A real DH bike. 8″ of rear wheel travel front and rear. Perfect for complete trail annihilation. Every mountain biker should get out chairlifting on a real DH bike at least once a season. More if possible. Downhill riding is one of the best ways of improving your trail riding/Enduro skills. I’m thinking that the rise of Enduro popularity will result in even more downhill riding.
One really cool thing about this frame is the extensive use of helicoils in the linkage bolts. It gives me a lot of confidence that this bike will last a long time. The welding is immaculate and the casting and machine work are precise. On top of all that, this is one of the cheaper DH chassis that you can get these days. Pretty nice.
There’s a temptation to get a fancy new carbon fiber DH frame these days but I don’t see the need. Given that a carbon frame can cost $1500 more in MSRP over aluminum options you have to wonder why go that route. Sure, the bikes will be lighter and work incredibly well. But the aluminum bikes do pretty well in those regards and the money savings can add up to the cost of several trips to actually go use the bike. This isn’t an everyday trail bike. You’ll be stoked to get 10 days of real chairlifting in a season and if you aren’t really racing, then save the money.
In the configuration here, what I call ‘pre-season’, the gearing is reduced from 38-12/30 to 32-11/32 and the heavy DH tires and tubes are replaced with trail grade tires and tubes. Then the bike can be ridden on trail rides to work out bugs and get used to the bike. I don’t believe in showing up to a day downhilling with an unsorted bike and unsorted rider.
6/6/2013 – I rode the 38/12-30 at Northstar for opening weekend. I needed much more gear for speed, the 11 would be mandatory. I could switch to a 40t ring, but I really do need every mm of clearance at this venue as the smashed bash ring will attest. Also, I don’t really need the full 30t range. I’m pretty fit right now and can push pretty hard. The steps between gears were a bit too large as well. Lastly, chain tension is a problem right now with such a broad range on this bike. I’m switching to an 11-25t cassette for the next ride and it should be great. Just no outback sessions.
Not much real tuning can happen until the bike sees use in a real liftserve DH environment. I can find mechanical problems and fine tune some things. Suspension settings outside of pedaling just has to wait.
Rock Shox Vivid R2C 2.75×8.75″ (Not the B1).
Using the Fox Racing Shox Rear Spring Calculator, the 450# spring that the bike came with should be a good starting place. Once I start using it in actual DH things may change. I belive in always having a lighter and heavier spring on hand so I can tune things just right. Therefore a 400 and 500 spring are on order.
These are the official spring options for the shock:
11.4115.064.030 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 300lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Alum Spring Retainer
11.4115.064.050 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 350lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Alum Spring Retainer
11.4115.064.070 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 400lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Alum Spring Retainer
11.4115.064.090 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 450lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Alum Spring Retainer
11.4115.064.110 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 500lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Alum Spring Retainer
11.4115.064.130 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 550lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Steel Spring Retainer
11.4115.064.150 Coil Spring, Vivid, Steel, 600lb x 216mm/222mm (63mm/70mm) Includes Steel Spring Retainer
I rated the three RS springs that I had (400, 450, 450) and they look great. Very predictable and very close to the rated value. These are nice springs.
On the damper side, the calculations based on a leverage ratio of 2.91:1 (203/70) is a mid compression tune (2.5-3.0:1). SRAM Compression Tune Guide.
2013 Rockshox Boxxer R2C2. I’m still shaking the bike down so the stock spring is still in place. I’ll be trying some things in the next few weeks. I prefer coil springs to air in any situation that doesn’t need the very lightest configuration possible. The plushness that coil forks have over the air options is huge, plus you can save a ton of money. The bike is slightly heavier but for me it’s not going to make much of a difference.
11.4015.380.000 Coil Spring, X-Soft, Silver – 2010-2012 Boxxer Race/RC and Team/R2C2
11.4015.380.010 Coil Spring, Soft, Yellow – 2010-2012 Boxxer Race/RC and Team/R2C2
11.4015.380.020 Coil Spring, Medium, Red standard – 2010-2012 Boxxer Race/RC and Team/R2C2
11.4015.380.030 Coil Spring, Firm, Blue – 2010-2012 Boxxer Race/RC and Team/R2C2
11.4015.380.040 Coil Spring, X-Firm, Black- 2010-2012 Boxxer Race/RC and Team/R2C2
6/6/2013 – I ran the fork with the stock medium spring for Northstar opening weekend. I was only getting 25% sag and not getting the last inch or so of travel. I’m trying the soft yellow spring on the next outing.
Cane Creek Angleset ZS44/28.6|ZS56/30(BAA0202K) (Top – ZS44 Bottom – ZS56). I installed a -5 degree cup to start.
The bike came with an FSA Orbit Angle Headset as well as a standard headset. I swapped that out right away. I’m a Cane Creek fan.
Hope Integrated top crown. I usually don’t go with straight up bling on my bikes but I’ll admit it here. I love these things. They look awesome and they really clean up the crown area of the bike.
On the tuning side, they do slam the clamp very well so that high rise bars can be used and still have a nice low ride height. They are also super stiff and eliminate a lot of points that can creek when the bike is being ridden.
This bike takes a older ISCG mount rather than the newer ISCG05 mount. This is because of the Maestro link situation that would interfere otherwise.
Currently using an MRP micro with the 32 tooth ring.
6/6/2013 – For DH I dedicded on the Gamut P38 setup. It’s really nice and works very well. It also allows for very easy work on the bike.