mtb prague

Best bike resort in Czech Republic

I had just found out the jewel of the bike resorts in Czech Republic. Simply called: TRUTNOV TRAILS..

 

 

Stunning view 

Stunning view 

Trutnov bike resort is located two hours away from Prague in the Čížkovy kameny and Jestřebí hory area. Because of the rocky walls the area of Čížkovy kameny is a frequent destination among locals for weekend getaways and it is very similar with one of the most famous places in Czech Republic, Adršpašsko-teplické. Here the reason why Čížkovy kameny is called also the little Adršpach.

The geographical features of the area with undulating landscape and rocky terrain have created a natural network of trails perfectly suited for biking. The single trails are suited for all levels, from green to black, every rider will find something that will push his limits.  

The GREEN trail is an easy uphill path with a few technical places, but there are also a few challenging elements. It is no too long just 3 km but I would say it's highly recommended for warm up. The key points of the "Starting trail" are the rocks similar with the one presented in the photo below. 

Rocks on the green trail.

Rocks on the green trail.

After you finish the green trail you definitely need to continue with the BLUE trail. It is a nice and smooth trail recommended to less experienced riders. You will enjoy around 7 km split up in 2 parts. Besides the entertaining technical section you will have the opportunity to stop of one of the best places for taking unforgettable photos.

mtb trutnov

For more advanced riders...

mtb trutnov

You certainly can have a lot of fun here... :D

You have all the elements, table tops. berms, walls. Everything made to put a big smile on your face.

mtb trutnov

Always something new to try..

trutnov trail
mtb prague

This nice and memorable trail it's ending with a catchy surprise..  ;)

Gain confidence on narrow path

Gain confidence on narrow path

Fast line

Fast line

mtb Czech Republic
Fun everywhere

Fun everywhere

The RED trail it's a different kind of beast. The main feature of this area is the rock garden. This medium difficult trail is suitable for bikers that enjoy technical riding. I personally advise to hit this trail if you feel like it's time to upgrade your skills. You will be surprised how challenging it is. 

mtb prague
trutnov trail
Best view over the bike resort

Best view over the bike resort

best trails in Czech Republic

The BLACK run in Trutnov is considered one of the most difficult trails in Czech Republic. It has around 2 km of perfect balanced technical parts suitable for advanced riders.  There is a section called Whistler....and this says all about this trail ;) 

The famous black run (Image taken from http://trutnovtrails.cz/en/ web site)

The famous black run (Image taken from http://trutnovtrails.cz/en/ web site)

 

With the great help of the local community the bike resort will open a few more interesting trails in 2017. 

Looking forward for the 2017 biking season!!! 

 

I forgot my front wheel home

...this is a true story...

Sunday morning, usual day at SinglTrek Pod Smrkem. I take the bike out from the car and things go wrong.

"Me: I forgot the front wheel home :| "

"The guy from the bike center:......it happens"

"Me: Do you have a wheel that can fit into my fork?"

"The guy fro the bike center:....uhhhh, no, but I have a new Trek Fuel Ex 9.8 27-5+ bike that you can try."

And this is how I end up riding the new wheel size that every mountain biking magazine is praising about: the new  "Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 27.5x2.80" tire.

The bike industry is presenting this new tire size like it is the best thing in the universe, you can't ride without it.

I was expecting big things from this new tire, I believed the adverts, but the reality was a very different story.

Difficult to jump, the bike was nose diving. Even tubeless the tires are too heavy.

Difficult to jump, the bike was nose diving. Even tubeless the tires are too heavy.

mtbprague

I had to pump a lot even for a small jump.

mtbprague

More speed is required for jumping.

mtbprague

Cornering is something very random, you want right, bike is going straight ahead(again inertia)

Cons:

  • Heavy, nose diving all the time when jumping. Bike manufactures will try to make components lighter. the rims for example, just to keep things in  balance. There will be a lot of unreliable products on the market.
  •  Difficult to handle when cornering. The bike feels very numb, and  require a lot more effort to steer.
  •  In mud, the tires are floating.
  •  Big tires means a lot of traction, a lot of pedalling is needed to keep a decent speed. Slower on climbs and more sluggish to accelerate.
  •  Precise pressure adjustment is required. Tire pressure matters more with big tires. The plus size tires feel very bouncy, this affects also how the suspension is working.
  • Big tubeless tires, a lot of sealing is going in, fun to fix a flat tire. Yuck
  • Expensive.

Pro:

  • Easy to go over big rocks. For a beginner that will boost the confidence.
  • A lot of grip.
  • Heavy tires, more stable bike.

I believe this new tire is still at the beginning and more adjustments and improvements needs to be done. Maybe in a while this plus tire will be the standard, but at this moment  2.4'' tire is more than enough, unless you ride on snow or on sand. Everything bigger in size than this is too much.

Nevertheless, we had tons of fun on the trails.

Lessons learned:

  • Try not to  sleep when you put the bike in the car. Count the wheels(and the axle also) :)
  • Don't trust bike magazines reviews about new stuff, go out and try it yourself.

