Morzine is an incredible area for riding your bike, it's a mountain bike mecca. The terrain is varied and challenging, not only for you but for your bike. It’s important you arrive in Morzine with the kit, bike and spares you'll need to see the week through trouble free. Morzine has great bike shops but if you want to hit those first laps worry free then your bike should be in top condition before you get here, suspension, tyres, brakes, the lot.
Bringing just the right amount of kit is a personal thing and is fine tuned year after year, this checklist will set you on the right path.
From roots to drops Morzine has it all
RIDING KIT CHECKLIST
The challenging terrain of the Portes du Soleil has claimed many victim over the years and we have seen it all from exploding suspension forks to bald tires, don't let this be you, after forking all that cash out for a trip to the Alps the last thing you want is broken equipment.
- RIDING KIT | Bring at least 3 sets, you don't want to be that smelly guy and expect at least one muddy day. Our chalets have washing facilities but it's best to be prepared.
- HELMET | Full face even if you are riding a short travel bike. Honest opinion, the detachable chin guard helmets are not a full face replacement, we have seen several brands helmets in two pieces after nasty crashes.
- GLOVES | Yeah it maybe cool not to wear them, but grab yourself a thin set if you don't just incase, 6 days of laps on laps will start to test those palms for sure!
- GOGGLES | Definitely the better choice for those high speed runs. Trail specs maybe the preference but if you can do the googles, do the goggles, get a new lens. Trail specs if you love the feel of the wind.
- SOCKS & PANTS | Treat yourself. Socks for riding, socks for drinking, whether it's your man package or your love jugs they'll appreciate an upgrade and some nice clean sets for on the trail and in the bar.
- SHOES | Don't waste time on the Vans, gardening boots or hiking shoes. Sure they were fine that day in Bike Park Wales but realistically you're going to be riding harder all day every day than you have ever before, bring a set and wear them in before you travel! (You can also test 5-10's with us)
- BODY ARMOUR | Bring as much or as little as you feel is comfortable. At a minimum good knee pads, that you've tested for fit before travel.
- SUNSCREEN | It's expensive in Europe, grab a bottle from Boots on your way over, and wear it.
This should be a good start and common sense really but as with all holidays once that work clock strikes 5pm it's bon voyage to any thoughts apart from lets go!!! So avoid that last minute packing frenzy and get yourself organised.
Extra tips and advice
Conditions are never the same in the Alps and Morzine seems to have it’s own meso climate with lake Geneva and Mt Blanc in the near vicinity. Alongside your normal pants, shorts, jerseys, waterproofs are not the worst idea. An all in one waterproof is a sure fire way to keep dry on those muddy days. Who knows, if you bring one, you may well keep the weather Gods at bay!
Riding kit, gloves, helmets, pads....try to get a ride in on them before you travel. Or at least know and trust the brand you're buying from. It sucks having a jersey that itches, or a pair of pants that ride up when pedalling and knee pads that rub. It especially sucks when that kind of thing means you have to cut your riding day short in the Alps and head home for a change. So pick a brand, use them, don't wait till first laps to try that new helmet on.
Body armour to wear in Morzine? At a minimum knee pads. Full pressure suits, they may not look cool but they've saved many a bump and graze over the years. Chest armour? If you want to feel like you're riding moto then do it, there are some very good MTB specific options out there now such as the Fox Race Frame.
We weren't kidding about the sunscreen, it's about 4 x as expensive in Europe as it is in the UK. You'll find everything else food and toiletries wise comparable and at an equal price.
The bike. Will it survive Morzine? Well who knows but the least you can do is prepare it for it's week of abuse as best you can.
BIKE CHECK LIST
- FRAME, BUSHINGS & BEARINGS | If it's knocking, creaking or squealing this will get 100 times worse on the trail in Morzine within hours. If it's cracked, replace it, if the bearings are running rough, change them. Guaranteed, Morzine will break or wear out anything that is due to break or be replaced.
- SUSPENSION | Getting it serviced is a good idea, but don't fuss on setting too much before travel, you won't know what to do until after afew runs in Morzine. Bring spares springs or volume spacers if you have them.
- TYRES & TUBES | Downhill casing all the way, as grippy as you can. You'll find spare tyres in Morzine but it's good to arrive ready. Thin side walled tyres will die, they will puncture. If it's worn, you'll kill it. A rear tyre on a clients bike will generally last a week before it's on it's last legs. Tubeless, all day. Unless you run the mega thick tubes, you'll puncture. We can set tubless up for you in house providing your rims are setup, or follow our tubeless setup guide!
- GRIPS | Hugely important contact point. Get a new pair of your prefferred grip and put them in the bag with you. Or ensure you can buy them out in Morzine.
- FLAT PEDALS | Recommended even if you are a competent clips rider, the trails in Morzine are full of roots, steep and technical in parts so having the luxury to just whip that foot of is nice.
You've prepped as best you can, what extra bits should you squeeze into that bike bag before travel?
SPARE KIT & TOOL LIST
With brands readily available in Morzine shops
- GOGGLE LENS | Smith, Fox, Oakley, Scott, 100%
- REAR DERAILLEUR | Shimano, Sram
- REAR MECH HANGER | No one carries every hanger, if you do, you'll be lucky!
- BRAKE PADS | Shimano, Sram, Magura, Hope, TRP
- SPOKES | Standard spokes everywhere, bladed or straight pull maybe not
- SPECIFIC TOOLS TO YOUR BIKE | If you had to buy it specifically for your bike, assume you need to bring it with you, or at least check in advance.
Morzine's bike shops are plentiful and generally well stocked with friendly staff, but the season is short and they can't carry every spare. So, if you're that guy with Trick Stuff brakes, one off nutty professor suspension and a Box drive-train on a custom frame hand built in a shed in Siberia, you'll want to be a little more prepared than someone arriving with a stock bike, that's our advice.
After more information on Morzine mountain bike holiday? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Morzine we wrote for Wide Open Magazine.
There's your run down of an essential check list to bring to Morzine on your next mountain bike holiday.
Click on the links below to get yourself booked on to a trip in the mountain bike mecca!