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  1. #1
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    HD as bike park ride vs 7-8" FR/DH bikes

    this may be a better question on the FR/DH forum, but I'm curious from other HD riders...

    I spent the last 2 weekends at Northstar (lake Tahoe, CA) which for those not familiar is very rough rocky and powdery dusty trails that tend to rattle your teeth a lot more than smoother places like Whistler (hoping to go there this summer) going between my HD and an older IronHorse 7pt.

    the '08 IH 7pt is set with '10 boxxer coil and van rear shock, full DH tires and wheels, about 42lbs. Built it over the winter for DH.

    The HD had oversized 2.4 tires (TK 2.4), flow wheels, 203 rotors, and my usual Fox 36 160mm and rp23 kashima shock - about 31lbs (>2lbs heavier than my everyday setup)

    I went back and forth between the 2 bikes the first weekend and the HD just felt better - could be that I've been riding that HD for 6+ months now, and first time on the 7pt - but the light weight was very noticeable during jumps on livewire, fell much more nimble at steering as well. the suspension while only 6.3" was also a lot smoother to me over the rough. Yeah ideally I would get 180mm fork and angle it yet another degree for DH, but that is few times vs the trail/AM riding I do on the HD most of the time. Buddy who just got a Fox40 for his V10 was also complaining about weight (guessing 45lbs) - I got rave remarks from lift operators on my bike !

    Everyone is ridding 8"+ and double crown forks (I did see another HD once) I'm wondering what others with HD are doing ?
    It's almost too nice of a bike for N*

  2. #2
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    Find a coil for the rear as the RP23 gets waay out of its depth in the rough stuff.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzl62 View Post
    Find a coil for the rear as the RP23 gets waay out of its depth in the rough stuff.
    I was thinking of getting a vivid air (for adjustability and light weight) as I came across a great deal, but it ended up being a mid tune rather than low tune we thought it was.

  4. #4
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    I am running a 180 float up front and a RC4 on the back... I can not compare it to a full DH bike but the HD has taken EVERYTHING I have thrown at it and then some... Great on the jumps and drops and great in the rough. If I were racing I would go full DH put for park fun the HD is perfect

  5. #5
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    This



    180mm fork
    Angleset
    Coil shock

    Don't need a DH bike.
    :: wrenchscience ::

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    I bought a DH rig (Intense 951) a month ago to answer that exact question. I sold it yesterday and bought a 2nd HD today. My existing HD is getting a minor makeover with a DB air and Angleset. I will continue to run my Lyrik RC2DH 170, 1x10 set up and king / flow wheels on that. The other HD is a 140 for "everything else". I'll be swapping my SL build over to the HD 140 frame.

    The bottom line is that while the DH bike was great, it didn't blow me away and really just highlighted the things I could change to make the HD more FR capable (primarily suspension). The other thing that my experiment pointed out is that any limitations I have are my own and not the bike. At my skill level, there's nothing that the 951 did that the HD couldn't handle and if anything there's a few things the HD does better.

    The DB air is still a week away but I'll be testing out the Angleset at the bike park on Sunday. I'll let you know how that works out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rb View Post
    180mm fork
    Angleset
    Is the fork tapered 1.5" (would want to keep that for stiffness) so what angleset did you use, and was it 1% ?
    (go from 66% to 65% which is DH territory... right now I've got 67% with 160mm I guess)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crlavoie View Post
    I bought a DH rig (Intense 951) a month ago to answer that exact question. I sold it yesterday and bought a 2nd HD today. My existing HD is getting a minor makeover with a DB air and Angleset. I will continue to run my Lyrik RC2DH 170, 1x10 set up and king / flow wheels on that. The other HD is a 140 for "everything else". I'll be swapping my SL build over to the HD 140 frame.

    The bottom line is that while the DH bike was great, it didn't blow me away and really just highlighted the things I could change to make the HD more FR capable (primarily suspension). The other thing that my experiment pointed out is that any limitations I have are my own and not the bike. At my skill level, there's nothing that the 951 did that the HD couldn't handle and if anything there's a few things the HD does better.

    The DB air is still a week away but I'll be testing out the Angleset at the bike park on Sunday. I'll let you know how that works out.
    You may not want to get the DB-Air for DH since many HD owners are having an issue with getting full travel with it. I've been hearing great things about the X- Fusion Vector coil.

