Opinion: Save the DH Bike?

Aug 17, 2017 at 3:53
by Matt Wragg  
Header for Matt s Op Ed pieces.



If I'm honest, I'm struggling with the bike. It's not that it doesn't feel good - it does. There is a painful awareness though; every time I point it down the hill I know that it could be doing so much more.

Over the last few years, I have ridden a fair selection of different trail bikes, some with more success than others. What I haven't ridden is a DH bike. If I had to pick a date, I would say 2013. That is probably the last time I swung my leg over a bike with a full, red-blooded 200mm of travel front and rear. I think it was the Specialized x Ohlins launch at Val di Sole when I got the chance to be one of the first journalists to try the Swedish gold on a mountain bike. My main memory of that day is being terrified at trying to pilot an unfamiliar bike down that monster of a track.

If you had asked me before last week how I felt my form was right now, I would have told you pretty decent - my fitness is good right now and my speed is ok (not that it's ever as much as I would hope for). Aboard all those different trail bikes I could adapt, find speed, feel good. But not with the big bike. It turns out that four years of absence and the constant evolution of these bikes have left me struggling, frustrated at myself.

The problem is that I can't justify owning one of these. It's not that I don't like them - I most certainly do, nothing else comes close to a genuine, long-travel weapon. It's just the practicalities of owning one...

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Back when I used to think of myself as a downhiller, I remember leaving my London home at 5 am on a Sunday morning. After blitzing down the motorway westwards I'd grab my mate from the station and then we'd head up into the Welsh valleys. It was about 5 hours driving on a good day. Sometimes we'd hit Cwmcarn, but more often than not Mount Ash, a course that has always had a place in my heart. Stowing the car at the bottom of the hill we'd push our bikes up the course - maybe 45 minutes of hiking for a 3-minute run. Rinse and repeat until we were too tired to keep going. If we were lucky, we'd get 6 runs in a day, plus a few sections. Then it was time to throw the bikes back in the car, drop my mate off at the station and settle into the long drag East. Those were sketchy nights on the long drive home. I'm not proud to admit this, but some days I was so tired as I reached the M25 that I don't really remember driving that last hour and a half home. It was a brutal routine, but those few minutes of flying free down the mountainside were the only real, alive moments in my week.

It scares me to think that this was a decade ago. The years in-between have flown by and with age, my riding has changed. There was a point when people started mounting DH kit onto trail bikes: single rings, bigger tyres and burly forks. Today they're called enduro bikes, I guess, but there wasn't really a label for it at that point. Pretty soon I realized that I was having about the same amount of fun on the way down, but I now had a bike I could pedal back up again, or even off into the hills in search of trails you'd never reach with a DH bike. You can ride from your front door, and once you have got used to that, the idea of driving to find an uplift or a chairlift seems like a lot of hassle and expense. As for pushing a bike up the track? It just doesn't seem like much fun when I could be off pedaling somewhere. In 2012 I picked up a Specialized Enduro and at the end of that year, PB asked me to predict what I thought might change. I wrote that, in the face of these evolving trail bikes, I didn't see a future for DH bikes. I still stand by that column today.

Report Bailey Mountain Bike Park
This has its merits...

Which gets us to this summer. As a fully paid-up media-dickhead, I now know people who work for bicycle companies. I've shot for Canyon for a few years now, so I thought I would try my luck and see if they would lend me a Sender for a month or two. They said yes. Which is why I have just finished prepping the Sender for some lift-accessed fun tomorrow. We're going to load the bike onto the back of the car and make the two-hour pilgrimage up to a near(ish) ski station. I cannot wait. Since last time out, I have fettled the bike a bit and spent some time talking to myself about being less scared on the way down. Hopefully, it'll do the trick.

Yet as amazing as these runs aboard the Sender may be, I still couldn't put down my cash for one. The practicalities haven't changed. For a few weeks of the year there is some novelty in trekking the bike around on the rack, but once the novelty wears off, you're left looking at an amazing, expensive bike that won't get used anywhere near as much as it deserves. If the reports coming from the UK DH scene are anything to go by, I'm not alone in feeling like this. As the 'Ardrock Enduro pulls in more than two thousand people for a weekend, the BDS and SDA DH series are struggling to get riders signed up - so much so that long-time BDS organizer, Si Paton, has pulled the plug on the series for next year.

So how do we save the future of DH bikes? I think the answer may be that we need to reconsider how we think about owning bikes. I am not talking here about traditional rentals. With the best will in the world from the people who run these services, out of necessity they prioritize reliability over performance. You tend to find rental bikes built with 2.5kg wheels, basic forks and shocks that can be worked on with hammers. Among serious riders, they just don't quite scratch the itch.

Yukon
...as does this.

Yesterday I was reading a very interesting essay on the future of ownership. It suggested that we would no longer own colanders because with automated transport it would be cheaper and easier to rent one for a meal, then send it back again afterward. While I'm personally not keen in outsourcing my cooking implements, a subscription/timeshare/on-demand DH bike sounds about perfect.

Have a couple of weeks in Whistler coming up? Order a bike. After, rather than have it waste away in your garage/loft until your next trip, send it back. I'm not going to get bogged down in the practicalities of how it could all work, but I would gladly pay an annual subscription to have this Sender available to me for the 5-10 days when it would be the perfect bike to have with me. What I don't want is the guilt of the 355 days a year when it would be sitting in my garage unused. Rather than paying £5,000 for a bike, I quite like the idea of paying £1,000 a year (to pull a number out of the air) to have use of a bike. If you count on keeping a bike for three years', that then works out to be cheaper than buying. If you have a bad year, simply stop the subscription. No stress. Maybe this way I could avoid the embarrassment of trying to get up to speed after not riding one for so long. Surely I am not alone in wrestling with the practicalities of owning a bike likes this? I certainly never want to see the day when companies can no longer justify making bikes as good as this...


436 Comments

  • 373 23
 i see this post going downhill from here!
  • 53 19
 Just stop.
  • 35 99
flag Matrahazy (Oct 5, 2017 at 13:35) (Below Threshold)
 This comment is going to travel...I can just tell. Most likely around 200mm
  • 28 14
 can we just Park this right now
  • 13 30
flag racerfacer (Oct 5, 2017 at 13:58) (Below Threshold)
 I'd like to see how much play this developes before it falls flat
  • 15 9
 i wonder how that idea sprung to mind
  • 22 51
flag Vaclav (Oct 5, 2017 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 Butthole.
  • 39 7
 I thought it was an uplifting article.
  • 23 10
 Pink bike needs to clamp down on these op-eds. Maybe triple your efforts.
  • 49 4
 Imagion pinkbike commenters at like a UN meeting or something internationally important. They would just make goofy puns in front of world leaders, and it'd be hilarious
  • 41 5
 well, enduro bike was 6th downhill under HILL in last WC... Just saying.... Wink
  • 14 9
 @maddiver: 6th is long way down the line if your talking about Aaron Gwin in most cases!!!! Wink
  • 3 3
 @Husker2112: I like where your head is at
  • 14 7
 This article seems to be quite long, slack and low...
After getting used to it I scrolled down to comment section really fast.

Smile
  • 5 9
flag POWsLAYER (Oct 5, 2017 at 18:33) (Below Threshold)
 @ninjatarian: give him a brake
  • 8 2
 @Husker2112: I imagine you sound like Cleveland Brown
  • 5 1
 @maddiver: Sam Hill could go there on HT and still be top 10!!!
  • 10 6
 sold my 12000 v10 last week.. I use it like 3 times a year..99%of the time I was riding my nomad and now my hightower Lt!
  • 13 0
 @maddiver: I think bike categories are washed today anyway... downhill bike, long travel enduro bike, short travel enduro bike, trail bike with long and short travel. None of the bikes will go away, we as riders just adapt our bikes to whatever is convenient to us with the terrain we have and style of riding we do. who in their right mind trashes a 6000 dollar trail bike in the bikepark lap after lap (yes I know plenty do) instead of using a cheaper solid park/dh bike if that is what you ride the most. A RM Slayer or SC Nomad is more of a downhill bike than downhill bikes from 5 years ago anyway... bottom line, are we not a little bit to hung up in categories these days?
  • 1 0
 Hope Academy have been doing this with kids bike for the last dew years so why not for DH rigs.....
  • 3 0
 @maddiver: which tells us more about WC tracks than about DH or enduro bikes i think.. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @maddiver: because the track involved too much pedaling. Imho not a real DH track. It wouldn’t happen in MSA.
  • 266 5
 I think this "debate" about why you should/shouldn't buy or own a DH bike is kind of pointless. If you live five hours from the nearest bike park, then there's no point in shelling out on one. On the other hand if you're close enough to justify owning one, its up to you and the kind of riding you do.
  • 260 11
 I think this falls into the "just write something" category of articles.
  • 90 4
 Can we debate about whether you should own a dog instead? I feel like this line of discussion has more merit for where and how I live.
  • 66 10
 @IamTheDogEzra: That's not a debate. Get a dog!
  • 42 2
 My thoughts exactly. Written from a Londoner's perspective, this column makes sense. But people who live in Whistler, or Keystone or Winter Park are like, "What?" It all comes down to deciding what kind of riding are you realistically going to do, then going out an buying the bike for the job.
  • 12 1
 @TheR: that's the thing though, I have friends who live in this base area at winter park as well as keystone who still just ride trail bikes because there's also a vast system of trails in every other direction.
  • 28 1
 I hear what you're saying, but I think one of the points that should have been driven harder is that the guy running the BDS/SDA (classic series) is pulling the plug. The bike landscape is changing really, really fast. DH series are going to be shutting down, and that means demand for DH courses will also go down, and the way the UCI is running the world cup, you wouldn't be crazy to predict that it doesn't exist in ten or fifteen years. Enduro is obviously a good thing for the sport and the trails can be as techy/intense as an average dh course, but there is nothing like watching the pros smash val di sole or andorra, it's just a completely different level of bike riding that a lot of us don't want to see disappear. I remember in about 2014 or so there were twice as many dh bikes as trail bikes for sale on the buy/sell....
  • 7 0
 @andnyleswillriot: Yeah, again it comes down to the type of riding you are going to do. I live in Colorado and don't have a downhill bike, either, and I can't really even think of a time where I'd ever really need one. I ride a park only once every couple of years, and my Enduro is good enough for that when I do go. But if you're in the right spot, and that's the kind of riding you do, the DH makes sense. (And admittedly, that's going to be a minority of us).
  • 8 1
 horses for courses. pretty simple. perhaps title it "save MY dh bike?".
  • 69 4
 I live about 1.5 hours away from whistler so why the hell would i not own one! this article is silly in my opinion.. Go ride some of the whistler gnar on a AM/Enduro and then ride it with a DH then get back to me Razz . You have to maintenance a am/enduro a hell of a lot more and fix things then you do on a DH bike and in my personal experience i dont feel nearly as safe on a am/endruo then i do a DH riding the park, The breaking bumps will also murder you with not much travel.
  • 16 1
 @TheR: Yeah, I live in CO too, but next to a bike park (Keystone), I can ride everything just as fast there on my 130mm bike, but when you smash the same rock gardens 60+ times a season, a downhill bike makes more sense not for ride comfort, but because it will last way longer before it snaps in half.
  • 3 0
 There are ones on London's door step he just wants to enhance his bias, anyway in my opinion he has a sounds reason.
  • 23 0
 @keatonistheguy The stupid thing is, I decided very recently not to buy a DH bike for the reason of practicality, as my 170mm Capra is almost enough for anything. Yet this article has made me realise I can actually justify it!

I'm only 5 minutes away from the hills, we have regular shuttle crews and regular shuttle vans, and a soon to be re-opened Bike Park. I think come April I'll have an order for a new DH bike...
  • 13 0
 @TheR: Yup. The problem is living in a big urban centre not the bike. Time to move someplace with less driving and more riding!
  • 2 0
 @IamTheDogEzra: one day i will believe that you are a real dog! (no offense pls)
  • 2 0
 @sixohfourx: I wish I lived 1.5 hours away from whistler...
  • 32 2
 if you live 5 hours from bike park, consider moving.
  • 14 0
 @Kitejumping: Another Colorado resident here, I just bought a new DH bike, I usually get 40+ lift days a year, so I figure it will pay for itself, vs the maintenance costs I would incur putting my trail bike through the same abuse. Funnily with the lack of gnarly trails along the Front Range, but the quality of the city parks, and ski resorts, I know more than a few people that own a DH bike and a DJ, but not a trail bike #IONLYRIDEPARK so the argument could be that the trail bike is dead (not true of course, these people are a minority of Colorado riders, the majority ride hard tails/short travel XC or trail bikes).
  • 30 1
 I live in Illinois and started downhill in 2016. I have 5 Dh frames and enough parts to build 3 complete bikes. Windrock Is the closet place for me at 9hrs. Loving to do it is the only justification I need.
  • 1 0
 @amirazemi: he is definitely a real dog. I think he is Wilfred using an alias. Wink
  • 24 0
 Or get a used bike and just ride the bloody thing. This buying a new bike every 3 years thing is nonsense.

I paid $1500 for a 2014 used bike, ill use it 3 or 4 weekends a year and call that good enough for 5-10 years.
  • 3 0
 @Dethphist: that's great for you but I ride every day, I like getting a new bike almost every year. Absolutely nothing wrong with trying new bikes for fun, although it helps a lot if you know how to resell bikes right Wink
  • 1 0
 @NickB01: I'm in the same kind of situation, although I wish I had one and I'm not far from Highland, it just makes more sense to have a 150mm trail bike. I'd love a DH bike though to progress my riding.
  • 4 0
 @andnyleswillriot: I ride as often as i can, and as a result I've sunk more money into my trail bike. My point is that if its a bike you just don't ride as often, no need for the upgradeitis.
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: Dude 40+ days!? That is awesome. You must go like 3 days a week.
  • 4 0
 @sixohfourx: YEP ive got both, and either one can handle the bike park, but the DH has that feel,i can easily pump out 15-20 laps on my Aurum, but after 8/10 laps, im feeling it on my Range. So there will always be a DH in my garage.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: if you live in london your choice of any riding is limited by the time it takes to escape with a bike in a car.....yet another reason not to live in london or maybe any big global city.

....what this guy doesn't reflect on is the many in the U.K. who go away for the weekends to wales, the north, Scotland or even the south-west, or who are willing to pack up and hit the Alpes for one, two or more weeks a year....

