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Less is more?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by TGR, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. TGR

    TGR Monkey

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    I'm kinda lost.
    I just ordered a 2013 kona operator from my shop, the bike probably won't be in before feb/march 2013 which leaves me time to maybe reconsider my decision...

    I use to ride/race downhill at a pretty fast pace 3 years ago so I thought the operator would be the best bet, now the problem is, kona makes a "relatively smaller" mini dh bike called the entourage. It uses actual geometry (better than the bike I was riding 3-4 years ago...) in a package that would be well-rounded enough to do a bit everything. I don't really plan on racing the bike, mostly just ride as much as possible at bike parks (bromont, highland and such) and just shred the hell out of it.

    From what I'm used to, 7 inch bikes rarely handle well, they're either too big and burly to pedal around or too flimsy\bad geo to ride downhill fast... Has anyone ever tried one of those new-school aggro kind of freeride bikes? can they be ridden fast downhill?

    With the money I'd save from the entourage, I could upgrade wheels and suspension components too!
     

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  2. jnooth

    jnooth Monkey

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    I ride bromont quite often and I have never thought to myself that less bike would be a good thing. that place is rough and the operator is by far the better choice. on the other hand the oposite is true about highland. less is more there. I get bored there on my DH bike and I think a lighter quicker bike would make that place more fun.

    I guess maybe make the decision on what place you intend to ride more
     
  3. chillindrdude

    chillindrdude Turbo Monkey

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    "Pretty fast" in most amateurs is still pretty slow when actually compared to a Pro. Most current/modern dh bikes are capable of far more than what most riders are capable of. Presuming you have had some saddle time on those models, just pick the one most comfortable to ride based on the terrain you ride most often. Its not rocket science. If you ride primarily lift served bike park stuff, id buy a full on dh bike to be honest.
     
  4. TGR

    TGR Monkey

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    don't worry, I can more than hold my own on trails (I rode/worked on the trails a bromont for 4 years, know that place like the back of my hand)...
    The thing that kinda sucks is that I won't be able to go to the resorts every time I ride, hence why the entourage would be a fun bike, more of an all-around bike that can take quite a beating. (probably more adapted too if I go to whistler or the alps next summer too
     
  5. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    That. I live far away from the hills so I ride only lift stuff and a dh bike is perfect for that even if sometimes I wish for a more playfull ride it's better than suffering on dh trails (it's yurp so WC downhill all the way) but if I lived in a place with lovely local flowy trails I might think about the enourage.

    Have in mind the entourage has a very low pivot point so on rougher trails you will struggle to keep your wheel on the ground. Though people ride sessions all the time and like it so it may still be ok.
     
  6. mattmatt86

    mattmatt86 Turbo Monkey

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    The Argument For Short Travel Bikes - Opinion

    I think shorter travel bikes are light years ahead of what they were just 3-4 years ago. There are plenty of 5" bikes I would feel comfortable riding at lift assisted trails but could still take on 4 hour XC rides. Do you already have a XC/AM bike? If so I would lean moar towards a full blown DH bike. If you don't have an XC bike I would probably lean towards something moar versatile than a DH bike.
     
  7. was?

    was? Monkey

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    been waiting for this kinda thread to pop up...
    i just sold my dh bike for this very reason. we've got some full on dh-trails in the vicinity, but i regard shorter travel bikes as way more fun. riding a full on dh bike, on semi severe trails, felt like riding a hoverbike.
    the trails here are mostly natural and going fast means hitting something sturdier than yourself if something goes not as planned.
    the big fat grin i had when i followed my buddys on their freeridebikes with my hardtail, never occured with the downhillbike.
    yeah, you learn to commit on a dh bike, and you are learning to go faster, but for me the fun was missing. if i had kept the dh bike and had went on wading through the ****e of riding a slouch for the better half of next season, it may have upped my riding skills. but for now i prefer riding fast and having fun.
    thats just my opinion though, i don't know where you are riding or if your trails are that much of a handfull.
    as mentioned above my riding buddys are very happy with their freeride bikes with 7in+...
     
  8. Matt 891

    Matt 891 Chimp

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    I have a 2012 operator and have ridden entourages before i purchased mine and after. Two riding buddies have them. One medium the other a large. Dont plan on pedalling the entourage to the top of any trails. It sucks even on fireroads. Its a park bike...not a freeride bike. Manuals, pumps and jumps terrific. Corners wonderfully. Predictable driftyness .. Dare i say easy to corner.

