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Mini DH / AM Overlap (TR-250 - Slash)

alphamike

Chimp
May 16, 2012
4
0
I am in one heck of a debate with myself on this one. I have decided on a Trek Slash as my "go-to-bike" for the front range of Colorado. I feel that 6.3"/36 TALAS/~30ish lbs is manageable for my fitness and ability levels as well as the terrain here. I am subscribing to the Weir school of thought that going up sucks no matter what, why make going down suck, too.
Issues come up in that the resorts are a couple hours away and I am going to be making several multiday trips seasonally not to mention shuttling the few localish spots there are when available.I am not too much man to admit that I will need the 2x10 setup on the slash for normal day to day trail riding around here (if you dont at 5000'+, good on ya-your a stud for sure) and also do not want to be continuously switching between a single and a double front setup (to include guide, further complicating a swap).
My question is to to those who own both a capable AM bike (6"ish) and a mini dh (7"ish) or even big bike dh (8x8). Do you find yourself at a conundrum when choosing a park bike? The Trek Slash has some pretty lax geometry but it is still designed to be a 100% ridable (to include climbing) trailbike with dual air whereas a TR-250 is purely a playbike from the ground up and is coil f/r. My biggest concern is that despite the vastly different nature of the bikes they will be almost too similar just based on them both being close in travel and based on fairly beefy frames. I almost wish that the reviews on the Slash werent as good, everyone is saying it is a shredder when pointed down ie: a mini Session 88 with an air shock.
Thank you all very much for your insights
 
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gnarbar

Monkey
Oct 22, 2011
136
3
I'm running a 32-tooth single front ring with MRP-G2 guide (on a 33lb mini-DH/AM rig) and I don't mind having to push up a steeper section...sort of more FR than XC in attitude, I guess. or AM. or that new fangled over-mountain scene I keep hearing about (OM > AM)
 

William42

fork ways
Jul 31, 2007
3,674
289
I didn't really read that because it was one giant paragraph, but I think you were asking if a slash and TR250 were too much overlap. They probably are.

Also, its pretty easy to set up a DH bike to be fun and playful, and get the benefit of the better traction and stability if you're using it as a shuttle bike. Get two different types of bikes - one for solo rides/uphills, and one for lift/shuttle. Tweeners are only useful if you don't have friends or you're smart enough only to spend money on one bicycle, and not buy two money pits.
 

Wa-Aw

Monkey
Jul 30, 2010
354
0
Philippines
Mini DH is pretty redundant and I'm willing to bet is just a fad that will pass. Go full DH rig if you want a bigger bike. There is so much variety in the full DH rigs you can go all the way from playful and light (Trek Sessions and such) to full on hard core DH (Intense M9 etc.). Even if both of those are technically full DH bikes, having an aggressive AM bike would definitely have you leaning to more aggressive heavier riding DH bikes to get as much range in your rigs as possible.

Also having a super plush DH bike as your one bike usually does terrible things to your riding form.
 

TWeerts

Monkey
Jan 7, 2007
473
0
The Area Bay
whoa! you sure put the climbs in, huh?

had a chance to ride a slash at a demo day, both that and the fuel struggled to keep weight on the front tire while climbing. I mention both to draw emphasis to the fact that both the xc and fr oriented trail bikes reacted this way.

I used to own a 2008 SX Trail, and am now riding a 2011 covert.
The covert initially felt taller in comparison, but is now quite comfortable, and helped the climbing efficiency. Didnt notice much performance difference once the bike was pointed downhill. If anything, the covert performs the same or better as the SXT in downhill conditions.
Im running a 1x10 drivetrain with a 32t and chainguide. I certainly notice that i am a stronger climber since getting this bike, the covert is certainly pedal-able, but it is right on the edge of being a hassle. also, im running full coil suspension. it weighs ~32lb
 
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DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
I have my Intense SS which is a mini-dh bike. I use it here A LOT in AZ as my shuttle rig. The full out 8" bike was too much bulk to shove up the hills here, and as I'm a fat ass, it made the morning shuttles suck at life.

