Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently ride a lot of XC and AM with family and friends. However my true calling seems to be DH. I am looking at purchasing a DH bike and am still doing my research on which bike I would like to buy. Most likely the bike I chose will have to serve as a multi-purpose bike at times (rides with wife and XC type stuff). I guess I should just get to the point here. Are DH bikes much more difficult to get up hills? Will I still be able to ride XC and AM and keep up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
if you got tree stumps for legs yes...but in all seriousness the geometry is the reason why most cannot climb dh for long periods of time. If your doing dh with some climbing get a FR bike like a giant reign x. I had one and I did 30 mile epic xc's to northstar double blacks. my 2 cents.
 

·
Pedaler of dirt
Joined
·
903 Posts
Ride4Adrenaline said:
I currently ride a lot of XC and AM with family and friends. However my true calling seems to be DH. I am looking at purchasing a DH bike and am still doing my research on which bike I would like to buy. Most likely the bike I chose will have to serve as a multi-purpose bike at times (rides with wife and XC type stuff). I guess I should just get to the point here. Are DH bikes much more difficult to get up hills? Will I still be able to ride XC and AM and keep up?
A true DH bike will be a pig to ride up hill and your friends and family will leave you miles behind unless you are way fitter than they are.

Maybe look at a AM bike instead, if you want to go up and down.
 
Joined
·
646 Posts
If you're talking about a true "DH" bike, they aren't designed to go up. at all. Like Dementedfatty said, the geometry is set up for the opposite. If you want to ride XC and keep up with other XC riders, the only option is a 6" travel AM/FR bike. DH bikes = shuttle only, pretty much. Its way more effecient to get off and push then it is to pedal these bikes up hill.
 

·
Pedaler of dirt
Joined
·
903 Posts
slothoncanvas said:
Ah, Sorry marzjennings. You posted just a minute before I did, and we said much of the same thing...
No worries, obviously great minds think alike. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the replies. I guess I will have to work that over time and just buy two bikes:)
 

·
Professional Troll
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
I know plenty of people (myself included) who ride their "XC" bikes on gnarly DH. You don't need 2 bikes necessarily. As the above guys said, just get a capable 6inch bike (coilair, sanction, turner highline, just to name a few). My 6inch bike has seen everything from 1hr long fireroad climbs, to 20ft doubles, to epic DH decents.

Just spec it properly, with like a 36 talas/2007 66sl, and a dhx air. An adjustable fork is key, and adjust frame geometry would be nice, but certainly not required. Run a dual chainring. Get 2 wheelsets. One light one with something like 2.35 nevegal or high roller single plys, and another one for DH with dual ply high rollers, or michi DH tires, you'll be all set then. But DO NOT try and do xc on a DH bike, you will hate your life for it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
913 Posts
my xc bike

is a Foes Fly, 42 pounds. Yes it is heavy, but 8" front and rear is great on the way down, twide the workout on the way up. I like the slack geometry personally, I guess I adapted.

If you aren't trying to race up the hill go for it. It will take 3-4 months for your legs to get used to the weight then you should be able to keep up pretty good with other riders.

Maybe look for a 7" inch bike if you aren't the strongest at pedalling.

My time for a 16 mile loop on the Fly is 1 hour 51 min, but on my 28 lb FXR is 1 hour 44 minutes... not a big time gap.
 

·
aka Jesse Palmer
Joined
·
857 Posts
Katana said:
If you aren't trying to race up the hill go for it. It will take 3-4 months for your legs to get used to the weight then you should be able to keep up pretty good with other riders.
Yup, the only thing that makes a DH bike hard to ride up hill is that it is heavier, and you probably have to stand up the whole way (aka have to not be a pansy). I'm 120lbs, no tree trunk legs, and can pedal a 40lb dh bike up hill just fine (obviously a lot slower than my XC bike which is almost less than half the weight...)

The extra suspension just gives you more traction/less power loss to wheel slip, therefore making it MORE EFFICIENT (unless you pedal like a complete hack. In which case this practice will improve your pedaling form and efficiency.)

So go for it, you'll get strong, and your family members will get to beat you up hills because you have a heavy bike (until you get in shape, and then you will look like a total badass pedaling a DH bike up hill passing XC weenies left and right :thumbsup:).
 

·
I AM I AM
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
After getting a DH bike and becoming comfortable with it's geo and the feel of single pivot (it's an Orange 222) I think it's ok for an all round bike.
In my opinion it's not the amount of travel that hampers you, drawbacks for climbing would be the weight (my orange with isn't too bad in that department) and also the gearing (DH bikes don't have a granny - but nothing stopping you having a 11-34 cassette up back, or at least 11-32, and for me 32T if good up front).
Geo, well yes you won't be able to sit in your saddle as long as you would on an XC bike, therefore your rear end will "bob" more than an XC bike, but in some ways I think the bob is kind of like having an extra spring in your step? Ok maybe not but if you want a do it all bike there has to be some compromise.

