T Nation

Calling All Freeride/ DH Addicts...


I just wanted to see if there were many other T-dudes addicted to the speed and adrenalin rushes that define DH and big hit riding. I’m hoping to get a place going where we can talk shop, compare bikes/ parts experinces and trail info. Maybe even get a ride organized for Whistler or Moab or the like.

To get started what kind of bikes are you guys riding? I’ve got a couple but my baby is a Turner RFX w/ an '04 Super T, Avid Juicy’s w/ 8 inch rotors, custom tuned Romic shock, WTB Laser DH rims laced to Hadley hubs w/ Stan’s No-Tubes conversion, Gozzi 2.3 front and Maxxis Minion 2.3 rear, race face cranks, seat post and handlebars. Basically one mean ass freeride machine…seen 14 foot drops, 25 foot gap jumps as well as some pretty grueling climbs. …What about you guys?

Trail bike: Maverick American
Freeride bike: VP Free

Both are equipped appropriately.

Hell Ya! I love the freeride/DH stuff. I started riding mtn bikes about 20 years ago. Was a X-country freak (endurance rides like the Leadville 100, Tubac 50 and some local shorter racing) until I decided to start taking the gym seriously and got over 200lbs. It’s hard to compete in X-country at that weight when everyone else is 150 soaking wet. I always loved the technical stuff so I decided to get a Santa Cruz Bullit (hence the screen name) and haven’t looked back since. I still have my Cyclocross bike and my Cannondale hardtail “race” bike, but they mostly collect dust these days. I don’t race anymore and work has kept me from riding consistently over the past couple of years, but I still get out there and beat it up every once in a while. There are some realy nice rides around Tucson.

How do you like those raceface cranks? Do you have the meaty FR/DH cranks? Those things are sweet.

[quote]Bullit wrote:

How do you like those raceface cranks? Do you have the meaty FR/DH cranks? Those things are sweet.[/quote]

I love them…I’ve got the Signiture Edition FR BB (chromo spindle and 4 replacable bearings) and the North Shore cranks. I want to try the new X-Type ones but the ones I’ve got are so bullet proof that I really have no reason to replace them (except for parts envy LOL). I’ve managed a bike shop and ran my own in Hawaii for a while so I’ve dealt with a lot of companies on warranty issues and Race Face has one of the best “no-questions-asked” attitudes in the business. In the rare case you mess up one of their parts they’ll hook you up.

Anybody got any training regimines they like or particular exercises they feel really help with FR/DH riding?

BTW, if anyone is interested in checking out some cool pics of the riding in Hawaii I have some posted on my old shop’s website. Log onto www.bikejames.com and click on the KFM (Kauai Freeride Mafia)logo in the lower right hand corner. Enter gravity as your password and you’re in…

[quote]ChrisKing wrote:
Trail bike: Maverick American
Freeride bike: VP Free

Both are equipped appropriately.[/quote]

Care to elaborate? The Maverick is one sweet ride (I’ve ridden the Klein Palimino version). Do you have the Maverick fork up front? What kind of goodies do you have on your VP Free? My riding buddy in Hawaii just got one to replace his Bullit. Says it’s a bit tricky to set up but super sweet when you get it right. I had to build a couple rear wheels for the V10 and they are a huge pain in the ass. Next time you have to get your rear relaced be sure to hook your mechanic up with a 6 pack…nothing gets top notch service like a little alchohol ;).

BTW, where do you ride?

I’ll post more later but here’s my info:

30 year old, 17 years BMX and +/- 10 years various types of MTB. Ride about 75% BMX, 24% DH/FR and a little XC when I can squeeze it in.

Location: GA (closest big mountain rides are Windrock in oak Ridge, TN and Wolf Laurel and Sugar Mt. near Boone, NC) We also have The infamous (for the SE) Mansell Rd trails nearby in Atlanta.

Bikes: Giant VT for XC, Balfa BB7 for FR/DH and Dingo 20" for BMX.

Cool.

Been riding for about 8 years. I got a GT I-Drive 2 years ago but I think it’s getting traded for a Giant Faith or a Santa Cruz Heckler this summer. The I-Drive doesn’t like the drop offs so good;) and the thing is really freaking heavy for some reason, is my Phsylo that heavy!?!

[quote]bikejames wrote:
ChrisKing wrote:
Trail bike: Maverick American
Freeride bike: VP Free

Both are equipped appropriately.

Care to elaborate? The Maverick is one sweet ride (I’ve ridden the Klein Palimino version). Do you have the Maverick fork up front? What kind of goodies do you have on your VP Free? My riding buddy in Hawaii just got one to replace his Bullit. Says it’s a bit tricky to set up but super sweet when you get it right. I had to build a couple rear wheels for the V10 and they are a huge pain in the ass. Next time you have to get your rear relaced be sure to hook your mechanic up with a 6 pack…nothing gets top notch service like a little alchohol ;).

