New Zealand Riding/Riders/Rides, and General Discussion and etc

PB Forum :: Australia / New-Zealand
New Zealand Riding/Riders/Rides, and General Discussion and etc
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Posted: Apr 19, 2022 at 10:31 Quote
Hi all . Looking for some advice on what type of bike locals feel is best for the riding in the north island around Rotorua/taupo etc .
I'm moving to New zealand at the end of the year from Scotland and am thinking of getting a new bike here to bring with me . Currently ride a cotic flare max which is 140 front 130 rear which I use for for everything from racing enduro , tamer trail rides and towing my kids up to the top of blue trails .
I fancy getting something with a bit more travel anyway , got my eye on a transition sentinel, but was just wondering if there is a style of bike that rotorua locals tend to go for ?

Posted: Apr 19, 2022 at 11:16 Quote
moonsaballoon wrote:
Hi all . Looking for some advice on what type of bike locals feel is best for the riding in the north island around Rotorua/taupo etc .
I'm moving to New zealand at the end of the year from Scotland and am thinking of getting a new bike here to bring with me . Currently ride a cotic flare max which is 140 front 130 rear which I use for for everything from racing enduro , tamer trail rides and towing my kids up to the top of blue trails .
I fancy getting something with a bit more travel anyway , got my eye on a transition sentinel, but was just wondering if there is a style of bike that rotorua locals tend to go for ?

A 140/130 is going to be just fine in the heavy trafficked Rotorua and Taupo trail systems...80% of trails these days are quite smoothed out from the vast amount of wheels going over them (if you discard braking bumps). That said, there is still plenty of chunk and technical riding available where you may feel more comfortable on something with longer legs. While a lot of brands are heading to 170mm as a "standard" amount of travel, 150 or 160mm travel is more than adequate for Vegas and Taupo.

Also depends if your intent is to shuttle everywhere. Taupo is relatively flat and there are no shuttles. I would think that their single longest climb is perhaps 100m vert? Rotovegas however easily has 400m+ vert subject to the route you decide to take, and as such, a big heavy bike can become a bit loathsome climbing up...but then they do have shuttles available from two sides of the forest.

I think you would enjoy a Sentinel more at Rotorua than at Taupo. But then you'd certainly enjoy the Sentinel once you travel a little further afield, such as Wellington, Nelson, Craigieburn, Queenstown etc.

I don't know what the Sentinel costs in the UK, but here they are around $11k NZD - so about GBP 5500. If you can get cheaper than that and ship it out, then that would be a great option for you, and save you some coin Smile

There is such a spectrum of bikes ridden in Rotorua that I doubt there is a "style" specific to Vegas. The network of trails is diverse, from Hundred Acre Wood with it's flat trail and snaking turns, to something like Frankenfurter with it's steep chutes and tight hairpins. Rotovegas has nudging around 200km of trails (subject to tree felling at the time) - that's a lot of riding.

Perhaps the most common sight would be something like a Trek Remedy, but with Trek and Giant's dominance at the local bike shops of NZ, that is hardly surprising.

Posted: Apr 20, 2022 at 1:12 Quote
Thanks for the info . I’ve seen videos of Rotorua and the trails look really well made and relatively smooth , although everything always does on videos , which made me wonder if people didn’t bother with long travel bikes especially with the lack of rocks , is there really hardly any rocks ? Sentinels are meant to be pretty good all rounders so could be a good choice .There is a pretty good saving on the bike by buying here but not as much as a couple of years ago , brexit and COVID stopped that .
At some point I would hope to ride all over NZ but Rotovegas is where I’ll be able to get to for a ride whilst the kids are at school .
I’ve spent hours researching the mountain biking and about 2 minutes looking at jobs Big Grin my wife is from NZ and keeps telling me New Zealand is just like Scotland but with better weather so I’m looking forward to it .

Posted: Apr 20, 2022 at 14:13 Quote
Handynzl nailed it.

My sweeping generalisation of riding conditions in New Zealand is that you'll find more elevation, gradient and terrain chunkiness the further south you go. That's not to say you won't find good stuff up north, it's just that there's more down south.

For Rotorua, you can easily get away with a shorter travel bike (140-150mm), but there's still good riding for a bigger (150-165mm) bike if you're someone that prioritises trails that are steeper and more techy and want the extra travel. Rotorua has a pretty decent network of grade 5 trails, and there's a bunch of non-mapped ones that you'd eventually get to know too. Rocks aren't that common here, it's more volcanic soil - super grippy when there's a bit of moisture too. There's a couple of trails that are rocky if you know where to look, but the majority of trails don't have much if any rocks to them.

