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I bought a haro flightline two dx and i want to upgrade it (fork,brakes,derraulliers,...)iam scared that if i do this with this bike that my fork is going to fail or something like that so could i do this with a 100mm sr suntour xct v2 or could i upgrade it to a fork with more travel. I dont know if a fork with more travel can go on this bike.Will my fork fail?and can I upgrade my bikes travel?

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Back about a hundred years ago, a group of negro soldiers in the US traveled, I think, about 1000 miles across the American West (often no roads to speak of) on wood-framed bikes. This was to demonstrate the ability of bikes to replace horses in military operations. The major innovation on their bikes was steel rims in place of the older style wood ones. Any bike you have will be 10 times better than what they rode over some fairly rugged terrain. –  Daniel R Hicks Nov 1 '12 at 11:29
    
MattNZ Just curious, how did you land such big jumps, with out suspension? (2 meters) Thats awesome. Did you land rear wheel first or both the same time? and what kind of bike did you have, do you have a pic? –  user10594 Mar 16 at 8:03
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3 Answers 3

It looks to me that the bike is an entry level XC mountian bike. Not a great bike, at the right price tag, none the less suitable for off road use. I wouldn't take if off a 2 meter drops all day, but it should be OK over less than about 300mm (1 foot) and more if you know how to land. If you keep the wheels on the ground it will handle most tracks.

Upgrading the fork to more travel will change the geometry. Too much is a bad thing, but 20mm or so should be OK. Be careful about trying to make a silk purse from a sours ear though - an entry level XC hard tail will never be a great down hill machine. Looking at the list of upgrades, it would be better to start with a bike closer to what you really want.

As for breaking the bike etc - it will probably not fail catastrophically from normal riding, but it's not a 20kg downhill tank, and parts breakable if abused. Riding style and skill , as well as your weight, plays a part. A skilled rider controls the bike over the bumps and landings, and rides "lightly" and unskilled rider can land very "heavy" on the smallest bumps and jumps.

Theres nothing wrong with a hard-tail for down hilling - not that many years ago people rode no suspension on what we now consider "Light" down hill tracks (I used to land 2 meter jumps with no suspension, ....memories... the early 90's, just like life, MTB's were so much simpler - 2 wheels, 18 gears, choice of steel or steel frames and one size nearly fits all..... ),

Although this one would not be my choice, if it's all you have got, get out there and have fun.

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I am only 12 years old and i ride my bike oround 3 to 6 hours a day and i am bike mad i got this bike for my birthday and i know it isnt the best for downhill but i really enjoy downhill so i was thinking of upgrading my bike:shimano alivio 8 speed rear derraullier to a shimano saint shadow 9 speed and my brakes shimano v brake to formula rx1 and other simular upgrades.So then when i upgrade it after a year or 2 when i save up some money i by a full suspension dh frame and fork and i take the parts from my upgraded haro and put it on my dh frame.Is that ok? –  Antonio Nov 1 '12 at 8:39
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Don't bother. Those parts are very expensive, putting them on an entry level bike will not improve it at all, and when you do get a new frame in a couple of years those parts will have worn considerably and need replacing. Put the money you would spend on it in a savings account, and get a new bike (new for you, not necessarily new out of the factory) with it when you can. –  cmannett85 Nov 1 '12 at 11:44
    
So should i rather stick with this bike for 2 years or so and save up and get my self a dh bike?Is this one ok www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=84767 or could you suggest one for me at that price or lower? –  Antonio Nov 1 '12 at 12:52
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@Antonio That bike probably won't exist in two years time so it's a pointless exercise. Plus you're only 12 so planning that far ahead for your finances may not be a productive thing to do... Enjoy what you have, and in a couple of years time harass your parents for a new one for birthday or Xmas. –  cmannett85 Nov 1 '12 at 13:08
    
Ok but thanks your right –  Antonio Nov 1 '12 at 13:23
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Yes it is OK.

Since you are just starting out you need to focus on the basics of riding (proper stance, cornering, braking etc) which will allow you to ride better, faster and safer. And generally focus on having fun.

Don't waste too much money on that bike. Just use it a lot and maybe switch to a better bike in a year or so.

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Ok thanks could you maybe give me some advice obout downhilling please i have a forest a few meters from my house and i would like to make a cool track in it but i dont know how.I tried making jumps and simular stuff but i cant dig there.The routes from the trees are in my way what should i do? –  Antonio Nov 1 '12 at 10:00
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Since trail building can get a bit complicated I think it's best if you find someone (preferably adult) who has done it before. –  cherouvim Nov 1 '12 at 10:35
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Not so long ago, 80mm would be a DH suspension already. Then the 100mm ones came and the whole DH community was stunned by so much travel. So, considering travel alone, 100mm is enough to do what you want. BUT you have to consider two more things:

  • Fork design: forks can be designed to jump (as some very tough Marzocchi Dirt Jump forks with 100mm of travel) or to eat up bumps with 'on-ground', XC use (for example, Rock Shox SID and Reba forks, with which wouldn't be a good idea to go around jumping everything).
  • Fork quality: if the fork is not good quality, jumpin around (and sometimes just riding around) can slowly tear down its internals, creating play, leakages, etc.

At last, the frame should be compatible with longer forks. I've seen people installing double-crown, long travel forks in "regular" frames and go downhill, and eventually the head tube was torn off the bike due to excessive lever from the front wheel while braking and landing.

Hope this helps!

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