Alps Trip – Is my Bike sufficient?

Home Forum Bike Forum Alps Trip – Is my Bike sufficient?

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 57 total)
  • Alps Trip – Is my Bike sufficient?
  • Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    I take my 05 stumpy fsr to that Alps most years. Its the right bike for the sort of riding I do.

    Premier Icon mdoubleu
    Subscriber

    @nickjb – any modifications, what travel do you have, where are you riding and what is the sort of riding you do?

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Firstly lucky man, I went skiing with them in December and the setup is excellent. When I looked in March they were pretty much sold out for biking.

    What suspension travel? What brakes ? Do you have some heavy duty (dual ply) tyres and tubes ?

    I have my Alps bike, Covert, great hope brakes, dual ply tyres, 150m travel upfront – was still comprehensively outridden by the guy on a standard Zesty as he was just a better rider ….

    There is a strong argument for riding what you are comfortable with, ie your own bike, but it does depend a bit on the setup.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    We did that week a couple of years ago, the group varied from HT’s to DH bikes. It’s more about how comfortable you are with the bike.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    You could take either, I’ve just got back from a week with trail addiction and me and my gf were on hardtails. It’s an attitude thing rather than a bike thing IME

    Premier Icon mdoubleu
    Subscriber

    @jambalaya – Stumpjumper is currently set up with – Hans Dampf tyres, Avid Elxir’s CR’s, Hope Hubs, travel is 120.
    I could move stuff to Orange bike too but limited by less rear travel although 150 upfront with adjustable fork.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    This is the stuff we did on the Classic Singletrack week (and some longer out there stuff we did in the second week)
    http://vimeo.com/album/1988585

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    No major mods. Wider bars, bigger disk on the front, dropper post. Might put beefier tyres on this year. Take a few spare brake pads. I do the same story of riding I do in the UK, hence my UK bike being fine. Xc, single track, a few roots, a few rocks. Some uplifted downhill-lite with wheels firmly on the ground

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    My 2 cents would be to focus on the front suspension travel, its pretty easy to blow through 120 there, bigger obstacles (roots, rocks etc) plus generally higher speeds. Likewise braking, you really want to be in control, smaller brakes get hot very quickly out there – then fade out to zero 🙁 I imagine @nickc on his HT had more than 120 travel upfront ?

    If the Stumpjumper is your normal bike on which you are most comfortable then perhaps a bigger rotor on the front (and back?) might be the best investment (and/or put the 150 adjustable fork on it). I dont know the ST4, a mate of mine puts 160 forks on his Orange 6 for the Alps. So the ST4 has 150 on the front and less rear travel than the Stumpy ?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Yep, 140mm.

    Often wondered why people put bigger rotors on the front, my brake mod is a 180 ( up from 160) on the back and leave the front at 180, on v steep stuff, all your braking should be on the back brake, otherwise it’s a quick OTB surely?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    nickc wrote:

    Yep, 140mm.
    Often wondered why people put bigger rotors on the front, my brake mod is a 180 ( up from 160) on the back and leave the front at 180, on v steep stuff, all your braking should be on the back brake, otherwise it’s a quick OTB surely?

    No both keeping the bike balanced.

    Premier Icon mdoubleu
    Subscriber

    @jambalaya – Stumpjumper has 180 rotor on front, think braking should be ok(?) Yes the ST4 has less at the back than the SJ, I like the idea of putting the Sektor on the SJ – hadn’t though of that.

    @mikewsmith – I’ll check the video later, thank you – this is helpful.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’d also say I was on a 150mm bike with 160mm forks 200mm rotors all round, dropper post, 760mm bars, armour and a full face – but that was my normal trail bike 🙂

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Either will be fine, I’d not bother hiring personally (although the new Alpines are looking good). I was out with them on a Transition Bandit(140/130) and there was a GT Sensor (120/120) in the group too. The trails generally are tight techy as opposed to lairy huck fests.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Either will be fine. We’ve just got back from a week in Les Arcs/La Plagne, riding everything from steep, tight, switchback laden singletrack to red and black DH trails. Our group had trail bikes ranging from a Camber to a Spicy and NP Mega. The guides at Bike Village rode hardtails and Fives last time I was there too. Just make sure everything is working well before you head out and that you’ve got spare pads for the brakes 🙂

    Bigger discs, a few spare pads and beefy tyres (or DH Tubes) and you’ll be sorted. You can do the alps on anything. They are just very, very long trails after all. Brake fade is horrible though and the only cure is bigger rotors or larger balls!

