Megavalanche on a hardtail – how stupid?

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  • Megavalanche on a hardtail – how stupid?
  • Ok, so I've been entered for the Mega and I'm all excited and stuff, but the only bike I have is an Evil Sovereign with 140mm forks and Deore brakes.
    I'm an enthusiastic but not especially talented rider – how much will I regret my decision to ride on a hardtail and what can I do to it to make it a bit more Mega-able?


    Premier Icon romster

    ouch! get the evil sold and get bike hunting! 🙂


    Perfectly doable but unless you are very good you will be extremely slow and get very battered/knackered very quickly. It's knackering enough on a 6" travel full suss so I reckon it will be pretty tough on a hardtail. If you like beating yourself up then go for it – otherwise you will have a lot more fun on a full suss imo. 😉

    Personally, I don't think you can say you've truly got the gnarl unless you've been down it on a 'crosser! Always got to be a first, surely? 😛


    If you're going to do it on a hardtail, then you've picked the right hardtail for the job.

    I imagine you will get beaten to shit, but the bragging rights to your kids (if your balls survive) will be worth it.

    Get DH tubes and a set of 2.5 DH tyres at least.


    I've done the Mega for the past few years and always see a few on hardtails. Robbie Rickman on a Cotic Bfe, Billy Thackery from Dirt on an early Dialled Alpine are a few notables. You'll get respect all over the place and it'll be a great conversation starter.

    Premier Icon dropoff

    Swap the back wheel for a 24" and put a 3" tyre on it with downhill tubes, it's great

    dual / single ring guide
    dual ply / tubeless
    cricket box



    I used to have an Evil SOV and would not want to do the Mega on it.


    Well have you ever heard of people like Nicolas Vouilloz, Julien Fillippi and Cécile (or Céline) Rodes.

    Well they all have done it on a hardtail. And get in the top 5. Or you could just e-mail ash.
    In any case it will be harder be doable. Just get some very big DH tyres.


    rode alp d'huez for a week on a borrowed brooklyn 24" jump bike with a 100mm fork.

    i could barely walk to dinner/pub in the evening. good brakes and dh tyres are your friend.


    Unless you already have good experience of riding DH or very rough tracks at speed on a hardtail you will suffer. I would recommend you pick a used full susser before you go, can sell it after for little loss.

    I've done the qualifier track on a hardtail in practise. It was fun and not that bad, but come race day you will be forced down lines you might not want to take on a hardtail.

    Full suspension also gives you the extra margin for error when you are tired/wrecked.

    b r

    Agree with others.

    Wide rims, big volume 2/3 ply tyres running tubeless with low pressures and far better brakes on 203 discs.

    Also look at carbon bars and a comfy seat cw suspension seatpost.

    I'm considering doing a similar thing on a BFe with some Lyriks or Fox 36s up front. I think doing the Mega on a hardtail requires not just better technique but also an incredible amount of fitness. I'll be doing a lot more running/cycling in preparation for it, just for the amount of leg strength you'll need for all that time out of the saddle compared to a full-suss rider.


    If you have to ask, it's probably a bad idea for you.

    Folk I know have ridden the mega on a hardtail, but they're the sort that wouldn't ask, they'd just man up and get it done.

    Stevie P

    It's not the bike it's the rider 😉

    You'll take a beating though!


    or just hire a big old bouncer….. 😆

    Cool. I think it's time to get training and saving up for some Saints…

    Premier Icon mwleeds

    LOL, It's also worth remembering that you'll get stuck behind lots and lots of mincers, on pushing big FS bikes 😀

    If you're on a hardtail is going to really hurt!

    You might be ok on the mega but there's a reason why lot's of people take two bikes and use their DH bike for the qualifier! The first 20mins are brutal!


    solamanda speaks the truth.

    Just get a 6" bike for the race and flog it afterwards.

    I'm a 4 time vet and would never consider doing it on a HT

    Here's my bike list… you can see a pattern..

    Orange 223 (Boxxer)
    Orange Patriot 7+ (RS Domain 180)
    Patriot 6" (RS Domain Uturn)
    SBC BigHit3 [quali] + Pitch Pro (Fox 36 TALAS RC2) [Main Race]

    my mate bought a Santa Cruz Bullit for to take to Morzine last year for £840 and sold it 8 months later (when he finally realised it was too heavy to pedal) for £800.

    he couldn't have hired one in Morzine for 1 day for £40!