Modern enduro bikes are banging but let's face facts there's nothing quite like jumping on a big bike and getting stuck in...
  • 4 0
 man this makes me realize how luckey I am to have Enduro and DH around for the last 7years! I mean I have to get in the car for DH as well but that's what a car is for right Loving the big bike!
  • 18 0
 I almost drank the koolaid and had my DH bike up for sale briefly before changing my mind. Sure, I don't ride it as often as I used to, mainly because most of my friends no longer have one and a shuttle these days usually involves a pedal before you get all the way down. The argument that the longer travel trail bikes these days are as good as a DH bike is often thrown around, but the truth is it took about 5 seconds on my DH after a long break before I realized I should never sell it unless I'm replacing it with another DH rig. There really is nothing quite like a DH bike on a trail the warrants it. And living in BC, there are plenty of trails that justify having one, even if it's a more rare event than it used to be for me. Some of my best days of the season were on my big bike, and that's the way it will be next year, and the year after, and the year after that; I'm quite sure of that.
  • 1 0
 @Bunabe: Wow, it seems that there are a lot of smart cookies on Pinkbike. This is exactly how I felt also. As in, yeah, the DH is used here and here, and my other bikes I use for other there and close by at here. cheers haha
  • 2 0
 @gemma8788: agree entirely. and from an evolutionary perspective of mountainbiking we started with clunkers which were walked and pedaled uphill to have a blast back down. To the first Ritcheys and Stumjumpers which were used much in the same way, and from there we slowly added suspension, disc brakes, better rubber and geo and the sport began exploring the extremes from 9kg xc machines only a 75kg rider is allowed to sit on to Benders Karpiel and the pinnacle of DH bikes a V10 (or whichever you may think is it). Enduro (unavoidable to use the term even if it is all mountainbiking to me) is the culmination and while an Enduro bike will never replace a downhill bike its good enough. There are a few details I would have added to the article about downhill going downhill; the price of a good bike being one, and how susceptible the market and the consumer has become to marketing. And riding Cwmcarn, Afan, and Forrest of Dean also a good decade ago. I purpose built a Big Hit pedal friendly to be able to enjoy all of the back country and extensive trail networks with the security and pleasure of riding a DH bike back down. I now have such a modern option called an Enduro, its great but its no DH bike.
  • 1 0
 @Dethphist: Somebody had to buy that bike new in the first place, if only a small amount of people did then the used prices wouldnt be $1500 due to supply and demand so its a null argument.

Fair enough using a DH bike for 5-10 years but unless it has decent geometry it is likely outclassed in every aspect by a modern 'enduro' bike with 170mm forks and a coil on the rear other than sheer amount of travel, I would choose geometry over 30mm of travel any day.
  • 3 0
 @sampolicky: I work 4 week rotations at an oilfield in northern Alaska. Basically its 4 weeks of heaven at home in Colorado followed by 4 weeks of hell! I ride 4 or 5 days a week when I'm home, Granby early season and Angel Fire late season. It's a slightly odd existence but its great to be able to ride week days when its quiet, the only problem being finding riding partners who also have weekdays off!
  • 1 0
 miss-post
  • 2 0
 @catweasel: I lived out in CO for a little while and rode several bike parks. I brought both my trail and DH when I moved out. I was glad that I had the DH at those bike parks even though I had a nice 150-160mil trail bike. The thing that always surprised me about Colorado was, why is it or what are the reasons behind the simple lack of any lift access stuff up on the front range? I know the front range is large and has plenty of elevation. I also know that there a few places where you could hike a bike up and ride down some gnar, but is it a matter of "no one feels the money and time would be worth it to find land and build a bike park?
  • 15 0
 Bike parks are killing the DH bike - their trails are too easy, and largely unjustifiable on a DH bike - They don't put in expert trails - any new stuff is non-tech beginner crap and they call some of it intermediate. What suffices for DH is the little used, never maintained, heavily eroded straight down lines that are not all that fun to ride. Imagine going skiing and all they had at each resort was one, maybe two expert runs and they sucked. Why would I ski there - only difference is you can use the same equipment in skiing. What is it with these paved jump trails? One is enough at each park. Table tops are not something you encounter on the mountains - drops and natural jumps are. Please Pattekill, NY don't abandon the DH biker - we need you.
  • 3 0
 @MTBmj89: I think it is more about who owns the land, a lot of the front range, (close enough to Denver metro to make a commercial bike park viable) is owned by various state parks, national forest or falls under designated green space. The land managers for these area have traditionally not been very open to the development of mountain bike trails, and there has been a lot of lobbying and opposition from equestrian and hiking groups. There was talk of something happening at Heritage park in Golden, as it has an existing chair lift used for a kids alpine slide in the summer. This ultimately came to nothing. Eldora is rumoured to be opening a bike park but this is still 40 minutes from Boulder and an hour plus from Denver. Even the existing ski resorts in Summit county have problems developing bike trails as they are on national forest land. Winter parks current trail expansion program, took several years to get through the planning stages, and they had to give up some existing trail in order to build new ones. Granby is the only bike park that I believe is on private land, they have been slowly expanding over the last couple of years. They are a commercially small operation though so don't have the resources of the big resorts, that being said they have great trails and are moving in a good direction.
The whole situation not just with DH but mountain biking in general is a sore spot with most front range riders. Colorado should really be a world destination for mountain biking, it has so much space, great weather and existing trails and resorts, but no cohesive plan to tie it all together, just lots of different management groups with differing opinions, many with negative opinions towards mountain bike access.
  • 1 6
flag kmg0 (Oct 6, 2017 at 6:34) (Below Threshold)
 @MTBmj89: @catweasel Lift access is almost never started with a bike park because they almost never make any money. With the huge amount of motocross action in the front range, who cares anyway? Park is boring, get a throttle Smile
  • 2 0
 @kmg0: Ha I can see the value in that, at least your not going to wind up getting strangled by a trail runner for shaking your head at him! I just do lots of weekends in the desert in the off season, combined with the odd week further a field. Finale Ligure twice this year Smile
  • 2 0
 @catweasel: I think a lot of it too has to do with Vail Resorts management not yet seeing the potential cash cow by building a destination bike park like whistler at Vail or Keystone in the summer. Keystone had approval for multiple new trails a while ago from USFS, Vail resorts just doesn't want to spend the money to build them, I think their summer trail crew is like 1/5 the size of winter park.
  • 1 0
 @Kitejumping: 1/5? Try 3 trail crew at Northstar.
  • 6 0
 Like buying a snowmobile in florida... DUHHH is all I can say, really.
  • 1 0
 @carym: Keystone had 4 for everything, I think WP had like 15.
  • 3 0
 @gemma8788: I don't think you will see DH trails disappear. The way I read the article, he was saying that most people own Enduro bikes because they can ride them at a DH park but also on the trails, where most people do most of their riding. If anything Enduro bikes have exposed a larger audience to DH trails and park riding might even be going up since more people feel they have a bike that can tackle it.

On another note, for me the algebra was simple. At a place like Highland you will pay $100-$150 to rent a DH bike. At a smaller regional park, maybe $50-$75 if you are lucky. How many rental days do you have to pay for before you could have just bought your own bike? I put together my park bike for around $2700, about 2 years ago. The 4 days I spent at Highland on a trip this Summer would have run me $400-$600 just by themselves. Plus I have a bike I'm familiar with and comfortable on.
  • 2 0
 @neimbc:

Nailed it. Nailed it. I've only ridden 4 bike parks in my life, in this order. Mountain creek, keystone, winter park, whistler.

From best to worst.. whistler (duh), mountain creek, (In new Jersey of all places for those unaware), keystone, winter Park (I want the steep rocky sketchy madness that got me into dh in the first place. If I want flowy brotato jump lines I'll hop on a hard tail or BMX bike not a full suspension rock machine and be able to skip the lift line all together)
  • 3 0
 @neimbc: plattekill this weekend...... gonna be RAD
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: Spot on sir....spot on!
  • 1 5
flag dthomp325 (Oct 6, 2017 at 12:20) (Below Threshold)
 I got ~ 15 park days in this year and I own a DH bike. I rode it twice. Enduro bike is just a lot more fun on flow/jump trails than a DH bike. DH bike does have more room for error and are typically more durable.

DH bikes might have a very slight edge on double blacks resort runs I ride in CO, but they feel so slow and clunky on everything else. I'd rather be 5 seconds slower on the 5 or 6 runs in the entire state where a DH bike is useful and have a lot more fun on the rest of the runs with my enduro bike. My race times are surprisingly close between the two. IMO, DH bikes aren't useful unless you race DH and/or GO huge.

Also, I have a 2013 26" Glory for sale if anyone disagrees with me.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I think the problem for bike companies is the number of people who live in Whistler, or Keystone, or Winter Park, is rather small compared to the number of people who live in London, not to mention, New York, Denver, LA, etc... If you can only justify a DH bike by living next to a downhill park, that's a pretty small slice of the population. I love riding a full-on DH bike at Whistler, but like the writer I can't justify one. It's hard to even justify a trip to Whistler when I have such good trail riding right out my door too. Consequently, it's been a few years. Hmmm... Nothing like true downhill though.
  • 1 0
 @Kitejumping: but that doesn't mean you have to build trash and more trash. I have yet to see a new feature where I said to myself, "that's rad." Or "that jump was actually smooth."
  • 1 0
 @TucsonDon: Agree with everything you say. I wonder in what proportion they manufacture downhill bikes compared to other models. Say Specialized makes 2,000 Stumpjumpers a year. Do they make only 500 Demos? I'd think that would be the case. Maybe fewer by comparison.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Last year Steamboat bike park had almost 100 Demos. Lots more than 500 made. That said many more trail bikes made for sure
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Just trying to throw out numbers to get an idea of scale. Do they make 1 Demo for every 5 Stumpjumpers?
  • 3 0
 @neimbc: THIS, THIS OVER EVERYTHING
  • 1 0
 @habitatxskate: They need to have a volunteer day to let people that actually ride fix the jumps.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: Exactly. DH isn't gone. FreeRide is back!...industry marketing folks are just call them long travel enduro.
170mm front/rear with a coil in back and a 64 degree HTA = Freeride/Park bikes from just a few years back, the new versions are just lighter and we have better drivetrains now. The DH % of the market has never been large, doubt it will get bigger, if anything XC bikes sell a little less and "long travel trail & enduro" bikes sell more...until industry marketing guys come up with new terms. Ride what works for you, or have a whole quiver of bikes!
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: agree 100%.
  • 1 0
 @NickB01: Do it. I have a Capra and a Tues.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: precisely. If you live in London, why buy a mountain bike of any kind at all...
  • 2 0
 @Dethphist:
Agreed. This is more the case of being sucked into the trap of *needing* a new $12000 bike every three years. If you are in the position where you go to the bike park enough that it seems a shame to rent, but a new V10 is overkill, swallow your pride and fashion sense and buy something a few years old and ride it till the wheels fall off. Problem solved.
  • 1 0
 @robhill: I don't know if I would go that far, but no doubt my hobbies and lifestyle would be quite a bit different if I lived in London or any big city for that matter. I just got back from three days in New York, and it's an exciting place for sure, but there's not much in the way of fresh air, and mountain biking probably wouldn't be on my agenda very much. Central Park's not gonna cut it. (Actually, there would be some cool features there, but my guess is they don't let you ride them). So if I rode a bike at all, it would be something more suited to that city. Maybe I'd have a hardtail sitting in the corner for that magical day that I got to go a few miles out into the country for a Saturday.

I've kind of thought about this a little bit in terms of if I ever moved to the Midwest. Don't know that I would even need a bike as "big" as my Enduro. Would probably trade it off for some kind of cross-country machine.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: claudio's pumptrack in brooklyn
  • 1 0
 @fullbug: In that case, I wouldn't have my Enduro. Maybe a 4x or hard tail dirt jumper. Again, it all comes down to what you're going to ride for the terrain where you live.

I'll have to check out that pump track out next time I'm in the city.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: ss 4x set up!
  • 51 2
 My experience has been slightly different... I bit the 29er enduro bait, sold my DH sled and spent then entire summer on my Slash... doing double duty lift access and pedaling... and shuttles... flash forward one year later and I am $1500 in to suspension rebuilds, replacing thrashed wheels, and changing blown brakes... I bought a used 26" wheeled DH bike recently and have been having massive amounts of fun on it once again... not to say the trail bike isn't great, but the dudes I know that ride often and ride hard have both a DH and a trail bike... if anyone wants to see some of the abuse the Slash took this summer check out my IG @huntermcc1
  • 9 5
 changing spec would have helped, like getting a coil shock and burlier fork and the brakes you'd run on a DH bike. DH bikes will always take more abuse but $1500 of rebuilds over a year...
  • 16 0
 I live in Colorado and very similar story. Both my DH and trail/enduro bike are 27.5" That said, the trail bike is the newer bike. My Wilson DH bike is 3 years old now. It's a top end build so all I will do is maintain it for a few more years and shred it on the lifts, saving the abuse on my trail bike. If you live close enough to lifts and can afford it, why not have both?
  • 8 0
 @bman33: if you're in an awesome position to regularly ride both then hell yeah! After pretty much a 6 year break from mtb (due to bmx) and buying a new 'enduro' bike I'm blown away by how capable it is. Descends as well as as DH bikes from 10 years ago and you can pedal them all day, which is sweet when you don't live in a bike park or can afford multiple bikes.
  • 6 0
 @milanboez: totally agree. I am 43, grew up BMX and raced it up until about 8 years ago. I probably won't buy another DH rig, just maintain what I have. Modern MTB/Trail/Enduro bikes are amazing machines for sure.
  • 12 1
 Totally agreed, if you have the money, room in your house/ apartment and do several lift/shuttle days a year, the DH bike is hard to beat for the error margin it provides and for how durable it is. The only thing one (especially a 50year old) has to be mindful of is that this forgiveness can be deceptive. You are going faster, it's easy to get excited as you catch up to people, jumping big trails is easy, but trees and ground stay just as hard. Hence I stay out away from these things.
  • 9 0
 I think a real decent setup these days is to have a decently high end Trail/Enduro bike that you do 70-90% of your riding on and then have a beater DH bike to take bike park abuse. Either something 2nd hand or something like a YT Tues AL or Commencal Furious. Saves your fancy whip with it's fancy suspension getting beat up (and spending $1500 on rebuilds lol) and if you're doing uplifts it doesn't matter that it's a bit low spec, heavy and pedals like shit tup
  • 3 0
 Exactly this, after buying my new (now not so new anymore) 160mm enduro I was like this is it, one bike forever. Second run in my local gnarly/rocky bike park I was like, if I continue doing it this bike will be a wreck after this season and I will have to replace most of it. So I decided to use that money to buy used DH bike, dont need something top notch but reliable robust dh bike. #TOTALLYWORTHIT
  • 1 0
 I don't own a DH bike, because it's not worth it where I live.
I own a SB6c - this get's me too the top, but it's still too much bike for where I live
I can't justify owning a second bike (130mm) - but it would be the best option for me
So, SB6c it is.
  • 42 1
 Well on my way to 50, I only ride park/uplift now. I can lap all day on the DH bike, a less forgiving enduro bike I'd be wrecked by lunch. At end of day a DH is more forgiving, stable and less tiring. I dont trail ride and have absolutley no interest in enduro. I have a slope bike and a DH bike and will not change now.
  • 6 0
 I agree. I have 2 bikes, a Glory and a Trance. If I'm at a park I ride my DH bike overtime. 8" of travel to save me, and easier on the body. I still get a dozen or so DH days in a year. Good enough to own a big bike. If I only had one bike, it would be a modern endure bike though.
  • 3 0
 you are close to 50 you say?? wow, i think the older i get the shorter the fork will be! Big Grin anyways, here comes someone like you and turned my theory down Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Username checks out
  • 2 0
 @colemanb: comes from the 8" upsidedown hainebrink bat fastard forks I used to have back in 90's when everyone else was on 4" judys, but its true enough now lol
  • 3 0
 me too, i'm 49 and ride a 230mm travel bike and love it, but I do have a trail bike and sometimes take it to the parks to get a bit of exercise for a lap or two, but then spend the rest of the day ploughing through shit off of the lifts. For me a bike is an avatar, and sure there's an aesthetic element, and a bloke tinkering in the shed element. I like my trail bike but love the DH; it's a special beast.
  • 3 0
 I'm at 50, live 6 1/2 hours from Snowshoe Bike Park, went there three times in the month of September. Have a Giant Glory and a KHS 7500(160mm Enduro bike). I have ridden both bikes there, the enduro is fun, but nothing beats the feeling of bombing the full DH bike.
  • 44 1
 People shouldn't have snowboards because you can't snowboard up a hill~
  • 2 0
 I bought an AT setup and now I can go up or down, and do both well... I think that's the point of the piece. Splitboards work at resorts too.

