Frequently asked questions
What type of mountain bike trails will I ride?
Most of the riding is done on single track mountain bike trails into remote country across lands managed by the Department of Conservation. A typical ride might cover 30km (20 miles) over 3 hours with 1,000m (3,000ft) of climbing.
We would like you to enjoy the mountain biking, and not feel pushed beyond your limits nor held back. Whilst we are targeting advanced riders we recognise that a divergence in ability and fitness is likely. For that reason many of our New Zealand mountain bike trails are selected where they provide more or less demanding options for individuals.
For riders that like gravity-induced riding, some areas we visit have bike parks and trails that can be shuttled. We encourage and help customers to explore these trails themselves, including downhill bike and protective gear rental if possible.
What mountain bike skills do I need?
Our New Zealand mountain bike tours have been designed and catered for the intermediate to advanced MTBer. Skill levels vary by tour - you can self assess against our Skills Guide. There are move advanced trails at many of the places we visit for the more capable rider.
How fit do I need to be?
The fitter you are the more you will enjoy a JustMTB tour. If you are riding 2-3 times per week you will be comfortable with our schedule. We have easy days and recovery rides. Certain days you will be challenged physically and mentally as you conquer big climbs with euphoric descents. What goes up must come down. While we take all the gravity assist we can, we know those descents must be earned as well. Our guides will assist in getting you to the best spots.
How do I get to New Zealand?
For our North American customers, Air New Zealand is the only non-stop carrier to New Zealand. Flights depart daily from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Houston through to Auckland. United and American Airlines are launching less frequent direct services starting July 2016. Flights are typically 11-14 hours long depending on the jetstream. Our tours are designed so that you can depart the US on a Saturday night and arrive Monday (cross the dateline) for the tour start. For your return trip you’ll land in the US earlier than in the day than when you departed. Contact us if you’d like assistance with booking your travel.
For people coming from other countries, there are many other flight options available. If you’re travelling with your bike, we suggest that you first find out which airlines are bike friendly. Contact us if you’d like some advice or to confirm details.
Will an airline take my bike?
Unlike most other airlines Air New Zealand accepts a bike as a standard baggage item up to 23kg (50lb) in weight and packaged correctly. Click here for futher details.
How do I pack my bike?
You can buy a purpose build travel case or bag for your bike. Careful though. A sturdy case can be heavy and will often put you near or over the weight limit. Whereas a simple cloth can often provide insufficient protection for air travel.
We frequently travel with our bikes packed into a cardboard bike box that you should be able to source from your local bike shop. They are light enabling you to stuff other MTB equipment in them, come in various sizes (29er boxes are bigger), and are relatively cheap/replaceable. Packing your bike can take 15-30 minutes. Ask your local bike shop or what our instructional video (coming soon), and our guides will provide assistance to you when in New Zealand.
Recently we’ve been using the Jetpack bike travel case from biknd. We find this case provides a very good balance between weight and protection, in a much more convenient system to package a bike and handle through the airport. See our instructional video (coming soon) to see why we love this case.
What weather should I expect in New Zealand?
New Zealand is situated between two oceans and as such has a mild or temperate climate, lacking the extreme temperatures of many other countries. Summertime maximums are generally about 25 C (77 F) and overnight lows about 15 C (59F). The oceans and mountainous terrain we encounter give rise to changeable weather from hot valleys to near freezing mountain passes. See suggested equipment for appropriate clothing.
What is the tipping policy in New Zealand?
People are not obliged to tip in New Zealand, no matter the service provided. Tipping for good service is at the discretion of the customer and greatly appreciated.
Can I drive in New Zealand?
We will do all the driving for you while on tour with us in New Zealand. If for any reason you do decide to drive then be aware that in New Zealand we drive on the left-hand side of the road. Here is a good resource if you intend driving whislt visiting New Zealand http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/driving-in-new-zealand/.
What currency do I need?
The New Zealand Dollar is a freely available currency and our banking system is progressively becoming cashless. Whilst banks, ATMS and currency exchanges are available for you to withdraw cash, most New Zealand vendors accept major credit and ATM cards using a PIN based point-of-sale system. We suggest you bring obtain a 4-digit PIN for your cards.
There are many online currency converters for you to check the value of your local currency in New Zealand dollars. Here is a converter provider by Tourism New Zealand http://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/new-zealand-currency/.
Will my cellphone work in New Zealand & can I access the internet?
Your GSM enabled phone should work here in New Zealand on one of our three major carriers - Telecom, Vodafone or 2 Degrees. The networks are generally provide 3G coverage and 4G in the city centers. International roaming (both calling and data) can be expensive and we suggest with you check with your carrier before travelling. Rental phones and temporary local SIM cards are available for rent at Auckland Airport.
We intend providing a cellular Wifi hub for our customers use while travelling. Many of the locations we visit are remote and often have little to no cellular coverage.
What type of transport can I expect?
We want you to be comfortable so most often we’ll tour by Van - music, a/c and wifi connection (see Cell Phones and Internet). Our guides are all suitably licensed and endorsed to carry passengers. In order to maintain a healthy environment in the van we provide individual tote trays in the bike trailer for you to keep sweaty mountain bike clothes, gloves, shoes, helmets, etc.
