Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • Best type of bike for the Alps?
  • coolbeanz
    Member

    I’m moving to the Switzerland next week and I’m looking for a one bike quiver. Most of the riding that I’ve done in the Alps has been uplift assisted, so a bigger bike wasn’t an issue, but I expect that I won’t have that luxury all of the time as a local. So do I stick to riding a trail bike and rein it in on the descents, or do I take the climbs on the chin and go full enduro? I know it’s very much a how long is a piece of string kind of question, but I’m keen to hear your thoughts (and ridicule)!

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Subscriber

    What do the locals ride in the down seasons? They may have the luxury of more than one bike though.

    If it were me, I’d be sticking with my RocketMAX probably in 29er mode and take the climbs on the chin to reap the benefits of how it handles on the steeps.

    razorrazoo
    Member

    I have a friend who lives in the Swiss Alps, his last 3 mtbs have been, YT Capra, Orbea Rallon (coil rear), and Nukeproof Mega 290.

    So based on that, a LT 29er.

    Personally when I tried the current Rallon I found it to be a lot easier on the ups than any 29er with 170/160 travel should be and plenty capable going the other way.

    Last 2 Alps trips I have ridden a Five 160/140 and and Bronson V2 160/150, both lift assisted trips, and whilst not as fast on the rough stuff as a DH bike, I found them fine on all but the worst of the trails.  I’d want a good fork though, something stiff and plush – Lyrik / 36/8

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I’d go for a long-ish travel 29er that pedals well.

    My Orange Stage 6 would do the job nicely, but I’m sure there are other bikes that also climb well and are still engaging on traverse-y trails.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    A road bike, clearly.

    coolbeanz
    Member

    A road bike, clearly.

    And so, it has been decided.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    A road bike, clearly.
    Posted 11 minutes ago

    11 minutes too late!

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    I’d hate to disappoint 🙂

    Get something you can ride up and along as well as down – a lot of the higher stuff will be covered with snow and you might find you can only ride in the valleys for a lot of the year. Owning a super-duper downhill bike won’t be much use then.

    jimmy748
    Member

    Geometron G1, 5 year warranty, climbs very well and descends like a DH bike. Adjustable travel with the flip of a chip and can run any wheel size.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Subscriber

    Aren’t the uplifts that we use in the summer used for something else in the winter? Might make riding those trails a bit tricky. So perhaps a fat bike?

    Premier Icon ocrider
    Subscriber

    Aren’t the uplifts that we use in the summer used for something else in the winter? Might make riding those trails a bit tricky. So perhaps a fat bike?

    Nah. All the best stuff is generally found below the tree line. A mid to long travel 29er and a 30 tooth chainring is what I’d choose in your position.

    coolbeanz
    Member

    Looks like consensus is quickly building around:

    A mid to long travel 29er

    Poor old 650b weeping in the corner…

    Premier Icon pedlad
    Subscriber

    Who makes the geometron frames? Does he still have a partnership with Nicolei? Looks like it from the welds

    razorrazoo
    Member

    29 vs 27.5 just pick what you prefer.

    But for me solid but lightish frame, 150-170 rear (coil or piggyback air) with efficient pedalling dynamics, 160-170 front (stiff chassis fork).  Good brakes, tough tyres, 30t chainring, strong rims, dropper.

    Pretty much a modern enduro bike.

    Premier Icon ocrider
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t worry too much about changing the current bike, just adapt it to it’s new environment until you feel underbiked and then get yourself the sled.

    My Geometron is the best bike I’ve ever taken to the Alps. I used to take a hardtail and a DH bike and it’s replaced them both. If we get there, this will be the third trip on the same bike which is unheard of for me. It’s 27.5 and I’ve barely changed anything since I built it.

    The size and shape of the thing makes it go up and along like a breeze and on the way down, well it’s better than any other ‘all rounder’ I’ve ever ridden.

    But saying that, lots of other companies are closing in on similar geometry so I’d be test riding everything I could get my hands on. I’d love a G1 but it’s mega money. It depends how much you’re willing to pay for sexy machining etc.

    Premier Icon endoverend
    Subscriber

    It pains me to say it…but get as much travel as you want and combine it with a motor = Ebike. Runs for cover…

    coolbeanz
    Member

    It pains me to say it…but get as much travel as you want and combine it with a motor = Ebike. Runs for cover…

    What just happened? :O

    qwerty
    Member

    It pains me to say it…but get as much travel as you want and combine it with a motor = Ebike. Runs for cover…

    Probably this…

    A guy i used to know lives near Volleges, a quick look at his Strava and his commute is 9.5 miles / 2690′, a ride home from work is 16 miles / 3780′, a Sunday bimble is 16 miles / 4340′. Thats gonna hurt on just plain old legs alone. I’m guessing the ebike opens up a heap of doorstep riding without the faff of uplift.

    He rides some big burly looking eOrange bike.

    pedlad

    Who makes the geometron frames? Does he still have a partnership with Nicolei?

    Yes.. Nicolai sell the exact same frame.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Beautiful Alpine passes, stunned valley roads, balls out 80km+ descents, lovely smooth surfaces, ah yes, you can see where this is going…

    A road bike, clearly.

    coolbeanz
    Member

    Ha, I asked what bike is best and I’m about to receive advice on how to shave my legs.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    27.5 and 170mm of travel, whatever you like within that… don’t got with the 29er, they handle like barges.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    I’m about to receive advice on how to shave my legs.

