Orange Alpine 160 | Ben Moore’s Megavalanche Bike

July 4th, 2016

By Andrew Dodd in Bikes,Features

Orange Alpine 160 | Ben Moore’s Megavalanche Bike

Although there is plenty of rough riding to be had in the UK, taking your bike to the Alps is a whole different game. The steeper terrain and longer descents can all wreak havoc on your pride and joy.

Although we recently ran a feature on protecting your MTB in the mountains – mountain-proof your mountain bike  – racing is a different game and you need to maximise the chance of your bike getting to the end of the event.

Especially at events like the Megavalanche, which is probably the most brutal bike event on earth.  Our mate Ben Moore is out in Alp d’Huez now, preparing for the race this coming weekend.

We check out his Orange Alpine 160, with a few mods just for the event…

Orange Alpine 160

Ben Moore’s Orange Alpine 160 is the perfect weapon for tackling big mountain riding. It’s kind of in the name…

When hammering mountain descents, things come loose on your bike that have never come loose before. If in doubt – get the thread lock out. Genuinely, do all the bolts you don’t consider – rear mech hanger; chainring bolts; pivot bolts etc

Ben is sponsored by TF Tuned Shox, who gave his bike a full suspension over haul before heading out to France for the Mega. He runs Rockshox front and rear – which have had the full TF treatment. To find out more about what Tf Tuned can do check out feature out when Adam went to have his bike tuned

Orange Alpine 160

TF Tuned are shock tuning specialists that offer basic servicing through to custom tuning. They’re one of the oldest suspension servicing teams in the UK – and possibly the most friendly!

There are lots of theories about what tyre set up is best for the Megavalanche. Some run out and out DH tyres; some run DH inner tubes inside a tubeless set up – and most recently is the ProCore system by Schwalbe.

Ben is running an Easton ARC 30 rim out back – a seriously burly rim with loads of tyre support – and a ProCore set up. This combined with a tough Schwalbe Magic Mary tyre will hopefully give him the best chance of not picking up a puncture – and at least a second chance before having to stop and make a repair.

Although rock strikes are inevitable at the Megavalanche, Ben didn’t want to weigh his Orange Alpine 160 down unnecessarily with the tyre on the down tube trick, so is just running strips of 3M Rubber Mastic tape in prime areas. It’s surprisingly good at absorbing impacts and keeps away paint chips.

Orange Alpine 160

The Orange Alpine 160 has a lot of flat surfaces that attract flying rocks – Ben has opted for a simple strip of 3M rubber tape to keep the worst strikes at bay. The sound is also dampened – which although a minor point does help you to not be distracted by those flying rocks clanging on frame tubes.

Rubber crank boots and a strip of 3M rubber on the underside of Ben’s leading crank also help silence things – and hopefully keep him concentrating on the race at hand.

When Ben was at TF Tuned Shox, they also clipped his cables down to the minimum needed – although longer cables can be a safe option if your bars spin when you crash, at the Mega you ride in close proximity to other riders. When someone goes down they’re never alone – and you don’t want another rider pulling your cables out in a crash as this is the sort of thing that happens…

Orange Alpine 160

Keeping your control cables neat and tidy is a good idea for any race scenario – especially the Megavalanche where crashes can easily rip brake lines out.

Orange Alpine 160

Ben uses Uberbike Radiator disc rotors on his Orange Alpine 160, which have heat dissipating Alloy fins. Event like the Mega mean incredibly long sections on the brakes – so anything that can help keep brake temperature down will help the braking power stay consistent.

Orange Alpine 160

Although putting a small saddle bag might seem a bit weird to some, Ben’s race run at the Mega is all about getting down the mountain as fast as possible. He won’t be using a riding pack, and having CO2 cartridges and tyre plugs at hand on the bike is a great solution for race day. No removing a riding bag and trying to find what he needs – just instant access to the essentials.

This fi’zi:k saddlebag is tiny, and when tightened up is barely noticeable on the bike and doesn’t get anywhere near the rear tyre under compression. It’s just enough for 2x CO2 cartridges, the adaptor and some pre-loaded tyre plugs. All about keeping the bike rolling!

Orange Alpine 160

Ben’s running an e13 11 speed cassette on his Orange Alpine 160 with it’s crazy 9 – 44 range. Although the upper 44 won’t get much use at the Mega, Ben is hoping the 9 tooth might come in handy for cranking further down the course.

Orange Alpine 160

One of the most common mechanicals at events like the Mega is your mech hanger snapping off – so Ben has a spare taped to his frame ready for use.

Orange Alpine 160

Although Ben is running tubeless with ProCore, he’s also carrying a spare tube taped to the bike. For an event like the Mega, you really don’t want to be stranded up on the course with a monster walk back to town.

Keep your eyes out for plenty of Megavalanche action coming up on Factory Jackson – we’ll be sharing the best video clips for the event, and hopefully some of Ben’s!


 

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