Riviera Bike – a review…

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  • Riviera Bike – a review…
  • Soon as there’s a real problem It’s sorted out and Ade and Jo will go an extra 10 miles for you.

    I think the crux of this thread is that there was a problem that wasn’t sorted out…


    In what context? Riviera Bike or generally?

    In general, many companies will allow a tag-along if you pay for the day.


    hHora, if you want to do a day by day thing Ade will as long as there is room in the van. I wouldn’t recommend a do it yourself holiday, the lowest local trail is 8km up and 700m vert so you get fed up very quickly doing it and never get to the best trails or back from other valleys.

    having been there 3 times and only ridden once with Jo, I have only ever had great days riding, steep, technical fast in places all good, that’s why we went. Ade and Rich live 2 minutes walk from the campo, but don’t expect them to be up early on their day off – I’m not! also even if you don’t get going till 9.30 we have never finished till evening, unless we wanted to.

    in comparison to Spain, the riding is generally better imho, trees, steep techy as opposed to the cobbles, rocksand thorns I remember from Spain.


    You won’t get much sympathy from anyone if your ride keeps falling apart

    I was only mildly mocked for having removed the bash guard from my SLX double set and regularly suffering chain drop (I was getting away with it at home). But Ady sold me a bash he found in his spares bin. Problem solved. Ady was also very helpful with some Fork maintenance, injecting juice under the seals when he found we were all running a bit dry. And we had full use of his workshop and tools.

    On chap insisted on running single ply tyres with normal tubes despite it being clear on the website, and being told verbally, to run protection or double ply tyres and/or DH tubes – Ady moaned about that; quite right. Desperation after his second flat on the trails I fitted my spare DH tubes into his wheels. Ady has double-ply HRs for sale but the lad refused to buy one for the back wheel and preferred to run my tubes (which he never returned or paid for). Nobber!


    Probably a spoilt lad by his parents as a child.

    The answer to all this.

    Go with http://www.molinifreeride.com/

    Same amazing trails without all the Riviera “admin” issues

    Mark and Jackie are lovely, and run a great little B&B – you still get to eat your evening meals in the Hotel (which is great)

    But you are effectively on an independent trip but uplifts sorted….
    so can book by the day etc.

    Me chasing a mate down Terra Rosa – a typical Molini trail

    and a few more snippets


    I ran tubeless RQs for the week, and was the only one who didn’t get a single puncture (including the guides!).
    I hope Jo’s OK, get well soon Jo!
    Ady seemed a little stressed, perhaps even jaded and didn’t really seem interested in helping anyone out on our trip. He was a good laugh over a few beers though. Rich couldn’t do enough for you, always trying to help out and a bloody good laugh. I found the trip brilliant, the food was great and the small village was perfect; no big nightlife to distract you. Just a nice chilled environment. Perhaps there times where it was a little unorganised, but I don’t remember that. I just remember the steep, rocky goodness 😀
    Agrofolia was immense.
    I wouldn’t even entertain the molini freeride “shed”. There were other riders in Molini who had chosen to go with them and they were less than complimentary about the service….


    Look at some super enduro video to get a feel of the trails, if you ride clipped take some flats as albeit a switchback is a switchback when you have exposure to 500 m vertical drop if you get it wrong… I swopped to flats the first morning!!
    As in an earlier post I rode a 140 trail bike and used single ply tyres. No punctures but higher pressures than I would use in the UK.
    Dropper post not essential ( leant mine to my wife) but makes life’s lot easier.
    Scenery and views are amazing, as is some of the street riding. Coastal rides are stunning for the views

    wrecker, been with both – I know who I would go back with….
    and your words just about sum it up ! ❓


    nick, is the story I’ve heard correct?
    i.e; Ady and Jo set rivierabike up and employed a chap to drive for them (uplifts) who had little/no employment, who then set up a competitive business once he’d learnt where all the trails were?

