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If you have been considering a downhill mountain bike, you have probably come up with a few questions along the way. There are many different things to consider, but we will touch on a handful of them in this article. What exactly are these machines? What are they used for? Can you eventually qualify for the World Cup races or at least go viral on YouTube? Let’s just pump the brakes for a minute and take a look at some pros and cons.
This article will get you started with some basics of the downhill mountain biking world. After reading this guide, you may be able to make a more educated decision on whether you are ready to take the plunge and hit the trails. Weigh your options carefully though; you will need to be committed to your decision.
WHAT IS A DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE?
With all of the different options on the bike market these days, it can be challenging to make the right choice. The downhill mountain bike stands out among all the alternatives as a bike that is clearly designed for its intended purpose – descending mountains quickly. Whether you are into competitive contests or simply having a good time outdoors, a downhill mountain bike will satisfy your craving.
Of course, it will require some cash and some commitment on your end. Between the initial purchase cost, the time spent breaking down and setting up, plus the expense of upkeep – you will definitely have to be dedicated to your new hobby in order to make the most of it.
These machines are packed with innovation, so they come ready and willing to attack the trails. Just like its target customer, a downhill mountain bike is finely tuned for one specific activity. These bikes are crafted with high-quality components, including very capable brakes, responsive suspension, sturdy frames, some extra padding, and materials that can withstand whatever nature throws at them. They can even withstand being thrown at nature.
However, the durability of these bikes depends partly on the level of care given to them along with the number of miles logged on them. These bikes are built to last, but they are not completely indestructible. In short, you will get out of your downhill mountain bike whatever you put into it.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
If you can commit to caring for the various components of your bike, you will find that you will be handsomely rewarded for your efforts. In the world of mountain biking, downhill is possibly the purest form there is. Along with this level of performance comes lots of fun and maybe even some scares – oh, and some scars too.
Give yourself an advantage by making sure your bike is primed and ready to go before you head out. There is nothing more regrettable than pulling up to the mountain and realizing you overlooked something simple.
With that said, these bikes are just like any other products on the market in that they have advantages and disadvantages. It is important to keep in mind the major components of the downhill mountain bike as well. Crucial parts like the gears, wheels, braking system and suspension will each require your attention and financial commitment if they are going to perform up to par.
You don’t want to be charging downhill with brakes you haven’t checked or struggling to change gears that are caked in mud. As you consider your downhill destiny, there are a few things to be aware of.
WHAT ARE THE PROS OF A DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE?
One of the resounding and undeniable pros of a downhill mountain bike is the fun and enjoyment it brings to the rider. You can’t argue with the exhilaration racers enjoy in downhill competitions. These bikes are built for speed and performance, giving you the opportunity to push way beyond the constraints of your average street bike trudging across the asphalt. If you are looking for a different biking experience, you might be in for an awesome time with a downhill mountain bike. The only possible concern here is, do you actually like having fun?
Another benefit of shopping for a downhill mountain bike right now is the falling prices consumers are frequently finding. The competition is increasing among bike makers which means better prices and larger values for inspiring bikers. If you are looking for an unassuming entry-level model bike, you can break into the scene for well under a couple grand.
Several online companies are offering excellent deals in this area and the second-hand market continues to grow bigger each day. If you don’t mind starting off with someone else’s starter bike, you could end up saving yourself quite a bit of money. The more loot you save up front means the more you have to spend in the future. You always have the option of going full speed ahead though, assuming you have lots of cash to throw at your local bike shop.
Through the use of your downhill mountain bike, you will also be exposed to some serious exercise. Whether you are into physical exertion or not, this hobby will demand your strength, energy, and stamina. Just think of all the braking, jumping, maneuvering, and pedaling the trails will require.
A healthier lifestyle is an unavoidable byproduct of using a downhill mountain bike. You will find yourself communing with nature as you inevitably break a sweat and possibly blaze your own path. Who knows? You might actually put your blood, sweat, and tears into your newly acquired obsession. If you are generally opposed to things like exercise and sweating, feel free to consider this one of the cons of owning a downhill mountain bike.
WHAT ARE THE CONS OF A DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE?
COST AND UPKEEP
Perhaps the most obvious con of purchasing and owning a downhill mountain bike is the inherent expense. There is just no way around the initial investment and cost of ownership required by these incredible machines. Although there are bargains to be had, the overall consensus is that this hobby is not one of the cheapest. Like owning a fine automobile, the downhill mountain bike demands consistent and thorough maintenance to perform at optimal levels.
If you set a reasonable budget and do some digging, you should be able to get riding without selling everything else you own. Be prepared to shell out some dough though; it is highly likely you will. Keep in mind, it would be a major disservice to drop a bunch of coin on a bike that you can’t pay enough attention to. You would be wise to think this purchase through before heading into the store.
Just as it requires your financial commitment, a downhill mountain bike will also take up your valuable time. In addition to the time you spend navigating the trails, you will inevitably log many hours caring for your downhill mountain bike as well. These high-quality and high-performance machines need regular attention from their riders or they become the unproductive victims of neglect.
You will no doubt experience lower performance and less enjoyment if you are unable to commit to the proper upkeep of your bike. It simply comes with the territory of owning such a high-end machine. If you can pick up a few proven techniques and develop your own maintenance routine, you might save yourself some trouble. Otherwise, you will need to make sure you can afford to have your local shop do the dirty work for you.
One additional consideration of plunging into downhill mountain biking is geography. The need for living near or in a mountainous area is pretty much unavoidable. As capable as these bikes are, they are not meant for the concrete jungles of the world. If you do not have reasonable access to any biking trails, you might have to accept that there are more practical hobbies out there waiting for you.
Close proximity to trails will ensure that you get the best return on your investment. Although these bikes can be very nice to look at, they are not meant to sit and collect dust in an urban locale.
Be realistic about your travel time to and from the trails as well. Every minute you spend in the car is precious time you will not spend on your bike. You definitely don’t want to build up resentment for an inanimate object that eats up all of your spare time.
This will likely be one of the tougher decisions you will make in your shopping endeavors. Although a downhill mountain bike can provide a ton of fun and adventure, it will also demand a good chunk of your time and money. You might have to re-prioritize a few things in order to make this dream a reality.
With that said, now is the best time to get started if you are able to. So do yourself a solid and give some serious consideration to the points mentioned above. You will either dodge a bullet or find yourself flying down a mountain at the speed of one.