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    I saw someone riding the Megavalanche last week on a Specialized hardtail.

    munrobiker
    Member

    I’d go for the Spesh, partly because if you rip off a mech hanger you’ll be able to find one easily. Not so with the Orange.

    Premier Icon mdoubleu
    Subscriber

    I’m heading off to spend a week with the White Room in St Foy this coming week for their Classic Singletrack Week and wanted to get the forum’s thoughts on choice of bike.

    I have a quandary as to whether to take my bike or hire one?

    I have the following bikes to choose form or I could hire?:

    2008 Stumpjumper FSR.
    Orange ST4 w/Rockshock Sektors.

    Appreciate any thoughts input.

    maxtorque
    Member

    All the best WR trails in TSF are well do-able on a 120/120, although having a bit more travel means you can take some rad-er lines in places, and carry a bit more speed on the more DH’illy trails. Get your tyres and brakes sorted as a first priority however!

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Soft tyres so they don’t hurt when they run you over eh Paul! 😆

    Premier Icon mdoubleu
    Subscriber

    Thanks all, useful information for many.

    Ok so an upgrade on tyres, to either Minions or High Rollers(?)

    Some have mentioned concerns over brakes – I have Avid Elxir CR’s with 180m rotors, is that not enough?

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Personally I’d have a 200 on the front at least, but I’d also never let a hydraulic Avid near my bike ever.

    Tyres just go for wide and resilient.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    nickc – Member
    Often wondered why people put bigger rotors on the front, my brake mod is a 180 ( up from 160) on the back and leave the front at 180, on v steep stuff, all your braking should be on the back brake, otherwise it’s a quick OTB surely?

    Common misconception that front braking = OTB. Possibly thanks to parents telling kids this when learning to ride, or just a natural fear that the front will cause the back to lift which while is true, it’s countered by weight on the bike & force through the pedals (helps dropping your heals and getting weight back when steep).

    Should be on the front in preference to rear generally though. Rear only will tend to lock up more and skid.

    Steep, I’d be on both with a favour more for the front. A lot more control than just skidding down on the rear, and again you won’t go OTB unless you’re roadie style riding way over the front (or hit something 😉 ).

    A couple of days in Portes du Soleil finished one set of Kevlar pads down to the backing plates, and I was feathering the brakes and trying to keep off them as much as possible. I didn’t boil the brakes like a lot of people though, but maybe it’s a difference in brakes.

    Anyway, don’t know what kind of riding would be involved here, but for Pass’Portes du Soleil their recommendation was…

    “With its mainly downhill course and handful of climbs, for a great ride at this year’s Pass’Portes du Soleil we’ve been looking for a full-suspension bike that’s light too & an enduro all-mountain rig, in short.”

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    And Elixir brakes, perfectly fine for the alps. My XOs didn’t boil. Other brands did 😉

    203 front, 180 back

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    We’re going back to White Room later this year, you’re going to have a blast… Best week on the bike I’ve ever had. I took out a 160mm-ish full suss which was pretty much perfect but we had 2 folks on Anthems who were loving it too. I was having some dubious ideas about taking the hardtail out this year but I think I’ll stick with the bouncer! either of yours will be fine, but stick big rubber on them if you can, and make sure you’ve got the obvious spares- pads and hangers and such.

    Brakes, tbh depends a lot on you. Mine are pretty bombproof butavoiding dragging if you can makes a big difference- you can overheat any brake with the right stress. Better to brake short and hard than long and soft. But there are times over there when yes you will be dragging the brakes.

    And yeah, you will only go over the bars if you do something daft, and once things get steep then trying to do all your braking with the rear just won’t work anyway, just not enough power. If your weight’s in the right place (neither too far forward nor too far back) then you’ve either got power at both ends, or, you’re riding something so daft that you probably don’t want to be depending on braking much anyway 😉

    James the chef is a genius, incidentally.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    OP your brakes will be fine. Enjoy it you will have a blast.

    The Alps teaches you so much about riding properly, I used to comfort brake all the time – fingers on brake just at/before bite point so I knew I could apply immediately – this used to cook the brakes something rotten and far too much on the rear – adding to the braking bumps on the trails. Correct way is balanced braking and if your body/arm position is correct you can put a lot of front brake on which is very effective at slowing you down.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Typical cruisey trail in the valley – Wonderbra from Tignes

    hora
    Member

    I had a bike that I felt utterly comfortable on. It only had 115mm rear but its the fact I felt at home on it. I got rid and bought a 2010 Specialized SX frame instead- didn’t feel right at all.

