Downinsland Scooter Track Schauinsland



Technical Information

Our offroad respectively downhill scooters are specially designed for our idee of descending by gravity only, and differ greatly to usual pedal scooters. The strains placed on the scooters are
high due to the nature of the scooter track comprising of prepared forest routes rather than
tarmac roads. A further challenge is posed by the scooter track's length, with it's lenght of 8 km
and a height difference of 750 m the longest scooter track in Europe.
The scooters are well suited to offroading by having large wheels to keep the required distance
to the ground, stabile heavy frames with hydraulic front suspension and high performance front
and rear brakes, all of which makes them less suited to movement on horizontal roads.
Thanks to many years of optimisation with numerous attempts we have reached the stage
where the downhill scooters are perfect and reliable. Our sophisticated maintenance technique plays a decisive role. The large amount of wear and tear means wheels, inner tubes, brake
pads and brake discs wear out quickly! The costs of such replacements contribute significantly
to the price of a scooter trip, alongside the costly maintenance of the scooter track itself.

   download picture
In use since 2008: our latest, 5th generation downhill scooters.

A scooter costs over 1600 €, here are the technical informations:
Frame:                                       SOLID BIKES DH-Scooter, Steel CroMo
Suspension fork:                     Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 3 (Spring deflection 100 mm)
Handlebars:                             TRUVATIV Husselfelt
Front wheel brake:                  Quad QHD-1 Rotor 180 mm
Rear wheel brake:                  Quad QHD-1 Rotor 203 mm
Front wheel/ impeller:            26" REVERSE VR 9mm
Rear wheel/ impeller:            26" REVERSE VR 9mm
Tyres:                                        SCHWALBE Smart Sam
Total weight:                            18 kg

Some Scooter Physics
Thanks to the low mass centre of our downhill scooters, much higher lateral acceleration than
with most bicycles can be achieved. Coupled with an overestimation of one's own ability and reduced traction due to long dry spells, this can lead to dangerous situations.
The two high performance brake discs are specifically suited to the length and height difference
of the Downinsland Scooter Track and allow the scooter to be stopped safely. The inclusion of hydraulic brake discs on the front and rear wheels differ from a conventional braking system
and can be operated independently of one another just as on a motorbike. The good grip of the
off road tyres and sensitive metered braking, particularly on the front wheel, increase safety.

Correct braking

Even the best brakes will be overburdened by unadapted excessive speed. A resulting 'panic braking' then often leads to an accident. Excessive braking of the lightly loaded rear wheel together with the in part lessened grip on dry forest paths (mainly fine grained, no coarse gravel) causes a strong reduction in the braking action. To beginners, this may feel like brake failure. This type of braking is even worse when combined with a strong braking of the front wheel, which may be blocked this way and mostly leads to a fall.

In hydraulic disc brakes, the braking effect is only diminished when subjected to a considerable overload (completely false driving technique, continuous braking in conjunction with high body weight) which boils the brake fluid. This effect known as "fading" rarely occurs and is reflected in
a need to press the brake lever further . By pressing the brake lever shortly and strongly, several times if necessary, the braking effect is restored. Immediately afterwards it is necessary to
pause for around 5 minutes and allow the overheated brake disc to cool. The brake discs are so powerful that the scooter can even be stopped with just one brake. For this reason, please make yourself familiar with the front brake at the start of the scooter trip in section 1. By working the
brake carefully, the chance of locking the front wheel is excluded.

Incidentally, a scooter ride with "continuous use of the rear brake and thereby a partially
locked rear wheel" is torture for brakes and tyres, even aside from the poor braking effect. Occasional release of the brakes allows the brake to cool . If this doesn't happen the brake
discs need to be replaced after just one ride! This is avoidable, causes additional costs and is
one of the reasons for the implementation of a maximum weight. As should be generally known,
the optimal braking action is reached just before locking the wheel, just as in a car.

Archived photos of the no longer in use scooters show the technical development:

The beginning: Road scooters with black
frames from 2000.

An exotic scooter from 2003 with balloon tyres and without suspension.

A further developed scooter with a Tequilla aluminium frame, front calliper brakes and rear brake discs from 2005.