BTW, where do you ride?[/quote]

I usually build my own wheels, so I guess I’ll be buying myself some Moosehead!

Yeah, I have the Mav fork up front. It blows away everything else.

VP Free is built with the Fox DHX 5 rear shock, Fox 40 RC2 fork, and Santa Cruz’s SPX-FR kit. It’s everything you need to roost.

I don’t get too hung up on component specs anymore, though. Worked in shops and raced most of my life and I now just want shit that works and is reliable. There are already enough weenies worried about the weight of thier forks and tires.

We ride all over CO and hit UT consistently, too.

I used to be pretty good XC rider, I think 120th or something for Sport 1-18 in the country. I never got to ride a really beefy bike, but always wanted too. I loved doing the trials things a lot though. My friend and I also built a pretty good North Shore type course in the woods behind his house. The best part of the videos I’ve seen has always been North Shore to me. Anyone ever do any trials type riding?

[quote]ChrisKing wrote:

I don’t get too hung up on component specs anymore, though. Worked in shops and raced most of my life and I now just want shit that works and is reliable. There are already enough weenies worried about the weight of thier forks and tires.

We ride all over CO and hit UT consistently, too.[/quote]

Dude, I hear ya. If it can take a pounding and not break I’m all over it. Screw the weight, that’s why we do heavy deadlifts! In fact, one of my favorite movie scenes that analogizes this was from that stupid movie “The 13th Warrior” or something with Antonio Banderas. All I remember from that movie was scene where him and some huge barbarian guy are looking at swords or something and the big guy gives a sword to Antonio’s character. Antonio comments that the sword is too heavy to fight with and asks how he’s supposed to swing around such a heavy ass sword. The barbarian guy looks at him and says “Grow stronger…” Pretty much sums up my attitude towards the “gram-weenies”.

My mom lives near Grand Junction. Have you ridden much in Fruita?

[quote]bikejames wrote:
Dude, I hear ya. If it can take a pounding and not break I’m all over it. Screw the weight, that’s why we do heavy deadlifts! In fact, one of my favorite movie scenes that analogizes this was from that stupid movie “The 13th Warrior” or something with Antonio Banderas. All I remember from that movie was scene where him and some huge barbarian guy are looking at swords or something and the big guy gives a sword to Antonio’s character. Antonio comments that the sword is too heavy to fight with and asks how he’s supposed to swing around such a heavy ass sword. The barbarian guy looks at him and says “Grow stronger…” Pretty much sums up my attitude towards the “gram-weenies”.

My mom lives near Grand Junction. Have you ridden much in Fruita?[/quote]

Fruita rocks. Not only are the trails great, but it’s not crowded with too many people since most drive right on by on their way to Moab.

Crested Butte is one of my all time favorite places to ride, but there are so many other great places in the state that you really can’t go wrong no matter where you go.

I ride a G.T. XCR 5000 with the I drive.With a pair of Rhinos I might as well be driving a truck. That thing does feel heavy,but to compensate I tend to use a lot of body english right over the pedals, and pre-load the shocks then de-load for take off.
I ride very localy in western Pa. I live in an area called South Park,where there is a b.m.x. track in the park, and trails all over the place.You can’t fall down without landing on a trail.Some humongus slag dumps left over from the old steel days that make for wicked terrain parks are a neat local feature.
I don’t have any great big riding or rock dropping experience, but I do like to get out and tear up the trails as much as possible.Alot of times they tear back though.
We can’t ride much around here in the winter.The terrain either turns to thick, tire sucking muck, or semi frozen to completely frozen with big ice puddles.Those things wipe me out too frequently.Looking forward to spring!

I’ve always rented bikes in Moab at Poison Spider, because I only got to ride a few times a year. Now I’m in San Diego and looking to buy a bike. I’m thinking an Ellsworth Magic. I’m looking for good places to ride out here. They shut down Mammoth Mountain, so that takes away a major spot. I have a buddy who rides a lot in Whistler and loves it. We’d like to do a trip there sometime this year,

I like going downhill fast on my road bike, does that count?

once drafted my friends suv at 70mph (downhill)

[quote]craigk2 wrote:
I’ve always rented bikes in Moab at Poison Spider, because I only got to ride a few times a year. Now I’m in San Diego and looking to buy a bike. I’m thinking an Ellsworth Magic. I’m looking for good places to ride out here. They shut down Mammoth Mountain, so that takes away a major spot. I have a buddy who rides a lot in Whistler and loves it. We’d like to do a trip there sometime this year, [/quote]

Man, don’t buy an Ellsworth. They suck as a company. I had an Ellsworth Joker (billed as a cliff-hucker) and the rear swingarm broke on me 3 times. They basically admitted to me that they knew there was a problem with the design but they had so many in the warehouse that they wanted to go through all of them for warranty replacements before they made new and improved ones. Nice attitude…Basically asking guys riding those bikes to play Russian roulette hoping that the swing arm wouldn’t break on impact after landing a big drop. I barely even rode the stupid thing, mostly using it for trail riding.

