The short answer would be yes. Here’s why. First of all, downhill mountain biking is more technical than XC mountain biking. Though there are some courses/trails that a would be downhiller could just ride his or her 5-6″ travel bike and do fine. But there are places where a longer travel bike, a downhill bike would fare better.
The problem with downhill mountain biking is that it’s rather expensive to get into. Enter the Airborne Taka, we’ve featured and reviewed this bike and we’ve been REALLY impressed with it. So how is the Airborne Taka going to change the sport? With its price point. Currently the price of the Airborne Taka is hovering around $1499. If you ask any seasoned downhiller, that price is not bad for a downhill bike. In fact if you were to go and build your own DH bike, the fork alone can cost up to $900 for the basic model. Then you still need to find a frame, drive train, rear shock, wheels and all the other stuff that completes a bike.
With that in mind, the Airborne Taka can literally get more riders doing downhill and that’s a good thing! But some have questioned the credibility of the Airborne Taka, “Is it race worthy?” Pssh hells yeah it is. Team Racer, Art Aguilar took 1st at the Cal State Finals with the Taka. He’s been racing for 14 years and this was his first, 1st place podium, could it be the Taka or could it be his Ninja skills? It’s both.
In closing, the Airborne Taka definitely will help the sport grow with its affordable downhill bike. Hopefully more and more bicycle companies will see what Airborne is doing and try to mimic it. If not, then I guess that’s good too because they’ll own the market of “affordable downhill bikes.”