    Premier Icon mattjg

    Me chasing a mate down Terra Rosa – a typical Molini trail

    If that’s a typical Molini trail I’m in, but where are the relentless steeps and huge exposure everyone else is talking about (and puts me off)?

    street riding

    yeah that really surprised me – fairly unique. Jo always cautioned about upsetting the locals by ragging bikes down blind staircases and alleyways!

    Agrofolia – if you can do that you can do anything. Raaaay told me if you’re losing your riding mojo and getting the “fear”, just do Agrofolia. It’s like prssing your reset button because it puts everything back into perspective. Of course you have to MTFU to do it 🙄

    Matt, its not that exposed/steep really. Not like Chamonix certainly!
    just good flowy fun,kind of like a longer Surrey Hills 8)

    there are some steep/tech trails/sections though.

    wrecker, there are some Politics in Molini, but who really knows the full story!!

    The trails were there long before either company started…

    Premier Icon mattjg

    Yeah Nick, Terra Rosa looks lots of fun, I’d enjoy that. I was thinking it was a bit ‘Leith Hill on steroids’, it even had a ‘quarry’ bit.

    Who’s got a vid of Agrofolia then?

    “Politics in Molini”

    AFAIK, the Molini guys used to work for Riviera. They broke-away/fell-out. There is an uneasy peace.

    “The trails were there long before either company started…”

    Some of the paths are Roman era. But they have done a lot of work clearing and connecting them, and building some original lines.

    Rich told me about a trail he built called “Macho Fantastico”. They didn’t let us mincers anywhere near that stuff.

    Work on steeps, trackstanding and switchbacks. I thought I was OK with forest switchbacks, but they’re quite a lot harder when adorned with large rocks, as they tend to be there. You pick it up, along with the advanced brake-work, after the first day.

    Premier Icon unklehomered

    Are they still riding one called Max Power (think its power, might be something else, long fast woody bit, then over the road and down endless rocky tech?) – I liked that one. I know the Max.

    I would also advise calf work, I was pretty new to mtbing when I went, had to rest often as my calves were screaming.

    Buzz, no rules in setting up your own business when you can do it better! Morzine has 40 odd of the same…

    Best stay out of it anyhow.

    Nero Nero and Faceplant are the 2 steep ones..

    I don’t know the circumstances of what happened, just that there is an uneasy peace rather than friendly-ness. Frankly, it’s none of our business.

    My favourites in the valley were: Super Enduro, and Caravan/Fascist – 1000-1500 metre descents. The latter required considerably more skill and nerve in the rain because of all the slick limestone – but then it was just like riding Mendip DH!

    We had a delightful sunny time riding Cop Killer off Monte Cepe.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    Agrofolio: http://www.pinkbike.com/video/195787/

    I’d probably mince some of the rock steps but on the whole that looks good fun, taken at one’s own pace.**

    ** I’m well aware talk is cheap and trails look flat on video.


    ive read all these posts with a lot of interest!
    heres my experience…i split up with the missus last year and one of the first snippets of advice i got off here was book a biking holiday(i did two in the end!)..so scroll 4 weeks forward and i tagged onto an exclusive booking with riviera…a bunch of lads who were very capable riders…mostly ex or current dh racers..i turned up much to theyre amusement with a brand new five(never ridden)and a day late..luckily theyre mech skills were loads better than mine as my front M4 had leaked everywhere..first day was nuts and i had to swallow a lot of mtfu pills/gels..at lunch i was questioning wether i was on the right thing but had a word with myself and carried on.ive ridden for a long time but this was some of the hardest/techy stuff id ever ridden on.

    anyway as the week progressed the lads excepted me into the fold,saw that i wasnt the slowest and as the days progressed i improved..i had a few stacks.first one in front of jo and dented a 2 day old xen(that i still ride with)i was “inverted” (her words) at one point..2nd involved a stupid stall that resulted in scratched oakleys and grazed coupon..id second the advice above ref tyres/pads..as it happened i didnt need either and didnt puncture or have a serious mechanical..if your unsure about the trails have look at theyre website and google the area…it will give you a great flava for what to expect(i didnt)
    the day off was a day over the border in france doing some of the sweetest flowy/loamy singletrack i think ive ever done..despite feeling a little battered i loved it although bailed early and went for a pint and missed the last run which was an old dh race track..

