Downhill or Enduro bike for my new build?

r0b3rz

1 mW
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
11
Hello!
I want to make a new eBike better than the one I have now (2008 Scott Genius, 1500W hub motor with shunt mod).

My question is what would be better bike: Downhill or enduro bike? Price would be similar (second hand).

I am 1,84 m (6 ft) and 100 Kg (220 pounds), besides I have neck surgery. My use is trails, tracks and no very hard rides (I would like if I can with the time). But I want to have a very good and smooth suspension.

The motor will be Bafang BBSHD with ASI BAC controller or Cyc X1 Pro.


What do you recommend me?


Thank you in advance.
 
Downhill is comfortable only going down the hill. On flat it is useless, as the front fork is not working due the angle that is tuned to go downhill.
I would recommend stay away from CYC unless you don’t care about the noise.
 
Downhill is comfortable only going down the hill. On flat it is useless, as the front fork is not working due the angle that is tuned to go downhill.
I would recommend stay away from CYC unless you don’t care about the noise.

Thank you for the feedback. I didn't know about the fork and the angle. I am not going to do downhill, I wish I can but it is out of my level. So... It looks like an endure frame is my bike.
About the CYC: The noise does not bother me but in my country the max power allowed is 250 watts so... Better don't take attention :p

Are you planning on a backpack battery or trying to fit the battery on the frame? (what battery capacity?)

I want to fit the battery on the frame. Now I have an aluminum case but I want to make a 3D printed case for a nice shape (borders) but definitely on the frame.
Capacity: I want a big battery. Before shunt mod always back home with half battery, now is empty. So as bigger as I can do it :)

OVXVyGB.jpg



This is the DH bike I like:

517353_02062023140122.jpg


Thanks for the answer.
 
Well it depends a lot on many factors of how you ride but a slightly older used DH bike it a pretty common choice for many good reasons. They are often much cheaper, quite strong and while this is personal preference I find the geometry quite nice for a DH bike. The geometry from a DH bike from 6-10 years ago will be pretty close to a modern Enduro bike in many ways although you may have to find one size larger than you normally would if you want the reach to be equal to a modern bike, although that is personal preference. It also can be easier to find bikes with straight downtubes. One downside is if you go too far back you are limited to 26in wheels which personally I don't mind which the exception of tire choice. The added weight of an ebike, especially if you have a frame mounted battery helps the suspension work and if you have a lot of suspension travel it can just eat up terrain. Also I recall someone recently mentioned they've seen Mondraker summons have strength issues with ebike conversions but it was just an offhand comment and he never had a source so who knows.
 
I'm curious, why was it your worst build? Just the slack head angle (what was the head angle or year of that Giant Glory) or other aspects. My best build by far has been my Santa Cruz V10 Gen 3 with an LR Small Block which I don't find the DH geometry at all problematic but I beleive it's also not as slack given it's older. Also things like angle sets could improve that.
 
I had high hopes, but it turned out that DH on the flat road was not comfortable at all. Don’t get me wrong, the bike was technically perfect, but compared to other bikes I have built it was the worst combination I have tried yet. The e-bike was not used for downhill.
The battery was 14s, low voltage with CYC is no fun. CYC is too noisy even with custom belt conversion. Double crown fork has huge turn radius… a few aspects that I don’t like.
 
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Yeah it really all depends how you are using a bike and so many of those are somewhat hard to really determine without trying them. Body position will always be an issue that has to be addressed if the bike being ridden seated, the difference in that department between an Enduro and DH bike of the same era is pretty small. Everybody seems to end up with the same very tall stems or high rise bars or sometimes both. More modern bikes will be worse though as that super long and slack trend applies to both Enduro and DH bikes. I still think an older DH bike is a decent option, not really because of the suspension though. They are often quite cost effective for what you get, more so than Enduros. You get a strong frame with big brakes. It will probably be less slack than a modern Enduro bike if you go back a few more years. You will have to do some mods to the body position for seated riding comfort but it will probably be easier because the bike won't be super long like a modern bike. I would look for a bike with a longish seat tube though so you can fit a suspension seatpost if you wanted. Then fit some nice fat 2.5in or so tires running low pressure and that's what really takes out all that small chattery bumps. Regardless the Mid drive will make the rear suspension perform nicer than the hub motor.


