First Experience DH MTB at a Bike Park. I have some questions.

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First Experience DH MTB at a Bike Park. I have some questions.
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Posted: Jul 18, 2019 at 5:28 Quote
Hi everyone. Here is a bit of my story for those that might be interested. I'm 38, about 150lbs and 5'6

So me and a friend just went to a DH Bike Park here in the Blue Mountains in Ontario Canada.
https://mtbparks.com/Ontario/280-Blue-Mountain-Bike-Park-Ontario/View-details.html#overview

and ohhhhhh my lord was it more fun then I ever expected. Soon as I got back all I'm thinking is when I can go back, which is planned very soon. We rode the rentals which is a 2019 Trek Session 8 27.5" (next time I might try the 2018 Giant Glory 2 27.5"). We rode almost nonstop from 9am to 6pm. Besides some eating and washroom breaks.

It had to be one of the funnest things I have ever done. Started the easy trails, moved onto the blue trails and finished off with one single diamond. Overall I think I did pretty well considering I just literally got back into biking the last month after about 20 years not being on a bike. I love the flowy trails along with love of the technical areas. My friend also did pretty well but she had a crash and after that she was a bit shaken and didn't want to push the harder trails. Regardless I'm looking forward to trying the other trails this time coming up and obviously improving along the way which I can see I have been.

I heard about this site from a rider at Blue Mountain. He told me its a great place for information. So basically starting out with almost minimum knowledge here I am. I have already checked out numerous bike parks from where I live that I most likely will and want to eventually go to. Most likely next year. Also I have been thinking of a future purchase of a DH MTB (I will see how things go first after a bunch more times at Blue Mountain for the rest of the season)

Point being its seems a pretty big hill to climb with regards to learning curve.

Questions:
What I'm thinking about is what do people think is a best/most bike for the money. (brand new) What could be some recommendations from you guys? Generally speaking.

I'm looking for gear. I see myself doing the rental for the season and figure it might be cost effective and just nice to have my own gear so when I do go. Are there any good places to look for full face helmets, knee pads etc in person in the province of Ontario? The bike shops that I went to don't really carry any of that stuff.

What about online shops. Any recommendations. Canadian sites that is.

Well that's about it. Any other information or advice that anyone would be nice enough to give would be appreciated.

Thanks

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 at 7:11 Quote
You can buy a bike from a shop (Trek, Giant, Specialized etc etc etc), some bikes parks clean up the rental fleet at the end of the season and sell them at a discount (sometimes still with a warranty), and a few companies sell online direct to you (YT and Commencal bring the more notable ones in the DH realm).

Buying direct you get better components for a given budget, but the support is all done remotely.

Buying from a shop you spend more, but you have a place to take your bike for someone to look at it and potentially fix it for free (warranty or good will from the shop). If you're good at cultivating relationships and willing to spend a few extra this is the way to go generally, especially if your bike knowledge isn't up to speed (maintenance and repairs) and you don't have someone to help you out.

Gear is a matter of personal preference. A lighter weight DH helmet will cost more and will be more comfortable to wear on long days. Five Ten is the shoe company of choice for most riders. Goggles I just grab whatever is on sale. Jeans or cargo shorts work fine if you don't want to spend on specific shorts or pants. Knee and shin combination guards with a hard plastic outer shell are very popular. Some people go for just elbow pads, others will do a armored jacket with the same hard plastic outer shell, some even just wear a moto roost protector. Gloves, whatever fits not too tight. Wool socks. Long sleeve shirt to avoid sunburn. YouTube is a good place to watch reviews.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 at 12:36 Quote
[Quote="yzedf"]Buying direct you get better components for a given budget, but the support is all done remotely.

/Quote]

I´d say we need to be careful with that recomemndation from now on , as some of the online direct brands have really downgraded their components spec A LOT. I do not consider Fox 40 Performance or X2 Performance a good deal really and that´s what a lot of them have gone to while at the same time increasing their prices.
They still offer decent value for the top end spec and the super low end, but one needs to really compare when shopping for some middle class bike as there are some great deals to be had in shops at the end of the season which beat the online brands.

Also be aware that YT does a big sale at least once a year where they sell with huge price drops, so maybe try to be prepared for that even if it´s within this season and you don´t wanna buy that soon. They offer huge bargains. I can´t tell you when it usually happens, but i suspect at the end of the season or over the off season. The guys in the YT thread and forums surely can tell you more.