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    I was all set to go with a coil but the Ibis guy talked me out of it. We discussed the travel issue with the DB Air and it appears that the frame stroke is less than the stroke of the shock. On top of that, CC built it with an additional 2-3 mm beyond the usable stroke length so you end up with something like 5mm left. My real concern is more with the harsh ramp up that I keep hearing about but my LBS and again the Ibis guy indicated that it's a tuning / knowledge issue.

    At the end of the day it's an experiment. If it doesn't work out, there's alway coil.

  10. #10
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    hey adumseny, whats the full build on the 7pt? Did you ever sell your other ih?

    Next time you head upto northstar with both, I'm right off the freeway. Think you could stop by?

  11. #11
    Rb
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    Quote Originally Posted by adumesny View Post
    Is the fork tapered 1.5" (would want to keep that for stiffness) so what angleset did you use, and was it 1% ?
    (go from 66% to 65% which is DH territory... right now I've got 67% with 160mm I guess)
    I have the 1-1/8" straight steerer version with a [currently] 1-degree cup in the minus setting.
    Unsure what the head-angle is exactly (I've honestly never measured), but it feels incredible in the steeps and at higher speeds.
    :: wrenchscience ::

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by crlavoie View Post
    I was all set to go with a coil but the Ibis guy talked me out of it. We discussed the travel issue with the DB Air and it appears that the frame stroke is less than the stroke of the shock. On top of that, CC built it with an additional 2-3 mm beyond the usable stroke length so you end up with something like 5mm left. My real concern is more with the harsh ramp up that I keep hearing about but my LBS and again the Ibis guy indicated that it's a tuning / knowledge issue.

    At the end of the day it's an experiment. If it doesn't work out, there's alway coil.
    Interesting, I called Ibis couple of weeks ago asking if the CC DB- Coil was ok to use and they said coil will work fine with the HD. I wonder why they would talk you out of it?

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    After years of always having both a 6+" bike and an 8" bike, I was then forced into riding one bike everywhere with different setups when my DH bike was stolen a week before the yearly Whistler trip. I got through the trip with the beefed up Reign X with a Totem, but it just wasn't the same. (still my favorite 170mm bike - at times I wish my HD had some of that bike's traits) Even with the totem up front, a coil in the back, and big rubber it wasn't nearly as good pinning it for long days and left a lot less room for error. Sure it jumped like a champ.

    One other thing, no one around here runs 45lb DH bikes anymore, try 35-39lbs max, so they aren't cumbersome at all anymore. If all I was doing was hitting jump trails like Livewire, Dirt Merchant, or A-line, the HD would be ok, but the right build on a 7-point would be better IMHO.

    Also, my HD is 30lbs, but I wouldn't ride it long in a park with this build, I'd go Vivid Air, 180mm fork, and tougher wheels than Flows with 1000+g tires for reliability. The frame is bomber of course. However, at that point it would be closer to 33lbs and still lack the relaxed safe feel I get on my Glory which is only 36 lbs with a similar build. If I were you I'd keep the HD light for trail riding and put a little money into the 7-point to make it a better park bike. In the end, I'd argue you would have 2 bikes better suited to your needs and not have to swap parts for different days.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler View Post
    ...the right build on a 7-point would be better IMHO...still lack the relaxed safe feel I get on my Glory which is only 36 lbs with a similar build.
    I hear you and if I had a 36lbs Glory (which I demoed at N* and liked very much, though I don't know what the weight was I'm sure it was much higher) then yes having 2 finely tuned bike and not having to swap would be ideal. It all depends on how much DH you do and how much you want to spend on it.... there are definitely a LOT of people with 40lbs+ DH bikes that I saw at N*. dropping 5lbs on the 7pt could be expensive, vs turning an HD into a mini DH bike.

    I could even keep the '10 boxxer (shorten it to 180mm, as Jeff from Ibis mentioned as he did a similar thing on his Fox 40) add an angleset to get 65deg, and Vivid Air rear. I'm guessing slackening the front from 67deg right now might be the biggest benefit next (I still can't get full travel on the Float 160 so getting 180-203 might not help much, and haven't found the boxxer coil to be more supple than the Float 160 either).

    As for wheel, yeah I don't know how durable the Ibis/Flow will be (don't want to take my CB ones for sure) but running tubeless was really nice as I don't ever have to worry about pinch flats (always see a few during the day there) and can run pretty low PSI on those very large volume tires that really help out smooth the rough stuff that rattles your teeth which N* is infamous for.

