The wet weather this July hasn’t stopped us from riding, but the conditions do take their toll on the bike and the rider. Here are a few tips which should make your muddy rides easier for you and your steed… you might even start to prefer it!

The rider:

  • Adapt your kit, a rain jacket + trousers will keep you reasonably dry (make sure not to over dress underneath to avoid condensation) and most of all will keep your clothes clean… your washing machine will be thankful for it! To clean your rain kit, hose it down before taking it off and Bob’s your uncle!

    What we use: Patagonia Torrentshell jacket + trousers

  • Keep the extremities warm, Merino wool socks are a must and a pair of neoprene gloves (not too thick) will make a big difference when the temperature drops.

    What we use: Seal Skinz socks, Mavic Cyclone gloves

  • Keep your vision clear, it’s the biggest problem and unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect solution, but a dry clean cloth kept in your sleeve will allow you to wipe your glasses/goggles every time you stop.

  • Do not hose your muddy shoes or they will never dry again! Just let them dry (you can stuff them with newspaper) and then brush the dry mud off.

The bike:

  • Use the right lubricant, use a wet conditions lubricant before you go out. A silicon lubricant applied to your frame (kept away from the brakes!) will stop the mud sticking on it… at least for a while! After your ride, lube every nook and cranny of your bike (transmission and suspensions of course but also suspension knobs, shifters, brake levers,…).

    What we use: Muc Off Wet Lub and GT85

  • A small mudguard under the arch of your fork will keep most of the projection away but will also protect your fork’s joints.

    What we use: Marsh guard

  • Mud tyres make a massive difference! If you don’t have the budget or if you need to pedal, change just the front tyre, you will feel a lot more in control.

    What we use: Maxxis Wet scream or Specialized Hillbilly

  • You can make a small “cover” for your rear brake caliper to stop the mud getting in (mud means pads wearing more quickly and pistons getting dirty), I personally use some blister plastic (Hope’s brake pads do a great job!)

    Here is a posh example :

 

photo by: my-new-stuff.com

The skills:

  • Choose different lines from usual to avoid the biggest obstacles (roots, ruts,…), don’t be afraid of staying away from the most obvious line to find “clean” spots to brake and turn.

  • Keep some pressure on your front wheel to get the most grip out of it.

  • Keep your braking smooth.

  • Stay loose on the bike.

  • Speed is (still) your friend! If you ride too slow, your tyres are going to clog and you won’t move at all anymore… remember to keep your braking smooth though!

Well equipped, riding in the mud is fun… and there’s only one way to get better at it – get out and ride!!

 

We have teamed up with one of the very best chalet companies in Morzine (More Mountain), to offer you a great week of guided mountain biking this summer, the MoreAbility week! Treat yourself to top class accommodation and improve your riding skills whilst discovering the best of the Portes du Soleil.

Here is the official communication from the Tourist Office:

MORZINE MOUNTAIN BIKING INFORMATION SUMMER 2013 

The Pléney gondola will be replaced with new lift equipment for winter 2013/14.  This key new lift will provide improved capacity and better access to the winter ski area and for summer Mountain Biking in Morzine .  Ground level access to the top and bottom lift stations will make for quicker access and ease of use.

As we await the opening of this new lift, and due to the scale of the works involved, the Pléney gondola will be closed for the 2013 summer season.

To ensure MTB activities, the local councils and the lift companies of Morzine-Avoriaz and Les Gets, will put in place the following solutions:

·       Early opening, from the 15th of June 2013, of the Super Morzine gondola and the “Zore” chairlift.  From the 28th of June, an earlier opening time of 08:30am and a 50% increase in the flow-rate will ensure free-flowing traffic.

·       A bus service adapted for carrying Mountain Bikes will be run daily between the resorts of Morzine and Les Gets from the 28th of June to the 1st of September 2013 (dates inclusive).  This bus service will be reserved for those with a Portes du Soleil lift pass.

·       The Mountain Bike tracks between the resorts of Morzine and Les Gets will be marked out, signposted and maintained.

Further steps are also being examined to safeguard Mountain Biking in the Pléney area, and improve the flow capacity of the lift links between Morzine and Les Gets, by way of the the “Crusaz” and “Mouilles” chairlifts.  More information will follow on this subject as soon as possible.

Reminder of lift opening dates:

·       Les Gets: Every weekend from the 25th of May and every day from the 15th of June to the 8th of September 2013.

·       Morzine: Every day from the 15th of June to the 1st of September.

·       Portes du Soleil:  The lift links will open for the Pass’Portes du Soleil VTT, on the 28th of June, and will run until the 1st of September 2013; allowing access to the 23 lifts open this summer and linking the 12 resorts of the Franco-Swiss area.

Everyone involved in the resorts of Morzine-Avoriaz and Les Gets is working tirelessly to make sure that Mountain Biking, which is vital to our local tourist economy, goes ahead this summer. 

All other infrastructure in the resort of Morzine will run as normal for the summer 2013 season:

·       The “Crusaz” chairlift for pedestrians and summer toboggan.

·       The “Pointe de Nyon” chairlift for pedestrians.

 

The 2013’s Pass Portes registration are now open! Don’t miss the 10th edition. The bike show will be in Châtel.

Pass’ Portes du Soleil 2013