    The operator is better in all the areas you would imagine a downhill bike would be..

    If you dont race-----------> buy the entourage
     
  9. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    I'd bet money that you go full circle back to a dh bike after any mini-dh bike. They're fun, no matter how you slice them or pretend that having less travel is more fun.

    If you're riding highland most days, you don't need anywhere near a DH bike. If I spent more time at highland, I'd want a BASS/le pink/killswitch. There are more berms than rocks at highland, and those bikes rail. Most drops are manicured, so 9" of travel is completely unnecessary.

    I was thinking about going this route, even sold my DH bike...but I couldn't bear the thought of missing out on places like Plattekill and Jiminy, even if it's twice a year...so I bought my piggie.
     
  10. Tomasis

    Tomasis Monkey

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    I cannot say much at the moment.

    Im on way to build 170mm/160mm with SC fork Enduro bike. It has 65,5 angle HT at high setting (Banshee Rune). If after some long test, it can replace my DH bike, I wouldnt be surprised.

    I Think it depends how far you can push the bike, if you are closely good to Pro, so the DH bike is better choice to maximize out on typical dh tracks.

    Im way faar from a pro and I dont ride only lift assisted tracks, so the decision was not that hard. As somebody said that 5"-6" is more than a bike to over use skills on.

    I quite agree with matt86 post.
     
    #10 -   Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  11. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    As much as I see some point with Mikes argument on PB the whole "dh bikes are for pros" thing is really silly. To ride skilfully on difficult trails on a smaller bike you need way more skill than on something bigger. Yes you may grow in effect as a rider but what many of us consider fun is hard or even dangerous for some people. I agree some people who buy dh bikes don't need them (my father is a great example here) but if this becomes a trend among the weekend warriors and brake draggers I see some serious injuries comming.
    Buy a bike you need. That's the lesson, not just another fad be it short or long travel.

    Though I hope your Rune comes out sweet.
     
  12. Tomasis

    Tomasis Monkey

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    I agree the argument can be misleading. I feel if I want to push dh bike to the limit, the risk to get injury is far greater since it gets bigger speed and the bike is able to swallow much crap that causes by low skill as mine. If one runs with smaller bike, one gets impression that it goes really fast and the bike starts to shake. Honestly when I ride MC, i get same sensation and start to Think "whoa now I need be careful". I never do Think of such stuffs sitting in car and driving. Bad analogy I know :)

    The Point is that one who does less mistakes, could have very much fun in dh and continue ride long as he can.

    I guess I start to get old, hehe. Doing more difficult things at slower speed may be equally fun as simpler things at higher speed, I assume.

    I agree, buy bike whether you ride mostly at the tracks.
     
    #12 -   Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  13. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    To be honest I used to crash way more often a few years ago and had much less injuries. I think it's more of a fitness thing than number of mistakes.

    As for feeling more fun at slow speed I agree but you also have into account people you ride with. If they all ride dh bikes you won't be having fun staying way behind. I'd love to get a 150x150 or 160x160 bike but as something extra to my dh ripper.
     
  14. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Monkey

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    man, a 6.x" bike that doesn't pedal or climb well? what's the point? seeing as most of the bikes in that travel range do pedal pretty well and can be climbed. the majority of good riding is not lift accessible so to make use of that suspension you have to get it up the hill some how. shuttleable trails or push up trails, might as well have a DH bike. a 6-7" travel bike needs to be really versatile imho. AM, enduro, mini dh/whatever the F you want to call it.
    I have ridden an entourage and thought it to be pretty fun but somewhat of a strange combination of compromises. too big to really dirt jump as well as a slopestyle bike as its geometry would suggest and too little to motor through the rough stuff. that entourage probably rips A-line and really big jump trails but would wear you out pretty quick on the rest of the mountain. could the entourage be compared to a TR250? I know TR250's really kick ass and have about 90% the capability of a 450, but I can't make much of a comparison having only ridden a 250 in a parking lot and the entourage in a very easy environment.
     
  15. descente

    descente Monkey

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    i had an old commencal supreme (basically identical to a TR250) and rode the heck out of it. loved it, had tons of fun and kept up with plenty of bigger bikes no problem. i don't race ever really, but i got a v10c last season and i love it even more. i thought it might be "too much bike" but really its just plain awesome. that 1" of travel won't really be noticed or missed for what you are doing.

    for what its worth.
     
