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Thread: DH or AM Bike?

  1. #1
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    DH or AM Bike?

    So...I'm new to MTB, bought a used XC and like it. I want to get good at DH but truth is I ride alot of XC and that is probably not going to change. Upgrading my current bike to handle drops and other obstacles is a waste of $$ so I am getting a new bike. I thought of an AM bike (likely my best choice) but thought "would it be funner to have a DH bike?". I know I should go demo some for myself and likely will. But what do ya'll think? Would a DH bike with 200mm front be rediculous to ride local XC? (Las Vegas). Would it really be to hard to ride on the flats & ups? This is a stupid question I am sure...but hey, I'm a noob and that's what noobs do, right? I have modified my XC bike somewhat to better handle the obstacles I can currently handle but really want something that can help me get to a higher level.

  2. #2
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    I was in a similar position as you and ordered an Enduro. I tested out some DH bikes at the bike park, while awesome, I don't think it would be much fun to ride a 200mm bike with any portion of uphill. I felt an AM bike would still be fun for both XC and DH, so thats what I did.

  3. #3
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    you dont want a DH bike unless youre shuttling or riding at a resort.
    what obstacles are you currently handling?
    kill it at the poker tables and get a carbon covert.

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    Get a solidly built 6-7in am/FR bike. Get one that can handle a 2x setup. If you can get a travel adjust fork, do it (it's a pain to climb with 180mm when it gets steep and techy).

    Rune v2, enduro, covert, maybe t250 (not sure if they take a front deraileur) would be good options, and there are plenty more, and theres already a thread on the DH forum about this.

    Oh, and its only a matter of time before someone mentions THE ONE as the best single bike that has ever been invented.

    Bottom line...you can DH with a good "bigger" AM build, and you can ride XC with it and not die. So save the DH bike for when you can have a dedicated DH bike and at least one other to ride.
    Just another redneck with a bike

  5. #5
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    I am a noob and really just 2 foot drops & typical intermediate single track. Really like the DH portions of the trails and want to progress to more downhill but will be riding XC to get to them. The Covert is likely the type of bike I will get but was wondering how terrible it is to ride a DH rig on other than DH terrain.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlockinz View Post
    Get a solidly built 6-7in am/FR bike. Get one that can handle a 2x setup. If you can get a travel adjust fork, do it (it's a pain to climb with 180mm when it gets steep and techy).

    Rune v2, enduro, covert, maybe t250 (not sure if they take a front deraileur) would be good options, and there are plenty more, and theres already a thread on the DH forum about this.

    Oh, and its only a matter of time before someone mentions THE ONE as the best single bike that has ever been invented.

    Bottom line...you can DH with a good "bigger" AM build, and you can ride XC with it and not die. So save the DH bike for when you can have a dedicated DH bike and at least one other to ride.

    That is really the reply I expected and was likely to do. I have been drooling at a Rocky Mountain Slayer 70 at a good price. Thanks for the advice.

  7. #7
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    A hardtail can handle a 2ft drop . I would stick with something that has a travel range anywhere from 140mm-160mm for you . This way you can kill it on the ups and downs . Besides the weigh of a DH bike , the geometry will work against you and it wont be fun at all , steering will suck , and the bike will not perform . A DH bike performs only when you are pushing it , in most cases i dont think you would ever come close to pushing what a DH bike would do ( not knocking on ya ) . I would suggest that you some how demo some bikes if you can or ask around and see if someone would let you demo their bike for a small fee, beers, or a favor .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 702Biff View Post
    I am a noob and really just 2 foot drops & typical intermediate single track. Really like the DH portions of the trails and want to progress to more downhill but will be riding XC to get to them. The Covert is likely the type of bike I will get but was wondering how terrible it is to ride a DH rig on other than DH terrain.
    You really REALLY dont want a DH bike for that. You really dont want a long travel AM bike for that either!

    Sounds like you need a typical durable 5 inch trail bike with a 140mm fork. Going from an XC bike to a good 5 inch trail bike is a very big difference in confidence and ability.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 702Biff View Post
    That is really the reply I expected and was likely to do. I have been drooling at a Rocky Mountain Slayer 70 at a good price. Thanks for the advice.
    I agree will all that a DH bike is not appropriate. I checked the 70 at Jenson, which seems more for how you describe your riding. You didn't mention your price limit, but that is a very good spec for $3350. Getting one in the $3000's (or less) may be the way to go. Also consider the Ibis Mojo HD Special Blend (at Jenson and others). Not as good of spec as the 70, but a strong and light carbon bike in the $3000's.

