Megavalanche Top Tips | How To Prepare For An Alpine Mountain Bike Race

Megavalanche Top Tips | How To Prepare For An Alpine Mountain Bike Race


– Oh my goodness, me. Oh, you thinking about taking
part in the Megavalanche, just like this one behind me? Here’s a few top tips on how to make it more epic, safe, fun, and crazy. Look at it! That, looks nuts. (thud) (tire sloshing) Well there’s a lot to
take into consideration when doing a big race like this. You’re going to have to have
the right protective gear. I’ve bought a number of clothing, that’s going to give me enough
spares for this whole trip, because it is a long time
when you’re out here for. You’re going to have to do a practice, then you’re doing a qualifier, and then you wait one
day, or you race that day, and then you do the main event. Now, let me go through what
I’ve brought for this, and I can’t stress enough on protective gear. I’m going to start there first. (upbeat music) Okay, I’m going to start off
with the most fundamental one, and that is a full face helmet. You want a helmet with a full face. You can’t race this event
without a full face. I’ve got myself a nice good Poc helmet. Now this is going to give me
a lot of protection out there, especially when I crash, hopefully not. A good full face will help you for sure. Now the next one that
I’m going to definitely, definitely point out, is a back protector and a sternum protector. Now this, especially when
you’re riding on rocky terrain, you crash, you don’t want
to get a rock in your chest, and you don’t want to get
a rock into your back. This is going to give
you a lot of protection when you come to a bit of
a situation and you crash. Plus you can’t really ride this event without any of this stuff, so
take that into consideration. If you haven’t got
anything, look out for it. Go and do your homework and buy yourself a good sternum and back protector. Now with a helmet, you want to have nice goggles, to protect your eyes, because there’s going
to be a lot of riders in front of you, a lot of dust. You don’t want that dust
to get into your eyes. So goggles for sure,
I’ve brought these ones to go with my full face. Plus I’ve brought two spare lenses because if you do scratch them
up when you’re in practice, or in your qualifying run, you can change them out. And I’ve got a nice dark one. When the sun’s out like this, you can put on a nice darker lens. And I’ve brought a spare set as well, just in case I do rip that
goggle lacky band off, and I need to get another pair
of goggles, I’ve got spares. So always consider spares. So moving down the body, I got myself some nice knee pads. These are aggressive ones,
these are the downhill pads. A lot of protection there. I want a lot of protection,
because it’s rocky, and I don’t want to get horrible knees, so I got some nice knee pads. I only brought one pair. I don’t mind smelling. You want to have a good
pair of running shoes. I am running clipped in at this event. I am running a hardtail, so I don’t want my feet
bouncing all over the place, so I got myself some of these, Enduro Clipless Pedals
shoes from NorthWave, the Cedric Gracia signature
models, super comfy. They’re going to help
me and protect my feet. Now running kit. You’re going to be setting on
that saddle for a little bit, or you know, you are going
to be sitting on a saddle so I got a nice chamois. This is going to help me. I brought two, because
I’m here for a few days. So I got two of those. I’ve got a good pair of riding shorts. Two of them, because it’s
a long time on the bike. Two sets of gloves, definitely
keep those hands protected because it is rocky out here. Gloves, bring a couple of those. Another one, it does
get cold up at the top, so I got myself a base layer. And that, I’ve only brought one. It doesn’t matter, one base
layer to keep me nice and warm. I’ve got two race jerseys here. One fresh, just in case
you crash, you rip one, and there’s just that. Also, it is sunny out here. Sun cream, definitely bring some sun cream because you don’t want to burn. You’re up here, super high up. Up at the top, it’s 3,330 meters, and it’s quite thin up there,
so sun in going to burn you. Sun cream. Now when you’re at the top, it is cold. Now I’ve got myself one of
these small compact jackets that I can chuck into my
fanny pack, or bumbag here that I’ll be riding with. So this is going to carry
all my tools, and my jacket. When it gets a little bit
chilly, waiting to drop in. (upbeat music) Okay tools now, you need to bring tools, especially if you’re coming
out to an event like this one. You need to keep your bike
running in a mint condition. So what I’ve got here,
this big thing here, looks like a water bottle,
but this is a tire seater. This is basically a turbo booster. You fill this up with air and
you can seat tubeless tires. I’ve brought this along with me. You’re going to make sure
you take it all apart, so it doesn’t look too
gnarly on the aircraft. Chain lube, I went for dry chain lube. It’s out here, it’s dry,
it’s dusty and stuff. You want to keep that
chain running smooth, and those gears, so I got
myself the chain lube. I got myself a cloth, just to
keep my bike nice and clean after I’ve washed it. I’ve got a tool here, it’s in gold. It’s got all the tools I need. You got a chain tool here. You got all your essential
tools that I need. Now this one, I’ll be
carrying on my person. Now when I’m building my bike, when I get here out of the plane, I got my nice ratchet set here. It’s got all the tools I need. I’ve got an eight mil,
that’s for my pedals. Plus I’ve got some tire levers, so I can get those heavy downhill
casing tires onto my rim. I got myself a shock
pump, a foot floor pump, so I can get all those
tires pumped up that I need. In here, I’ve got loads of knickknacks to plug up my tires on
the trail when I slice it. I’ve got small ones, and
I’ve got bigger ones. So these are the essential tools
that I have brought with me that I think are essential
when you’re flying out, or driving out if you drive,
you can bring your own tools. You can bring your own bike shop. But if you don’t have the
right tool for the job, go to your local bike shops, because they will help you out for sure. (upbeat music) I looked at it as what are
the most essential things that I really, really, really need that I might do some damage to. First off is a rear wheel,
