Week to go to PDS, first time in the alps, what do I need to know?

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  • Week to go to PDS, first time in the alps, what do I need to know?
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Packing
    Remove rotors, mech and bars. Into bag/box I use pads to protect forks and shock and clothes for the rest. Camel back full of little bits and in there too. Rotors normally wrapped in some cardboard. Make sure it’s under the max weight over 32 and they won’t carry it at all.
    Unless you have a rigid case then lid as hand luggage (done it 20 odd times)
    When your there take it easy and get used to it.
    Make sure you have a spare hanger and a decent multi tool, I would pack a 4/5/6 & T25 T handle between the group if the place your staying doesn’t have a workshop just to make stuff a little easier.
    Remember it’s a holiday and try and get to the end of it.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    remove discs, remove pedals, remove rear mech, brace swingarm with a lump of wood or similar between the dropouts, use pipe lagging foam on frame, turn forks round and wrap dropouts, remove handlebar from stem and secure against frame, drop/adjust all levers so they cannot get bent.

    Go slow and take it easy the first day out, and the second, and the third, and the fourth…..it only takes a small tumble to ruin a holiday so take it easy till you feel confidant enough to start pushing it – IE : don’t be a hero the first day on the bike, you’ve got ****-all to prove.

    Be one of the first to book in as the airline may start to get near it’s weight/cargo limit towards the end of booking in period

    Take common spares such as chain, powerlinks, mech, mech hanger-important, b-pads, allen keys etc…etc..

    Have fun, don’t break anything.

    So it’s my first adventure into the alps, have my insurance, E111, full face, elbow, knee pads, bike ready. What have I forgotten? Also, I’m flying over, how do people pack their bikes for the trip?

    slackalice
    Member

    Are the cargo hold’s pressurised? When I las t air travelled with my bike, I used to empty the air out of my forks, shock and tyres. Ive read somewhere that tubeless tyres its best to deflate partially, what about air pressures in shocks and forks?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    slackalice – Member
    Are the cargo hold’s pressurised? When I las t air travelled with my bike, I used to empty the air out of my forks, shock and tyres. Ive read somewhere that tubeless tyres its best to deflate partially, what about air pressures in shocks and forks?

    Yes the plane is pressurised in the cargo hold but

    At typical cruising altitudes in the range 11 000–12 200 m (36 000–40 000 feet), air pressure in the cabin is equivalent to the outside air pressure at 1800–2400 m (6000–8000 feet) above sea level.

    So letting some air out is fine – just to satisfy the demands of check in. As you will be riding up at about that height I normally empty my forks and shock and reset before I get going. My alpine pressures can differ slightly depending on what I’m doing to my normal UK settings.

    batfink
    Member

    Sun cream, spokes and brake pads!

    legend
    Member

    slackalice – Member
    Are the cargo hold’s pressurised? When I las t air travelled with my bike, I used to empty the air out of my forks, shock and tyres. Ive read somewhere that tubeless tyres its best to deflate partially, what about air pressures in shocks and forks?

    Even if the hold wasn’t pressurised the difference would only be 10psi

    slackalice
    Member

    Thank you guys!

    ajc
    Member

    You need to know snow is forecast down to 1700 m this week and could well be cold. There is still loads of snow on north facing slopes, the upper lift in Chatel bike park hasn’t even opened yet.

    Ok, thanks folks, didnt think i would have to take so much of my bike apart, definately not the rotors. I have a bag like this:

    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/BAPXDLBB/planet_x_deluxe_bike_bag

    i think i will rivet a wooden base to it put all the bike bits in around the frame and fill the gaps with clothes…. good plan? I will let the air out of the forks and the wheels.

    ianv
    Member

    You need to know snow is forecast down to 1700 m this week and could well be cold. There is still loads of snow on north facing slopes, the upper lift in Chatel bike park hasn’t even opened yet.

    And that in crap weather the PDS is an effin drag!

    FROGLEEK
    Member

    We had great weather for the PPDS Last year then two days later it pissed down for the next three days Chatel bike park was slippery to say the least therefore – take a spare mud tyre for the front!

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    Mutzig is the post ride refreshing brew of choice 😈

    FROGLEEK
    Member

    There was an amazing fruity beer is that Mutzig?

    Watch for blisters on your hands. I find tight fitting thin palmed gloves help, as does taking you gloves off on the lifts to let everything get some fresh air.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Brakepads and mech hangers. And brakepads.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Ok, thanks folks, didnt think i would have to take so much of my bike apart, definately not the rotors. I have a bag like this:

    Yep rotors are just sat there waiting to get bent. If your using wood check the weight. An old hub or axle can go in the dropouts to space them

    I have some thick cardboard built up in layers (about 1.5 inches thick) in a [ shape that wedge between the rotors and the spokes and provide more than ample protection. In the right sized cardboard box you can leave you back wheel in the frame, That’s usually the best bet. Removing the rear mech is essential – I leave my cable attached, lift the mech carefully into the back wheel an zip tie it to a couple of the spokes.

    A piece of copper pipe cut to length and slipped over the axle makes a good dropout spacer.