Not that AT/splitboard hardware is ever going to kill alpine hardware, the cost/complexity difference is too big. But much like enduro bikes, modern AT gear is good enough that you don't really need 2 setups, unless you're the gnarliest / fastest dude ever. We're seeing a LOT more people on AT stuff than we were 5 years ago. Personally I think if you have ANY interest in going uphill, or just being in the woods away from crowds sometimes, there's no longer really a reason to own DH-only rigs (for skiing or for mtb). If you live an hour from whistler it's a little different, but from what I hear, even there people are migrating to do-it-all bikes.
  • 4 0
 @bkm303:

AT gear doesn’t hold up to resort thrashing. Real AT gear at least... Dukes, Guardians etc. don’t count.

Whistler Bike Park is still dominated by DH bikes although it is sadly changing.
  • 2 1
 @bkm303: some days I only see DH bikes or burly fat skis around here. I have heard there are places where there are only enduro bikes and AT setups locally. . . . . . I just try to avoid them! Long live DH bikes!
  • 3 0
 You missed his point, it seems. We don't care about your sweet AT setup. @bkm303:
  • 2 0
 @gramboh: but real AT gear is like an xc bike. Dukes and guardians are the "enduro" models..
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: meh. I always hear people going on about how "real" AT gear can't work for resort skiing, but I've been skiing Vipecs inbounds for 2 years now. Still haven't had a pre-release or a reliability issue. I'm not talking about taking your Plums / Speeds to the resort, I'm saying there is actually lightweight gear that skis hard now.

Several years back you'd be right, but unless you're the gnarliest dude ever the modern gear is good enough to go both ways now (again, basically the same for bikes).

Obviously DH bikes aren't pointless. But if an enduro bike can do 90% of what the DH can do, and also go uphill, I (and most ppl I know) would prefer to buy/maintain one bike instead of two.
  • 1 0
 not apples to apples. a good snowboard + bindings costs 500 bucks (a tenth of a DH bike initial outlay, not to mention service)
Not exactly frivolous
  • 3 0
 Where is the e bike link in the article?
  • 41 3
 I'm going through this crisis at the moment. No bike will ever be more fun than a real DH bike, for so many reasons. But with less people riding DH and my body starting to fold after racing DH for 15 years, I just don't know that it's worth the cost or risk any more (16 year old me would be losing his shit right now if he saw me write this), so I've made the choice to move away from that side of riding to conserve my body and my bank account. My best memories on bikes will always be on a DH bike and I've just got to the stage now where I'm happy to let them be just that.
  • 18 0
 and I'm the (well not 16 but) 18 years old guy, who would never give up his big bike (double no to give away my DJ) but i can totally understand your point! It just depends on what is the most important for you: Jumping big gaps and getting pulled back up or rushing through the woods on a smaller bike and over smaller jumps, both can be fun af...
  • 16 0
 @NoBikeNoFun: I felt the same way 10 years ago. I had a used Kona Stinky delux and was thinking "why on earth would I pedal to the top?" However, 28 year old me is now having more fun on a trail bike and a bigger enduro bike. My DH rig has been sold. I don't miss it, and I doubt I'll buy another 200mm bike in the future. Riding park is a blast but actually being out IN the trails instead of ON the trails has more merit to me now. Enjoy what you've got now and keep an open mind to the future. Who knows where we will be.
  • 4 0
 "My best memories on bikes will always be on a DH bike and I've just got to the stage now where I'm happy to let them be just that."

LOL! Well said! Just went through that crisis myself. Rode my DH bike as a trail bike for a few years so I can justify the cost. Bought an Enduro 2 years ago, rode both at local trails and Whistler with both bikes. This year, I finally decided to sell the DH bike. It was very bitter sweet to let go...
  • 4 1
 You said it well. I'm also getting to the point where the risks associated with sending it on a serious DH or park trail don't really make sense. My work is engaging, responsibilities are picking up, and I feel less and less like I have something to prove.
  • 4 0
 @NoBikeNoFun: I remember having this same internal dialogue. Now you can find me on my trail bike 98% of the time. The big bike and DJ still get love, but I could have never imagined neglecting them to this extent.
  • 6 2
 Risk and bodily damage has little to do with the type of bike you're riding, and all to do with the situations you put yourself into.
  • 10 0
 I am 38 and bought my first DH bike last year. Absolutely love it. Although due to work/career I do worry a bit about destroying myself, and therefore do ride with certain limitations (mostly means that I try to stay in full control, and try not to catch lots of air other than simply clearing jumps). If you can justify and afford it, owning both a trail bike and DH bike is the perfect combo in my view.
  • 7 0
 @MTB-Colada: I am 37 and I just bought my first DH bike this year. So far I have been riding everything on my 160mm fully, but there is just no substitute for a rel DH bike. Just like everything else, special tools for special jobs alway works the best. In 2013 I broke my back and got brain injury riding XC, so I know all about the risk involved riding bikes ;-) Staying in control is key and a DH bike makes that so much easier :-)
  • 2 1
 @NoBikeNoFun:

26, steep and deep til death!
  • 2 0
 The last two times I went to proper chairlift mountains, I hired a DH bike, had a great time, handed it back and all in for £70 a day. Perfect. I can keep my trail bike at home, do lots of pedalling and hit all the dh tracks I used to (but get to the top a lot quicker than pushing). Happy days. More than happy to keep renting DH bikes when required.
  • 1 0
 @Kenfire24: And that's exactly with what I'm okay with in the future, but the decision to sell your truely loved big bike / DJ will suck.. I already know that!
  • 1 0
 @spankthewan: You never know what the future will be, maybe you will see me ripping the trails on a 29er Fatty, you never know haha Wink
  • 1 0
 @WaterBear: A retorn ACL this spring really brought this to my mind - why am I pushing so hard? I don't need to beat others racing to get enjoyment out of riding; its the incremental improvement that's so fun. I had always dreamed of being a professional rider, but my actual career provides opportunities riding never could, with far less risk.

Though I still send it pretty big on serious DH trails and in the parks, I don't take stupid chances. If I'm not feeling a feature that day, no amount of peer pressure is going to convince me otherwise. I'd rather plateau a little longer and come back another day, there's too much to lose.
  • 1 0
 @CaptainBLT: A separated shoulder a couple weeks ago and a pretty wicked wreck last season in Whistler has me saying the Same. Damn. Thing. It’s tough to not push myself, harder and harder; but If I actually want to finish my career as a firefighter, I better start using my head for more than breaking my falls.
  • 1 0
 @graeme187: yes and no. Hiring a DH bike at the park is convenient, but it's not your bike and often it's quite beaten and not well mantained...
  • 24 0
 Wait. What? Let me see if I can understand this. A guy from London has no use for a downhill bike? GET OUTTA HERE! Next you're going to tell me that a guy from Whistler or Keystone could use a little more suspension than your typical BMX bike offers.
  • 10 1
 I live in London, just bought a DH rig, there's heaps of places to send it. Just gotta man up and drive the 2-3 hours. I'm out once a week at least. I am getting an enduro to pedal though, as I just sold my xc. Also, pay £1000 a year? There's plenty of good second hand DH bikes going for £800-1000, just get a second hand rig and beat it like a red headed step child.
  • 2 0
 He lives near the alps, that's a past story
  • 24 1
 What bothers me more; he hasn't ridden a DH rig since 2013 - so he takes the time to write an opinion piece telling us why DH bikes are dead. The arrogance is baffling. The opinion of "I don't ride one, so why are you..." is almost condescending. Oh well, I'm sure tomorrow they'll promote some more eBike BS.
  • 4 0
 Keystone can still sucks a fatty with their bs jumps and increasingly easier terrain. The only good trails left are the ones the bike crew hasn't touched.
  • 4 0
 @habitatxskate: Agree 100% lol, I didn't think it would be possible to make money worse, but somehow they did. The landings are steeper than the lips, the radius on the lips is all jacked up, and they are not long enough. If you actually pop off any of them your landing flat and the trail still has no flow.
  • 3 0
 @Kitejumping:
MY BIKE IS LONGER THAN THE LANDING. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LAND SMOOTHLY WHEN I'M BOTH LANDING TO FLAT AND KNUCKLING A JUMP AT THE SAME TIME.

now that vail owns whistler I'm fearing whistler will never be the same.
  • 1 0
 @hetfield1: I agree, I ride a lot of XC and All Mountain but nothing is as stable and just a pure beast as my DH bike. If you have the money and the location to ride, nothing is more fun than riding a DH bike down hill!!
  • 28 0
 sell your unwanted DH bikes to those of us that want them problem solved
  • 9 0
 I really like this idea. The lower the price the better!
  • 2 0
 I got a Kona Supreme Operator 2011 for you. 800£ All Saint build with #26aintdead and #flatsforlife. Let me know if interested.
  • 20 0
 "Rather than paying £5,000 for a bike, I quite like the idea of paying £1,000 a year (to pull a number out of the air) to have use of a bike. If you count on keeping a bike for three years', that then works out to be cheaper than buying."
Those maths are pretty ropey !
Right now a new Carbon Sender 7.0 is £3030 (I got my one early this year in the sale for £2400). A state of the art bike like this which only gets used a few weekends a year will last a lot longer than 3 years, I am planning on 6-7 years same as my last DH bike. That's less than £500 per year and you get to stare at and stroke it whenever you want Smile
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Plus, once you sell your big bike, it will get harder and harder to payout that rental/lease fee, until in a year or two you stop paying that as well. And even if you rent/lease a "gucci setup" bike - there are still so many "personal" preferences when you set a bike up, that it still probably won't feel like "your" bike, and you'll spend half the time adjusting to the new setup. If you can't justify buying a big bike - it seems like just renting one at the bike park seems even simpler (you don't even have to worry about transport). You mention some of the rental are substandard, but I see some pretty good rentals at the hills around BC. If you're only riding 5-10 times a year, I'd be surprised that they wouldn't work - and again, if you're that good/picky - nothing other than your own setup would probably make you happy... So, yeah, better bet would be to buy something on sale or lightly used, or suck it up and rent at the hill.
  • 3 0
 @trillot: all said, please close comments now.
Wait...with me having a wagon-wheeled endurobrobike and a 180mm freeride bike, i considered selling the DH rig since the others are just as good when pointed they are not. Every time i take the DH bike down real DH courses it turns out they are not. Not nearly as fun and not nearly as forgiving concerning abuse. For me there is no way not owning a DH Bike.
  • 3 0
 One can buy a 26er DH bike barely used now for £1500. Fashion kills second hand prices, but not the bikes themselves
  • 21 1
 #LongLiveDownhill
  • 4 0
 #TripleCrownAintDead
  • 1 0
 @nozes: A triple crown is on a MX bike. DH bikes have dual crowns.
  • 1 0
 @dualsuspensiondave: Yeah I realized that 15 seconds after my post Smile
  • 14 1
 If you come from a MotoX background, like many of us, a DH bike will most likely always be part of your quiver. I'm 48 and still DH on a full DH bike and hope to make it to 90 bombing DH runs on a DH bike! DH races are still way more fun to watch than Enduro, so yea its not going anywhere.
  • 2 0
 I agree, was watching RedBull Rampage rerun yesterday, saw lots of people spectating and not to many Enduro bikes. Although I like endure I don't see how the DH bike is dead.
  • 11 0
 I always thought this was a dumb debate. You dont see people debating wehter you need a dirt jump bike. Its pretty simple if you have that type of riding in the area you decide whether you want to get that bike. Its like me writing an article about how i dont need a surfboard living in colorado.
  • 3 1
 A DJ bike costs less than some decent DH forks alone.
  • 3 1
 @Racer951: And?
  • 5 0
 @Racer951: I get your point but what i was trying to say is that dj like dh is a specialized type of riding and just because the author and any other person doesn't particularly do that type of riding there is no need to knock the people that do and say that the bikes are not pointless and that there is no reason to own one.
  • 2 0
 @sampolicky: I don't think he is 'knocking' anyone - people are so sensitive to any opinion that doesn't align with their own.

The point about the DJ bike is that they are very cheap so the financial implication isn't huge - one of his main points about DH bikes, also DJ areas such as pump tracks are often within many towns (lots now here in the UK) so within riding distance.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: absolutely right. a tasty dj bike is £1500. a tasty dh bike is not.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: To be fair that would be a mega pimp one too, a single speed, back brake only DH / Pump track bike can be had for well under £700 - Thats under half the cost of a Fox 40 to put that into perspective.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: a nice dj bike can also cost more than an entry level dh
  • 1 0
 @habitatxskate: I was thinking about the Scott voltage. Very tasty.
  • 11 0
 I picked up a proper downhill bike after 2 years of riding dh on a very modern very well built high end enduro bike, and I was completely floored by how big the difference was. I had bought into all the marketing and watching people like sam hill crush dh on enduro bikes, but the reality for me and the trails I ride was that I should have been on a DH bike the whole time. My opinion is that if you live 5 hours from proper downhill, maybe you shouldn't save your DH bike. I live 15 minutes from a bike park with steep, gnarly, technical trails and my DH bike is right at home.
  • 12 2
 Here is my 2 cents on the topic:
I would say 75% of the guys writing here about giving up their bikes, is because they probably live so far away from DH trails, or where there aren't any near where they live. Where is the spirit of getting out and having fun building your own trails and obstacles that I used to see all over PB years ago?