I have a 5" trail rig, a 6.6" mini-dh, and soon I'll have another 8" full DH rig. I'm also getting an SB66 at some point this summer. No good reason why other than I love how it rides.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
If you do more than 1-2 shuttle/lift days a year, I would get a DH bike. Even if it was the exact same frame as your AM bike, having one built for DH makes all the difference. Then you can have light parts on you AM rig that you aren't abusing at the resort. 2-3 yo DH bikes are pretty affordable.
If you can't swing that, then buy 2 wheelsets and swap a chainguide on everytime you ride.

I have an SS and a DH race bike. I still have a chainguide and DH wheels for the SS for the odd occasion. Normally the SS is built as my AM bike.
 

mtg

Green with Envy
Sep 21, 2009
1,478
828
Denver, CO
... for the front range of Colorado.
My question is to to those who own both a capable AM bike (6"ish) and a mini dh (7"ish) or even big bike dh (8x8). Do you find yourself at a conundrum when choosing a park bike?
I've been riding the front range for awhile with a 6" trail bike and 8" DH bike, and no, I don't find myself in a conundrum when choosing which bike to ride at the bike parks. DH all the way at the bike parks. I've ridden 6" trail bikes, a 4" travel slopestyle bike and 8" DH bikes at the resorts, and if I have to pick one bike, it's the DH bike for sure.

Personally, I don't think a mini DH bike suits our current trails all that well, unless you are a light/novice rider, a girl looking for a DH bike, or your main priority is doing hot laps on Rainmaker. If you can afford two bikes, I would recommend a 5" - 6" trail bike, and a DH bike.
 
In my mind, mini DH doesnt necessarily mean more travel than typical xc/am bikes. Similar to a dh bike, it shares a slack/ low geometry but, lighter weight, and more efficient pedaller. I agree that it is a niche role by itself and likely not worthwhile unless you have gobs of cash and already have a large stable. But many AM/enduro offerings nowadays are approaching "DH" geometries but yet retaining better than acceptable uphill efficiency. Thusly, some can fill that mini DH role well. I am obviously biased but the Slash is great compromise. If you wanted an AM, enduro, mini-dh rig, it would fill that role nicely.
 

alphamike

Chimp
May 16, 2012
4
0
... DH all the way at the bike parks. I've ridden 6" trail bikes, a 4" travel slopestyle bike and 8" DH bikes at the resorts, and if I have to pick one bike, it's the DH bike for sure.
Personally, I don't think a mini DH bike suits our current trails all that well, unless you are a light/novice rider, a girl looking for a DH bike, or your main priority is doing hot laps on Rainmaker. If you can afford two bikes, I would recommend a 5" - 6" trail bike, and a DH bike.
Thanks, you are exactly the insight I need. Main reason I was thinking of a "mini" was the snap they retain that everyone seems to go on and on about. I really dont want to just tank my way through chunder, at my level I could honestly use the training of being forced to pick lines more carefully. My DH experience is pool is pretty shallow so I might simply be speaking out of ignorance but I've gathered from 250/450 reviews that the 250 is the more "lively" of the two. If you have any further inputs please provide them, I am not in the least bit saying "your wrong",more wondering your experience vs some of the reviews I've read since you are the one that has turned a wheel on CO trails and not the reviewers.

In my mind, mini DH doesnt necessarily mean more travel than typical xc/am bikes. ...AM/enduro offerings nowadays are approaching "DH" geometries but yet retaining better than acceptable uphill efficiency.
That is my issue, the 2 are very similar in a lot of areas but Trek chose to make it pedalable whereas when Transition rolled out the 250 if was always destined to be a no-compromise gravity rig. Not necessarily MORE travel, I am just trying to figure out if it being DIFFERENT travel will be a noticeable change.
 

alphamike

Chimp
May 16, 2012
4
0
had a chance to ride a slash at a demo day, both that and the fuel struggled to keep weight on the front tire while climbing. I mention both to draw emphasis to the fact that both the xc and fr oriented trail bikes reacted this way.
the covert is certainly pedal-able, but it is right on the edge of being a hassle.
Yeah I edited the 5k inches part, sorry bout that lol. I have noticed the front end of my older EX trying to get a little sporty on me while climbing but i've always chalked that up more to my technique than anything (hate getting up on the nose of the saddle). I think the slash will be my "right on the edge of being a hassle" bike until it and I have a little heart to heart at the top of a climb.

