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how to best set up a XC bike for a down hil r ace

des johnstondes johnston Posts: 7
edited March 2009 in MTB general
can anyone please give me advice on how to best set up the suspension on my sons iron Horse Sport mk3 (XC bike) for a short down hill race. He is roughly 60 kilos (wet through)! Any other tips; seat hight, tyre pressure etc would be much appreciated.


  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Suspension - soft enough to absorb big hits without bottoming but not so soft that it feels wallowy in the corners.

    Tyres - if you possibly can, get some double-ply tyres. The side walls are double-thickness which means they are stiffer and can be run at lower pressures. They weigh about twice as much as an XC tyre but since it's a gravity race it doesn't really matter. I recommend Maxxis Minions or High Rollers for general conditions (42a Super Tacky up front and a 60a Maxxpro on the back). If it's going to be wet and/or muddy go for something like a Swampthing. 2,35" width is ample.

    If you can't stretch to tyres, at least look at fitting some DH-specific inner tubes - they're a lot thicker-walled and will help to prevent snakebite punctures.

    Saddle - slam it right down and move it forward on the post. He won't be sitting down much and may need to get his weight right back so if the saddle is down and forward, it's less likely to get in the way.

    Bear in mind that if the race is being run under BCF rules, he'll need a full-face lid too.
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  • heavy_ratheavy_rat Posts: 264
    i've got a 42a high roller for sale if you're interested but its only single ply though. £15 quid delivered. hardly used.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    Downhill innner tubes for certain - whatever tyres. Thicker tyres if poss. Run PSI below 40. Wide / high bars. Review pedals - flats?
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    How hard is the DH course? He might kill the bike!
  • tompugtompug Posts: 227
    Some bar end plugs should be fitted if not already, don't want to skewer himself.
  • plenty of skills wouldnt be a bad idea, wider tires, wider bars, lower seat, lower tyre pressure, softer suspension, grippy pedals and of course all the pads and a full face helmet
  • xtreemxtreem Posts: 2,965
    And don't take the big jumps. Or those will be the last.
  • TVM for good advice. Course was a censored . Glentress is own stomping ground, so Chicksands was more of a rambling role. Son bagged second place in his first race. Well proud dad!!
    supersonic wrote:
    How hard is the DH course? He might kill the bike!
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