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  1. #1
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    Bike rental options for WP area

    A few of us are heading up to Winter Park/Sol Vista from Austin, TX in August to (hopefully) get our first taste of some FR/DH riding. We are all experienced XC riders, but - not surprisingly - our bikes aren't built for the kind of riding we hope to be doing up there. Plus, we're flying into Denver and renting a car, so bringing bikes adds a new level or two of complexity. I know we can rent bikes at the mountain, but are there any other options we should look into? I consulted the interwebs to see if there were other places to rent bikes in WP, but couldn't really find anything. It's not that I don't want to rent from the resort, but the idea of paying more to rent a bike for 3 days than it's going to cost me to rent a full-size car for 4 days is not sitting well with me...

    We are trying to keep this trip on a pretty tight budget, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekieke
    A few of us are heading up to Winter Park/Sol Vista from Austin, TX in August to (hopefully) get our first taste of some FR/DH riding. We are all experienced XC riders, but - not surprisingly - our bikes aren't built for the kind of riding we hope to be doing up there. Plus, we're flying into Denver and renting a car, so bringing bikes adds a new level or two of complexity. I know we can rent bikes at the mountain, but are there any other options we should look into? I consulted the interwebs to see if there were other places to rent bikes in WP, but couldn't really find anything. It's not that I don't want to rent from the resort, but the idea of paying more to rent a bike for 3 days than it's going to cost me to rent a full-size car for 4 days is not sitting well with me...

    We are trying to keep this trip on a pretty tight budget, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Both resorts have really nice rental fleets at the base where you can rent proper DH bikes whereas most bike shops only rent XC bikes. I'd say to stick to the resort you are riding that day. Besides, if you have a problem, it is easier to get service there than it would be to drive in town somewhere (or back to WP from SV).

    It might be worth checking at the Grand County chamber of commerce and seeing if they have any coupons (for rentals AND lift tickets).

  3. #3
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    Totally Wired in Fraser, high end "demo" bikes. Regardless.....I would call ahead and reserve, no matter what choice you make.

  4. #4
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    You might want to rethink the decision to leave your XC bike at home. The Fraser Valley is home to some of the best XC riding around and shouldn't be missed. It's free, too. And, to be honest, a good bit of the lift-accessed stuff at WP (certainly not all) can be ridden on a good, full-suspension XC bike. Sol Vista is rowdier and you'd probably want to rent a DH sled for that.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I've really gone back and forth on whether to rent a bike or bring my XC bike. Two of the guys that are going are pretty adamant about wanting to do only lift-access runs while we are there. I may opt for a day of climbing and more XC stuff. If so, I'll try to find a place to rent a decent XC bike. My FS rig is a lightweight 29er and I'm worried the wheels wouldn't hold up well on the FR/DH stuff.

  6. #6
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    I ride/race WP/Fraser Valley almost every weekend (I've got a vacation home up there) during the summer and fall on a carbon Superfly 100 29er with 1400-gram wheels. There are a handful of trails I can't ride, but not many.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    And, to be honest, a good bit of the lift-accessed stuff at WP (certainly not all) can be ridden on a good, full-suspension XC bike.
    You COULD ride it on an XC bike, but why? WP is full of jumps and drops that quite frankly would suck on an XC bike... get the right bike for the job I say... you'll have way more fun. Look into Trestle 101 for a good deal on a bike, lesson and lift ticket...
    http://trestlebikepark.com/lessons.html

    Here's Price putting some of the new DH bikes together. WP will be stacked to the ceiling with new bikes this year.
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  8. #8
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    Bring your XC bike, and rent a DH bike. Sure, you can ride probably any trail at Trestle on your XC bike, but it's a whole lot more fun on a bike that's made for that stuff. If you traveled up here from TX to ride DH and didn't rent a DH bike, you'd be disappointed when you left.

    And, yeah, as others have said, the XC trails in the valley are pretty sweet as well, and having your XC bike would be convenient for those trails.

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately, I think it's an either/or proposition. Bringing bikes means renting a much bigger vehicle. The Sol Vista website says they rent XC bikes, so I guess I'll rent one from them if I want a break from the lift-access stuff.

