RFX for DH use(7springs)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    RFX for DH use(7springs)

    I posted here a while ago mentioning I was likely to get a spot or RFX. Well in the past few weeks I have been going to 7 springs and Wisp for the lift assisted DH and am completely addicted. Which leads to my problem. I have to store my bikes in the spare bedroom and right now I have 3 bikes. Its pretty full and I could MAYBE fit 4. I've been using my heavy hardtail for DH or renting a bike but its painfully obvious I need to get a FS DH bike. I'd like to sell that heavy hardtail for a FS bike

    Since I use my lighter hardtail with 130mm fork as my primary trail bike. I'd ideally like to get a FS bike that works very well at the DH resorts, but still can climb fairly well if I want to enjoy the benefits of suspension on the trail. Is the RFX this type of bike? Maybe the highline would be better? Does such a bike even exsist?

  2. #2
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    The thing to keep in mind is that the characteristics that make a bike a good trail bike are frequently at odds with what makes it a good shuttle/lift bike. As a general rule, the better a bike is at one, the worse it is at the other.

    I currently own and ride a Highline as my DH bike, and I've shuttled quite a bit on a buddies RFX. The Highline is clearly the superior shuttle bike, but it isn't nearly as a good a trail bike (obviously affected by setup, as I didn't really consider trail riding when building up my Highline).

    If I absolutely had to have one bike for both, the RFX (or something similar) would be it, with two wheelsets (a heavier one with DH rubber for shuttle/lift days and a lighter one with XC tires for regular riding). But in my opinion, the best solution is a dedicated bike for each use.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky
    The thing to keep in mind is that the characteristics that make a bike a good trail bike are frequently at odds with what makes it a good shuttle/lift bike. As a general rule, the better a bike is at one, the worse it is at the other.
    Yeah. I guess I am trying in vain to get around this fact. The problem is I have 2 hardtails I can't part with (trail bike and xc/road bike). Now I'm trying to find a FS bike that can fill both needs as I really don't want to try and store 4 bikes. Looks like I'll just hold out for a highline and spot and find a way to store them.

  4. #4
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    I'm a DC boy, so I have a passing familiarity with Wisp and 7 Springs. Those are both on the easy side for DH trails, so if those are the only places you are going to ride, an RFX would actually be a good choice. The problem is that if you get into downhill (as you probably will ) and start heading to harder places like Snowshoe or Diablo you will be really under-biked on an RFX. It will be ridable, just not as fast, and you'll have a lot less margin for error on drops and stunts.

  5. #5
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    Yeah I agree. I actually am not completely underbiked for those two places using my hardtail with a 160mm fork. But I certainly hope to improve and am already looking at making the trip to snowshoe.

    I am just learning downhill and I sometimes wonder if I would actually be safer by getting a true Dh bike. If I land bad now my ankles and legs will be absorbing the impact. Where maybe the suspension of a DH bike could absorb the impact and save my legs.

    I actually suspect the RFX will be a little too much bike for trails and not enough for real DH. So I'll probably start looking at either a DHR or highline soon and then next year buid up a spot.

  6. #6
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    take a peek. youll see a '07 rfx built up and used for some not so tame dh use. normally its a top rate trail rig but did very very well in this application too. if its gotta be 1 bike and yer not mr gnarly or built like a pro wrestler, i think theres a possibility its a better call than a highline might be. i know i couldnt lug around a bike like that all day everyday and im told our trails are similar to yers.

    not sayin the highline wouldnt kick the rfx's ass headed down from the top of the chair but it would certainly fight for every inch on the way. nor do i claim its the most efficiant trail bike for our dirt but its sure not bad or lackin in fun. this, and travel to more demanding locations, is exactly the reason i chose a rfx over a spot or to replace my missin flux. i think yer gonna dig it too.