  10. #10
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    Santa Cruz Bikes - Sale
    Santa Cruz Bicycles

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    I had an Enduro and now I am seriously pulling in the direction of a 2013 covert 26 Aluminum the build 3 version. I had my LBS quote me 2915.00 OTD. I have heard good things about Coverts and I think for that price and build you can't go wrong. Dont go DH bike. I did the same thing. I had the Enduro and my riding advanced very quick with it, it was an awesome bike. So thinking I was going bigger I sold it and got a Big hit on sale. Bad move............... it took a lot of debth out of my riding. what I was doing on the Big hit I could do on the Enduro all day long plus pedal it up hill and it was a lot more fun on the single track, to me anyways. Go AM, i think you'll be good with that.

  12. #12
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    Get the Slayer and don't look back.
    It'll more than handle Bootleg, and be just fine for xc.
    My bikes, Slayer 70 and Switch 2

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike H. View Post
    Get the Slayer and don't look back.
    It'll more than handle Bootleg, and be just fine for xc.
    So...the Slayer deal was a medium, and I decided on a small... found a deal on a '12Cannondale Claymore 1. Much like the Slayer but highly rated rear adjustable shock. Rode a Jekyle at LBS with same rear shock and liked it. Likely more of a DH bike than I need but I can grow into it or die trying. I will update after it arrives and I take it out.

  14. #14
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    Jekyle is a nice rig, it'll serve you well.
    Edit, just re-read, Claymore is a good rig. Glad you went that route over the J.
    Last edited by Mike H.; 02-13-2013 at 05:51 PM.
    My bikes, Slayer 70 and Switch 2

  15. #15
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    If you have the time and money for it, getting a frame and building the bike from the frame up is the way to go. It allows you to do research on each component that will be going on the bike, and ensure that you are getting the best setup that will suit your needs. Also it will allow you to have a frame that you can easily upgrade in the future if your riding style changes or if newer better components come out!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dim5bck View Post
    If you have the time and money for it, getting a frame and building the bike from the frame up is the way to go. It allows you to do research on each component that will be going on the bike, and ensure that you are getting the best setup that will suit your needs. Also it will allow you to have a frame that you can easily upgrade in the future if your riding style changes or if newer better components come out!
    This is an extremely expensive way to buy a bike!

  17. #17
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    trying to ride a down hill bike in any way other than down a hill is horrible. If you want to do other things than DH I would go for an all mountain bike.

  18. #18
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    Yahoo!
    My new small 2012 Cannondale Claymore 1 came in, I snapped it together and took it for a ride around the block. My worries that it would be to slack for me are gone, I really like this bike. But the culdesdac is not an appropraiate proving ground. I'm on project for the next several days so can't ride my usual proving grounds but will update when I can. Thanks for all your input.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by keepbalanced View Post
    trying to ride a down hill bike in any way other than down a hill is horrible. If you want to do other things than DH I would go for an all mountain bike.
    this

  20. #20
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    I was in similar shoes as you are now. I had an older xc stump jumper that was adequate for my needs in south ms. All of a sudden a bunch of guys went on a trail building frenzy and we had some pretty rough hilly trails for ms. I also started making trips to the tenn. mountains and decided I needed/wanted an AM bike. I bought a Slayer 50 from backcountry.com for $2300. I have really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the first downhill run in ocoee this summer.

  21. #21
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    xc= for racing, and easy climbs. not so good for downhill stuff
    trail = climbs good, descends good
    am = climbs pretty good, loves descends plus some stunt work
    fr = climbs so so, loves downhill, plus big air (best for shuttle runs)
    dh = for flying down hills (best for shuttle runs)
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  22. #22
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    Nomad C FTW…

  23. #23
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    OK. The votes have come in, been tallied and here's the verdict: I can't imagine that I could have purchased a more perfect bike for me. Finally got to ride it today. It climbs like magic, sails across the flats, grips through the turns, pumps through the rock gardens and inspires confidence on the descents far better than my expectations....and I havent even switched it to DH Mode yet, didn't feel like I needed it on the terrain I was on. Today was the first day I made it thru the entire 10 mile loop without dismounting even once. Yes, I like this bike! 2012 Cannondale Claymore 1

  24. #24
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    Pedaling on flat trail sections is a chore on a DH bike, any climbing is getting off and pushing. They are for lift access and steep riding only.

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