    as for customer service skills i would say based on my group position(the back) i didnt get a whole lot of crack with ady..but i found him ok,but id agree hes not the most patient of characters.that said i think if anything went wrong which it didnt i reckon hed be pretty good in sorting it out…in all i had a great time which really took me out of my riding comfort zone(which has to be good!)the lads that i joined with were a good laugh and included me into everything..i may have had a real diferent holiday if the group wasnt as proficient/fit/and generally up for riding/having a laff.some weeks ady spends all week on cycle paths down by the sea which must be really frustrating,would i go again? yep you betcha!!..anyhow ive rambled on..heres some pics…get well soon jo! and ady comes on here so im sure he’ll pop up.. 🙂
    2012-06-22 15.38.03
    2012-06-22 15.37.53
    2012-06-21 15.46.57
    2012-06-19 16.14.51
    2012-06-20 12.18.20
    2012-06-19 12.07.50 crazy steep switchbacks….that go on for miles 🙂
    2012-06-18 16.28.41 the weather was epic all week…as the pics show.its a stunning unspoilt area..id go back with a road bike too..

    The rocky steps are actually OK at at speed…worse when you mince them and you hang up!

    Not done Cop Killer,

    Anyhow Molini does rock

    as does all of Liguria

    Finale is great
    and keep meaning to get to Calizzano.
    how fun does this look

    This video for me sums up how good the riding/culture really is


    It would be nice if people remembered that this is a business that Ady/Jo/Ray(when I went)have worked long and hard to make work.

    There will always be a difference between expectation of guests and reality. Certainly this should have been discussed with Ady before bringing onto a public forum which it doesnt appear to have been.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It was the best biking trip I’ve been on, and I been on quite a few around the world.

    I’d hate to think that people will judge Rivierabike on this thread alone but it could possibly happen.

    I commend Rivierabie for not responding to this thread. For all the hard work they put in year on year, but, most of all for providing me with memories that never fade.


    plumber – always room for improvement. its been said on here before….

    Go on a bikeverbier holiday, then you will know what a slick/well run operation is…

    oh and Ray long gone..



    Forgot that one! That’s my favorite too! Oh my what a trail.
    But, sorry like mendip DH? you’re on your own there! 😛
    +1 for plumber, I would recommend it to anyone. Really, really great.


    Plumber its someones experience from their holiday.

    I don’t want to read sycophancy or pure praise. That’d be easy to do.

    However its not insulting or rude- its based on a riders experience. Respect that.

    I’d be more than happy to go on a bike holiday that had a bit of hair on its ‘online review chest’. It manages your expectations and its not off-putting.

    My worst experience was never online. Wish it was- it was hideous from start to finish, even one of the staff royally sabotaged the company Transit minibus to get back at his boss. So you know when the place is bad when the ‘free wine/all you can drink’ dried up on the second night of a 10day trip, the guides were made to do building work instead of guiding etc etc etc..

    It would be nice if people remembered that this is a business that Ady/Jo/Ray(when I went)have worked long and hard to make work.

    There will always be a difference between expectation of guests and reality. Certainly this should have been discussed with Ady before bringing onto a public forum which it doesnt appear to have been.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It was the best biking trip I’ve been on, and I been on quite a few around the world.

    Unfortunately it is just that – a business.

    It’s one of the best biking trips I’ve been on – the trails and scenery were amazing, the village was great fun, Jo was a great guide and organiser, and Ade was mechanically very helpful and good fun outside any sort of guiding role.

    But it is a business, and businesses are often judged by how they react when things aren’t running perfectly.