How is my bike transported on tour?
Our fully enclosed bike trailers provide security and protection from the elements for your bike. The trailers provide quick and easy access to load and unload bikes, as well as providing a good base from which to relax post-ride. Personal tote boxes are provided for you to store your personal MTB gear. A mobile workshop, small fridge and BBQ top it off.
We want you to experience what New Zealand is all about. The selection of lodges, B&B’s, farm stays and apartments we stay at are selected for their unique location and proximity to the trails we ride. All accommodation is comfortable and clean to provide you a good nights sleep ready for the next days adventures. Most of the rooms are twin share with others of your riding group.
For those adventurers that overnight on a trail, we stay in an inviting Department of Conservation backcountry hut with heating, cooking facilities, bed and mattress. We’ll carry in sleeping bags and limited food on panniers to see us through until the next day.
We understand that many people would like the privacy of their own room. A single supplement can be arranged for many of our stays, depending on the location of the accommodation and tour size. The tarrif for single supplement is 15% of our standard tour price. Contact us and we will endeavour to satisfy your needs.
What do you feed me during the day?
We provide all breakfasts and lunches, and keep ample water, post-ride snacks and cold beers on hand. There are lots of personal preferences when it comes to on-bike nutrition and cafe stops, so we leave this to you and can help find particular products if need be.
Is dinner included?
Back at your stay each night your guides will be busy preparing for the next days activities, including mechanical repairs and services of your bikes where required. Therefore we’ll eat out most nights and we ask that you cover this expense yourself. We will provide some meals where suitable facilities and time exist, or our location precludes us from finding a suitable place to eat.
How will I fare with my special dietary requirements?
New Zealand generally has a good selection of vegetarian and GF foods, although the selection is much more limited in remote and rural areas. We will cater for special dietary requests if you alert us well in advance.
How safe are the activities?
We are riding in back country locations, often in remote regions there are limited evacuation options available and there are always risks and hazards on the trails that we ride. Our guides will assist and warn of any higher risk spots and suggest the best way through. it is up to you to ride within your limits, to understand your level of competency and ride responsibly.
Is medical help available?
All our guides have first aid qualifications similar to Wilderness First Responder. They also carry communication equipment appropriate for the terrain we travel. If a serious injury is suspected they will arrange evac at the cost of the participant.
A well maintained and safe bike is the Participants responsibility. Our guides are mechanically competent and will assist to make sure your bike is running safely.
Eating well and being well hydrated will help you stay on your game. Alcohol and drugs are not permitted while riding.
Do I need international medical insurance?
Personal medical travel insurance is mandatory. We will ask for proof of coverage before embarking on our rides. Contact us for recommendations and help to arrange your Insurance cover.
What bike should I bring?
The perfect bike for this trip is a 5-inch all-mountain dual suspension with disk brakes. All participants are required to have their bikes in excellent working order before the trip begins. We will send you a detailed list of required equipment and clothing before departure. High-performance rentals are available. Please inquire with us.
Can I rent a bike?
We can arrange a rental bike for you. We suggest you contact us well in advance of your travels so that we can find an appropriate model and size.
Are spare parts readily available?
Your maximum riding enjoyment is our purpose, and mechanical breakages can cause unintended heartache. We try to be ready for every reasonable expected eventuality and will carry generic spares such as tubes, tires (26-29), sealant, chain links, and hardware. There are so many unique parts though and don’t assume you can order them for delivery next day. Our guides have the mechanical knowledge in order to get you back off the trail.
You must bring a spare derailleur hanger.
You must carry a spare tube, pump/CO2, tire repair kit and a multitool at all times.
What clothing do I bring?
Bring at least two changes of clothes to MTB in. Your guides will help with laundry at almost every location as we know how manky riding gear smells.
What's included in the price?
Breakfast, Lunch, and some snacks and beverages
Transport from airport pickup to airport dropoff
Heli-bike (South Island tour)
Boat connection (North Island tour)
What's not included in the price?
Optional activities such as cultural shows, bike park gondola tickets, bungy jumps...
Bikes and equipment
Bike parts and delivery fees (if required)
How do I secure a price?
Contact us to enquire about which tour and date is best for you. Once we’ve agreed an appropriate tour a 20% deposit is required to secure your place. This deposit is refundable (less any transaction fees) up until 60 days before tour departure date.
Full payment is due 30 days prior to tour departure date.
We do not provide refunds if you were to cancel your tour after the time limits stated above. Travel insurance is suggested to protect against a loss for many unforeseen circumstances such as a death in the family, illness or travel disruption.
If you do cancel your tour place within 30 days of the tour departure date, you can credit 75% towards another tour in the current season.
How do I pay?
We accept credit card payments via Payment Express, cheques, and bank transfers. Let us know your preferred method of payment and we can forward you the appropriate details.
We do not sell, trade, or rent your personal data to any unaffiliated third parties your personally identifiable information collected via our Services. We do use the anonymous data and the personally identifiable information collected through our Services for statistical purposes and for improving the Services, as well as for our marketing purposes, as part of our responses to your questions or requests for information and potentially when sending commercial emails to you. We contract with other companies to provide certain services. We provide these companies with only the information they need to perform their services and work closely with them to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected.