Just back from Les Gets…

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  • Just back from Les Gets…
  • retro83
    Member

    Seeing as it’s on your doorstep, Aston Hill would probably be a good start? The runs are not long though.

    The red is fine to potter down, there’s also a couple of blacks and a 4X run.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    cwmcarn is probably the best place to start if you want to replicate the alps, its all rollable but still has some testing bits
    forest of dean uplift is alo ok, though less alpine
    antur stiniogs good too!
    chicksands, aston hill all fun even somewhere like llandegla has a freeride area
    warning uplift days are A) expensive and B) not as good as the alps!

    as for the bike, loads of good 140mm full bouncers out there

    hambl90
    Member

    Bike park wales is opening at the end of the month and should be great fun for your son .
    As for a bike for you maybe something like a lappiere zesty or norco sight .

    dashed
    Member

    Forest of Dean – much more the sort of riding it sounds like you’re after – uplift but nothing too gnarly, just some fun flowy trails. Avoid Aston unless you want very steep and rooty (or want to stick to a single trail).

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Thanks everyone, really helpful – I’ll start planning some trips…

    The bike I rented in Les Gets was a Lapierre Zesty 214 – I really liked it, and I did wonder about buying a secondhand one from the rental place (Nevada Sports, who were fantastic, very highly recommended). But I kept hitting the pedals on the ground – not sure if the bike needed more air in the shock or it’s just an occupational hazard for that kind of bike. Anyway, good to get confirmation that 140mm is the right kind of thing I should look for so I’ll do my research.

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Just had a fantastic few days in Les Gets with my family, but I now have a problem…

    I’ve always been a fairly wimpish cross-country rider, taking it easy on my old 100mm travel Superlight, but my 12 year old son is now desperate to reproduce the fun he had in the alps. After a couple of days on a hardtail I rented a decent 24″ Commencal downhill bike for him; he loved it, and I simply couldn’t keep up with him.

    We’re now back in Oxford, and wondering what to do next. He has an Islabike Creig (26″ hardtail with a decent air fork) which I only just bought him, and I’m sure is fine for this country (it’ll have to be). We’re clearly not going to be able to reproduce the alpine experience here in England, but does anyone have any suggestions on places I should take him? Cwm Carn? Chicksands? Anywhere else?

    I also think I may need a bike with a bit more oomph to it. I remain a wimp, but did get a bit braver last week, and I’m sure the 140mm travel bike I rented in Les Gets helped with this. I last bought a bike about 6 or 7 years ago, so I’m really out of touch – what sort of thing should I be looking for in terms of a longer travel full suspension bike that will still be okay to pedal uphill but will still be forgiving when I’m heading back down (my ageing back won’t tolerate a hardtail)?

    All suggestions gratefully received!

    plumber
    Member

    Its better just to face the fact that you cannot get alpine decents in the uk

    Accept that we have great descents of our own and if you don’t use a skilled compensator then you will get close or even exceed the thrill you felt out there.

    Add Snowdon to your list

    Yup, Aston Hill is your nearest place with good steep tracks.

    Don’t think there’s anything wrong with the descents in the uk, they’re just a lot shorter. So you do more runs.

    FoD is good for junior DH skills level guys (like me).

    iolo
    Member

    Sell up and move to the Alps?

    wl
    Member

    Should be plenty of underused 26″ Orange Fives around now the 650b is out. Great do-it-all bike for the UK. Buy a nice second-hand one, and get yourself out & about in the north. Pennines, Dales, Peak and Lakes. Lakes is the nearest you’ll get to the Alps in England. Then there’s Wales and Scotland, too.

    moniex
    Member

    Aston hill is great. I am looking to take my 12 year old there after our trip to the alps next week. I am not a very brave rider, my son is pretty good.

    Would be nice to meet up there and be shown up by our sons. My boy has a norco b line 24 that your son would be welcome to have a go on. He is about 151 cm tall and 42 kg.

    Myself and my husband have the older nukeproof Mega’s. I run mine with 150 up front in the up and plug in some 180’s for the alps.

    Again, my husband is about 6 ft and has a large nukeproof if you want to give that a go.

