Using XC mountain bike for dirt jumping?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Using XC mountain bike for dirt jumping?

    Hi everyone,

    New member here, joined because I find myself having more and more biking related questions as the pandemic is causing me to try new things and learn new skills.

    The pandemic has made me get creative and learn all sorts of new skills (endos, manuals, repairs, etc.) including dirt jumping. I love it and have had so much fun on my Talon 1 so far. However, a friend of mine basically said that I will ruin this bike dirt jumping. Sure enough, within a few days I noticed the fork start to squeek (althought admittedly in about 3 years I haven't serviced it once) and I broke a chain (although I'm not sure if this is jumping related).

    I now find myself trying to find a sub $1000 dirt jumper in Toronto area but all shops don't have any on stock and ordering one will eat up a bunch of the summer season.

    Long story short, IS MY FRIEND RIGHT? Will I wreck my Giant Talon 1 if I continue dirt jumping on it (newbie skills, but learning fast and I spend hours every day doing it). Here are high level specs:

    Seriously thanks in advance for all guidance!


    • ALUXX-grade butted aluminium frame
    • SR Suntour Raidon 100mm-travel Air fork
    • Shimano Deore 2x10-speed shifting
    • Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes
    • Giant XC-2 disc wheelset with Maxxis Ardent tubeless tires
    • Color: Satin/Neon Red/Black
    • https://www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/talon-1-2018

  2. #2
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    Are you extremely heavy?

    If you're worried, put on bigger tires with inserts and lower pressure. That should help absorb energy.
    Otherwise....have fun!

  3. #3
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    Are you hitting some small homemade ramps casually at home, or you're going huge at a real bike park with big dirt jumps? Real dirt jumps wreck dirt jump bikes pretty often, xc bikes dont stand a chance. But for small stuff, its just fine.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, it definitely hinges on what you're riding.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Are you hitting some small homemade ramps casually at home, or you're going huge at a real bike park with big dirt jumps? Real dirt jumps wreck dirt jump bikes pretty often, xc bikes dont stand a chance. But for small stuff, its just fine.
    This, mostly. You don't have to be going 'huge' to trash an XC bike if you're riding real dirt jumps, particularly if you're new at it and find yourself casing/bailing regularly.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    If you're worried, put on bigger tires with inserts and lower pressure.
    NOT this.

    For DJing, you'll want a run a lot higher pressure than you would use for trail riding.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Are you extremely heavy?

    If you're worried, put on bigger tires with inserts and lower pressure. That should help absorb energy.
    Otherwise....have fun!
    Okay. Unregard!
    Except for the having fun part.

  8. #8
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    I am going to a bike park and there definitely are big jumps there. Now, being new, I'm not hitting the biggest stuff. But I am hitting the one table top they have there and a few small/medium sized lips. I haven't truly bailed once yet, but have had a few close ones.

    What exactly would be the point of concern on a bike when it comes to jumping? Is it the impact to the frame , wheels , or fork?? from what i can tell the standard travel on dirt jump forks and my fork is relatively the same, and the frame on my bike is pretty strong??

    Also I'm pretty average weight @ 170

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnoober View Post
    I am going to a bike park and there definitely are big jumps there. Now, being new, I'm not hitting the biggest stuff. But I am hitting the one table top they have there and a few small/medium sized lips. I haven't truly bailed once yet, but have had a few close ones.

    What exactly would be the point of concern on a bike when it comes to jumping? Is it the impact to the frame , wheels , or fork?? from what i can tell the standard travel on dirt jump forks and my fork is relatively the same, and the frame on my bike is pretty strong??

    Also I'm pretty average weight @ 170
    All of the above are weak points on your bike compared to a legit dirt jump bike. For the frame, it's especially the geometry, but it's also not build strongly enough for big jumps. The wheels on your bike will be noodles compared to good wheels for DJ purposes. The fork isn't built for big jumps, either. It'd be a tossup for me as to whether to expect your wheels or your fork (assuming yours has the Raidon like the 2020 model says) to die first.

    To be honest, not many places keep dirt jump bikes on hand, EVER. It's a niche of a niche, really. You'd most likely have to order sight unseen (maybe your dirt jump park has rentals you can buy at the end of the season?). A BMX bike would be a better choice than an XC mountain bike, honestly.

