Should I get a DH bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I get a DH bike

    I went to the local ski hill a few times this year on my Giant Reign X. It was great fun. Should I get a DH bike for next year? How much of difference would it be from my Reign X?

  2. #2
    AKA shitbird
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    I'd suggesting renting a DH bike and figuring out if you think it makes the riding more fun.
    JRA

  3. #3
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    moe gnarpiao... thats funny shyt.

    op: rippin dh trails on a true dh bike is more fun than the law allows but its not always cheap. more fun than on a long travel trail bike? you bet yer ass it is and far safer too. youll find yerself progressin much faster as well. save the economy and yer lbs. go for it!
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  4. #4
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    and to add a bit or rationality to this post, do some research first
    Quote Originally Posted by [Orge
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    This problem could quite simply be solved if people would stop buying Konas.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Well, I've had a few DH bikes. The question is: How often are you going to use it, and how serious are you about DH racing. If the answer to those questions is rarely and not much, then no, a DH bike probably isn't the best fit, even though you might enjoy DHing. For the best fit in that case, I'd recommend a freeride bike. My freeride bike ends up HEAVIER than most DH bikes, yet it's relatively easy to pedal it around and uphill. The reason for this is the geometry. The geometry on a DH bike sucks for riding uphill, no way around it, so for self-powered shuttles it sucks, although you can miserably pedal out of the saddle up smooth dirt roads and such. On a freeride bike you still have "downhill" oriented handling, but it's not quite as good as a full on DH bike obviously. On the other hand it's far better for riding everywhere else.

    My DH bikes tended to sit around too much. They were fun for DHing, and I actually rode them up quite a few mountains to then ride back down, but the difference with the freeride bike is that I can pretty much ride up ANY mountain or trail, whereas with the DH it was not really possible. I don't know if I'll ever own a "true downhill bike" ever again. Yeah, if I was racing I'd want a DH bike to be as competative as possible, but otherwise it's way more practical for me to have something that works in other settings.
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  6. #6
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    I will get a seasons pass next year. The hill is only 15 mins away so I will do it once a week.

    Isn't a FR bike a little too close to my Reign X? I didn't pedal much the previous times I was at the hill.

  7. #7
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    i take it this is a lift assisted hill. thats dh, not fr which requiers climbing, so yer on the right track. goin that often with it bein so close is another reason the dh bike makes more sense. you could do it on a fr bike but why compromise? take advantage of the ski lift is what i say. be sure to budget some cash for the protective gear youll need.
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  8. #8
    N* Bomber Crew
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    To be honest with you, the Reign X is a very capable bike with the right setup. I'd add some different stuff here and there to your Reign X and ride DH for a season to see if you are sure you like it. The Reign X is a very capable bike, I'm thinking about it as my one bike (and I ride Ski Resort stuff too).
    Northstar 2008 Riding Crew

  9. #9
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    ^^^ Sounds like reasonable thing to do.

    What kind of changes would you suggest? Stem?

    My Reign X:
    Fork: RS Lyrik Solo
    Shock: DHX 3
    Brakes: Code 5, 8 inch front, 7 inch rear
    Bars: Raceface Atlas AM
    Stem: Raceface Atlas AM 70mm
    Cranks: Raceface Atlas AM
    Wheels: Rynolite
    Drive: SRAM XO
    08 Trance X
    09 Cannondale Caad 9-5
    10 Glory

  10. #10
    the giant.
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    i would think about a longer fork...but not so tall it throws off the geometry horribly.

    im riding a kona stinky as my designated dh bike. i have marz 888's on it. the stinky is very slack with that fork, and its technically a freeride bike, but i love it for dh.

  11. #11
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    heres my last (?) bit of input. ive done the dh thing on a 6.4" rfx w/ a semi big '07 super t and a few other bits like big brakes, wide bars, burly wheels and huge tires on it and it didnt entirely suck. even won a race but i had to baby it some to stay alive when things got fun. simply not enough quality travel, not slack enough or plush enough for aggressive ridin on this type of terrain. this year i built a older dhr from new and used stuff. even won more races on it but.... MAN! what a friggin difference! no more pizzin my pants on the jumps, pu$$y footin through the super tech or holdin back on the steeps. it was quite clearly the right tool for the job instead of another damn compromise and 20% of a proper bikes cost wasted again.

