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Is my bike suitable for the Alps?

hoberinoshoberinos Posts: 27
edited July 2009 in MTB general
Hi all,

Going to Chamonix soon and I still can't decide whether to take my Specialized Stumpjumper FSR '05, or pay out oodles of cash hiring a Pitch Pro.

Having never been before, I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but I'm not planning on doing any death defying DH, more technical singletrack. However, I do want to be able to use some uplifts (zero G in Chamonix state on their site that a Stumpy FSR is NOT suitable for cable car uplifts, but I'm not sure why?).

Has anyone taken a Stumpy FSR or similar?
What were your experiences?



  • bomberesquebomberesque Posts: 1,701
    Stumpjumper FSR is good for the alps if you have the confidence and know your limits. Just make sure your bike is all together and the brakes are spot on (discs, right? you want discs) Dunno who zeroG are or why they say an FSR isn't suitable fro uplifts. Could be that the cable cars only access DH routes. Best ask them (that's who you're going with, I assume?)

    Take it slow and keep within your comfort zone, keep off the DH tracks unless very comfortable and you'll have a blast. If you feel the need for something more while you're there you should be able to hire something on site. I'm not too familiar with Chamonix, but you certainly can in Morzine and it's not a huge drive away iirc.

    Plus you'll get huge props for riding an XC bike in the mountains 8)

    /edit; as for experiences, Mrs B rode her Cannondale F1000 XC Hardtail in Morzine 2 years ago. That was a bit of a struggle (especially as she was getting used to discs...) but she managed and enjoyed herself. There were plenty of folks there on capable XC Ful Sussers even if the majority were on significantly burlier rigs.
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • P-JayP-Jay Posts: 1,478
    They probably just don't want punters taking their rental Stumpys on the DH tracks.

  • hoberinoshoberinos Posts: 27
    bomberesque: Sound advice - thanks. I've got Hope Mini Monos, so no problem with stopping power. ZeroG are a bike hire shop.

    P-Jay: That makes a lot of sense!
  • Soul BoySoul Boy Posts: 359
    Took my Cotic Soul last year to Les Arc, my mate on a Atomlab Trail Pimp and another on a Marin Rocky Ridge, all hardtails. The guy guiding us wasn't too confident about our choice of bikes and put us in with a beginner group. We were moved up to the full suss group after lunch :lol:

    Have to say that 100mm travel and on a hardtail was quite hard work at points, but chasing 8inch full sussers down the black run was fun, and a real sense of achievement..

    Didn't have a troubles with their lift service, and don't know about other European resorts, but do know in Canada they won't let certain types of bikes up the mountain. Litigation I guess?!?
  • Soul BoySoul Boy Posts: 359
    ....and this year, only upgrades are sizing up from a 160mm rotor to a 185mm up front and chaging to flat pedals (spd's were a little scary in that terrain).

    Sure you have enough bike, get out there and have some fun!
  • MarkmjhMarkmjh Posts: 415
    I've never been to the alps on a bike either, but i do know people that have gone over on hardtails and they had a fantastic time.
    I think as people have said, keep within your limits and you will be fine. At the end of the day, people were riding bikes down stupid hills for a long time before 8" travel was invented :lol:
    Ride Crash Ride Again
  • My stock Kona Caldera worked fine last year in Les Gets. Sure, the MZ Race forks got a little overworked, and the 160mm Hayes 9s did suffer from a bit of pump, but I had a blast. For this year I've beefed up the tyres (2.35 High Rollers), swapped the forks for RS Revelations, and fitted Juicy 3s.
    You don't need FS, ride whatever you're comfortable with...
    Old hockey players never die - they just smell that way...
  • sara flowmtbsara flowmtb Posts: 118
    You'll be fine on that, we get quite a few guests on stumpys, plus other similar bikes. Get out there, see how it goes and hire for a couple of days if you want to try out a bigger bike.

    Cheaper changes you can make that may help are tyres - get fatter dual ply tyres. We generally use maxxis minions or high rollers, 2.35s. Then make sure it's serviced and all's working well. And have a great holiday!
  • hoberinoshoberinos Posts: 27
    Thanks everyone for your opinions.

    I took my bike in the end (after replacing some worn-out components - better to spend the money on this than on hiring!) and it was GREAT. If anyone gets the chance to go I would highly recommend it - even if you're not biking it's a stunning area.

    At times, it would have been nice to have a longer travel, more relaxed ride but overall it was the right choice.

    Mostly did gravity assisted riding using the brilliant cable car network to get around. The bike did take a fair amount of punishment, so if you're going to do the same, make sure it's up to it. The steep, technical terrain is relentless so brakes, tyres and suspension need to be in good order.

    We saw other riders on everything from hardtails (I wouldn't want to do it on one) to full on downhill rigs (going very very fast on the technical stuff).

    A brilliant holiday...

  • ashfanmanashfanman Posts: 186
    hoberinos wrote:

    Very, very jealous. That looks absolutely STUNNING.

    Glad to hear you had a great time - hopefully I'll make it out there myself some day! :D
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 3,966
    remember, i think im right in saying that the stumpy was 100mm in 05, maybe a bit more would be nice?
    I like bikes and stuff
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