the Enduro (especially EVO) to the list before I read your post. Good call.

  5. #5
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    must agree with ty. my enduro with monarch plus is a very controlled beast.
    then there's this thing...if i can get hold of one this year..
    [ATTACH]756910
    sorry for the double pic..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AM-DH crossover bike?-js_1601_last_herb_180.jpg  

    AM-DH crossover bike?-p4pb8910056.jpg  


  6. #6
    eBiker
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    Heavy duty AM bikes have pushed the 7 inch FR bikes to near extinction with their current capability. Parks are also a lot smoother now with nice transitions on the backsides & much fewer jumps/drops to flat.

    DH bikes are stellar, but they ride stellar for a very specific purpose only.

    P

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    must agree with ty. my enduro with monarch plus is a very controlled beast.
    then there's this thing...if i can get hold of one this year..
    [ATTACH]756910
    sorry for the double pic..
    Manufacturer ???

  8. #8
    Quiet Professional
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    Giant reign x, Giant Faith, Nomad, Knolly has a few

  9. #9
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    Giant Reign X, It has 170mm of rear travel vs 160mm. I find that a 160mm fork is pretty capable for DH, just avoid the bigger jumps and drops. If youre going to ride AM type stuff more often than bike park stuff I would stay with a 160mm fork.

  10. #10
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    The Nomad Works!

    Dpca10: I built up a first-gen Nomad with similar intent -- pedal-able enough to ride the local AM stuff, but beefy enough to handle light DH/FR. I'm running a super-reliable Marz 66 180mm coil and a DHX coil with ti spring. For "daily use" I've got a good, hand-built set of 819s laced on hopes, and picked up a burly set of Transitions for DH.

    I do find myself doing the occasional fireroad push on bigger (3000+) climbing days; but the 2x9 setup usually makes it possible to sit and spin. The weight -- probably 34-35? -- is less an issue for ascending than the geometry. The Marz ETA helps a little bit; however, there's no getting around how tall the front-end is. I also had to run an 1/8" riser under the headtube since the crown is so wide on the 66. No doubt, it's a weird looking bike.

    I expected to make some compromises going up, but it ended up being way more capable than I had expected for DH. I've ridden it since '06 on some pretty steep stuff, including a bunch at Whistler and Northstar, and never felt seriously under-gunned. Well...except for Goat's Gully on a wet day, maybe...

    It might be cusher on a big sled, but it's been great having something I can actually pedal.

    FWIW, I also know a couple of dudes slaying it on knolly chilly's both up and down the hill.

  11. #11
    Wēk Sôs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudster View Post
    Manufacturer ???
    Last

    It's probably the Herb 180.

  12. #12
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    Crossover between AM and DH, isn't that FR?

    AM has pretty much taken over the FR market, but there's still long travel FR bikes out there that haven't been listed yet:

    Cove STD
    Transition Blindside, Tr250
    Banshee Scythe
    kona entourage

    Beefed up 160mm bike will do, but since you are keeping your trail bike I would go with something more biased towards rough play.

  13. #13
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    Canfield The One. Very good for everything from Enduro racing to DH racing.
    6'5" 230lbs
    My Build: Vitalmtb - Bike Check

  14. #14
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    My $.02 would be to choose something like the enduro evo, trek slash, kona entourage or something along those lines. There are plenty of riders sending these off the bigger stuff at bike parks. I have a demo and it is not an AM bike. Any extended pedaling on pure downhill bikes on flatter terrain is somewhat doable but it is way out of its element. Even modest climbing is out of the question, ski lift or pushing only, and they are happiest when the trails are ass over the back tire steep, choppy and fast. It's not really a north shore type of bike either that requires slightly steeper geometry for nimbleness and handling.

  15. #15
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    gonna throw something else in the mix for you - A C'dale Claymore

    it's exactly the bike that you're describing.

    just got back from a weekend in Queenstown - one of the boys is the local disty so brought a bunch of Jekylls and his Claymore down.

    Those who rode it were absolutely blown away by it.. I mean seriously these guys were fighting over who was riding it down next (unfortunately way too small for me so didn't get to try..)

    anyhoo read one of the boys thoughts on it.. (riders were on Firebirds, couple of Nomads with burly builds and a Scot i forget which model). I just have to share as I've never seen a reaction like this after some pretty seasoned riders jumped on this bike.

    Yes, I am also finding myself a little distracted today. So I have embarked on a small research project.

    I was very disappointed after riding that Claymore. It just felt so much better than the old firebird. More stable, stiffer, faster, yet no less flickable or fun. Sure we were only riding downhill….. but damn it felt better than a Cannondale should ever be. WTF is going on here!

    Questions to answer;
    • Was it just the effect of the boxxer fork?
    • Did the bigger fork increase the head tube angle making the different feel (vis-a-vie trial a boxxer on the bird?)
    • How heavy is the boxxer, what is the A-C
    • How does the claymore Geo compare to the Firebird/Nomad
    • How heavy was the Claymore, is it too heavy for a trail bike to tackle the stuff we ride most.
    • Could I ever ride a Cannondale…

    See below spreadsheet containing support data to the following conclusions.

