RIP, Downhill Bikes
The best of today's modern all-mountain and enduro race bikes are simply ridiculous. The kind of ridiculous that makes you question the laws of physics when talking about rigs like the Transition Patrol, Trek's Slash, Ibis' Mojo HD3, the Nomad, and a handful of others that climb and, more importantly for most of us, descend like someone turned gravity's power way up. Each of these bikes has their own strengths, of course, but the real advantage, so long as you're not troubling the likes of Graves, Rude, Jerome and company, is that they are far more versatile than a slacked-out downhill bike could ever dream of being. Relative to their travel and angles, many are far better climbers than they have any right being.
These all-mountain magic machines might not have the legs of something with 40mm less travel and a three-degree steeper head angle, but they can climb all day and then let you point yourself down things that don't even look rideable. I know you think you're hot shit on a DH bike, but 160mm is all you really need. Capable and fun, they've made it silly for the average rider to own anything with 200mm of travel. The modern all-mountain rig has finally killed the downhill bike.
Hold up. Anyone who thinks that an all-mountain bike could ever make a 200mm travel monster redundant clearly hasn't had the chance to ride one on worthy terrain. We're talking about a specific tool for the job here, okay. You don't see surgeons digging into people with spoons, and you also don't see Josh Bryceland racing World Cups on a Nomad. Sure, the Nomad ain't no spoon, but it might as well be on a Sunday afternoon in Europe when those beeps go off in the start hut. Get some steam behind you when you're on a Session, V10, Demo, or a Wilson, and the thought of pedaling an all-mountain bike up anything might not seem like how you want to spend your weekend.
Yes, the only elevation a downhill bike usually gains is when you lift it up to put it in the back of your truck, but the feeling of near endless traction and suspension that practically encourages flat landings is something that can't be beaten. Simply put, riding a downhill bike on proper terrain makes you feel like a rockstar, and there's no way that a bike with a lot less travel and steeper angles is ever going to replicate that.