    I have no wish to see Riviera Bike go out of business because I enjoyed my time out there, but the flipside is that there are obvious holes in their set-up. If Ade or Jo read this and it makes them act in a positive manner (which I hope it would do) then that surely is a good thing?


    Freeridenick: faceplant and Nero Nero are not the steep ones anymore… There’s better ones now. Mentioned above Macho fantastico is a properly steep beautiful trail. T


    And I’m sure Ade will read this…

    Premier Icon unklehomered

    I left out some of the -ve stuff from my visit as part of it was me being a bit out of my deapth riding wise (not similar to the OPs situation as me and my mate were the only ones there), and part was very bad weather (and reactions to it) and part was I suspect teething as it was their 2nd or 3rd year. I want to go back, and I fully intend to, but it is at the expensive end of the bike holiday scale, and to me the fixes seem quite easy. Put it another way I would be going back despite some things, that I could be going back because of.

    I also wish Jo a speedy recovery, a great person who I really enjoyed riding with, and would often check to see how we were enjoying the week.

    EDIT – I’m pretty sure the riding there is why I know seek out steep rocky tech whenever I can, I love it, If I’m not on my brakes most of the way down with my bum an inch from the back wheel, then its not really interesting to me. There is no doubt riding there changed me and how I ride a bike. <starts looking at the website and at the calendar>

    But, sorry like mendip DH? you’re on your own there!

    I guess you only attempt to ride them in the dry 😉

    They wont go out of business, they’re too good. When you go, just remember that not everyone is as charming as you, and even the best people have off days.

    I also wish Jo a speedy recovery, a great person who I really enjoyed riding with



    Not steep LOL…course they are still steep
    new one sounds good though.

    Hope he does read it(probably already has!), as it can be improved.


    Ciao tutti

    Firstly to Jon and Elaine, I’m really sorry the week hadnt panned out as you hoped. The weather lack of open trails for our AM trails due to snow didnt help us one bit, but no excuses we should have done more, I will email you seperately.

    As for the kind comments…thanks guys and Jo will be humbled to hear your kind words…..believe me no one misses her more than I do,4 months is a long time apart….but good news is that she will be back in Molini early May.

    As for the other comments, I totally agree 100%, Rivierabike has grown from a little operation just for myself and Jo to something bigger that wasnt planned, with staff extra logistics…this has brought other work and problems and stress and we have lost our eye on the most important thing…our guests.

    The most important aspect for a guide is not how he/she rides a bike it is how they interact with guests, and I admit I havent been the best at this lately.

    All this is being sorted, Rich our current guide is great and we have a new guide starting soon, as well employing someone to do all the boring accounts stuff, this will give us more time with our guests, better organistaion, and a happy me… Rich has also been given permission to slap his boss should I ever be grumpy..

    We also have a third backup van and extra drivers should there be a breakdown or ill drivers etc… oh and we have new keys cut for the garage but I will have to attach them to a lead weight so they wont get lost!

    If any of you here are booked with us and have concerns please get in touch, we assure you will have a great time..

    As for Mark at molinifreeride, we are friends what happened before is water under a bridge.. only the other day we were rebuilding parts of a trail together and we will be drawing out a programme of works to keep all the other trails in check and open new ones. Not only that we happily pass on clients to each other…… Hora, if you want just to jump in the odd day in a group then Mark will be better suited to help as he specialises more in day/weekend groups.

    It has been a roller coaster of a ride since starting Rivierabike 7 years ago, and its the best thing that we have ever done, we are not perfect and we have worked too hard to make it what it is to let it go wayward….. so we will strive to be better..

    Grazie e Arriverderci

    Ady, Jo & Rich


    Now that’s a good response. I loved my time there, and can’t wait to go back.


    I’ll be going back, September as it goes. T


    great response Ady…

    must come and ride this new trail… 😛

    Premier Icon unklehomered

    Cracking news all round there!

    Hope to be back soon.

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