Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone do this? I have been thinking about buying a cheaper AM or DH/FR bike to use as my training/fun bike. I have a couple of reasons for thiking this is a good idea:

1. It will have more weight, so I will have to work harder to get it up the hills, which should help with conditioning but also give me a bit of a psychological boost when I get on my XC bike.

2. As I put money into my XC bike the idea of making a taco out of my rims or bending my chainrings is making me very sad.

3. It would be a lot easier to get over the logs, drops, steps, ect. with a 5" travel bike. :)

Anyone have any thoughts on this...good or bad??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
It's a good idea

I was very interested in your question as I have both an XC bike and a AM bike that I also use for racing DH and super D. Interestingly, I kind of got burnt out with training and racing XC and so the XC bike just sat there for like 3 years. When I picked up the AM bike 6 months ago, the love and passion for riding came back and with that, the desire to start training for XC again. So that could be another added benefit.

But to your questions. Have you heard of WTB/Santa Cruz rider Mark Weir. Pretty much one of the most all around riders today. Can rip on pump track, holds the Downieville record, and can still hammer on XC and short track XC events. He does his base training with his Santa Cruz nomad, 6.5 inches of travel with a single 38t chainring up front.

Riding my AM bike, Giant Reign, has allowed me to be a stronger rider, more weight to push. Also, has enabled me to increase my technical skills dramatically. Now when I get on my XC bike, Spesh Stumpjumper hardtail, I ride things that I previously would have walked. Another added benefit is that you can mix up your training. I used to do intervals on the road bike only. Now, I use my AM bike to do intervals on DH runs. These leave me just as wasted as road intervals but with the added benefit of increasing my bike handling. Also, an AM bike will let you enjoy more trails and more events. This can only increase your riding skills. If you get one of these bikes, don't be surprised if you find yourself riding it more then the XC bike.

Oh and one final thing, if you get such a bike, try some Super D racing. It's a great complement to XC. Hope that helps.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
sure, why not

my first "XC" bike was a Rocky Mountain RM7. 42lbs, 8 gears, 2 of which I really couldn't use because of the chain guard. anyway, used to really piss off my buddies when I would kick their asses going up hill and they were on Jeckyls, Rush's etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I dont really know about the whole FR bike for training, I personally feel as though you should train the same as you race.

3. It would be a lot easier to get over the logs, drops, steps, ect. with a 5" travel bike.
Isnt this a disadvantage, the xc bike would help improve your technical skills in techy sections, which in turn could only help your racing.

2. As I put money into my XC bike the idea of making a taco out of my rims or bending my chainrings is making me very sad.
Many racers have a set of high end race wheels and a set of training wheels, it seems it would be more cost effective to buy a cheaper set of rims than a cheaper bike. This would also add some weight which would be sort of like riding a more burly bike.

Either way, Ride On Man!
 

·
Recovering
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I thought a heavy bike might benefit my XC race training. Oh, how wrong I was. Three things-

1. My 42 lb freeride bike is a completely different bike to ride. The sheer weight and much longer fork means different technique for getting up and down trails. The weight means slower, no matter how you slice it, and once you get used to riding trails slower, it's harder to amp the speed up, even on a faster bike. Riding road is good for that reason- you get used to the speed.

2. The big bike also makes it easier to get through the trails, and I found my technical skills on my XC bike started to atrophy. Yes, I would ride much, much, much more technical stuff on the big bike. But before it, I was riding pretty technical steep rollers, trialsy rock gardens, etc on the XC racer. Now I see that stuff on my XC bike, and I'm sketched out. I've become so accustomed to blasting through that stuff with 170mm of travel, that the 80mm fork on my XC bike scares me now.

