XC Bike for Downhill?

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XC Bike for Downhill?
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Posted: Dec 3, 2014 at 16:20 Quote
Hey,

At the moment I have a XC bike (Felt XC Nine-80 Series) and soon I will be getting a All mountain bike. I'd like to start downhill racing, and just enjoying the "Gravity" style of riding. I'm a very impatient person, and I'd like to start now, not the extreme DH stuff, but just some starter trails and such to give me a general feel for when I get my All mountain bike. I was just wondering if it's safe-not for me, for the bike-to use a XC bike for BASIC downhill trails for a little while. If I do, will it damage my bike? Because if that's the case, I'll just wait until my new bike comes in.

Thank you

O+
Posted: Dec 3, 2014 at 17:17 Quote
CodyBehr14 wrote:
Hey,

At the moment I have a XC bike (Felt XC Nine-80 Series) and soon I will be getting a All mountain bike. I'd like to start downhill racing, and just enjoying the "Gravity" style of riding. I'm a very impatient person, and I'd like to start now, not the extreme DH stuff, but just some starter trails and such to give me a general feel for when I get my All mountain bike. I was just wondering if it's safe-not for me, for the bike-to use a XC bike for BASIC downhill trails for a little while. If I do, will it damage my bike? Because if that's the case, I'll just wait until my new bike comes in.

Thank you
It's very likely your wheels will give in really fast. It really depends on the terrain, there are easy trails that can be punishing on bikes, and there are hard trails that challenge the rider, but not so much the bike. I've started my "downhill" riding on an old Specialized Hardrock - it did its job pretty well. However, I had heavy-a$$ burly wheels and a Marzocchi Dirt Jumper on that bike.

You can probably do a whole lot of trails on the bike, but the faster you go, the more the XC bike will suffer.

Posted: Dec 5, 2014 at 5:15 Quote
If we're talking anything worthy of the term "DH-track" then the idea is just bad.
Of course you can ride the bike on singletrails (thats what it's intended purpose is) but if you go anywhere near DH speed the bike will fail pretty quick even on easier trails.
It's just not a good idea. The bike isn't made to take those speeds and it won't handle very well either.
Also, it's highly unlikely that a beginner can ride a proper track on a XC-bike. And if we aren't talking about a proper dh-track, then we are talking about desecending a hill on a bike. WHICH IS NOT DOWNHILL RIDING!!! And can be done on any bicycle.

Posted: Dec 5, 2014 at 21:58 Quote
I rode my salsa with 5" suspension on DH park trails. Did OK, was very nervous feeling due to wrong geo and short wheelbase. This was on easy to intermedate fast flow runs. Have also rode it on steep tech blacks and it was no fun. So kind of depends on the trail, but best to wait until you get the right or better bike for the job.

Posted: Dec 7, 2014 at 14:36 Quote
i have done that for about 3 years (finally got a dh maybe a year ago), no problems until i tried bigger jumps than what i usually did, my back wheel tacoed after i cased it haha so i think if you stayed off the bigger jumps and the crazier trails, the xc should be fine, the only other problem i had is that my fork blew out,but that was my fault for trying stair gaps. by the way it was a specialized rockhopper i dont know if that helps haha tup

Posted: Dec 7, 2014 at 15:43 Quote
I rode my Giant Trance (5") for a season. Everything was going well until the last run of the season when I told myself it was time to push myself to my limits. instead my bike found it's limit. Bottomed out the fork while railing a corner off a kicker, then hit a rock. Shot the wheel sideways and catapulted me, rolled about 30'.

All that to say, you can do it, but keep the bike in check.

Posted: Dec 7, 2014 at 23:39 Quote
Weldertron wrote:
I rode my Giant Trance (5") for a season. Everything was going well until the last run of the season when I told myself it was time to push myself to my limits. instead my bike found it's limit. Bottomed out the fork while railing a corner off a kicker, then hit a rock. Shot the wheel sideways and catapulted me, rolled about 30'.

All that to say, you can do it, but keep the bike in check.
Jesus thats harsh

I rode my xc on light dh and it held up to it. Obviously the geometry was steep so didnt push it too hard. I ride a five inch travel bike and it is by far better.

Posted: Dec 10, 2014 at 19:55 Quote
I started getting into DH last year and my only bike at the time was a Trek Superfly (only has 4" travel). I brought it to Highland mtb park in New Hampshire a handful of times, and yes my stock wheels were pretty destroyed by the end of the season. However, I enjoyed every minute of it, and the rest of my bike survived no problem. I didn't really do anything bigger than a 4 foot-ish drop off, but like I said: asides from the wheels, my bike survived. DEFINITELY ADD MORE PSI TO YOUR SHOCK AND FORK.

Posted: Dec 27, 2014 at 9:24 Quote
I have been riding a 1998 gt sts2 at a downhill circuit used a few times for the British series so really I believe that you can do practically anything on one,what I don't know though if. It will damage your bike.

Posted: Dec 27, 2014 at 11:27 Quote
i road DH for about half a year on my 2009 giant halo, witch eventually gave in and i broke the frame, but luckily it was still new and covered by warranty, as well as the supplier was very help full and i ended up getting an up grade to an am bike with only a little down cash on top of the warranty, witch was a grate bike to progress on. so in my opinion you should be fine for a while, but don't push it. just ride the trails and try not to case any jumps. better jet try avoid full on DH track and just ride green trails it will help you learn the basics before you get or AM bike.

Posted: Dec 29, 2014 at 7:48 Quote
You can put dh components on your bike but if you want your frame to snap while shredding some gnarly rock section and face planting and having your chest impaled onto a sharp protruding rock then go ahead!

Posted: Dec 29, 2014 at 11:48 Quote
What type of DH trails have you ridden thus far? Any? Let me just say this, I'm from Indiana and we have zero true DH trails. I went out to Trestle and rode DH for the first time last year. I used a Giant Reign X0 and it did pretty well. Now I have a true DH bike because I too wanted to kick it up a notch.

Anyway, DH riding is so much different than XC. It's one of those things that's hard to explain to someone whose never ridden it. It's hard to put into words the speeds and abuse your body and bike take. If you're not comfortable riding DH then definitely don't do it on an XC bike. It's a recipe for trouble for you and your bike. Go to a bike park and rent a true DH bike.

Posted: Dec 31, 2014 at 18:28 Quote
A DH or at least AM bike will also make it a lot more fun. Even riding an AM bike in the park seemed to be a lot more work than on a full DH bike. I got an AM bike to do it all and found that I wanted another DH specific bike for park riding. I did like the light weight of the AM in the air. Felt playful and very flick able. The DH bike was better for almost everything else though. And after starting on a XC bike in the park, I can say it was more of survival mode than fun on anything but the easiest trails (greens and easy blues).

Posted: Jan 1, 2015 at 22:08 Quote
Do it slowly and focus on your line choice. Do the same trail a lot and get good on the xc bike. If u do this you will feel very confident on your new bike.

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