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downhilling with a hardtail?

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downhilling with a hardtail?

Old 02-13-06, 11:38 PM
  #1  
Pink_Ninja
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so, I might be getting something like a norco bigfoot

specs:
Wheelset
Front Hub: Formula Disc 20mm
Rear Hub: Shimano Deore Disc 135/10mm
Rims: Sun ZX-25
Spokes: Stainless Black
Tires: Kenda Nevegal

Components

Stem: Alloy Freeride 31.8
Bar: Alloy Freeride 31.8
Post: Alloy
Grips: Krayton Mtb
Saddle: SDG Bel Air
Headset: FSA

BrakeSet

Front Brake: Hayes Sole, 8" rotor
Rear Brake: Hayes Sole, 8" rotor
Brake Levers: Hayes

Drivetrain

Crankset: Truvativ Blaze
Pedals: Wellgo Alloy Flats
Chain: KMC
Freewheel: Shimano HG-50
Front Changer: Shimano Alivio
Rear Changer: Shimano Deore
Rear Shifter: Shimano Alivio 8spd

yeah... so, would this be good enough for downhilling? I dont want to dish out $2,500 for a bike (im 13) and the bigfoot is probably the top of my price range ($1200) and what should be added/taken away from the bike?
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Old 02-13-06, 11:48 PM
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get a quality BMX bike, hit the local dirt jumps/skate parks/street spots, get some bike handling skills and THEN get a bike for shredding trails on. i'm so tired of seeing kids on overbuilt bikes that they can't handle flinging themselves down the trail, getting bucked because their bikes are designed for much bigger people, trying to emulate guys twice their age (and size) who have the strength and experience and know how to handle themselves and their bike.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:04 AM
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firstly, I am taller than most 13 year olds (dunno 'bout strength) and It is not a first bike (first to take dh though) and I've been riding for 3 years and all I asked was if it would be alright to do a bit of DH on, not stating that I want an awesome bike or that I want to ride a massive bike. and is BMX anything like DH? It dosnt look like it. so just lay off a bit.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:17 AM
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What type of downhilling are we talking about here? When you say DH'ing I think hitting the double black diamonds at Northstar at Tahoe. If you are talking about that kind of DH'ing that bike would be chewed up. So if you could post your definition of DH'ing will will be able to tell you if it would get killed or not. Also it depends if you are a flowy rider and can pick a decent line.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:20 AM
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My friend has a Norco Rampage and takes it downhill every weekend and believes its a great bike for DH and jumping. Norco have a good range of DH hardtails and the Bigfoot is a nice choice.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:21 AM
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riding BMX will teach you better handling skills. most of the guys riding DH/freeride today started off on BMX bikes. riding a 20" fully rigid bike will teach you how to let your body take the hits, and how to move the bike around in the air better than a DH bike. a smaller bike is easier to control. if you don't see the similarities or how you could benefit from it, you haven't ridden enough BMX.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:24 AM
  #7  
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that's how i got my start riding, used to race BMX then i did some dirtjumping, now i mountain bike, i'd recomend it, BMX made my bike handling skils good
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Old 02-14-06, 01:16 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by MattP.
What type of downhilling are we talking about here?
basic DH, nothing insane. just so I can get a good feel for the sport, then maybe upgrading in a few years to a full-suspension
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Old 02-14-06, 02:45 AM
  #9  
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yes you can. get the norco, or the best bike you can for your budget. ride. replace the stuff that brakes with something a bit nicer. repeat. practice technical lines when you can. pedal uphill. yes, ride uphill. picking lines while riding up some nasty technical stuff will not only make you a fitter and better rider, it gives you a nice view of possible lines to take when ocming back down.

riding dh type stuff on a hardtail is all about finesse vs. just bombing down it. picking lines and keeping your momentum up is very important, and much different than when doing the same run on a fully.

i ride the same stuff on my hardtail that i do on my fully, just a bit slower.

the upside is then, when you are on a fully, the ability to choose a clean line and conserve momentum will make you an even better rider. i've seen some much better riders than i am pull some amazing moves on hardtails.

(and some pics, just because it's late, i'm at work, and feel like showing off some cheesy action shots)
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Old 02-14-06, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by scrublover
yes you can. get the norco, or the best bike you can for your budget. ride. replace the stuff that brakes with something a bit nicer. repeat. practice technical lines when you can. pedal uphill. yes, ride uphill. picking lines while riding up some nasty technical stuff will not only make you a fitter and better rider, it gives you a nice view of possible lines to take when ocming back down.

riding dh type stuff on a hardtail is all about finesse vs. just bombing down it. picking lines and keeping your momentum up is very important, and much different than when doing the same run on a fully.

i ride the same stuff on my hardtail that i do on my fully, just a bit slower.

the upside is then, when you are on a fully, the ability to choose a clean line and conserve momentum will make you an even better rider. i've seen some much better riders than i am pull some amazing moves on hardtails.

(and some pics, just because it's late, i'm at work, and feel like showing off some cheesy action shots)
Good explicative pictures.
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Old 02-14-06, 10:26 AM
  #11  
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Banshee Morphine
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Old 02-14-06, 12:01 PM
  #12  
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It's a hard-core way to race DH, but more than a few people around here do it. Some races even have a HT class, though you might be competing against a wider range of age/experience in the HT class. At your age, DH is definitely a more grassroots, 'run what ya brung' thing, so give it a go and have fun. Good luck!
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Old 02-14-06, 12:56 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Pink_Ninja
basic DH, nothing insane. just so I can get a good feel for the sport, then maybe upgrading in a few years to a full-suspension
Steve Peat wom his first events on a HT bike. IMO a HT bike will teach you better lines etc. Then if you want to get serious/competitive - its time to upgrade.
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Old 02-14-06, 02:56 PM
  #14  
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thx guys
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Old 02-14-06, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
get a quality BMX bike, hit the local dirt jumps/skate parks/street spots, get some bike handling skills and THEN get a bike for shredding trails on. i'm so tired of seeing kids on overbuilt bikes that they can't handle flinging themselves down the trail, getting bucked because their bikes are designed for much bigger people, trying to emulate guys twice their age (and size) who have the strength and experience and know how to handle themselves and their bike.
I know what you mean.

To the Original poster, you didn't post what fork was on the bike.

The bigfoot would be a good bike to start with, but get it in a small frame size. I know a kid here that's about your age, he's like 5 foot nothing, and he has a 17.5 " Bigfoot. He looks like a tool riding it, and smokes his nads to hell. Get a frame at the 15" mark or smaller.

Have fun.
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Old 02-14-06, 03:31 PM
  #16  
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im 5'7... around that...
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Old 02-14-06, 04:04 PM
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im 5'7... around that...
15" frame.
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Old 02-14-06, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason222
15" frame.
Yep, that'll be a sweet fit.
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Old 02-14-06, 05:23 PM
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I raced collegiate, and I rode my steelhead for the downhill parts. Now, I've never done "real" downhill, according to people I rode with, but that bike handled what I did well. single speed and all.
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Old 02-14-06, 07:06 PM
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The bigfoot is a strong bike and it would be able to take anything a 13 year old could dish out. Go with a 15" if not a 13".
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Old 02-14-06, 08:51 PM
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Dh on a hardtail is pretty tough, I have done it on one. You get fatiqued pretty quickly, but your technical skills will improve faster and will be more refined if you start on a hardtail. Then you will fully apreciate moving to a FS bike. I did.
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Old 02-14-06, 09:03 PM
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you'll need a fork... maybe a fox 36

get a full suspension if you can afford it... like a kona stinky
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