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  • Pass’portes Du Soleil 2018 – Advice
  • Premier Icon facian
    Free Member

    I’ve just signed up for this with a friend, first time riding in the Alps so looking forward to it! Has anyone been/anyone else going this year?

    Any advice for kit that might be useful in addition to the ‘usual’ spares? Also i’m weighing up helmet and body protection options, would you recommend a full-face? Maybe one of the removable chin options?

    Currently I just have an EVOC bag with back protector, and a Bontrager Lithos open-face helmet so i was looking for some lightweight protection too. Either some separate knee & elbow pads or something like the 661 baselayer/shorts with in-built pads? Does anyone have any recommendations for something that won’t be too hellish to wear all day in the summer?

    Stories, photos and general experiences of the event more than welcome! Planning to make a week of it at least, and get in plenty of riding after the event.

    Cheers,

    James

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    Its bloody great! You’ll have a ball. Advice….

    1. Pack loads of brake pads

    2. Pack some more brake pads

    3. Buy a full face helmet for definite. I did my first Alpine black run in an open face, made it down to the bottom in one piece, and promptly nipped in the nearest bike shop to buy a (ludicrously overpriced) full face

    4. If anyone wheels out a stuffed goat … RUN!!!!

    Do not lie down underneath it!

    Premier Icon atlaz
    Free Member

    For the passportes I think most of my groups both years I did it wore just normal ride gear. Helmet, gloves and knee pads. There’s no real tech riding, just a lot of it. Neither year I did it was particularly hot so I wouldn’t worry too much about melting although now I’ve said that I’m sure it’ll be super hot in the valleys. Just remember that although Morzine, for example, might be warm, you’re going up quite a long way at times so even in sunlight it’ll cool down.

    My only advice about kit is to make sure to pack for cold weather if you think it’s hot. Having sat on a set of chair lifts for 20-odd mins in the pouring rain which turned into snow at the top I wouldn’t be in a hurry to do it again.

    Get going early though, later in the afternoon some of the lifts are chokepoints so you can lose a lot of time. Because of the time limit I’ve not completed the loop to Les Gets either time, preferring to do that last (as we stayed in or around Morzine). Each one of us carried the last-lift times in our pockets to make sure we didn’t end up with a hellish hike-a-bike, long road ride or expensive taxi in order to get back from Switzerland. That descent to Lindarets carpark from the telesiege remains one of my favourites anywhere for just flat out blasting FWIW.

    So stuff…
    As above loads of pads
    Tubes, sealant and twiglets, CO2/pump
    Make sure if you have your bike serviced before you go that you ride it PROPERLY before you head over, shitty maintenance can be costly when you get there
    Full face for bike-park days
    Enjoy!

    Premier Icon atlaz
    Free Member

    Oh and if the Torgon extension is still being done, watch out for electric fences 🙂

    Premier Icon facian
    Free Member

    Thanks for the advice, i’ll keep an eye out for rogue goats and electric fences!

    We’re starting in Avoriaz, riding on the Sunday. I’ll put together plenty of layers to deal with varying heights/temperatures for definite and a bit of an emergency kit. Will definitely stock up on pads!

    Bike-wise I’ve got a 130/130 Full Suspension (Santa Cruz 5010) and i’m planning to give that a fresh set of bearings and fork/shock service in May/early June to make sure it’s running nicely and give me a few weeks to shake it down before going.

    I was thinking of upping the travel on the front to 150mm, I’ll see how many spare pennies i have nearer the time. A brake upgrade may be on the cards too as I’ve already had a bit of fade on long South-Downs descents which I imagine will seem short & flat in comparison!

    Premier Icon Weasel
    Free Member

    Going back to Morzine for my 4th time this year, did the PDS in 2015 & 2016, it’s a long day out so even with a group factor in some slower riders, mechanicals and by 4pm your probably shattered. Use the food stops to top up your energy – the Milka chocolate never went to waste, ensure you have some gels and enough fluids for the day. As mentioned above, a jacket to wear on the chairlift just for a bit of drizzle as the weather and temperature can change quickly from valley to valley

    I think by the time we got to Les Lindarettes the lifts were near closing so we came back via the road down past the lake and into Morzine. Some parts of the PDS do go on a bit, and when going back up on the chairlift you see a shortcut to have saved a lot of time and mileage.
    Saying I find the mountains so quiet and relaxing with wonderful scenery.

    Also remember to pack things like chamois butter – a must!, sun cream, gear cables, cutters etc. – or make sure between the group you have enough ‘common spares’ so your own camelback doesn’t weigh 10kg with a spare ‘everything’. I’d recommend a quick bolt check at the end of the day as the bike can get a good shakedown during the day.