There's lots of potential for Taupō at Craters of the Moon, but apart from a couple of more progressive trails, you could get away with 120-130mm. But again, depends on what you want to prioritise. You could easily have a big bike there, and just commit to driving towards Rotorua and further afield on weekends to get the best out of it.

I live up around Rotorua now and actually have a Sentinel.. there's plenty of good stuff for it around here!

Posted: Apr 23, 2022 at 0:08 Quote
handynzl wrote:
moonsaballoon wrote:
Hi all . Looking for some advice on what type of bike locals feel is best for the riding in the north island around Rotorua/taupo etc .
I'm moving to New zealand at the end of the year from Scotland and am thinking of getting a new bike here to bring with me . Currently ride a cotic flare max which is 140 front 130 rear which I use for for everything from racing enduro , tamer trail rides and towing my kids up to the top of blue trails .
I fancy getting something with a bit more travel anyway , got my eye on a transition sentinel, but was just wondering if there is a style of bike that rotorua locals tend to go for ?

A 140/130 is going to be just fine in the heavy trafficked Rotorua and Taupo trail systems...80% of trails these days are quite smoothed out from the vast amount of wheels going over them (if you discard braking bumps). That said, there is still plenty of chunk and technical riding available where you may feel more comfortable on something with longer legs. While a lot of brands are heading to 170mm as a "standard" amount of travel, 150 or 160mm travel is more than adequate for Vegas and Taupo.

Also depends if your intent is to shuttle everywhere. Taupo is relatively flat and there are no shuttles. I would think that their single longest climb is perhaps 100m vert? Rotovegas however easily has 400m+ vert subject to the route you decide to take, and as such, a big heavy bike can become a bit loathsome climbing up...but then they do have shuttles available from two sides of the forest.

I think you would enjoy a Sentinel more at Rotorua than at Taupo. But then you'd certainly enjoy the Sentinel once you travel a little further afield, such as Wellington, Nelson, Craigieburn, Queenstown etc.



I don't know what the Sentinel costs in the UK, but here they are around $11k NZD - so about GBP 5500. If you can get cheaper than that and ship it out, then that would be a great option for you, and save you some coin Smile

There is such a spectrum of bikes ridden in Rotorua that I doubt there is a "style" specific to Vegas. The network of trails is diverse, from Hundred Acre Wood with it's flat trail and snaking turns, to something like Frankenfurter with it's steep chutes and tight hairpins. Rotovegas has nudging around 200km of trails (subject to tree felling at the time) - that's a lot of riding.

Perhaps the most common sight would be something like a Trek Remedy, but with Trek and Giant's dominance at the local bike shops of NZ, that is hardly surprising.


Nah not so much Remedy's. More like Slash's and whatever model Commencal is pretty much what I come across.

Posted: May 2, 2022 at 21:53 Quote
The market is tight right now and there is limited choices. Likely COVID lockdown boom related. I was looking for 2nd hand disk brakes the other day on trademe.co.nz (favourite place to buy n sell) and was surprised how little choice there was. So take care with expectations to pick up something near new.

Some shops have limited stocks and yet others are good. Torpedo7.co.nz had a sale on ‘22 Slash 9.8 XT the other day which surprised me considering they ran out of bikes last year. Go figure.

There are lots of spares in shops so we aren’t desperate for parts here.

Heaps of folks are riding 150-165mm bikes as the modern geo peddles quite well, lots on 140mm as well.

Posted: May 20, 2022 at 5:02 Quote
Hey everyone, I'm thinking of heading to NZ this summer to spend a few months riding bikes and climbing mountains. I won't have a car or anything so I'm wondering what place people think would be best for a home base. Ideally a place with a ton of trails that are easily accessible from town. Thanks!

Posted: May 20, 2022 at 7:31 Quote
If you're looking for easily accessible trails and mountains to climb then Queenstown fits the bill, but accommodation there can be eye wateringly expensive. Probably cheaper to buy/hire a car and base yourself somewhere more affordable, maybe in the Nelson area, loads of trails close to town and mountains a relatively short drive away. Christchurch also has good riding near town and mountains not too far away.