  16. kgm

    kgm Chimp

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    You have to remember that the shorter travel bike is going to get shaken to **** and busted up from riding it hard. One positive to a big travel DH rig is that it takes alot of that other stuff in stride, even if you look a little goofy riding a 9" monster at Winter Park or other jumpy tracks.
     
  17. Tomasis

    Tomasis Monkey

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    nah, one must had earlier life as cat so he could fall at right way as pantheras do! :)

    I think one can do exercise how to get less injury, it'd be interesting! one guy who had POC stuffs on, learned that he would fall "naturally" so he avoid injuries because he got injuries earlier when he had own ways, hm. I read that Leat neckbrace broke collarbones for some riders.

    Not getting much injuries is about luck too *knock on wood* :D

    however for my case, I need faaaar longer bike to complement, I feel current Sunday Small will way be too similar to Rune M. I looked at Scoot Gambler photo and space between down tube and front wheel is large. I may come back and buy 12kg DH bike when time is coming :D
     
    #17 -   Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  18. Tomasis

    Tomasis Monkey

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    frames like Rune wont busted. the frame Medium without shock or anything, weights 3,44kg, yikeees. SC forks may fail or not.
     
  19. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    It broke mine that way. Had collarbone plate removal on monday.
     
  20. BigBoi

    BigBoi Monkey

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    What would you rather drive on a Le Mans track?

    A standard, street legal sports car off the lot.
    Or a race ready factory GT Porsche something or rather with 650hp that's 1/2 an inch off the ground.


    Both would be fun, but why limit yourself to something that can handle the job just fine when you can have something that will absolutely destroy it?
     
  21. descente

    descente Monkey

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    that factory GT can ONLY be driven at a track, the "boring" sports car can be enjoyed every day.
     
  22. BigBoi

    BigBoi Monkey

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    I guess the question comes down to how many cars (bikes) you want to own. Do you have 1 for everything? Or different bikes for different riding? Asking an all-mountaing bike to do DH is like asking a DH bike to do XC or all-mountain. You can do it. It's just not as fun.
     
  23. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    The correct number of bikes is always n+1
     
  24. descente

    descente Monkey

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    that formula can also be extrapolated to cars, beer, women and bacon double cheese burgers...
     
  25. iRider

    iRider Turbo Monkey

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    Finally someone brings real science into this! ;) :D
     
  26. TGR

    TGR Monkey

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    The thing is, I've been riding a small travel bike (120mm up front - 100mm back) since two years. So I don't really feel the need for going smaller... And I'll have a xc bike too so basically I'm just looking for the bikes that's gonna be the most fun
     
  27. mattmatt86

    mattmatt86 Turbo Monkey

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    Full DH bike then.

    /thread
     
  28. Tomasis

    Tomasis Monkey

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    most fun?

    With SC fork one can do more things :) I noticed that Kona Entourage is in Dirt 100 there they wrote that there is nothing that reminds of dh mini bike feeling. It rips out well on most rugged dh tracks.

    Honestly I'd take Entourage ;)

    Xc is not same as 170mm travel bike. Two universums apart, lol.
     
  29. thad

    thad Monkey

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    I own an operator, and I got the chance to demo an entourage for a few days. The entourage is a super fun bike, low, slack, and super short chainstays. I felt like it has 95% of the monster trucking abilities of the operator, and way poppier and more playful. I shuttled it at three different mountains, and did one XC/AM ride. I was only wishing for the full blown DH bike on one trail; that's wide, fast, and rough, with tons of holes and chunder. Every other trail, the entourage was as fast, but more playful and fun.

    I wish they gave that bike a steeper seat angle. It pedals pretty decent for what it is, but the saddle is too far back when you raise the post for climbing.
     
  30. SCARY

    SCARY Not long enough

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    I need more of these green square things^^
    I did mine that way too,still have the plate.Were you having issues with the plate or screws?Whats he wait time for full strength on it?
     
  31. BigBoi

    BigBoi Monkey

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    I wish they gave that bike a steeper seat angle. It pedals pretty decent for what it is, but the saddle is too far back when you raise the post for climbing.[/QUOTE]

    Then it would be a Driver 8. We know what happened to that.
     
    #31 -   Dec 1, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012