    Take what you like, then you can always hire something ‘big’ if you feel underbiked.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    and once things get steep then trying to do all your braking with the rear just won’t work anyway, just not enough power.

    Hence the reason I just put a larger disc on the back, even on mentally steep stuff I could stop pretty much on the spot just using my rear and feathering the front for a bit of control when I needed it

    Mleh, different strokes for different folks, all us good as long as you’re having fun

    Stop worrying, just take the one you prefer!!

    I did a week based in Chamonix on a 100mm Steel Inbred, Tour de Mont Blanc on my 100mm original Titanium geared Inbred with 160mm rotors and a week with Bike Verbier on a yeti ASR-SL with 100mm QR Reba’s \ 180\160mm disks on one of their more all mountain weeks.
    Bikes and I were fine except for breaking a spoke on the yeti (oh and a rock strike cracking the frame which I noticed once I was home).
    You don’t need more than what you currently ride. Either would be fine (IMHO).

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    nickc – Member

    Hence the reason I just put a larger disc on the back, even on mentally steep stuff I could stop pretty much on the spot just using my rear and feathering the front for a bit of control when I needed it

    Do you have a monster truck tyre on the back or something? Braking power isn’t limited by the brake.

    maxtorque
    Member

    I think people get confused on steep stuff about not using their front brake?

    When the bike is on level ground, if you have your bodies CofG in the middle of the wheels, then approx 50% of your weight is on each tyre (front 7 rear).

    When the bike is on steeply downhill sloping ground, moving your mass backwards towards the rear wheel simply re-establishes that 50-50 balance!

    You still want a larger front rotor than rear, because you get the same dynamic mass transfer towards the front of the bike as you do when on the flat.

    Of course, you can move your mass so far backwards that there is zero weight on the front wheel, but at this point you will find cornering or steering to be somewhat difficult (assuming you’re not an ace at “knee steered” flatland manuals of course 😉

    Premier Icon Clobber
    Subscriber

    I can fade avid elixir r’s around CyB never mind the alps, I wouldn’t take avids to the alps…

    I also agree with deadkenny, NOT nick-c

    maxtorque
    Member

    RE: tyres = personal preference, but you’ll be doing a little bit of peddling on the WR classic ST week, so i wouldn’t go too heavy personally.

    (I ran HD’s in Super Gravity flavour, and they were a good compromise, with no punctures and not so heavy i couldn’t cycle up stuff 😉

    dantsw13
    Member

    As its a 1 off on your normal bike, I’d thoroughly reccommend a Chunky Monkey tyre from On-One for £14 for the super tacky version. TLR too. Loads of us on here have been using them. Perfect Alps tyre IMHO.

    I was guide a TA for 3 seasons. My simple suggestions would be:

    1. BIG Rotors 203 front and back
    2. Big tyres from and back, personally I’d say high rollers 60a for the back and super tacky on the front
    3. Short Stem 50mm
    4. Big bars

    People get hung up on travel too much. The above will make your bike feel much more stable on longer descents.

    Enjoy, the trails are and will be amazing.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Northwind, don’t laugh but actually a race king 2.2 tubless. So not mental. But just doing all the normal stuff, heels down, weight low, the rear brake was all I needed most times ( unless I was endo-ing hairpins*) 8)

    * I only managed it successfully once, but hey I can boast, right?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Not being funny but your idea of “mentally steep” must be quite a bit different to mine.

    maxtorque
    Member

    I’m still stuck in this years “post alps depression”, so i’ll just leave this here to cheer you all up:

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Or I weigh less than you…fatty

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Touche! 😆

    Premier Icon mdoubleu
    Subscriber

    @maxtorque – I was hoping to use Hans Dampf 2.35’s – they just about clear.

    Premier Icon sherb
    Subscriber

    Was there 2 weeks ago for the pass-portes, took my nearly new Orange 5 pro with Hope M4’s, it felt perfect for everything i did. spent 4 days mixing the PPDS run with some xc and lots of runs down Morgins and Pres la Joux trails.

    bland
    Member

    In simple terms ride what you would in the peaks!

    Or ride what you you would like to ride in the peaks but can’t be bothered to lug up the hills!

    Anything will do for les arcs!

    Hopefully see you on the trails next week, if we see steveo out I’ll say hi!

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 57 total)

The topic ‘Alps Trip – Is my Bike sufficient?’ is closed to new replies.