  10. #10
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    We rent high-end Demo XC bikes as well. Don't be fooled, we have everything, and it's nice. This is coming from the pickeist racer ever.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelalamo45
    Look into Trestle 101 for a good deal on a bike, lesson and lift ticket...
    We were trying to decide if 101 or 202 would be a better fit for us. It sounded like 101 might be more geared towards people who might just be taking up mountain biking. Even though we've never really done FR/DH riding, we all ride a bunch down here and I think we'd all classify ourselves as high intermediate/expert riders. Two of us that are going went to Angel Fire last summer and rode a bunch of the trails there on our XC bikes. We planned on riding the lifts there, but the timing and weather kept us from getting to do that. So, we rode up and bombed down a few times before tackling the South Boundary Trail on our last full day there.

    So, my question is: Do you think we would be better off in the 101 or 202 class?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    I ride/race WP/Fraser Valley almost every weekend (I've got a vacation home up there) during the summer and fall on a carbon Superfly 100 29er with 1400-gram wheels. There are a handful of trails I can't ride, but not many.
    Ever rent your place out? Not trying to be pushy or anything, but I'd rather give my money to a fellow MTBer than some nameless, faceless condo owner from vrbo.com...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekieke
    A few of us are heading up to Winter Park/Sol Vista from Austin, TX in August to (hopefully) get our first taste of some FR/DH riding.
    Good luck and enjoy it. Winter park has come a long way in the last few years. I'm an ATX Native. Born and raised. I've lived in Colorado for 14yrs now. I make the trip back home a few times a year and shred the trails down there with friends and family but I would NEVER move back to Texas because the riding in Colorado is that good. Colorado has it all. AM, XC & Gravity fed MTB is every where.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekieke
    We were trying to decide if 101 or 202 would be a better fit for us. It sounded like 101 might be more geared towards people who might just be taking up mountain biking. Even though we've never really done FR/DH riding, we all ride a bunch down here and I think we'd all classify ourselves as high intermediate/expert riders. Two of us that are going went to Angel Fire last summer and rode a bunch of the trails there on our XC bikes. We planned on riding the lifts there, but the timing and weather kept us from getting to do that. So, we rode up and bombed down a few times before tackling the South Boundary Trail on our last full day there.

    So, my question is: Do you think we would be better off in the 101 or 202 class?
    If you can ride a bit, go 202.

  15. #15
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    Billy! I hope you're doing well!

  16. #16
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    Does the winter park rental department switch our fork and shock coils for each riders specific weight? I'd like to ride WP atleast once this summer and perhaps not flog my bike, but not if im gonna end up with an over/under sprung bike. I'm a skinny light dude who rides a size large.

  17. #17
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    Rental and Lesson Options

    There is a lot of good information on this thread already, but I saw some questions weren't answered about spring rates/setup for riders. While I can't speak for Winter Park, SolVista can tune bikes for ever rider's weight spring wise, and damping for how you ride. Last year we even had RockShox Vivid air shocks before they were available for sale for riders to try out, and this year we'll have the same options. If you would prefer a coil, we have those shock options as well, and all the spring weights too.

    Whether or not you decide to rent a bike from SolVista, tuning of your damping in the front and rear shock is free of charge. We want everyone to be on a good setup. It is not an entry level employee tuning your suspension though, we have experts. We have helped with Manitou's development for years until 2004, we have helped Fox Racing Shox on the racer and recreational level products from 2005 to 2008, and we are ecstatic to be with RockShox currently. If you are curious, you can read one of our shop tuner's reviews here on a couple suspension options: http://www.vitalmtb.com/product/feat...-Vivid-Coil,32 Regardless of what you ride though, we can help you out. And again, if you happen to be renting one of our bikes, the ride and fit will be better than you can imagine.

    There was also a question about lessons. It is a great idea to take a lesson when you try downhilling. Wherever you go, you may learn some new skills, succeed at trail sections you haven't before, and you'll have a great time. Our coaches are known as the best in the region, but really, anybody can say that. Ask around to people who have taken the lessons that don't work at SolVista (like me), Winter Park (joelalamo or priceseliger), or Keystone, and you will get an honest answer. Everyone I just named knows there stuff, but lets be honest, we are all a little biased. So ask around, to people who have really taken the lessons.