Posted: May 21, 2022 at 2:28 Quote
The most suitable towns for that from north to south would be;
Rotorua
Wellington
Nelson
Queenstown/Wanaka

Posted: May 26, 2022 at 17:44 Quote
Thanks fellas, I appreciate the info. NZ seems to be so rich in trails and other good things it was hard to know where to even start.

Posted: Jun 6, 2022 at 13:14 Quote
mudcycles wrote:
The most suitable towns for that from north to south would be;
Rotorua
Wellington
Nelson
Queenstown/Wanaka

What's the status on Chch these days? I went to uni there for a semester and it was such a good setup with the trail network in by Flying Nun. I think it was 2013. I liked how you could take a public bus to that church and then bike the fire road. The guy who was doing the rock work for flying nun was regularly working on the trail when I was riding. Cool guy. Really great city for biking (at least when I was there). I would have thought it would make this list.

Posted: Jun 14, 2022 at 1:13 Quote
VTwintips wrote:
mudcycles wrote:
The most suitable towns for that from north to south would be;
Rotorua
Wellington
Nelson
Queenstown/Wanaka

What's the status on Chch these days? I went to uni there for a semester and it was such a good setup with the trail network in by Flying Nun. I think it was 2013. I liked how you could take a public bus to that church and then bike the fire road. The guy who was doing the rock work for flying nun was regularly working on the trail when I was riding. Cool guy. Really great city for biking (at least when I was there). I would have thought it would make this list.

Christchurch is good. Flying nun is a pretty popular track and access has been improved with the opening of the adventure park below. If you are not familiar with the Christchurch Adventure Park (CAP), it was opened end of 2016 and is a chairlift assist bike park which provided great access to the original trails in the area and also added more. It was almost like a mini Whistler of sorts. Unfortunately there was a wildfire 8 weeks after the opening and 80% of the pine trees covering the mountain where the park was located burnt down. The chairlift and base building got away unscathed luckily and after logging the burnt trees, they rebuilt some of the tracks. Unfortunately due to no tree cover, they quickly degraded due to being to exposed to the weather. The remaining area that still had tree cover is still being developed to this day and is quite good and makes the park worthwhile and definitely adds Christchurch to the map in NZ.

Other than CAP, there is other riding in the area however it seems to be either poorly maintained or quite confusing to ride, I’m specifically referring to Victoria Park which is right next to the CAP. There are many “cut” lines that shorten tracks or link one track to another and riding there for the first time can be quite frustrating as you think you know where you are heading and next minute you are lost.

There is also riding on the greater port hills area toward the sea but limited options.

Further afield there is Mt Hutt which is a ski field that has a few trails next to the access road. These can be shuttled.

IMO, In comparison to those in the list above, I don’t think Christchurch would quite make the cut. There are good trails yes but fewer and far between. I haven’t ridden everywhere as different riding zones are a good distance from on another. Take that with a grain of salt though as I live in Nelson and we are very spoilt with the variety we have available to us all in close proximity and with massive elevation gains if your feeling fit.

Posted: Jun 14, 2022 at 2:38 Quote
CAP's lift access trails are not worth the price of admission. Theres been alot of dodgy shuttling going on recently which i dont blame people... in comparison to say even cadrona that only has half the amount of trails its worth the drive the popular trails at cardona are groomed often vs CAP only once every 2 years, Maintainance over new trails needs to be a key point for CAP

Posted: Jun 14, 2022 at 13:03 Quote
Personally I’d set up base in Wanaka. A little cheaper (only a little but every bit helps) than Q’town but just as well located. HEAPS of great riding nearby (Sticky Forrest) plus 2 bike parks close, Glendhu & Cardrona (Cardrona is my fav & very underrated). Also short trips to Alexandra or Q’town for even more riding!

Posted: Jun 14, 2022 at 13:37 Quote
I would agree with the price of CAP. Trail maintenance isn't ideal but rideable. I think they should still focus on new trails but also make maintenance a big priority too.

Cadrona is very good indeed. The only downside is cost (passes and gas/travel up the mountain) and its only open during summer.

Wanaka is good however I did hear Sticky Forest may get closed in the future due to the new subdivisions around extending into it. That would be a real shame if that happened as its so close to town and its free.

Call me biased but id suggest Nelson. All our trails are free to access and if you want to scratch the bikepark itch, go to the Gorge. Riding here is also year round and id suggest, even better in winter. Were also in the middle of the country so you can go north or south to get good riding


 
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