Worried about trying DH for an unusual reason- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Worried about trying DH for an unusual reason

    Hi All,

    I know the title is a little weird, but I didn't have room to put the whole issue in the title.

    So, I'd really like to try DH, but I'm worried it would ruin XC/AM for me, which is what I currently really like to do (and can afford). XC/AM opens up lots of new places, lets me see cool things, and get away from people. The reason I'm worried about this is that years ago, when I only XC skiied and didn't DH ski, I tried DH skiing and couldn't get into XC skiing anymore since it didn't have the same rush that DH skiing did. I really don't want to have this happen to me with biking. Has anyone had this issue, and if so, how did you deal with it?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAtomicGoose View Post
    So, I'd really like to try DH, but I'm worried it would ruin XC/AM for me, which is what I currently really like to do (and can afford).
    I think it'll add to your XCing/trail riding. DHing is a whole other skillset that's very transferable to trail riding. You'll start seeing entirely new line choices, and how to handle your bike in/thru/over them. If mountain biking in general is something you enjoy, more of a good thing is NEVER a bad thing. And, there's a whole other culture w/ folks at bike parks, and it's generally fun as hell!

  3. #3
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    Assuming you end up enjoying DH, you'll want to do it all the time, and that's fine. But it doesn't destroy the desire to go for long xc or am rides. Just compartmentalize them a bit. I would spend a month and a half exploring Whistler if I could, but I still really enjoy all-day sufferfests on xc trails too. You can have plenty of fun doing both, albeit for different reasons.

    Now, the affording both disciplines part... that's another story
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  4. #4
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    Downhill is one of the funnest thing you ca do with your pants on,,If you downhill and It causes you to not like XC as much anymore,I really don't think you'll mind ,to be honest

  5. #5
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    Riding DH has made my all Mtn/XC rides better. I feel like I look at the trail with more of a "attack" oriented mentality. Before, I kind of just pedaled and had fun on the downhills. Now, I'm always scanning the trail, looking for a jump, bump, anything I can find to keep the ride exciting. Ultimately I think riding DH built my confidence on the bike full circle.

  6. #6
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    I have a different viewpoint than most, I suppose, but I view them all as the same activity. I started mountain biking long before the first "lift-accessed" parks ever thought about opening. I was always in it for the downhill. In the 80s, as a kid, I'd push my bmx bike for miles up old logging and mining roads and trails just to bomb down them. That push or ride up (later, when I actually had a mountain bike) was simply the necessary "tax" in order to pay for the DH. I came to enjoy the whole experience though. In the early days, essentially, there was no option to be a "downhiller" or an "xc/trail rider;" you either earned your turns or you stayed home.

    Fast forward to the modern age, and we have riders who have never climbed on a bike or refuse to do so. In my opinion, they're missing out on a whole world of riding. So while I currently ride a light-DH bike as my only bike, I'm still out there riding it up as well as down, and enjoy it every bit as much as I do a day at Whistler. It seems to be this "modern type" of rider that I described above that can't enjoy riding in the backcountry. You don't seem like that type to me.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  7. #7
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    Thank you all!

    @Pau11y: That's a good point, I hadn't thought about how it would influence my XC/AM line choice, and that could actually be very helpful.

    @charging_rhinos: I'm glad to hear that you still do and enjoy both, and it makes me more confident that I'll be able to do the same.

    @White7: I have very little good downhill riding nearby, and I also can't afford to do it frequently.

    @mbell: Making the XC/AM downhills more fun is definitely good, and is something that I'd like to be better at

    @cookieMonster: I'd never thought about it that way. I guess in a way, it's way more satisfying to ride down when you get to the top yourself. I really do like the backcountry, and I'd like to stay that way, but what you've said makes me feel that I can try out some lift-accessed DH and still like what I started out doing.

  8. #8
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    I was a roadie and went straight to dh... that was 6 years ago. I trail ride when I can't dh. Dh has certainly enhanced my trail riding skills. It's the most fun I know on two wheels


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  9. #9
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    get a bronson nomad or T27.5 and do all
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    get a bronson nomad or T27.5 and do all
    This is a great suggestion.

    I've always felt that my 6" travel bike felt very similar to my DH bike, once I got the suspension dialed in. (Intense 275 w Pike and CCDB Air)

  11. #11
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    I do currently have a bike that I feel that I would be able to take on DH, with 140mm fork and 3-4" of rear travel. Am I correct in thinking that I could ride that on DH trails with no issues?

  12. #12
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    Super D, best of both worlds right!?
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  13. #13
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    I ride lift-served a few times a year but most of my riding is still freeridey/AM/DJ stuff at a park that's a 30 minute drive from home with no lifts.

    Lift rides are nice, there are bigger jumps, higher speeds... but it's also more tiring, so I actually don't get a lot more fun in over the course of the day. And the extra two hours on the road (round trip) is basically just wasted time. Driving is boring as hell.

    It's fun, and I fully intend to do a lot more of it. But I still enjoy my local trails every bit as much as I did before.

  14. #14
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    Thanks man! That's exactly the kind of info I want to hear

  15. #15
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    I'm glad I could help.

    I just noticed your other question, about DH with 140mm. It really depends on your specific trail system but that seems marginal to me. I have a 140mm bike and I don't think it would even be much at my home mountain. It would probably be OK on the beginner trails, but I'm not sure. But the intermediate trails are so choppy that they wear my arms out fairly quickly with my 203mm DH bike. The advanced flow trail is just as bad, and the advanced techy/gnarly trail is worse.