The CYC drives are noisy and honestly kinda fill a weird area between a modded BBSHD and a LR drive. Both of those are much quieter assuming you get the belt LR drive. The BBSHD can be pedaled but has enough power to never need to, really not that far off power wise than the CYC X1 Pro and still plenty for many riding styles. And if you want more power the LR Belt drive Small Block will just destroy the CYC and yeah you can't pedal but if you're aiming for that much power that doesn't matter. It's just a weird middle ground and yeah it has a torque sensor but if you're really wanting pedal assist a much smaller motor is a better option.

TLDR, you probably should consider the reach of the frame if you are riding it seated in a more upright position regardless of the bike.
 
To address the issues with noise and fork angle, I was using a shorter fork and LR belt drive. IMG_4325.jpeg
Still wasn’t happy with result. LR motor due the frame geometry was very close to the ground.
Ended the project by converting the e-bike to the regular DH bike and selling it.
 
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Hello!
I want to make a new eBike better than the one I have now (2008 Scott Genius, 1500W hub motor with shunt mod).

My question is what would be better bike: Downhill or enduro bike? Price would be similar (second hand).

I am 1,84 m (6 ft) and 100 Kg (220 pounds), besides I have neck surgery. My use is trails, tracks and no very hard rides (I would like if I can with the time). But I want to have a very good and smooth suspension.

The motor will be Bafang BBSHD with ASI BAC controller or Cyc X1 Pro.


What do you recommend me?


Thank you in advance.

They make a downhill e-bike? That's just nuts. Enduro for sure.
 
I'm curious, why was it your worst build? Just the slack head angle (what was the head angle or year of that Giant Glory) or other aspects. My best build by far has been my Santa Cruz V10 Gen 3 with an LR Small Block which I don't find the DH geometry at all problematic but I beleive it's also not as slack given it's older. Also things like angle sets could improve that.
I had high hopes, but it turned out that DH on the flat road was not comfortable at all. Don’t get me wrong, the bike was technically perfect, but compared to other bikes I have built it was the worst combination I have tried yet. The e-bike was not used for downhill.
The battery was 14s, low voltage with CYC is no fun. CYC is too noisy even with custom belt conversion. Double crown fork has huge turn radius… a few aspects that I don’t like.
To address the issues with noise and fork angle, I was using a shorter fork and LR belt drive. View attachment 338880
Still wasn’t happy with result. LR motor due the frame geometry was very close to the ground.
Ended the project by converting the e-bike to the regular DH bike and selling it.

They make a downhill e-bike? That's just nuts. Enduro for sure.

Thank you very much for your opinions and experiences. After read you guys I am going to enduro bike. I'd like to do downhill but I see it soooo far from my level. I like to ride broken trails, so that would be the most hard use for the bike.

Close to my home a guy is selling CUBE STEREO 170 TM 29 2020, enduro bike. 180 mm fork and 170 mm suspension. And big place on the frame for the battery. What do you think about it?
14498085e3bc7ebb7d3b1.13479709.jpg




Thanks!
 
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You may want to think about which drive you are going with and how it fits on the frame, it sounds like you don't need tons of ground clearance for the types of riding you do. It does look that the swingarm is very close to the chainring so a BBSHD may have some fit issue. The other thing is the frame size, from your current bike and back it sounds like you ride seated more upright so you should probably find the reach of your current frame decide if you want the same or more or less reach and based it off of that. Some of these modern bikes have very long reaches and if the bike is too large of a size you will find yourself hunched over (the way the bike was designed to be ridden). While I don't ride upright it seems like it's a very very common complaint for ebike builds.