    • As we all knew the Nomad and Pivot are very similar in geo measurements.
    In comparison the Claymore has longer wheelbase, shorter chainstays, slacker head angle.
    However the Claymore is no DH geometry (Compare Phoenix geo in chart)
    • Boxxer Fork had no effect on geometry as it is almost same A-C height as the fox 180mm oem fork.
    • In standard build kit the Claymore is similar weight to Firebird/Nomad (I couldn’t confirm frame weight only of claymore)

    Summary:
    Two key reasons for what I liked in the Claymore ride:
    1. Geometry. You are sitting slightly further back over the rear wheel, lower BB gets you closer to the ground, and the slacker head-angle has more wheel in front of you. I am guessing the differences are enough to make it feel more planted, yet not overly affect its ability to be thrown around a little.
    2. I am also thinking a big difference was in the rear sock. With its two stage setting it can be a very plush DH tuned shock, or a platform-based pedalable set-up. Jury is out as to how well it pedals on our normal trails though? Personally I don’t think I like having a switch for riding up or down?

    Sure the Boxxer fork added stiffness to the front end, but shouldn’t have delivered anything much in plushness or function over the Fox 180’s (Though I am very interested that the World Cup version Boxxer is only 300g heavier and no taller than my fox 180 Hmmmm….)

    Initial concerns on weight didn’t pan out. The reason Alistair’s Claymore was so heavy has to be the coil Boxxers, and 1.2kg tyres.

    Could I ride a Cannondale???? Not sure bout dat!!!

  16. #16
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    reign x with a coil and 180mm fork can do just about anything. I love mine and have regularly done drops of 15' and have ridden many freeride/DH trails that the big bikes do.

  17. #17
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    My Knolly Delirium built for exactly what you describe! A lighter AM build that I ride everything! This bike pedals amazing! Note the 2 helmets, does it all!

  18. #18
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    Also, new Transition Covert.

  19. #19
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    The Banshee Rune V2 should absolutely be on this list. Low, slack, burly, able to run a 180 fork, and still very capable of pedaling up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartwerks View Post
    The Banshee Rune V2 should absolutely be on this list. Low, slack, burly, able to run a 180 fork, and still very capable of pedaling up.
    yep got one on the way can't wait! got it complete and the build kits aren't ready hence the rather annoying delay.

    a couple of people have mentioned Nomads - I'd be wary of getting one of them purely for the fact that the geo design seems to be pretty outdated on those now and there will be defo a new frame on the way shortly so you'd be a bit pi$$ed if you'd jsut dropped a lot of $$$ and the new model comes out..

    all seems to be getting slacker headangle, lower BB and shorter chainstays.

    that knolly looks frikkin amazing!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dpca10 View Post
    I've built up my tallboy LTc as big as it will go and you guys would probably agree jumping with clown wheels should be cancelled.
    I respectfully disagree. I like jumping with any size wheel and have no problem whatsoever jumping with the big wheels. But for what you describe, a 650B rig with 180mm travel would be the bee's knees. Maybe a Norco Range Killer B?

  22. #22
    perpetual pucker factor
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    Most of the options mentioned are great bikes, but if you want to actually do some dh, things like the enduro or nomad won't be a good tool. I love the nomad for 85 percent of all terrain, but that last little bit is just not in its skill set. I would seriously have a look at a Canfield One. You can build it up nice and light, but still have the option of running a full dual crown fork. Build it up with a 180 air fork for trails, and if you want to pound the really steep stuff, you can have a spare dh fork you swap out in 20 minutes. No extra frame needed. I'm getting one as soon as uncle Sam gives me my tax return.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  23. #23
    Perpetual Hack
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    Another vote for the Knolly Delirium

    Trail Mode with lite wheels and lyrik DH coil trail fork.



    DH Mode with bigger wheelset and 66 RC3 fork with ti spring.



    michael
    A Dirtbag since 1969.
    A Knomer since 2007.

    Knolly Podium V.2
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    RM Slayer . . .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtnord View Post
    Canfield The One. Very good for everything from Enduro racing to DH racing.
    2008 One Frame is on closeout for 499 frame only on Canfield's site. They only have size S though.

  25. #25
    RideDirt
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    Yea i would not buy a DH bike unless you are going to be riding all season long which in your post it doesnt seem that way . Many people dont understand, but a single crown fork thats at 180mm can handle A LOT more then the user can put it thru . A DH bike needs to go fast in order for it to really work , if you try to ride your DH bike on climbs , switchbacks, or tight techy trails you will HATE it . Plus the steering is slow and sloppy . There are plenty of frames that are well built for a 180mm fork that have DH geo but also able to ride locally . Pick your budget , find out exactly what type of riding you want to do MOST, and then just search on particular models you might have narrowed down on your search.

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