Part of the furniture
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Exeter UK, Athens Greece.
Bikes: Specialized RH, Scott Unitrack
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Well, let me have my say as a dher of the old (1992-1994).
I was riding a today's xc bike back at the time. The DH was a fireroad with switchbacks, high speed, bombholes and small jumps.... the technique at the time was how to take turns at very high speed, and how to tackle rocks and jumps while using 0" on the rear and 2" of elastomer suss on the front.
I quitted riding from 1995 till 2002, when i resumed riding i was so dumb so i got myself a modern version of my old dh bike (a 2003 rockhopper), soon i realised that something was totally wrong when British riders took me for some descent , trail DH runs.... i was like a fish out of the water. I still am on many occassions since lacking friends, i dont ride often in the woods. At least i realised that the best bike for me is a 5x5 (for the moment), hence i am using a specialized SX with a lowend Z1 2003 fork and DH/MTX parts.
With respect to discs, they are a necessity unless you are riding flatland XC on dry land.
With respect to travel, i think that there is much to be done, in my books, a high-tech damped 6" travel unit should outperform a 8-9" today's-tech-using suspension either fork or shock.
ie. with the correct damping you could get a lower travel bike performing as good as a longer travel bike.... by doing this you will eliminate many standover issues, many high-center-of-gravity issues, and really solve problems for frame design (how to cram this and that without having bottom out rubbing issues)