    My area has kinda reached critical mass on dirt jump parks such that a couple shops have started getting DJ bikes for floor stock. But they're still not widely available.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Okay. Unregard!
    Except for the having fun part.
    Yes - definitely keep that part!!!

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnoober View Post
    I am going to a bike park and there definitely are big jumps there. Now, being new, I'm not hitting the biggest stuff. But I am hitting the one table top they have there and a few small/medium sized lips. I haven't truly bailed once yet, but have had a few close ones.

    What exactly would be the point of concern on a bike when it comes to jumping? Is it the impact to the frame , wheels , or fork?? from what i can tell the standard travel on dirt jump forks and my fork is relatively the same, and the frame on my bike is pretty strong??

    Also I'm pretty average weight @ 170
    Point of concern is the repeated impact to all, the wheels, frame and fork. Keep an eye and ear out for signs. Look for stress cracks, esp at edges of welds. Keep an ear out for creaks, another sign of trouble. Keep an eye out for looseness and rattles, esp in the front end and bottom bracket/cranks. Those forks are mid grade xc, the stanchion and bushing size not really designed to hold up to a lot of jumping. Watch for slop developing in those. Also watch for headset developing slop and/or pitting. Keep an eye on bb, cranks and pedals. Looks like axles are qr? Keep an eye on those and check frequently that not loose. Slam the seat and get it out of the way! Youll eventually want to lose 2x, dropping chain is an onnoying and unneeded.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnoober View Post
    What exactly would be the point of concern on a bike when it comes to jumping? Is it the impact to the frame , wheels , or fork?? from what i can tell the standard travel on dirt jump forks and my fork is relatively the same, and the frame on my bike is pretty strong??
    Frame, fork, wheels are all suspect on jumps. Dirt jump forks like the Manitou Circus, Fox 831, etc are all going to be much more beefy then your current fork. There is a lot more to forks then travel. The frames and wheels are both going to be stronger. I bet the wheels would be the first thing to go because I have found low end wheels like that barely able to hold up to trail riding nevermind jumping. Probably the biggest worry is if you land a little sideways.

    Depending on where you are jumping and how smooth the jumps are a 20in or 22in BMX maybe and option that is easier and cheaper to find then a dj bike.
    Ragley Big Wig, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), 91 Schwinn High Plain (about town bike), Nashbar CXSS (on trainer)

  13. #13
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    I think you'll be ok at a pump track with table tops and are a relatively smooth jumper.

    If you're a noob and are learning how to jump and are on more natural trails...you'll trash the bike fast...especially the wheels and fork. Even if the frame holds up...the wheels and fork (you'll have to really air up the fork) isn't made for those types of impacts.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the replies guys! There seems to be a consensus and I'm really glad I created an account to ask this question. It's been on my mind for a while but it seems like if I want to keep my bike in good condition for the trails and urban riding than I definitely need to stay away from the dirt jumping.

    My next question is regarding dirt jumpers themselves. Let's say I really have 2 options here... a Norco Ryde 26 or a Norco One25. Now obviously one bike is $659 and the other is more than twice that price. I'm just wondering if i could get away with the cheaper option here. I'm very cautious of this because if it wasn't for my best friend I would've gotten a $700 trail bike instead of the $1500 I dished out for my talon 1 and the difference was night and day. I'm asking because unlike that time, I won't get a chance to ride either of these to test them out and get a feel for it.

    How much better is the One25? Would the Ryde26 still outperform my Talon1??

    Thanks guys!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnoober View Post
    The pandemic has made me get creative and learn all sorts of new skills (endos, manuals, repairs, etc.)
    Nothing like learning how to do creative endos.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  16. #16
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    As long as you’re landing on the transitions perfectly every time, the bike will handle a lot.

    The problem is, nobody is perfect. If you case it or overshoot, those take a major toll on bikes not designed for it.

    Landing on a transition is very easy on the bike, however. I would look for a used BMX bike with chromoly cranks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    Nothing like learning how to do creative endos.
    Haha my idea of a creative endo is basically just trying to hold it at the top for as long as possible

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnoober View Post
    Haha my idea of a creative endo is basically just trying to hold it at the top for as long as possible
    That would be called a 'stoppie'.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Ok thanks a lot to everyone here for educating me a little and saving my bike haha! I have decided not to risk it and instead look for an alternative bike.

    cheers

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