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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been mountain biking for a few years now and recently went up to Whistler for some amazing downhill riding, and I think I fell in love. As much as I like the good burn of a good xc ride, and still spend the majority of my riding time on xc trails here in SoCal, I think I've decided my heart is in downhill.

I've been contemplating trying out a downhill race, but I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. Anyone have any experiences with these that they would like to share? Do you think I would need a serious downhill bike to try a beginner race? or could I just use my Stumpjumper? What are the courses like? Any suggestions for prep?

Thanks! fantastic to see so many women riders on this site!!

-Margaret
 

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I see the line
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Hi Margaret, I also ride in SoCal and have been thinking about racing DH. I have both Titus Motolite and Transition Syren. Since I have ridden a few gnarly trails in SoCal with both bikes, I have to say the experience is quite different in terms of fun. Upcoming races in SoCal areas are one in Santa Barbara (September) and Southridge (November). I am not sure about the Santa Barbara one but you can definitely ride your Stumpy in Southridge. I rode my Titus on Southridge DH course. It would have been more fun with Syren but definitely doable. May be we should practice in Socal :) Happy riding!
Naoko
 

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Definitely give it a shot. As nice as it is to get a DH bike for racing, many, if not most races have a beginner course set up that is usually rideable on a smaller bike and will give you a feel for the event without needing to break the bank before you're sure the sport is for you.

Sounds like you've already got one person able to make some recommendations, but that's key. Some courses are better than others to start on, and finding one that'll be fun to ride as a beginner and won't require a DH bike is important.

Other than that - just go out and practice and have fun! I've met so many great people DH racing - it's a really fun and supportive environment and an excellent way to improve your riding skills too.

Good luck!
 

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I started out renting bikes at ski resorts for a while and then I was hooked. It really is a lot more fun than xc. But you might wanna start going up to the resorts for a while, practice going of jumps, getting speed etc. Then If you wanna start racing you could get a bike. Thats how I did it, but there are many other ways. You should try talking to the guys on the downhill freeride forum.
Cheers
 

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I ride primarily XC in Socal and am also interested in venturing out on more beginner DH trail riding. There are many trails in SoCal where I live that have alot to offer in terms of practicing. PM me if you want to ride.
 

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mgregory said:
Hi all,

I've been mountain biking for a few years now and recently went up to Whistler for some amazing downhill riding, and I think I fell in love. As much as I like the good burn of a good xc ride, and still spend the majority of my riding time on xc trails here in SoCal, I think I've decided my heart is in downhill.

I've been contemplating trying out a downhill race, but I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. Anyone have any experiences with these that they would like to share? Do you think I would need a serious downhill bike to try a beginner race? or could I just use my Stumpjumper? What are the courses like? Any suggestions for prep?

Thanks! fantastic to see so many women riders on this site!!

-Margaret
Hi Margaret--

I raced dh for years & loved it! You right, there is nothing like it & an being introduced to it at Whistler is just awesome!
I say go for it! You don't know if you don't try, & if, after a couple of races you can decide if you wanna drop the cash for a dh.
Good luck & lemme know what you end up doing!
jo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone for their replies! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back on here.

First of all, I think I might go watch a race or two before I try one out. Just to see what I'm getting myself into. It's nice to know there are a couple in the fall in SoCal that I can get to without too much effort. I think I will also try to get to Fontana and ride around a bit there to get a feel for things, see if I'd be up to trying something there on my stumpy... I live so close (Redlands), I'm not quite sure why I haven't been yet.

As for a big downhill bike.... I would LOVE to get one.. I have ridden rented DH bikes both at Mammoth and at Whistler, and loved it both times. In fact, I'm doing it again this coming weekend at Mammoth. BUT. I have to sit down and seriously consider the money involved... seeing as how right now, like Stripes... I only get access to lift serviced riding 2-3 times a year. Maybe if I find some closer by places to make use of a bike like that, it will give me more incentive to buy sooner rather than later.

I guess we'll see how it goes, but thanks to everyone for their advice! If I end up trying one of the races in the fall, I will post again to tell how it went!

P.S. Strongly recommend making the effort to get up to Whistler.... Amazing riding... want to live there...
 

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mgregory said:
Thanks to everyone for their replies! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back on here.

First of all, I think I might go watch a race or two before I try one out. Just to see what I'm getting myself into. It's nice to know there are a couple in the fall in SoCal that I can get to without too much effort. I think I will also try to get to Fontana and ride around a bit there to get a feel for things, see if I'd be up to trying something there on my stumpy... I live so close (Redlands), I'm not quite sure why I haven't been yet.

As for a big downhill bike.... I would LOVE to get one.. I have ridden rented DH bikes both at Mammoth and at Whistler, and loved it both times. In fact, I'm doing it again this coming weekend at Mammoth. BUT. I have to sit down and seriously consider the money involved... seeing as how right now, like Stripes... I only get access to lift serviced riding 2-3 times a year. Maybe if I find some closer by places to make use of a bike like that, it will give me more incentive to buy sooner rather than later.

I guess we'll see how it goes, but thanks to everyone for their advice! If I end up trying one of the races in the fall, I will post again to tell how it went!

P.S. Strongly recommend making the effort to get up to Whistler.... Amazing riding... want to live there...
The finance issue is valid, definitely. I just use my old beat-up dh'r from racing.

And, if I were ever to live in a city--it'd be Vancouver. That place is just amazing! And Squamish & Whistler right there! Whoa! Let's run away together...hehe...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So... after a weekend riding at Mammoth on bikes that were too big for me because no bike shops had smalls to rent me (still had fun, but it is soooo a mans world)... I have decided to throw out my idea of fiscal responsibility and buy my own DH bike. Our LBS found me a pretty sweet deal on a Demo 7 that I may not be able to pass up, but also said that they could potentially get in a Norco Shore for a similar price as they are looking to pick up the Norco line. Any thoughts on either of these bikes? I have ridden a 7 before and liked it a lot, but the Shore seems pretty nice as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, pulled the trigger, just bought a specialized demo 7. Don't have it in my possession yet, but it's on the way... yeesh! our garage is getting full of bikes!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice bike :) thanks for sharing. I was considering getting a lighter bike as well, but couldn't really pass up the deal I got on the demo. And now I won't be tempted to neglect my stumpy for rides where I will need to climb. How is Northstar anyway? I've never been, but would like to go... is it similar in size and dustiness to Mammoth?
 
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