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DH vs. FR

impure

Chimp
Mar 28, 2007
33
0
I am currently in the market for a new bike and am very interested in DH and FR bikes. I currently ride an 06 Gary Fisher GED that i have put an SS conversion on. Its my street bike right now. i have become tired of limiting myself to the drops i can take with a hardtail. if i go anything larger than a five foot drop it jarrs my bones. i have broken my right ankle twice and sprained my left twice really badly. so i'm looking to stay out of surgery for as long as possible. it'll happen one day.

Moving past the life story. I am interested in getting me a bike that i'd be able to take to the top of the mountain and bomb down. possibly also some large street style stuff. To my novice knowledge it seems as though the DH are far beefier and heavier but i've still seen guys huck the hell out of FR bikes. so if any one would give me the rundown on either one or both of the different bikes and what they are used for. i like the DH style bikes more because they are longer travel and seem much stronger but they are expensive.

also what would be the max i would want to drop a FR cycle without breaking major components? Sorry for the FR cycle mention here because this is a downhill forum. but i did not know where the hell to post this. once i go home this summer from school i'm going to hit up my friends at my lbs who rent bikes and see if i can demo both types if they have them, but it is always nice to hear some outside info because sometimes you have to take an lbs's advise with a grain of salt.

Thank You
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,663
385
Warsaw :/
To my novice knowledge it seems as though the DH are far beefier and heavier but i've still seen guys huck the hell out of FR bikes. so if any one would give me the rundown on either one or both of the different bikes and what they are used for. i like the DH style bikes more because they are longer travel and seem much stronger but they are expensive.
Nope. Modern DH bikes are ment to be as light as possible. They may have much travel but they are more linear and more easy to bottom. Doing drops and stuff on a 9'' dh bike will hurt it more than an 7'' FR rig.
Also DH specific bikes have very agressive geo which is not that good for techy FR sections.

If you want extra strength you can take some huckbike but they are rare now and in my opinion completely useless if you are not completely mad.
You can do most of the drops on normal FR rig.

Get a regular FR rig like IH 7point or sth like that.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
I agree with Norbar.....doing skinnys on a slacked race bike isn't that fun
 

ATOMICFIREBALL

DISARMED IN A BATTLE OF WITS
May 26, 2004
1,354
0
Tennessee
Yeah,a DH race bike that is super plush & sticks to the ground like glue will not be fun for much else besides big mountain DH only ripping.You have to be going on steep DH trails or over 20mph for those bikes to feel like a bike.Otherwise they feel real saggy & dull IMO.

Something like a Santa Cruz Bullit,Morewood Shova LT or Mbuzi, or bike with a headtube angle that is right at the limit of not being too slack for all-around FR would be good.About 67*-68* is nice.

A DH bike will usually have 66* or slacker HT angle depending on the frame deminsions too because some bikes have totally farked up geo.
 
Sounds more like your in the market for a freeride bike then a DH bike. They are super fun bikes to ride - in my opinion unless you are riding DH specific trails all the time and/or racing DH then you don't need a DH specific bike.

I have an SX Trail with a totem fork and it has been my most favorite bike I've ever owned. Would be perfect for what you described and handles big drops - just watch Darren Bearclaw in any of his videos and see how big the bike can go. Other bikes to consider - Kona Stinky, Santa Cruz Bullit, Morewood Shova LT, Iron Horse 7 point, Specialized Demo 7.

Make sure you get a dual chainring set-up so that you have a granny gear so that you can climb to the top if needed - E-13 makes a great chainguide for this kind of set-up.

I guess if i were in the market for a new bike right now and was mainly going to do freeride stuff with some DH trails thrown in, I'd probably buy a Specialized Demo 7 and put a Rock Shox Totem fork on it. That bike is beefy as hell and will take a beating plus you can change the travel from 7 inches to 7.5 inches.

Good luck making a decision, it's tough nowadays with so many good bikes on the market. Let us know what you end up with.
 

impure

Chimp
Mar 28, 2007
33
0
how many rings do u want in the front. personally i would want 1 but that may factor as well if u are buying new
Rings? you'll have to excuse me. I do not know what you are talking about. thanks for all the replies btw. The only exposure that i have ever had with a downhill rig was one of my friends with a norco a-line. other than that they had been very mysterious to me. freeride sounds like the ticket. i'm going to need do find out what i want now. Nice transition by the way.
 

impure

Chimp
Mar 28, 2007
33
0
ah i see. if he would have said that i would have understood. probably two. i'd like the simplicity of one but not sure about pedalling up hil issues