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  1. #1
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    A- Level research: What are your favourite DH components?

    Okay, so as part of my A levels I have to carry out a research task called an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). Basically I can write an essay about literally anything, so seeing as I'm keen on Downhill rider I thought I'd write about that!

    The Question I have chosen to answer is:

    "what makes the perfect mountain bike?"

    I'm very new to this whole forum scene, but I was just hoping that any fellow downhill riders out there may be able to spare me a couple of minutes of their time and answer a few questions for me. I would be forever grateful

    Downhill riders only please:

    1) what bike do you ride and why?

    2) (If you own a 'complete' bike) What components have you upgraded since new and why?

    3) What are your favourite components on your bike and why?

    4) If you could have any component you wanted right now, what would it be and why?

    Thank you very much for your time.
    Dom

    *Update: 31st Jan 2010*

    Thanks to everyone who has left me comments so far, But I just wanted to clarify that i'm interested in specific components (i.e. brand and model) as opposed to 'bars' or 'forks'.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by DH_Dom; 01-31-10 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    I don't know why kids think the forums are rich fodder for us doing their homework for them but I'll bite - - even though your questions are oddly worded.

    1) I ride a Transition Blindside; because I liked the company and the product and they took me on in their 'grassroots' racing program a few years back.

    2) Since I got my bike as a frame-only and built it with my own custom mix of components, this question does not apply. You are, in fact, cutting many DHers out of this question, as there are many (possibly even a majority?) of us who do not buy turn-key racers.

    3) Another odd question - - favorite? As in favorite brand or favorite part? I'm mighty partial to my pedals and handlebars, because without them I would not have a lot of control over my bike. Although I seldom use it, I'm fond of my saddle, too, as it covers the top of what could be a very inconvenient and painful seatpost. Favorite brand regardless: Syncros; because their parts are carefully engineered and skewed slightly toward day-in, day-out durability over weight.

    4) That would probably be a Sunline Travel Guide, as I have been following its development closely and am anxiously awaiting its release. Or Twenty6 PreRunner pedals, because I like Tyler's products and those are particularly pimp.

    I think the bell rang - - you better get to class.
    Last edited by dminor; 01-26-10 at 11:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, some odd questions but here you go:

    1) Santa Cruz V10 because I wanted a plow bike and I like the geo.

    2) Fork - needed to be replaced; bars and stem - for fit; pedals - didn't come with any; brake levers - fit; saddle - broke a rail; tires - to a better size/brand/compound for my riding; grips - fit.

    3) Don't have a favorite component, just like how the bike works as one complete package.

    4) I don't want anything for the bike, just want the snow to go and resorts to open so I can ride it.

  4. #4
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    ^^ You need a mid-winter road trip south. Beacon was absolutely perfect yesterday. Sun was out and dirt conditions were primo. sscyco and his boy both boosted Girthmore. I watched . . . and came this (><) close to attempting it myself until better sense prevailed - - for the day. sscyco scared the crap outa me with his plummet, though.

  5. #5
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    It is not used on Downhill courses- but have a bike built up to Downhill spec. What you have to realise is that for downhill- Most, if not all, parts have to be heavy duty. That does not always mean heavy but it does mean strong. It is not only limited to wheels- brakes and suspension either. There were a few hairy moments until I got the downhill quality bars- and stem- and bolt through axle to go with the top quality disc brakes with 200mm discs. And I bent seat posts through a few hard landings aswell.

    Like dminor- The only part of my original bike is the frame- A "Dale" MT2000

    My favourite parts on the bike- are the bits that no longer fail on me- and that is now the whole bike- but still bend a few bits now and then.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    ^^ You need a mid-winter road trip south. Beacon was absolutely perfect yesterday. Sun was out and dirt conditions were primo. sscyco and his boy both boosted Girthmore. I watched . . . and came this (><) close to attempting it myself until better sense prevailed - - for the day. sscyco scared the crap outa me with his plummet, though.
    'Plummet' doesn't sound good.

  7. #7
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never View Post
    'Plummet' doesn't sound good.
    Plummet was not good.

  8. #8
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    ^^ You need a mid-winter road trip south. Beacon was absolutely perfect yesterday. Sun was out and dirt conditions were primo.
    How far is the drive to your place...I can't recall what you said before?

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    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    Plummet was not good.
    Just think...the next time will be easy!

  10. #10
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never View Post
    How far is the drive to your place...I can't recall what you said before?
    690K - - about 9 hours - - door to door (via Invermere).

  11. #11
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH_Dom View Post
    Downhill riders only please:

    1) what bike do you ride and why?

    2) (If you own a 'complete' bike) What components have you upgraded since new and why?

    3) What are your favourite components on your bike and why?