    Thanks for the advice folks, my forks are 20mm bolt through and have a 12mm maxle rear but will still use a spacer, and will take rotors off, and the rear mech, and let some air out the forks and deflate the tyres.

    One question, the planet x bag has a pretty bendy base. do you think i should make it stiffer by bolting/riveting a piece of wood to it, or is it ok as is? If i bolt a retangular piece of thin wood to it, think plywood for example i could fit rollers to it too….

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I’ve only flown once (normally drive) and due to a packing error rear shock was scratched 🙁 so spend plenty of time packing the bike up, plenty of pipe lagging and tape to hold it in place, don’t forget to pack the tape so you can repack the bike after your holiday. My error was not thinking about how much things can move around in the bike bag. Put something in the brake callipers to stop the brakes getting “jammed on” in transit.

    I would take a normal helmet too if you have the space. Depends on the type of riding you’ll be doing.

    pack extra shorts / inners if you have them, a week of riding in the same stuff can be pretty “gamey”

    Spare brake pads and tubes as they are expensive out there and may be out of stock

    Not sure where you are going exactly but worth doing some route research now (on here and other sites) assuming you are not being guided as there is lots of good trails which are not marked as formal bike routes, I always like to buy the proper local maps (eg IGN in France), something to look at over a beer, see where you’ve been, plan the next day

    As above there has been regular snow in the last month or so (some as low as 1000m) so a lightweight fleece or similar just in case

    have fun, I’m jealous …

    bland
    Member

    You need to know that by heading further south in the alps the weather and riding is far better than in the PDS!

    Seriously consider your options, with 1 week to go and still snow at 1700m its either going to be a mare to get any where, or you pray it goes in which case you need mega rain!

    Take your winter riding kit and a lot of optimism

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you’ve got a soft bag, then sticking a cardboard bike box in it can toughen/stiffen it up a lot- I nabbed a specialized one which is the perfect size for my bag. It does add a fair bit of weight though but it’s really improved the protection for me, and makes the bag easier to handle and pack too.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    You need to be mentally prepared. Prepared to be pawned by local kids coming past you at chest height all crossed up and flying :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    A spare old rear mech and a universal downhill tyre like a dual ply High Roller would be worth taking in your bag just in case. Better than paying full RRP in a little shop for something that may not be quite what you’d like but all they have to get you rolling.

    ianv
    Member

    You need to know that by heading further south in the alps the weather and riding is far better than in the PDS!

    True

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    If you’re flying, don’t take CO2 carts if you use them. They’re not allowed on planes.

    That means taking a pump or paying a fortune for carts there if you can find any.

    And shock pump obviously.

    Some other info – http://bikemagic.com/mountain-bike-trails/cycle-routes/passportes-du-soleil-2013-a-first-time-guide.html

    dantsw13
    Member

    Just got back from Morzine/Les Gets last night!!

    1. All snow melted, and it was pissing it down yesterday, and temps forecast to warm up.
    2. Runs in pretty good nick. Off piste stuff in the woods pretty boggy.
    3. The bus running from Morzine back to Les Gets is vey “French”. Timings sporadic, last bus goes early, and a mates bike fell off the trailer at 50mph!! Any complaints met with a Gallic shrug.
    4. The bar in The Boomerang in Les Gets will show the replay of Lions matches in th evening. Thoroughly recommended too.
    5. We hired a guide for the day. Steve Ponting is an MCF guide, and I have his email if anybody is interested. Thoroughly recommended. €220 for 8 of us. He also spoke to the lif company, and got us a %20 discount on PDS lift passes -€41 fo 3 days.

    Thanks for this folks, i’m building up my list of things to do and take…. Glad the snow is melting, the weather next week looks good there…. I’m nervous and excited at the same time!

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    1. Brake pads
    2. More brake pads
    3. Mech hanger or 2
    4. Some more brake pads

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Brake less 😉

    disconoir
    Member

    your hands are going to hurt like hell

    disconoir
    Member

    Mutzig is the post ride refreshing brew of choice

    There’s a reason Mutzig comes in small as standard.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    The best way I’ve heard PDS described, when I asked what to expect before my first Alps trip was

    Nip down to your local plant hire shop and hire yourself a couple of pneumatic jackhammers. Put one in each hand, and turn them on full! Then go to Blackpool, get on the Cat and Mouse ride and stay on it. All day!

    Enjoy! Its ace! In a totally nackering way! 😀

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    You need to know that the new trail under the Zore lift above Morzine is blummin brilliant fun, and the weather and trail conditions are really rather good despite the terrible spring we’ve had.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Hoping to put Jedi skills to good use. Maybe it won’t be so knackering if I get it right. Probably will be though when I get lazy 😀

    dantsw13
    Member

    DeadKenny – I was much less beaten up this year than last – a mix of Jedi Skills, Ed Oxley training, and a better fork!!

    I agree – the trails under the Zore chairlift (above Super Morzine) are brilliant. Beware the route down to Morzine though – its pretty tough ( cheeky trail, steep wet roots,). If you don’t want to take the bubble down, the fire road that crossed the runs half way down leads all the way to morzine, and is quite fun.

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