and I thought that this, for sure I need to bring with me. It’s fully built up with a cassette and a new disk brake on there as well. So if something goes wrong
with my wheel, I break it, I have a spare. Now this was essential, 100%
you do need a spare tire. Now I’ve brought one spare
tire, this is my Der Kaiser. It’s a downhill casing tire,
super strong, super stiff. That’s going to take a hell of a beating, especially out here where
there’s a lot of rocks. You don’t want to slice a tire. Pads, obviously, is essential. I’ve brought two sets, one for the rear, maybe two for the rear,
but one for the front. Rear Mech, I can’t
stress it enough because rocks, you’re going to get one of these smashed off for sure. The cables, you can bring cables, but you can go to the bike shop and just buy that and
stick it on yourself, and index all that yourself. So I’ve brought myself a spare Rear Mech. This is a hanger for that Rear Mech, because if you’ve damaged your Rear Mech, you’ve probably bent your hanger. So I’ve brought one of those spare. I guess if you’ve gone
through all those spare parts of yours that you’ve brought,
or you go to Chain Reactions, or any of these other bike shops, and you got bike shops
in the town as well, but they can be a little
bit more expensive, but these guys will help
you out, that’s for sure. (upbeat music) Accommodation, yes, when
you’re up in the French Alps, in a resort just like this, accommodation can be very expensive. But if you’re on a budget,
like here at the Megavalanche, they open up this field
right near the uplifts, so it’s super easy for
you to get on that lift, to get to the top. Also, it’s free. But immunity is on up here for low. There’s only toilets and fresh water, so showering is going to be- well you’re going to have
to slum it for a bit. I would love to stay here because there’s a lot of
friendly people around, but if you’ve got the budget, you can stay in one of these hotel. You’ve got warm showers, warm bed, food. You can charge all your gadgets, your Garmins, your GoPros, whatever. You can wash your bike and all of that, and keep it safe. But you got to make sure
you get there early, because they do book up quickly. Especially the cheaper ones. (upbeat music) When it comes to Megavalanche,
you don’t want to be racing this blind, so come a few days earlier, get familiar with the track. The qualifying track,
and the main event track. It’s always good to get
familiar with riding in the snow because some of us don’t
really ride snow that much. It’s always good to get
familiar with looking at your line choice on the track, because you don’t particularly
want to be racing this blind. And also, it can be dangerous. (upbeat music) When it comes to riding
outdoors, bike park, and the Megavalanche, when it
comes to practicing as well, you want to be taking it
easier on your first runs because you don’t want to be going like a bull in a china
shop and wrecking yourself on your first run and missing
out on your whole experience in the Megavalanche. So take it easy for your first few runs. (upbeat music) Have fun! That is the key thing when
it comes to the Megavalanche. I know it can be intimidating. Bit of a rough, gnarly, long race with loads of people around you. But the main thing is to
have fun on your bike. Have fun with your mates out there, and also, I don’t know, it
just loosens you up a bit. Gets rid of all that stress, when you have a little bit of a laugh. (upbeat music) When it comes to that faithful steed that you’re going to
take to the Megavalanche to race down that mountain, you want to make sure that
thing is mechanically sound when you leave home. For me, this is my steed
for the Megavalanche, but it is a hardtail. I’m not saying you should
go and race the hardtail on the Mega, because it is rough as balls. It is gnarly, but there’s a few things that I’m going to have to
point out that are crucial that you should do. One of the most important things that I’m going to have
to point out first off is tire choice. You want to have a
really, really tough tire to cope with all this terrain. It is rocky, and it’s gnarly on tires. Now you want to go for a
super downhill casing tire. This is the Continental Der Kaiser 2.4. I’ve got inside there is an insert. What an insert is, is a big foam thing which protects the tire from the rim, from puncturing as well. It’s tubeless, but you
can run tubes within in a downhill casing tire, but you’re going to have to run your tires really hard to eliminate
those pinch punctures on all those rocks. So tires is crucial when
it comes to the Mega. Okay besides the tires, the
rims that the tires seat to, those have to be super strong. So basically, these are a
downhill wheel set on this bike, super strong, super
aggressive, quite wide, and can take an absolute pounding out there on that rough section. Also this in an aggressive hardtail. What that means, it’s got
a 170 mm travel up front and I’m running big brakes. I’m running a 203 rotor on the front, and on the back I’m running a 180. I would say that’s a
little on the small side. I should have run a 203,
because I’m running a hardtail. Braking is quite hard. But I’m running a four pot on this bike, this aggressive brake on it. It’s a downhill brake,
but it’s going to give me a lot of power when it comes to stopping on some steep sections. (upbeat music) Another thing to take on
board is the Megavalanche can be super, super
intimidating, and lonely. Especially if you’re on your own. So make friends when you
get to the Megavalanche, because it’ll be fun. Go to one of the parties,
or one of the bars. Make friends, talk about the track, or if you’re like me, bring a friend! How about Ben Deakin! – Hey! – We are going to hit the Megavalanche. – We are. We’re having an epic time. – Yes! – [Ben] And it’s always
better with a friend. – [Blake] Definitely. – [Ben] Always. – [Blake] So there you
go, you beautiful people. There are a few of the tips
that I am going to give to you to make your Megavalanche even more mega. Hopefully this has helped you out, and hope this has inspired you to put this on your bucket list, or to do this event in the near future. If you want to stick around
and you want to watch more us at GMBN, then hit the globe to subscribe because you’re missing
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on watching more stuff. And I’ll see you on the next one. See ya!