So if you're not out ot win XC races and don't have to be the first up the hill, then why not - it will only make you fitter. Of course bike choice will make a difference.

DH requires more speed, a lot of skill as well, personally I know I'd rather ride XC on a DH bike than vice versa, it purely depends on where you personal preferences like, get a bike that does best at what you ridle the most (or love to ride the most).
 

·
maker of trail
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
The two main things that make DH bikes less than idea for climbing:

- Slack head angle, works wonders on the way down, makes it difficult on steep climbs. If your idea if climbing is not riding up what you just rode down, and mean more relaxed gentle grades then its not *that* bad. A travel adjust fork helps (although I can't think of any propper DH forks with travel adjust).
- Slack seat tube, puts you way to far back to make climbing good.
- Interrupted seat tubes, mean full length seat posts are difficult (need a scoping post for example).

Those IMO are the main reasons a DH bike is not great at climbing. Notice I didn't say anything about weight or travel...

Unless you intend on racing XC on one, find a bike that eliminates some or all of the above issues and you have a DH bike that can be a burly trail bike.

For example, I use my session 77 as my do all bike, its pretty slack, have DC 888 on the front, 7" rear travel, 8" front. IMO the only thing that lets that bike down is the slack head angle on steep switch back climbs, the front skips about..

I have a 32 up front, 11-34 cassette out back.

The 7" helps with traction, the thing weighs 45lbs, I weigh 200, so my bike to rider ratio is not much different than a weeny 120lb xc racer and his 25lb xc bike ;)

Am I ever going to enter or come close to winning XC races? no way.
Can I hold my own riding trails? yup
Can I keep up with my wife? yup, its more can she keep up with me.
Can I DH and freeride with it? yup.

And its all black, which just makes it twice as bad ass. :thumbsup:

Basically buy the bike you want, with a few thoughts in the back of your mind, and realize that you may have to work a little harder on the way up, but can go mach stupid on the way down :D
 

·
aka Jesse Palmer
Joined
·
857 Posts
I actually find the DH bike to be easier to ride up ridiculously steep sections. Sections that are nearly impossible to maintain traction on a smaller bike are suddenly (technically) trivial: just a matter of getting the pedaling done, and learning to pedal smoothly out of the saddle. Just remember: if the bike bobs it's not the bike's fault: you're just doing it wrong!
 

·
thisportistoodamnexpensiv
Joined
·
70 Posts
jp3d said:
I actually find the DH bike to be easier to ride up ridiculously steep sections. Sections that are nearly impossible to maintain traction on a smaller bike are suddenly (technically) trivial: just a matter of getting the pedaling done, and learning to pedal smoothly out of the saddle. Just remember: if the bike bobs it's not the bike's fault: you're just doing it wrong!
I've had the same experience. A few months ago I bought a freeride bike (Haro x7) after continuously breaking every part on my XC bike, and finally the frame. It was one of the best purchases I've ever made. Nothing has broken and the thing can do everything my XC rig did, but better. It climbs a little slower, but it's far more stable and has allowed me to ride up sections that I couldn't do on my 28 lb XC bike (my x7 is 43 lbs). Just drop it in granny/granny and spin your legs.

Note: For me, the biggest difference in my ability to make it up a hill has less to do with bike weight and and purpose, and FAR more to do with pedals and gearing. Last week I ditched the clipless and now I can't climb sh1t, they're better on the DH though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,271 Posts
Ojai Bicyclist said:
Cheap hardtail + DH bike = perfect.
Or if you still want to go the one bike route - you could a do an AM/FR hardtail designed for a longer travel fork, then get an adjustable travel fork. Crank it down for the uphill stuff and then increase travel for gravity assisted descents.
 

·
bikeaholic
Joined
·
714 Posts
Sorry guys but I really think that 2 bikes is the way to go. If you do it correctly it won't even be that much more expensive. I guess it depends on how much XC and DH you're going to ride respectively. I have a thrown-together Cannondale hardtail with an F80X on it for XC stuff and a Sunday for DH. If you try and ride an XC/AM bike on DH trails you're limiting yourself and if you ride a DH bike on XC trails you're doing the same.

Like others have said, if you're going the single bike route there are PLENTY of great options out there. My buddy has a Giant Reign X and that thing is a great ride-anything bike... Giant's are pretty affordable too...
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top