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Flyin Pig
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hear Apex is awesome - blah blah blah - now that Apex is out of the way....

I've been on a quest for a DH bike. With Winter Park I have been able to test several bikes. I don't have the money to buy a brand new full DH rig so I am looking for something used or lower end DH. Here is what I've tried and my thoughts. I'd love to hear other opinions.

2009 Nomad
This is my one bike. I bought it for the purpose of riding one bike and it has lived up to its billing. The problem is as I have gotten better at downhilling, and trail riding - I've beat up the Nomad. Nothing bad - but I've had to bring the bike in twice in the last 2 years for warranty work. The first time was a recall issue - where the internals of the Rock Shox Lyrik was redesigned so it wouldn't leak. Well, the second time I had to take it in - the Lyrik leaked again and they replaced the internals a second time. I decided that I don't want beat on the Nomad anymore - I just want to use it as a trail bike and maybe take it down Rainmaker every now and then. Not as a daily DH bike. It sucks having your trail bike gone for 1 to 2 weeks for warranty work.

Yeti 303RDH
I really wanted to like this bike. The first run down I felt everything. Truthfully it didn't feel any better than the Nomad. I took it into the shop and they really fixed up the rear shock. Pumped up the shock, and adjusted the spring. The second run the rear felt better but the front shock - a fox 40 - I still felt everything. Luckily Indecent Exposure owns this same shock and told me how to adjust it. After adjusting for square edge - the front shock felt much better. Unfortunately this unmasked the rear shock again. I started feeling everything again from the rear. My feeling is for an 8" travel bike, even with tuning - It didn't feel much better than the Nomad.

Specialized Demo 8 II
I almost went and bought the Demo 8 I - as this is within budget and only a pound heavier - than the Demo 8 II. I almost bought it because I had such an awesome time on Demo 8 II which I rented. The one major flaw for me is the rear suspension hits my calf. After riding the Demo 8 II for a day I ended up with a big welt/bruise on my calf. I also noticed that when I pedaled I rubbed on the right side. I could ignore the pedal rub - but the bruise - I can't look past. Supposedly the 2011 has the rear slimmed down so I may wait for that.

2010 Kona Stab Supreme
I had rented the 2009 Stab Supreme last year and liked it. I was hoping this year's model would blow me away. It may be that with a more customized setup, it would be better but I was uncomfortable on this bike. I know everyone likes the wide bars - but I ended up being too spread out. My forearms started hurting. Also it felt like the bottom braket height was too tall for me. I felt too far up while riding - it may have been that I was too stretched out because of the too wide bars.

2009 Kona Stab Supreme
I actually like this bike. Fits right. Downside is it is used at a bikepark and from what I understand the 2009 Marz 888 may be an issue. Also the paint is ugly. Superficial I know.

I know that this isn't a large amount of bike testing - nor am I the best downhiller. But before I drop more money on yet another bike I'd like to hear what people have tried and where to look for used bikes. I've been watching Craigslist - which is nice as the bikes are local. I am unsure about getting a bike from Ebay. Also any advice on what to look for for damage would be good.

Currently I am thinking I am either going to try to get the 2009 Stab Supreme or wait for the 2011 Demo 8 I.
 

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Non Dual Bliss
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6,240 Posts
Brooklyn Racelink. Yes, I have one I'd sell. Pay no attention to homeless person I had hold it while I snapped the shot. $2500 as you see it there for you my special friend.

 

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1,551 Posts
Try a used 08-09 Glory, very good bikes & can be had used for pretty cheap. My 08 is a placeholder for the new DW DHR, but it is a damn fun rig. I like it much better than the Sunday it replaced. Really rips at Sol Vista, which is pretty chunky.
 

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Awesomist™
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2,950 Posts
IvanLasston said:
That's the best you got FT? I figured you'd have more to say about my review of the 303RDH.
Meh, just waiting to see what sort of sh!t-show advice the unwashed masses give ya. :D

And actually, I can totally understand your review... if I had only ridden an R-DH (or ANY other purpose-designed DH bike with "race" oriented geometry) on the trails at Winter Park (not bashing WP here, that place is real darn fun) I would probably feel much the same as you: not much different than a long-travel trailbike, especially one that I was really used to. On any trails other than lower Rainmaker and Trestle, I think a full DH rig is a bit too much bike and makes for more work than necessary. Bikes like the R-DH really shine when things get moar bumpier/rougher/steeper/nastier/etc.

