What’s a good first downhill bike?

PB Forum :: Downhill
What’s a good first downhill bike?
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Posted: Feb 5, 2020 at 15:00 Quote
SECROW11,

Thank you for the clarification.

Sounds like you should start with a used bike, then. Expect a £1000 bike to be a bit dodgy, but it will give you an idea of whether you like the sport enough to continue.

The main challenge you'll find is the immense inconvenience of downhill. The bikes are a nightmare to ride any distance from home to the trails, they're hopeless to ride uphill, they're no fun to ride on normal trails (i.e. rolling terrain) ... "downhill" means downhill and that's the only thing they can do. Very good at it, mind you, just frustratingly limited. Be prepared to accept these issues or consider a long-travel trail bike - enduro / superenduro / freeride / whatever we're calling it this season.

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 at 17:08 Quote
In that case go to a park and have your parents rent you a bike for a day. See if you like it, then decide what you wanna do.
If you decide to get into it, make sure you have the means to sustain the hobby before selling off your DJ bike.
There´s a lot of costs involved beyond just buying the bike. You need to get to the tracks/races somehow, so you have to most likely get your parents on board for that a lot of times. Then there´s lift tickets and race entry fees to pay. Also shit gets beat up a lot and you´ll have to replace stuff, especially when buying on a budget.
I started when i was 14 on a hardtail. Probably two years later i bought my first cheap full suspension after i got a student job on the side to generate some money. In doing so i was able to at least fund some replacements/upgrades and spare parts along with the running costs like paying for transportation and lift tickets. My parents back then gave me some support, but mostly for transport and safety equipment and it was really hard to keep the bike running.
So at 13 years i strongly suggest you get your parents on board with the idea before committing and selling the DJ as you might really regret the decision later on when you cannot ride as much as you like and would rather have the DJ around.
Of course, if you got some good hometrails you´re willing to push up to, it´s fine. Just make sure you know what you´re getting into.
Racing tbh will take a lot of support from your parents. By all means go for it, it´s a great thing to do, but it´s also a big time and money sink and without a means of transportation it´s often times not possible to do because you´ll not even be able to reach the venue. Then there´s accomodation etc. to pay for.

All the things R-M-R said apply as well.
If you´re just dipping your toes in for now, consider getting a solid enduro/freeride bike you can rock everywhere. Again, if your parents are in on it all, no problem, go all out and ride park every weekend but make sure that´s really going to happen.

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 at 23:16 Quote
Loki87 wrote:
In that case go to a park and have your parents rent you a bike for a day. See if you like it, then decide what you wanna do.
If you decide to get into it, make sure you have the means to sustain the hobby before selling off your DJ bike.
There´s a lot of costs involved beyond just buying the bike. You need to get to the tracks/races somehow, so you have to most likely get your parents on board for that a lot of times. Then there´s lift tickets and race entry fees to pay. Also shit gets beat up a lot and you´ll have to replace stuff, especially when buying on a budget.
I started when i was 14 on a hardtail. Probably two years later i bought my first cheap full suspension after i got a student job on the side to generate some money. In doing so i was able to at least fund some replacements/upgrades and spare parts along with the running costs like paying for transportation and lift tickets. My parents back then gave me some support, but mostly for transport and safety equipment and it was really hard to keep the bike running.
So at 13 years i strongly suggest you get your parents on board with the idea before committing and selling the DJ as you might really regret the decision later on when you cannot ride as much as you like and would rather have the DJ around.
Of course, if you got some good hometrails you´re willing to push up to, it´s fine. Just make sure you know what you´re getting into.
Racing tbh will take a lot of support from your parents. By all means go for it, it´s a great thing to do, but it´s also a big time and money sink and without a means of transportation it´s often times not possible to do because you´ll not even be able to reach the venue. Then there´s accomodation etc. to pay for.

All the things R-M-R said apply as well.
If you´re just dipping your toes in for now, consider getting a solid enduro/freeride bike you can rock everywhere. Again, if your parents are in on it all, no problem, go all out and ride park every weekend but make sure that´s really going to happen.
My parents are in on it and they understand the costs but they can see that I want to carry on riding and that I enjoy it, I’m also lucky to have Leeds Urban Bike Park down the road however they don’t have proper downhill trails there. However my stepdad has got a Specialized Camber pro and he goes riding with me and he has said that we can go down to different bike parks in the future

Posted: Feb 6, 2020 at 1:53 Quote
I wouldn’t recommend a dh bike like stated before, they are crap for anything other than riding downhill. You might notice that a large number of dh bikes listed for sale often say the seller is selling to buy an enduro. Most enduro bikes are built to take more abuse than the average-good rider can put it through. I had a mate who dominated the local region dh competitions on a giant reign a few years ago. Was funny watching him Pedal it up to the top every time past all the guys walking their dh bikes. I bought a dh bike only to complement my enduro bike as we often drive to the alps and the dh bike is perfect due to the uplifts. But I’ve rode the alps on my enduro and tbh it’s more than up to the job. If I could only have one bike it would be the enduro do-it-all every time

Posted: Feb 6, 2020 at 4:49 Quote
SECROW11 wrote:
R-M-R wrote:
Loki87 wrote:
[ ... ] but he seems rather serious about riding downhill in general, otherwise he´d have worded it more along the usual lines of "i wanna try downhill".
SECROW11 wrote:
I already have a dirt jump bike but I want to branch out and try downhill racing.

His profile says he's 19 years old. I interpret this as someone who's broke and DH-curious, not DH-serious. We'll have to wait for him to clarify.
I’m not 19 years old I’m 13, I didn’t put my real age because I wasn’t sure about the website to be honest but I’m thinking of selling my bike and getting a downhill bike to TRY it out, and if I don’t like it I will just sell it and get a dirt jumper again, however if I do like it then I will probably stick to downhill and enter into some races, get the skills needed then when i feel like my bike is holding me back I will look to upgrade. I’m paying for my bike with my savings and what I get for my dirt jumper, so going all out and buying a £4000 bike will not work, neither will a rental because I don’t have the money to be able to have enough time on a rental. Hope this cleared up your assumptions feel free to ask anymore questions.

Just rent a bike for a weekend of riding in nearby park, you will figure out if you like it quite fast and won't be as costly as buying used and then selling it again. You also rent protective gear (full face helmet, gloves, kneepads at minimum).

If its your parents money this is the best way to go, seen too many times hyped kids "Mom, Dad i would like to do ---insert expensive sport here--- because i saw cool videos on Youtube and i think i will do the same in two weeks time..."
After they see that training and hard work is needed for months/years to be at that level , they drop all and leave parents with tons of expensive gear no one wants to buy Big Grin

Posted: Feb 6, 2020 at 8:05 Quote
Thanks to all of you that have helped I think from your suggestion I should go get an enduro bike. Thanks again for the help.

Posted: Feb 6, 2020 at 11:58 Quote
Keep your jump bike, your local trails are park/street so don't give up on that. I'd honestly just book an uplift and rent a downhill bike. It'll probably be about £100, all in, for a day. If you enjoy it you can crack on with saving.

Posted: Feb 22, 2020 at 8:23 Quote
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Posted: Feb 25, 2020 at 5:09 Quote
You should find a nice glory for 1k. They are a good buy as there's plenty about plus they have a really good suspension platform. Am currenty riding 2018 glory and its been solid.

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