5. It’s much more fun when you have the proper equipment.
While you can use a cross-country mountain bike on downhill trails, the trails are engineered for purpose-built downhill bikes.
Downhill bikes are heavier, with different geometry than cross-country mountain bikes. The travel in the suspension is much deeper (usually about 8-9”) and the seats are much lower. They are built to coast, corner and brake, all under the power of gravity.
Rent a bike at the resort. Just as you wouldn’t learn to alpine ski on skinny cross-country skis, you don’t want to try downhill biking on the wrong type of bike. It’s much more fun when you have the proper equipment.
Also, if you can, save time by reserving a bike online, so that it will be ready for you when you show up.
6. Armoring up will not only protect you, but also make you look and feel like a badass!
While it can be a bit intimidating to don full body armor, do it. There’s a reason downhill bikers wear full-face helmets, sturdy boots, shoulder and chest padding, and arm and leg protection.
It’s not the sport is super dangerous, but as you improve, you go faster and if you fall, it’s going to hurt.
So start out right by wearing the protective gear, which you can rent when you rent the bike. If nothing else, it will make you look (and feel) like a badass.