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extreme downhill without suspension or limited supsension

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extreme downhill without suspension or limited supsension

Old 08-13-03, 05:14 AM
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extreme downhill without suspension or limited supsension

ok, so these days you see all the heavy downhill bikes with 150mm of travel front and rear and all kinds of stuff...

i have never bought one of these "downhill machines" because then i would have to find harder trails (other than huge drops i don't know of ANY trail i cannot ride other than steep switchback hiking trails in the Alps), plus, i'd have to pedal all that weight uphill.

i currently ride a 2002 Specialized FSR XC with a FOX 80mm fork and after my last weekend where i rode some of the most extreme trals in Europe (steep rocky 1000-2000m descents near Lake Garda) i have been seriously considering building up a hard-core downhill bike (with hefty tires/rims) with either no suspension or only a 80mm travel fork. -- i.e. simply, inexpensive and semi-lightweight but with heavy tires and rock ring...

i haven't actually ridden a rigid frame on trails in a while and maybe i would hate it (my arms were about to fall off WITH the 80mm on my one non-stop 1000m descent), but does anyone know if there is a reverse trend to basic gear? i.e. so the rider really has to _RIDE_ rather than put his weight back and let the 150mm suspension take up the bumbs and rocks and drops?

although i had a blast, i was actually disappointed at how "easy" some of these trails have become for me now and i am basically thinking that it'll be easier (and cheaper) to reduce the technology rather than try and find even harder trails...

and with the right tires and wheels i would think a rigid frame should be able to handle the abuse of high-speed downhill trails ok, yes?

anyone catch my drift here?
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Old 08-13-03, 07:38 AM
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The 150mm travel is there for a reason. If you ride hard dh for a while on a full rigid, imagine what your elbows/knees/back is going to feel like. You wouldnt want to be injured or damaged for the sake of saving $$$. Physical therapy and hospital bills may end up costing more than the bike.
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Old 08-13-03, 07:50 AM
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Well take it from someone who knows. I was riding the setup you have mentioned before suspension came to be affordable. It was fun at first but the long term results of this is not very fun. Like "troie" has mentioned my elbow ligaments are tender, my lower back is basically beyond repair (except for GOD). My knees are good, however all of this does not stem from riding it is a combination of former lifestyle (building trades) and year after year of commuting by bike and off road riding (20+ years). I still ride a hardtail even though I own a shop and could easily aquire a FS rig I choose not too.
However like "troie" mentioned how much money do you want to give to the medical profession? Or like me how much down time do you want off the bike?
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Old 08-13-03, 08:23 AM
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My freeride/DH bike is a hardtail with Manitou Black forks. I dont have a problem with it, and find it much easier to balance and gain speed when freeriding.
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Old 08-13-03, 08:26 AM
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I think I know what you're getting at, Nathan. A lot of my buddies have gone to full sus bikes, and I can't help thinking that a big part of the reason is the wow factor of how an fs bike looks - much sexier than a plain old hardtail. The terrain here is strictly XC, and although fs makes them faster on descents, I quickly catch them on flats and climbs. They bug me all the time about when I will go fs, but I just keep telling them that I like the strength, simplicity, reduced maintenance, cheaper initial cost, etc. of my hardtail. I have plenty of fun riding my bike, and doubt that increased downhill speeds would make my rides any more enjoyable than they already are. Ride what you like, and if it's a hardtail, just slow down a little and smile, we are all out here to just have fun. Around here lots of guys are starting to ride rigid and singlespeed, they say it puts the pure fun back into it.
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Old 08-13-03, 08:39 AM
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Hey Buzzbomb where in Metro-Detroit you from? I'm from Ann Arbor
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Old 08-13-03, 09:12 AM
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Meh, a lot of pure SKILL has been taken out of mountain biking by high end gadgetry if you ask me. I imagine I could hop on a downhill bike with 8 inches of travel and bomb ass down hill. But there IS a big faction of people riding hardtails, even on the north shore in Canada. I saw a huck on pinkbike where some guy dropped 30 feet on a hardtail... amazing. Suspension just softens the blows, that's all. I don't buy into too much of the hype. I'm a MOUNTAIN biker and that means that occaisionally the trail goes uphill. I'm thinking of buying a burly freeride/urban hardtail because frankly I'm not sure how long my XC steed will hold out. I'm a pretty light guy, so a light hardtail freeride rig would be more suitable for me than some 50 pound monster.
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Old 08-13-03, 09:19 AM
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Nathank, I've got the solution..Go faster!! Bwahahahaha!!

j/k
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Old 08-13-03, 10:45 AM
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Pete, I'm in Waterford. Heck, we're practically neighbors.
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Old 08-13-03, 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by fubar5
Nathank, I've got the solution..Go faster!! Bwahahahaha!!

j/k
Thats what I was going to say. Suspension does let you go faster. While i can ride ANY trail on a ht I would be hard pressed to beat someone who actually know how to ride a dually. They don't have to pick lines (if you are riding a dually and picking lines...don't, let that suspension do some work for you), they can generally maintain a high speed and I definately get smoked in really technical terrain (rock gardens for example).

I definately don't think you need suspension but in the right hands a dually is the faster rig dh.