    Premier Icon Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    Funnily enough I signed up for this today. Never officially done it but the first year I went to the Alps about 12 years ago I somehow got rolled into it one day.

    It will be my girlfriend’s first alps MTB trip so thought it would be an easy introduction for her. From what I’ve seen and read, it’s just a nice day out with nothing hard really at all. I wouldn’t bother with anything more than I usually would – I don’ tend to ride with a suitcase full of spares anyway & i manage racing EWS’s like that so I’m sure the PPdS is manageble too…

    I’ll just stick with my open face for this, and some lightweight knee pads, generally again, all I race in with a jersey with pockets under baggy top I can carry a few little bits in.

    The only thing I might want is a jacket as it’ quite early season & the weather can be volatile.

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    If I was going to spend the money on anything it’d be a brake upgrade. I had XT’s on my Intense at the time and by the end off the day they were totally cooked and coming back to the bars with little noticeable effect on slowing me down. I was running Superstar Kevlar pads. Factor in a full set of pads, front and back a day.

    I wish I’d have had the brakes I’ve got now – Magura MT7 four-pots

    As Weasel said, its a long old day. I was like a rag doll, hanging off the bike on the final descent back in to Morzine. We were meant to be going out that night. I got back to the Hotel, had a couple of beers, lay down on my bed and woke up at 8am the next morning. I think everyone else in our group did the same

    We did it 7 years ago and the weather was perfect. Blue skies and sunshine all day. Enjoy the spectacular views from the lifts. The Alps in the summer is stunning!

    Have a great time. Its bloody brilliant!

    Premier Icon facian
    Free Member

    OK sounds like a good trip, and maybe not as crazy as I thought route-wise. I’ll be honest I agreed to it without a huge amount of research and was starting to worry I might have signed up to some sort of hardcore EWS-a-like event. This sounds much more my sort of thing!

    I’m a bit of an over-packer (not a euphemism, i don’t think!) when I’m out for full-day rides anyway, so probably just the usual with a few extra brake bits would do the trick along with some contingency clothing.

    I’ll probably use it as an excuse to upgrade the SRAM Levels though still, no harm in having plenty of stopping power in reserve and they’re already proving themselves a bit weak.

    Premier Icon leth
    Free Member

    Having ridden in & around Morzine loads but having never done the offical PPDS tour I have been talked in to doing it.

    I cannot get the same start resort as the other people I will be out there with.

    Would I be able to use the super Morzine lift up into Avoriaz & register the on the actual day of the event?

    thanks

    Premier Icon Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    Yes – people in the past have done this. You can use your normal lift pass and hop on the lift early, head up, pick up your pack and just go from there.

    We will do the same as I was too slow for the Morzine entries this morning.

    Premier Icon atlaz
    Free Member

    i manage racing EWS’s like that so I’m sure the PPdS is manageble too

    Only problem is that if you break down you may easily be faced with a 4 or 5 mile walk to somewhere the sag wagon can find you, even if it’s running.

    You can use your normal lift pass and hop on the lift early, head up, pick up your pack and just go from there.

    Early doors is Passeporte riders only on the day so no number/pass, no ride. I think from memory we had to wait an hour for a mate who didn’t have an entry as they wouldn’t even sell him a pass before then. They may show willing if you’ve got your entry confirmation and tell them you’re heading to Avoriaz to collect. If not I bet there’s a bus or taxi you can get up there for less than the cost of a day pass as it’s not far.

    Premier Icon alpineharry
    Free Member

    Atlaz, we went out last year and we got first lifts without being part of the PPDS as we were just heading out to ride rather than ride in the event

    All usual spares have been mentioned but amount of brake pads you take will depend on how quickly you think you’ll get through them. Last year we went for a week and I didn’t change my pads for instance

    Premier Icon Weasel
    Free Member

    The first time i rode in the Alps on a 100mm xc bike i had standard pads in my brakes and my disks were rainbow coloured by the end of the week, in hindsight i should’ve fitted the sintered ‘spare’ pads I’d been carrying round in my camelbak….

    I’ve now chopped and changed bikes a few times since then, so after my 2015 trip had better brakes fitted and the spacer taken out my forks and this year finally get to use a dropper post – i was always adamant id never need one.

    Premier Icon moonboy
    Free Member

    A 5010 would be ideal in standard spec. Start early. Enjoy the views

    Premier Icon facian
    Free Member

    Excellent thanks all! Really looking forward to it.

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