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…Posted 5 years ago
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.Posted 5 years ago
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.
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?Posted 5 years agobluebirdMember
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.Posted 5 years agoBagstardMember
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.Posted 5 years agoplumberMember
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
PlumPosted 5 years agojambalayaSubscriber
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 😕 Take a few test rides and/or drop me a mail as I’m SH based.Posted 5 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
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).Posted 5 years agoTreksterSubscriber
What does it cost?Posted 5 years ago
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 🙄Hob NobMember
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!Posted 5 years agoask1974Member
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.Posted 5 years agocycl1ngjbMember
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.Posted 5 years agogusMember
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.Posted 5 years agomtbtomoMember
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.Posted 5 years ago
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…..Posted 5 years agodetranceMember
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 😉Posted 5 years agoandehMember
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.Posted 5 years agodirtydogMember
I even saw one guy on a singlespeed hardtail.
Posted 5 years agondthorntonMember
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!!Posted 5 years agondthorntonMember
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 😉Posted 5 years ago
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