    Simone

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    I second the above in terms of riding spots, and bike suggestions as well. If you keep hitting the pedals on the ground you need to think about your technique – pedals level in the rough stuff, pump over big roots / rocks, etc… Have fun! I too was riding in Les Gets at the weekend, so much good trail building been done out this way recently its great. I took the suggested sell up and move out option…

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    I sorted out a small second hand Yeti ASX for my nephew when he was that age and wanted to get into downhill (it’s up for sale now because he’s older and has grown about 10 feet – but it is pretty knackered!).

    He (and I and his elder brother) rode Chicksands, Cwmcarn, Hopton, Bringewood, Stile Cop etc etc and he’s still keen (and pretty handy on bikes) 4 years later…

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Thanks again everyone. I’m well aware I won’t get an alpine experience here, but it looks as if I can find plenty of places with more challenge than my local Oxford trails, and I certainly do need a ‘skill compensator’ if I’m going to stand any chance of keeping up with my son as he has far more nerve and skill than I’ll ever have!

    moniex – thanks for the suggestion. I’m not around for the rest of the month, but it would be good to meet up at Aston Hill at some point in the autumn; I’ll drop you an email.

    ddmonkey – I suspect it’s a combination of poor technique on my part and a bit too much sag on the shock. I tried the things you suggest but still came a cropper a couple of times. And lucky you living out there – it’s a lovely part of the world.

    wl – good suggestion; I’ll keep an eye out for a used Orange 5…and Mad Pierre, I’ve emailed you

    ianv
    Member

    For a 12 yr old, a small 26 inch frame with 24 in wheels would be a good option. There was a lad here (Andorra) last week with a meta 4x and 24 in wheels and it seemed spot on for him. If you want to spend ££, commencal do a kids 26in supreme.

    Can’t help on riding spots in the south but 4x, Bmx tracks and dirt jumps are all pretty useful places aswell for a kid that wants to progress at dh

    If you stuck 24″ wheels in a 26 frame wouldn’t you have to fit mega short cranks to avoid bashing the ground all the time?

    Premier Icon ricardo666
    Subscriber

    Give this place a go, plus you have coed y brenin on your doorstep too if you want to make a weekend of it ?

    http://www.revolutionbikepark.co.uk/

    robnav
    Member

    there are some sweet dh type tracks around the surrey hills if you scout around, not far from you either. start off at peaslake and ask around.

    cycl1ngjb
    Member

    I was in Les Gets about two weeks ago.

    One of our group brought his 13 year old son along, who was onboard a Specialized SX Trail built up with a coil rear shock and a set of 180mm forks. My mate built this up as a frame only build using mostly parts he had from an old bike. It was the perfect bike for the trip for his son, who absolutely loved it.

    There are a few of these available second hand & likewise plenty of Kona Stinkys about for not much money. If you bought something like that then when he grows out of it you can probably sell it on for not much less than you bought it.

    Finally get yourself over to do a skills day – I’ve been to UK Bike Skills (which is not far for you) & can definitely recommend it (http://www.ukbikeskills.co.uk/index.html) – it will benefit both you and your son. It can look pricey, but will improve your riding much more than the same value in bike parts.

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Thanks again! I was wondering about a skills session so that link is really helpful. Is UK Bike Skills run by the same Tony I’ve seen mentioned here on STW?

    Premier Icon ricardo666
    Subscriber

    Also farmer johns near manchester

    cycl1ngjb
    Member

    Yeah – UK Bike Skills is Tony – he posts up on here as Jedi – he’s currently out in the Alps enjoying some alpine singletrack

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Lucky Tony 🙂

    as a fellow oxford dweller and 8-time PdeS visitor:

    Woburn Sands
    Chicksands
    Aston Hill
    Shotover Hill on edge of town has some nice singletrack and a jump spot.

    coaching from Tom Dowie @ Chicksands. I’ve used Tony/jedi and whilst I can highly recommend him, one of our club (who joined me on the Jedi session) has had a few sessions with Tom and rates him equally highly, he’s nearer, more accessible (Tony usually booked out months again) and (no offence Tony) cheaper. mate had personal tuition and session geared to exactly what he wanted.

    http://www.tomdowie.com/coaching/

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Many thanks crashtestmonkey, I’ll take a look at Tom’s site.

    I last went to Shotover years ago, sounds like I should check it out again – cheers

    ianv
    Member

    “If you stuck 24″ wheels in a 26 frame wouldn’t you have to fit mega short cranks to avoid bashing the ground all the time?”

    Plenty of short Bmx race cranks, my son has some 145mm funn hookas on his dh bike, they were really cheap on crc at one point.

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