First of all, I haven't set my budget yet but I want to build a full suspension MTB in the near future.

I was thinking if it is a good idea to build an Enduro bike with a DH frame. I mean I know the suspension travel for DH is longer, so logically 'maybe' I can put an Enduro fork in there and effectively reducing the slack geometry (slightly) since the fork is slightly shorter (?), while setting/changing the rear suspension also shorter, also Enduro gearing, then boom I have an Enduro bike. Then when I want to do a more aggressive DH I can 'simply' change the fork and use longer suspension travel in the back and boom I have a DH machine.

Initially I was thinking this but with Enduro frame instead, but it seems more doable with a DH frame as 'logically' you can use shorter suspension on a supposedly long suspension frame than the other way around.

What do you think? is this a bad idea?

  • this sounds like a bad idea, and is longer travel really what you need for your kind of riding? Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 17:51
  • 3
    They're fairly different sub-disciplines. To me, Enduro is real riding, whereas DH DownHill is somewhat-controlled falling.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 20:55
  • 2
    You can typically buy cheaper than build
    – paparazzo
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 22:10

3 Answers 3


If you are doing this to get a better Enduro and a Better DH bike, I believe this is a really bad idea. If you are doing it because its fun and you want to play and learn about bike building, dive on in, but be prepared fro less than stunning results at higher than expected prices.

Given the manufacturers are fully aware most people have an S ( refer Rule 12 ) of 2 or 3, they spend a lot of time producing a wide range of bikes that in their range, there is one that will as close to a perfect compromise of price/performance/style for everyone. Unless you are a very skilled rider, and a skilled bike builder (not assembler) I believe it's bordering on arrogant to think you can do better cheaper.

The other issue is the bike components them selves. Would you rather have a $500 enduro fork and a $500 Down hill fork, or a single $1000 fork. My money is the single $1000 fork will do both jobs better. Same applies to wheels, gear sets.....

If you have done all that, and still feel the bike is the limit factor of your riding, you probably need two bikes.

  • Thanks for the answer. I guess I will go with building a proper Enduro (first), since it's more practical for the way I'm riding. I know in the end I will be having n+1 bikes lol, I guess trying to combine two different things might actually result in getting both downsides. Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 13:13
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    There is also the fact that the DH frame is likely to be overbuilt and heavy (as DH frames are wont to be). They are really only meant for DH. It will put you at somewhat of a weight disadvantage when starting your enduro build. Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 14:32

There will definitely be some geometry differences compared to what the manufacturer made the frame you will choose for. Unless of course you want to make an enduro bike with 180mm front suspension, so its not enduro anymore! If I wanted to build something nice and strong from the beginning, I would start with an enduro frame.

Both frame options can get any peripherials we want - fine! As far as suspensios are concerned though, we need to bee ccautious, cause their size affects geometry. Bigger suspensions up to 20mm are acceptable to most frames and geometries. I wouldn't personally risk go lower though.

DH bikes are made for 180-200mm and putting a 160mm enduro fork would mean bad behaviour from the frame and the fork in trails, bacuse geometry is ruined. But an enduro frame upgraded from 160 to 180mm is not that terrible. Actually is not terrible at all, its awesome and its predictable both by manufacturers and riders!


I'm 100% with you on this. I have a 2007 Giant Reign X (6.7 inches, lighter version of the Glory) with Rockshox Totems (7 inches and 1 1/8 steerer), 11 speed, dropper post and ztr flow/hope tech enduro rims. That frame is an excellent little piece of kit and is regarded as the DH's XC frame or the XC's DH frame. I get out once a week and have been getting decent Strava positions on climbs against people on dedicated enduro bikes with my build.

I simply cannot afford a newer and more modern enduro bike, but am happy to forgo a little more weight for something to hit the DH etc sections a little harder. The compromise is older kit, but more affordable. Ok it's not a perfect or ideal build, but certainly isn't a 'bad' build. Next step are offset shock bushings to alter the geometry. Also, I know they are a load heavier but out of preference I run coil shocks, were they air then that'd be ace on climbs.

I'm guessing you're after one bike to do everything on? I've got a spare pair of Shivers to stick on for DH fun...looking for a heavier spring too. They are spare though, as mentioned in a previous post, better to get a single kickass fork than enduro and DH. I've been really impressed with those Totems, they've been tuned and soak up huge rock impacts incredibly well. There'll be hardcore enduro riders yelling at this that those forks are way too excessive, but out of the whole build, they make the biggest difference in DH. 180mm single crowns are an excellent midway point for DH and enduro.

8 inches rear travel is too much for regular climbs, but 7 max would be ideal if you are looking for something a little more DH orientated.

As I've said, it's not an ideal build but the whole thing's worth £800 odd due to age, but deals with DH superb and climbs well (climbs as in offroad). If money was no object i'd have similar set up, but with a frame of similar weight and travel...and 27.5s. I hope this helps in some way.

  • I asked this when I was so much into mtb, but now I prefer road bikes, so a basic trail/enduro bike is good enough for me. Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 9:23

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