As for the bike, the fork looks really slack which I think really does come down to preference. It will make the bike more stable but less maneuverable is one way to put it. At the least it's unnecessary for your application as it doesn't sound like you'll be riding anything that that added stability will be a factor (rock gardens for instance) at the worst you may find it awkward to take tight corners.
To address the issues with noise and fork angle, I was using a shorter fork and LR belt drive. View attachment 338880
Still wasn’t happy with result. LR motor due the frame geometry was very close to the ground.
Ended the project by converting the e-bike to the regular DH bike and selling it.
The curse of curved downtubes which seem to be oh so trendy, I ended up even mounting my motor lower than I could have for more battery space and lower weight distribution and it's still higher than the belt sprocket. Mike does make extended brackets if I recall that can put the motor farther forward, not sure if they are available for the belt drive units too but I assume so, but a straight downtube is a better solution.
 
You may want to think about which drive you are going with and how it fits on the frame, it sounds like you don't need tons of ground clearance for the types of riding you do. It does look that the swingarm is very close to the chainring so a BBSHD may have some fit issue. The other thing is the frame size, from your current bike and back it sounds like you ride seated more upright so you should probably find the reach of your current frame decide if you want the same or more or less reach and based it off of that. Some of these modern bikes have very long reaches and if the bike is too large of a size you will find yourself hunched over (the way the bike was designed to be ridden). While I don't ride upright it seems like it's a very very common complaint for ebike builds.

As for the bike, the fork looks really slack which I think really does come down to preference. It will make the bike more stable but less maneuverable is one way to put it. At the least it's unnecessary for your application as it doesn't sound like you'll be riding anything that that added stability will be a factor (rock gardens for instance) at the worst you may find it awkward to take tight corners.

The curse of curved downtubes which seem to be oh so trendy, I ended up even mounting my motor lower than I could have for more battery space and lower weight distribution and it's still higher than the belt sprocket. Mike does make extended brackets if I recall that can put the motor farther forward, not sure if they are available for the belt drive units too but I assume so, but a straight downtube is a better solution.
Thank you, scianiac!

You are totally right: I ride seated the most time. And I have to ride upright due to my neck surgery (I tried other ways but have pain).

At first I wanted a Lighting Rods but after made the shunt mod I don't need so much power, besides I want to make some exercise too :p
Like I live in Spain I think the best option for me is a BBSHD (no import tax) with a custom controller.

Scianiac, with your experience, and knowing I use to ride seated, upright and I like to do tracks and trails (no crazy stuff, because I am a newbie and have to take care of my neck) could you recommend a couple of bikes to search for? Sorry for asking.


The truth is I really like to ride eBike. I converted my old 26" Scott with the fork almost totaled and the suspension fixed and it is really enjoyable but I feel I need something better. And don't want to make the mistake of choosing a wrong frame.

Best regards.
 
Based on that I think you're right the BBSHD is a good choice. It's very hard to recommend any specific bike, what bikes are available in your area and just the shear number of different bikes. First I would measure or find the reach of your current bike and then sit on it and hold your hands farther forward and farther back a bit and see if one of those feels more comfortable. You can always raise up the bars like you have with a long flexible stem or high rise bars and you can slide your seat slightly farther forward or get more swept back bars but those will only have a small effect so the reach is probably the most important geometry number for you. Then just as you look at bikes available around you can you lookup their reach numbers for the size and see how that compares. Then of course battery space is important but you can normally tell that from the picture.

You might find that a slightly smaller sized and/or slightly older bike may work better as the reach will be shorter. For instance my bike is a 2010 DH bike in a size medium and it's reach shorter than most modern size small enduro bikes. You have to keep in mind we are often building bikes that don't really fit with how the bike was designed. You're building a bike to ride like motorcycle or cruiser bike but with suspension which goes against much of what any bike with suspension was designed for, to either be standing or sitting with the seat high in the sky hunched over pedaling. So we have to think about the goal of the bike and not always listen to the bike industry.
 
