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upgrading the DH bike

July 8, 2019, 12:31 p.m.
Posts: 4781
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

I've been riding my 2011 Knolly Podium pretty much since it was new. I have treated the bike well, and to this day it still looks and rides like it did back in the day. I cracked the rear link last year, and after replacing that I took the opportunity to upgrade everything on the bike including the fork, brakes, and full driveline. It's been good to me, and I love how the bike rides. That said, it is getting up there in age and I put a ton of WBP miles on it as it's my strict park bike. Knowing the history of the Podium, I know that the gen2 model is supposed to be better than the gen1 in every way. So I've been eyeing up the PB buy&sell for 2013+ Podiums. 

Problem # 1, people just don't take care of their stuff. The sheer number of ratched and beat up bikes for sale blows me away. Sure, the last Podiums are coming up 4 years old now, but I'm surprised as to how few take care of a bike that costs a few thousand dollars. 

Problem #2, Is it worth upgrading the Podium? My bike still has a few seasons left in it, and while I love the Knolly and DH, I'm now entering my mid 40's. While I still ride a lot of miles, I tend to enjoy the Enduro world (and my Transition Patrol) a lot more than I used to. The park is great, and I plan on hitting 30 days this season (halfway there!), but I'm finding that after a couple of hours in the park, my body is feeling it. I enjoy riding the Patrol in the park, but it's not a DH rig. Nothing stops me on my Podium... Except the Professor..... that is a scary rock.

What do you think, NSMB?

July 8, 2019, 1:25 p.m.
Posts: 1037
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Do some training that allows your body to handle more DH?


 Last edited by: syncro on July 8, 2019, 1:26 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
July 8, 2019, 1:36 p.m.
Posts: 1037
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Re the bike, if your component spec is solid just go with a new frame and consider looking beyond the Knolly

July 9, 2019, 12:21 p.m.
Posts: 4781
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

That's always an option. The parts are the tops and the bike still rides well. 

That said, I'm almost at the point where I can hand the dh bike down to my boy. One more bike passed down leaves an option to get something newer for myself.

July 9, 2019, 12:26 p.m.
Posts: 4781
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

The mention of training is spot on too. I was telling the wife last week that the days of me just showing up to the trails and pounding them out are likely over. I'm no slouch though. I still play high level hockey weekly and can ride pretty nuts for about 2 hrs. But that's not good enough. Needless to say, training + sobriety commenced last week and I'm feeling many positive effects already.


 Last edited by: hypa on July 9, 2019, 12:27 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Typo
July 9, 2019, 12:41 p.m.
Posts: 1432
Joined: July 11, 2014

A newer DH bike is always the answer... and I found going 26 to 27.5in wheels (or 29er if you want to go that way) roll over stuff easier = less fatigue, small diff but noticeable. The newer BoXXer and 40's are smoother and have better damping control than the 2011 era stuff as well.

30 days in the park justifies a modern bike in my opinion, assuming it fits in the budget. Don't have to buy new, but look at 2017-18ish bikes with 1 or 2 park seasons on them. Note that asking prices are often ridiculous so throw out some reasonable offers on Pinkbike and you'll find someone who needs cash and is motivated to sell. We are far enough into bike park season that the May high price selling season has passed and demand should be lower.

Passing down the Podium to the kid is a good incentive as well, he will be stoked on it I'm sure.

July 9, 2019, 6:52 p.m.
Posts: 10919
Joined: June 4, 2008

Trying to find a used Knolly will be a lot harder from finding a great used DH bike.

Everyone is trying to buy “enduro” bikes right now and not DH bikes... that means you can buy some really amazing used DH bikes in Whistler.  I suggest you cast your net wider..

July 10, 2019, 10:41 a.m.
Posts: 667
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Agree, 30 days a year is A LOT of Park - get a DH bike. Its arguably the better tool for the park but more importantly, its built to take 30 days - Enduro bikes are less so.

I have a DH bike for the Park for half that. I saw that More Bikes has a 2017 black Maiden with a Fox upfront, BOS rear and XO, brand new, for $4k. They might even go lower as that bike has been sitting there since then.

July 10, 2019, 2:21 p.m.
Posts: 1909
Joined: Jan. 5, 2010

My 2017 27.5" Specialized Demo doesn't seem to change how my hands feel after a full day or two or three days in the park compared to my '15 26" Kona Operator or '09 26" Yeti DH. I probably have the Boxxer a bit over-sprung on the Demo, and I could probably make it feel better if I spent some more $$$ on the damper, but I'm cheap to a fault.

Still, based on my personal experience, if you're just worried about your hands, I'm not sure how much a new bike will help.

It does kind of sound like you just want a new bike or frame though. If you can give your kid your old bike and get a new one, do it. You'll probably have more fun. Geo has probably improved since 2011.

