Downhill Bikes Buyers guide

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Specialized_Demo_S-Works_Carbon-downhill-bike
A downhill bike (also known as a downhill mountain bike) is a full suspension bicycle designed for downhill cycling on particularly steep, rocky trails. Unlike a typical mountain bike, durability and stability are the most important design features, compared to lighter, more versatile cross-country bikes. Downhill bikes are primarily intended for high speed descent, and downhill riders will usually push, or shuttle via chairlifts or motorized vehicles, to the trailhead.

Downhill bikes are typically made of aluminum or steel, will have 7-10 inches (180-250mm) of rear suspension travel, and be designed around a 7-8 inch (180-203mm) suspension fork. The suspension sag is also much higher than cross-country bikes (25%-50% of total travel vs. 10%-20%) for a more supple ride at higher speeds.

These bikes will also have very slack head tube angles (66 degrees or less), long wheelbases (over 45 inches), and will accommodate the use of up to 3 inch width knobbed tires. Downhill frames are also overbuilt to handle the stress of riding over rocky terrain, drops, and jumps. Bike weights have been typically over 40 lbs (18 kg), but recently they are coming down.

Other features include 8 inch (203mm) disc brakes and a chain guide to prevent accidental chain deraillment. Adjustable head tube angles are also available to adapt the bike to the owner’s preferred style of riding.

Downhill bikes are also very similar to freeride bikes due to large strong frames and long travel. Most downhill bikes use triple clamp forks which allow longer travel at the front(usually 203mm/8in) and increased stiffness that a single crown fork cannot offer. Drawbacks though, are increased weight and reduced turning circle. Also downhill bikes have very thick and big tyres in order not to drift in bad terrain.

Here is the list of some of the more popular and better know DH bikes models:

  • SPECIALIZED DEMO
  • TREK SESSIONS
  • GT FURY
  • NUKEPROOF SCALP
  • SANTA CRUZ V 10
  • GIANT GLORY
  • ORANGE 322
  • COMMENCAL SUPREME DH
  • TRANSITION TR 450
  • NORCO AURUM
  • PIVOT PHOENIX
  • SCOTT GAMBLER
  • LAPIERRE DH 720
  • KNOLLY PODIUM
  • KONA SUPREME OPERATOR
  • DEVINCI WILSON
  • COVE SHOCKER
  • YETI 303
  • MOREWOOD MAKULU
  • BANSHEE LEGEND
  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN FLATLINE
  • TOMAC PRIMER

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