Nube questions for the DH crowd

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Nube questions for the DH crowd
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Posted: Aug 4, 2022 at 15:22 Quote
My son has had a strong interest in DH for some time and he is verbalizing this again. He has always talked about riding Whistler. We live in MI so 'nearby' locations would have to be Boyne (4h drive) and Copper Harbor (9-10 h drive).

What could we get him for a proper frame/complete bike? At the moment he rides a large aluminum Nomad 2 (recall, straight 1.5" head tube) but Santa Cruz bikes fit a little small. His large Nomad 2 fits him well. I have a size 3 2017 aluminum Megatrail frame but I am 5'-11" so 3" taller than my son. I suspect either of these with a suitable fork (i.e., 38 - 40 mm stanchions) and shock could handle Boyne's ski slopes. I'm uncertain about Copper Harbor.

At the moment he is looking at 27.7/27.5+ and 2014-2016 model years to keep cost down. As you might guess, being he is a teenager he is looking at frames/bikes w/200 mm of suspension travel.

I'm thinking we should restrict our attention to medium and possibly large frames given the sizing of Santa Cruz. Getting into this inexpensively is a must but safety is the priority. I think each manufacturer has a different fit so it seems like a medium might be best. Particularly, if you are on/off the seat frequently during a DH run. Is this different for each course...person's riding style, etc.?

I prefer to find something that can also peddle and climb - at least relatively well anyway.

Give me some suggestions and I'll take it from there.

Thanks!

Posted: Aug 5, 2022 at 6:50 Quote
RVC-2 wrote:

I prefer to find something that can also peddle and climb - at least relatively well anyway.

If you want an actual DH bike then climbing and pedaling efficiency aren't really part of the equation -- that's what enduro bikes are for.

I don't know anyting about Santa Cruz but at 5'8" I'm guessing that with most manufacturers a medium will probably fit him best.

Posted: Aug 5, 2022 at 7:49 Quote
RVC-2 wrote:
My son has had a strong interest in DH….pedals well..

Give me some suggestions and I'll take it from there.

Thanks!

Don’t buy a DH bike unless you’r son will only ride lift or shuttle accessed trails. Can you pedal a DH bike? Sure, but it really is no fun. Watch some videos, look around and you’ll see more guys riding enduro bikes than anything else these days - even at bike parks. Go for a decent enduro bike, consider 29” wheels for better capability over the chunky stuff. There’s many great choices. Consider your son’s size and how much he may grow - medium will be fine most likely, but different manufacturers size a little differently. I still think medium will do best for a while and he can sell it and get a bigger bike later. The 29” wheel bike may hold its value longer than 27.5 wheel bike too.

Good luck.

Posted: Aug 6, 2022 at 6:51 Quote
It sounds like I'm on the mark regarding frame sizing w/medium. One less problem to solve.

Access to a bike park involves a minimum 3.5 h drive one way so this should probably direct us away from a pure DH frame/bike. My wife and I cannot hold any reasonable expectation of being able to make the 7-8 h RT to allow him to use a bike like this frequently. We just lack the available free time in our schedules to meet this need.

The suggestion given for outfitting an enduro bike for DH would seem a better path for us to take given our limitations. This causes me to ask about fork/shock travel requirements. DH seems to focus on the dual crown 200 mm fork up front and the next step down I see is the single crown 180 mm. What is regarded as the minimum desirable travel? My son's Nomad 2 can take up to 170 mm and with the 1.5" straight head tube I would think the 1.5" straight steer tube would be a useful system for DH...I'm just uncertain regarding the fork travel requirements. Something like the Fox 38 or similar?

The rear suspension travel requirements seem more vague but I suspect we need to consider a minimum of 150 mm of rear travel if not more.

Thanks for the responses.

Posted: Aug 6, 2022 at 7:11 Quote
Your son isn’t going to the bike park all the time then big suspension is a waste. Single crown 170 mm fork is more than plenty. 150 mm shock in back is probably enough. Look at some brand name enduro bikes and see what they offer. Get a bike that your son can ride at home and still use at the park once in a while. Heck, he doesn’t really need a big enduro bike to have fun at a bike park. The smaller travel “trail” bikes are very capable rigs these days. Smaller suspension doesn’t mean you can’t shred at the park. I know marketing hype and cool videos push people toward bigger rigs, but it’s all just hot air meant to separate you from your $$$. Good riders show up and rip the park to pieces on smaller travel bikes every day.

Posted: Aug 6, 2022 at 8:27 Quote
Thanks Ben! You are absolutely correct in that many organizations are trying to separate us from our $$$. I appreciate the candor.

Posted: Aug 9, 2022 at 5:51 Quote
Natchot wrote:
RVC-2 wrote:

I prefer to find something that can also peddle and climb - at least relatively well anyway.

If you want an actual DH bike then climbing and pedaling efficiency aren't really part of the equation -- that's what enduro bikes are for.

I don't know anyting about Santa Cruz but at 5'8" I'm guessing that with most manufacturers a medium will probably fit him best.

Sounds like your son is the best off with super enduro bike like Propain Spindrift. But I would not buy super enduro older than 2020.

Posted: Aug 9, 2022 at 15:00 Quote
RVC-2 wrote:

Access to a bike park involves a minimum 3.5 h drive one way so this should probably direct us away from a pure DH frame/bike. My wife and I cannot hold any reasonable expectation of being able to make the 7-8 h RT to allow him to use a bike like this frequently. We just lack the available free time in our schedules to meet this need.
.

As cool as DH bikes are, and I can see why your son would want one, he realistically would rarely get to ride it. Maybe when he's older if he were to move to a place where one could use a DH bike frequently then it would make sense. For now, it makes more sense to pick a bike suited for whatever terrain he's able to access frequently. An enduro bike would *almost* be as good as a DH bike for aggressive terrain but if you guys live in solid XC territory then an enduro bike might even be overkill.

Posted: Aug 9, 2022 at 15:38 Quote
You might want to check out some of the Min-Max articles over on NSMB, https://nsmb.com/tag/min-max_1/ like this 8 year old Banshee, https://nsmb.com/articles/min-max-daves-banshee-spitfire-v2/ that can run different tire sizes and wheel spacing.

Echoing, what others have said re: a DH rig considering your proximity to lift access trails. A "modern" suspension "trail", "all mountain", "enduro" bike is more than capable and he'll get more use if he can actually pedal it and ride trails around home, pump tracks, etc. Heck, depending on his size/weight you probably don't need a Fox 38, there's lighter weight options (and cheaper) that can offer better performance for the rider even pushing hard. I also wouldn't jump right on the 29" wheel train yet either, depending on your son's size, his skill, and the terrain he'll be riding most frequently a smaller wheel might be much more enjoyable for him to push hard and progress. Keep in mind he can always rent a DH bike at the park (definitely here in CO, Whistler, Snowshoe, etc., not sure about those places in MI)

Something like this could be a great compromise https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/3376432/

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