January 2, 2018 at 2:44 pm #818401
I just read the news. CRC has canned their downhill team to put a focus on enduro.
Could this be the first sign of the DH apocalypse? Maybe, maybe not. Enduro bikes and the sport in general are much more affordable to the public. A DH bike is pretty much limited to bike parks and shuttlecocks, and that adds a lot of cost to the already expensive bikes and depending on where you live, DH riding might not really be very accessible. With the cost of enduro bike riding being a lot lower than DH biking, I can only see the public shift from DH to enduro. Less people on dh bikes means less people racing. Less people racing means less races.
But still, I think there’s hope for DH racing. As a sport DH is just way more fun to watch. And does the sport need it’s audience to actually partake in the sport for it to live on? Not at all. How many Nascar fans actually take to the track and practice their left turns on the weekend? The future of DH racing could still be a bright as a sport where only the people that get payed to race actually race. But that’s just one mans opinion.
What are your thoughts? When was the last time you got out on your DH bike? Or did you already sell it for your new carbon 29er enduro?January 4, 2018 at 3:54 pm #818420
Well, as for the sport of DH racing, last year’s World Cup season was killer. I’d say that part of the sport is heading in a good direction. Seeing Minaar win on a Santa Cruz is always going to sell bikes, even if it’s a Nomad instead of a V10.
I don’t get to Blue anymore, but I still think there’s a lot of reason to have a DH bike. If you are doing shuttles and bike parks, a DH bike is still the best tool for the job and when set up with heavier rims, tires, brakes, you know a DH bike can take some heavy abuse without problem.January 4, 2018 at 7:18 pm #818421
This past season was one of the best on record. Not since the Palmer, Nico, Peaty days has there been this much talent in the field.
I see the appeal of Enduro and that bike sales, the ultimate marker, lends itself to the new goldilocks race format. Even personally I have a hard time justifying a full DH bike living here. Enduro is getting a lot of press but the fact remains that it’s not “as” TV friendly as DH is. Red Bull is providing us the best coverage we’ve ever had and from what I am told the numbers are through the roof in traffic and views. And its live! So I do find it odd to can a DH team for an Enduro team from a marketing standpoint alone but DH bikes sales are a blip. When was the last time you walked into a bike shop and saw a DH bike on the wall.
I think its purely a sales thing and having an Endruo team gives them the exposure and materials they need to sell that category of bike. As far as i’m concerned DH is king, F1. Got to please the Bros with the GoPros though.January 8, 2018 at 5:32 pm #818441
Recreational DH bikes have been dying around us since 2013-2014. I agree with Fastimes that from a Marketing stand point DH is way more TV friendly than enduro. DH will forever be the F1 of our sport. Long travel trails bike sales are so so strong that trail bike racing has to grow with them. Only makes sense to me. I have embraced racing enduro on the east coast and it has proved to be very fun and challenging in a different way.January 11, 2018 at 8:25 am #818452
You have to consider your parallax here. You live in Ontario……
DH is not dying. In fact, it’s as alive as ever. The race scene is still vibrant (outside of ontario), there’s still kids coming up the ranks and there’s still $ in it. In fact, this is now the second coming of larger pay cheques for DH racers. Gwin pulled in over $1m last year, exposure is at an all time high since the 90s in with the general public. Everyone more or less knows what it is now.
Another thing to consider, is that trail/FR/”endurbro” bikes are better than ever, so people are now using these bikes at lift centers all over the globe. People no longer drop the big bucks on a DH bike and go cheap on a hardtail like we used to. Now we use the same bike for more or less everything. And that doesn’t mean we aren’t DHing….. If I go race DH on a hardtail, I’m still racing DH. Someone at blue on a XC bike is STILL DHing. So DH is still alive, maybe more than ever with new places popping up around the west coast. Our tiny little scene is nothing compared to the rest of the globe, or even our neighboring Quebec.
Also consider the fact that nothing is as fast DH as a DH bike. Unless you’re Sam Hill and the course is fairly flat, a DH bike is always, as evidence shows, faster. So since DH is still alive and well, DH bikes will still be made and sold for those wanting to win or just enjoy the experience to the fullest, something enduro bikes just can’t offer (been there, it’s fine for ontario but a DH bike is still quicker).
Just because chainreaction/paypal decided to follow Sam Hill into a full enduro effort (for this year according to their presser), doesn’t mean other teams aren’t still racing. Mondraker just stacked a solid team, as did most of the others. Get ready for a great 2018January 11, 2018 at 1:35 pm #818454
Oh, and Aaron Gwin just sent me a signed jersey, so I know who I’ll be rooting for! 😀January 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm #818490
I’m glad you agree that the DH world cup racing is safe where it is. And I’ve been living in the rocky mountains for the last four years. I actually haven’t even had a DH bike for that time. But this past Christmas I just pulled my old O-cup race bike out of my parents shed. I’m excited to have it in the mountains this year. That also make me wonder what the O-cup turnout has been like. I remember when I first started racing, there would be so many people out at all the races every year. Then it started to dwindle out of the years I raced. Has it grown again? or still just the core few remaining?
You’re right Marc. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a DH bike on a shop wall. This year I’m working with a camp to start a mountain bike program out here and considering we have a mountain on our property, I’d love to get a proper DH program, but I’m starting to give up on that. I think if I’m lucky I’ll be able to get permission to purchase some dual suspension enduro bikes.
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