I personally can pedal my DH bike 10 minutes from house to a spot where a bunch of us built around 8 different DH "only" lines. God damn it, the idea is to go out and have fun, not drive hours and hours to wait in lines at a bike park, there's a difference people! If you live anywhere near a mountain, then get out there and find spots/ask for permission if necessary. If you don't, then go ahead and buy your trail or XC bikes. But don't ruin the name and sport of DH saying that it's washing-out just because don't have the adventurousness of doing some manual labor/getting out there and just riding around for fun.
  • 2 0
 In Atlanta, GA, USA, we have the Big Creek Freeride area. It's pretty much what you describe. Super short downhill runs - maybe a minute long. But dammit if they haven't been some of the best within a 30 minute drive of the city. Hawkeye trail is just fun.
  • 17 2
 this article is heresy
  • 16 1
 Calling it an article is giving it too much credit. It's clickbait garbage. He doesn't ride one, but can't figure out why anyone else would.
  • 9 0
 That first pic of the tan military truck is Bailey's in NC. Was there this past weekend and that truck was out of commission, so they used a diesel pickup with a bad overheating transmission. To keep the transmission cool, they had to drive it fast. Lets say the black diamond trails aren't nearly as scary as the shuttle ride up. Good times.
  • 1 0
 Bailey mtn! It's a great place. I've had some interesting rides up, for sure. It's all part of the experience.
  • 1 0
 I was there two weeks ago, and the military truck broke down then on the Saturday.Then the diesel pickup transmission overheated on the Sunday, couldn't make it up that first steep hill. Good times for sure.
  • 9 0
 Aye, meet you at Fort Bill SDA on your enduro bike and see who has more fun. Trail bikes are great, downhill bikes are great. If you race DH, you will own a DH bike. Just because less of us are racing doesn't mean the whole concept is dead. Totally daft. A quick Roots and Rain search usually distinguishes who has a valid opinion on this subject.
  • 10 0
 Like others are saying, DH in the east coast US is blowing up! Especially with Windrock Bike Park bringing world class gravity trails to every level rider, all year long, in all conditions!
  • 9 0
 Its no different to motocross, jetski ,a sportscar , moto trials etc etc, alot of money for something that may or may not get used alot, but these things are our passion, our hobby, or an escape. Think of how many other things you own which are overkill for what you need.
  • 4 0
 A wife.
  • 14 1
 I only ride park
  • 9 0
 As long as YT, Canyon, and Commencal keep producing affordable models, yes. Plus bike parks are expanding at least in the US due to anticipated shorter ski seasons. Plus they are super fun.
  • 8 0
 Good post and await the wolves !

Personally I've got older and gone from 120-140-150-160-200 to now settle back down at 130/140.

I'm never gonna be a big downhiller and the good runs are like you said way too far - the effort Vs reward has gone for me.

A good trail ride out locally on the smaller bike suits my life now
  • 1 0
 Same....
  • 2 0
 Wolf here. This article is totally pointless and waste of time. First of all, it's nothing new. This is the N+1 article about how DH bikes are obsolete, because of the amazing enduro machines that goes almost the same way down the hill, but you can pedal up top. We got that PB, now you can stop.
Yes, 180mm travel weapon that can be pedaled up hill is great and probably best if you can only allow one bike. And yes, nothing can beat DH bike on a DH track. It all depends on what kind of riding you do. Many people don't pedal up hill, because they don't like to do so.
This is obvious and it's a fact since ages. Why are we still discussing this?
  • 1 0
 @mentalhead:
Right there with you buddy . At 52 I am building a DH bike . Should be done in the next few months.
Beating up my enduro bike riding park and shuttle runs.
Just enjoy riding DH so much , that it's time . Been putting it off for a few years. Finally pulled the trigger.
Long live and ride for us old DH guys.
  • 9 1
 With the bikes evolving to be so damn capable (think Supreme SX, Nomad, Slayer), and the race courses getting smoother and faster, I wouldn't be surprised to see more people racing trail bikes at uci DH races. Best thing is, privateers (and certain Sam Hills) could acutally ride ews AND uci on the same bike!
  • 5 0
 I think you bring up a good point about courses (not just race courses) getting smoother. Flow trails with big jumps are the in thing at lift parks right now. Not only is a DH bike not needed for those trails, it can be a hinderence when compared to some of the shorter travel pump & jump happy rockets that are for sale.
  • 2 3
 Lol, "hey baby, you wanna ride my happy rocket? It's better than sex!"
  • 4 1
 You're right in saying that the bikes are capable, but the builds aren't usually up to the task of lap after lap of big rocks, big drops, and off-center landings. I don't think it's an issue of the frame. We keep reading review of enduro bikes that the reviewer has taken to a few lift-access days and being like "See! You just need this!". However, it takes more than a handful of days for the bike park to really start taking its toll.

Now, show me an enduro bike with a full-on DH build, and that might be up to the task. But it'll be heavy for its intended purpose.
  • 2 0
 @ninjatarian: NS Soda Evo 180mm for the win. Just what you described. Great for jumps, not the best for high speed rough crap. But then again I'm not racing DH, but instead hitting those popular jump trails.
  • 5 1
 On a very amateur level, that's what I do with my Capra. I raced DH one day and Enduro the next a couple of weeks ago. I kinda sucked at both, but it wasn't the bike's fault. There was no oxygen there. Point for me is it's a lot easier to keep one bike running well and not worry about whether the other one's getting ripped off from my van in the parking lot.
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Same here, I plan to race both DH and Enduro on my Capra this season. I haven't ridden a DH bike in a while and I feel comfortable with my current 170mm setup.
  • 1 0
 @NickB01: plus it's easy to have two sets of wheels and tyres set up ready to swap at will. use the same hubs and discs and you won't have to adjust anything when you switch either. Just build a bit on the strong side, coil shock, fox 36 and big brakes if you want, you won't have reliability issues
  • 8 0
 like i get that most peopel dont live in an area where the trail is just behind the doorstep and thats exactly where the enduro or trailbike fits in but for somone like me who lives in the middle of nowhere surrounded by forests with steep hills and slopes the DH bike is my go to option to make the most of the terrain i have.
  • 7 0
 I bought my first downhill bike beeing in my full middle life crisis.
It's the perfect timing: you have the money you dont had younger , a garage to store it, your friends are even more jealous and the (old) grils more admirative.
  • 7 0
 This is kind of a pointless article. I don't know many people in Saskatchewan that own downhill skis, but lots of them own cross country skis. I live in Calgary, and while COP is a mediocre hill, I have a lift accessed park 5 minutes from my house with an awesome shuttle hill about 30 minutes from me. People who live in Fernie have incredible lift and shuttle areas that they can walk to in 5 minutes as do a lot of people in the Alps, New Zealand, BC, etc. Standing by your opinion that you won't buy a DH bike, and telling the world about it, is akin to me standing by my reasoning not to buy a sea kayak because I live 12 hours from the ocean and me feeling the need to tell the world about it.
  • 6 0
 I am 50 and live in Boise, Idaho. We are very fortunate to have hundreds of miles of XC trails out our front door that I can literally hit in minutes. We also have a nice little jump park (Eagle Bike Park) that is a 12 minute drive from my house that has some decent flow and I guess you'd call freeride trails (drops, jumps, etc.) and a very good expert jump trail called Sage Fright. I used to have both a freeride or DH bike to take on my couple bike park trips I'd go on per year as well as use at the Eagle Bike Park, and then a trail bike to ride on our XC trails, but 5 years ago I said screw it and went with just a DH bike as that's what I had the most fun on. I figure I only have so many more years where I'll be able to huck my carcass and by God I want to make the most of them!.......when I'm too old to huck, I'll belly up to the trail bike. I think it all just comes down to where you live and what you like to ride and how much dough you have, but I damn sure love riding my new V10 :-)
  • 6 1
 My DH bike has not been out of the bag for 2 seasons now due to having a modern "Enduro" bike. I still ride the same DH trails at home and even on my last two Canadian trips I didn't feel under biked in the parks.
I have considered selling the DH bike but I'd rather keep it as it wasn't cheap to build and the market wouldn't return anywhere near that.
  • 2 0
 N+1 don't sell! Plus it'll never break so there as a backup. On 4th 'enduro' frame in a year now, whereas my old 2009 DH bike won't die.
  • 3 0
 @yeti-monster: yeah it's gonna stay in the quiver. It may not get used much but there will be the day in the future when I guess it will. Better to have at my disposal than go wanting when required Wink
  • 5 0
 Numbers are up at Beech Mtn, Snowshoe, Bryce etc. Trail bikes outnumber DH bikes 3:1 and Enduro races are growing in popularity. We (Beech Mtn Resort) just ordered a fleet of bikes for next season. Looking at the current trends in marketing and the popularity of Enduro we decided to get mostly Enduro bikes. Maybe it is a Southeast/USA thing but bike parks are definitely on the rise.
  • 3 1
 Well at least your hiring out proper bikes, the euro bike parks seem to be installing fleets of ebikes now. The dh bikes always look tired, no new investment there at all.
  • 5 0
 I own a 2012 flatline. Probably worth $700. I use it 3 or 4 times a year at whis bike park. Not worth selling. I use it in the park instead of my trail bike and it saves my trail bike from undue damage. My dh bike doesn't need to been a modern precision machine. It's there to save me when I come up short or get lazy on some rough sections. Hope to have it for years to come!
  • 5 0
 Wait, your math seems to be off. Sure, you can compare rental rate for a few years against a bike purchase. But at the end of the time period you would still have a bike that you could sell.

I've never met someone that said, "man I'm glad I rented that car/bike/vacation home for 5 years to save money"
  • 3 0
 He said the numbers are a pure example with no meaning - just made a point.

I think it's a fair suggestion, numbers are way off but why not.

Ever tried selling a 3yr old DH bike? They are terrible to sell and you lose huge amounts of money, ask how I know.
  • 5 0
 More than one bike=lots of fun. I'll always have a DH bike, and a trail bike. There's just no substitute for an all out DH bike IMO. I'm lucky enough to live an hour and a half from both Thunder and Highland, and from 2-3 hours of a half dozen other parks though. I could see if I was over 5 or 6 hours from a lift, maybe. But goddamn, I love my DH bike.
  • 6 0
 Here's the solution. Instead of buying a $6k enduro bike, buy a used dh and trail bike for less than that. I will never justify paying $6k for a bike that basically does what most $2k bikes do but with carbon parts...
  • 9 0
 hmm bike park is 30 minutes away, so DH bike please. Enjoy your climb : )
  • 9 0
 26'' Bikes with 8 inches for me all the time everyday all day .... 100% DH
  • 5 0
 I want my 5 minutes back. What the writer wants, exists. It is called a high end demo. $150-200 aday and you can rent the bike of your dreams. I will continue to use my DH bike. At the 20 days a year I ride, however slow and poorly, it is well worth owning over renting. What is the old attage? Buy everything you use, unless it floats, flies, or f**ks. Those your rent.
  • 4 0
 Im stuck with a similar problem, i have a nukeproof pulse which by any means is a brute of a downhill bike,and a specialized enduro,neither bike gets used enough to justify having it,i just dont have the time , working 50+ hours in my full time job and getting up at stupid oclock put paid to any midweek riding, 3 kids to take out on various lessons/classes on a Saturday just leaves a few hours on Sunday for me to ride.Ive taken my enduro and done black runs in wales and yes the bike took it in its stride,way more capable than my riding skills or lack of, but the feeling of blasting down stiniog or revo on my nuke just feels so awesome, that bike puts a smile on my face like nothing else, but at 51 now, itll probably be the last dh bike i buy, it owes me nothing, and ill never sell it,probably hang it on the wall of the retirement home my kids shove me in !!
  • 1 0
 I hear you mate. I got 2 nippers now and practically zero time to ride. But hanging onto the old rig for sure... Kinda hoping to see my son ride it one day (and then probably laugh at me for the ancient technology!)
  • 4 0
 I`m 57 and I love my downhill bike and I`m looking to replace it with a newer model. Yea, I don`t do gaps and big jumps, but that bike brings me more smiles the my other 2 bikes. I changed the gearing some so I can climb ok with it, but at the same time, I have to push my other bikes up hills also
  • 5 1
 The solution to this dilemma IMO is the "one bike". One bike that accepts a single AND a dual crown fork that is still backed by manufacturer's warranty-Knolly Delirium, Banshee Darkside, Etc. They're many 160mm-170mm travel bikes that a dual crown (180mm-200mm dual crown fork) would work great with-Nomad, Firebird, etc. More bike brands need to offer bikes like the Delirium and Darkside that will warranty/market these bikes. Yes I know how sweet/capable all the modern "All Mt/Enduro" bikes are but riding a single crown is not the same (confidence inspiring, Fun on the knarliest trails) as a Dual crown. My soulution-purchase an Enduro/All Mt (pedal friendly) bike and both a single AND Dual Crown fork and swap them out as the trails require. The travel isn't the difference to me..it's the single and Dual crown that make the ride two different experiences.. I have ridden a 160mm and a 180mm bike with dual crown forks and felt like I was riding a DH bike.
  • 2 0
 One bike and a bunch of parts laying around? What's the point.....
  • 3 0
 @tigerteeuwen: ???...ONE BIKE, 2 forks, two crown races, two stems and a brake adapter if needed.
Pull one one fork off and install other fork, swap bar/brakes/stem, etc...maybe 5 minutes.
Please explain "bunch of parts laying around"..and Point is, All Mountain Bike AND DH RIG with one bike
  • 5 0
 Pinkbike is making me sad lately; asking if we should rid the world of DH sleds (in my opinion, the coolest looking and raddest mountain bikes on the market) and then to top it off they're publishing articles on e"bikes."
  • 6 0
 I hated this article. The most attractive sport in the MTB genre, does not need another article talking about it's demise, when its viewership is on the rise.
  • 4 0
 “Let’s be honest” enduro bikes pedal like total shit up anything but a fire road. Because that’s what they are designed for. I’m much happier with a DH bike and a trail bike than I ever was with a long travel enduro
  • 5 0
 Good thing on the US east coast DH is growing. Lots of bike parks are increasing their offerings because they don't have any good snow.
  • 6 0
 I spend 15 days a year at the park minimum, soooo i'll keep my now worthless 26" dh bike
  • 3 0
 If you spend many days in lift-accessed bikeparks it might be worth having a dedicated DH/FR/park bike (even a second-hand one) in addition to some more expensive carbon enduro/trail/xc bike. 2 bikes are always better than 1 and with DH bike you won't have any excuse to avoid any jumps or obstacles claiming that your bike is not for that Smile
  • 3 0
 I'm always amazed at the guys who say they can do everything on an Enduro bike. I've got an E29 and a DH bike and the difference is enormous. I ride the trail bike all over on big mountain epics as well as Enduro races, but I would never enjoy riding Whistler Bike Park or other suitable gnar on the trail bike. We just had an enduro race at the local area where we normally have DH races and so I traded the bikes back and forth and it was like night and day. Maybe I'm just not aggressive enough but I'm so much faster and safer on the DH bike once the gnar rating gets to a certain point (and conversely, I would hate to ride the DH bike on "trails"). As long as i have opportunities to ride the right terrain I will always own a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 I agree. I have a friend who recently went to Whistler with his Evil calling and was glad he brought that bike with him. But for me, a dh bike and trail bike are where it’s at, I just feel more confident on my dh bike at the bike parks. And my trail bike won’t get as thrashed!
  • 3 0
 I've got a 160mm enduro bike and a 200F/220Rmm DH bike.
I like riding the enduro. It descends really well, climbs ok and is great for flow trails. Opens up lots of trails the DH is no good for.
I LOVE riding my DH bike. It is an absolute weapon and a whole different league on anything steep and rough. If you're not pushing it though, it'll feel sluggish and maybe even a bit boring.
That's the thing though. Most riders don't push to the level where you need a DH bike.