If you do more than 1-2 shuttle/lift days a year, I would get a DH bike. Even if it was the exact same frame as your AM bike, having one built for DH makes all the difference.
The two-bike plan is what i'm looking at for your reasons as well as always having what I'd like to be on for that particular ride ready to go. I know myself, I'll be running late and leave those XO carbon cranks or a lighter wheelset on one day and with my luck I'd end up somehow screwing them up in the park.

Thanks for the responses everyone. Feel free to get as abstract with this as you want, not just a Slash-TR-250 discussion. There seem to be more and more bikes that blur the lines. My only input would be what be the preferred choice for a super-d style race. Pros seem to choose everything from 5"-7". I feel that both a longer travel trailbike and a "mini" have their merits, anyone want to shed light or share their reasons for choosing one over the other?
 
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norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,517
328
Warsaw :/
I think people who bash on mini dh bikes just don't have proper trails localy. I don't so I don't own one but on trails with more jumps and other features that require more agility a 160-180mm bike is just more fun. It also isn't any slower.
The thing is most people buy their bikes because of fashion instead of the trails the want to ride.
 

manhattanprjkt83

Rusty Trombone
Jul 10, 2003
8,833
302
Pittsburgh, PA
I think people who bash on mini dh bikes just don't have proper trails localy. I don't so I don't own one but on trails with more jumps and other features that require more agility a 160-180mm bike is just more fun. It also isn't any slower.
The thing is most people buy their bikes because of fashion instead of the trails the want to ride.
I am a TR250 owner who rides quite a bit of 'groomed' jumpish style trails on our local hill. The bike is great because you can shrink it up or beef it up to fit bigger terrain better. I have to say that after I purchased the bike I set it up about as 'beefed' as possible and havent touched it. Should I have gotten the TR450 maybe, but its cool to have the adjustability. I doubt having the full 450 would make much of a difference...

To the OP I tried using 1 bike for AM/DH and it just didnt work out that great (Transition Covert), spent a whole summer riding all over the east, whistler, moab etc...great bike but I always felt I was missing a bit of something on both ends of the spectrum. Now i have 2 bikes for the different riding.
 

marshalolson

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2006
1,439
73
I am in one heck of a debate with myself on this one. I have decided on a Trek Slash as my "go-to-bike" for the front range of Colorado. I feel that 6.3"/36 TALAS/~30ish lbs is manageable for my fitness and ability levels as well as the terrain here. I am subscribing to the Weir school of thought that going up sucks no matter what, why make going down suck, too.
Issues come up in that the resorts are a couple hours away and I am going to be making several multiday trips seasonally not to mention shuttling the few localish spots there are when available.I am not too much man to admit that I will need the 2x10 setup on the slash for normal day to day trail riding around here (if you dont at 5000'+, good on ya-your a stud for sure) and also do not want to be continuously switching between a single and a double front setup (to include guide, further complicating a swap).
My question is to to those who own both a capable AM bike (6"ish) and a mini dh (7"ish) or even big bike dh (8x8). Do you find yourself at a conundrum when choosing a park bike? The Trek Slash has some pretty lax geometry but it is still designed to be a 100% ridable (to include climbing) trailbike with dual air whereas a TR-250 is purely a playbike from the ground up and is coil f/r. My biggest concern is that despite the vastly different nature of the bikes they will be almost too similar just based on them both being close in travel and based on fairly beefy frames. I almost wish that the reviews on the Slash werent as good, everyone is saying it is a shredder when pointed down ie: a mini Session 88 with an air shock.
Thank you all very much for your insights
front range of colorado:

