What is a Downhill Mountain Bike?
A downhill mountain bike is a mountain bike specifically designed for flying down single track mountain trails at death-defying speeds. Downhill mountain bikes are usually outfitted with full suspension, in both the front fork and the rear posts. A downhill mountain bike is designed to have between 7 inches and 10 inches of suspension travel, allowing for one of the most padded rides available for bumby terrain. They have thick, knobby tires so as to deal with all sorts of terrain - inches of mud, soft forest floors, slick leaves, jagged rocks. Downhill mountain bikes have shock-absorbing wheel frames designed to deal with unexpected obstacles like logs and boulders, or the impact from jumps from ledges. Brakes are obviously important components on downhill mountain bikes; you can choose from either disc brakes or rim brakes for your downhill mountain bike. Ideally, the best downhill mountain bike will have all of the proper components and a sturdy enough mountain bike frame to combat the wear and tear of traversing highly technical, rough mountain terrain at very high speeds.
Downhill mountain bikes were first professionally produced in California in the late 1970's. Gary Fisher, now one of the most famous names in bicycle brands today, was a member of a group of innovative California cyclists who were tired of taking their road bikes on mountain paths, only to find their rides hindered by imporoper engineering and equipment. Since 1979, downhill mountain bike engineering and design have seen dramatic improvements. It is only through the techinical innovations of people like Gary Fisher that improvements have been made to downhill mountain bikes, allowing it to blossom as both a recreational activity and a competitive sport.
Downhill mountain bike racing is a sport that has gained popularity during the past ten years. In a traditional downhill mountain bike race, competitiors will race from the top of a mountain to the bottom, performing highly technical maneuvers and traversing dangerous terrain. The athlete who makes it to the bottom of the mountain with the fastest travel time is declared the winner. As speed is thus an important factor in downhill mountain biking competition, the weight of a downhill mountain bike frame must be taken into account. Different frame materials, such as aluminum, steel, and titanium, can be used for speed, durability, or shock absorption. If you are looking to break into the downhill mountain bike racing circuit, investing in a lighter frame will be amore expensive, but worth your money. If, however, you are looking to simply indulge in recreational downhill mountain biking, a frame of a heavier material wil be cheaper, and will still serve all of yuor downhill mountain biking needs.