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  7. #7
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    Last year I bought a DH bike in the thoughts that I "needed" a true DH bike. I've been looking around for a bike that was burly enough for DH but wasn't 40 plus pounds. In my year long search for the "perfect" bike I sold my DH bike and kept looking. Well what I found out was that sitting in my garage was my trusty 06 RFX. I threw a chainguide on, some flat pedals, and big a$$ burly tires and hit up lifts. All along I had the bike I was looking for. For me it's perfect, easy to handle and easy to jump not to mention being that it's my trail bike as well I feel very comfortable on it. After all this ramblin' if you can only get "one" more bike get an older RFX, one with ISCG tabs.
    Secretly though I want a Highline.
    I'm here for the downhill

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dascro
    I am just learning downhill and I sometimes wonder if I would actually be safer by getting a true Dh bike. If I land bad now my ankles and legs will be absorbing the impact. Where maybe the suspension of a DH bike could absorb the impact and save my legs.
    Its definitely safer, but its mainly the geometry differences that make it so (although the travel does help). The long, slack geometry of DH oriented bikes make them way easier to ride steep gnarly downhills then trailbikes.

    You certainly can ride an RFX for DH (I've shuttled several times on an RFX setup with a 66 fork). Its a very capable bike, but pure lift/shuttle riding is definitely not its intended use. Given enough skill, someone could certainly be competitive on one (hell, I saw someone DHing on what appeared to be a Nitrous at Snowshoe this past weekend ) but given equal skill levels, a rider on a Highline/DHR is going to destroy someone on an RFX down a real DH run. Like, not even close.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky
    If I absolutely had to have one bike for both, the RFX (or something similar) would be it, with two wheelsets (a heavier one with DH rubber for shuttle/lift days and a lighter one with XC tires for regular riding). But in my opinion, the best solution is a dedicated bike for each use.
    So if it were a dedicated bike for each use, would it be a Highline or a DHR?

    What if you've got the XC side covered with a Flux and trail covered with a Pike'd 5-Pack (but could be reverted back to a 6-Pack)? If you're too chicken to take advantage of the 6-Pack's FR capabilities, is much of the value of the Highline lost?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotherbrian
    So if it were a dedicated bike for each use, would it be a Highline or a DHR?

    What if you've got the XC side covered with a Flux and trail covered with a Pike'd 5-Pack (but could be reverted back to a 6-Pack)? If you're too chicken to take advantage of the 6-Pack's FR capabilities, is much of the value of the Highline lost?
    Tough question. I've never ridden a DHR, so maybe Airwreck or one of the other Turner owners who own both can answer. I'd say it depends on what sort of riding you want to do with it. The DHR is going to excel on pure DH stuff. It is lower, longer and has more travel. I imagine (based on riding other pure DH bikes) that it is less maneuverable at slower speeds and doesn't jump as well. Its not compatible with a front derailleur, so any significant climbing is going to be very difficult. Its really the epitome of a bike designed for one very specific use: going downhill as fast as possible.

    The Highline is more versatile. Its still low and pretty slack, but not so much that its severely hindered for low speed stuff. It definitely jumps better than every pure DH bike I've ever ridden, and is very nimble on slow speed stunts and skinnies. It gives up a little for DH racing, but is still pretty competitive. To me its a more "fun" bike, in that it changes direction and comes off the ground so easily. Its not as good a choice if you want a pure DH race bike.

    If you are hesitant pushing the limits of the 6-pack, maybe wait until you are? Are you looking to get into DH racing, or pickup a bike for lift days?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky
    If you are hesitant pushing the limits of the 6-pack, maybe wait until you are? Are you looking to get into DH racing, or pickup a bike for lift days?
    Lift days, and with that limited to Northstar, only in the summer months. I've slacked out the 5-Pack as much as I can, and it is fine for my skill level, but having slacker/lower/longer has got to be desirable. Given the limited usefulness of a pure-DH bike (given my % of riding), it'd probably be better rented than bought (and the Highline fitting into a gap I'm not willing to play in otherwise).

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