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  1. #1
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    DH riders discuss other mtb disciplines

    Had a little discussion with a buddy of mine, whom wanted to get me out to an all mntn trail we used to hit back in the day before we got serious into the DH.

    He still enjoys other disciplines... but that means lots of peddling. Not very technical... most guys go there to get their stamina and endurance on...

    but after riding and really pushing my DH riding, i feel that a ride like that would be boring (since its mostly flat). in fact, i sold my all mntn to purchase my 2nd DH rig. i wouldn't mind the ride, but at the same time, i feel like i would be regressing in the discipline i'm trying to push.

    my thinking is... i enjoy DH, i enjoy jumping, i enjoy technical. That is where i want to really push myself to be faster (and going BIGGER). why ride granny trails that are really smooth single track?

    what are your thoughts? do we have multiple disciplined riders in the DH category? Does anyone else feel this way? would like to see what fellow DHers are doing.

    Strictly DH or many types of riding. DISCUSS.

  2. #2
    C__Corax
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    ride it all, DH, DJ's, singletrack, gasp even road. Riding other stuff will just make you a better rider.

  3. #3
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    you will find that many of us here are broadminded cyclists, not one trick ponies...


  4. #4
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    Ride all types of bikes
    Build trail and take photographs
    Even write poems

    Don't limit yourself to just one type of riding; even the WC pros ride road and XC to keep their fitness up. Bored of a DH track? Try taking a "normal" bike on it to amp the challenge level.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
    Bored of a DH track? Try taking a "normal" bike on it to amp the challenge level.
    yea.... about that....

    i spoiled myself with the travel of a DH rig. When i purchased my 2nd bike, a Giant Trance. my first ride out on a familiar trail, clipped a pedal on a rock, OTB... luckily i walked away with little bruising.

    few rides later, felt limited and somewhat less confident on the Trance. So the trance went bye bye, and the 2nd DH big travel bike came into play. the 'normal' bikes scare me now. haha.

  6. #6
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    I don't really categorize the riding I do into the categories the marketers have invented for us. I have been mountain biking since the 80's though. I tend to prefer the rowdiest trails I can find and ride them on a 7" bike but it's always been about just getting out and pedaling and going as fast as humanly possible on whatever terrain I find. I've raced XC and DH for many years, but quit XC. I thoroughly enjoy riding XC on an appropriate bike but from a racing standpoint it does not measure skill in any way, shape or form (I got tired of getting beat by guys who were just glorified roadies -- lol).

    Anymore, I'm happy enough just to get a workout. At 36, I can't shed the winter pounds as easily as I used to. And with a 3-month-old little girl, I can't really justify hitting 20' drops and road gaps like I used to. I guess the point of my rambling is that if it's mountain biking, I'm having a good time.
    Last edited by cookieMonster; 06-21-2014 at 04:07 PM.
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  7. #7
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    well put, sir.

  8. #8
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    I just like to ride. If the trail is a "Granny" trail, just try going faster and practice your cornering. Some of the "easiest" XC trails have the best cornering practice sections because the turns tend to be flat and hard packed. I've also found that a LOT of the best descents require a significant ride up (not shuttle accessible) and that's what keeps them kinda "raw" as it limits the traffic. On second thought, keep that DH bike...
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  9. #9
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    Nice job on the thread. Get's a dude thinking. I just bought a dh rig after 8 years of wanting one. I ride a very heavy and plush Turner 5 spot, and a Yeti 29r. The trails we have in AK don't need so much travel, and the bike is a bit heavy for long cross country trips. However, it has the ability to get me on top of some very legit downhill runs up here with some hiking, and I love riding on trails that would destroy other bikes. The 29r is very light, simple, efficient, and I've had fun ripping that on 100+ mile denali highway, denali park road, and long single track jaunts through the kenai mountains. It was also a solid bike on the Annapurna circuit. I have a road bike, but barely ever ride it because I just don't like being on the road. Snow bike is rad all winter.

    So when it comes down to it, ride what you want to be riding. Spend time doing what you want to be doing. For me, where i live, DH riding is a very short season and I'd be sitting around getting fat waiting a long time if I didn't have my other bikes.

