9 Frequently Asked Questions About Downhill Biking

Downhill mountain biking is a sport of thrill and adventure. As you ride down the hill, you can feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins.

However, the lack of proper knowledge and experience can turn a downhill ride into a fatal journey.

Here are 9 of the most frequently asked questions about downhill biking, if you’re just getting started.

Question 1: Can I ride a downhill bike on the road?

It’s important to note that downhill bikes have bulky tires and squishy suspension. For this reason, it is generally difficult to ride downhill bikes on the road. Even if you take it out on the road, it’ll be super slow and inconvenient.

Question 2: Are hardtail mountain bikes good for downhill?

Many hardtail bikes can be very sturdy and can comfortably withstand jumps as high as two feet above the ground.

If you do not have another option, your hardtail bike will be good for your downhill adventure, though you’ll lose significant comfort over rocks and roots.

Question 3: How to choose a downhill bike?

Keep the following factors in mind:

  • Your height
  • Your level of expertise (if you are just starting out, you may not need the most expensive bike on the market)
  • Service requirements
  • Brand reliability
  • User reviews

Question 4: How to get into downhill mountain bike racing?

Practice on authorized trails. Connect with academies near you. Be active in the circuit and build connections. Keep an eye on the downhill bike racing trials for your age and expertise. Practice regularly and maintain fitness.

Question 5: Should I buy a downhill or enduro bike?

The answer largely depends on your reason behind buying a bike. If you want to go downhill at fast speeds, a downhill bike will be your best bet. However, if you want to go uphill and downhill on the same bike, at moderate speeds, go for an enduro.

Question 6: What size downhill bike do I need?

The chart below will help you decide.

Rider Height (in)Rider Height (cm)Frame SizeFrame Size (in)Frame Size (cm)
4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″148cm – 158cmXS13″ – 14″33cm – 37cm
5′ 3″ – 5′ 6″159cm – 168cmS15″ – 16″38cm – 42cm
5′ 7″ – 5′ 10″169cm – 178cmM17″ – 18″43cm – 47cm
5′ 11″ – 6′ 1″179cm – 185cmL19″ – 20″48cm – 52cm
6′ 2″ – 6′ 4″186cm – 193cmXL21″ – 22″53cm – 57cm
6′ 4″ +194cm +XXL23″ +58cm +

(Source)

Question 7: What are downhill bikes good for?

Downhill bikes are specifically designed for going downhill at high speeds while maintaining control. Downhill bikes are very sturdy but not meant for the road, apart from getting you to and from the moutain.

Question 8: Are downhill bikes worth buying?

In our biased opinion, 100%. If you plan on biking regularly it’s a great investment. If not, or you’re just testing it you, you can consider renting.

Question 9: How to get into downhill mountain biking?

It’s best to start by getting a downhill bike and getting some instructions (click here for Whistler Blackcomb’s training options). They’ll train you and may offer opportunities considering your skill level.