10 Tips for Riding the Downieville Downhill

The most important tip is to just get out there and ride your bike on the Downieville Downhill. It’s all fun!  Curtis Opperman
Curtis Opperman on the Butcher Ranch trail

1. Just ride your bike!  The beauty of Downieville Downhill is that you can ride it on any type mountain bike from a fully rigid to a full blown dh rig. We’ve ridden them all here.  From our experience the optimum bike for the DVDH is a 6″ + travel all mountain bike like an Intense 6.6 or a Nomad.  A downhill bike is a lot of fun on this ride but you won’t set any speed records because of the climbs. The bike shops in DVille rent high quality mtn bikes.

2. Use glasses or googles with a light tint or clear lens. You are riding in the forest a lot with mottled lighting so dark glasses don’t pick up the contrast.  Goggles work well when you’re riding with a group as the trail gets dusty.

3. Run downhill tires.  If you’re bombing the trail, the rocks will take a toll on your tires.  Dh tires with a 2ply sidewall and super tacky rubber work great! Mark Weir, the course record holder at the DVille DH Race, uses a light weight Nomad with DH tires for his race runs.

4. Be prepared to fix a flat -even if you’re running dh tires.  I haven’t ridden the downhill yet where at least one person in our group didn’t flat.

5. Look where you want the bike to go –  there is a lot of exposure here so don’t look over the edge while you’re riding!

6. Some things to pack in your Camelbak:  mosquito repelant, light jacket, camera. 

7. Consider wearing body armor – especially if you’re rock’n a modern trail bike or dh bike. The speeds that you will hit on this single track are amazing.

8. Eat in Downieville.There is great food in DVille – pizza and beer, deli sandwiches at DVille Grocery and a good little cafe. Support local DVille businesses – they depend on mountain bikers in the summer.

9. Use the local DVille shuttles. The shuttle services make getting to the top easy – and you’re supporting the great bike shops in DVille so they’ll be there when you need them.

10. Have cloths at the finish. The trails can be wet at the top and dusty at the bottom. Dry cloths, socks and shoes feel great at the end of the ride.

If you ride DVille please leave your riding tips below. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “10 Tips for Riding the Downieville Downhill

  1. dhreno Post author

    Great video!🙂
    Yeah, normally you wouldn’t need a jacket/windbreaker in the summer. A few years ago one of our friends rode off the trail, sailed over the side, ended up down by the creek and broke her leg in a couple of places. By the time the volunteer fire dept. guys organized and walked in to rescue her it was after midnight. The rider who was hurt, and the riders who stayed with her, were pretty darn cold as they were all in short sleeves! It’s probably a good idea to have a flashlight with you too.

  2. eazy

    I’ll bring a parka for the mid july snows🙂

    check out you tube for all the carnage on the river rocks!

  3. rubbman

    BE PREPARED altitude starts at 6500+ and the air is thinner, plus cold weather(including snow) can sweep in quick and ferociouly. best way to enjoy the ride is to spend a few days and enjoy the area!

  4. Vet

    A DH bike is fun for a few parts of the ride but you will suffer way too much on the climbs and flat parts. There is nothing too rocky or technical that requires a real DH bike, and some of the tight and twisty stuff is too much work on a big bike. Even if you go slightly faster on the fast parts wtih a DH bike, with all the pedaling you will be way off the back by the time you get back to town. It’s fine if it’s all you’ve got, but as noted above the best way to go is a 5 or 6 inch travel bike with relatively relaxed angles and some beefy tires. A gravity dropper or maverick speedball is a great thing too. Also, remember that there are other rides up there that require a fair amount of pedaling to get to, so once again think “beefy trail bike” as opposed to a DH machine.

  5. Tim

    Great food in Downieville? If only!

    The Grubstake, rumored to be closed this season, was open last weekend… thankfully! There’s really no where else in town that serves a good meal.

    The pizza place is great because it has a deck on the river and some tables at the main parking lot. The pizza is pretty weak, but then again it’s pizza, and when you’re hungry it will do the job… and who really cares when you’re out on the deck drinking beer? Their other sandwiches are so-so (not terrible, but you won’t be rushing back next time). The pizza place has been through several owners in recent years; you’d think one of them could get it right.

    Dville Market makes a good sandwich, just be prepared to wait 30+ minutes to get it. They’d double their sandwich business if they got someone who could make a sandwich in a reasonable time.

    The Coffee place does it right. 🙂

    Is there anywhere that serves breakfast in town?

    A bunch of us were thinking this weekend: Now that Yuba Exp and Dville Outfitters are essentially outside operations, they should both have BBQs and maybe some taps to satisfy the needs to Mtn Bikers. A quick Costco burger on the grill would be just the thing after a ride.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s