Enduro vs DH for E coast- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Enduro vs DH for E coast

    Alright, it's frickin freezing here in Bend, OR (literally) and we'll be buried under snow for a while yet. Fortunately my wife and I will be moving to Virginia at the beginning of April. All I can think of is riding rowdy trails, shuttles and lifts again

    TLDR version = I have a SC Hightower. Should I get a playful DH bike (e.g. RM Maiden) or a long travel enduro bike (e.g. Capra, Slayer, Firebird) for park and shuttle riding on the East coast?

    We've only been in Bend for 18 months but there's no reason to have a long travel bike here unless you drive all the way to Whistler so I sold the v3 Nomad and have a SC Hightower. We previously lived in CO and would go to the parks a lot there. The Hightower is fantastic for everything I want to pedal to, but it's not a great bike for riding park all day long and/or doing big jumps. We're hoping to move to Harrisonburg, VA where we'll be close to Massanutten, Bryce, and only 2.5 hours from Snowshoe. We'll probably also participate in anything else in the NC, TN, WV, VA scene as well as make a few trips up to the NJ, NY, NH, VT parks and trails. In CO I preferred my Nomad to an actual DH bike for anything but racing DH (I won't be racing DH), partly because of weight and partly because I'll take the fun line over the fast line every time. So many of the dedicated dual crown DH bikes are just made for racing that they make anything more tame less fun than a long travel single crown that pedals half way decent.

    But that was in CO. I've never ridden on the East coast and everything I hear is rocks, rocks, rocks. Sounds great to me but also leaves me wondering which makes the most sense. Knowing that I have the Hightower and it's fantastic for most trail riding and all but the rowdiest DH lines:

    - Does it make more sense to get a super capable miniDH bike like the RM Slayer or Pivot Firebird (both 170)? These would pedal well and might make more sense if there are a good bit of super rowdy trails that would outgun the Hightower outside the parks. It would also make sense of the parks aren't super steep and want a bit more pedaling.

    - Or would it be better to get a dedicated DH bike that's on the playful side as opposed to DH racing side (e.g. the RM Maiden). If the parks are really rowdy steep and rocky this seems like it might be better. And if there's really nothing I'd want to pedal to that would out-gun the Hightower.

    Yeah I know it's probably best to ride there for a while and test out each but like I said it's cold and I'm dreaming of riding. Thoughts?
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
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    I have to ask: Have you ridden at Blackrock or the bigger trails in Hood River?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I have to ask: Have you ridden at Blackrock or the bigger trails in Hood River?
    I haven't. I know that the biggest lines at BR are basically freeride lines where an actual DH bike is warranted, and that there are some significant jumps at Post Canyon. The only Hood River riding I've been able to do is Syncline. The rowdiest I've done on the Hightower has been Portal and Ahab in Moab, everything at Bachelor, and a few days in Santa Cruz at demo and the university trails.
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  4. #4
    Formerly of Kent
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    I used to live in Hood River. Live in VA now.

    There are some poop-your-pants lines in Post Canyon. Or at least there were when I lived there. The ice storms and logging operations a few year back might have killed off some trails.

    Ahab, aside from a drop/steep roll down or two, is a glorified XC trail. Not sure why it gets such high regards. There are LOT of trails in VA that are a lot more technically challenging than Ahab, IMO. Local legend Harlan Price has good video of a lot of them:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BOVixqsj...takeaimcycling

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BOm5EQCD...takeaimcycling
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  5. #5
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    Nice! That second route looks fantastic. We won't get the chance to explore Post before we go but I'm pretty stoked to ride all the stuff out there. I've really missed the burlier technical trails since living here. Agreed on Ahab - I've done it on an XC bike and felt fine. It'll be nice to hop on a lift or shuttle again too.
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  6. #6
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    5-6" bike crushes out here on the east coast. The 'burg riding is all about long, big days. Ya gotta climb and descend steep, rocky, nasty stuff. Massanutten is fun but the DH is short. You can ride almost anything at the 'shoe comfortably on a 5-6" sled. DH bike is rad, and there's certainly stuff at the 'shoe for it but there's SO MUCH riding east and west of the 'burg that you'll rarely leave.

    Only caveat about the 'burg is that it's a small town. Not a ton of riders down there but tons come down from Philly area, MD, DE and up from NC. Look up Harlan from Take Aim Cycling and hit the boys up at Shenandoah Bicycle Company. And check out Stokesville Campground and Ride Center...

    mk
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  7. #7
    WillWorkForTrail
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    The 'burg is a good place to be for riding. I've ridden a lot around there on hardails and 100mm XC bikes. If I was going to live there and be constantly addressing trails like those coming off Reddish Knob, I'd stay on a 29er, but look for a bike with 140-160mm of travel. It would HAVE to pedal well though. I think you're on the right path, looking at something to have in addition to the Hightower, but I don't think you need a DH bike unless you're planning to try to ride some of this stuff like it's a DH race.

  8. #8
    Formerly of Kent
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    Follow Jeremiah Bishop on Strava for ride routes.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
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  9. #9
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    There are tons of riding spots where you're going to be and a great community down there. If you are on Facebook look up the Blue Ridge Gravity Page for lots of folks with a similar appetite for riding.

    I have a 160mm/140mm travel trance and does great out there(from Northern VA). 5-6" travel bike is all you really need to ride any of the trails and have fun going down. Bryce is very tame but they are building some HUGE features that are safer and fun on a big bike but the rest of the park is better on a trail bike. Massanutten is fun and very trail bike friendly. I did the DH race they had there last year on a new burly trail (All or Nutten) and managed to get on the podium.

    If I were to get a new bike I'd be looking at the 29er options like a Trek Slash, Firebird, etc.

    Hope that helps.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all. As expected it sounds like the Hightower I have will cover any of the riding outside the parks just fine. The only thing I'd really want another rig for is all-day, multi-day park riding. That's still TBD on the DH sled vs long single crown.
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  11. #11
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    I'd keep the hightower for now. Take it to snowshoe, Bryce, Massanutten, then decide from there. They should all be pretty fun without a DH bike.

    You already have the ideal 'burg backcountry bike.

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