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Specialized Bikes for Downhill Biking

Updated on May 21, 2009

The sport of cycling has already undergone dramatic changes over the years so much so that many are in now search of Specialized bikes for downhill biking, another craze for those who consider the bicycle as one of man’s greatest sporting invention. The growing popularity of downhill biking for fun or for competition follows the hordes of cyclists who fell in love with the mountain bike which proved to be a versatile equipment for trail riding.

Because of the mountain bike, many outdoor bikers have found pleasure in relaxing trail riding in much the same way that hardcore biking competitors found joy in cross-country races and lately downhill racing.

downhill racing bikes
downhill racing bikes

About Downhill Racing Bikes

The mountain bikes used for downhill racing usually weigh between 16 to 20 kg (or between 25 and 45 pounds). The design commonly feature a full suspension with its frame geometry leaning back a bit further compared to other types of mountain bikes. The standard suspension travel is at 203 mm, but some commercial downhill bikes are designed to have as much as 300 mm or 12-inch suspension.

As downhill bikes are ridden at very high speeds, they are equipped with hydraulic disc brakes of a large diameter, usually 203-205 mm (8 inches). Such large disc brakes which help ensure rider safety are comparable to those installed in motorbikes and cars.

Specialized Downhill Racing Bikes Versus Freestyle Bikes

Specialized Downhill Racing Bikes are very similar to freeride bikes used in stunt riding, though there are some notable differences. Specialized Downhill Bikes need to be more stable because they are raced at high speeds, and as such have to be designed with head angles that are slacker than the free ride bikes. This design also allows downhill mountain bikes more stability at corners.

Being intended for stunts and jumping, freeride bikes are built with a more upright geometry. To maximize performance, these bikes are also designed with higher bottom bracket height. Forks also differ between downhill bikes and those for freeriding. Some freeride bikes are built with single crown forks usually with around 200 mm of suspension travel. The downhill bikes, on the other hand, have dual crown forks which are bigger and heavier than those in freeride bikes.

Specialized Downhill Racing Bike Prices

The price range of Specialized Downhill Bikes ranges between $2000 and $9000, but with a great deal can be found for around $1000. The wide price range is because of the quality differences in the components that go into the bikes. Those priced higher are built of higher quality components, and their frames are produced through a more meticulous process.

Specialized Downhill Racing Components

In the choice of components for Specialized Mountain Bikes for downhill racing, there is usually a trade-off involved between strength in weight. With recent technological advances, however, bicycle manufacturers have improved strength of components as well as weight. As a result, most downhill bikes have now trended towards those that are light weight with forks featuring air-sprung suspension and rear shocks. With these features, improved responsiveness and reduced weight have been achieved in new downhill bikes.

Such innovations also resulted in blurring the distinction between downhill and freeride bikes. downhill bike,s like freeride bikes have also become lighter and built at steeper angles, enabling better performance in tracks that have become more technical in recent years.

Downhill Bike Racing Videos


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