As for an earlier question you had: having sold, bought, and looked at/for bikes on eBay, CL, MTBR, Ridemonkey, and you name it wherever else: I think most bikes you find for sale will be obvious if it's a good deal or a pile of crap. Local is always better, as you can look at it, but I've bought and sold across the country and it seems to work out just fine. Just always ask as many questions as makes you comfortable, get heaps of pictures, etc.

A guy I know has a theory about the "best DH bike" and he says it's whichever DH bike you own. I honestly think if you're ready to pull the trigger, and you like that Kona, go for it. It's your first DH bike, and a great starter to ride while you figure out what you really want in a DH bike. You're not likely to know right away, without diving in and just getting some days on it.

That said, I did find a couple of articles on Lee's site you might be interested in:
http://www.leelikesbikes.com/which-dh-bike-should-i-get-again.html
http://www.leelikesbikes.com/intense-951-or-specialized-demo-8.html

But what do I know? I used to ride a DH-9 in an XC helmet!
 

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Registered
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1,673 Posts
Solvista has murder deals on their demo fleet. Oh, and you'd feel the difference between a DH sled and the Nomad, too.
 

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Stand back
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4,211 Posts
Pau11y said:

Pulls up another chair.
You don't need your own chair. FT is happy to share his. Don't ask me how I know... :eek:

You're lucky that you're a medium. I'd watch for deals on dhrs, Sundays and Glorys.
And my full on dh rig is fun on every trail at WP. Maybe it's the drugs... ;)
 

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Banned
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7,171 Posts
dbabuser said:
You don't need your own chair. FT is happy to share his. Don't ask me how I know... :eek:
EnTIRELY TMI
 

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Banned
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7,171 Posts
IL, what size do you ride? I know you're not a large, else I'd try to sell you my Tomac :D
Looked on HuckNRoll for frame deals yet? Small M6 for $1575. And, on Go-Ride, the Ventana and Turners are on deal.
Is this for this season or next? If next, you can SCORE deals at about Dec, when everyone wants snow toys...

Edit: Something slightly off topic. I LOVE this thing!
 

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Awesomist™
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2,950 Posts
dbabuser said:
And my full on dh rig is fun on every trail at WP. Maybe it's the drugs... ;)
Gear down, big shifter... I never said my "full on dh rig" wasn't fun at WP, just that it was likely more work than a shorter travel trailbike is all.

:D
 

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killin clear creek
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760 Posts
Unless you're in more of a hurry, like kaba said SV has killer deals on rentals. WP also sells the bikes for approx 1/2 of retail & includes pads & a pass for next year.
 

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Non Dual Bliss
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6,240 Posts
Don't listen to these guys, they're all addicted to the Kool-Aid of buying into bike frames & designs that last no longer than a pair of tires tires. A Brooklyn Racelink is like having an AC Cobra and the fact you have one puts you on a level above all the Bic lighter bikes!

Or you could get you a Knolly Delirium, I have one of those too.....:D :thumbsup:
 

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Flyin Pig
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am not in a massive rush. I am still willing to rent this year and try out other bikes. I know at the end of season there are a bunch of bikes that come onto the market after the race season too.

Pau11y - I seem to fall around a medium to a small. Most of the bikes I tested, I was riding a medium.

FT - thanks for the links and the data. I should say - I know that there aren't a massive amount of rough sections at WP - but there are braking berms and filter functions where I can compare how the suspension feels. It was on these sections where I would say the suspension of the 303RDH didn't feel much different from the way the Nomad rode. This is opposed to the Demo and the Stab - where everything felt smooth. Also the LLB article did point out another thing about the 303RDH - I ride the binders too much - but I did feel the most brake feedback when riding the 303RDH. I guess my contention is - if I am feeling braking berms - how could it be better on even rougher terrain?

The Intense and V-10 have also been floated as options as I have been riding VPP suspensions since I've started mountain biking. Used I think I could swing these bikes.

The Brooklyn Racelink seems to have 6 reviews with 5 out of 5 on the reviews section. Why are you selling it?
 
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