Road Biking in Alps - Morzine

cdempsey
cdempsey Posts: 69
edited November 2013 in Road general
Hi, you will see from previous posts that I am after advice on a long weekend cycling in the Alps. We have decided on Morzine as it is a short transfer from Geneva and seems to have some good routes. Would welcome any advice on routes, accommodation and possible places to hire bikes? Cheers

Comments

  • And continuing the previous thread was too much hassle?
    I will then delete the previous
    left the forum March 2023
  • arran77
    arran77 Posts: 9,260
    And continuing the previous thread was too much hassle?
    I will then delete the previous

    :lol:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • Not too much hassle - just a lack of understanding how these things work - Sorry!
  • Joux Plane to Samoens is the classic and Morzine Avoriaz is a climb often used by the Tour too

    If you want to learn how to Descend into Morzine, have a look how it's done

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEC5yfue4Dc
    left the forum March 2023
  • jaxf
    jaxf Posts: 109
    and to add to Ugo's post, the Samoens to Joux Plane way up is also nice. http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Co ... ainID=6018.
    Also, Col de la Joux Verte, and the climb from Morzine to Avoriaz.
    that should be enough for a long weekend, although there are lots more things to do near there.
  • arran77
    arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Joux Plane to Samoens is the classic and Morzine Avoriaz is a climb often used by the Tour too

    If you want to learn how to Descend into Morzine, have a look how it's done

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEC5yfue4Dc

    Samoens is a lovely town, stayed in this place plenty of times.

    http://www.renardiere.com/en/ete/chalet.aspx
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • We used to have a chalet there, looking onto the Criou mountain and the Joux Plane. Always regretted selling it...!

    Was watching on the Joux Plane in the TdF where Lance famously bonked and lost time...
  • eric_draven
    eric_draven Posts: 1,192
    i stayed in Samoens this summer for a few days,mostly mountain biking,trails and chair lift better and far less crowded than morzine/les gets,I spent a day out on my road bike,and did both the joux plane and the joux vert on the same ride,i returned from morzine by going through les gets and back to the main valley floor to get back to samoens,distance was 50-55 miles,really enjoyed it the ride with a HC and a cat1 involved,as arran77 says Samoens is a lovely place to stay nice and relaxed.
  • defride
    defride Posts: 277
    Just back from Samoens. As the others have said it's a great little town, genuine rather than just a resort. Was with family and not riding, looked longingly and walked instead. Weather was great for riding, cool but not cold and dry.

    The classic route for the Joux Plane runs out of the village and there are two entries. One at the top of the town near the Intersport is steep, proper steep from the start, heading out of town toward Sixt there's another entry which is far more gentle. Stunning views, the few guys I saw going up looked to be finding it tough. From the top it's easy to get over to Morzine and then up Avoriaz, would make for a good morning.

    If you were feeling brave Tholon to the top of the Joux Plane via Morzine, 50km all up! Bit to busy with traffic through the long winding gorge most of the way to Morzine unfortunately.

    About 10k down the valley &over the hill from Samoens is Cluses and the Colombier with the Col du Aravis a little ways off.

    Will be taking a bike next time and there will definately be a next time.

    Morzine was basically closed when we went over on the Tuesday, there was very little open. Les Gets had a bit more going inc the lifts for mtb.

    A few signs out for bike hire but all we saw were closed, might try Les Get, Chamonix had place renting mid-range FS bikes.

    www.alpsaccomodation.com are great for accomodation on Samoens.

    Have a great trip wherever you choose to go.
  • I've had a few responses from some bike hire shops in Morzine. They all seem to be compacts with 28t on the back. I'm a 15st rider living in the lakes. I'm on a triple with 11-28 on the back which just gets me up Hardknott, Wrynose etc. I realise the gradients may not be 33% bit still a bit worried about renting a compact in the alps. The response from one guy was their set up is fine for around Morzine. Any thoughts out there? Seriously considering the bike box option.
  • woolwich
    woolwich Posts: 298
    Call into Tourist info in the town centre. They do a free guide to the local Col's for roadies, with lots of great suggested routes. If you are lucky sometimes they have free events, similar to sportives, where they close a Col to traffic for the day for cyclists to play on. Huge fun.
    Or basically just look at a map and head out. Great rides in all directions.
    As the others have mentioned, you must try and ride the Joux Plane. Not the longest or steepest or highest. Just plain miserable. Awesome road!
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Col du Ramaz and L'Encrenaz also close at hand. Watch out for the goat village on the Avoriaz climb. Hairpin descent into Morzine from Avoriaz is a classic. Not sure what is North of Morzine though. You can also get over to Col du Pierre Carree (highest in the area), Col du Romme and the Col de la Columbiere via Les Gets.

