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Should 29ers have their own DH class?

May 1, 2017, 12:59 p.m.
Posts: 8552
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

I think it might make sense to draw a line in the sand so we don't have 31ers next year, but it's already ridiculous. Claudio Caluori is already saying that all the teams will now be scrambling to get big wheeled bikes ready to race ASAP - and he runs a team. 

It's too bad we didn't see what they could do on race day but first, third and sixth was pretty convincing for qualifying.

I've become a convert so I can see the appeal - and faster is fun for sure. 

And let's bring back skinsuits.

May 1, 2017, 1:45 p.m.
Posts: 90
Joined: March 2, 2011

I don't think so. The sport definitely isn't big enough for that even if it was a good idea. On top of that people would just watch the faster class and the best racers would race in the top class.

Basically I think it's a shame that none of the teams take the sport seriously enough to try to develop a technical advantage. Santa Cruz themselves only started developing the new v10 in october of 2016 after Greg figured it would be faster. One might say that tires didn't exist or the fork might not exist to support a dh 29er. But I would say the teams should be pushing the manufacturers to develop these parts.

Sure there might be a risk of the sport becoming a little bit too much like Formula 1, where the team with the most money and thus the best car wins. But realistically I don't see that happening anytime soon in DH. Generally I think the best rider still wins.

The other teams only have themselves to blame for not developing 29ers.

BCpov on YouTube

 Last edited by: dutch on May 2, 2017, 2:57 p.m., edited 6 times in total.
May 2, 2017, 7:08 a.m.
Posts: 246
Joined: April 26, 2004

Posted by:

And let's bring back skinsuits.

^ I wish I could +rep you

May 2, 2017, 10:48 a.m.
Posts: 334
Joined: June 28, 2011

I'd love to know what the smaller fast guys think of all this (Hart, Kerr etc). If bigger wheels suit larger guys then they are surely going to be at a disadvantage?

May 2, 2017, 12:32 p.m.
Posts: 5001
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

ews does't suffer knotted undergarments re: wheelsize; not sure why (some) dh'ers are getting so melodramatic about it. evolution of the species; larger wheels just make sense (in some cases, for some people). i love seeing development like this. 

and yes, skinsuits should be back in play.

May 2, 2017, 3:07 p.m.
Posts: 1748
Joined: July 11, 2014

I read that the UCI has a rule requiring whatever is raced to be available for public sale within 9 months, not sure how that is technically enforced? The one downside is that DH bikes are already a tiny market and probably a loss leader for brand image, there's no way anyone is going to eat the cost of producing 650b and 29er DH bikes and I think selling only a 29er will appeal only to racers and not the park/jump guys... so we could end up with less selection as consumers.

So I can see the merit in regulating wheel size (as they do in BMX and I assume in road).

May 3, 2017, 9:38 a.m.
Posts: 13210
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Re: skinsuits

It is funny that the racing kits these guys wear today are almost skinsuit tight, almost, which makes sense when all you need is speed. Back in the days of the Earthed movies the kits were definitely not that tight. So much for "Fuck Skinsuits!"

June 4, 2017, 7:17 a.m.
Posts: 1379
Joined: March 18, 2017

To answer your question; yes!

It will be called Elite Men's and Women's categories.

June 4, 2017, 7:07 p.m.
Posts: 537
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

So true. The odd rider still in shorts though which can scoop air big time which is very slow. Most wear full pants which is smart. In ski racing a suit is worth several seconds in a minute and a half race. If mountainbike race clothing needed to have a certain amount of durability for protection, that is logical. But the argument seemed to be that guys were embarrassed the wear tight clothes which would not encourage kids. Or it wasn't moto enough.

Own class? No. One comment at Fort Bill was once all are on 29 it's all even again. Makes sense. You don't want to stifle design or mechanical progress, nor do you want the sport to be totally about the bike. You want the best rider to win, not the best bike under a mediocre rider. In cyclo cross tire size was recently restricted to a max of 33mm. Before you had pros showing up with numerous sets of wheels with various sizes of tires with various trend patterns. All pre glued because you can't glue a tubular on on race day and use it. That meant maybe ten pairs of wheels for a single top rider. That's like 30-40 grand worth of stuff at retail level.  Not that a pro pays that but still.  Similarly if tech keeps changing that makes it challenging for a privateer DH rider to keep up.

 Last edited by: andy-eunson on June 4, 2017, 7:17 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 4, 2017, 9:59 p.m.
Posts: 11969
Joined: June 4, 2008

People keep calling 29 progression or evolution.  It's neither.  It's people throwing shit against a wall and seeing what sticks.

The fact the bicycle marketing companies and biking media were teaching us why 29'ers were best for pedaling, but 650b was the one for DH only a couple of years ago is testament to this.

The only defensible position proponents can take on this issue is that it makes it easier for them to roll over square edges.  That's it.  (And we best not bring mathematics into the equation, would hate to point out that that extra $5000 expenditure could have been offset with a $50 lesson).

Finally, it'd be great if people stopped bringing WCDH into this, because you have absolutely no idea how fast anyone is riding and it has absolutely no impact on your enjoyment of watching the worlds best do what they do.  If we made them ride 24" wheels, they'd still slay the fucking course and it'd still be fucking awesome to watch.  Mandating tire sizes at their level would only ensure the best riders rose to the top as opposed to the most marketable on the best teams.

June 5, 2017, 10:21 a.m.
Posts: 1379
Joined: March 18, 2017

WCDH is already segregated.  Top Mens racers practice separate from the filthy bottom dwellers.

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