Top Tips for Mountainbike Holidays in Switzerland


Mountainbike holidays in Switzerland: Everything you need to know 

Switzerland, with its majestic Alps and diverse landscapes, is a paradise for mountain bikers. Whether you are an experienced biker or a beginner on the trails, the country offers countless opportunities for unforgettable adventures on two wheels. Here are some important things to know when planning your mountain biking holiday in Switzerland.

1. Planning and Preparation

Good planning is key to a successful mountain biking holiday. Naturally, every destination wants to present itself as family-friendly and with the best trails. But don’t believe everything you see or read. Gather information about the place yourself, for example, using Google reviews and social media. If you can’t find any videos or pictures of the area or the trails, it is probably not very special. Don’t trust every tour description either. Look at the map digitally and plan the same tour yourself. Use YouTube in particular, if possible.

2. Accommodation and Infrastructure

Switzerland offers a variety of biker-friendly accommodations, from simple mountain huts to luxurious hotels. Many regions have specialized mountain bike hotels that provide services like bike washing, workshops, and guided tours.

When choosing accommodation, pay attention to the following points:

– Location: Especially important if you have children, being centrally located is crucial.
– Arrival and Departure: Is there parking available? Do you need a car to get there or is it accessible by train?
– Cancellation Policy: What are the conditions? Pay attention to the details.
– Facilities: What do you need in the accommodation or hotel, e.g., to charge your e-bike?

3. Which Bike to rent?

Depending on the type of mountain biking and the conditions of the trails, choosing the right bike can be crucial:

– Hardtail: Ideal for simple tours on flat terrain. It’s the most affordable option and perfect for beginners.
– Full-Suspension (Fully): Needed for single trails or bike parks. Pay attention to wheel size, brakes, and suspension travel.
– E-Bike Hardtail: Sufficient for tours on roads or forest paths. Consider the battery size (range) and whether the battery is removable.
– E-Bike Fully: For single trails with the e-bike. We recommend a bike with at least a 650 W battery, very good brakes, and a suspension travel of at least 160 mm at the front and 150 mm at the rear. Ensure the battery is not permanently installed.
– Downhill Bike: Designed specifically for descents and bike parks. It offers maximum suspension and stability at high speeds.

Why an E-Bike?

The ascents in the mountains are often long and steep. With an e-bike, you can enjoy the scenery better and travel further. With children, you can tow them with a suitable towing aid (only allowed on roads and paths where cars are prohibited).

4. Best Travel Time

The best time to travel to mountain regions is from July to early October. In July, you can still encounter snow above 2000 meters. Additionally, most cable cars only open their full range of services in July.

5. The Right Equipment

The right equipment is crucial and depends on your needs. Generally, we recommend an e-bike for mountain tours. Whether you are on trails or roads doesn’t matter.

6. Check Your Bike at Home

Well-maintained equipment is crucial for safe and enjoyable mountain bike tours. Ensure that your mountain bike is in perfect condition and that you have the necessary spare parts and tools with you. A bike check before the holiday is especially important:

– Replace brake pads.
– Check brake discs for wear and damage.
– Inspect tire treads for sufficient grip.
– Check the chain for wear; you might need a new one.
– Inspect the shock absorbers, fork, and dropper post; a service might be required.
– Tighten all screws to avoid loose parts.
– Adjust the gears correctly.
– For e-bikes: Check the battery condition and make sure you know how to remove the battery (not for transport). Check the health of the charger and plugs; you might need an adapter plug abroad.
– Clean your bike thoroughly before your holiday to spot any potential problems.

For single trail riders and bike park enthusiasts, we recommend bringing bike-specific spare parts:

– Derailleur hanger
– Rear derailleur
– Spare tires
– Brake pads
– Chainring

Rental bikes and multi-day tours: If renting a bike and planning a multi-day tour, ask for a chain lock, spare tube with appropriate tools, and a derailleur hanger. Even if you can’t perform the repair yourself, the guide might be able to fix the bike.

7. Payment

It’s advisable to always carry enough cash. Not all places in the mountains accept card payments. Without internet, card payments are not possible.

8. Warning Signs and Trail Closures

In Switzerland, personal responsibility is highly valued. Warning signs are not posted for minor issues. Pay attention to these signs. For example, a sign warning of a fall hazard means a possible fatal fall. Trails are closed for a good reason. For specific information about a trail, call the local municipality or tourist office.

Mountain bike holidays in Switzerland promise unforgettable experiences in breathtaking landscapes. With the right preparation, equipment, and consideration for the environment and others, nothing stands in the way of a successful adventure. Pack your bike and discover the diverse trails of the Swiss Alps!