How will this DJ work for downhill?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... How will this DJ work for downhill?

    I race Endurance in a collegiate circuit. I have been getting into a little gravity, riding the dirt jumps and the occasional downhill course with an old xc jamis. Yes, I know, xc bikes are not sturdy enough for downhill or dirt jumping, but I must work with the tools I have. I work part time throughout the year while I am in school, and all my funds go to my tuition. I have 2 years left at school, and during this time, I will never be able to save enough money to buy a suitable dual suspension bike for gravity. I currently have about $400 that I can put towards buying a bike which will not crack in half as I ride dirt jumps, 4x, dual slalom, and downhill courses. I have decided that the best use of those funds would be to buy a dirt jumper. I will not be doing too many big drops, and I don't foresee myself doing any tables longer than 8 - 10 feet any time soon.

    Now.... I dont know too much about dirt jumpers. From what I have gathered, there are some dirt jumpers which seem specifically made for freestyle and djs and others which are a little more versatile with the gravity events. I found an add on cragslist for a 2009 Cannondale Chase 1 for $450.

    The changes he has made to the bike include:
    90mm to 130mm Manitou Sherman Breakout Firefly fork
    Maxxis Holy Rollers
    ODI lock on grips
    Truvativ Hussefelt stem
    Avid BB7 brakes
    E13 chain guide

    He claims the bike hasn't gotten much use, though I haven't looked at it yet. Will this bike suite my purposes? If not, any other recommendations or advice to help me find what I am looking for?
    Last edited by Soccersmitty55; 08-31-2011 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    I started out riding lifts on my DJ bike at Snowshoe, WV. It wasn't optimal but I'll tell you that the people on rental bikes with full armor sure give you a funny look when they need to get out of the way because they are holding up the kid on a 100mm forked DJ bike with a skate helmet through a rock garden.

    It's a rough ride, it might not be the best decision to take it on some trails, and it's going to be rough on wheels but it's your budget so make due. I would suggest that you consider some brake options depending on your definition of DH. Also, you're going to want to get rid of the Holy Rollers when you're out on trails. I run them for street and DJ but they're no good on the trails.

    If the bike is in good shape, it's unlikely you'll regret purchasing it. It'll get your feet wet in DH and you'll have a DJ bike in the stable when you decide to buy a full on DH rig.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
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    Go for it. You might want to pick up some different tires for DH days but you'll have fun on the Chase.

  4. #4
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    I am a college kid as well, And I am lucky enough to have a 6 inch AM bike and a Dj bike, I honestly have more fun riding my Dj bike on the Dh trails and stuff then I do on my 6 inch travel bike.. I would suggest getting a Dj bike, putting some good tires on, and if you are going to do any real dh then get a decient set of brakes and call it good. I have hit 10 foot drops and up to 30 foot doubles on my Dj bike.. Dont let anyone tell you what you can and cant do.. Just get a decient little Dj hardtail and ride everything you can..

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  5. #5
    biking is fun
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    Maybe look for a used banshee morphine or transition vagrant on pinkbike or other buy/sell sites. They are pretty beefy but can handle DH and DJ at the same time. My very first bike was a banshee morphine and it was a blast to ride. The vagrant would be a step nicer but harder to find.

    With that said it is probably one of the worst two disciplines to try and get one bike to work for both. The qualities that make one good at one thing is the exact opposite of what is good for the other. (mainly headangle, suspension (or lack thereof), and wheelbase). You can ride both with one but you will be greatly sacrificing in one category.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbingbubba View Post
    ...With that said it is probably one of the worst two disciplines to try and get one bike to work for both. The qualities that make one good at one thing is the exact opposite of what is good for the other. (mainly headangle, suspension (or lack thereof), and wheelbase). You can ride both with one but you will be greatly sacrificing in one category.
    Well said. While I agree that you can ride down a hill on any bike, you'll definitely be held back over many types of terrain and obstacles with a DJ on a DH trail, they are polar opposites as far as bike geo. goes. My first runs down a hill were on a DJ but after getting a proper long travel bike I got my first tase of actually bombing a hill. You'll have more overall rideablility with a DJ as far as around campus and on some trails and such but bombing down some gnarly trails will be hair-raising at the very least. Ride on.

