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  1. #1
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    DH bike for a female?

    I posted a different ersion of this thread on the DH forum, but want to here what the women DHers have to say

    For someone who is new to DH riding and has plenty of trail riding experience, what would you get? I'm glad my shoulder wasn't cooperating and I didn't ride m AM bike at N*.. I probably would have been pretty beat up and and even more unhappy.

    I've ridden a freeride bike a few times at Northstar and Whistler, but it just felt like an oversized AM bike, and it didn't feel quite right.

    I have an AM bike (Ventana) and a DJ (Yeti), but neither seem obviously ideal for Northstar or Mammoth. If things work out right, I should be up in Northstar again the weekend of the 20th but renting a big bike this time instead of trying to chance it on my AM bike.

    DH bikes tend to be heavier, and I wasn't sure if you have to muscle them around. My AM bike weighs 34 lbs and I don't have to muscle it around anything, but then again I use it for trail riding, not plowing through the duff and rocks at the resorts (mainly Northstar, but probably Mammoth and Whistler in the future).

    DH bikes don't tend to move very fast at the shops, so their might be some bargains in older models. I'm looking for a dual-crown one or one that can run a dual crown safely. Any suggestions from the females here?

  2. #2
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    I rented a Giant Glory when I went to a downhilling clinic at Whiteface Mtn, in upstate NY last summer. I'm 5'1" and rented a small, probably should have rented the XS. It felt a little too big, but I did okay on it. It seemed to handle quite well, and really absorbed all the bumps. By the end of the clinic I was riding down a bunch of stuff that I swore I'd never ride down at the beginning of the clinic! The bike was really confidence inspiring for the steep downhills/drops.

  3. #3
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    My current dh bike is a Transition Syren. The geometry makes it a very versitile dh bike, My setup is that I have as much travel as most double crowns (180) Although its a single crown, it rides smooth and robust on gnarly terrain. and in tight technical (something a double crown does not handle as well) I ride advanced dh trails in Ontario (Blue and Horseshoe) and in Quebec (Mont Ste Anne)

    Sadly Transition does not make Syren so if I were to replace it I would go with the Transition TR250 Which is probably most like the Syren. I would need a size small

    But you are looking specifically for a double crown, The only double crown I've tested is Scott which I tried at MSA . Compared to my Syren...I didn't notice any advantage. The double crown was heavier and didnt handle tight technical as well. I could not raise the seat so easy pedalling was out of the question.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    My current dh bike is a Transition Syren. The geometry makes it a very versitile dh bike, My setup is that I have as much travel as most double crowns (180) Although its a single crown, it rides smooth and robust on gnarly terrain. and in tight technical (something a double crown does not handle as well) I ride advanced dh trails in Ontario (Blue and Horseshoe) and in Quebec (Mont Ste Anne)

    Sadly Transition does not make Syren so if I were to replace it I would go with the Transition TR250 Which is probably most like the Syren. I would need a size small

    But you are looking specifically for a double crown, The only double crown I've tested is Scott which I tried at MSA . Compared to my Syren...I didn't notice any advantage. The double crown was heavier and didnt handle tight technical as well. I could not raise the seat so easy pedalling was out of the question.
    I'll look into the TR250 and TR450 and see who has them locally. Might be worth it to sit on them.

    There are also some old DH stock sitting around. I'll have to see what's around.

  5. #5
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    what happened to your cuervo? didn't you have one? or was it a bruja?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    what happened to your cuervo? didn't you have one? or was it a bruja?
    Rode the Bruja, felt like a giant X-5. Traded it in for the Cuervo, but never ended up riding it because of back and knee injuries unrelated to cycling so I had to sell it to get the money for it. Now it's 2 years later, so I'm looking back into DH bikes. Even if I ride it 2-3 times a year, that's a lot of abuse on the lift runs at Northstar and hopefully Mammoth in the future.

    While I'm sure I could probably ride my Ciclon there, it would definitely beat me up a lot and I'm looking for something where I won't be beat up as much. While I'm sure the bike can handle it fine, I'm more concerned about the rider. So initially going to rent a Rocky Mountain Flatline and go from there.