    You'll have a great time in Colorado, check out all the resorts you can, don't limit yourself.
    Last edited by dhrace507; 05-14-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  18. #18
    Slopestyle Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhrace507
    You'll have a great time in Colorado, check out all the resorts you can, don't limit yourself.
    +1...

  19. #19
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    Tickets are booked! We'll be up there mid-August. Being that this will be our first lift-assisted trip, does it make more sense for us to rent a full-on DH bike, or would a FR bike be a better option for us? My thinking is that a FR bike is going to be a bit lighter and more responsive - more similar to what we are used to riding. I doubt we'll be catching big air or tackling the really aggressive DH stuff, so something with 9" of travel might be overkill. Thoughts?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekieke
    Tickets are booked! We'll be up there mid-August. Being that this will be our first lift-assisted trip, does it make more sense for us to rent a full-on DH bike, or would a FR bike be a better option for us? My thinking is that a FR bike is going to be a bit lighter and more responsive - more similar to what we are used to riding. I doubt we'll be catching big air or tackling the really aggressive DH stuff, so something with 9" of travel might be overkill. Thoughts?
    A few laps down rain maker and you'll probably be charging the jump trail and landing either near or to transition. If you like some tech head for the dh course, nothing really big on the course, but it its rocky and there are wet roots to keep things interesting. For WP a 6"-8" travel bike will be fine. (you could get away with less obviously, but chair lifts are built so you don't need a climbing bike).

    I'll let someone else comment on Sol Vista, as I still haven't been there
    Down is the new up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed
    A few laps down rain maker and you'll probably be charging the jump trail and landing either near or to transition. If you like some tech head for the dh course, nothing really big on the course, but it its rocky and there are wet roots to keep things interesting. For WP a 6"-8" travel bike will be fine. (you could get away with less obviously, but chair lifts are built so you don't need a climbing bike).

    I'll let someone else comment on Sol Vista, as I still haven't been there
    Yeah, I would say to get a freeride (slopestyle?) bike at WP and a DH bike at SV. I think there is more to "learn" at WP and (at least in 2010) had better transitional trails. Having a "smaller" bike will let you feel a little more comfortable but it will still have plenty of margin of error. If your going to take a lesson, I think it makes sense to do it there.

    Sol Vista (in my opinion) is a more diverse and fun mountain to ride (again based on 2010). They have trails where you will appreciate a big bike. If you found a taste for air at WP, SV will really let you stretch your wings (or ride around the jumps like I do). SV gets knocked because it doesn't have as large vertical as WP or KS, but I think that is a good thing--you can session the same run multiple times in a row and really get it dialed.

    Edit: I just noticed you aren't going until august. By that time, WP might well have some great new big bike trails and SV will probably have continued to expand their intermediate skill building trails. I love competition! We will be discussing the progress ad nausium here on MTBR so keep reading and finalize your plans as august gets closer.
    Last edited by kristian; 05-17-2011 at 09:48 PM.

  22. #22
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    Any recommendations for places to stay? We will need something with 3-4 beds and a kitchen. I've never been to Winter Park, so I'm not sure if staying slopeside is a big deal or if it's easy enough to get around if you aren't staying right in the resort. Price is definitely a big factor since we are trying to do this trip on the cheap.

  23. #23
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    My guess is that Fraiser will be a bit cheaper, but you should check WP area out as well since most people who rent out a place, do it for the winter.

    WP has a nice bike path and bike trails so you can pedal around to and from wherever you stay. Fraiser may be a bit far for the bikes you'll be renting.
    Down is the new up.

  24. #24
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    Fraser has a hostile, I've never stayed there, but I'm gonna guess it's cheaper then anything else.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by knumbskull
    Does the winter park rental department switch our fork and shock coils for each riders specific weight? I'd like to ride WP atleast once this summer and perhaps not flog my bike, but not if im gonna end up with an over/under sprung bike. I'm a skinny light dude who rides a size large.
    Yes, yes, and yes. Just ask for me!

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