Megavalanche

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  • Megavalanche
  • Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Not done the race but I rode the track top to bottom about 2 weeks ago.
    I guess it depends on your style of riding. You could get down the track on pretty much anything I’d say although obviously some things will work better than others.

    I rode it on my 160mm Mega and strangely enough, given the Mega was named after………the Mega, it was spot on.

    Its quite a techy track really and rough as fork in places so 160mm is about right I’d say considering the climbing involved too which was not totally insignificant. Short and sharp generally, but climbs nonetheless.

    Having said all that, if you would get more use out of a shorter travel bike in your general day to day riding, then I’d go with something like a Zesty. It would be fine down the Mega plus chances are, unless you are really fast, you’ll get stuck behind all and sundry too anyway.

    If you are the type that is likely to be in the front grid and can outsprint a Cheetah, then maybe a bit of extra travel can tame your speed, if not, then I personally think you’ll be just fine with 140mm’ish of travel or so…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    140mm for the win
    160mm for survivor
    200mm for the scared!

    Did it on my heckler and mostly survived – injury in practice was my problem

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    I went out to do the Mega this year, but didn’t even make it to the start of the qualifying race as I broke my thumb practising.
    140mm both ends would be fine, just make sure everything is working well before you go. Dual ply tyres are a good idea too – specially on the rear.
    Ability to drop your saddle to the rails is good so you can tripod your way down the snow.

    filks
    Member

    So my mid-life crisis is to do the Megavalanche. Reckon in a couple/three years time – need to work on skills……

    But is a 140mm frame enough travel – which I may find more use longer term – or do I need to be looking at 160mm? Guessing it’s really a zesty vs. spicy question (or your recommendations!). At the mo I’m on a 100mm hardtail which is great for me (Surrey hills pootling) but clearly not enough for enduro stuff.

    What’s the experience/advice from the megavalanche vets out there?

    bella
    Member

    1+ mikewsmith. From what you are saying go for 160 up front. Could think about a 140 bike and a second hand 160 fork from classifides. Big brakes. Dual ply. Dont wait for 2 years. Just book it and dont take out too seriously.

    jonk
    Member

    Ive ridden the track on my alpine which was perfect. Next year im taking some bigger tyres than the 2.35 high roller / minion combo I used this year. From my mates experience there was a few people doing it on hard tails and fat bikes this year so anything goes really.

    bluebird
    Member

    I raced (if you can call it that) the Mega this year for the first time and rode a 160 front and rear bike and it was perfect. People are riding it on anything from full-on DH bikes to 4x bikes.

    The quali course is a little rougher, the main race track is a lot longer. It falls somewhere between the easier end of DH and the more involving end of trail riding. There are no humungous gap jumps or technical features. The hardest aspect for me was the prolonged nature of it.

    Get a Zesty and stick some 160mm forks on it. Perfect.

    Bagstard
    Member

    I would say it depends how good you are?! Given that you currently don’t feel good enough I would say a 160mm bike would be best, if you aren’t likely to do well, you may as well enjoy it! A big bike will be more fun for most of the time, defo dual ply tyres.

    As said above, don’t wait, just put your name down for the 2013 and work on your skills between now and then, it’s almost a year away anyway. I’m hoping to be back next year, Alpine 160 with dropper post.

    plumber
    Member

    125 each end when I did it earlier this year

    No problem with that travel it’s more a head thing as I saw millions of mincers on big bike walking down stuff

    I dont consider myself a great rider at all but I’m proud of myself for riding everything even in the worlds slowest time

    Plum

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Definitely suggest you just enter next year, why wait and it will give you an incentive to work on skills.

    A 140mm FS (like a Zesty) will be perfect for most SH but a bit lightweight for Alps/Mega. It’s a compromise, if you have a more alpine orientated bike it will be a bit much for local riding. If your focus is on the Mega get a 160 AM style bike. If you can afford it keep the HT for XC.

    Your biggest challenge will be where to practice as SH is mostly soft ground (one or two exceptions), to practice on rocks you’ll have to travel.

    The Mega is on my list for next year, things to do in my 50th year. I’d like to think I’m beyond the MLC πŸ˜• Take a few test rides and/or drop me a mail as I’m SH based.

    Brycey
    Member

    Echo the above really.

    140 if you’re light on your kit and/or a pro; 160 otherwise. There are all sorts doing the race, and there is generally a very positive vibe during practise week that will put you at ease.

    2nd hand Specialized Pitch?

    If you’re going to be working on skills then you’ll be doing uplifts, which absolutely trash bikes (both in the lorry, and on the track), so why ruin a nice bike. You could always buy something nicer with a month or two to go.

