DH-ability: Is it the rims?

Lee –

I recently rode my friend’s brand new Santa Cruz Nomad. He’s got it set up for heavy duty free ride and can run the Northstar DH trails on it. He’s got WTB LaserDisc FR (30MM wide) with 2.3 Weirwolfs on them. I ride a Heckler with similar compnents but am using the WTB LaserDisc XC (24mm wide) with the same weirwolfs.

My question is would simply rim width explain why his bike feel so much more stable and planted going down hill over things and around turns? His bike felt like a DH bike and mine like a XC bike.

Thanks, Scot

Curtis Keene rips Sticks and Stones back in ’03. Northstar will test any bike you bring. Warning: Cheesy animated gif.

Hey Scot,

You know those advice columns where the writer is sarcastic with the people who write in? I don’t want to become one of those guys, but this one tested me.

– Yes, wider/stiffer/heavier rims slow down a bike’s handling and make it feel more stable. But they won’t make a bike change categories.

– The Nomad and Heckler are different animals. The Nomad is slacker, longer, has more/better suspension and costs significantly more. That’s explains 90 percent of the difference you felt. Surprise!

– The other 90 percent is suspension setup. Make sure your bike is dialed. If you live in Norcal, go see Lars at Trail Head Cyclery in San Jose.

Rip some ‘Star for me.

— Lee

BTW: Those Weirwolf side knobs rule in Northstar’s moon dust. Cheap upgrade for DH: Rock some 2.5s.

From the archive: 2003 Cal State Championships at Northstar. Back when leelikesbikes first started …

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