    I used 34-29 as lowest gear and I was pretty much always on a good cadence so I could have managed with a tooth less on the back. It's not really an area for triples - gradients are rarely that steep; just go on for a long time.
    woolwich wrote:
    As the others have mentioned, you must try and ride the Joux Plane. Not the longest or steepest or highest. Just plain miserable. Awesome road!

    Miserable?! What are you on about?! Joux Plane is really rather nice. I did it three times the week we were there; twice from Samoens and once from Morzine. It's never very steep (hardest bit is out of Samoens), there are relatively easy sections and the curves and wooded sections give it enough visual distraction to never seem like it is too endless. If you want a hard time, the Col du Romme and Columbiere pairing on a hot day is in a different league!

    Main problem with the area is there aren't that many route options - I had a great time there and the chalet (Chalet 365) was superb - best food I've ever had I suspect! - but we did most of the available routes in 7 days so next time will be somewhere else.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Have been lucky enough to have gone to Morzine summer and winter for last 8 years or so. Have family living there and really love Morzine and think it is a great place to stay with plenty for family/partners to do whilst you disappear of for a ride.

    Have always taken my own bike in the summer as tend to ferry and drive but it is a short and easy transfer from Geneva that makes it appealing for weekend/few days.

    Mark at http://www.alpine-sports.eu/ is very helpful and do road and MB hire. Road options are fairly limited in the area for hiring which is why have always brought my own.

    I will say it quietly but the downhill MB is fantastic also.

    Some routes suggested by the local tourist board and can be easily chopped and changed to keep life interesting. I have done a selection and edited others into rides to suite.

    http://www.morznet.com/activities/cycling/routes.html

    http://www.valleedaulps.com/documents/guidevelo.pdf

    If you want a challenge then below is a map for the Morzine Vallee D'Aulps Cyclosportive borrowed from (http://www.ridemorzine.com/node/75). 3,700m of climbing in 145km with a little trip up the Joux Plane at the end!

    http://www.gpsies.com/mapOnly.do?fileId ... Leave=true

    As others have said the gradients are not as steep as the lakes but just go on for longer.

    For what it's worth this year I used a compact on the front and 11-28 rear and was happy with the range it gave me.

    Hope you have a fantastic trip whatever you decide.
  • arran77
    arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Iron_Duke wrote:
    Have been lucky enough to have gone to Morzine summer and winter for last 8 years or so. Have family living there and really love Morzine and think it is a great place to stay with plenty for family/partners to do whilst you disappear of for a ride.

    If I already had family living out there I'd be moving out myself like a shot, really love it there and if I was going to live anywhere else in the world it would be somewhere in the Port du Soleil area :)
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • jaxf
    jaxf Posts: 109
    If you can manage British hills (horrible) then you should be able to manage anything the Alps have to offer. I have only once had to get out of the saddle on a climb - in West Lothian, and I do most of my cycling in the Tarentaise and Aosta.
    The Alps tend to be easy - longer but less steep, if you can find a wee section at 16%, well done. British hills tend to be awe inspiringly steep, with the capacity to rob my legs of the will to carry on. The only thing that keeps me going is that they are usually blessedly short.
  • eric_draven
    eric_draven Posts: 1,192
    cdempsey wrote:
    I've had a few responses from some bike hire shops in Morzine. They all seem to be compacts with 28t on the back. I'm a 15st rider living in the lakes. I'm on a triple with 11-28 on the back which just gets me up Hardknott, Wrynose etc. I realise the gradients may not be 33% bit still a bit worried about renting a compact in the alps. The response from one guy was their set up is fine for around Morzine. Any thoughts out there? Seriously considering the bike box option.
    i,m 14.5st asthmatic and not superfit, i rode the alps on 34/28 and had no problems,i did take a 30t cassette but never used it.
  • woolwich
    woolwich Posts: 298
    Rolf,
    Don't take me too literally. I did also recommend the Joux Plane and described it as awesome. Maybe I was off form when I rode it and it was tarmac melting conditions. I just found it one of those climbs that was harder than the sum of it's parts.
    Physically hardest climb I've attempted is the Muro Di Surmano over in Lombardy. An hour or so of moderate climbing to get to it and then over a mile steeper than 20% at the top, almost all in continuous switchbacks with no respite . A real killer.
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • If I could make it work then I would be sorely tempted Arran!

    As others have said it is not the gradient that is the thing I find hard but that you have to keep climbing for a prolonged period and as my legs tire this becomes harder work! On the way up Joux Plane there are some stunning views of MOnt Blanc to take your mind of it!

    If you are worried there are plenty of shorter climbs and easier routes which you can build your confidence and legs up on.

    When the sun is shining it is fantastic and the descents are a great reward after working your way up!