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  1. #1
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    How to downhill my AM bike?

    I have an Enduro SL that I would like take on some mild DH trails this summer, and I'm trying to figure out what I should upgrade. I have a line on a DHX coil 4.0, and if I put on an 823 for my front wheel, could I reasonably ride this bike on most blacks at someplace like Keystone here in Colorado? I rode this bike up there stock last year, but I've improved vastly since then. I just rode the brakes the entire time last year. I'm just looking to have a few key parts that I could swap out easily between shuttle days and my average AM day.

  2. #2
    Sir Hurt Locker
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    I DH my AM hardtail and have nerver had any problems. Just choose your lines carefully and watch your speed. If you want to DH like the DHillers, well then get a DH bike.
    Cheers,

    Seb

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  3. #3
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    Nah, I don't have the balls to do that. I just don't want to damage the most vunerable parts if they're easy to swap out. I'm about to put a set of 819's on the Enduro, but I don't know that they'll want that kind of abuse. I could be wrong though.

  4. #4
    Sir Hurt Locker
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    Figure out what the limitations of your components are and then ride within those limits, if it feels to slow then upgrade to parts that can take more abuse. If you get to the point you feel you need 9 inches of travel then you'll be ready for a DH bike.
    Cheers,

    Seb

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  5. #5
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    I would pick up an extra wheelset (823s) w/ DH tires.
    Are your rotors up for the job?
    DH stem to shorten that cockpit and make the front lighter.

  6. #6
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    IMO tires make the biggest differance. When all I had was a Heckler I would just keep a set of DH tires around for shuttle/Whisler days along with a shorter stem. My set up was fairly stout to begian with and my rims could handle a wider tire so it was fairly easy to make the transfer from a 2.3 to 2.5.

  7. #7
    TNC
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    As CZ suggests, wheels/tires are the first and biggest step. Burly wheels and tires will go a long way to getting your bike through some rough riding. I think a lot of people get a Red Bull Rampage image in their minds whenever a DH venue is mentioned. While that is often the case, many resort locations offer multiple lines and bypasses to the most heinous lines available, and some of them are only super-gnarly depending on how the rider "takes" the lines...high speed, purposely getting huge air, etc.

    Your approach of changing to a coil shock on that bike isn't a bad one but will cost some bucks. I think I'd stick with the wheel/tire option and just ride what you have. The brake rotor consideration isn't a bad idea. It doesn't take much to really challenge brakesets that functioned fine "back home" when you get to a mountain venue...even just trail riding. It might be worth the cost of at least an 8" front and 7" rear for the higher speed. On that note, don't the Enduro SL's already come with some pretty big rotor combos? Even my '08 SJ FSR came with an 8" front and 7" rear which I think is overkill for where I use the bike.

  8. #8
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    Yup, I have an 8 and 7 inch rotor already. I'm not too concerned with the brakes.

    I happened to find a barely used Fox DHX coil 4.0 for $225. I wouldn't be taking the Enduro off big jumps, but I'd just like to have the suspension a little more plush for rock gardens and what not.

    I've already put a shorter stem on the bike, so no swap needed there.

    The wheels are definitely what I'm most interested in. If I do pick up some 823's, can I get by with just a front wheel, or should I pay for a full set? If I build up a full set I'll have to hold off on the shock for a bit. What rear hub if I go that way?

  9. #9
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    I didn't read your post real real close, so forgive me if you mentioned this, but why not just rent a good DH bike for the day and spend $50 to $80 to not have to worry about your bike?

    Uber slack angles, massive dual crown fork, giant brake rotors and 8 or more inches of plush travel can make a day at the resort tons of fun.

    Not having to worry about trashing your bike and trying lines you wouldn't normally try on a six inch travel bike can make a day full of fun!

    There are lots of places at or near resorts to rent downhill bikes for the weekend

  10. #10
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    I have one bike that I convert from heavy XC to DH as well...for me...tires 1st, then wheels.

    While the DHX 4.0 is nice I don't think you are going to get the bank for your buck or $225 of improvement over your stock shock. You may be able to get bye with simply playing with shock pressure rather than replacing the shock. At a minimum, I would go for a few solid DH runs before ditching the shock.

    What about a set of Azonic outlaws (jensonusa has them for as low as $199 depending on color)? For occasional DH they are cheap, sturdy, and very good for the price. Plus you don't have to worry about dinging your regular wheels.

    Throw in some maxxis tires and you have a super solid DH set up (with the added weight to prove it).