    you live next door to lift assisted ridin, plan on a season pass and every other weekend at the hill. not gettin a dedicated dh rig for this situation is just shy of punishable. hell, if ya dont dig it, sell it. why anyone is tryin to talk ya outta it is beyond me. just bad advice in my opinion. however, if yer sold on not bein sold, that super t with 1 short race weekend on it is for sale. might even have a few other things that would help. pm me
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  12. #12
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptordude
    To be honest with you, the Reign X is a very capable bike with the right setup. I'd add some different stuff here and there to your Reign X and ride DH for a season to see if you are sure you like it. The Reign X is a very capable bike, I'm thinking about it as my one bike (and I ride Ski Resort stuff too).
    I agree, but would add a dh bike has a larger margin for error and is less fatiguing to ride. A good rider can ride a Reign X anywhere but it might not be the best tool to learn on especially if lift and shuttle riding more difficult trails. Also, a dh bike is a lot easier on the body, less hand and arm pump and better bump absorption.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    I agree, but would add a dh bike has a larger margin for error and is less fatiguing to ride. A good rider can ride a Reign X anywhere but it might not be the best tool to learn on especially if lift and shuttle riding more difficult trails. Also, a dh bike is a lot easier on the body, less hand and arm pump and better bump absorption.
    Definitely. I'm sort of looking at the picture of working with what you have, especially since the Reign X is a very capable bike of lots of terrain. It also struck me as new to the sport, or you've never owned a genuine DH bike before. It's an expensive investment, and evaluate just how much time you'll actually be able to ride the lift up vs. riding up a hill near your house.
    Northstar 2008 Riding Crew

  14. #14
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    I had a DH bike (7.75 rear + 888rc2 marz front)....due to the limited use I could give it I sold it to a friend and bought a complete reign x0 2010 (don`t have it yet) ....I got tired of having to drive the car up hill...All my bike buddys are freeride/DH style...and I`m planning to catch them with the reign X. So far I`m using an old kona stinky...which has almost the same travel than the reign X...for me the very perfect ride day is the one without requiring your car...maybe only to get there and leave...with a DH bike ussually you`ll need some one to drive for you, or you can waste (DH speaking) your energy pedaling..


    On the other hand I`ll put together a DH bike in a few months just for those agresive rides which requires it.


    If you can....get a 2nd bike...DH

  15. #15
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    The best of two worlds :

    To get a burly AM for agressive and trails ride.
    A full DH for lift and FR spots.

    I had the problem, I actually have a Knolly Endorphin and I've order a Knolly Podium, full DH rig.
    before that, I had a brainstorming thinking about a "one to do it all" such as a Knolly Delirium or a Cove STD.
    But it would have been too heavy for trails and too light for DH, the best is to get two bikes...
    So I would say a Reign with light specs for fun and enjoy pedaling without pain and a pure dh.

  16. #16
    maker of trail
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.I.S.C.O
    ^^^ Sounds like reasonable thing to do.

    What kind of changes would you suggest? Stem?

    My Reign X:
    Fork: RS Lyrik Solo
    Shock: DHX 3
    Brakes: Code 5, 8 inch front, 7 inch rear
    Bars: Raceface Atlas AM
    Stem: Raceface Atlas AM 70mm
    Cranks: Raceface Atlas AM
    Wheels: Rynolite
    Drive: SRAM XO
    Your brakes and drive train are great, the frame is nice, the lyric is a real nice fork, but if you were looking to do up the reign for more DH duties, throw a totem on there. I've seen a few reign x's around here set up like that slackens them out a bit and yeah they generally rip!

  17. #17
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    Depends on the size and steepness of you "ski resort" there are smaller ski resorts that a 6/6 (6.75 actually) reign x would be fine,it also depends on how hard you ride.If you match the rear travel with a 170 fork. I'll guess your set up is stock,is it a coil shock?, that would be another nice upgrade if you have an air shock now,go to a dh worthy coiler. Wheels/tires, when you start to blow though 1 ply tires,and definitely before you start blowing through 500 gram rims,go to dh wheels. You also have to remember that when you go coil shock ,longer coil fork, heavier tires on heavier rims, and maybe bigger discs, every downhill specific component that you add makes your bike a little worse for xc. I have a glory zero with an extra set of light wheels and occasionally i go on xc rides and and break away to some very dh trails, the single crown glory also has front deraileur/w chain guide ,it's good for some pretty serious dh, you may be able to find one as a leftover pretty cheap, i know a shop that has at least one.. .