I love my 2004 Ironhorse Hollowpoint enduro frame. Let me tell you. It has some get up and go. Smooth as ice and strong as a Hayabicycle, anymore. I did raise the rear end by 1" up and back. I had the chore of adapting the large hub motor. It is 104lbs with about 60% rear bias. 1800wh battery, 72v, 25ah. This bike goes on its fourth year.

It takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. Its fast. Almost to fast for its own good. 62mph is the maximum speed I have recorded.

@$trictly Hub Motors!!!! I do love my bike. It is VERY reliable.
 

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Figured I would ask, have you considered a m620 frame like the dengfu E55? Full suspension and plenty of space for large battery, saw a post on FB of a custom 1700wh hard pack in one. Only bad thing though is that aftermarket for the m620 is.... *crickets* now that innotrace is withoutatrace (site is gone). High voltage has been working on a bac855 kit for it but Mike the main guy on it has been dealing with issues (apparently 52v is running great, 72v has issues with the magnet hall sensor tripping out?) and the update I got recently is that he's swamped with day job work and didn't think it would be anytime soon. You could always do the shunt mod for easy power or maybe even give it a go on wiring up your own aftermarket controller like Andy Kirby. Or you could go the LightningRods way, he's got a mount in development to fit either his "small block" or "big block" on a m620 frame. you could run standard right hand drive or LHD with a different chain and sprocket setup, that way you retain the gears and effort while the motor assists on the other reduction. With the RHD you can't really add much yourself due to the high rpms. I know this isn't the E55 or a full suspension but he's working on the custom chain tensioner the LHD would need for it.
If you are keen to stick with the cyc or bbshd (I vote bbshd) I would say enduro or DH doesn't matter imo just get something with room for a battery and one that doesn't stick the motor too far down.
 

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Thank you all guys for all the help!



Giant trance 2008 to 2012 are great with bbshd.. big battery in triangle.
I wanted something newer than my bike and 29". I am a big guy

Based on that I think you're right the BBSHD is a good choice. It's very hard to recommend any specific bike, what bikes are available in your area and just the shear number
of different bikes. First I would measure or find the reach of your current bike and then sit on it and hold your hands farther forward and farther back a bit and see if one of those feels more comfortable. You can always raise up the bars like you have with a long flexible stem or high rise bars and you can slide your seat slightly farther forward or get more swept back bars but those will only have a small effect so the reach is probably the most important geometry number for you. Then just as you look at bikes available around you can you lookup their reach numbers for the size and see how that compares. Then of course battery space is important but you can normally tell that from the picture.

You might find that a slightly smaller sized and/or slightly older bike may work better as the reach will be shorter. For instance my bike is a 2010 DH bike in a size medium and it's reach shorter than most modern size small enduro bikes. You have to keep in mind we are often building bikes that don't really fit with how the bike was designed. You're building a bike to ride like motorcycle or cruiser bike but with suspension which goes against much of what any bike with suspension was designed for, to either be standing or sitting with the seat high in the sky hunched over pedaling. So we have to think about the goal of the bike and not always listen to the bike industry.

scianiac, I have learn a lot for you. Thank very much for all your help.

I love my 2004 Ironhorse Hollowpoint enduro frame. Let me tell you. It has some get up and go. Smooth as ice and strong as a Hayabicycle, anymore. I did raise the rear end by 1" up and back. I had the chore of adapting the large hub motor. It is 104lbs with about 60% rear bias. 1800wh battery, 72v, 25ah. This bike goes on its fourth year.

It takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. Its fast. Almost to fast for its own good. 62mph is the maximum speed I have recorded.

@$trictly Hub Motors!!!! I do love my bike. It is VERY reliable.