    It's worth trying, but it's also worth renting a DH bike to see if it makes your local trails a lot more fun. It might make a big difference.

  16. #16
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    Rent or borrow for sure.. no point in spending big money on something you don't even know you'll like
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  17. #17
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    you'll be fine, you might be just be temped to buy an AM steel hardtail and get real aggressive on the xc rides

  18. #18
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    For me it's a weather thing. When it gets too hot for XC/AM to be fun, time to be a lift/shuttle monkey. XC/AM allows me to go where very few have gone before. DH lets me do things few have done before.
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  19. #19
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    You're basically skipping something because you think you'll like it too much, and I find that kind of stupid. Go ride DH and have a blast! If your worst case scenario comes true and you only like riding DH, then what's the problem?? You'll be doing something that you like more.

  20. #20
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    I loved DH for a couple years and got completely out of XC riding. Then I couldn't DH as much and got back into XC riding. Now I love both and sprinkle in as much DH riding as I can, but spend more time on the regular trails. It's just a matter of what you can do. DH riding takes a whole day, XC is like a two hour trip.

  21. #21
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    @MrMcFeely: That's a good way of doing it, although where I live I never find it to be too hot to do XC.

    @tim_from_PA: The problem is that I wouldn't be able to do it nearly as often since I can't afford it. It is a strange issue to have, though.

    @sandwich: The time constraints are definitely an issue, and I'm glad to hear that you do/enjoy both

  22. #22
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    You're over thinking this way too much. DH when you can and otherwise ride trails. Just go ride bikes. It's all fun.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAtomicGoose View Post
    Hi All,

    I know the title is a little weird, but I didn't have room to put the whole issue in the title.

    So, I'd really like to try DH, but I'm worried it would ruin XC/AM for me, which is what I currently really like to do (and can afford). XC/AM opens up lots of new places, lets me see cool things, and get away from people. The reason I'm worried about this is that years ago, when I only XC skiied and didn't DH ski, I tried DH skiing and couldn't get into XC skiing anymore since it didn't have the same rush that DH skiing did. I really don't want to have this happen to me with biking. Has anyone had this issue, and if so, how did you deal with it?

    Thanks!
    I've always done "XC" type of riding, which to me means that you do a lot of pedaling and you generally like to pedal fast. But I've always preferred the more technical trails. After the first time I tried DH it changed my whole outlook. I could not justify a DH bike because I live in Houston (flat). I bought a 6" bike because of that first DH trip and now I use it anywhere I would use an XC bike and I also ride the 6" at the DH parks. It definitely changed me but in a good way. I still like to pedal but now I want to pedal up a big hill or mountain so I can blast back down. I have to admit that I do get bored of some of the xc trails now that I used to enjoy more.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAtomicGoose View Post
    Hi All,

    I know the title is a little weird, but I didn't have room to put the whole issue in the title.

    So, I'd really like to try DH, but I'm worried it would ruin XC/AM for me, which is what I currently really like to do (and can afford). XC/AM opens up lots of new places, lets me see cool things, and get away from people. The reason I'm worried about this is that years ago, when I only XC skiied and didn't DH ski, I tried DH skiing and couldn't get into XC skiing anymore since it didn't have the same rush that DH skiing did. I really don't want to have this happen to me with biking. Has anyone had this issue, and if so, how did you deal with it?

    Thanks!
    You're also going to need a Dirt Jumper. I have had XC friends tell me they are secretly jealous of guys who jump & get air time. You'll see a lot of riders say they get nervous when they get off the ground.

    If you didn't spend your pre-teen and teen years jumping a BMX, it's a lot scarier to learn to jump later in life. HOWEVER, guys definitely do it. I know quite a few guys who learned to jump later. A couple of them over 45 years old.

    Because I got to XC later (after bmx, DJ, and DH), I admit, the trails can seem pretty boring. I keep thinking, you know, these xc trails would be a lot more fun with some jumps and berms here and there, as you blaze through the woods. But, if you ever built those things onto the trail or even next to the trail as options, the xc trail builder community tends to flip out (although many of them like the berms).

    So, even if you can't afford a DH bike and regular trips to the mountains, you can definitely afford a DJ bike and build some secret jumps in your area to get some air time adrenaline. Plus, you kind of need to know how to jump if you're going to hit any DH Flow trails.

    I've led some work days where we bring berms to the XC masses, on regular XC trails (what Hans Rey and those guys call "Flow Country trails.")




  25. #25
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    I race XC and ride DH on my Bronson.

  26. #26
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    DH season can be pretty short depending on where you ride. Some places, maybe 4 months. You can still ride trails at lower altitude for months before and after that so even if you do 80% lift service in the summer, you should have time for a lot of trail riding.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAtomicGoose View Post
    Hi All,

    I know the title is a little weird, but I didn't have room to put the whole issue in the title.

    So, I'd really like to try DH, but I'm worried it would ruin XC/AM for me, which is what I currently really like to do (and can afford). XC/AM opens up lots of new places, lets me see cool things, and get away from people. The reason I'm worried about this is that years ago, when I only XC skiied and didn't DH ski, I tried DH skiing and couldn't get into XC skiing anymore since it didn't have the same rush that DH skiing did. I really don't want to have this happen to me with biking. Has anyone had this issue, and if so, how did you deal with it?

    Thanks!

    So if a really hot girl wanted to date you you wouldn't date her because she might make dating less attractive girls in the future not as exciting?
    Just do it... DH RULES!!!!!

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