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How far do you live from the closest resort riding area? How many times do you do full on downhilling?

I posted another thread under "Using a Santa Cruz Heckler for Downhilling" a few weeks ago. Context behind it: Closest resort to where I live is N* 4hrs away and am still rationalizing on how many times I would have to go there to make buying DH bike worth the cost. Realistically, I can see myself going up there 8 times within the season.

Just asking cus I'm still debating of whether or not I will be getting an AM bike or a DH bike. I plan on using the AM bike (heckler) for resort riding also. If I spend $3000 on a new bike, I refuse to spend anymore $ on renting a DH bike.
 

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i live like 20min away from a resort and go like twice a week just because i can catch a few runs in the morning before work. as far as full on downhilling...i live in utah and love downhilling, but even here i rarely do trails that need a full on dh bike. i'm not as fast, but i can do most trails on a bottlerocket. If i were you, i'd try to move up to like the nomad if you want a santa cruz though. it should be a little more like dh worthy but can still pedal amazing
 

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Just Joshin' ya!
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I live in Phoenix, Arizona. There are shuttles five minutes from my house like 3 days a week, which f-ing rocks. Hopefully that lasts as it is in a city park and the city council or the parks department could always put the kabash on that at any time if we piss off enough people. The nearest ski area that caters to mountain bikers is about 2 to 3 hours away I think at Sunrise Resort in the White Mountains.

Since I go at least once a week now, I have decided to buy a downhill bike.
 

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bike rider
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Unless you live close enough to ride the lifts like once a week or have good shuttle trails nearby it's hard to justify a DH bike. Have you looked at the rental fleet and rates at N*? You'd have to spend a hundred bucks a day on a rental for 30+ days to equal a new bike. I've recommended this route to a lot of friends.

Me, I ride the lifts at Keystone, Vail, and Sol Vista at least twice a week.
 

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Pee's in the H8teraid
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If you go with something like a Nomad, sell the Heckler.. If you want to keep the Heckler and want a fast bike you can still ride on your local trails now and then...Get a Freeride bike.
Thats what I did.. .02cents
 

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Professional Troll
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Lol, 4 hours from a PRIMO resort, what a tough life. If that won't get your ass to ride a full on DH bike then this sport isn't for you. I had a full on DH bike when I was living in CENTRAL ILLINOIS, where real DH was 10 hours away minimum. Man you kids are spoiled.
 

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i rationalized building a new dh bike for last year because i've always used my dh bike as sort of an errand local cruizing urban stunt bike,so it doesn't just gather dust waiting for me to go to where the lifts are,i even got 2 sets of wheels for it so i can lighten it in a minute for better freeride.I bought a glory zero, tricked it out; hadleys,I9,saint ect ect..the only oe parts are the headset,seatpost,fork. Words of an addict.
 

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I use my DH bike for local riding and we have no lifts. We push and ride our DH bikes as much as we can to the top. We have super long DH trails though and usually find the shortest route to the top.

Its all what is important to you.
 

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Gemini2k05 said:
Lol, 4 hours from a PRIMO resort, what a tough life. If that won't get your ass to ride a full on DH bike then this sport isn't for you. I had a full on DH bike when I was living in CENTRAL ILLINOIS, where real DH was 10 hours away minimum. Man you kids are spoiled.
that's why i moved to utah from naperville! way better riding
 

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humber river advocate
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hour and half drive here to blue mountain (not a mountain)... couldn't justify a full blown
dh bike even though take trips out west and quebec. i got a nomad which is a good compromise for everything...
 

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I live in NYC and have three resorts 3 hours away or less and cannot imagine not having a full on dh bike. The limits of am bike are are just to great for Platte and Diablo. I have been rideing dh bikes for 12 years and I cannot get enough of this sport. 10 hours drive though would make me consider changing sports.
 

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wretch
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I think if you like it enough, you'll ride whatever you can. . . and then eventually see the need to progress to a bigger bike that makes resort riding even more fun. I used to ride my beefy Enduro at N* but switched to a bigger bike and have not looked back. I'm moving down to the bay area now and see myself coming back up to Tahoe as much as possible for all the trails here.
 

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Dump the Heckler and get one the lighter freeride bikes that could better perform DH/FR duties. A bunch of my buds own Hecklers built for AM riding and all of them have broken their swing arms multiple times, and that's w/o riding any DH/FR trails. The Heckler is a decent AM bike that can take some abuse but I'd be concerned about the durability if you were to frequent the resorts. Even if the bike does survive the geometry and flexiness of the frame, compared to a stronger bike, will seriously hold you back.

