First Time DH Gear Advice

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    • #121904

      I’m fairly new to biking and this is my first time posting on I love this site and have really taken advantage of all the great information to be found here. My first time on a bicycle in 25 years was just last summer. I loved mountain biking so much that I upgraded to a 2013 Rumblefish full suspension 29er this spring. I’ve already put nearly 3,000 miles on it (that’s a lot for me). I have started really enjoying some slightly more aggressive down-hill terrain after making the big climbs and I’d like to head up to one of the down-hill biking parks/ski resorts here in Colorado before the season ends.

      My question for you all is, am I going to be very disappointed spending a day at a downhill park on my Rumblefish, or should I look into a downhill specific bike? I like to go fast and I enjoy a little air here and there, (maybe 36"-48" drops max). I’ve found that I haven’t noticed any disadvantage on the technical terrain on my 29er as compared to my friends who are all on 26" bikes, but will that be significantly different at a downhill park?

      Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • #121905

      What I would do is spend a day at a park on your bike, see what you think, then rent a dh bike and spend a day riding. You will get a good idea of the difference before you shell out a lot of cash. I haven’t rode a Rumblefish, but it is billed as a do-it-all trail bike. I ride my Kona Coiler, which has 120mm of suspension on dh trails. While it doesn’t have the plushness of a full-on dh rig, it isn’t bad! My Kona has 26" wheels though, the 29" wheels will handle differently for you.

      The 26" wheels are an advantage for a dh bike, which helps in the tight, technical stuff. Plus a dh bike will have much more than the 120mm of suspension.

      First step is to try yours and see what you think!

    • #121906

      Based on the advice I got from several individuals, including the previous post on this forum. I spent the day on my rumblefish. I had a fantastic time and I never felt like the bike was holding me back. Three days later, I went back up and rented the full DH bike. I noticed a huge difference on the big drops and larger jumps. However, on most of the terrain, I was wishing I was back on my rumblefish. I think that is due mostly to how accustomed I am to riding the rumblefish.

      By the end of the day, I realized that if I am going to be doing the downhill riding a lot, then I’d probably need to invest in a dh bike with a ton more suspension travel. Since I don’t imagine hitting the dh trails more than once or twice a year, I’m planning on getting an over mountain bike that gives me more flexibility. I’m looking seriously at the cannondale Jekyll. Anyway, thanks for the advice!

    • #121907

      Great advice from gar29, but it does take a few rides on a true DH bike to get used to the differences. Hard to justify a few thousand bucks for a couple rides a year. Where did you ride to test the bikes out? Winter Park is a little more AM bike friendly, but Keystone or Sol Vista will require a DH. I rode my Remedy at Sol Vista and went home tired and beat up- that’s without crashing, it’s hard to put a full day of riding in without a DH bike. Some of the more challenging trails really rattle a 6" travel bike. I also found that you have a lot more control with the extra travel when you have to drop into a rock garden and have to turn. Bought a used Session and it kills the DH! Used bikes can be pretty reasonable towards the end of the season. By the way, you are welcome to join us up at any of the resorts. Winter Park is your best bet without a DH bike, so hit it a few times till you decide what to do.

    • #121908
      "SilverCard" wrote

      Since I don’t imagine hitting the dh trails more than once or twice a year, I’m planning on getting an over mountain bike that gives me more flexibility!

      Well, since you are saying you will be only flying down DH trails more than once or twice a year, why get another bike then, just rent a bigger travel bike when you go. Makes much more sense and cost effective as well… 😆

      I shred on a DH bike because I ride DH and big FR, thus why I justify bigger bikes in my stall. However, I have other bikes for other discipline riding as well. You know, one for the DJ’s, flow tracks, and slalom course, and a slopestyle bike for the less intense DH/FR and lighter. I also have a HT for XC or AM riding. However, if you aren’t going to be riding DH but once or twice a year, then save the change and stick with what ya have man. Just saying! 😉

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