    In the shower, Gillette Mach 3, Nivea Body Shave Stick, Nivea Aloe Vera moisturiser to finish.
    Worth going over your legs with a beard trimmer first if you’ve not done it before.
    Sorted.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    My 1 bike solution would end up being 4 all of which have been mentioned already. LT 29er full suss, for me is the best riding option I’ve used out there, e-bike because the lift season is limited and the areas it covers aren’t massive, a road bike just because and my stooge because it’s ace and I’d rather use that for low level messing about.

    Premier Icon alpin
    Subscriber

    Don’t over think it.

    I ride in the alps each week and see a large variety of bikes.

    Besides, you’re in Switzerland earning Swiss francs. You’ll have plenty of money to buy a decent bike from across the border.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    It pains me to say it…but get as much travel as you want and combine it with a motor = Ebike. Runs for cover…

    Absolutely this. You’ll cover so much more distance and do twice as many downhill runs with an ebike. If ever there was a right tool for the job it is here.

    Was thinking this grunting up a fire road in my local woods last night…looking at my uphill slog to downhill fun ratio it is pretty terrible…spending most of my evening slogging up hill instead of having fun going down. and it affects the ride in that you wont necessarily do certain runs because they result in a bigger climb at the end. With an ebike i would have done twice as many down hill runs and probably explored the area more.

    bikenski
    Member

    Living in the French Alps, I would definitely suggest an ebike for Alpine riding. Uplift season is all too short and outside of that time, long mountain firoad slogs are just dull and loooong on a non- ebike. You can also get away from crowded uplifted spots and make the most of the uphills by choosing the techy climbs which just aren’t possible on a non-e bike.

    Premier Icon wors
    Subscriber

    What jobs are on offer to allow you to move to the Swiss Alps? Asking for a friend 😬

    daveylad
    Member

    Quite hilly there isn’t it? In which case a specialized kenevo expert would be ideal. 180mm travel with a 700w battery.

    looking at my uphill slog to downhill fun ratio it is pretty terrible…spending most of my evening slogging up hill instead of having fun going down. and it affects the ride in that you wont necessarily do certain runs because they result in a bigger climb at the end. With an ebike i would have done twice as many down hill runs and probably explored the area more

    This is pretty much my opinion of e-bikes having never properly ridden one yet. I used to be a DH rider who reluctantly embraced pedalling so I could spend longer actually riding.
    Then I realised slogging around on bridelways and fire roads is unbelievably dull. I’d rather walk.

    If I bought an e-bike I’d use to it just do run after run on the hardest trails I could find and probably enjoy my time out again.

    If I lived in the Alps I’d already have a Kenevo or whatever the Commencal one is called.

    Premier Icon UK-FLATLANDER
    Subscriber

    After watching this the answer is obviously a xc bike 😉

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-claudio-caluori-tries-to-keep-up-with-nino-schurter-on-his-home-trails.html

    Premier Icon Sir HC
    Subscriber

    Something reliable and well made and that can climb, the lifts arn’t always open and whats to say the OP is going to be near lifts! Personally I’d be steering away from plastic, given the trails can be rough and long, with every possibilty you are going to be doing a lot more descending.

    My choice would be from the following:
    -Raaw
    -Nicolai
    -Liteville
    -Privateer
    -Commencal

    coolbeanz
    Member

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-claudio-caluori-tries-to-keep-up-with-nino-schurter-on-his-home-trails.html

    Everyone needs to watch this. Nino puts the EWS crowd to shame.

    zerocool
    Member

    probably a 150-170 modern geo bike in whichever wheelsize you prefer.

    It pains me to say it but I’d probably get a 160(ish) e-bike. Something like a YT Decoy, Spesh E-nduro(?) or similar and enjoy all the none lift assisted trails

    +1 for what Sir HC suggests, unless you’re tempted by that motor

    Premier Icon colp
    Subscriber

    I spend all summer in the Austrian alps.
    Pretty much just used my Trek Powerfly LT last year, Tues didn’t get used, Capra didn’t get used.
    It was as good as the Tues at DH and let me explore the local mountains that don’t have lifts.
    Long travel Ebike is the correct answer

    Premier Icon alpin
    Subscriber

    Ebikes are cheating. (says the new owner of an ebike)

    They really are.

    gnarlych
    Member

    Where in Switzerland are you moving to?

    I live in Switzerland near Zurich, and find a Norco Optic (shorter travel, aggressive geo 29er) is perfect as a one-bike quiver. Not all of Switzerland is high alps, and to go down we have to pedal up in many cases. A bike like this is perfect for all steep & techie trail riding, and is better than lugging some massive enduro bike up the hills. It can handle all alpine riding too.

    If I lived literally at a place like Lenzerheide and was riding lift-accessed terrain in the high alps for 90% of my riding, I’d probably have an enduro bike too like the Norco Sight / SC Megatower etc (eg. 150-170mm front and back).

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    I have an Orange Stage 6 for guiding and a Stage 4 for out of season riding / epic days. If I could only have one bike, it’d be the Stage 6, but I’d pay more attention to keeping it light.

    The Stage 4 is awesome though. For corona reasons, I hadn’t replaced my guiding bike until a few days ago, so I’ve been riding the Stage 4 for everything since deconfinement. It’s a really, really capable bike that also climbs like a rocket.

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