I've recently registered for my first DH race at Mount Snow. This is my first time, and I'm wondering if my all mountain bike will be enough. It's a Trek Fuel ex 9. Since it's my first downhill race, I'd like to try it a few times before I spend a small fortune on a DH bike.
Hope this reply is not too late. I'm not familiar with the Trek line. If your bike has less than 6" of travel, you should consider renting one.... $80+/- rental is easy when you consider all the stuff that can break and you are quickly over $80 in repairs. It's also a matter of safety. You won't have much control with a short travel bike and you won't feel as confident....and you'll go slow. Also, I recommend 2.5 tires ....no b.s. I went over this gnarly section with about 8 sharp rocks..and I hit every **** one ...I thought there was no way I could have escaped that without a pinch flat but to my relief I had no leaks! In fact, I had no leaks all weekend! I have a 6" travel bike and I swapped the medium stem for a short one, went from 2.3 tires to 2.5 tires with matching size tubes, put on an old big chain ring for a bash guard and wrapped the lower triangle with an old inner tube..good luck!
I'm new to the site but have been riding DH for 6 years and just came upon your question.
I hope your race went well, feel free to get in touch with me and let me know how it went.
That said, I hope you got a hold of a real, DH rig for that race. I've never done Mt, Snow but I've heard it's pretty gnar.
Renting a bike was a good suggestion. The abuse that a bike takes on a DH run can be unreal. I wouldn't put my AM bike through that! There are some guys that watch the weight of their DH rigs but I prefer mine to be stable at the compromise of having it 2-3 pounds heavier.
Hope your season went well,
If you say you can't, you're right.
Twitter - KIKat1029
This answer may be way too late. KAT had great advice, if you ran that race on a bike with less than 6" travel, you are porbably jsut getting out of the hospital by now, 5 months later !
Seriously, I have riden Mtn Bikes for 26 years, been racing DH for the last 3 years, including a 1st Place Cat 3 (2007 Mt Snow USA Cycliang Nat Champ) and 3rd Place Cat 2 (2008 Mt Snow UAS Cycling NAt Champ)
While I have found that many of the race courses at venues not on ski areas don't always require a full DH rig to safely be competitive, I have raced at Mt Snow, Sol Vista, Northstar, and Kirkwood. without exception, the ski areas have the terrain that demands the BIG RIG, especially if you are new to this sport, I HIGHLY recommend a full face helmet and full body armor too. Even in the sections of course that are not that technical, they are usually steep and fast, so, the added weight, stability, and suspension of the bigger bike makes for a much safer run at higher speeds, and in the event of a crash, that helemt and padding will keep the ambulance where it needs to stay, PARKED at the bottom of that hill
Read on and RIDE ON