Our Take – DH vs Trail Bike

The age of debate on which is better a DH or trail bike. Well that more often than not depends of the location in which you are riding your bike. Having our company based in the Okanagan we have some of the best riding available in every discipline. From shuttles to trail ride we have it all, so which bike is best for us? This depends looks on who you ask, for myself I enjoy the forgivingness of the larger bike, the ability to bash through anything that is in my way with little regard if my bike will handle it. The DH bike is perfect for shuttling as pedaling efficiency is greatly reduced with a road cassette, squishy suspension and a super slack front end. But once at the top of the trail and you point the bike down some of the rockiest trails there is no need to second guess your decision. Big bikes are for the win… once you are at the top. I am fortunate to ride a 27.5 TR500 that has TBS parts all over the bike, from rubber to bars and everything in between I have no fear that my bike isn’t going to be there for me. Trusting that your bike will be there every step of the way makes you not only feel invincible but also gives you the courage to try and go faster, taking lines that would otherwise be overlooked. Members of our staff also love their big bikes evident by our Instagram posts.

On the other hand, owning a carbon trail bike that has all the bells and whistles opens up an entirely new trail network that isn’t DH bike friendly. By being able to pedal and get to new areas the trail bike is a lot more versatile, allowing for new locations to be explored and more riding. Who doesn’t enjoy new trails and more riding? Trail bikes are lighter and more maneuverable making the experience completely different then a big bike that can bash through anything. The trail bike floats more easily and can be thrown around like a feather making for a more precise type of riding. I have clips on my bike and that was a game changer on my trail bikes ability to go through the rough stuff and picking lines that are more challenging. The reward of pedaling to the top of the trail makes the ride down that much sweeter. The old saying, “earn your turns” is often over looked when shuttling, but having earned the decent makes for a more rewarding experience. The addition of building cardio and exercise translates to the decent as your stamina is increased.

When we discuss this topic among staff and riding friends everyone has their own opinion on which bike they prefer. Some are die-hard dh fans and other enjoy the lighter trail option. As far as I am concerned every bike has its own specific discipline that it is best at but that doesn’t mean it is only good at the one thing. You can ride a trail bike in Whistler as well as riding a downhill bike on a cross-country single track. It may not be as enjoyable and often hard on parts and the body but riding is riding. Get out there and enjoy whatever you have and when you need parts to keep you bike running check out our website – TBS Bike Parts - spend less, ride the best.

Written by Cody Decker - Head Product Specialist at TBS Bike Parts