    Good to hear Xcountry racing is really just a fitness show outside of AK too. Zero technical skill needed and definitely no downhill technique needed. I did a few endurance races here and realized after the 3rd one that I just don't like training so I can go be miserable on my favorite trails for 12 hours. So dumb. When we really look at the problem, it's a damn good problem to have.
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  10. #10
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    I feel like once you get into the whole questioning of "disciplines" and "what should I be riding", you should have the follow up of "why am I on a bike in the first place".

    If you're after a competitive edge, then just look at what the pro riders in your discipline are doing. As stated above, there's a road and xc element, BMX background doesn't hurt, and if you really want to get technical, trail design and building will help you in the pursuit of going bigger/faster/harder too.

    I used to race road and xc, and would build a different full suspension rig every other month trying to figure out what was going to get me down the local trails the fastest; Horst link or Lawwill, 68 HTA or 67, lower BB or more travel, Marzocchi or Fox, and so on. Looking back I kind of think that that was a lot more interesting than it was fun.

    Nowadays I just ride for the pure and simple fun of it, and when you do that, you'll settle right into the place you're supposed to be. I ride whatever bike I think is cool on whatever trail sounds fun that day. I'm probably not as fast as I once was, but I am more skilled and I never end a day out on the trails second guessing anything.

    All that aside, I ride with a guy who only owns a DH bike because that's what he likes to ride. 95% of our rides would be considered trail/all mountain, and after years of doing that on a DH rig, he hangs with the average local XC rider on the climbs and smokes everyone on the descents. I'm teetering on the edge of building a DH bike now just because he enjoys it so much.

  11. #11
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    What's been said here, each ride or different bike, will help you progress.

    Want to get better choosing tech DH lines and maintaining speed? Go Single Speeding on a Hard Tail or Rigid.

    Want to master picking gap lines and hips? Go ride a poppy XC bike and boost the small rocks and string together small gaps while putting down huge speed/power out put.

    Want to increase raw power to pedals and endurance? Do a road ride.

    Want to get faster riding trail and able to crush whatever the trail throws at you? Go do lift serve DH.

    I've seen Chromag HTs at Whistler on Duffman and on the Shore where others are running 8''. Different tools for different jobs, true, but a master rider can perform most of the jobs with the same tool better than an intermediate with the right tool...

  12. #12
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    I ride my road bike to work when I can to get fit and save gas. I also ride XC and some AM trails also to get in shape but also enjoy it alot. I hate climbing but it is on a bike and I enjoy the dh side and feel great afterwards. DH is my passion but other riding gets me by in the off season.

  13. #13
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    Sometimes I ride UP the trail..

    I know, how lame..

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkimSTi View Post
    Had a little discussion with a buddy of mine, whom wanted to get me out to an all mntn trail we used to hit back in the day before we got serious into the DH.

    He still enjoys other disciplines... but that means lots of peddling. Not very technical... most guys go there to get their stamina and endurance on...

    but after riding and really pushing my DH riding, i feel that a ride like that would be boring (since its mostly flat). in fact, i sold my all mntn to purchase my 2nd DH rig. i wouldn't mind the ride, but at the same time, i feel like i would be regressing in the discipline i'm trying to push.

    my thinking is... i enjoy DH, i enjoy jumping, i enjoy technical. That is where i want to really push myself to be faster (and going BIGGER). why ride granny trails that are really smooth single track?

    what are your thoughts? do we have multiple disciplined riders in the DH category? Does anyone else feel this way? would like to see what fellow DHers are doing.

    Strictly DH or many types of riding. DISCUSS.

    You kinda sound like this guy:

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  15. #15
    NWS
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    Riding is more fun than not riding, so if that's what it comes down to, go on that ride with your buddy. If you have some fun, set up one of your DH bikes with an 11-36 cassette and a 32 or 34 tooth front ring. There's a thread here about DH bikes that climb reasonably well, and dedicated AM bike is probably not worthwhile if your outlook is just "AM beats not riding."

    If you have the opportunity to choose which place you ride that day, then choose whatever is more fun. Sounds like that won't be a hard choice.

    I have a DH bike, a slopestyle bike, and an AM bike... The main reason I still have the AM bike is just to go on rides with friends who don't jump.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    You kinda sound like this guy:


    hahahaha. i love that video. and yes, im pretty close i guess. minus i dont just ride park cuz the nearest one is 3 hours away. so i still do the average hike-a-bike stuff. which i dread...