    2nd hand Pitch
    2nd hand Lyrics
    Learn to build wheels

    My only criticism of mine is it’s an absolute Pig if you’re unfit. First ride of the year on it and it feels like a heavy dog and no fun, once you’re fit enough to sprint on it out of corners etc then even blue runs at Trail centers become fun (and rocky tracks are dealt with like a warm spoon through a souflee).

    bluebird
    Member

    What the pro’s rode this year:

    Remy Absalon – Commencal Meta AM – 150/150
    Nico Lau – AMS 150 S HPC XTR – 150/150
    Dan Atherton – GT Force LE – 150/160

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I am seriously considering it next year myself.

    Great opportunity to spend my 40th birthday in hospital somewhere warm and scenic.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    πŸ˜€ There were plenty of walking wounded in Alpe D’Huez during Mega week.

    mk1fan
    Member

    140mm both ends when I rode/raced it. Do it next year, you’ll love it.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    What does it cost?
    Was thinking about PDS next year and Mega in 2014 to celebrate a significant birthday 8)
    Work pattern for next year is being discussed, under review for 2013 and there are other changes in the pipeline therefore booking anything atm is on hold πŸ™„

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    wasn’t 2nd in the experts done on a rigid ?

    Hob Nob
    Member

    The race entry and lift pass for 6 days is about 90 euros.

    wasn’t 2nd in the experts done on a rigid ?

    Won it, but in Masters on a HT with front suspension, and technically it’s a bit of a ‘con’ to say that, as it was in the Challengers race, not the main Mega race.

    Still a hell of an achievement to be fair though!

    ask1974
    Member

    OP, I rode the Mega with a couple of mates two weeks ago and I think the answer to your question lies in your ability and confidence. I went up with 140mm front/rear and it wasn’t enough for me, just not good (confident) enough to attack some of the technical sections. Having not rode in the mountains for a few years I was a bit out of practice and would have been much more confident with 160mm and slacker geometry. The fact that one of us was air lifted off the hill with a shattered collet bone didn’t do anything for my mojo at all 😯

    Still, great fun. Huge respect to anyone mad enough to race the course.

    randomjeremy
    Member

    Done it a few times on a big DH bike but the last time was on a 160/140 trail bike with big tires and thick tubes, I would use this combination again. Some of the pros ride pretty light kit IMO, but they’re pros, not some fat old duffer like us lot πŸ™‚

    cycl1ngjb
    Member

    I also did it this year onboard my Nukeproof Mega. I was lucky enough to have no crashes on the qualifier or main race.

    Amongst the my group of 8 riders we were mostly running bikes with 160mm forks & 140 – 160mm at the rear (my Mega, a Spicy, Two Orange 5’s, a Spesh Enduro, Transition Bottlerocket), but one of my group did ride a Zesty & the other a DH rig (Morewood).

    Most people doing the race ride a 160mm bike, which I think is the best choice. There is some climbing to do on the course (not much admittedly), but enough to regret riding a DH bike. I even saw one guy on a singlespeed hardtail.

    Oh & a dropper post is well worth having. I’d also agree on running dual ply tyres & DH tubes.

    Worth bearing in mind is how the qualifier works – it determines which main race you go off in – if you finish: –

    1-35 = Megavalanche (main race)
    36-70 = Mega Challengers
    71-104 = Mega Amateurs

    Time is irrelevant – it’s all about your placing. Anything higher than 105 & you get put into the Mega Affinity 1 or 2 – the main difference being put into either of these is that it’s no longer mass start – two of our group ended up in these races & were a bit disappointed that they didn’t get the mass start.

    bigh
    Member

    Or you could do what we did, ride the course with a bunch of mates instead of doing the actual race, yes its a cop-out but bloody hilarious just the same.

    gus
    Member

    Like other people have said enter it next year as you will want to enter the following year as well!

    I’d say 160 is where its at for most people, Riding the course and racing are two different things. In the race you often end up riding lines you don’t plan to ride.

    Good Brakes that are working and Dual Ply Tires are probably more important than travel.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    I did it for the first time this year, ~180 up front and 165 at the back. It struck me more that the DH sticky tyres, wide bars amd good brakes made a bigger difference to confidence than the travel.

    My mate was due to ride it on a Specialized Enduro before he did his shoulder in and his brother rode it on a Lapierre Zesty. He was quicker than me on the tech stuff despite less travel and I was quicker than him on the pedally bits despite lugging more travel.

