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Advice on riding the Fort William Downhill Course . . .

LAUNCH69LAUNCH69 Posts: 119
edited June 2011 in Routes
Hi there,
I have been given a weekend pass to hit the downhill and red routes.
I normally ride a Specialized Rockhopper on Red/ Black Trails.
I am looking to rent a Trek Session 88 or Scott Gambler 20 (maybe a Specialized Pitch)
I will only have one main 'quality' day to hit the trails and want to do as much as poss.
Would it be better just to fork out for a day pass on the gondola and do as many runs as poss(downhill) - my riding buddy GREATLY leans towards this . . .
Any advice /experience on what is best (or to avoid) at Fort Bill would be greatly appreciated.
Specialized Rockhopper

Bike is still better than the rider . . .


  • SDK2007SDK2007 Posts: 782
    I did this last September.
    Get a day pass and do as many runs as your arms will allow you ;)

    There is the Red Nevis Run to hit as well.

    Be aware that black runs in Scotland are a significant step up over black runs in Wales.
  • JAGGYJAGGY Posts: 167
    A friend from work has just been up there. The best advice he gave me was to get the most durable compound of high rollers as the rocks are like sandpaper. He said a super tacky high roller was shredded to bits after two runs.

  • andrewyzfr6andrewyzfr6 Posts: 194
    I put super tacky high rollers on my 5 the first time i took it on the downhill at Bill, and they were absolutly knackered in 1 day. Since then ive just used nobby nics and although obviously worn, there is still some life left in them after, but i think a second day would have them gone too.
    Be aware if you havent been there before that the Red route is, in my opinion (and others) a black, and it will be hard on your arms too.
    I would, just do a solid day on the downhill, and maybe the day after on the witches trails or go the 30 miles to laggan.
    2011 Orange 224 evo race
    2009 Orange 5 pro
    2008 Scott Scale 30
    2002 S-works m5 fsr
  • x3manx3man Posts: 85
    Was up there recently. The "Red" downhill route is significantly harder than almost any blacks I have ridden in Wales/England. There are plenty of sections that have sustained technical rocky descents. Your backside will be hovering over the rear wheel for much of the time :o

    The main DH track is another step up in terms of difficulty. I ended up walking large chunks of that.

    It's all great fun though. Getting a ride to the top in the gondola with the bike hanging off the back makes it feel more serious as well!
  • LAUNCH69LAUNCH69 Posts: 119
    Thanks for the advice,
    I have had to postpone the weekend till the back end of the summer but I am now sold on a full downhill rig and a day of (trying to) blast the downhill. This may be followed by a ride of the red on a pitch on the following day - if I'm not completely Knackered!
    Specialized Rockhopper

    Bike is still better than the rider . . .
  • andrewyzfr6andrewyzfr6 Posts: 194
    You dont need a DH rig for the downhill coarse. But I think it would make it more enjoyable. The "Red" is perfectly doable on a hardtail, but i found it a lot more enjoyable on the 5.
    That said, you can rent a full DH bike there anyway. Bear in mind it is very rocky, so I suggest (and im the person who avoids wearing a helmet at all costs) if your a novice to this type of terrain that you should wear a full face, body armour, and knee and shin guards.
    2011 Orange 224 evo race
    2009 Orange 5 pro
    2008 Scott Scale 30
    2002 S-works m5 fsr
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