DS bike for first-timer?

Hi lee my name is robert and i have a question, i am going to enter a dual slalom race next year in the sea otter classic but im not sure what kind of bike i should get to race. do i need like a DH bike or is that to much suspention?. i have a hardtail and a trail (cross country) bike. but i need to get a new/used one to race would you have any imput?

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Hey Robert,

I ride my P.3 day to day, but I almost always race my SX. Because it gets more traction and erases small mistakes, I feel like I can pin it harder — without worrying so much about perfect technique. (But I still worry …)

Dual slalom rules! High speeds, rippin’ turns, head-to-head competition … sweetness!

If you’re just trying DS, I say ride your trail bike with a low seat, short stem and a chain guide.

But if you want to buy a special bike …

Slalom weapons are either hardtails or 3-4″ suspension bikes. Forks usually have 4″ of travel. You can race slalom on any bike, but purpose-built suspension bikes are ideal. They are quick and snappy, and they raaaaaiiiiil turns. Specialized SX, Intense Tazer, Yeti 4X …

Sea Otter is fun, but it’s a real zoo for a first-timer. If you live in the Bay Area, try the fall and spring races at Sand Hill Ranch.

2 replies
  1. Wayne says:

    Sometimes, but not often, there is an exception. Around 1998 or so at the Deer Vally NCS race, many of the amateurs were using full blown DH bikes, because the start was very steep and all loose shale. They were running heavy equipment to reshape the mountain for the upcoming Olympics. It was the only way the amateurs could keep the wheels on the ground.

    This was a very rare exception.

    I’ll second the recommendation of Sandhill. Phil has a great place there. Many of the riders that show up frequently for the spring series do well at Sea Otter.

  2. Bob Burnes says:

    I was just about to drop a question on Lee about west coast DS and 4X races when I opened this link.

    Thanks! Now I’ve got a plan. Can’t wait for my first race in the states since 2004!

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