People who say their enduro bike descends like a DH bike.... please stop. It doesn't.
It doesn't descend like a 10 year old DH bike. they still had 200mm travel, 64 degree head angles and decent dampers.
Maybe a 15 year old DH bike when they had 66 degree head angles and 180mm forks. Your enduro bike is like one of these, but lighter and with better dampers and suspension kinematics for climbing (and probably a longer reach)
  • 4 1
 "I don't see the practicality of owning a downhill bike, I just don't need one anymore" -> Gets a factory to send him a downhill bike for a month when he wants to ride a downhill bike. Proceeds to write an article saying he doesn't want to own a downhill bike.

Privilege check? Not everyone can get a downhill bike for free when they want it. Jesus.
  • 3 0
 After doing the DH rental thing for a couple of years, there's nothing like owning your own high end DH bike. Enduro bikes a great, but there's nothing like a DH bike to suck up all those big hits when you're over 50! What's wrong with owning both, work hard, play hard....
  • 3 0
 What a crock of shit The downhill scene is alive and well. BDS was suffering due to the cost of racing £95 + associated costs for a weekends racing is crazy expensive when you can do a weekend uplift for £70-75.
My son did his first full year racing the Pearce DH series (one step down from BDS apparently) the rider list was pretty healthy excellent uplift service well run races camping loos and free bike wash all for £65 when a days uplift is from £33-35 that's excellent value for money.
I can't comment on VFM for BDS, I've heard good things about the support from Shimano SRAM ETC. My son really wanted to step up and race some of but I was put off paying the entry fee due to affordability. We just chose to do some uplift days instead which many other riders are doing, I think the focus has shifted from racing to just riding and having fun. Loads of DH bikes being bought and ridden regularly.
  • 6 3
 I only own a "downhill" bike but I regularly ride it long distances ie the dog and monkey trails on Cannock chase and only have to push on a couple of the steeper climbs, its all down to the gearing.
  • 1 0
 And the size of your legs...
  • 1 0
 @slimboyjim: I weigh 225lbs so big enough
  • 4 0
 I guess if you ride your ebike to build strength, your trail bike to build leg power and your road bike to build endurance, there's not much time for a DH bike ey?
  • 2 0
 A 7" fully is the ultimate do-it-all Weapon: Travel select, Pro Pedal, Dropper posts, and a wide gear range means you can adapt to the terrain in your immediate vicinity. A DH bike is a purpose built machine that is the closest you can get to a full on moto. They're the F1 of bikes and All mountain/Enduro bikes are like GT3. N+1 may be the idiom, but really I believe N=3 is the golden ratio: 1 dh bike + 1 enduro bike + 1 beater flatbar roadbike you don't have to worry about.

If you don't have a car, a mate with a car, and live in a flat area a DH bike is pointless.
  • 1 0
 Exactly what I want, but there is no choice in the 7inch market. I can't even name any new models at 180mm??
  • 3 0
 What about a small hard tail for messing around on jumps and pump tracks? I couldn't live without mine!
  • 2 0
 @dicky1080: substitute for the flat-bar beater. Realistically after 3 bikes you're not going to have the time to ride all of the quiver equally.
  • 2 0
 @yeti-monster: Check out the Propain Spindrift
  • 2 0
 I hear ya, Matt.. I'm feeling the same way.. Hard to justify a ride that only gets used a handful of times a year.. Temped to get a burly Enduro rig for the park days, but move my current AM rig to more of a shorter travel 29".. Basically, just downsize both the DH and AM rig a little so they both get more use..
  • 3 1
 I moved to BC four years ago and I thought I "needed" a DH bike for bike park riding. So I bought a used DH bike and rode my regular full-sus bike of the time on local trails. Saved the DH for the park. Honestly I was underwhelmed by my DH bike. I never felt comfortable on it, and found that my trail bike was way more capable on everything that I was "supposed" to be using a DH bike for. I only hit the park a few times that summer, so I decided to sell the DH bike. Years later, I went to Sun Peaks and Whistler a few times, on my 140mm trail bike. Managed to ride all the trails within my abilities, and had a blast. One weekend, my trail bike was out of commission due to a warranty issue with the brakes, so I rented a brand new expensive DH bike for a park day just to see if I was missing anything. It felt exactly like my old used DH bike that never really felt right. I just see no use for it. Any pedalling at all was so spongy and slow, and I didn't find any advantage going downhill compared to my regular trail bike that had 60mm less travel front and rear. I imagine a more enduro 160-170mm travel bike would just destroy on that type of terrain. And be able to climb back up if I needed to. Even though I have a DH park where I live, and another one an hour away, I feel no need to own a DH bike. Even if I had the money for an extra one, I'd just buy another trail/enduro bike.
  • 1 0
 I don't think you are DHing properly. More hucks to flats!
  • 2 0
 I see a lot of posts agreeing with this article, and many of them are saying that they have gotten older and found it in their better interest to buy an enduro bike and sell the DH rig. I can understand this obviously as many have stated that after years of DH riding enduro/trail riding is less harmful on the body. Also it is a better all arounder because of bike parks becoming more about smooth flow while you can still take that same bike out on a local trail. I feel like, though, that the younger riders are being canceled out a bit. There is still plenty of people who haven't been riding DH for years who enjoy ripping up steep trails and bike parks on DH rigs.

The DH bike still has a place because there still will always remain the group who wants to go bigger and ride harder than most want to. It's a very purpose built heavy hitting rig and still good fun to ride at the bike park. It makes much more sense depending on your location which bike you buy. It's not like they can make Red Bull Rampage bigger and better on enduro bikes so I really don't see DH bikes dying off, just scaling down a bit.
  • 2 0
 I think that the rise of the Enduro bike has been good for the overall growth of the sport. You can now have your trail bike or park bike all wrapped into one, and for the vast majority of us riders who do not live near lift access this is huge. If you live near lifts you'll prbly own more than one bike. One Trail and one DH because you can justify it. If you don't live near the lifts you can get an extremely capable bike that you can throw down almost anything if you have enough talent and balls. To me that opens the doors for more people to ride more often and in more places.
BOTTOM LINE:
MTB is growing and this ride is just getting started. There are awesome things in the pipeline; this sport is just going to get better and better and better.
  • 2 0
 Like many of you guys, I used to only ride a DH bike when I was younger. I hated pedaling uphill and pretty much wouldn't ride unless it was a lift or shuttle run. As I've gotten older and more into fitness, I truly enjoy pedaling now. Nailing a technical uphill section can be just a rewarding and fun as bombing down a steep technical rock garden. I live about 90 minutes from Northstar in Tahoe, and I could never justify having another bike dedicated just to ride that mountain 2-3 months a year. My 6" enduro bike can handle most of those trails anyways. And as I've gotten older, I really don't care to ride the steep technical stuff anymore, the risk isn't worth it.
  • 2 0
 Having lived in Whistler and now in Queenstown, I can't imagine not having a DH bike... BUT, when I lived in Australia, I never rode my DH bike as the terrain is flat and the effort in the heat to push up for a pathetic bit of down just didn't make sense. I have now bought a 160mm travel bike and it definitely has the capability of running rough terrain and large jumps but having a bike park I can see from my living room window means i'd be stupid to not have my DH bike too... At the end of the day it depends where you live and what you want to ride.
  • 5 0
 You can pry my dh bike out of my cold dead hands. If you don't need a dh bike then your trails are too easy
  • 5 0
 Try to ride to the limit and that will probably only be a DH bike that can save you ;-)
  • 2 0
 I think as long as grass roots DH racing still exist, so will DH bikes. However, in recent years the number of major DH races has been reduced to one a year in my area...the bike industry needs to step up and support DH racing at all levels if the sport is to survive.
  • 3 1
 elon musks business plan for Tesla is simple and it works.

1.Sell a few exotic (high end) cars to the small group of wealthy for high profit margins.

2.Use the profits to fund a more affordable version of the car. Decreasing margins slightly. (Model X)

3.Repeat - and produce his model 3 entry level car for entry level price ($30k)

Reach broader market to compensate for smaller margins.


It's simple business 101. Make Dh bikes more affordable and sell more of them. Don't be so damn greedy.
  • 2 0
 I raced a full DH season on my Giant Reign. It was capable. Some guys have even won local Pro DH races on trail bikes. Sam Hill placed 5th on his trail bike at worlds. That being said, I am back on a Glory this season and for next season. DH bike please and thanks. Ill be selling my trail bike soon.
  • 2 0
 To me this is an issue of trail building. For most people, there arent enough trails, or resorts close by that give a shit enough to build proper trails for downhill bikes. If trail building continuous to be tame in most places, downhill bikes will struggle. We all know that there is nothing like a downhill bike on a proper and rowdy trail. Its the most and confidence inspiring thing ever, but with current trail building at a lot of resorts, there isnt a huge need, forcing the death of downhill. Its a shame if you ask me.
  • 3 0
 This is stupid. Trail bikes are fun on trails DH bikes are fun on mountains. Can you ride a trail bike on big mountain terrain? Sure just like you can ride a moped on a motocross track.
  • 2 0
 I bought a giant reign last year thinking I could sale my DH bike and have 1 do it all bike. One day at the bike park made me realize I will never sale my Jedi.. If I rode the reign every weekend at the bike park it wouldn't last me a year. It also surprised me how sketchy the reign felt at high speed. .. I'll keep my Jedi for Downhill and the reign for everything else.
  • 4 0
 just sell your DH and go buy an E-Bike then leave the fun for the rest of us. I 'll always own a DH bike. hands down the funnest bike I own
  • 4 1
 My local bike park has had its biggest season in 5 years, and people predominantly show(ed) up on DH bikes
Looks like Mr Wragg can't fathom the possibility that others might not think like he does.
He must be a liberal
  • 3 2
 Being from England (ignore the flag) I really dont get this concept of calling people 'liberal' as some kind of slurr?

"he must be a liberal daarlin, lets go shoot some guns yaal and make a bbq in the back of a pickup truck and try and grab some kitty"

Is that how every non-liberal behaves? - Of course not you tit.
  • 2 0
 @Racer951: Liberal means fascist in American, I'm pretty sure.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Well it is a country of huge contradictions so I suppose it is to be expected.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: And don't we love just love it...

I love the fact that this is a Canadian website. It feels more like the UN and less like the White House.
  • 2 0
 Your math is way off.......you should downhill more and all over the mountain less and bikes last more than 3 years.......i've had DH bikes for over 10.......they cost me nothing and they are the cats ass to rip on! quit being lame and have fun like you used to.........
  • 2 0
 After doing the DH rental thing for a couple of years, there's nothing like owning your own high end DH bike. Enduro bikes are great, but there's nothing like a DH bike to suck up those big hits when you have access to a chairlift or shuttle service, especially for us over 50's guys! Nothing wrong with owning both, work hard, play hard....
  • 2 0
 I live in Coloardo...my DH rig gets more days than my enduro. I can case/overshoot without worry, bash into shit, and run laps all day. Rode a Bronson at all the resorts before buying my DH bike and just wrecked parts. I can ride 5x as many laps on my DH bike than my Enduro. I will always own at least one DH bike.
  • 2 0
 I live in East Anglia, maybe the flattest part of the UK.
I own a full 200mm 40lb DH rig and a hardtail trail bike.The DH is for day trips to Aston, Tidworth etc etc an my 3 or 4 times a year weekend uplift trips to Wales. The HT for local flat as a pancake forest loops.
SURE I could get an 'Enduro' bike an have a rig that can handle uplift days and the trail loops, have less cost an hassle of owning, maintaining and storing two bikes but, I don't. I wouldn't .... EVER.
why?
because the jack of all trades is the master of none.
The sacrifice I would have to make in order for the enduro rig to pedal 30 miles around the woods wouldn't be worth riding a Welsh DH track an thinking "Aw I wish I had my DH bike" an vice versa, an enduro rig tuned towards beasting DH would suck around 5 mile mark of my flat forest loop.

I also own a dedicated 4X bike and a street/DJ bike for the very same reason.
  • 2 0
 If there's anyone out there like me who will through and through enjoy a DH bike for the sheer experience of owning, riding and working on one like a kid on his birthday... Regardless of whether you have Whistler-esque trails near you... Then why not!? Throughout my twenties I have been on steel hardtails. However as a teen I often rode 20+ miles nearly every day on a freakin' seatless 20" single speed trials bike with a granny gear as my only bike. Yes I rode XC on a tiny trials bike... and still had more gas left in the tank. Now, 20 something miles isn't much, but try doing it on that type of bike - regularly. I challenge you. Then you'll see that any MTB with a seat (geared or SS) is a luxury. A DH bike is a dream cruiser in comparison to a trials bike. That being said, I will gladly buy a used or new aluminium DH bike over any long-travel Enduro when the day comes to get a full susser. Just chilling and cruising through town and the local woods? No problem. Taking the dog out for a ride around the local 'tame' trails? Sweet. A handful of trips to proper DH worthy trails per year? Super happy and very appreciative. Trends, Strava and obsessing over light parts are not my thing... I ride for fun and set my own challenges. Long marathon XC rides and climbs on a DH machine? I'll do it. With a knowing smile - huffing and puffing and sweating like a piglet running from a fox... because in the long run it makes the body stronger and fitter - and relish any segments pointed downhill to the fullest. Working six days a week, living with a minimum, has taught me that any time out on the bike is a good time. Adapt as necessary and enjoy whatever you can get out of it. Enduro bikes to me are a halfway horse between hardcore hardtail and DH. Cool if you like your Enduros - that's your call. As for me I'll spend my money on a full-on dedicated coil sprung metal DH bike over a carbon Enduro wonder bike any day. Probably in the minority here but oh well.

