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 Post subject: Downhill thinking...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:21 am 
North Wales Deputy AEC
North Wales Deputy AEC
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:50 am
Posts: 6218
Now downhillling is hoving fast into retro-view, can anyone supply me with a better timeline of XC bikes transforming into bespoke downhillers...

Parking the repack adventures in history, my basic understanding is that rigid XC bikes evolved unwittingly through aftermarket front suspension development and availability; downhill racing began as a bit of XC race weekend variety - we all race our XC bikes downhill by lowering the seat post (!); the boutique shops turn out XC full suspension prototypes (AMP, Turner etc); Specialized and GT make a workable mass production XC FS bikes; factory downhill bikes start to appear at races - thinking Foes etc; GT make the LTS/STS series...

So what were the first models of genuine DH-specific bikes that hit the showrooms and when?

Who was the first person here to own an XC and a DH specific bike at the same period?

Neil


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 Post subject: Re: Downhill thinking...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:01 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:22 pm
Posts: 176
Location: Orléans (France)
mrkawasaki wrote:
Who was the first person here to own an XC and a DH specific bike at the same period?

So far the only one who managed to race both specialties and reknown for that is Johnny T. :o

Now, I have pics of Vouilloz using a GT RTS, another one with a stock GT LTS and evolution mainly started with using Judy FSX long travel kit. So can we really speak about same bikes since it started with dedicated accessories (handlebar, wider rims, wider tires, bashguards, etc...) ???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:55 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:42 am
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Location: Portugal
In fact, it´s not possible to be accurate about the 1st downhill specific bike, because, for ex., in late ´92 GT has the RTS-1, with 40mm rear travel, but was a FS bike with flat bar and barends. Mike King raced one. There was also Herbold´s Miyata and Proflex, but all of them were just FS bikes designed for both XC and DH.

Foes appeared in late `94 (if i´m not wrong) but then, you had Giant Atx, Canon Super V and Peugeot.

I had RTS-1 in early ´93 and a Foes LTS in early ´95. Also had a Manitou DH in 95. In ´96 bought a LTS and in ´97 and LTS-DH and an STS-DH (wich i still have - see here - http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12375 ).

I believe ´95 was the first DH specific made bikes year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:59 pm 
BoTY Winner
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:39 pm
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Location: Durango CO, USA
For me, the beginning of the end for the popularity of XC racing came at the 1994 Mt Snow NORBA when I saw the line of people waiting to get on the chairlift to get to the top. It was disgusting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:37 pm 
BoTM Winner
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:23 pm
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Location: NW England
BITD we seemed to look upon any FS designs as downhill only, my mate bought a mongoose amplifier for DH racing we laughed at him because we thought he'd never keep up with us on the flat. Nowadays it would be amongst the very lightest of xc suspension frames.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:41 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 15808
Location: near cwmcarn
mike kloser got 2nd in durango 1990 worlds on same bike alpinestars ti mega he in used in durango xc worlds :) (hell hes still doing well in the mega endurance events :D
no real overnite change, a slow progression. the original intense M1 was an XC bike & universally used by DHers, same can be said for the san andreas
i remeber riding a gt lts dh with mr dirt forks & thinking how cool would it be if you could have a bike with this much travel that you could still ride uphill... a few years later & we're here :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:18 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:35 pm
Posts: 420
Location: Newbury
Nico Vouilloz! he devolped the geomerty for the original GT LTS DH. That was the first downhill spefic bike that had complety different ride postion to conventional bikes, & it had a rather huge impact.

it was not just about how travel, it also the goemerty that made it different. The first time i saw one was at a porc dh race in kent in 95/96, & it stood out like a sore thumb.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:05 pm 
Concours Judge
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:59 pm
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Greg's 1990 Miyata RidgeRunner had suspension fork. Nowadays a bike with only in 2" of travel in front is perceived as XC bike, but back then it was a unique weapon that helped Greg conquer the title in the DH Worlds for that year.

The 1991 winning bike was Iten's Cilo with more or less the same setup.

The 1992 winning bike was the 1st DH Wolds winning bike featuring rear suspension. It was the Verlicchi (Iron Horse) raced downhill by Cullinan. The Verlicchi was designed specificly for the downhill purpose.

The 1993 winning bike was a RTS. Front and rear suspension, still looking like a bike, canti brakes...

I think by 1995 or somewhat later the DH weapons really started to look like motorbikes.

Now the question is: What makes the bike really look like a DH bike? Front suspension? Rear suspension? A specific geometry?

With todays knowledge probably the later. Imho the Verlicchi is a great representative of a 1st or at least early attempt, as at that time it simply was designed with downhill in mind and nothin else.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:49 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:14 pm
Posts: 13411
Location: Warwick
"For me, the beginning of the end for the popularity of XC racing came at the 1994 Mt Snow NORBA when I saw the line of people waiting to get on the chairlift to get to the top. It was disgusting."

Damn right. I'm glad u said that Ameybrook.

I saw downhilling as the start of the new-bmx/motorbikelooking bikes generation. yuck. The rigid bikes that were used for both types of racing were great, but as soon as Cannondale started making scaffold bikes with springs I pretty much went off mtbing..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:56 pm 
East Midlands AEC
East Midlands AEC
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 15067
Location: Derby, UK
I'm off to see World Championship Downhill in Fort Bill next week... (waits to get pelted with rotten fruit and veg...! :oops: )


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