30lb ~6" travel bike for trail shredding
36-40lb 8" travel bike for shuttles and lifts.

done.

there is way too much rad lift riding and shuttling on the front range to limit yourself to a bike light enough to truly crush the uphill on high elevation epic rides.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,517
328
Warsaw :/
I am a TR250 owner who rides quite a bit of 'groomed' jumpish style trails on our local hill. The bike is great because you can shrink it up or beef it up to fit bigger terrain better. I have to say that after I purchased the bike I set it up about as 'beefed' as possible and havent touched it. Should I have gotten the TR450 maybe, but its cool to have the adjustability. I doubt having the full 450 would make much of a difference...

To the OP I tried using 1 bike for AM/DH and it just didnt work out that great (Transition Covert), spent a whole summer riding all over the east, whistler, moab etc...great bike but I always felt I was missing a bit of something on both ends of the spectrum. Now i have 2 bikes for the different riding.
One thing about using an am bike for resorts - even if the geo is pretty nice they are usually much less beefy and after one bad landing you need a new frame. It's the bombproof factor that's also quite important.
 

manhattanprjkt83

Rusty Trombone
Jul 10, 2003
8,833
302
Pittsburgh, PA
One thing about using an am bike for resorts - even if the geo is pretty nice they are usually much less beefy and after one bad landing you need a new frame. It's the bombproof factor that's also quite important.
Its a good point, my TR250 frame got pounded pretty bad last season, i have a down tube dent that would have killed other AM lighter ish frames.
 

mtg

Green with Envy
Sep 21, 2009
1,478
828
Denver, CO
I understand the desire for liveliness in a full DH rig...

For additional info, the DH bike I've been on for the past two years is a TR450 (just built a new bike, though). I rode the 450 back to back with a Spesh SX (4" travel) at Trestle last year, as my own comparison between a full DH gnar machine vs a jump bike. The SX was fun for sure, but a tuneable DH bike can be made to also be very lively. The 450 was still fun on jump trails even after riding the 4" SX.

I think what you would probably be most happy with is a DH bike that can cover a wide range of territory from jump trails to the steep gnar. And, that can definitely be done. I'm probably biased on this, but I'm real stoked on my new DH bike being able to shred the nasty while still being plenty lively.
 

marshalolson

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2006
1,439
73
I understand the desire for liveliness in a full DH rig...

For additional info, the DH bike I've been on for the past two years is a TR450 (just built a new bike, though). I rode the 450 back to back with a Spesh SX (4" travel) at Trestle last year, as my own comparison between a full DH gnar machine vs a jump bike. The SX was fun for sure, but a tuneable DH bike can be made to also be very lively. The 450 was still fun on jump trails even after riding the 4" SX.

I think what you would probably be most happy with is a DH bike that can cover a wide range of territory from jump trails to the steep gnar. And, that can definitely be done. I'm probably biased on this, but I'm real stoked on my new DH bike being able to shred the nasty while still being plenty lively.
did you feel you had to dial back the speed a ton on the SX?

i feel like rainmaker is not hard to overshoot a ton of the jumps with a DH bike, i can't imagine hitting it on a FS/DJ bike.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,517
328
Warsaw :/
I understand the desire for liveliness in a full DH rig...

For additional info, the DH bike I've been on for the past two years is a TR450 (just built a new bike, though). I rode the 450 back to back with a Spesh SX (4" travel) at Trestle last year, as my own comparison between a full DH gnar machine vs a jump bike. The SX was fun for sure, but a tuneable DH bike can be made to also be very lively. The 450 was still fun on jump trails even after riding the 4" SX.

I think what you would probably be most happy with is a DH bike that can cover a wide range of territory from jump trails to the steep gnar. And, that can definitely be done. I'm probably biased on this, but I'm real stoked on my new DH bike being able to shred the nasty while still being plenty lively.
I think it also depends on your riding style. I'm pretty sure I can't pull out some of the moves my friend with extensive slope and dirt background can but having tried some smaller travel bikes I know it would be much easier than on a big bike.
 
