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  1. #1
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    Do I need all that travel?

    is 203mm a little excessive for some bike parks, i mean you have the EWS where everyone is running 160, granted, they could do anything with 160mm, but do i need a 203mm for a bike park. i know a lot of bike parks really don't have super aggressive trails but fast trails.

    would using a 160 or 180 severly limit my trail options

    Mountains in mind: Mammoth & Big Bear/snow summit and fontana (So Cal)

    Has anyone ridden them comfortably with 160mm of travel?

  2. #2
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    the only thing you will not like with less travel are braking bumps. Having an extra inch or two can make a VERY large difference at the end of a day of riding lifts. The greater suspension travel can hurt you a bit on jumps, but it's not bad at all if you take the time to set your bike up for jumping. The other item is that full DH bikes are usually built to withstand more abuse than a bike with 160mm of travel. You can ride an enduro bike at bike parks and have a great time, but a DH bike will probably last a bit longer, and your body will thank you for the extra cushion.
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  3. #3
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    The rider is the biggest part of the equation. IME, the less experienced the rider, the more they will appreciate a DH bike. We just rolled Mammoth this weekend and one of the guys shredded all weekend on a 140mm bike, but he's an animal.

    If you are only going to have one bike, don't buy a DH bike, but a longer travel trail bike.

  4. #4
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    You can very effectively DH on a hardtail with a 4" fork, if it's a very beefy bike overall (strong frame, fork, crank, cockpit, wheels and DH tires), and you're young, strong and talented. That said, full 8" bikes are used for many good reasons.
    29er = Hybrid Bike.

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  5. #5
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    would a Trek Slash be a suitable bike for DH bike park kind of riding? i just don't want to spend another 4k on a Dh bike i'd use only 10 times a year, but i would never use a rental. i also don't want to have something with 180mm travel... i guess i'll just have to stick to the trails.

  6. #6
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    Why no rental?

  7. #7
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    Judging from what you said, you should get some stronger trail/AM bike. With bit more travel as well. I guess fork travel is what you need more. Since you got legs for back part of your bike, if you could get like a 180mm Totem up front it would be nice. I've ridden Totem on my friends bike and man it is stiff (40mm stanchions). You could be satisfied with 160mm as well. It is really a state of mind. 160mm will do job as 180mm just a little bit harder.

    You can't have enough travel

  8. #8
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    Have you considered a dual mode fork that converts from 160mm to 130mm with a switch on top.
    RS Pike for example.

  9. #9
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    my best example to tell you....I rode Big Bear with 2 faster riders then me...just a few ticks but better....they switched to a Nomad and a 27.5 Bronson.....I took them all day...any chunk - I pulled away from them with my Big bike..Mammoth I wouldn't mess around on a small bike....you can decide...but for me I don't get beat up as much riding the big bike
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  10. #10
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    Do I need all that travel?

    Its a comfort thing in my book. You'll feel fresher and ride better because of it. Your upper body and especially hands just get beat up more on a smaller bike. Durability can be an issue too, but you can get the right 160mm frame and components to fix that.

  11. #11
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    From my experience, Mammoth wasn't that rocky. Just sh*t tons of kitty litter. There are plenty of trails with features, but also those without (or escape paths around). One thing is for sure - if you're going to try Kamikaze, make sure your brakes are in top shape!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    my best example to tell you....I rode Big Bear with 2 faster riders then me...just a few ticks but better....they switched to a Nomad and a 27.5 Bronson.....I took them all day...any chunk - I pulled away from them with my Big bike..Mammoth I wouldn't mess around on a small bike....you can decide...but for me I don't get beat up as much riding the big bike
    What SMT said. I finally was able to ride on my Kona DH bike this year at N*, instead of my AM bike. I was able to make more runs than I could in the past, and I didn't get beat up nearly as much, even on the smoother runs.

    While I'm still a beginner as far as DH riding is concerned (intermediate MTBer otherwise), I highly recommend even renting a bigger bike. The rentals aren't usually rented by the higher end riders. They have their own bikes they beat up.

    The skills are the same. Look where you want to go, and have fun.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazlx View Post
    IME, the less experienced the rider, the more they will appreciate a DH bike.
    That doesnt make any sense. Give a novice rider a DH bike, and he may survive a day without injury. Give a great rider a DH bike, and he will shred.