Some bikes to look at would be Knolly Delirium, Pivot Firebird w/AL rocker, SC Nomad, Nicolai FR, Giant Reign, Turner Highline, etc. All could be built up in the 34 lb. range or lighter for AM ,would be good peddlers, could take a Totem/66 level fork, and would be better suited than a Heckler. You could have a separate wheelset and fork and simply swap them before your ride.

I got into lift riding a couple years back and I was definitely held back by my AM bike. I picked up a Knolly DT which performs dual-duty quite well. At first it was built up at 34 lbs. with a 36 float and lighter bits but over the past couple of years as things broke I've moved towards durability and now I'm riding it with a full coil and it weights about 38 lb. Sure it's heavy but I push it around AM/XC trails all the time. The weight has not held my riding back whatsoever.
 

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actually to me a long windy ride to the top in the small ring,shift to big ring,steep fast ride back down. well, whatever,you want sections you can't ride up,actually you want section you'd have to bring a rope to get your bike up.It'a agreed upon, dh bikes can also be fun off the ski mtn,which means that even if you only do the lift thing a couple times a year,their cost can still be justified.
 

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I live less than 30 minutes from Whistler, had 80 + days this past season and my AM bikes stays at home all the time. I have a Blur 4x and a Trek Remedy, in the past years I would forced myself to get up there with my trail bike just to make it different and always ended up regretting it.Simply put ,they feel out of their element.

Sure , you can ride a lighter bike up there but you definitely feel flex plus they dont feel as planted. . . actually trail bikes dont feel planted at all ,slower in almost any situation and quite frankly, arent so much fun up there...almost scary

Personally, I love going fast, always pinned, so a big DH bike is a must for me.An AM bike DOES work ok for resort riding...but its an entirely different experience.

Keep in mind the Heckler is on lighter side of AM bikes,fairly steep for the travel its got compare to other more DH dedicated trail bikes...

Now, you're saying you live 4 hrs from the closest resort??? That's an 8 hrs round trip !Dude, dont bother looking at DH bikes, you'll be on the wrong boat wishing you were playing with your friend on an other boat...Get a nice, playful trail bike with solid wheels and you'll have a blast.

I dont know what sort of trails you have around where you live but if you can ride fairly aggressive stuff, for 3000$ I would get a used Remedy even perhaps a Nomad or something like that...
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Within the last month I've gone downhilling twice.

But, within the last month I've ridden that bike probably at least 10 times.

If I had a straight up DH bike, it would sit and gather dust most of the time obviously.

I have a Turner Highline, and I just took it out yesterday for a big epic ride in Sedona. It's not the lightest bike obviously, but lots of people out there mistakenly think that if their bike weighs 2lbs less they'll somehow be able to magically keep up with their faster friends or ride with less effort. It just isn't that big of a deal. What makes my bike work well is the geometry. The geometry allows it to be climbed pretty well, and then when I want to go downhill it works pretty damn well. Does it work as well as a DH bike? Hell no, but the tradeoff is that I get to ride it a LOT more than a DH bike.

In this sense, I am very happy with the bike and it's ability to be ridden. Full on DH bikes are nice, but they only make sense if you are utilizing them a lot or you have the $$$ to just have something sit around most of the time. I've had two full on DH bikes in the past, and the same thing happened each time.

I wouldn't use a heckler for DH though. I also have an RFX and back when I didn't own the Highline, I would use the RFX for everything. I wouldn't do quite as agressive stuff though as I do on the Highline, but even still the RFX is at least a good step above the Heckler in terms of strength, suspension action, and so on. It is also not super light, but I get a lot of versatility from it. There are lots of bikes you "can" ride at places like Northstar, but I'd at least want my RFX to have fun, and ideally something bigger/better for DH riding.

Think about this, have something like an RFX, decently beefy 6-7" travel bike, then have a lighter hardtail or something for the strict XC days. With the skills you get from riding the crazy terrain you'll do just fine on the hardtail, and then you don't have to worry about having an excessively heavy bike. A few lbs of weight doesn't make a difference as I said above, but the weight diff between my heaviest and lighest bike is 20lbs, and at that weight it does start to make a pretty big difference. Keep it cheap, get a 29er rigid or something. It will roll over stuff like crazy.
 

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I had the same decision living in SF. I own a heckler and was trying to decide if I should sell it for a nomad or just get a dh bike. It was hard bc I knew I would ride the nomad more than the dh.

It came down to what I wanted my longer term bike setup to be. I decided that I would be happier with 2 bikes than 1 do it all. With that in mind I decided to get a dh and ride the heckler until it dies and then replace it with a new trail bike.

Hope this helps,

Mark
 
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