THE TEN BEST DOWNHILL BIKES OF 2024

Our favorite DH bikes of the year

THE TEN BEST DOWNHILL BIKES OF 2024

It’s hard to find something more fun than sending it down a mountain after cheating the climb by riding a lift up. But, this type of riding is generally pretty hard on equipment, so you’ll need something that can stand up to the abuse. That’s where DH bikes come in. As the tanks of the MTB world, these bikes are made to attack the trail and offer the highest level of forgiveness for mistakes, big hits, and the gnarliest rock gardens. Here we have 10 DH bikes we think will hold up to the abuse and glue a smile on your face as you go.

 

TRANSITION TR11

Transition’s roots in downhill and freeride are deep, and their bikes have always reflected that. With the TR11, they sought to make a bike that was as good in the deserts of Utah as it was racing World Cup-level tracks. It has an aluminum frame with a dedicated mixed-wheel setup and adjustability out the wazoo with reach- and angle-adjust headset cups and a flip chip in the rear dropouts. It has internal cable routing, Boost 148mm rear hub spacing, and Transition’s Gravity GiddyUp suspension with 200mm of rear travel. The bike has a headtube angle of 62 degrees, a reach of 475mm on the large, and chainstay lengths of 440/445mm on the S and M and 445/450mm on the L and XL.
Price: $2,300 – $5,300
Contact: www.transitionbikes.com

 

INTENSE M1

Throughout the 2023 World Cup racing season, riders like Aaron Gwin, Dakotah Norton, and Joe Breeden had been racing prototypes of the new Intense M1 downhill bike. Well, Intense has finally decided the M1 is ready for release, and it’s looking excellent. This new frame is fully constructed from alloy and utilizes Intense’s new HP6 six-bar suspension system with a mid-high pivot design and an oversized headtube that allows for reach and angle-adjusting headsets.
Price: $5,999-$7,499
Contact: www.intensecycles.com

GIANT GLORY ADVANCED

Giant has introduced the new Glory Advanced, the latest version of its downhill race bike. This fifth-generation model has undergone a complete overhaul, aiming to provide downhill racers with a competitive advantage. The bike features a full-composite frameset that offers various adjustment options for frame geometry, reach, and rear wheel size. 200mm of rear-wheel travel and a stock mixed-wheel setup make the Glory Advanced ready to take on the toughest trails you can throw at it. You can find more details here.

Price: $6,200 – $8,000

Contact: www.giant-bicycles.com

 

COMMENCAL SUPREME DH V5

Commencal’s flagship DH race bike has seen an overhaul over the last few World Cup seasons, and this new platform was available to the public last year. Featuring their all-new HVCS (High Virtual Contact System) suspension layout and mixed wheels, the DH V5 is designed to win race runs. There is a flip chip at the shock mount that allows for 4 different positions, adjusting the bottom bracket height and head tube angle, as well as changing the shock kinematic to be either more linear or more progressive. There is also a flip chip to adjust the chainstay length by +/- 6mm, making this a versatile downhill race machine. The DH V5 has 220mm of rear travel, a 200mm fork, a 63.3-degree head tube angle (“Low” Setting), and is available in sizes S through XL. Check out our article with Amaury Pierron and his Supreme DH V5 race bike build!

Price: $5,700–$7,400

Contact: www.commencalusa.com

 

TREK SESSION

This might be one of the most famous DH bikes in existence, with riders like Gee Atherton, Aaron Gwin, and more all taking their turn racing it in World Cups. In the 2023 season, Valentina Holl won the World Cup overall riding a Session, so it’s clear that it has an impressive pedigree. Trek has packed a lot of technology into this bike with their high-pivot ABP (Active Braking Pivot) suspension system, progression adjustment chip at the base of the shock, and mixed-wheel compatibility. It has an adjustable 63-degree head angle, size-specific chainstay lengths, and modern reach numbers in all sizes. This alloy bike is made to go fast downhill and comes in two complete build kits as well as a few frame options.
Price: $5,500 – $7,200
Contact: www.trekbikes.com

 

RAAW YALLA!