    Next time, I’m planning to take my Zesty with a 150 or 160 fork up front.

    filks
    Member

    Thanks all! Need to plan ahead to budget the bike in etc so next year may be too soon – which is a good excuse to improve my skills, possibly by transitioning to a long travel hardtail before moving onto the full susser

    Inspired by all responses – really want to do the actual event though given it’s clearly mental and luck has a big part to play. Definitely taking part the aim over actual racing, finishing would be nice…..

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    For me, making it to the start line would’ve been nice πŸ™ I’ve got at least another 3 weeks in plaster to look forward to. Maybe next year………..

    cycl1ngjb
    Member

    Well worth getting some coaching to improve your skills – I went to see the Jedi (UK Bike Skills) in February & it helped loads for the Mega

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    I need to learn to fall off better πŸ˜€ Any courses for that?

    detrance
    Member

    Book up for 2013, be the best thing you ever do. Don’t wait! There are lots of different levels of riders, complete novice to pro. As long as you know your limits you will be fine. Registration opens early January.
    My advice, 140-160mm rear, 160mm front.
    Downhill dual ply tyres are a must. Do not go without them, puncture city! 2.35 high roller rear, 2.5 minion front works well.
    Dropper post is also a must.
    Decent brakes and rotors. Recommend 180 rear, 203 front.
    Decent width bars, 700 minimum
    I’ve been 3 times and raced twice (injured 2nd time but went anyway). 1st year 58th in the Quali and not really giving as much as i should. This year 53rd but taken out by another rider before the first corner. Ended up at the back and worked my way through. Next year i’m having that 1st-35th spot!!
    Ride the Quali as much as a you can. The faster lines determines your weekend. You want to register for at least the Silver package, giving you a 5 day lift pass. This starts Wednesday giving you 2 full days to blast the Quali as much as possible. If you can for a longer period all the better and buy the gold or platinum package.

    The mega course depends on how much snow is at the top. If a lot and it’s soft it is horrendous! Zaps your energy but good fun. The route down has a few gnarly sections but once you’ve ridden the Quali and got used to alpine riding you will take this in your stride. The single track down to Oz and Allemond is superb!

    If your a mountain biker you need to do this. I went on my own the first year as none of the lads fancied it. I now have 6 of my mates hooked!

    As long as you know your limits it’s just like riding scotland or wales (with more people of course). The buzz of sitting on the start line with 199 other riders listening to eurotrash and a helicopter overhead is second to none. Mega you have 399 other riders!

    See in Duez next year πŸ˜‰

    andeh
    Member

    Do it, it’s amazing. I did it this year for the first time and it was, without exception, the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike. The qualifying track is brilliant!

    There are riders of all different abilities there, so I shouldn’t worry about that. The track isn’t all that techy and you can always get off and walk, nothing wrong with that. The boardwalk is the trickiest bit and even then it’s all rollable.

    Also, you can ride the Oz downhill track, which is a brake boiling, corker of a trail.

    dirtydog
    Member

    I even saw one guy on a singlespeed hardtail.

    He won!

    Guy Wins Megavalanche Class On Singlespeed Hardtail

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Worth getting somewhere “Big” to practice, try a trip up to the lakes and get into the mountains. Fitness will also help πŸ™‚

    filks
    Member

    I was thinking practice on proper mountains when possible and do the Macavalanche the year before/same year as warm up

    Bagstard
    Member

    Have a go on Black powder at Antur Ffestiniog in north Wales, it is a fast fun track with a few Mega-qualifieresque sections, very rocky and has a fantastic uplift service.

    ndthornton
    Member

    The first time I did it I ran 130 and everyone had 140
    The second time I ran 140 and everyone had 160
    This year I had 160 and now everyone seems to run 180!

    Next time Im going to jump up 2 sizes to try and catch up!

    Not really 160 is perfect – although 180 is tempting with the new float 36’s. some sexy looking bikes out there! Who I am I kidding – it will be years before they’re affordable second hand!!

    Brycey
    Member

    My biggest problem with the Mega is it is like signing a new contract at work where you get paid Β£1000 less and have 5 days fewer holidays for ever more. You have to go back after you’ve popped your cherry. It’s amazing.

    snaps
    Member

    Some pics I took of the course last year




    ndthornton
    Member

    They made that North shore bit on the Quali was super hard this year – Big gnarly boulders on the exit- I wasn’t looking forward to ridng it having crashed in 1st practice and then almost, almost crashed on 2nd practice (basically I crashed but stayed on the bike). Ive never not ridden any part of the Mega courses through fear so was determined to try it in the race whatever the outcome – when I got there though it was al jammed up and I had to walk – What a terrible shame πŸ˜‰

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)

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