3. All-Mountain and freeriding is more fun. I hate to say it, but while I used to plan my summers around my XC race schedule, now I find myself skipping races to spend the weekend at freeride parks. I, too, looked at Mark Weir as justification for buying a big bike for fun and training. Unfortunately, not many of us can be Mark Weir, and find time for both XC racing and dirt jumping and freeriding...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Everything I've read indicates that you should train on the same or a similar bike as you're racing. Since the rest of your training is based on replicating race-type stress on your body, your training bike should also replicate a race-type situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
I will shortly have two bikes. One for racing which is setup as light as possible (within my budget) and one that uses mainstream/budget parts for training. I want to do this to stop wearing out the more expensive parts on my race bike, and also the heavier weight of the training bike may be beneficial for training. Both these bikes are hardtails, use the same/similar geometry and I have the bars/stem and saddle height/position setup the same. I don't think it would be such a good idea training on a bike that uses a different skill of riding, because, as said, your skills on your XC race bike would suffer.
 

·
fear this
Joined
·
355 Posts
I train on my FR and it's boosted my fitness immensely. When I got on my XC bike it's like I'm not even working. As far as handling technical terrain goes, the confidence inspired by learning to ride on a FR definitely makes me less cautious on rough terrain when riding the XC. This has actually benefitted my XC riding because 90% of the time, the bike's more capable than I am. I upgraded the rims to heavier duty freeride rims anyway - I'm not a racer, just enjoy training for fitness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Different strokes...

So I guess the old saying about different strokes for different folks is true again. It's been interesting hearing about the different view points for this thread. So for some, training with a heavy bike is a detriment, for other people, like myself, it's a benefit. I guess the point is have fun with whatever bike you have. If you don't have fun, training, and riding, just becomes a chore. I probably can continue to do both at the "sport" level. If I try to get more serious, I'll probably have to pick one and focus on that. We'll just have to see I guess. I long for those days when the pros raced both XC AND DH, all on the same bike too.
 

·
fear this
Joined
·
355 Posts
I find it hard to swallow that anybody would feel that they actually LOST mountain biking skills by using better, heavier duty equipment. Perhaps that's possible if you don't ride very often, but I ride every single day and don't believe anyone who makes this claim. I commute to work using my XC and ride a lot of urban and the occasional downhill single track with it. On the weekends, I like a long technical climb and I now use my FR. It's a better workout and it's a lot more fun descending than it was with the XC. On occasion, I'll switch it up and use my XC for the same weekend climb; it's totally improved my riding because I'm not unnecessarily afraid of handling the rough terrain at speed anymore. I still ride my FR like I'm riding a lighter bike anyhow. Both bikes have distinctly different handling, so it's simply necessary to take this into account while approaching technical obstacles. Approaching a log or rock that's got to be wheelied over, I find it's easier to wheely my FR than it is my XC due to the weight distribution. On a steep drop off at slow speeds, I know I have to lean back further on my XC than on my FR. I love both bikes and whether I choose to ride one or the other depends on my mood and the desired pucker factor for a ride. If I want to be challenged, I generally ride my XC.
 

·
Recovering
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Shaker666 said:
I find it hard to swallow that anybody would feel that they actually LOST mountain biking skills by using better, heavier duty equipment.
I didn't lose skills in general. Now I hit 10-15 foot drops, doubles, and ride at DH speed through rock gardens that I would have walked before, while on my big bike. The skills, in general, have definitely improved.

However, when I hop back on my racing hardtail with 80mm fork, it seems a lot more skittish and nervous than it used to be, and I find myself passing on the really technical lines that I used to ride on it before I got the big bike. That's all.

I definitely recommend a big bike for pushing your own bike skills- they're tons of fun, and most of the formerly XC-only guys I ride with have been converted over the past year. But I wouldn't buy one thinking that my XC racing skills are going to improve...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I totally agree with jbogner. Practicing on a downhill bike through a rock garden for example will not, in my opinion, improve your XC skills. With your XC bike you have one, maybe two lines to choose from, while a bike with 8" of travel with fly right down the middle of it.

After riding my DH bike for awhile, when I jumped on my XC bike, if felt like I was riding a sheet of plywood, and was actually more nervous than I used to be on sketchy parts of a trail.

I suppose if you stick to easy trails and logging roads for practice with a DH bike, it will help out with your leg strength for XC. But as far as narly ground and downhill sections are concerned, I'd stick with using your XC bike for practice.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top