Hey Jim I have that huck on video (the movie statement) and while that was impressive for sure you should check out his misses. I have never seen such a nasty set of crashes and he crashes often. It is a testiment to riding a ht that he can almost go as big as Wade and them but he won't last long if he keep messing up like that. On big drop having the dually to make up for mistakes sure reduces the crashes haha.
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Old 08-13-03, 12:14 PM
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The mechanic at my FBS races XC with a fully rigid singlespeed and doesn't do too badly (ends up finishing in the middle of his pack usually). He's an excellent climber and burns almost everyone on the way up. Coming down is a different story as he has to pick his lines more carefully while the guys on HTs and FS rigs just blast right on through.

I've never done any true downhilling on a full rigid but people used to do it before the age of mass-suspension. Remember that Missy Giove's first downhill race was done on a fully rigid Nishiki Ariel (like I had). I imagine that with some of the really tougher courses (and they have gotten tougher over the years) one would definately be risking some serious injury (even barring crashes) by taking them on constantly on a fully rigid at full race speeds.
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Old 08-13-03, 12:31 PM
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Bring it on!!!!!!!! I just love riding HT on rough stuff DH , though i wouldnt mind an FS bike, i still consider the aesthetics of a HT as the aesthetics of a real bike, but thats my opinion and i dont intend to insult FS users as i might end being one myself.
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Old 08-13-03, 01:15 PM
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I've got two mountain bike (at the moment). I've got my chi-chi all XTR top of the line everything full suspension freeride bike, and I've got a P.O.S. with spare parts and cheap forks single speed.

That way, depending on my mood I can ride the two extremes!

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Old 08-13-03, 02:08 PM
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Just proves what I keep telling my wife - You can NEVER have too many bikes...
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Old 08-13-03, 02:32 PM
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Well, I currently ride a FS rig as a trail bike and a FS for Racing. Gathering parts up for next mtb. Will be a HT, deciding between 4 companies. Specialized, Santa Cruz, 24, Evil.
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Old 08-13-03, 03:13 PM
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Are you leaning any one way Danka? And which 24?

I am actually surprised to see Specialized in that category of bike.
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Old 08-13-03, 03:38 PM
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P3
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Old 08-13-03, 03:47 PM
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Ummm...yeah...no offence to anyone who loves specialized but I don't put the p3 in the same category as the pornking or the Imperial.
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Old 08-13-03, 04:01 PM
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Nah no problem mate....i dont own the firm...i just own a frame that suits me fine and looks to be with me for long years. (That is ofcourse until i finish my phd and get a job.....then....money no object stuff all the way...5000-6000$ bikes miinimum ,i just hope to have the time to ride 6 hours per week).
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Old 08-13-03, 04:40 PM
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you have a choice of the P2 or P1 now, I don't think they make the P3 anymore. I'm looking at the P2 myself, now if only I can find someone to sell it for MSRP.
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Old 08-13-03, 06:51 PM
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The P3 is still produced....they didnt sell it in the USA this year. Next year it is coming back.
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Old 08-13-03, 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by danka24
Well, I currently ride a FS rig as a trail bike and a FS for Racing. Gathering parts up for next mtb. Will be a HT, deciding between 4 companies. Specialized, Santa Cruz, 24, Evil.
What happened to Giant? Did they tick you off?
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Old 08-13-03, 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by Maelstrom
Are you leaning any one way Danka? And which 24?

I am actually surprised to see Specialized in that category of bike.
The 24 would be a Pornking.

The one I'm leaning towards is the Santa Cruz Chameleon.
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Old 08-14-03, 07:02 AM
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Thats what I was going to say. Suspension does let you go faster. While i can ride ANY trail on a ht I would be hard pressed to beat someone who actually know how to ride a dually. They don't have to pick lines (if you are riding a dually and picking lines...don't, let that suspension do some work for you), they can generally maintain a high speed and I definately get smoked in really technical terrain (rock gardens for example).

I definately don't think you need suspension but in the right hands a dually is the faster rig dh.
yeah, it is clear that a DH rig let's you go faster, but as someone else said, all the high tech gadetry is taking some of the skill out of it... i mean any bozo can bomb down a trail with 150mm of travel if he's got a little courage...

i currently ride a FS, but it's an XC setup (only got 80mm front, 30mm or whatever in the back) and i realize how much more comfortable it is... but even with my limited travel FS i see how much easier it is to bomb trails rather than pick lines and really RIDE with little or no suspension.

by the way, took my bike out of the cellar for yesterday's ride ... and the rear shock is blown, plus the rear shock bushings that i just replaced in mid-May are ALSO toast... i pumped up the rear shock like 4 times during a 3-hr ride and later i did a small wheelie-drop (forgetting i had a leaking shock) and "clang" landed with a shock with like 25psi... so i guess some of my extreme riding is not treating my XC FS so well (the shock bushing lasted 3 months and they cost almost $40!)

anyone, no action soon, but i think i may try and build up a lightweight hardtail or rigid some time and go back to technical riding... (rather than all the newest technology)
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Old 08-14-03, 07:16 AM
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I cant believe so many of you think that anybody can bomb down a trail with a little under 6 inches. Depending on the trail yes......but it the trail only really would ever need 6", then I bet that same person can bomb down the trail on a hardtail with a 5" fork.
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