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TWeerts

Monkey
Jan 7, 2007
473
0
The Area Bay
I think the slash will be my "right on the edge of being a hassle" bike until it and I have a little heart to heart at the top of a climb.
funny you say that, imo, thats just how my relationship with these new fangled AM bikes works. You bitch and moan getting it up, then once your at the top, you tell the bike to stop treating you like a child and your screaming in pleasure the whole way down.

...i think there is an innuendo in there somewhere...
 

mtg

Green with Envy
Sep 21, 2009
1,478
828
Denver, CO
did you feel you had to dial back the speed a ton on the SX?

i feel like rainmaker is not hard to overshoot a ton of the jumps with a DH bike, i can't imagine hitting it on a FS/DJ bike.
Apparently I naturally tend to soak up the lips of jumps, so I can ride Rainmaker at a pretty decent pace with minimal overshooting. And, to my surprise, no the SX didn't launch me to the moon. So, no I wasn't on the brakes hardly at all from what I remember.

Norbar: yes, I agree, riding style is also an important factor. I should have mentioned it.
 

marshalolson

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2006
1,439
73
Apparently I naturally tend to soak up the lips of jumps, so I can ride Rainmaker at a pretty decent pace with minimal overshooting. And, to my surprise, no the SX didn't launch me to the moon. So, no I wasn't on the brakes hardly at all from what I remember.
interesting. word.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,517
328
Warsaw :/
Yeah if you soak up the lips a smaller bike won't be as much of an advantage to you. I just went for a real a dj bike and since a lot of my friends are high level dj riders I try to learn from them. If only I had more time.
 

sbabuser

Turbo Monkey
Dec 22, 2004
1,080
32
Golden, CO
My Jedi is very poppy, and so long as I'm not racer-ing the jumps (trying to stay low), I can find the landings on Rainmaker pretty easily. Maybe it's the plow bikes (or shock settings as such) that lend to overshooting?

I'm in the process of downsizing from an 8" dh bike and picking up a 6" AM/ mini dh myself. I'm not planning on getting as many days in on lifts or shuttles this year, plus I want to race more enduro, and I found the full dh bike is way too much, and the 4" trail bike is just a little too little.

But to the OP's question, I'd say if you already have a 6" bike, then a mini dh is too much overlap. Go full dh. Besides, with how light you can build a full dh bike, the mini category is going to disappear, IMO.
 
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OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,703
139
NORCAL is the hizzle
front range of colorado:

30lb ~6" travel bike for trail shredding
36-40lb 8" travel bike for shuttles and lifts.

done.

there is way too much rad lift riding and shuttling on the front range to limit yourself to a bike light enough to truly crush the uphill on high elevation epic rides.
I don't know about front range riding specifically but this sounds like the best approach.

Regardless of what you do, there will always be days or trails where you wish you had something in between the bikes in your quiver. But with a setup like that you'll be covering a lot of bases. And I definitely agree that if you have the luxury of lots of shuttle/lift riding, a dedicated gravity sled is the way to go.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,517
328
Warsaw :/
My Jedi is very poppy, and so long as I'm not racer-ing the jumps (trying to stay low), I can find the landings on Rainmaker pretty easily. Maybe it's the plow bikes (or shock settings as such) that lend to overshooting?

I'm in the process of downsizing from an 8" dh bike and picking up a 6" AM/ mini dh myself. I'm not planning on getting as many days in on lifts or shuttles this year, plus I want to race more enduro, and I found the full dh bike is way too much, and the 4" trail bike is just a little too little.

But to the OP's question, I'd say if you already have a 6" bike, then a mini dh is too much overlap. Go full dh. Besides, with how light you can build a full dh bike, the mini category is going to disappear, IMO.
Plow bikes defo not mean overshooting. My Legend is definately more plow than pop and it takes some pop from the jumps so it actually harder for me to overshoot.


btw. I'm still very curious about the jedi being both poppy and a monster truck at the same time. If only there was any chance to test ride one. The only one I know is owned by a 100kg moron who hates me for calling his track ****ty (it was ****ty)
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
5,590
1,315
[303]
Aren't "mini-DH bikes" for either A.) girls or B.) guys who can't/don't ride trail/XC and aren't very good downhillers? Sh!t... I should get one.