There were some good deals on the 27.5 Giant DH bikes that Instructors/Whistler Employees were selling on Pinkbike that looked like they were in great shape, and that's supposed to be a great bike. If you can wait until the end of the season, you can try to get one of Evolution's ex-rental V10s. They have a great part spec and appear to be very well maintained. I'd go in now and see if you can buy one ahead of time. When my dad bought an ex-rental from them many moons ago, he got warranty on the frame too. Used bike price, well maintained, plus potentially frame warranty which seems like a really good thing to have on a bike you thrash 30 days a year.

July 10, 2019, 2:56 p.m.
Posts: 4781
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

Posted by: Cheez1ts

My 2017 27.5" Specialized Demo doesn't seem to change how my hands feel after a full day or two or three days in the park compared to my '15 26" Kona Operator or '09 26" Yeti DH. I probably have the Boxxer a bit over-sprung on the Demo, and I could probably make it feel better if I spent some more $$$ on the damper, but I'm cheap to a fault.

Still, based on my personal experience, if you're just worried about your hands, I'm not sure how much a new bike will help.

It does kind of sound like you just want a new bike or frame though. If you can give your kid your old bike and get a new one, do it. You'll probably have more fun. Geo has probably improved since 2011.

There were some good deals on the 27.5 Giant DH bikes that Instructors/Whistler Employees were selling on Pinkbike that looked like they were in great shape, and that's supposed to be a great bike. If you can wait until the end of the season, you can try to get one of Evolution's ex-rental V10s. They have a great part spec and appear to be very well maintained. I'd go in now and see if you can buy one ahead of time. When my dad bought an ex-rental from them many moons ago, he got warranty on the frame too. Used bike price, well maintained, plus potentially frame warranty which seems like a really good thing to have on a bike you thrash 30 days a year.

You know, that's a pretty good idea. I've been on a Knolly for so many years now, but remember just how plush and low the V10 rides. I'm going to cast a wider net too, as there are so many great bikes out there. Like granbo said, a 650b will roll just a little better over the gnarly stuff. I find I can maintain a lot of speed through some of the gnarly stretches on my Enduro with big wheels. It would be nice to do the same with the DH bike.

Unless something really jumps out at me this season, I'll wait until the winter hits and see what is available. I used to love buying used bikes out of season and piecing together my own rig. Maybe it's time to share that passion with the boy and build something for each of us.

That said, he's going to look hilarious in the B-line race with his 24" Commencal Supreme. I offered him the use of my bike and he declined. Something about huckability, hashtag dad doesn't know?

lol

July 10, 2019, 10:02 p.m.
Posts: 778
Joined: March 18, 2017

Another option could be a frame set kit from

commencal.

July 11, 2019, 11:20 a.m.
Posts: 1432
Joined: July 11, 2014

Santa Cruz just updated the V10 as well so if you are buying one off Evolution you are getting in year 1 of the new frame design which is cool. I believe they are doing 27.5 and not the 29er version.

September-January is definitely the time to buy. I managed to snag a nearly-new (spare bike) top spec Aurum carbon with a Fox/Shimano/Race Face world cup build from Norco Factory Racing for $4500 a few years back, half of what it would cost retail. Lots of industry people/coaches/guides sell their extra stuff that time of year.

July 11, 2019, 11:52 a.m.
Posts: 1909
Joined: Jan. 5, 2010

Posted by: grambo

Santa Cruz just updated the V10 as well so if you are buying one off Evolution you are getting in year 1 of the new frame design which is cool. I believe they are doing 27.5 and not the 29er version.

September-January is definitely the time to buy. I managed to snag a nearly-new (spare bike) top spec Aurum carbon with a Fox/Shimano/Race Face world cup build from Norco Factory Racing for $4500 a few years back, half of what it would cost retail. Lots of industry people/coaches/guides sell their extra stuff that time of year.

A buddy of mine is already lining up purchase of an Evolution V10. He's getting a 29". Not sure if they have 27.5".

July 11, 2019, 1:08 p.m.
Posts: 778
Joined: March 18, 2017

I parking lot pedalled a V1029 XXL the other week. 

At a height of 175cm it felt correctly sized. WB 13mm longer than my current bike  Reach ~10mm less

¯\(ツ)

July 12, 2019, 10:22 a.m.
Posts: 4781
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

Posted by: Endur-Bro

I parking lot pedalled a V1029 XXL the other week. 

At a height of 175cm it felt correctly sized. WB 13mm longer than my current bike  Reach ~10mm less

¯_(ツ)_/¯

Hahaha, the reach of these dh bikes is hilarious compared to my patrol. Wheelbase is almost the same, but reach is about 30mm less on the knolly. 

I didn't realize how wonky the specs are until I started looking into replacing the knolly.

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