Rigid Frame for DH - indulge my fantasy

floody

Wheel size expert
I don't think heaps of travel = necessarily better on a hardtail, because some weird stuff happens with the geometry on compression. Go into a G-out with a mid 60s° head angle and be steeper than an XC bike at full compression, right when you've got no travel to calm it down. Yuck-o.

Why not just one of the more aggressive AM/FR hardtail frames with like 150-160 on the front? I honestly do not think a hardtail can track ground well enough to be able to harness much more fork.
 

floody

Wheel size expert
All the good frames have disappeared :(

This is a list of pretty much unobtainable frames, they're out there but rare/scarce

Nicolai BMXTB
Evil imperial
Snipes Elemental
Journeyman Block 8
Clifcat Tankass
Black Imperator
Alutech DDU
.243 DH
TwoFour Porn King/Toy 4
NS Bitch
Banshee Morphine
Richi Big Bear
Soul Cycles Sluggo
Darkside Zoo War
Boy Bike Co Daredevil
Zonenschien Leonardo
Duncon Pitbull/Cock/Cocker & Pussy
DaBomb CR8
Grossman FDT
Astrix Union
Ellsworth Specialist
Balfa Minuteman
Azonic Steelhead
Spooky Cycles Bandwagon
Cortina Europa
Sinister Ridge
Nearly all in that list are short, tall, steep and overly stiff compared to modern AM frames. Quite a few are just old dirtjump frames with basically small XC bike geo. Times have changed, there are heaps of all-day capable bikes which would belt the stuffing out of most of them downhill.
 

moorey

Carte d'or what?
Rode a few of the old DH style ht's back in the day. I'll take my Ragley Marley over those any day. Still plenty strong, 1/2 the weight, 1.5 steerer, pretty slack from stock, pretty low bb, iscg tabs. Designed for a 150mm fork, but I'd have no qualms running more.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
Yeah, just been looking through the AM/Funduro HT thread, some interesting ideas in there.

Essentially I'd like to get something like a Morphine, Bigfoot, Rampage, etc. And put some fat-baggy tires on it along with anything up to 180mm forks. Can be single crowns if need be, just want something to bomb a few DH trails from time to time without worrying that I'm going to bust anything expensive.

There's a Morphine on here for $800 but it has a bunch of parts on it that I don't need. Might see if he wants to splitsville.
 

spoozbucket

Likes Dirt
Honestly, forks are so good these days you really don't need that much tavel.
In the old days it was the plusher the better but now it's very different, forks keep their composure and sit a lot higher in their travel which really suits a decent hardtail frame.

Actually Commencal(Purton) may still have one of their old Ramones frames going stupidly cheap, they were overbuilt with modernish geo.
 

Mitch243

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I don't think heaps of travel = necessarily better on a hardtail, because some weird stuff happens with the geometry on compression. Go into a G-out with a mid 60s° head angle and be steeper than an XC bike at full compression, right when you've got no travel to calm it down. Yuck-o.

Why not just one of the more aggressive AM/FR hardtail frames with like 150-160 on the front? I honestly do not think a hardtail can track ground well enough to be able to harness much more fork.
This is the camp I'm in, although personally I'd probably only put 120mm/130mm on the front of a hardtail. I'd suggest something like a Kona Explosif and aim to throw a lowered Pike on in due course. My housemate in Canada rode some pretty insane things on his, enough to make me say it'd be fine for anything in Australia. Although an Explsoif overshoots the budget in which case I had a .243DH frame which sounds right up your alley. Heavy as all fuck and never feared for its failure when riding it with a 180mm Marzo 66.

That said I also rode a DH on a 100mm STP for a bit and thought it was more capable than the .243. Sure, less travel but it was much easier to be more lively and therefore smoother/faster over-all. Perhaps less is more if you're already in the less camp. To do it over I'd want a longer top tube than you can get in an STP. I didn't find the head angle to be an issue for that amount of travel and on the kind of gradient you get here in Aus, but would be better if slacker obviously.

[edit] I should also clarify I was pretty squiddy when riding these contraptions, but I do ride a rigid forked hardtail now so I feel something must have carried over.



 
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No Skid Marks

Blue Mountain Bikes Brooklyn/Lahar/Kowa/PO1NT Raci
Don't know how to break it to you ol Mate, but we're too old for DHing hardtails. Do you have a bung knee already anyway?
I have a DMR Trailstar LT frame you can borrow to work it out if you want. PM me.
 

pink poodle

Our man isn't in the West
Don't know how to break it to you ol Mate, but we're too old for DHing hardtails. Do you have a bung knee already anyway?
I have a DMR Trailstar LT frame you can borrow to work it out if you want. PM me.
It won't help your back either. Part of the reason my rampage build didn't last was that even just putting around the street and smooth dirt on it was teasing my back to fuck me over. Too much vibration. Went back to a duelling suspension system and was fine.
 

spoozbucket

Likes Dirt
Yup, your whole body goes to shit and if you go fast enough through rough bits your eyes don't work properly.
On a super stiff frame you might even get sore kidneys after a decent day of runs.
 

No Skid Marks

Blue Mountain Bikes Brooklyn/Lahar/Kowa/PO1NT Raci
Yup, your whole body goes to shit and if you go fast enough through rough bits your eyes don't work properly.
On a super stiff frame you might even get sore kidneys after a decent day of runs.
Yeah forget the Nicolai and Evil Ally beasts, they'd shack the shit outta ya. Steel is best for meniscus longevity.
Agree sub 5" travel also, no need to be wallowing in geo uncertainty.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
Ha, yeah, I do wonder how it will feel on my oldening old bod. However, the knee issue was related to clip ins and is fully healed now. My back it about bad posture in the gym/on the lounge and that's healing up relatively well also.

I'd been riding rigid only for the last 8 years and get back on to the Cannondale Chase every now and then to bomb the BR trails and I farkin love it. Would actually prefer it than the dually option but its the single speed option that requires such intense commitment to fitness and tendinitis in the forearms, etc. I figure if I take out the uphills and use something more than the 80mm forks than I have on the Chase an I could handle a few weekends here and there of bombing trails on a ridgy didge.


And no, I won't be using the Chase for DH duties. I have done before and I know it can handle it. However, it's my prized possession and I intend in being buried with that thing.
 

pink poodle

Our man isn't in the West
I google imaged to make sure I was thinking of the right bike...Johnny, is this your chase?

IMG_20151012_140804.jpg

It sounds like you know what you want. I await an old school is the only school build thread!
 

Knuckles

Lives under a bridge
All the good frames have disappeared :(

This is a list of pretty much unobtainable frames, they're out there but rare/scarce

Nicolai BMXTB
Evil imperial
Snipes Elemental
Journeyman Block 8
Clifcat Tankass
Black Imperator
Alutech DDU
.243 DH
TwoFour Porn King/Toy 4
NS Bitch
Banshee Morphine
Richi Big Bear
Soul Cycles Sluggo
Darkside Zoo War
Boy Bike Co Daredevil
Zonenschien Leonardo
Duncon Pitbull/Cock/Cocker & Pussy
DaBomb CR8
Grossman FDT
Astrix Union
Ellsworth Specialist
Balfa Minuteman
Azonic Steelhead
Spooky Cycles Bandwagon
Cortina Europa
Sinister Ridge

While a Sirocco would be doable, the Morphine would be perfect.

4.jpg

May hurt you though, although a lot less than an STP and 8" forks parting ways.
 
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