I'm looking to get into downhill on a budget. I'll preface this by saying that I've only ridden downhill once, but I'm a life long bike rider and XtREmE SPoRtS participator so I picked it up relatively quickly and was hitting jumps and drops and whatnot.
My question's are
1) How can I tell if a bike is a downhill specific bike
2) At what level do the bikes direct bikes become acceptable for serious abusive downhill riding
3) Are all the shimano component levels reliable enough for downhill riding. Would an LX bike be ok or would it not be able to take the abuse in the longterm?
Any other bits of advice are welcome.