  17. #17
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    I have a downhill bike and an all mountain bike. I use my all mountain bike most of the time due to where I live. I love downhilling at the resort and taking that break from climbing. I like jumps and technical terrain also. At the same time I can't imagine giving up XC/AM riding. I got to get pedaling in. XC trails in my area are not flat all the way around and have some technical sections. There are climbs then descents.Yes, there are some flat sections where you can pedal hard and get a lot of speed which is still fun. Getting better endurance and stamina from climbing comes with the territory. I climb because I look forward to going down. You have to pay to play. Also, I doubt you will regress. Give XC/AM a try again and you'll be surprised... its fun in its own way as long as there are descents after the climbs. If it is flat all over then yes that would be boring.
    A spotless bike is a bored bike.

  18. #18
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    What is this... 'other disciplines' you speak of?
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  19. #19
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    People look at you funny when you pass them at a bike park wearing a full face on a hard tail.

  20. #20
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    even funnier looks riding a full DH rig with full face at XC trails. hahaha.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkimSTi View Post
    even funnier looks riding a full DH rig with full face at XC trails. hahaha.
    I get those looks all the time! ....that's why I'm building another bike right now, something that can climb back up better than my DH

  22. #22
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    I believe the trails today lack the character of my perceived notion to what a true DH trial is... Fast, flowy, and with crazy sections whether it be a rock garden, a few big drops, or several combinations of both. either through a fast or somewhat slow section... seems todays trials are being molded for more flow rather then "hold on to by beer and watch this" type DH crazyness... but then again I mayhave had a beverage or 13 writing this so
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post
    Good to hear Xcountry racing is really just a fitness show outside of AK too. Zero technical skill needed and definitely no downhill technique needed.
    That's a big generalization. At least on the World Cup level XC has gotten quite a big more technical in the last couple of years. Lack of technical skill would have one eating **** on some of the sections.

    This was one of the sections of the Nove Mesto (Czech) course this year. And these guys ride over this stuff with fully extended seat posts

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkimSTi View Post
    even funnier looks riding a full DH rig with full face at XC trails. hahaha.
    I know this guy in his 40's who used to use his downhill bike on XC trails every now and then to challenge himself. He wore regular XC helmet though. He is a beast. He can ride at a very good pace on XC trails with the downhill bike. He is super fast when he uses his AM bike on XC trails. Guy has balls also (and skills). I've seen him go down steep cliff drops at this local place by my area on his AM bike without the seat even dropped.
    A spotless bike is a bored bike.

  25. #25
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    I've been living in Cumberland, BC since last summer and while there are DH trails that you can shuttle I've seen very few DH bikes. The bike park at the local ski hill closed down. I doubt if many only ride their DH bikes here from what I've seen. We ride some of the more DH trails on our AM/trail bikes and it is a little more difficult and slower in places we can ride to the top and clean all the smaller climbs on the way down. This seems to be the main focus here. That said there is a guy who rides with us occasionally whose only bike is a Driver 8 with a Totem, 38t front ring, road cassette, heavy wheels, and a seatpost that doesn't go high enough to get full leg extension. He's always fastest up and down anything. I love riding DH trails on a proper DH bike but even if they opened the lifts again most of my riding would still be AM. PITA to drive 30 min when I can just roll out my drive way to the local trails.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkimSTi View Post
    yea.... about that....

    i spoiled myself with the travel of a DH rig. When i purchased my 2nd bike, a Giant Trance. my first ride out on a familiar trail, clipped a pedal on a rock, OTB... luckily i walked away with little bruising.

    few rides later, felt limited and somewhat less confident on the Trance. So the trance went bye bye, and the 2nd DH big travel bike came into play. the 'normal' bikes scare me now. haha.
    For myself, the long travel bike makes me a "sloppy rider", by that I mean that when I'm on my VP Free, I tend to just plow things that would make me ride the cleaner line w/ my Nomad.
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  27. #27
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    i ride dh and sometimes dh electric on my trails.
    used to ride xc but i figured out why not ride dh and have fun all the time
    your not alone!!

    btw i like this thread

  28. #28
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    I just like being on a bike. My favorite trails are dh trails that need a dh bike to survive, followed by trail bikes on trails that need that suspension to be fun, and then my snow bike I rip around all winter in alaska. Road biking is the only discipline I avoid doing most of the time. If there is a trail somewhere to ride, it should be ridden.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

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