Also the Devinci Wilson 27.5 frame was on sale on some canadian shop site for around 700$ recently.
It´s an awesome frame and maybe something to build upon if you´re interested in doing a custom build.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 at 13:05 Quote
Loki87 wrote:
yzedf wrote:
Buying direct you get better components for a given budget, but the support is all done remotely.


I´d say we need to be careful with that recomemndation from now on , as some of the online direct brands have really downgraded their components spec A LOT. I do not consider Fox 40 Performance or X2 Performance a good deal really and that´s what a lot of them have gone to while at the same time increasing their prices.
They still offer decent value for the top end spec and the super low end, but one needs to really compare when shopping for some middle class bike as there are some great deals to be had in shops at the end of the season which beat the online brands.

Also be aware that YT does a big sale at least once a year where they sell with huge price drops, so maybe try to be prepared for that even if it´s within this season and you don´t wanna buy that soon. They offer huge bargains. I can´t tell you when it usually happens, but i suspect at the end of the season or over the off season. The guys in the YT thread and forums surely can tell you more.

Also the Devinci Wilson 27.5 frame was on sale on some canadian shop site for around 700$ recently.
It´s an awesome frame and maybe something to build upon if you´re interested in doing a custom build.

Quoting a random leftover frame price does a disservice to this thread. OP asked about new bikes.

Great example, Specialized versus Commencal in the new 29er DH bikes. $5000usd gets you the cheapest Specialized new Demo with the budget Boxxer fork etc. Commencal it costs $3799 for similar spec. Another $1000 gets you the high end Rockshox build.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 at 19:45 Quote
I would 1st define a budget range for what you're willing to spend on a new bike. You can spend $2500 or you can spend $7500. Realize you can always start with a bike on a lower budget and upgrade the specific components in the future as you progress as often the base frame may be the same for various price levels.

I would keep my search open to bikes on-line within the US as that really opens your options.

Don't limit your search to current years models, you will often find a bike a couple years old (still new) that will be significantly discounted. However, be aware of frame warranties and be sure a bike from a particular seller will be warrantied if that becomes an issue.

Realize many people are very brand loyal. Keep an open mind, as I doubt most people have actually ridden high numbers of late model bike brands that were properly set up for them (suspension).

I think Giant and Kona are typically more budget friendly bikes, but I'm sure others will comment on many others.

Here's a quick example search of a kona operator $2500 vs. retail of $4000:

https://www.cambriabike.com/products/kona-operator-gravity-downhill-bike?gclid=CjwKCAjwscDpBRBnEiwAnQ0HQJZJReQBJDYfX7LktmUuSGbKLysUVu0POioH3laHCVv4AGTg7IjbVhoCRDQQAvD_BwE

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 at 18:26 Quote
I just finished two days at horseshoe and I agree, after not riding DH for about 10 years it was amazing and fun

You should check out horseshoe. Much shorter runs but only 25 and no lime up, I rode down got back on.
So much fun!

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 at 18:43 Quote
The commencal supreme and furious, and the aluminum YT Tues are all good values and great bikes.

If you're not a member of promotive/expertvoice, I recommend signing up for IMBA and registering for an account. You can cancel your IMBA membership, but will retain your expertvoice membership. There are great deals on 100%, Leatt, and Foxhead

Posted: Jul 20, 2019 at 9:46 Quote
The YT Tues AL is the best value on the planet if you’re going to buy new, and it’s a great bike.

Posted: Jul 22, 2019 at 8:56 Quote
More information is needed. Budget, what you plan on riding (Double black DH at blue only? Smooth flowy trails? Non--park trails that require some pedaling? etc.)

Buying online is a hit or a miss because it's one thing to look at "numbers" that have been adopted as "best" by most and it's very different to actually sit on the bike and pedal around to get the feel of the cockpit, that feel comes with experience. Some companies have Demo days so you can actually ride the bike first to see if it suits you.

I bought my helmet and knee pads online from Jenson (however they are in the US, not Canada), only gear I wear. I usually buy my tires from TBS which is in B.C.

Posted: Jul 22, 2019 at 15:48 Quote
I bought a YT on sale in January for 1500 off list. Got all the gear at kamikaze in Collingwood and try to get to the hill at least 2 times a week.

I'm totally new to DH so dont even approach what the bikes capable of. I think just getting out as much as possible is more Important then what you are riding and what you're wearing.

Get SOMETHING and just go man.

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