    4) If you could have any component you wanted right now, what would it be and why?

    Thank you very much for your time.
    Dom
    I'll chime in just because there are so few DH related threads.

    1) Banshee Scythe because my LBS owner rides Banshee and he's really good

    2) n/a

    3) Rear shock and wheelset because they improved the ride most

    4) Pedals since mine are getting pretty thrashed. Maybe some wider bars since they offer more control

  12. #12
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    1) Santa Cruz VP-Free. Because Devinci wouldn't send me an Ollie.

    2) What? Who buys complete bikes these days? Well, not me anyways. I upgrade stuff when newer stuff goes on sale.

    3) I've never really given this much thought. I like my fork. Mostly because I've had it 7 years and only done two oil changes....

    4) I really have no clue. I suck too much at DH to have anything conspicuously new or high-end.

  13. #13
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never View Post
    Just think...the next time will be easy!
    If I'm fully recovered - I will hit it this weekend.

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    When I put "mountain biking girthmore" into google images I get this massive rock drop picture. Tell me that's not what you guys are talking about.

  15. #15
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's it - check the last couple of pages of the daily ride report thread.

    sscyco - hit it for all of the people that can't ride right now because of the snow!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by never View Post
    Yeah, that's it - check the last couple of pages of the daily ride report thread.

    sscyco - hit it for all of the people that can't ride right now because of the snow!

    Yes. Of course.

    That's why I won't be hitting any 12'x20'-gap-drops.

    Because of the snow.

    Right.

  17. #17
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    Okay, sorry...reword - hit it for me because I can't ride in the snow!

  18. #18
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    I found out I may have torn a few intercostal muscles - may be a bit longer than this weekend. Did 25 miles on the road bike today and felt fine though.

  19. #19
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    Sorry in advance for the little 'essay' to follow,

    I can only apologise if you felt that my questions were childish in any way. I'll freely admit that I'm useless at asking questions, and having read your response I think I'll make myself a little clearer. I'm trying to gather oppinions on what key features riders like yourself look for in a bike. I have chosen to specifically look at Downhill bikes as I beleive that these machines are often subjected to some of the most extreme terrain.
    I'm interested to know what factors you as a rider were interested in when you bought and built your bike. Obviously things like strength, durability, a reasonable weight, serviceability and an offordable price (which will vary from person to person of course), as well as reliable customer service, maybe?

    Bearing that in mind, I'm curious to know if the components on your bike have lived up to these expectations you had upon purchasing them. I am aware that many brands such as Fox, Sunline, Mavic and e13 are well established and produce some highly desirable products as any catalogue will tell you, but I'm looking for the views of REAL people, not retailers.

    Basically I'm asking what brands you would go for out of preference (or maybe you don't go for brands at all, but just the qualities of an individual product? In any case, i'm interested to know), due to the unfortunate fact that I have never been in a position where I could afford my own DH bike. If I had the money to do it, I would go out and test all sorts of components myself but limited funds have meant that I'm restricted to renting bikes.

    Therefore, all I can really do is ask people like yourself for your views, every one of which I appreciate

    Thanks for your time once again,

    Dom Cowley.

  20. #20
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH_Dom View Post
    I'm interested to know what factors you as a rider were interested in when you bought and built your bike. Obviously things like strength, durability, a reasonable weight, serviceability and an offordable price (which will vary from person to person of course), as well as reliable customer service, maybe?
    Another important factor for many serious DHers that didn't make your "obvious" list is geometry. Adjustability of said geometry (as well as suspension) was a strong consideration of mine. The ability to play around with the bike to make it react optimally in variable terrain is fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by DH_Dom View Post
    Basically I'm asking what brands you would go for out of preference (or maybe you don't go for brands at all, but just the qualities of an individual product?
    Usually the latter. Most DHers I know tend not to be dead set on a particular brand (sponsorship agreements notwithstanding, ahem). Unlike the early days of DH, most products are well developed these days, and most of the time the differences are not significant. And there are very few riders who have the means to actually test all, or even most of them. But if you really want us to name names, I can say that some of the products I am currently partial to are Shimano drivelines, Mavic rims, I9 wheels, and Cane Creek shocks.

  21. #21
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    Another important factor for many serious DHers that didn't make your "obvious" list is geometry. Adjustability of said geometry (as well as suspension) was a strong consideration of mine. The ability to play around with the bike to make it react optimally in variable terrain is fun.
    Speaking of geometry, something that I have recently noticed is that many downhill frames seem to feature an adjustable head tube angle, which may only allow one or two degrees of movement.
    How significant can this adjustment be on the feel of the bike? say you went from the steepest angle to the most relaxed angle; what would you notice?

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