Do you have a downhill bike? Or do you always do downhill cycling? If your answer is affirmative, then let me give you some great news. And, that is you can do uphill cycling with a downhill bike! Now you must be thinking about how it is possible. Because you know that a downhill bike is only for downhill cycling. Surprisingly, it is true that it is possible. But you need to make some modifications to make the downhill bike suitable for uphill cycling.
Therefore, you may want to know why you need to do modifications. Here I am going to cover downhill & uphill cycling, their advantages, specifications, and types as well as what and why you have to modify your downhill bicycle for uphill cycling. So, if you want to dive deep into this matter, read this article carefully.
What Is Downhill Bike Riding?
Downhill bike riding is a style of cycling from a hilltop to a flat surface.
During this cycling, a cyclist has to face steep, rough terrain where he or she faces various difficult obstacles including jumps, drops, rocks, and so on. Thus for participating in downhill biking, you as well as your cycle should be strong and well-equipped for tackling obstacles.
And What Is Uphill Bike Riding?
Uphill bike riding is a cycling method where a cyclist climbs from a flat surface to the top of a hill.
During this ride, the cyclist has to fight gravity because s/he ascends against gravity. Therefore, he or she has to adopt some strategies including using a light cycle, not carrying a lot of components, proper use of gear, and so on.
Do We Need To Modify Downhill Bicycles To Ride Uphill?
Yes! We need to modify downhill bikes to ride uphill. Because downhill bikes are specially designed for downhill cycling. And, downhill cycling means coming down from the top of a hill to the plain. On the other hand, uphill cycling means going up a hill or high place against gravity from the plain surface.
Uphill and downhill are different styles of cycling. Therefore, the uphill cycle and downhill cycle are different from each other in shape, power, structure, etc. So, if we want to use our downhill bikes to ride uphill, then we must have to modify the downhill bikes to ride uphill.
But Why Need Downhill Bike Modification For Uphill Riding?
As downhill bikes are different from uphill bikes, many differences between them also make them unique.
Everyone performs best in their field. But if you want to use a downhill bike to ride uphill, then you have to modify your downhill bike. Now let’s see some reasons why you need Downhill bike modification for Uphill riding.
1. Excessive Weight:
Downhill bikes are heavier. As it has to follow a lot of obstacles, it has a thick and strong frame. Besides, it has a large and heavy tyre. As a result, the downhill bike comes with excessive weight.
2. Full Suspension:
Suspension is a component that is used to protect the bicycle and cyclist from the roughness of the terrain. As a downhill bike has rear & front suspension, these two suspensions add additional weight to your bike.
3. High Gear:
Downhill bikes always come with flat surfaces from the top. That’s why it doesn’t need lower gears. Since the bike falls toward gravity, it does not need extra power to paddle. Therefore downhill bikes use higher gears.
4. Low Bottom Bracket:
The part below the seat tube and next to the cassette is the bottom bracket. And the bottom bracket of a downhill bike is low. Because cyclists don’t need to do extra paddling during downhill cycling. So there is no risk of hitting the bottom bracket to stone or paved surface. That’s why it has a low bottom bracket.
Then What Types Of Modifications Do We Need To Make Downhill Bicycle For Uphill Cycling?
As you can’t use a downhill bike for uphill cycling, you have to bring some modifications. Let’s know what type of modification you need to make a downhill bike uphill.
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1. Change Wheel:
We know that downhill bikes are heavier. So, we should always try to reduce the weight of the bike. As part of that effort, we need to use lighter wheels. Because if the wheel is light, it reduces the overall weight of the bike. As a result, the bike runs faster and the cyclist does not get tired easily. So, if you are using heavy wheels, then you should replace your wheels to reduce the extra weight.
2. Add Lower Gear:
We know that downhill bikes use high gear. Since downhill bike rides are in favor of gravity that’s why gear is not a big fact of this bike. But in uphill riding, you have to go against gravity. So if cycling in high gear, the rider will get tired before reaching the destination.
Therefore, you should add low gear to ride uphill. As low gear provides you with easy pedaling facilities, you will not get tired if you paddle for a long time.
3. Avoid Adding Extra Equipment:
Sometimes for easy & comfortable cycling, we use additional equipment like water bottles, snack boxes, bags, etc. But these pieces of equipment increase the weight of your cycle. And we know that the weight of a downhill bike is already high. Thus if we carry more equipment, then the weight of the bike will increase. That’s why we have to avoid additional equipment.
4. Change Saddle:
During downhill cycling, the cyclist cycles while standing. So the saddles of this bicycle are hard and uncomfortable. But during uphill riding, the cyclist sits and cycles. In that case, a comfortable saddle can bring joy and make your journey easy. Therefore, you have to change the saddle, if that is uncomfortable or not suitable for uphill cycling.
Is It Worth Modifying A Downhill Cycle For Uphill Cycling?
No! It is not worth modifying a Downhill Bike. Because If you change the downhill bike’s gear with freewheel, it will cost 15$ to 100 $. And modification prices depend on the quality of the Gear. So, it can be low or high. On the other hand, If You change The Gear with the rear Crassest, it will cost up to 350$. Besides a bicycle saddle’s price is 30$ to 100$.
But an uphill bike’s price is around 800$. Considering above all, it can be said that it is better to buy a new Uphill Bike rather than modify a Downhill Bike.
Last Words Regarding Downhill Bike Modifications For Uphill Cycling
Downhill and uphill bikes are made for different purposes. Thus it is important to modify the downhill bike to use it as an uphill bike. Although you can modify a downhill bike for uphill cycling, it can’t work like an uphill cycle. Therefore if you want to use a downhill bike for uphill you can but it is better to buy an uphill bike for uphill cycling. And that will definitely be a wise move rather than modifying a downhill cycle for uphill riding.