How to prepare your mountain bike trip when you are a beginner


Discover the Portes du Soleil area, the largest mountain biking area

Between varied slopes and alpine peaks, the Portes du Soleil area is the largest mountain biking area in Europe, making Morzine the perfect place to spend a mountain holiday in summer and practice this sport. Morzine is ideally located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil area. This allows mountain bikers to quickly reach the slopes of Les Gets or Avoriaz.
The Portes du Soleil connects 12 French and Swiss mountain biking stations with over 600km of slopes and 21 ski lifts. The area offers MTB enthusiasts a true mountain biking culture.
The “mountain biking culture” is everywhere in Morzine and in the Portes du Soleil area. You will find a multitude of MTB schools, instructors, equipment rental and sales shops, not to mention a very popular  “after mountain bike” night life amongst mountain bikers.
  • How to prepare your mountain bike trip when you are a beginner - © Jamie Nicoll Action Shots

The different disciplines of mountain biking

If you are a beginner in mountain biking, you have to understand that the discipline is made up of several sub-categories. There is something for everyone and the main disciplines are:
- Downhill mountain biking. This consists of descending a track as quickly as possible, as the name suggests.
- Free ride also consists of going down a track, but with either natural or artificial obstacles in your path.
- Enduro consists of both descents and climbs. You can think of it as a kind of hike, but on a bike.
- Cross-country, for its part, relies on the particular physical and technical abilities of the mountain biker.
- Electric mountain bike is based on the same principle as the descent, but it is easier as there is assistance.
So, which of these disciplines are you interested in? Note that, in any case, you can practice them all in the Morzine and Portes du Soleil mountain bike area,
  • How to prepare your mountain bike trip when you are a beginner - © Keno Derleyn

Safe ride in the Portes du Soleil area

All MTB shop professionals in Morzine, and in the rest of the Portes du Soleil, will know how to advise you on the most suitable equipment and which best suits your needs, depending on your level and the discipline you wish to practice.
Usually, it is more practical to rent your bike directly on site. Otherwise, it can quickly become bulky and generate additional costs when traveling.
You'll have options for half-day, full-day or weekly rentals. Renting a bike is as easy as renting skis.

Do not hesitate to ride with a qualified instructor

On the same basis as for skiing, mountain biking trails are categorized from green to black, depending on their degree of difficulty.
For beginner mountain biking, the trails are marked in green. Shapers created them with a slight level of difficulty and smoother slopes, so you can gain confidence and work on your technique. Almost everyone knows how to ride a bicycle, but not necessarily mountain biking - and even less, mountain biking in the mountains. This is why we strongly advise you to use a mountain bike instructor for lessons or simply for a supervised ride. This will prevent any disappointment and will allow you to acquire the basics to boost your confidence on your bike.
For the most experienced mountain bikers, blue, red and black slopes are there for you. They are stiffer and more technical and require a more controlled technique. You will just love it!
We wish you happy summer holidays in the mountains and great mountain biking !