But for serious: I concur that the best approach given the availability of good shuttle and lift riding as well as epic trail riding here in CO is to own a long-travel trailbike and a full-on DH bike that you can tune to "ride lively" (given how good shock technology is these days it shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish). Like mtg and Marshal this is approach I take (and nearly everyone else I know and ride with) and like them I never find myself in the conundrum of which bike to take to the resorts or "local shuttle spots": it's always the DH bike. It might be slightly less efficient for the jumpy trails, but it's oh-so-very-nice when you find yourself balls deep in Days of Chunder: riding The Stranger, mach-looney down Paid in Full, bombing the malpais fields in Angel Fire, etc.

So to answer your original query: yes a Slash and a TR-250 are probably too much overlap, particularly given where you live.
 

alphamike

Chimp
May 16, 2012
4
0
Besides, with how light you can build a full dh bike, the mini category is going to disappear, IMO.
Thought about a 450/Fox 40 quite a bit. Absolute worse case scenario both framesets have good resale value and if I end up choosing wrong then A. the wife gets the 250 if I buy a 450 or B. I sell the 450 and likely dont lose very much at all.

Mini dh bikes are for winter park.

So yeah........pretty much exactly what you said.
Wait, what lol? As of right now i'm only banking on resorts (basically all the I-70 corridor stuff) and self-found spots (have a couple potentials in mind). I'm overseas now and unfortunately only had Nov-Feb '11 back in CO and on the EX at that. Not too many opportunities to fall in with the "front range shuttle spot mafia" but i'm absolutely looking forward to getting back and doing some digging to earn my keep and get in on the '13 season. As always, thanks for the insight.
 

-C-

Monkey
May 27, 2007
296
9
I have a Nomad C & a Sunday.

Living in the south UK, mountains are a little on the thin side, apart from a few local race series, it's a 2h+ drive into Wales or 6+ up to Scotland. I can handle the 2h drives once a month or so, but i'm finding it hard to justify the costs of going & doing it Vs the time on bike. As a result the majority of my riding is on the Nomad, as we have a lot of good trail riding, a lot of which has a decent gravity bias, built by people of a similar mindset.

I've even started using the Nomad for racing in the local events, clearly the bike isn't the limiting factor as I won my last DH race on it.

I'll still have the DH bike, although i'm seriously tempted to sell it off for the above reasons. The big main reason stopping me is the state of the uplifts here - my Sunday is old & ragged now, I don't like it - but I can accept it gets beat up on various uplifts, i'd be really hacked off if my Nomad got raped because in the UK it seems acceptable to have your bike wrecked in a trailer.

I can't really see the point of a Mini DH bike though. A decent AM bike will be just as useful and a whole lot better to ride back up to the top.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,517
328
Warsaw :/
Mini dh bikes vere never about weight though. A bit less travel, a bit different geo and a bit different susp (unless the designer is stupid and made it as plowy as the dh bike). Small differances and small niche but the bike market will get fragmented anyway.
 

davec113

Monkey
May 24, 2009
419
0
I'm happy with my '08 Remedy and '09 Session 88. The Remedy is about 31-32 lbs with Vivid coil shock and Fox 36 set up 1x10, it climbs well enough and feels like a mini-Session 88 on the way down. The 88 is about 37-38 lbs, I'd much rather ride it than the Remedy at resorts and dh spots. My Remedy can handle a lot, but the 88 is far more solid and I don't feel bad for it as it was designed to take the abuse. I think it would be the same with the Slash, sure it can do what a DH bike can for the most part, and especially at Winter Park, but I wouldn't want to subject my trail bike to the abuse of resorts and shuttling.