Tips for flying with your bike

Travelling with the bike can be a real hassle, but following some simple basic principles, the bike can survive during the flight. We all know that sometime things can go wrong with the traveler's luggage, bikes don't make an exception. In general, airport workers do pay attention with the bikes (they work in a fishbowl and everyone can see how they are working) .

 If you read the statistics just a very small percentage of the bikes are damaged during the flight, and most of the damages are  occurring during transfer in the airport, sometimes even before the baggage handlers are touching the bike. Incorrect packaging can damage your bike, external pressure can push components and do great damage to the frame.

- Use foam sleeve  to cover your bike

Foam sleeves, very light.

Foam sleeves, very light.

Foam sleeve is very cheap, very light, easy to find in any hardware store.

Preparing the bike, covering all important parts, frame and the fork.

Preparing the bike, covering all important parts, frame and the fork.

- Use hard plastic between the bike parts

Something that I have learned on my first flight with the bike, and I learned it on the hard way, use some hard plastic caps between the handle bar and the frame. Same rule apply for the wheels. For example, the EVOC bike travel bag has hard plastic caps between the wheels and the frame assuring the hubs will not push against the frame.

The pressure from outside caused by the other baggage inside the airplane, or by handling,  can push the components like the handlebar into the frame. Or even worse, the hubs or the disk brakes can dent your frame.

Knee pads  wrapped around the brakes levers, and more foam to protect the bike

Knee pads  wrapped around the brakes levers, and more foam to protect the bike

Some people like to wrap the bike in bubble wrap, but it's heavy and it can't be used many times.

- Use a proper travel bike bag

I see a lot of riders using cardboard boxes when they travel. I think cardboard offers zero protection, and having the bike intact at the end of the flight it's just a matter of pure luck. Also, if the box will stay outside during the airport handling, and it's raining, the box will melt. Good luck with that :)

When I'm travelling I use two boxes, a EVOC bag and a Brand-X Eva Pod, with their advantages and disadvantages.

EVOC bag is very easy to use, easy to move around, wheels are stable, it can be folded, but not 100% convinced it will protect the bike, it's just a soft bag.

The Eva pod, hard to put the bike in, not stable to move around, wheels are not fixed inside (there is an option to use an axle to lock the wheels, but you will damage others bags, or the axle will push into the bike), but the semi rigid case will protect your bike no matter what.

Evoc bike bag.

Evoc bike bag.

If you can afford a 6k $ bike, buy a proper travel bag.

- Helmet, backpack and small things

All my stuff I need for the trip are in the bike bag. I put the clothes around the frame for protection. The backpack is also used for some protection. Try to put the heavy stuff at the bottom of the case, for some stability. Be sure nothing is moving around and everything is fixed properly. In case the bag's zippers are failing, the content of the bag will not go all over the place.

- Book your bike into the flight

Notify the flight company that you are travelling with your bike. Let them know about it in advance, in many cases you have to pay extra for the bike. Very important, don't forget to specify the size and the weight of the bag.  Give them a heads-up, you would like to get your bike at the arrivals in the same time with you. Waiting for a few days to get your bike could ruin for good your trip.

- Be early in the airport

If you are travelling with your bike, the two hours rule doesn't apply to you.

It will take time to move around, to find airport carriages (sometimes you have to pay for it), and after you check in, you will have to take the bike  to oversize baggage on the other side of the airport and go again to the check-in and claim your ticket. And yes, and a short visit to the airline company office to pay for the bike.

- Transfer from/to airport

Another thing that I learned on the hard way, if you book a transfer from/to airport, notify the transfer company that you are travelling  with  big bag.

Book the transfer in advance, calling a taxi two hours prior your flight it's a very bad idea. 

Bike bags don't fit  well in small cars. Or just ask for a van.

- Be nice with the check-in staff

No matter what is the airport policy regarding bikes, the check-in staff will decide how this policy is applied. Just be nice, no point getting angry with the check-in staff.

Don't fight with them, if they made an error  and they overcharged you for the bike call the info-line and you will get a refund later.

- Insurance insurance insurance

Buy insurance for your bike, just in case, you never know. In most cases it will not cover the value of your bike, but anything is better than nothing, right?

I'm flying everywhere with my bike for a few years already, and so far my bike have survived, in part because in some extend the airport baggage handlers do care, in part that I take care when I pack the bikes in the bags.

There are marks of abuse on the bags, they are scratched badly, a small hole in the EVA Pod, but and the end as long the bike is protected, the bike bag did it's job :)

Pack the bike properly, and your trip will be fun.

P.S: don't forget your axles home ;)

GT

Our fleet of GT bikes:

Designed for cross country trails, light and easy to handle. It's the perfect bike to take you to Karlstejn castle.

GT Sensor AL PRO

For demanding trails where big wheels and big suspension are a must, this beast will make you smile.

GT SENSOR AL COMP

For the trails in the Prague's natural parks, this full suspension bike will do just fine.