YT, if you are listening, please bring out an aluminium Tues with a threaded Euro BB.

Long live DH bikes.
  • 2 0
 I feel all this stems from a huge misinterpretation of the impact of bike sales. Yes, allmountain and enduro are booming right now, BUT i have not seen a decline in downhill bikes in the bike parks. On the contrary i see guys getting into the sport because of enduros and then decide they want a dh bike for weekend park visits.
All this has just been fueled by the media and manufacturers telling us there´s no more need for dh-bikes when in reality most beginners are quite curious about a dedicated downhill bike after their first season.
I mean, this is a very tech reliant sport and no athlete ever will be happy in the long run with equipment that only promises to be the best of both worlds while their is a dedicated machine lurking in the shops, tempting them with that last bit of extra performance. Sure, if money is tight a enduro is a great thing for most people, but if you´re a passionate rider you definitely should own a dedicated bike for the discipline and i have seen many riding buddys come back to a real downhill bike after the initial enduro craze of "ermahgerdit´smorecapablethananydhbike" had settled.
  • 3 0
 Please, don't get rid of the DH bike. These threads are becoming more common and it concerns me. Race what you want, but for the love of Christ, don't make me ride single crowns every day. Killing 26 was punishment enough.
  • 2 0
 Not that this thread really needs another opinion, but I think I have a slightly different take on it. I do live in Colorado, I've had a lift pass for 9 years straight and I've managed to ride over 30 days of bike park a year, and this season I ditched the DH bike for an "Enduro" bike and never looked back.

Mostly I wanted the practicality of one bike that could "do it all", something that I could beat on like my DH bike but wouldn't limit me to chairlifts and shuttles, especially for traveling (Squamish, Moab, west slope, ect) and making the most of places other than the bike park. What I've found is that this sort of bike isn't just a better bike for climbing, self shuttling or trail ridding, its also a better bike for DH tracks and the bike park, FOR ME, and if your honest with yourself, possibly also FOR YOU.

I've been consistently faster on my Nukeproof Mega 290 than I ever was on the DH sled, I also have more energy for more laps and am less beat up at the end of the day. I can look at the Strava times after a ride and see who I catch up to and pass while on the trail, so I know i'm well faster than your average guy, but at almost 40 years old its also painfully obvious that i'm well behind the guys (and gals) who are truly operating at the top of the game and slaying these trails at full mach-looney.

The big 200mm DH sled is heavier, doesn't pedal as well, takes a lot more muscle to move around, isn't as nimble and requires a lot more pre-load on the jumps. I've come to the conclusion that if you really aren't ridding that DH sled at full on race pace and really taking advantage of the fact that the machine is specifically designed to rail the gnarlest of trails at the highest of speeds then not only are you wasting your money, your likely wasting your energy and actually hampering your ability to ride closer to your own limit.

Of course... N+1 and if I had unlimited funds i'd build up another DH sled with all the coolist bits and throw both it and the Mega on the tailgate, and if its sounded like the fun rig for the day or I was feeling especially quick it would get ridden some of the time, but to be perfectly honest even in this scenario the 150mm would be far be ridden far more often than anything else, regardless of the terrain ahead. There's a reason why this segment has taken off, and I think for almost all of us average people who still want to ride some gnarly trails, the modern enduro bike just works best.
  • 2 0
 Proper DH bikes on proper DH tracks is the pinnacle of the sport, all be it not the most popular. I've actually noticed some Enduro boys getting bored already and returning to the big bikes. And whoever brought up Sam hill coming 6th on an Enduro bike needs to watch it again, it was hardly a real DH track IMO. Let's see how an Enduro bike would place at fort William or Lourdes.
  • 4 0
 There will always be a niche for these Redbull fueled fun machines, and the crazy awesome people that buy and ride them
  • 8 7
 The future is clear from those who visited DH resorts 10 years ago vs now. The numbers are down considerably (almost staggering how quiet many resorts are now) and many of those who still visit are not even using DH bikes any longer.

With the price of enduro bikes now, very few can afford both, so most will elect to buy an Enduro bike as it can dual purpose.

Unfortunately DH bike are too one dimensional since the days of shuttling appear to be over.
  • 12 0
 Snowshoe actually had record days this year for bikes at the lifts. things are changing in the states for the better.
  • 12 0
 Shuttling isn’t dead.
  • 4 0
 @mtbakerpow: I agree with that. BAILEY. WINDROCK.
  • 6 0
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: agreed all of the bike parks I have been too have been jam packed, majority with DH rigs, and don't forget about DH racing
  • 1 0
 Horses for courses. If i lived next to a lift accessed wc DH track then I'd have a DH bike for sure. Most people don't though and have to peddle (or drive some distance) to access a proper DH track. I have a 4 mile road ride to access my tame woodland trails and pump track and therefore have an enduro ht.
  • 2 0
 I thought this a year ago. After a handful of weekends at Whistler I thought it was crazy how few DH bikes I was seeing. Then this summer happened and it seemed like everyone was back on DH sleds. So I dunno.
  • 1 0
 @tremeer023: no, that’s not true. Just got back from vacation in Quebec, resort was 5km from Mont St Anne. A shit bike park with one real trail, the UCI DH course. The park was such crap everyone was on trail bikes and most left early.

I live about 2 hours from the closest legit bike park, more are 1-3 hours farther out. I bought my first DH bike this season. Close enough that most places I ride are a day trip, the farthest one I do when visiting family in that area. Of course I live in New England and most of our parks are a mix of smooth jump lines and old school rocky rooty tech. Not often I see the trail bikes being ridden at any sort of pace on the old school trails.
  • 2 0
 @vokes
Not sure about 2017 but Whistler had a record year in 2016, so not sure where you are getting your numbers from. If you see the number of groms in the park, and the number of under 13 yr old kids racing DH at Crankworx (a category that didnt exist 4 years ago)...it seems to me that DH is if anything, growing.
  • 3 0
 Wtf are you talking about? Every season I go to whistler it keeps getting busier. I'm there 2 days/week. They wouldn't be expanding 15 kms of new trails if they weren't getting business...and big white has a successful opening and first season even though it was small and mostly green runs.
  • 3 2
 5 years ago I never would have thought I wouldn't own a DH rig, but watching my friend's Demo collect dust and seeing the blank expression on his face when I try and describe some awesome trails he will never be able to access makes me glad I started pedalling
  • 1 0
 I like your idea of bike rental, not just for DH but for all bikes. Now that there are so many $5K+ and technology changes so fast...why not rent a bike for a year for $1K then return it and get a new one the next year. What hurts is buying a $6K bike and 2 years later it being worth $2-3K since it is 'out of date.'
  • 1 0
 Same could be said for my $70,000 truck. After 2 years I'd be lucky to get $40,000 for it. Same goes for dirt bikes, street bikes, skis, snowboards...pretty much everything. Why are you so frustrated with changes in technology. I've been riding and building bikes for 17 years (started when I was 14) and I can count on 2 fingers how many times I've actually wanted to upgrade an old frame with a new fork. Having worked in a shop between 2002 and 2008 which many would consider the golden age of bike standards actually being standards, I can tell you that most people are the same way. For every 1 fork we sold, probably 200 complete bikes went out the door, and 90% of the time those were upgrades at time of sale.

I sincerely HOPE that bikes continue to evolve at a high rate. I'd hate to buy a bike only to have the same shit on the market when it was time to upgrade. The fact that there are fewer long-standing fitment standards is indicative of any maturing industry. You typically can't share forks between two different model years of the same moto bike, much less take a fork off a KTM and slap it on a Yamaha.
  • 1 0
 @cueTIP: I agree. My point was the renting equipment that is expensive and rapidly evolving might be a great idea vs buying. Mountain bikes are like any other rapidly depreciating toy, as you point out.
  • 1 0
 Got lots of local DH stuff near me, 30 minute pedal from home and similar push ups. I'm only missing out on open mountain XC stuff by not being able to climb, so a DH rig makes sense to me. Doesn't make a difference how quickly I get to the top if i'm cooked 7-8 runs in anyway. Bikes being ridden the way it's meant to be and I'm out in the woods for longer.
  • 5 0
 Just add a motor on the DH bike so you can climb on it. #justtrolling
  • 1 0
 I think it's a matter where you life. I'm from the Netherlands and we have zero mountains, only some hills in the south. When I was younger I loved riding my big bike, but I was always depending on my parents to drive me to Germany. So the bike didn't get much use. When i finally got my drivers licence I had to change to go on my own, but riding alone kinda sucks. I stopped riding it for a long time because of this. Then I met my current wife and I got her into riding downhill. We both own a big bikes, and because we both have stress full jobs we plan weekends away near bikeparks in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. We always get two solid days of riding in. It kinda costs alot but we just try to keep the costs low by sleeping in tents and bringing our own food. It's more of a "holiday thing" then a one day thing, because of the lack of mountains. For the weekly ride fix we bought trailbikes that suits our small hills more. I just comes down where you life, how much time you can spend on it and how much money you are willing to spend.
  • 1 0
 I love the idea of leasing a bike for a period of time. I have also struggled with this same thing ended up buying a used rental for 1000, now with all the upgrades probably 2200 total in a bike that i ride maybe 10 times a year if im lucky. And i still have another used trail bike thats worth 3000ish and i ride that 90% of the time. Upgraded parts to the point that i can stand to ride it downhill..... but is it worth it when i could just sell both and buy one nice one?
  • 3 2
 the coming crop of 29er DH bikes are going to kill the DH bike.

They are going to be very expensive, very fast, highly specialized bikes just for racing. Not everyone will be able to ride them and not everyone will enjoy riding them. But to win a race, you will need a 29er DH bike.

So the bike companies will kill off their 27.5 DH bikes and focus on the 29ers. Or at best we have some half ass bikes we can flip a chip and ride 29 or 27.5 with. Remember how that saved the 26 inch DH bike? Real racers will run 29 and everyone else won't want to run a compromised 27.5 design.

There aren't enough DH bikes sold to justify having 27.5 and 29 models. So they will focus on the 29er and let 27.5 fade away after a year of neglected "park" models.

Most people are going to say eff it and ride their "enduro bike".
  • 2 0
 This is definitely a fear of mine.
  • 1 0
 I am not too worried about 29er DH bikes. I think companies will very very soon realize that although some racers may like them, the average person interested in DH / Park will either go for a 27.5 DH or Freeride bike when buying a new bike.
  • 3 0
 " the coming crop of 29er DH bikes are going to kill the DH bike."

so a 29er DH bike wouldn't be a DH bike even though it's a DH bike?????
  • 4 0
 Man PB must be set on Maximum Troll today. The "Standards" post and now this?
  • 8 0
 I wish there was a way to Neg prop articles. Below threshold hidden from home page.
  • 3 0
 no shit huh?

ews is done, wc dh is done, parks are closing, still time until rampage.............


it must be click bait time on the ol pb.
  • 4 0
 On that note someone please buy my enduro bike

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2248303
  • 6 0
 no Eagle? Couldn't pay me to take such an outdated bike!
  • 1 0
 And somebody buy my dh bike..too small
  • 1 0
 I have the same thoughts when i see my giant glory all the week waitting for some downhills and in the other side see my enduro bike (Transition covert) used at least 5 days a week becouse can pedal up and going down pretty well (not pushing soo hard like the dh bike but having fun at least.)
  • 1 0
 I bought a dh this year, secondhand then built up to my liking, I also have an am/enduro, I mostly ride my dh ah the mo' and I'm 35, loving the big travel, but also want to do some more "trail" riding, like I used to.
It's what you like to ride is what counts imo, if you want to ride a dh ride a damn dh and vice Versa, I hope dh doesn't die
  • 3 0
 Total luxury as other bikes can do "almost as well" but a proper DH Bike is like a trophy truck, there's really no comparison.
  • 1 0
 I agree with buying whatever suits your needs. Just bought a used DH rig because I don't believe in rebuilding my trail bikes shocks every month. If I take 6 trips to the park each year, that's a shit ton of abuse, that a downhill bike can handle. Its that simple, putting 5 minutes of straight gravity on a trail bike, over and over again, is a guarantee of needing maintenance, and lots of it.
  • 4 0
 Owning both dh and enduro bike, can't compare them. Need both for a joyfull life ! Smile
  • 1 0
 I've got a 32lbs 160/170 bike. Which is actually kinda heavy, but way too much bike for 90% of my riding. I'm looking at hardtails, and a bit appalled at the fact that most weigh between 4lbs and 6lbs for a frame, unless carbon. I imagine soon will come a day when you'll be able to have a 28lbs 180mm bike that will be able to fit 275 or 29" wheels and have adjustable suspension that lowers the fork to 130mm and the rear travel to 110mm. You'll be able to fit lightweight, fast rolling tires for trail days, and swap on your coil shock and burly tires for shuttle days. We're already so close to this with the Scott Genius.
  • 3 0
 As long as they keep making them I will keep buying and riding them. There's nothing like the feeling of riding a DH bike period even a 180mm bike it's just not the same.
  • 1 0
 Sweet op-ed. I’m taking my v10 to whistler this weekend and I rode it today around my home trails. Trail and Enduro bikes are rad but they don’t hold a candle to my DH bike as far as their performance jnthe down. In fact, my v10 likes jump trails better than my Devinci Troy did so that’s why I got rid of it.
  • 1 0
 Theres is nothing like DH bike look at the fork and some peoples who doesn't know this kind of sport will impress "the beauty of the beast is there" and if we look enduro bike its looks like ordinary fulsus mtb
I have both DH and enduro and i ride them for a different mountain
  • 1 0
 Personally, I couldn't imagine living without a DH bike. Even though most places I ride don't necessitate a DH bike. I don't own anything other than that either. Although I'd love to have an arsenal of bikes to use as they're intended, I simply cannot afford that currently. Should I have an enduro/do it all bike? Yes. Will I miss my DH ride? Probably more so than if I had an enduro bike only.
  • 1 0
 In my case, it is turn out to be the opposite way. We have a trail which is suitable for XC or All Mountain Bike. But most of the riders pushing up their bike instead of pedal it up the hill. Some of them prefer for an uplift or shuttle by car so can do more runs per day. Thats why im staying on my DH bike because no point having a bike with 50t at the back and oval chainring at the front if you still not pedaling it up. Furthermore when riding my DH bike down the hill i feel safer and can go fast compare when riding a XC or AM bike. Most of my friend buy an enduro bike as an excuse for not do a drop or jump ????...And most of them like to show off their bike and not even riding it. It is a shame. I'll suggest the writer to buy a DH e-bike so he can put some fun between his leg ????.... For me it is not the type of bike that really matters, but what do you want to ride. It is a subjective matter. Last but not least, RIDE ON! ????????????????????????
  • 4 0
 there is another option. buy used one from pinkbike , use it for holiday , then sell it for nearly same price .
  • 1 0
 Interesting this article came up as I literally just sold my 200mm Supreme Operator not even a week ago to downsize to a 140/150mm trail bike.
As fun as the DH bike was, the second the trail stops going straight down, you notice it immediately. Here in southern AZ, there just wasn't enough DH trails to justify keeping it when 80% of the trails can be done on a mid travel-trail bike.