    I'd really like to see your friend play catch up on DC-10 at Mammoth on a 140 bike

    To the OP, do you need all the travel? Not really. But if youre buying a bike for bike parks, a DH bike is the right tool for the job. The head angle is better for the higher rate of speeds. The travel is for when you wanna hit the gnar.

    If you just want to cruise around, any 150-160 bike will get your around.

  14. #14
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    You'd be playing catch up on a DH bike.

    A great rider can shred on anything, a DH bike will 100% help an inexperienced rider more than an experienced one.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazlx View Post
    You'd be playing catch up on a DH bike.

    A great rider can shred on anything, a DH bike will 100% help an inexperienced rider more than an experienced one.
    Keep saying that to yourself.

    With such convoluted logic, you'd think world cup racers were being held back by their DH bikes. Too funny.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing! View Post
    Keep saying that to yourself.

    With such convoluted logic, you'd think world cup racers were being held back by their DH bikes. Too funny.
    World cup riders use the best bike they can for each particular course.....case in point, Jared Graves at the last Worlds on a Yeti SB-66....a 6" travel bike, came within a second of winning the whole thing

  17. #17
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    Not what I said, at a high level, obviously equipment matters. Who do you think would have an easier time at a bike park all day, a novice on a 140mm bike or a DH bike?

    A pro would have no problem shredding Mammoth, Whistler or any other bike park on a shorter travel trail bike. They have way more skill to compensate for the shortcomings of the bike. A DH bike has a lot more to help a novice cover mistakes and bad line choices.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by highrevkev View Post
    World cup riders use the best bike they can for each particular course.....case in point, Jared Graves at the last Worlds on a Yeti SB-66....a 6" travel bike, came within a second of winning the whole thing
    Which is true. But look into it a bit more.... really.

    "Jared Graves, currently in second place in the overall ranking of the Enduro World Series, just won the bronze medal at the Downhill World Championship in South Africa. As the track is not as gnarly as other downhill tracks of the World Cup circuit everyone was tuning their bikes to make them as light and efficient as possible."

    If youre cruising around a park on the smoother trails like Recoil, you'll be fine. But if your hitting stuff like DC-10, Chainsmoke even Technorock on Mammoth, your in for some joint pain, even kidney pain, and that's without even crashing.

  19. #19
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    No, because the faster you are the less the bike matters. Any pro could lap any of those trails all day long and not be affected in the least...

  20. #20
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    I personally have never ridden at a bike park and wished my bike had less travel.
    You may not need 8 inches of travel for every trail but its nice to know you have it when you need it..

  21. #21
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    look...if you stating pros or elite riders, then you are missing the point and your arguement is invalid

    pretty much all of us are not pros or the elite riders.....that being said....OP stated Mammoth and Big Bear......I told you in a post above that I rode faster through the chop with big bike then friends on a 26" nomad and 27.5 Bronson... they are younger and faster then me but I was way faster on the big bike....

    Mammoth would be the same thing too....what bike would you rather have on skidmarks, a big bike or smaller travel bike.....yeah you can do it on a smaller bike, but for most riders a bigger bike will be smoother on the trail and you will feel better at the end of the day
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  22. #22
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    Also, DH bikes are not simply advantageous due to more travel - their geometry plays a big role in stability on steeper slopes.

  23. #23
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    Do I need all that travel?

    Modern 6" geometry is really close to DH geometry these days. I could see that point being made for a <=5" bike, but a lot of 6" bikes, not so much.

  24. #24
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    You can get by and have fun on a 6" travel bike, but you are afforded way more margin of error and ability for recovery on a DH bike if you case a jump or land akwardly. Your upper body will also take a beating on the 6" bike and you will have alot more fatigue, so later runs in the day you will bummed or increase your chance of crashing.

    I would say I am on the advanced side of trail riding and I ride a 160mm Nomad, I rode Big Bear on it last year and it was totally fine. However, this year I built up a DH bike, and it's much more comfortable, I can short a jump or overshoot and be just fine and I dont have to worry about destroying my trail bike that I ride 3 times a week.

  25. #25
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    Downhill riders have lower seats because a lot of the suspension is not just in your bike, but in your knees, too. I have a Cannondale Prophet with a Lefty Max fork I take with me. It only has 140mm of travel, but it is sufficient for me and I've taken it off 6-8 foot drops before without bottoming out.

    You'll see that there are actually hardtail downhill mountain bikes still being produced and sold. Lots of people still ride them in races for the control and pedaling efficiency. 8" of travel is definitely **NOT** mandatory, but very often helps riders who bottom out frequently.

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