Many regard downhill bikes as the pinnacle of what a mountain bike can do. Designed to plough through the roughest rock gardens, you throw them down a hill and they’ll take anything that comes and then beg for another run. These bikes aren’t your do it all Swiss Army knife, they have one job, and that is to get you down that hill as fast as possible. You just have to hold on.
Perhaps that is what makes them so appealing, these are bikes for one purpose. That exclusivity coupled with the fact that they are piloted by what we regard the fastest racers, makes them oh so desirable. With our modern enduro bikes coming on leaps and bounds with technology and geometry inspired by their bigger downhill siblings, they’re trying to give the downhill bike a run for its money, with their ability to pedal them back to the top being another string to their bow. Though the key word there was “trying”. They’ll never compare to the sheer speed you can rip out of the gnarliest trails, feeling like a world cup racer on board your downhill bike. This is a different ball game. One that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Dirt have been riding, reviewing and breaking downhill bikes for years, with new bikes and new tech coming out every year for us to love or loathe. These innovations come from somewhere though, the flagship bikes that the world’s best ride. Keeping in the know about these super bikes, however out of reach they are, is useful. The tech that they are wrapped in is bound to trickle down into the lower end models and into different lines. If you’re a world cup racing hopeful or even just have deep pockets, you’ll want to pay attention to this list. Though with new crops of direct sales bikes bringing that price down (even with Brexit-inspired fluctuation in price), you’re bound to get a lot for your money.
So, in no particular order, here they are. The fastest bikes in the Dirt 100…