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I guess I could rent, but then I would like the DH bike too much, and end up spending even more money buying my own.

    On the Azonics, can you convert the hub to a 25mm thru axle? That's the downside to the Enduro. They're certainly cheap enough!

  12. #12
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    Forgot about the fork. You are kinda limited on the front hub selection. I believe there are some threads discussing hubs that can be modified to go to 25mm, but don't think the outlaws are one of them (but could be wrong).

    I know I-9 makes a 25mm front hub, but that is a major budget killer.

    You might be better off rebuilding your current front with a stronger rim and just taking the weight penalty for daily riding. (or get a second specialized 25mm hub).

    I would still build a second rear wheel as well if your budget allows. I managed to trash a light weight XC rear wheel on my first dedicated DH trip. No big surprise, it simply was not the right tool for the job.

  13. #13
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    Ok, I found the Enduro hub thread. The Outlaws didn't work unfortunately. I'll do some more research. It looks like I can get another Enduro hub for $55, so the front wheel wouldn't cost too much to build up. It's the rear wheel that'll be pricy. That's why I was hoping the 819 would be stout enough.

  14. #14
    TNC
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    On your rear wheel/front wheel deal, I say you need both. In fact, I'm harder on the rear wheel on my Bullit and Nomad than the front.

  15. #15
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    Good to know. I guess I'll start saving my money!

  16. #16
    Stray Bullet
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    Having a strong rear wheel is more important than strong front wheel.

  17. #17
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    So is it possible to buy just a back wheel built up? Like an Azonic Outlaw?

  18. #18
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    as others have said: DH tires are the single most important thing, at the very least on the back. beefier rear wheel is far more important than a front.

    shorter stem. wider bars. drop your seat. armor. larger rotors (that you already have) running a bit more sag than you normally might.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  19. #19
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    What's the advantage of the wider bars? I ride with 680mm now.

    I have the stem, I just bought an adjustable seat post, thanks to Chainlove I'm all armored up for dirt cheap!

    I'm kind of thinking of just buying those Azonics and trying to sell the front wheel.

  20. #20
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    I'm either a genius or a sucker.



    I started crunching the numbers on what it would cost to beef up the Enduro, and then started looking on Craigslist, and I came home with a 2004 Bullit. $700 and I'm ready to rock!

  21. #21
    TNC
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    Now you're talking. There are definitely worse candidates for a cheap, durable big hit bike. You can do all kinds of stuff to that bike...or absolutely nothing and just ride it. Have fun with it.

  22. #22
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    Great idea. Should be a fun bike.

  23. #23
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    Yeah, for the price I just didn't think I could go wrong. It would have cost me that to beef up my Enduro, and it still wouldn't take half the abuse the Bullit will. I'm friggin amazed at how it pedals though! It's pretty damn good.

  24. #24
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    I did two weeks of Downhill tracks and trails on my Heckler, just went for some Maxxis minions 2.35 and my wheels where hope proII hubs with 2mm dt swiss spokes on a mavic xm719 rear and xm719 front with double butted dt swiss spokes, perfectly straight when I got back, I landed more on my rear, when I got things wrong , never missed a beat, didn't follow the same lines as the full on DH rigs and went much slower, but still could not stop grinning. If I could go again I now have 721's and I would run a 2.5's, the rock sections would have been better with a bigger tyre, although I never had a flat, standard tubes fitted.

  25. #25
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    In my opinion, it depends on what you want to do at the DH resort. My local trails that I do on my xc/trail bike are more abusive than some of the mild trails at the resort. But there are also things that you really need a DH bike for. What are you planning on doing? I don't know what the black diamonds at keystone are like so I'm no help there. Your set up is not weak though, and my initial thoughts are you will be ok, again depending on how you ride. If you are smooth, picking your lines carefully and straying from the biggest drops you should be fine.

    I'd have no problem riding most of a DH resort with the 819 in the front. Ideally in the rear id like something a little stronger, but I would likely try it after getting some DH tires on there. Unfortunately I think the biggest you can run is 2.35.

    I don't think you are "underbiked" for a DH park. The question is are you going to be limited by the bike set up as is? Only you can answer that, and only after you've given it a few tries there.

    I'll caution against venturing down the slippery slope of upgrading your bike too much to be DH worthy. You may end up spending lots of money to make your bike a below average DH bike and below average AM bike. Keep in mind you can get a decent used DH bike for 1-2k

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