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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding xc for a long time and ride a 2010 specialized epic. This is a great bike and is fun to ride. However, I'm starting to really get into downhill and park riding (still on the epic) and I fear I am pushing this bike too hard. I am looking to add a long-travel bike, and keep the epic as well.

I am looking for advice on a good downhill or freeride bike that doesn't have too much performance overlap with the epic (100mm travel), so I have a bike for any terrain.

I also need to decide on either dh or fr. I don't plan on racing, and if I do, I don't plan on winning. I'm really just looking for a fun park bike that can handle the real gnarly stuff and be able to jump with a bit of style (not flips or anything, but solid jumping ability)

Bikes I have considered so far:
Specialized Status II
Transition Blindside
Kona Stinky
Trek Sessions 8 (dh or fr versions)

Thanks all.
 

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If you've already got a XC bike, just get a dedicated DH bike. Its the right tool for the job.
 

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go to resort you'll be riding the most (if you are going to be riding at a resort) and rent some bikes to get a feel for what you want and the sort of trails you like. When I first started to dh, I was looking for more of fun bike, and I wasn't the most comfortable on the rented double crown 8" beasts, but was very comfortable on Scott Gambler Fr (180mm sc) which i rented. So I got a Fr/Am bike. After 2 seasons got into racing and now I have a full on DH speed demon. I'll see how comfortable I'll get on it this season. Point being - all personal preference. Ride some bikes and see how you feel about them.
 

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If you get a FR or DH There will be no overlap from what you have now.
FR bikes have changed over the years and IMO are what some companies are calling park bikes. Some dedicated DH bikes geo doesn't significently change, if at all, with a 180mm single crown fork.
A Transition TR250 is a great park bike from what I here. 3 guys at one of the area parks have them and they really like them. My only fear has always been, at some point I may feel a DH sled is need at dfferent parks and vice versa. I guess thats why I ride a Session 88. The FR and DH (When they made both) have the exact same frame.
The only real mistake you can make with bike selection these days is buying the wrong tool for the job
 

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Hella Olde
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650b

Seems nowadays, another question to ask is 26" or 27.5". I've been on the sidelines of getting a new MiniDH or FR bike for so long, I'm on the cusp of the paradigm shift.:mad:
 

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Seems nowadays, another question to ask is 26" or 27.5". I've been on the sidelines of getting a new MiniDH or FR bike for so long, I'm on the cusp of the paradigm shift.:mad:
only if he's looking to buy new. id say KISS and buy time tested 26" used to save dough and headaches. plus the way i look at it no amount of extra rollover is gonna compensate if there is a lack of skill.

Edit: headaches was meant about the wheelsize. used rigs can obviously cause an insane amount of headache and grow into healthy sized money pits
 

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I'd say get a dh bike, and if you feel it is too much either sell it and get a park bike or just get yourself a 180mm single crown fork and violà you have a freeride bike.
 

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If you plan on doing resort riding and real DH riding, you will benefit from a DH(8inch) bike. Like previously said, you could always do a 180 single crown to make it not quite as hardcore DH oriented. And I also suggest buying used. There are plenty of headaches in the used market but for every 5 headaches there is 1 that is in good nick and properly maintained. They are not difficult to find either, just be cautious and ask plenty of questions before pulling the trigger. In regards to which model to buy, consult forums and blogs for reviews and decide which appears to suit you best. Don't be afraid to purchase a "race" frame, the bikes designed for WC downhill are not only racing machines but also super fun to ride. You don't have to be a pro to get the fun factor, same can be said for any discipline bike IMO.
 

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Seems nowadays, another question to ask is 26" or 27.5". I've been on the sidelines of getting a new MiniDH or FR bike for so long, I'm on the cusp of the paradigm shift.:mad:
lol you tell me about it, believe me we are in the same shoes. I am going crazy with all those choices over here..
 

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usually a burly bike with less than 200mm travel. has from 160mm to 180mm travel, little less 'dh' oriented geometry - slightly shorter wheelbase an slightly steeper head angle. as apposed to dh - double crowns, really slack long and low
'park bike' implies being a bit more nible, better for really tight single track and flow/jump lines. dh bikes better at really steep chunky terrain.
 
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