    If Ventana still sold Cuervos, I probably wouldn't be asking this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Rode the Bruja, felt like a giant X-5. Traded it in for the Cuervo, but never ended up riding it because of back and knee injuries unrelated to cycling so I had to sell it to get the money for it. Now it's 2 years later, so I'm looking back into DH bikes. Even if I ride it 2-3 times a year, that's a lot of abuse on the lift runs at Northstar and hopefully Mammoth in the future.

    While I'm sure I could probably ride my Ciclon there, it would definitely beat me up a lot and I'm looking for something where I won't be beat up as much. While I'm sure the bike can handle it fine, I'm more concerned about the rider. So initially going to rent a Rocky Mountain Flatline and go from there.

    If Ventana still sold Cuervos, I probably wouldn't be asking this.
    I had an El Cuervo and while I loved it at the time, the newer bikes are so much better. I'm on a Session 8 now and it's so much lighter and easier to maneuver.

    Quite honestly though it depends on what and where you are riding. Bike parks in general don't necessarily require a DH bike. For places like Winter Park and Whistler, I generally bring both my Session and my Slash, and the Slash gets used as much or more than the DH bike, because it's more fun to jump, etc. But if you're focusing on steeper, more rocky DH race type trails, then a real DH bike is preferable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie View Post
    I had an El Cuervo and while I loved it at the time, the newer bikes are so much better. I'm on a Session 8 now and it's so much lighter and easier to maneuver.

    Quite honestly though it depends on what and where you are riding. Bike parks in general don't necessarily require a DH bike. For places like Winter Park and Whistler, I generally bring both my Session and my Slash, and the Slash gets used as much or more than the DH bike, because it's more fun to jump, etc. But if you're focusing on steeper, more rocky DH race type trails, then a real DH bike is preferable.
    Connie: this is good to know because I'm getting my Cuervo back While it may be an older model DH bike, I was able to get it for a price I couldn't pass up. Basically, it's a point and shoot type bike rather than the Freeride bike (the Bruja) which I could turn, but didn't feel nearly as stable as I'd like.

    For Whistler, I would have been fine on my 160mm travel bike. It's very jumpable and fun and feels much more comfortable than the freeride bike did.

    However, with N* and Mammoth being closer, they're all sand (N* is referred to as moondust and Mammoth as kitty litter) and huge rocks and I need something to track in it and not beat me up.

    I ran a dual crown on my freeride bike and it tracked much better and I wasn't thrown around. I can imagine how nice that will feel on a big bike with a looong wheelbase

  9. #9
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    You may remember that I built a El Cuervo for my wife last year. She likes steep technical DH trails more than jump trails, so it works well for her. As pictured, it weighs 39lbs (size S with no Ti or carbon).

    The only thing I found that is a bit annoying is that the frame only allows 1.38in OD coils, which pretty much restricts the shock choice to Fox or Elka. CCDB coil and air, Avy, and RS Vivid are out of the question. I ran a CCDB shortly with the narrower OD coil (1.38in instead of 1.43in) and there was too much rubbing on the body of the shock. The Elka and the Fox DHX RC4 are both great shocks but if you wanted something else it just won't fit.

    The linkage is incredibly progressive and there is plenty of travel, so don't be afraid to overspring it prevent from sinking way deep in the travel all the time and you will have a much more responsive and sprightly ride that can plow or skip quite well.


  10. #10
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    I've got an XS Specialized Demo 8. It's definitely heavy, but other than when I'm loading it on my car or on the lift, I don't notice the weight. It's an awesome little bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971 View Post
    You may remember that I built a El Cuervo for my wife last year. She likes steep technical DH trails more than jump trails, so it works well for her. As pictured, it weighs 39lbs (size S with no Ti or carbon).

    The only thing I found that is a bit annoying is that the frame only allows 1.38in OD coils, which pretty much restricts the shock choice to Fox or Elka. CCDB coil and air, Avy, and RS Vivid are out of the question. I ran a CCDB shortly with the narrower OD coil (1.38in instead of 1.43in) and there was too much rubbing on the body of the shock. The Elka and the Fox DHX RC4 are both great shocks but if you wanted something else it just won't fit.