In 2016, RAAW was founded in Palatinate, Germany, with the goal of making bikes they would love to ride and trying to make a living doing it. The Yalla! has been in development since 2019, and RAAW has chosen to stick with a dedicated 29-inch-wheel-size design, which they say helps keep the bike’s performance more optimized. The designers at RAAW are true bike nerds and put in the time to design the Yalla! frame to meet their specifications, but it is as adjustable as possible so every rider can get comfortable. It has a low, 345mm BB height, a stock head angle of 63 degrees, and size-specific chainstay lengths. This bike is offered in three different sizes with a 455mm reach on the medium, a 480mm reach for the large, and 505mm for the XL. RAAW sells this 198mm-travel frame directly to the consumer for anywhere from $2,731 for just the frame and shock to $5,000+ for a frame kit, which includes the frame, shock, fork, and a OneUp bar and stem. RAAW has no complete bikes available.
Price: $2,731 – $5,000+
Contact: www.raawmtb.com

 

ATHERTON A.200

When we think of Atherton Bikes, we think of customization. Just visiting their website will show you how much they emphasize choosing the correctly sized bike for their customers, even the A.200. If you make it to a certain point, they actually have to type your height, inseam, and arm span into a calculator to get a basic idea of what size bike you need. From there, they make a recommendation from among 12 sizes, or you can take that base and customize your own build for around $750 extra. The frame is composed of a series of carbon tubes connected by laser-printed titanium lugs. All 12 sizes have a 63-degree headtube angle, 76-degree effective seat tube angle, and 200mm of rear suspension travel. Once you have the bike, its customizability is more limited with no fancy flip chips or reach-adjust cups to worry about. And why would you need them? You’ve just sized the bike perfectly.
Price: $4,265 – $8,330
Contact: www.athertonbikes.com

 

SANTA CRUZ V10

If you’ve kept up with the Santa Cruz Syndicate World Cup team, then you know they were racing and testing a new generation of the V10 throughout the 2023 season. As with all Santa Cruz full-suspension bikes, the new V10 uses the VPP suspension system for 208mm of rear wheel travel matched with a 203mm fork. The Carbon CC frame has a lot of adjustability with three three-position flip chips positioned around the frame: -8/0/+8mm reach-adjust headset cups, angle- and BB-height-adjusting chip in the rear linkage, and a -5/0/+5mm chip at the rear axle dropouts to adjust the chainstay length. This bike has size-specific chainstay lengths, a head angle between 62.7 and 63 degrees, and size-specific wheel size options with sizes S, M, and L coming with mixed wheels while the XL comes as a full 29er.
Price: $3,800 – $8,600
Contact: www.santacruzbicycles.com

 

GT FURY CARBON

You may recognize the Fury as the bike American Ryan Pinkerton rode to victory in the 2023 Jr. Downhill World Cup Championship and in multiple races along the way. This bike has a long legacy in the downhill world, but it was only recently reimagined to be what it is today—a modern World Cup Champion. GT utilizes a high-pivot suspension design to squeak 200mm of rear travel out of the frame with a 203mm-travel fork leading the charge. It has a 63.5-degree head angle, a 480mm reach on the size large, and a 429mm chainstay length. As far as modes of adjustment, GT has added three flip chips to this bike so you can make it what you want: a chip to determine what size rear wheel you want to run, a flip chip at the base of the shock to tune the suspension’s progression, and a chip in the rear dropouts to adjust chainstay length.
Price: $2,600 – $6,700
Contact: www.gtbicycles.com

 

FRAMEWORKS DH FRAME

Neko Mullaly is a world-class downhill racer who got tired of riding other manufacturers’ frames he just didn’t quite feel right on, so he decided to make his own DH bike under the Frameworks brand name. If you’ve been following him on social media and YouTube, you’ll know the extensive lengths he’s gone to to get this frame strong enough to race at a World Cup level. He’s even built a little team with Asa Vermette under contract to race his first two years of World Cups on the frames. The bike has an aluminum front triangle and carbon rear triangle with 200.7mm or 205mm of rear travel, depending on the orientation of the progression chip at the base of the shock. It has a 63.3-degree head angle, a 455mm or 485mm reach, and a 450mm or 460mm chainstay length depending on the size. The bike is designed to handle a mixed-wheel setup. There are only two sizes available: medium and large, and the bike is sold as a frame-only for $3,950 without a shock, up to $4,650 with an Ohlins shock, and there are also two in-between models.
Price: $3,950 – $4,650
Contact: www.rideframeworks.com

 

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