  15. #15
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    If you guys are looking for a Vivid Air with the RWC bearings set up for Mojo HD PM me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adumesny View Post
    I hear you and if I had a 36lbs Glory (which I demoed at N* and liked very much, though I don't know what the weight was I'm sure it was much higher) then yes having 2 finely tuned bike and not having to swap would be ideal. It all depends on how much DH you do and how much you want to spend on it.... there are definitely a LOT of people with 40lbs+ DH bikes that I saw at N*. dropping 5lbs on the 7pt could be expensive, vs turning an HD into a mini DH bike.
    If you're willing to trust the Ibis flow wheels on the HD at N*, why not run them on the 7-point. If I'm right about the rear spacing on the 7-point, and your HD, the 135mm conversion is what $35. You could make your Boxxer an air fork for <$200 I bet, or just try one spring softer ~$40 (I always find RS specs too stiff of springs). You should be able to find light cranks cheaper than the Vivid Air and boom, you've got a 7-point that is probably 38lbs (as light or lighter than the Glory you demo'd). I love my HD, but don't think it compares to bigger bikes for the type of riding I do in the park. No matter what you do with the front you still only have 160mm in the back.

    I totally hear you about the % of lift versus trail and justifying having more than one bike, I ride a lot less lift served since having kids. For me, it comes down to safety. I'm gonna naturally ride a similar pace with the people I'm with, but I don't feel it's safe to come to a gun fight with a knife even though it's worked before. Also, when you do crash, you'll cry less tears over the old 7-point

    Ibis, how about building something longer travel already?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler View Post
    If you're willing to trust the Ibis flow wheels on the HD at N*, why not run them on the 7-point. If I'm right about the rear spacing on the 7-point, and your HD, the 135mm conversion is what $35.
    7pt rear is 150 (x12 I think), so I didn't think I could convert the Ibis standard rear (135x10 ?) to that. Front is a 20mm match.

    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler View Post
    You could make your Boxxer an air fork for <$200 I bet, or just try one spring softer ~$40 (I always find RS specs too stiff of springs).
    I too find them way too stiff - I'm already using the lighter red spring (150lbs if I recall) even though I'm 200lbs, but sag seems right on... just not doing big drops.

    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler View Post
    I love my HD, but don't think it compares to bigger bikes for the type of riding I do in the park. No matter what you do with the front you still only have 160mm in the back.
    True and the back is what I tend to bottom out more often than not. But HD is 6.3" (160/2.54) vs 7" ? doesn't seem like a very big difference... had older DH 8" IH Yakusa Kumicho as first bike, but didn't like it much (suspension even after putting new Roco Air WC).

    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler View Post
    I totally hear you about the % of lift versus trail and justifying having more than one bike, I ride a lot less lift served since having kids. For me, it comes down to safety. I'm gonna naturally ride a similar pace with the people I'm with, but I don't feel it's safe to come to a gun fight with a knife even though it's worked before. Also, when you do crash, you'll cry less tears over the old 7-point
    Yes, I hear you about crashing my $$$ carbon HD that is my everyday ride. I did crash each of the last 2 weekends, so yeah I tend to be prone of that! maybe a sign I should stop DH and getting hurt and hang out more with the kids... take longer to heal as you get older.

    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler View Post
    Ibis, how about building something longer travel already?
    That would be great but not sure how big that market is for carbon DH, vs 29'ner they are going after now. Plus it wouldn't be a cheap bike...Glory are probably better value and plentiful in the 2.5-4k range)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbikerguy View Post
    Interesting, I called Ibis couple of weeks ago asking if the CC DB- Coil was ok to use and they said coil will work fine with the HD. I wonder why they would talk you out of it?

    My apologies. What I meant was he talked me out of coil in general, based on what I was looking to accomplish. Since then, I've talked with other HD/CCDB owners and have decided to go width a DB coil.

  19. #19
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    well I've decide to put the 7pt for sale.
    may need to invest in a better rear shock for the HD now.

    Edit: whoa, only took a week to sell it and got a bunch of interest the first day I posted it - sold for $1400. Could have maybe sold it for more, but I don't regret it because I really like the HD supple and light weight. Couldn't get there no matter what upgrades I could have done...
    Last edited by adumesny; 07-30-2012 at 01:20 AM.

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