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Recommend alps mountain biking for group

loudogloudog Posts: 136
edited April 2015 in Holidays
This summer I want to go on a mtb holiday in the alps, and would like some help choosing the best location.

We shall be driving in convoy and we are all experienced bikers (just not in the alps).
We are also all hard tail riders.
All late 20's, fit, strong, healthy lads
Looking to go for a week between july24th - August 16th
Can you recommend a good first alpine holiday? Looking for loads of runs, loads of funs. We have been on many ski holidays in the alps so I'm fairly sure many of the same rules apply? Also, what are the best websites for booking such a holiday and getting the best deals. Again, with ski holidays we use snowtrex etc.

Thanks in advance please let me know if there is any more info required, just after a shortlist from peeps in the know!
It matters not, win or lose, it's how you ride the bike

Posts

  • UH DHUH DH Posts: 4,160
    I know it's the default destination in the Alps, but for a first time do Morzine.

    The trails are a nice introduction to Alpine riding, it gives you access to the entire Portes Du Soleil, and though it's not the best town out of the region to stay in, it's one of the easiest to get to and to return to if the weather draws in.

    From experience, as soon as it starts to rain out there, thunder isn't far behind. The first roll of thunder closes all the lifts meaning potentially getting stranded a long way from your chalet. Out of all the places in the PDS, Morzine is the easiest to return to in those conditions.

    Hardtail, you may struggle with the braking bumps, but you'll get them wherever you go in the Alps, so possibly finding off-piste trails is the best route. Morzine has tons of those.

    As for companies to book with, you're already driving there. Most companies say they are rider specific and charge through the nose just for self-catering and workshop access. You have cars, take the tools you need. Look up MorzineLets or any one of the number of holiday rental companies and just do it yourself. The few holiday companies that do include food are massively expensive. You're best organising for yourself.

    One thing to bear in mind if you do go it yourself, is to ask for a definate damage deposit. I've had companies in the past not disclose the need of a damage deposit until arrival where they demanded a large sum of money before we get the keys, so make sure of that. Also if you're staying in Morzine, check the tourist tax is included in prices, because the local council tax chalet owners €1/day per person, which gets passed on to the tourists. Fair enough it'll only be an extra €7, but it's always good to get the actual price per person.

    And finally, check the bed arrangements in chalets/apartments before buying. A lot of places will claim to sleep so many, and it'll turn out that you have a few double beds and sofas to sleep on. Or even better, the alcove with a curtain and bunkbeds. Just check what you're getting first and ask questions when renting.
    Check out my site - http://www.trail-dog.co.uk
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  • gregwarigregwari Posts: 228
    +1 for Morzine or surrounding towns. Morzines the biggest in terms of size and things to do at night and you can get all around the Portes Du Soleil from Morzine in a day... just bear in mind it's a lot quieter outside of the ski season.

    Have a look at the following:

    1. Passportes du Soleil event - this is on during the last weekend in June only but the route remains signposted all year. Basically its an 80km loop of the area riding trails, fireroads and easier DH runs. It's all accessed via ski lifts so you'll descend something like 7000m in total over the day. You can download the map for reference and youtube videos for an idea of what the ridings like.

    2. I'd suggest you book yourself, owners direct or any other similar site will generate loads of places. If you want a recommendation we're staying at an apartment in a building called La Caleche; it ticks the boxes and has a secure garage for your bikes. If you do want to go through a company, I've heard good things but can't personally vouch for Alpine elements or Singletrack Safari.

    3. As the chap above said most people run FS bikes with loads of travel just because the DH runs tend to be very bumpy (braking bumps on an epic scale). You'll be safe on a hardtail but you may find it hard work on both your body and bike. If you change your mind there's loads of options to hire bikes for a day or longer for about £60 a day (seems a lot, but I spent £400 fixing my bike last year when I got back - serious wear and tear).

    4. Might be worth booking a guide, we're going to book a guide this year for the first time this year to try find some new trails. We've had a company called Ride Ability recommended to us.
  • loudogloudog Posts: 136
    Thanks for this input so far. I have read an taken it in. My own research has also lead me to the ports du solei region.

    one of (and I think our best) options is to take the van full of bikes and kit, and others can fly. The other option being to go on the eurostar, but I imagine it will be incredibly expensive as well as us being limited on the amount of kit and clothes we can wear.

    How much can we expect to pay for lift passes? if we are going it alone (as it looks like we are) We will have to purchase a weeks pass when we arrive. I can only presume it would be less than during ski season. But will probably be the same amount
    It matters not, win or lose, it's how you ride the bike
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,655
    Lift prices for 2014 are HERE.
    They won't be much more expensive this year.

    It's a great area to visit. I have skied at Morzine and Avoriaz and would love to have a summer holiday there biking.
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  • loudogloudog Posts: 136
    I am now on the hunt for accommodation with bike store.

    Does anyone have experience with this website? http://www.mtbmorzinebeds.com

    Prices seem reasonable and apartments look suitable.
    It matters not, win or lose, it's how you ride the bike
  • UH DHUH DH Posts: 4,160
    If a listing says garage, you're sorted.

    Getting there, with the extra baggage charges for luggage and bikes it is worth one or two people taking a van with the luggage. Plus it means if you do end up with a garage to store the bikes, you can always back the van up against the door for extra security.

    A lot of places don't mention bike stores or garages, so best bet is to email the people.
    Check out my site - http://www.trail-dog.co.uk
    It's good for you.
  • McTrailMcTrail Posts: 1
    Another +1 for Morzine.

    If you're still looking for accommodation with a decent bike store, check out http://www.aiglonmorzine.com/index.php/ ... ain-biking
  • Stoo61Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
    Hey I live in Morzine all year round. Check out http://www.mtbmorzinebeds.com/ for accommodation, if they haven't already sold out for the whole summer they are real good. I know the owner and he is a mountain biker through and through and knows what we want.

    From Morzine you can easily reach Les Gets and Chatel. As people have said Switzerland is a hop skip and a jump away too.

    On bikes I have a hardtail, road bike and last year I had a downhill bike. I have sold that and bought and 160 travel all mountain rig. Its more me, I want to spend days in the saddle out in the mountains as well as razzing the bike park areas now and again.
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