The other thing to point out if you decide one is right for you, buy new (or used) online at a discount because DH bikes depreciate faster than an F1 car at WOT. Especially anything 3 years or older compared to their respective MSRP.
  • 1 0
 Matt's article has just received more comments than any other article I have seen in a long time. So obviously on everyone's mind. I live in a town with a great bike Park and tons of great trail riding as well as alpine that generally requires a larger travel bike. The bike park is a bot rough, so I'd love to have a DH rig, but again its hard for me to justify the cost with 2 trails bikes on the go. Guess I gotta keep the quiver growing....
  • 1 0
 I can see the lift to our (currently closed due to a fire)bikepark from my living room and we have van based shuttles to our main downhill tracks here in Christchurch.Thats why I bought my first d/jh bike this year.And riding downhill has improved the rest of my riding.It has just been the funnest year ever(until I broke my clavicle 3 weeks ago!)
  • 1 0
 Im 54 years old. I live in Santa Cruz. Plenty of places close to home to pedal up to get the goods. I however buy a season pass each year to ride the Northstar bike park. I average 35 park days a year. If your riding parks this much you should have a big bike! The rest of the year i 'DOWN GRADE" to my smaller bike. Makes sense to me. Do not want to ever see bike companies not developing DH bikes!!! They are what drives the progress of what we pedal today!
  • 1 0
 It's unfortunate but way the industry is moving I'll give it 2-3 years before someone is writing this same article about the mid/long travel e bike killing the enduro bike market. "Get massive vertical without the chairlift" every major brand is pushing these ebikes now
  • 2 0
 I was going to buy a DH bike because they're more resistant to change, but they introduced a 110x20 boost fork. I realized i would have 2 expensive bikes i can't find parts for in 2 years.
  • 1 0
 Really, run out of ideas to write about. DH is surely here to stay, even for the few of us that might still ride freeride trails, and DH. But i dont think even some 27.5 or 29" long travel bike could ever replace the 26" wheeled wonder that is my DH bike. I sometimes wish we had more coverage of DH and Freeride, like it used to be years ago!
  • 1 0
 In my opinion, these sort of posts are kinda pointless. Downhill bikes are still gonna stick around until the brands see that no one is buying them. As much as I wish it was true, bike brands don't normally take advice from the Pinkbike comment section.
  • 1 0
 "Pretty soon I realized that I was having about the same amount of fun on the way down, but I now had a bike I could pedal back up again, or even off into the hills in search of trails you'd never reach with a DH bike. You can ride from your front door, and once you have got used to that, the idea of driving to find an uplift or a chairlift seems like a lot of hassle and expense. As for pushing a bike up the track? It just doesn't seem like much fun when I could be off pedaling somewhere."

Welcome to e-biking... Wink
  • 2 1
 After a few years of only really having and riding trail bikes, I really want to get a downhill bike again. Believing less and less in having one bike that can do it all, that being said, I live my nomad. Downhill bikes are just such a good time
  • 1 0
 I think like the guy hinted at, it is more to do with accessibility here in the UK. The majority of the gnarly downhill tracks with a decent uplift where you actually need a full DH bike are in the asshole of nowhere. You only get a chance to visit these spots a handful number of times a year so it's hard to justify dropping 3k on a dh rig just for that when you're riding an enduro the other weekends of the year.
  • 1 0
 Buy a trail and dh bike = perfect solution. And yes also my DH waits most of the time in my garage, but I'm always super thrilled by just looking at this beast. It's like owning a sports car (which i don't), you will never use it as much as you want, but you smile every time you see and ride it.
  • 1 0
 And this is where I don't get the hate for bikes like the Haibike Xduro DH bike. All these morons that live near whistles and bikeparks saying Ebikes are shit, and why would you need a motor on a dh bike, and that's what lifts are for, are so closed minded it's pisses me off. 6 runs... 3 mins each. 18 mins of riding for a whole day of travelling. Now if he had the Haibike that could have probably been 20 or 30 runs. So how the hell is that a bad thing you Ebike hating, closed minded fuckwits.
  • 2 0
 if you live at the bottom of a mountain with a road that goes up, and you have a driver
why would you want anything but a down hill bike?

its your fault for not living next to a mountain.
might as well become a roady
  • 3 1
 Enduro bikes are just an excuse for everyone to think its okay to ride flatter trails, wear lycra, and reattach their 90's bottle cages to their bikes. Now, excuse me, I'm off to shred the gnar...
  • 1 0
 Its an interesting idea, my only issue would be the setup of the bike, i can be quite particular about setup so wouldn't want to have to spend ages setting it up, especially the suspension to get the most out of the bike when you only have it for a short time. Jumping on a bike and being instantly familiar with it and comfortable can make a huge difference to riding speed and enjoyment, its like jumping on a friends bike and for some reason you suddenly ride like a squid and having a terrible time until you jump back on your own bike. I have an XC hard tail, trail bike and DH bike and i ride them all semi-regularly but most of my time is on the trail bike and if i jump on the DH bike when its been a while without riding it then it takes a day to get back into the rhythm of the different beast, i can imagine this could be multiplied exponentially if it wasn't my own bike that's already setup to my liking.
  • 2 0
 Personally I struggle with the whole concept of loving and owning a mountain bike and living in London. If there is a more unsuitable place to live as a mountain biker then I am yet to find it
  • 2 0
 Soooooo instead of renting a bike, you're suggesting, renting a bike??? Just because it's a subscription doesn't mean the bike will be any better than the rental bike you're already getting...
  • 1 0
 I think bikes like the Supreme SX have opened up an interesting new concept, why not make a full blown DH bike that borrows technology from enduro and trail bikes to allow it to pedal back up relatively easily.

All you need is a wide range 1x gear system, a climb switch rear shock, a dropper, a travel adjustable/compression adjust dual crown fork (someone make on please) and maybe a stepper seat angle on your DH bike and its not a massive step away from a long travel enduro racer on the climbing front but it would truly descend like a DH bike, because it is one!

I've thought about doing this to my DH bike with existing products like the CCDB with climb switch and a wider range cassette, then it would be a practical bike and the most capable, i reckon they would sell.
  • 1 0
 1st thing 1st, everything you have in your 'ENDURO' bike, was developed in a 'DH' bike before it comes to your 150mm travel bike... It's not about 'why' have a DH Bike, is about how you feel while riding a DH bike... Basically, in your way of thinking, I'll not buy a ferrari, because it's hard to drive it in the city streets...
  • 1 0
 The short of it is if you can only afford one bike in your closet, make it one that does everything you like to do.. ....or own at least one of every type...road, XC, freeride, enduro and of course DH. Like me... and honestly! I pretty much ride my Reign everywhere
  • 1 0
 Not a pointless article- more thought provoking if anything. And honest that the expense currently outweighs the benefits unless you live on the DH mountain. Why not have a "time share" high end rig? We do it with houses for vacations, exotic cars, private jets, ...even normal cars (ZIP cars) are used in this manner. Auto industry is already looking at furthering this to cater to millennials that are more used to phone plans than actually owning something.
  • 1 0
 Anyone who races proper Dh tracks will always need Dh bikes n the brands supporting the racers will always produce Dh bikes maybe in lesser amounts but I don't see Dh ever leaving entirely unless tracks continue to flatten out. Dh bikes Especially in Europe will always be around where the mtns are huge. trail/enduro bikes make more sense for the masses but Dh bikes aren't going anywhere, but the idea Matt has here is not a bad one for weekend warrior Dh riders n might make more sense for those interested in Dh but not ready to shell out the dough
  • 1 0
 I choose to live in a place where there are 2 lift access dh zones within a 1 hr drive, as well as 2 shuttle zones within 30 minutes. Despite setting up shop in what I see as a beautiful place to downhill, there aren't any dh bikes at the local shops... And there are no races outside of a chainless series. Enduro is winning the popularity contest. But, for a handful of trails, you can't beat 200mm. Downhill is a sport with substantial barriers and logistics to overcome just to ride, but for those who will not compromise, it is unbeatable fun! I definately don't just ride downhill, because 98% of bike trails would be left out. But I can't let go of my dh bike.
  • 1 0
 I recently started thinking about my bike purchases in terms of cost per ride. For example if I buy a bike at the beginning of each season and ride it on 30 different days, then it cost me 100 dollars per ride. If I keep it a second year and ride it 30 times, then it has cost me 50 dollars per ride. Thinking this way helps me keep me bike spending in perspective. I get great value out of my trail bike and BMX, but as for DH.
  • 1 0
 Think about this math with a house. House costs 500,000k. 20 years. $70 a day! That's without the interest. Sometimes it's better not to do the math.
  • 1 0
 If you live 5 hours from your nearest DH park, then owning a DH bike is pointless. If you're like me, and live a few hours from 5 DH parks, then you definitely should own a DH bike. When I go to Whistler, I pay to fly my DH bike with me.
  • 1 0
 Article brings up some good points. I own a AM bike for everyday rides after work, DH for park since its only two and a half hours away, and a road bike for winter. But you don't need a DH bike to have fun at a park. If you have the extra cash then yes, I do! Its all about how much passion you have for bikes. Ride what ever you want and have fun.
  • 1 0
 I've gone the opposite direction. I've had a Nomad 3 as my only bike for the past few years. I've rode Whistler often with it and it's fine, it does everything. I just got a V10 and it's night and day difference. There's absolutely no comparison between a DH bike and an enduro bike when it comes to riding the park IMO.
  • 1 0
 This has to be a joke, maybe if you lived in British Columbia you'd see that there's still SO much you need a real downhill machine for and where trail bikes come in as well. Each bike has it's own spot, there's no way I'm pedaling my 40 pound DH bike with a DH cassette up the North Shore but I sure as hell am going to beat that thing up at Coast Gravity Park and Whistler.
  • 1 0
 No one I know owns a DH bike anymore, we have all sold them
For longer travel "Enduro" bikes . We ride arguably the roughest and steepest trails on the north shore that we used to ride on DH and no one complains. Even at whistler all of us ride everything we used to on DH on our "enduro" bikes then wr ride valley trails and peddal on the smae day .
  • 1 0
 I view my DH bike like a lot of people view their 'summer' super motorbike. It's a toy that's alot of fun when it gets used and Downhill is the reason I got into the sport. Enduro bikes perform so well but they don't match a DH bike, especially on strength. I think it's partly about priorities, I'm prepared to prioritise my riding and my bikes. Also having a DH bike massively reduces the wear and tear on my Enduro bike. I live near London and have no problems getting use of a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 Its easy to see this person is in the wrong area for owning one. I am surounded by dh trails that cant be ridden upwards. I have both a 160mm bike and a couple of dh bikes. I kept my pre dh bikes aswell as buying a new one. See no point in selling them in this current market. I like to vary bikes. But i will never stop riding dh bikes. If i would only use the 160mm bike. I would thrash it. And biking would allso not be as enjoyable as a dh bike ride would.
  • 1 0
 My theory was you can drive a trophy truck on an F1 track but you can't drive an F1 in the baja 1000. I mean you can but it wont last. If you only have the budget for one bike, bigger is better. I can pedal my Jedi around Ray's just fine and can ride dh parks like intended with no compromise on how rowdy I wanna get.
  • 1 0
 Click bait article, thanks for wasting 2mins of my life!

What a croc of shit, just another journo and yank trying to tel everyone else how to live!

DH is its own sport in many cases, if you can't justify

a: riding one due to lack of skill, fine stay on yr whatever bike you have and keep ya foot in ur are instead of your mouth!

b: racing will keep the Dh bike alive as will bike parks and places where people actually live where a DH bikes as well as a trail bike make sense, just because you don't stick yr foot back on yr arse! Keep it theyre that's your problem same for if you can't ride a Dh bike!

The true threat to DH is the UCi and that can be fixed by dumping them and following the EWS model simple DH saved..

Matt have enjoyed your articles in the past, either you are struggling for content due to time of year or because events have all finished but does this topic really help the sport! It's like the continual baiting of are 29ers better earlier this year, never have Journos and magazine e or hard copy created a more devisvive time in our sport, shame on you!

You guys want it both ways, you want membership or want sheer numbers for advertising to a market yet you are also destructive to your market base!

Clearly too much e bike riding and time on your hands and not enough actual integral Jouno effort going on!

Meh!!
  • 1 0
 best 2 bike quiver is a 200mm DH bike and a stout 150f /140r trail bike blast big shit on the DH bike, ride 20+ mile rides on the trail bike. i see no point to a 7" bike. its just worse DH bike that you can sort of pedal? hard pass. Ill be riding DH until i cant swing my leg over one anymore.
  • 1 0
 "My main memory of that day is being terrified at trying to pilot an unfamiliar bike down that monster of a track."

So, and this is just me asking, not being hostile, it seems like DH was never the author's preference? Personally every good run down a double black feels like that, first turn or two I'm pissing myself thinking maybe Lycra isn't all that bad...by the end of the course I can't imagine ever wanting to pedal uphill, every hike a bike becomes worth it, and I am thinking of ways to go even faster.

I think DH hit peak popularity due to a confluence of cultural and social factors (redbull, x games, all us urban white kids that need to risk their lives to feel alive etc). I think Enduro is deservedly taking the spotlight because it's mountain biking in a pure form.

I still, and will always, prefer downhill, on courses and trails that only a downhill bike manage, thanks to newer trail and enduro bikes that bar keeps getting raised higher and higher.