    The linkage is incredibly progressive and there is plenty of travel, so don't be afraid to overspring it prevent from sinking way deep in the travel all the time and you will have a much more responsive and sprightly ride that can plow or skip quite well.
    I still love that bike.. the purple on black. Mind reposting the build?

    Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback. I'm getting my frame back in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to get the build together. Just not sure WHAT for a build

    Currently decided:
    - Rims 729 Mavic
    - Tires DHF 2.7 front, Clutch SX 2.3 rear
    - 29" ODI bars
    - Boxxer fork with direct mount stem
    - 11-28 cassette
    - Short cage Shimano derailleur
    - Saddle (unimportant)
    - Seatpost (see saddle)
    - Grips

    Decisions I have to make (looking for best bang for the buck here):
    - Hubs (Not sure it's worth the money to get Hadleys, maybe Hope?)
    - Cranks (e13 seems to have a nice DH 83mm set)
    - 9 speed or 10 speed drivetrain.. is 9 speed still available? Not that it's going to matter except for availability (short cage road rear derailleur ok?)
    - Chainguide (e13 SRS is nice but spendy)
    - Pedals

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie View Post
    I had an El Cuervo and while I loved it at the time, the newer bikes are so much better. I'm on a Session 8 now and it's so much lighter and easier to maneuver.

    Quite honestly though it depends on what and where you are riding. Bike parks in general don't necessarily require a DH bike. For places like Winter Park and Whistler, I generally bring both my Session and my Slash, and the Slash gets used as much or more than the DH bike, because it's more fun to jump, etc. But if you're focusing on steeper, more rocky DH race type trails, then a real DH bike is preferable.
    I recently switched from my Syren up to a Session (the FR version). It's awesome! I love it at Whistler and on shuttle trails. Having the extra couple inches really helps.

    If you were going to just try and pick up a DH bike, you can still get Syrens on Pinkbike. Just make sure to get the gusseted version.

  13. #13
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    brakes?

    hey stripes, you forgot to say which brakes did you decide on? I have shimano's which I love, but am surprised at how much I like Stroker Ace brakes on hubby's DH bike, super powerful and levers aren't big and bulky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    I still love that bike.. the purple on black. Mind reposting the build?

    Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback. I'm getting my frame back in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to get the build together. Just not sure WHAT for a build

    Currently decided:
    - Rims 729 Mavic
    - Tires DHF 2.7 front, Clutch SX 2.3 rear
    - 29" ODI bars
    - Boxxer fork with direct mount stem
    - 11-28 cassette
    - Short cage Shimano derailleur
    - Saddle (unimportant)
    - Seatpost (see saddle)
    - Grips

    Decisions I have to make (looking for best bang for the buck here):
    - Hubs (Not sure it's worth the money to get Hadleys, maybe Hope?)
    - Cranks (e13 seems to have a nice DH 83mm set)
    - 9 speed or 10 speed drivetrain.. is 9 speed still available? Not that it's going to matter except for availability (short cage road rear derailleur ok?)
    - Chainguide (e13 SRS is nice but spendy)
    - Pedals

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jewels View Post
    hey stripes, you forgot to say which brakes did you decide on? I have shimano's which I love, but am surprised at how much I like Stroker Ace brakes on hubby's DH bike, super powerful and levers aren't big and bulky.
    Sorry for the slow response. I'm going with the Shimano Saint M810s like I have on my AM bike. I like how those behave and I can find 'em pretty cheap. Got the front one for $180

    Slow build, but it'll be done before DH season next year.

  15. #15
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    My wife has been riding a Demo 8 now for 2 seasons, it fits her well. There are a few women on Demos that ride and race at Trestle now, it seems to be the more popular bikes.

    For the shorter ladies, a friend of mine is on a Giant Glory, it seems to have a shorter wheelbase than the Demos and easier for her to handle.
    Golden Bike Park Group

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    Trestle Bike Park

  16. #16
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    My GF is looking to sell her Canfield Jedi Frame. For those who don't know the Jedi is probably the best plow bike on the market. Due to the linkage design, the bike accelerates over rock gardens. It's a Small and fit her well (she is about 5'3"). It is also a custom black with pink linkage....sorry for the hi-jack

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