WHAT A BEAST!!!!
Figured I would ask, have you considered a m620 frame like the dengfu E55? Full suspension and plenty of space for large battery, saw a post on FB of a custom 1700wh hard pack in one. Only bad thing though is that aftermarket for the m620 is.... *crickets* now that innotrace is withoutatrace (site is gone). High voltage has been working on a bac855 kit for it but Mike the main guy on it has been dealing with issues (apparently 52v is running great, 72v has issues with the magnet hall sensor tripping out?) and the update I got recently is that he's swamped with day job work and didn't think it would be anytime soon. You could always do the shunt mod for easy power or maybe even give it a go on wiring up your own aftermarket controller like Andy Kirby. Or you could go the LightningRods way, he's got a mount in development to fit either his "small block" or "big block" on a m620 frame. you could run standard right hand drive or LHD with a different chain and sprocket setup, that way you retain the gears and effort while the motor assists on the other reduction. With the RHD you can't really add much yourself due to the high rpms. I know this isn't the E55 or a full suspension but he's working on the custom chain tensioner the LHD would need for it.
If you are keen to stick with the cyc or bbshd (I vote bbshd) I would say enduro or DH doesn't matter imo just get something with room for a battery and one that doesn't stick the motor too far down.
I didn't know about it. I saw a DIY on YouTube a build similar to it. Looks amazing. I was looking into it but a little bit pricey. Maybe for the next built. It is so nice!
Well, for me, the Cube is a nice bike, but If in the future I choose to go with mid-drive, I will buy a frame to acomodate that, like Andy Kirby sells...
The DH frames, have the looks...just it.
Import is a problem for me because I live in Spain. Taxes are crazy.

About DH and the looks... I have no knowledge and maybe that was what happened to me :)




Finally I got the Cube Stereo 170 TM 29 grey´n´red 2020. Seller gave me a good price and can't say no. I am building a new fat bike for my dad so when I get the BBSHD for it I will see how low the motor fit. Wish me luck.

Again... Thank you guys!
 

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I didn't know about it. I saw a DIY on YouTube a build similar to it. Looks amazing. I was looking into it but a little bit pricey. Maybe for the next built. It is so nice!

Import is a problem for me because I live in Spain. Taxes are crazy.

Finally I got the Cube Stereo 170 TM 29 grey´n´red 2020. Seller gave me a good price and can't say no. I am building a new fat bike for my dad so when I get the BBSHD for it I will see how low the motor fit. Wish me luck.

Again... Thank you guys!
Didn't realize you were in Spain, I'm over in USA and somewhere that mtb isn't big so trying to find a good deal on a full suspension frame isn't easy. Only real place to look is pinkbike and something with a good amount of travel and room ends up being almost exactly what the E55 would cost (around 1k usd). Thought I would mention it as I wish I started down that route instead of converting my hard tail, would have cost me bit more but I think now would have been worth it.

That Cube Stereo 170 tm 29 grey'n'red 2020 you got though looks very nice, I do want to say I would make sure a 40t (smallest you can go on the bbshd while retaining good chainline, requires lekkie cover to fit or 42t without it) clears the frame. Hard to tell but you could measure how much space you've got. If you don't have enough room you will need to run something small which will put the chainring further out and likely cause the biggest gears to be unusable, the HV bac kit does allow for really high rpms though so you might find a single speed setup fine though so this wouldn't be an issue. I guess it depends on how you plan to ride the bike, cyc likely wouldn't have this issue and also has torque sensing but overall I personally like the bbshd modded more. Toseven is working on there "dm-01" which closely resembles the bbshd but has a torque sensor, although it' still very early and needs refinement. HV is working with them and does eventually have a kit for it but no clue how long that will be
 
DogDipstick, what rearview mirror is that?
Hafny bar end. Its good. Polished stainless, not glass. It has lasted a long while for me.

 
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