Thoughts on El Mar use on downhill?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on El Mar use on downhill?

    I've got a 2010 El Mar set up as single speed. Made plenty of changes to it over the years. Currently I've got the Manitou Tower pro on there set to 80mm. Figured I wouldn't move it to 100 as I have rarely bottomed out. I was toying with the idea of trying it out on downhill since I love whipping it around on XC trails locally.

    This past weekend I made a trip to Snowshoe mtn's bike park. My first time there, and left thinking I need to buy a downhill bike. There are a couple other downhill parks at ski resorts around me, and it's got me thinking...

    On the blue trails that are flowy with small drops and kickers, it doesn't seem like a full suspension is necessary. If I drop the seat and maybe shorten the stem, I bet it could be a good bit of fun. I probably wouldn't attempt any of the steep boulder/tight turn sections. But I really think the nice fun smooth trails with kickers and berms would be a good bit of fun in an el mar.

    Has anyone done this? I rarely get more than a few feet off the ground with exception to the drop downs slightly over 5 feet. I'm curious to see if it's possible or even worth it. The last thing I want to do is snap it in two. Thanks for the feedback!

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by firedfromthecircus View Post
    Yeah, I've seen that before. 24" seems small but that's fine. I was just curious to see if others had taken it out downhill before.

  4. #4
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    I raced miniDH on my rigid SS el mariachi once. I lowered the seat and used common 100 mm stem. I find that possible unless you are doing big drops. I feel that my skill was the limiting factor.
    It really has some advantages on the rough terrain: it rolls over everything like crazy, the grip and stability is amazing, it's lite so it dances uder you over the stuff. Having 100 mm suspension fork and shorter stem should work much better.
    There are some downsides to geometry for dh use though (espesially with rigid fork and long stem). Chainstay length is not short and head angle is steep so it's not as easy to manual, as I want it to be. On the other hand the front wheel is weight good so it doesnt washes out so much. The real problems occur on the really steep sections (and I maen really steep) where the steep head angle makes the bike extremely unstable - you feel like the front wheel wants to turn under itself even if you are as far back as possible. That's scary) In general that's not DH winning mashine but It's sertainly much fun to ride. I even strengely did better than some guys on FS bikes)

  5. #5
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    Thoughts on El Mar use on downhill?-cm_me_q4yqm.jpg

    Thoughts on El Mar use on downhill?-iyi73rzjrwm.jpg

  6. #6
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    that sir...is impressive

  7. #7
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    I have a friend who used to take his Kona Steely to Snowshoe and Beech Mountain when that was the only bike he had. We would swap bikes occasionally so I got to experience the punishment of trying to hardtail on dh trails. Trying to ride fast on a hardtail for a single 1500' vert run was exhausting. Going for multiple laps without breaks was even more difficult. Interestingly, we agreed that the faster jump/berm trails like Skyline and Powerline were more difficult than the rougher trails like lower hairball and the upper parts of pro dh. The fast trails just beat you to death on bumps that you don't even notice on a dh bike. It felt like my internal organs hurt after a fast lap on the hardtail. So I guess my view is that yes, it is possible to ride east coast resorts on a hardtail, but unless you are a glutton for punishment I don't recommend it. My friend with the hardtail got a fs bike (Transition Blindside) as soon as he could and now the hardtail sees little to no dh action at resorts.

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