- Just back from Les Gets…
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 therePosted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years ago
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!Posted 4 years agowlMember
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.Posted 4 years agomoniexMember
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.
SimonePosted 4 years agoddmonkeySubscriber
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…Posted 4 years agoMad PierreSubscriber
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…Posted 4 years ago
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 youPosted 4 years agoianvMember
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 dhPosted 4 years agocycl1ngjbMember
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.Posted 4 years agocrashtestmonkeyMember
as a fellow oxford dweller and 8-time PdeS visitor:
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.Posted 4 years ago
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