As far as I can tell, we all win
  • 1 0
 Living less than 2 hours from Mountain Creek Bike Park, I will always have a DH bike. I ride my trail bike at the park every now and then, but I have so much more fun on my DH bike. Every time I ride, there is no shortage of DH bikes on the mountain.
  • 1 0
 How can a self proclaimed bike media dick-head have any regret for owning bikes? I think this are inspiring stories of the good ol`downhill times mixed with consumerist bullshit. All my bikes are outdated by the pace of rapidly evolving industry standards, but this sentimental ieda of picturing bikes sad and lonely parked in the garage is absolutely exaggerated. Car owners have no regret for their garages and I hope bikers won`t either. I`m proud of using my commuter more than 200 days a year, enduro 100, my old 26" DH 10 days a year and my BBQ probably the same. I love them all. When friends show up and I can lend a bike and go for a ride without a hassle, makes a moment that rentals will never offer. I think this f*kin idea of renting everything in the future sounds practical in theory but cold and lonely as the market behind it. Sharing, opensource, cryptocurrency, genetic modifications and DH bikes have their place in the future!
  • 1 0
 If your okay with bringing your only 5000 dollar trail bike to the bike park your probably not riding gnar trails or your loaded I've broken 40 pound aluminum dh Rigs a carbon endurobike could break the first time your bb hits a rock. Obviously a long travel enduro is basically as capable but not nearly as durable and considering you can buy a 2015 used for like 2k so it rele depends on whether you can afford to risk the bike you ride everyday on trails that are likely to damage your bike. If you just ride fast flowy trails and you are good then sure but here on the east coast we have mostly steep trails and mostly sharp edged rocks, and even if you ride perfect a loose rock will be kicked up by your tire and hit your frame. I know enduro bikes are strong but a 14ft drop on a 25lb bike will always seem risky to me no matter how many videos I watch of Richie rude
  • 1 0
 Dh bikes are wack, they've been dead for ages. The only people who will find the benefit in all 200 mill travel are the pros, and even then take Sam Hill as an example he can still crush the competition on and enduro bike, a more worthy, versatile machine.
  • 1 0
 I'm new to Pinkbike. And new to E-bike also. I've had one for a month and love it.

I could easily see a future for downhilling in the UK with e-bikes. It's just so much fun getting back up to the top after your run. Then, just ride down like a normal bike. You could fit 10+ runs in a day, no problem. It's still a workout, but nothing like the past. I've done the 45min slog back up many times (Peebles comes to mind) and I'm just surprised that UK downhilling has lasted so long, with the hassle of lifts up and queues etc. E-bikes. Don't comment 'till you try one!

Currently I just use my e for midweek runs on deserted singletrack trails. Can't see them being welcome at most known locations at the weekend (special needs excepted).
  • 1 0
 He is so right - nothing is less used than a DH bike.

But renting a bike shitty/unadjustable coil spring and fork does not make sense as well.
So the idea of community-renting/owning is much better.
And better for a planet (= environment) we live/ride in, as you need less stuff to be produced.
  • 1 0
 This article is such BS. Just because the writer doesn't live anywhere near a bike park doesn't mean other people don't. I'm fortunate enough to live near whistler and visit 4 other bike parks in BC every year. I'll always own a downhill bike. There is no way someone who rides park 20+ days/year will be doing it on an Enduro bike. Everyone I know who has (including me) was braking too many parts and had no choice to switch to a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 When i started reading I though : damh , he is wright . I’m passing my dh rig every day and haven’t been riding for weeks, maybe I need to justyfay ???. Then I saw it again and stupid thoughts where gone. Why would I justyfay for something that’s nowhere close? , or why would i want to pedal when I can push up with my mates???Even if it is 1 day a year and 5 hours drive it’s still worth it.FreeRide is Life .ps. This is the longest comment section ever
  • 1 0
 Had the same quandry too, bought a Reign and dont do as many uplifts as i used to. Still yet to test it at Revo. DH is up for sale to fund a new van though..........i can always get another dh on tick if i want
  • 5 0
 Long live downhill
  • 3 0
 2012 Canfield one
Rear set at 7"
Peddle anywhere
Has new Now Now Geometry too

:-)
  • 5 0
 DH4LIFE
  • 2 0
 Sounds like multiple bikes aren't affordable on a bike article writer's salary. Understandable. I work for the man which sucks, but I can afford all the bikes.
  • 1 0
 You mean everyone doesn't have a half dozen or more bikes in their garage (to include 2 DH bikes) for all types of riding?!? Using one bike for everything was probably conceived by the same guy that came up with the spork!
  • 2 0
 Middle class and Mid Atlantic. 2 bikes 100% 1 is a DH bike... we have 6 legit bike parks within a few hours plus legit 500m drop shuttle trails...DH...and a traily ;-)
  • 2 0
 99% of the PB users can't do a Sam Hill! What's your point? DH Bikes makes a for a better rider, just see all the EWS Champions have come from DH!
  • 1 0
 I think some people just love the idea of owning DH bike. Not everyone is good at riding. Some will prefer spending the majority of their time messing with upgrading parts rather than sredding down the trail.
  • 3 0
 I live in thailand and can't go skiing. so let's ask the question, should ski companies stop doing skies?
  • 1 0
 I think that dh bikes are more popular and worth buying in the us due to lots of lift axcess mountains Beto where lift axcess is less prevent dh bikes are not worth the money ny any means
  • 1 1
 Tenho algumas dúvidas com relação a imparcialidade desta matéria. Uma vez que o Pink Bike é o site que mais recebe do EWS para cobertura de seus eventos. Mas vamos lá.
Quem gosta de downhill vai comprar uma enduro para treinar mais pesado e obter melhores resultados morro abaixo no DH.
Lendo esta matéria percebi o quanto sou feliz, pois aqui no Brasil ja existe um meio de transporte chamado carro, que nos leva até o alto da montanha e de lá despencamos morro abaixo, por vezes e vezes seguidas, se chama resgate.
Quanto as bikes de DH, acredito que continuarão sendo o grande laboratório para o desenvolvimento de tecnologias para as outras modalidades, e continuará sendo a Fórmula1 do ciclismo gostem ou não.
As bikes de DH tendem a se tornar artigos digamos de "luxo" como são os carros super esportivos, quem tem provavelmente não está se preocupando com o tempo que ficam parados na garagem, querem mesmo é o prazer de olhar pra eles e usar quando necessário.
Adoro pedalar na enduro, mas nada se compara ao que a bike de DH proporciona.
  • 1 0
 So you're saying because of how far you live from lift access trails you won't own a downhill bike? Duh... if I lived in Florida I wouldn't be buying a new snowboard or snowmobile.
  • 1 0
 ....so basically you want a rental just rent a bike from the bike park then The point of owning your own DH bike is that you can customize it and put all the components that you want on it, specifically
  • 1 0
 It'll be just like Rent the Runway, for DH bikes, instead of dresses. It make absolute sense, frankly.

If you know what I'm talking about, congrats on having a steady woman in the picture! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 the dh bike is never going to die, as enduro bikes get more capable so do dh bikes, the dh tracks also become more difficult to match the capabilities of the dh bike. DH will never die.
  • 1 0
 I just came here to say that is me in the back of the truck in my red/white/blue TLD D3 looking sexy as hell. Yeah BABY!!!

And to NRA this thread: "You can have my DH bike when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!"
  • 1 0
 I will always ride dh, there is nothing better than shredding your way down the mountain and not even worrying about how much travel you have. Who wants a bike that can’t shred to the max?
  • 6 4
 COME ON. DH will never be replaced by enduro bikes. But enduro trails are being populated with DH bikes.
  • 3 0
 Practicality be damned #DH4life
  • 1 0
 I know the country distributor of a major bike brand........downhill bikes have this year sold alot less than a couple of years ago. Like really alot.
  • 4 0
 #longlivedownhill
  • 2 1
 How about a DH Ebike? The "EDH" would have enough power for about 20mins of 'assisted shuttling' power.
Maybe even a braking set up that recharges the battery....
  • 1 0
 E-dh will save dh... If and when they can fully conceal the battery pack.
  • 2 0
 Just get some gas and twist throttle.
  • 3 0
 I just picked up my first ever DH rig 3 weeks ago and couldn't be happier.
  • 3 0
 Why can't we just own 2 or 3 bikes?
  • 1 2
 Last weekend was closing weekend at SS and this was a big topic amongst some of us old guys. I've been rolling a LT and SpeedFox on the all of the DH trails (Western and Basin sides) with little issue. Now, I don't do the road gaps or a few of the bigger drops, but otherwise I hit it all. I do have a '16 DEMO and love it; but I do run about the same speeds on both bikes.

While the DEMO allows me to plow through anything in my path, the "all-mountain" bike allows me to spin up very quickly and quickly pick lines.

If I had to do it all over again, I think that I'd keep the $4-5k in my pocket and rent a DH bike a few times a year. Even at 10 days worth of rentals a year, I'd be able to rent a DH bike for 4 seasons worth of riding while not having to lug the bike back and forth, not have to worry about care and maintenance, etc.
  • 3 0
 Long live double crowns!!!
  • 1 0
 If you like riding a Dh bike more buy one, If not don't bother. Pretty simple. Don't need justification from a crowd of people if it's something you actually like.
  • 1 2
 I'm in that same boat right now! I have a DH bike and trail bike. I cannot justify owning my Santa Cruz v10 anymore. My Bronson does me just fine, but I don't plan to own that much longer anyways. The idea I have is sell both and get one bike to do it all, an Evil Wreckoning checks all the boxes off for me tup
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike's best click-bait-title author strikes again.
  • 3 0
 What happens when Matt says 'hold my beer' and writes an article.
  • 4 1
 DH racing is like the F1 of mountain biking.
  • 3 0
 ....say "quiver" on more f*cking time.
  • 1 0
 Straight up.
  • 1 0
 Just buy a DH bike. They’re justified on real DH trails. Trail bikes are great and can handle everything, but there is nothing like a real long travel whip.
  • 1 2
 Dh is definitely dying, the way I see it is that the core of the sport is now older and has become scared of going flat out, therefore has moved to XC bikes and is using the "I pedal up" reason for their fear.
Where does this fear come from... well 20 years ago a 5ft drop or 10ft double was considered big, where now its a 20ft drop and 30ft double. The geometry of the new XC bike is pretty much aligned with the old Dh bike and the damping is better these days. So to justify a full Dh bike you have to be braver than the average man (or have an uplift where you have to be braver on the XC bike to use it).
In short... nothing has really changed apart from Dh jumps and drops becoming bigger and XC getting slower for the climbs and people riding more manicured trails on their XC bikes. Once called All mountain, which is a type of XC, AM has been rebranded Enduro as the trails are slightly easier and you wear Dh kit. Smile

I love this sport and what marketing has turned it into.

Still on 26 here and still getting good results on those old wheels.
  • 1 0
 @betsie The older are being replaced by the younger. The aging downhiller is now bringing his kids to the park. Ten years ago you would see the odd small kid, now it seems there are hundreds of them (in Whistler)
  • 2 0
 Owning a DH bike is like a country having nukes: if you have them you are one of the big boys. ;-)
  • 2 0
 What's to justify? I have 3 DH bikes. Don't even own a pedal bike at the moment...let's hit some mofo'n juuumps yewww
  • 1 0
 Nobody needs a DH bike unless they are hitting massive jumps or racing at a pro level. It’s a vanity thing I feel like for a lot of people
  • 2 0
 these trail bikes looks like a session but it aint one
  • 2 0
 What is this?
What happened to n+1 bikes?
  • 2 0
 Trolling hard! It's more like save Enduro!
  • 1 0
 more if you are too lazy to build a dh track then you should not bother obtaining one.
  • 2 0
 Air-BnB for DH bikes is the future
  • 2 0
 Yeah well I love my 8" and only ride park, so there.
  • 3 0
 LONG LIVE DOWNHILL!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 This article should read... Should freeride bikes take over the job of dh bikes?
  • 3 0
 Any bike can go downhill
  • 1 0
 My Trail Bike Has 200mm Travel rear. 180mm Front,Pedals like a Dream My Big Bike Had 215mm Rear 200mm Front. CHEERS
  • 1 0
 Who doesn't need a 12inch travel Foes with 12inch SuperMonster T for grabbing the milk and paper in the mornings....?
  • 1 0
 closet i got to a "enduro" was my freeride bike

id rather wait once a month to shuttle then ride up every weekend
  • 1 0
 An enduro bike will always be a compromise, if not it’s not an enduro bike.
  • 3 0
 Long live DH
  • 1 0
 Living 45 minutes from Bootleg Canyon, I think most people here in Las Vegas can justify a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 This author is not a downhill rider! If you don’t have a season pass and a top end bike then don’t say DH is dead!!
  • 1 1
 Like it or not. In the UK, I see the future of DH as eDH. Maybe not just yet, but it makes perfect sense (if you you open your mind a little).
  • 1 0
 Lol nah. The future of Downhill in the UK is safe. The downfall of the BDS doesn't correlate with other races held in the UK, i.e. the mini downhill series in FoD, or the Pearce series that sells out in like minutes.

The BDS was simply too expensive, with an entry cost of £95 and then the purchasing of a campsite spot, food, petrol money etc. makes for a very expensive weekend.

I don't think eDH could make any less sense. A downhill race would never require a motor. If it did that would mean going uphill, which would thus make it an Enduro race - and that's already a thing.

An eDH is suited for those who just want to ride for the sake of having fun, not to race and compete, and those people don't contribute in the downhill race scene anyway.
  • 1 0
 I don't care how impractical they are. I love how they look and feel to ride no matter where that may be.
  • 1 0
 I bought a DH bike because its the most fun, that simple.. who likes pedaling uphill anyways
  • 1 0
 Feel in line with your thoughts! Great writings!
  • 2 0
 GOD SAVE THE DH BIKE!!!
  • 1 0
 I am not going BIG on a single crown! Waaay too risky.
  • 2 0
 Long live the DH rig
  • 1 0
 That may be true in the UK, but #USDH is alive and well
  • 1 0
 DH. What a rebound relationship.
  • 2 0
 haha
  • 1 0
 Buy a pink bike and keep it forever!
  • 1 0
 Hope Academy do it with kids bike so why not DH rigs.....
  • 2 0
 DH its not dead!
  • 1 0
 Don't forget about the freeriders lol
  • 1 0
 i love chairlifts too much GGGGOOOOOO DH !!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Bloody RENT-A-BIKE. go for a jog, DH bikes are divine!
  • 2 1
 What's a colander?
  • 2 0
 It's what you use to strain spaghetti
  • 2 0
 @phobospwns: This is the best part of the thread.
  • 1 0
 Us dh will never die
  • 1 0
 DH forever
  • 1 1
 He has a Point.
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