  7. #7
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    I ran Holy Rollers at Whistler on my Banshee Rampant Rampant
    Even A-line which is a pretty smooth jumpline made the tires lose traction. Switched to Maxxis DHF and it was a dream. So much fun. But the bigger drops, not so much. The bike can handle it, but my body, not so much. So, for the second half of the day, I switched to my 7" FR bike. (Knolly Delerium). But the Banshee was super fun.

    Even though I had an adjustible fork (Marzocchi 66 ATA 130-180mm travel), I knew real technical DH was way out of its league. However, for the 'north shore' type of riding, it worked really well since it jumps and does skinnies etc really well.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soccersmitty55 View Post
    I race Endurance in a collegiate circuit. I have been getting into a little gravity, riding the dirt jumps and the occasional downhill course with an old xc jamis. Yes, I know, xc bikes are not sturdy enough for downhill or dirt jumping, but I must work with the tools I have. I work part time throughout the year while I am in school, and all my funds go to my tuition. I have 2 years left at school, and during this time, I will never be able to save enough money to buy a suitable dual suspension bike for gravity. I currently have about $400 that I can put towards buying a bike which will not crack in half as I ride dirt jumps, 4x, dual slalom, and downhill courses. I have decided that the best use of those funds would be to buy a dirt jumper. I will not be doing too many big drops, and I don't foresee myself doing any tables longer than 8 - 10 feet any time soon.

    Now.... I dont know too much about dirt jumpers. From what I have gathered, there are some dirt jumpers which seem specifically made for freestyle and djs and others which are a little more versatile with the gravity events. I found an add on cragslist for a 2009 Cannondale Chase 1 for $450.

    The changes he has made to the bike include:
    90mm to 130mm Manitou Sherman Breakout Firefly fork
    Maxxis Holy Rollers
    ODI lock on grips
    Truvativ Hussefelt stem
    Avid BB7 brakes
    E13 chain guide

    He claims the bike hasn't gotten much use, though I haven't looked at it yet. Will this bike suite my purposes? If not, any other recommendations or advice to help me find what I am looking for?
    Try a freeride hardtail, like the jamis komodo, a model only a couple years old can be found for 400 or so

  9. #9
    SamIAm
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    seems to me you are pointed in the right direction. lots of peeps here will tell ya go to used. and i agree. as long as you can see/ride it before $$$

    also DJ to DH is most def polar opposites. so would you rather have a bike u can ride all round town. to the bars. djs and pumptrack while having a blast? or u want something that can get u around town and get you to the DJ/bmxtrack, but blasts trails, rocks drops and whatnot.

    was as bozeman MT MSU and granted it got BigSky for resort riding. so big bike totally could be worth it. i took the plunge and bought my SxT and barely ever rode it. my street bike got all the attention. big bike was conversation piece in my room mostly. but now where i live. all i do is AM/trails. sold street bike and only regret it alot(only have a old 3spd cruiser. sucks. cant do anything fun. only go AtoB. for me. need both. but if i had to choose(while at school) DJ/street all the way. easier to store, get around town, less heatbreak if stolen/broken.

    i can still have a blast trying to clean gnarly trails on tiny bike. but when i do jumpsesh and the like big bike more a hassle than it worth. and usually they worth alot.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  10. #10
    OMG!
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    your collegiate team probably gets you pro form somewhere. take out a student loan, and buy yourself a sick new downhill bike.

    my .02 based on first hand experience.

  11. #11
    SamIAm
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    haha +1 for using collage money for whats really important lol
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  12. #12
    maker of trail
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    were I in your position (OP) I'd look into a used shore free ride hard tail, eg norco manic, banshee morphine etc.

  13. #13
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    I ride a cheap Giant Brass DJ.. Their best DJ is the STP. I can't speak for the STP (though Kurt Sorge goes huge on it frequently), but I know the Brass frame has taken a 7' urban drop with absolutely no issue, and I'm 6'3", 200+ lbs. Well, I blew my back tire and sprained my wrist... but the frame is awesome. I'd suspect that the Brass frame or STP frames could be used for what you want. I know I've beat the hell out of mine.. You could probably find a REALLY cheap used Brass and upgrade as you need, switching out the fork as soon as you could.

  14. #14
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    I've got an STP that I built and it has been a true do it all bike. Love riding with xc racer buddies and passin them. Also, it has even taken a couple 10' drops to flat, so that def says something for strength.

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