    Cheapest way and most sensible.

    You're a better rider than you give yourself credit for. Maybe borrow graham's 36s for the trip.

    Other than that, take a big dose of man up and get it done.

    Also, tomorrow- can you be at mine for 10am? Doris is getting MOT'd and I'll need a lift in order to get some Team Evil Sov Peak Gnar done.

    Or, if you're being a real big girl's blouse, borrow Graham's VP Free.

    be reet sam.


    Who here saying it will be fine has actually done the mega? Or even ridden the tracks on a hardtail?


    Three things.

    You wont enjoy it. It'll end up being an endurance.

    Secondly people will assume you are bloody good turning up on a hardcore hardtail to the Mega…expecting you to be gifted.

    Then they'll say 'ah'.

    I take it your not just going out there to ride one track? So why not ride a full susser and not beat yourself up plus you'll be able to ride more and enjoy your time over there. Rather than spending your week worn out?!

    BTW- well done for entering the Mega. 😀 You are more man than me 😀

    PS. OP- these would be good in the Alps

    Josh did everything in't alps last year on his 24-7 with 24" wheels and 100mm forks. And he rode everything, so I still reckon you'll be fine with your 140mm of squish and man wheels.

    I'd lend you the Norco, but after buying those wheels and chain device to mega it I want to get the most out of them! You could buy the 55 forks off it from me if you want more bounce up front, I want 36s now.


    please make sure someone gets a video, sounds like true gnarl to me 😀

    Premier Icon grahamt1980

    Having had the crap beaten out of me on a 6" FS then if you do it on a hardtail then fair do's to you, I woldn't even consider it, it would hurt too much


    Josh did everything in't alps last year on his 24-7

    and I know a lad who rode the Alps on a Yeti DJ. I don't think some people are made girly like me and you though 😆

    what about the IH 7.5 in the classifieds for £500 ish? Gotta be worth it.


    Also, I would imagine you are a lot more likely to get a race ruining pinch flat on a hardtail.


    I took my Bfe last year and pre-rode the qualifier on it.

    It's perfectly doable, and I *really* enjoyed the lower section below ADH – the new singletrack through the trees had only just been opened and was mint. Drifty, loamy hairpins. Perfect. They were cut to f'ck 3 days later mind…

    That said, I was absolfookinlutely knackered by the bottom. Arms were killing me. Thats a 20-30 min run depending on how quick you are. The main race is double+ that. I'd happily ride a hardtail for it, but I absolutely would not want to *race* on it. Whatever your best intentions to "just go along for the craik", once you're on the startline, the goggles are on, the music is blaring and the helicopters are circling overhead, it'll get very serious, very quickly, and you'll probably attempt to ride out of your depth.

    In conclusion, if you want to do it, then do it. But get very, very fit, and very, very strong, or be prepared to smoke a fag on the startline after the tapes have lifted, then ride down at your own pace.


    your deore brakes are fine, mine were plenty good enough to help get me into the second wave.

    ebay is full of carrera banshee frames for about £200, i reckon that would be quite good cheap fun for an alps bike.


    I think it depends on how good you are, Guy from Flowmtb did the Mega on a Blue pig last year and said it was fine. I was considering the same for this year, but using full suss for the quali.

    I rode the track on a hardtail last year and its fine, less hardwork than some of the other dh tracks in the alps. Didnt race though, so I cant comment on that. If you want to do well in the race maybe get a full sus, if you dont mind taking your time then im sure you'll be ok.

    Premier Icon flowmtbguy

    Guy from Flowmtb did the Mega on a Blue pig last year and said it was fine

    not quite – I rode the courses on my Prince albert (the blue pig hadn't arrived in time), but raced on my Nomad. The HT thing is fine so long as you have big forks, big tyres and big brakes. I had some fox 36's on my PA but that fecked up the geometry too much – and the 160 rotor on the back didn't help either…

    However, it's perfectly doable if you're prepared to take a beating!

    I'm (hopefully) taking an 'Alpine Pig' this year so long as the drawings materialise into a frame in time…

    My aim is to make it into the first 400 on it. I can comfortably do that on my Nomad so fancy the challenge of the HT. It's not like I'm going to win it, so may as well have a bit of fun / pain instead!


    So what is it about the mega that is so tough, is it mainly the duration? I've watched dozens of helmetcam vids of it and it doesnt look impossibly difficult, just sustained.

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