If you want a killer bike that has a company that will do anything to make sure you’re riding and happy get a Turner. Those bikes rock and I’ve had those guys go so far above and beyond what they had to to keep me riding that I’ll only buy their bikes now. Ovalized your head tube launching 9 foot drops to flat? No prob, here’s a Chris King Steelset at below dealer cost. Finally put a crack in your mainframe from years of doing stupid stuff on it? No prob, here’s the last RFX we have, specially made for the Maxxis pro team to race on for half of dealer cost. BTW, I’ve managed bike shops so that’s how I know they were hooking me up big time for these things.

Ellsworth gets all the print because they buy a lot of advertising and Turner doesn’t but you still get guys with pro contract buying Turners to race with and slapping their sponsers sticker on the bike (Eric Carter w/ Mongoose comes to mind). Ellsworth put out a faulty product and refused to replace it with something better and Turner keeps hooking me up no matter what I do. Who would you rather do business with? Anyways, that’s my Ellsworth rant…

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1110997395347.schofield_pass.jpg

[quote]ChrisKing wrote:
bikejames wrote:
Dude, I hear ya. If it can take a pounding and not break I’m all over it. Screw the weight, that’s why we do heavy deadlifts! In fact, one of my favorite movie scenes that analogizes this was from that stupid movie “The 13th Warrior” or something with Antonio Banderas. All I remember from that movie was scene where him and some huge barbarian guy are looking at swords or something and the big guy gives a sword to Antonio’s character. Antonio comments that the sword is too heavy to fight with and asks how he’s supposed to swing around such a heavy ass sword. The barbarian guy looks at him and says “Grow stronger…” Pretty much sums up my attitude towards the “gram-weenies”.

My mom lives near Grand Junction. Have you ridden much in Fruita?

Fruita rocks. Not only are the trails great, but it’s not crowded with too many people since most drive right on by on their way to Moab.

Crested Butte is one of my all time favorite places to ride, but there are so many other great places in the state that you really can’t go wrong no matter where you go.
[/quote]

CRESTED BUTTE IS THE SHIT! I was out there this summer and started at our condo and did the Lower Loop and then rode out to Deer Creek Trail and I was SMOKED after that. That was one hell of a way to get broke into high elevation. We also rode Gothic Road out to Schofield pass which was a bitch to climb and we hit the 401 Trailhead from there. After another 700 ft of climbing the view was amazing ( we could see the Maroon Bells fromt he top. The real fun began on the way down and I have to say that the ride down was one of the best experiences in my life. I was grinning ear to ear the whole way down, even when I went over the bars in the waterfall. I never got to do Teocali Ridge but I should get to it this summer.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1111117502310.401_3.jpg

This is a picture of the beginning of the long way down on trail 401. I can remember the rush I got when I approached this because I was ready to haul some serious ass!!

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1111117810466.401a.jpg

another pic from that ride. It is hard gain perspective of how steep and hopw long this section was. But I think most of you will get the idea. I know this isn’t big hit downhilling but it works for me.

[quote]trailrash wrote:
CRESTED BUTTE IS THE SHIT! I was out there this summer and started at our condo and did the Lower Loop and then rode out to Deer Creek Trail and I was SMOKED after that. That was one hell of a way to get broke into high elevation. We also rode Gothic Road out to Schofield pass which was a bitch to climb and we hit the 401 Trailhead from there. After another 700 ft of climbing the view was amazing ( we could see the Maroon Bells fromt he top. The real fun began on the way down and I have to say that the ride down was one of the best experiences in my life. I was grinning ear to ear the whole way down, even when I went over the bars in the waterfall. I never got to do Teocali Ridge but I should get to it this summer.
[/quote]

Schofield to 401 is a good warm up. One of my favs from town is to head up to Snodgrass cross over to Washington Gulch, climb up to 403, drop down 403 to Gothic Road, climb Schofield to 401 and descend 401, get a shower, and head to Donita’s Cantina.

Reno/Flag Creek/Bear Creek/Deadman’s Gulch as awesome as well.

It’s tough to go wrong with any of the trails in the area, though.

Nice pics!

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1111629553511.Img_1278resize.jpg

I had a Norco hardtail that I attempted to do some DH stuff with… After going through a pair of rims, and slightly twisting the frame, I recently aquired what is in the picture.

It’s a Haro Extreme X1, with front end and crank set upgraded from stock. I think there may be something else, but it is escaping my mind at the moment. I figure it should work for what trouble I get myself into this summer.

Of course, living in Regina, “Downhill” is tough to find, and mountains are non-existent. Ah well.

-FC