  18. #18
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    Ive been riding Diablo and Blue Mountain all season on a Reign X. Its a very capable bike, takes everything I have thrown at it. I started the season with a Lyrik and got a 2010 Totem once they came out. The Totem made a difference as far as slackness and having a bit more travel up from than the Lyrik. I have only had a few XC type rides with it since putting the totem on it, needless to say its a handful to climb with the front being that high and slack. but that's not what I set the bike up for so I dont care.

    Season ends here next weekend and after this entire season on the ReignX, I know I want a DH bike. Id give yourself a whole season to decide for sure, its a big investment and for now you've got a frame and build that can take it. Might as well be sure before you drop the dollars on a bigger bike.

  19. #19
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    get the DH bike

    I agree with what a lot have been saying. I spent the season at Highland and I have a Ibis mojo with Talas 36, DH wheels etc and a Transition Dirtbag over 40lbs. with a Totem coil. The mojo was actually faster on the bermy flowy stuff, but not good for the real rocky lines and drops. The Dirtbag was great, but I still felt a slacker HA and lower BB would be better. I just bought a Blindside with 8" travel and am throwing my Totem on there. I think that wil be perfect. I rode the Dirtbag on trails once in a while, but It was too heavy for much uphill. The reign is a great AM bike (like my mojo) for your regular stuff and you can pick up a used DH bike in the 2k range and it will be much more fun on the DH trails. You can still use the Reign on flowy stuff, but a freeride bike may not be enough of a jump up and you still would have trouble using it as a regular trail bike. Doing drops on a AM bike vs a DH bike is night and day.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.I.S.C.O
    I will get a seasons pass next year. The hill is only 15 mins away so I will do it once a week.

    Isn't a FR bike a little too close to my Reign X? I didn't pedal much the previous times I was at the hill.
    right there says get DH bike
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  21. #21
    Picture Unrelated
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    Sounds like you have a great all mountain bike already, get a DH bike and have fun. It'll keep you from beating the hell out of the Reign and keep you safer at the resort.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the advice. I am leaning towards a DH bike. May be a 2010 Glory 1. Is it worth while to get a 4 or 5 year old bike to save money?
    08 Trance X
    09 Cannondale Caad 9-5
    10 Glory

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.I.S.C.O
    Thanks for all the advice. I am leaning towards a DH bike. May be a 2010 Glory 1. Is it worth while to get a 4 or 5 year old bike to save money?
    That really depends on your views of money, but to many here the answer is probably yes, especially when you are newer to DH riding. Sucks to buy a really nice new DH bike then decide it isn't what you really wanted, and you would have been happier with a different bike.

    But the 2010 Glory looks awesome.

  24. #24
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    I think of DH years like dog years. A single season can be very hard on a DH bike depending on the rider. 4 or 5 years is a lifetime in both abuse and in technology. I would look at a bike that was 1 or 2 years old or get a new bike that has a less expensive build kit. Transition is doing some great things for a good price if you axe me.

  25. #25
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    So, I finally got a 2010 Glory and sold the Reign X to my buddy. After the first run I thought the bike felt sluggish compared to Reign X. As the speed picked up on subsequent runs the Glory felt stable and fast. I was able to do a few double black diamonds runs that I was too chicken to do on the Reign X. I did the last run of the day on my ex-Reign X. I was able to ride it much much faster than before. My buddy remarked that I was much more confident.

    Other than the DH bike being a great fun to ride, it also removed some mental blocks and taught me how to ride better. It even made the Reign X more fun to ride, I was no longer tentative. I don't know how the Glory compare to other DH bikes since this is my only experience with a DH bike. No regrets here!


    PS. I still have a Trance X for riding uphill.
    08 Trance X
    09 Cannondale Caad 9-5
    10 Glory

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.I.S.C.O
    So, I finally got a 2010 Glory and sold the Reign X to my buddy. After the first run I thought the bike felt sluggish compared to Reign X. As the speed picked up on subsequent runs the Glory felt stable and fast. I was able to do a few double black diamonds runs that I was too chicken to do on the Reign X. I did the last run of the day on my ex-Reign X. I was able to ride it much much faster than before. My buddy remarked that I was much more confident.

    Other than the DH bike being a great fun to ride, it also removed some mental blocks and taught me how to ride better. It even made the Reign X more fun to ride, I was no longer tentative. I don't know how the Glory compare to other DH bikes since this is my only experience with a DH bike. No regrets here!


    PS. I still have a Trance X for riding uphill.
    What fork are you running in your Glory? Thinking of the same frame with a Totem.

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