What bike to bring to BC, Canada for an XC boy?

Hello TR community! I’m feeling torn. I’m going to BC for a 2 and 1/2 week vacation and can’t decide which bike to bring so I need community advice. I’m an XC trail rider through and through but also bust out the 160mm Switchblade on occasion. My question is which bike would I have more fun on while in BC? I like big pedally adventure days and can handle big chunk on the XC bike for the most part (I live on western slope of CO), but from the research I’ve done it looks like a lot of folks ride bigger bikes out there. Will I be flying up climbs but squeezing brake and walking down a lot of features the whole descent?

The Switchblade climbs surprisingly well for a “big” bike but will the descents be worth the extra squeeze to get up? I’m also meeting up with a friend for a week there yet he only has an XC bike.

Also, welcome to suggestions on trails/loops/routes to ride :slight_smile: I’ll be staying in the Squamish area but will be mobile enough to check out other regions. Can’t wait to check out the BC area!

I’d definitely recommend bringing the 160mm for Squamish (and Whistler and the North Shore). A lot of the trails in the area are rough, there aren’t that many ‘XC’ type trails around.


The 160mm for sure. BC has great xc riding, but it’s the trail and enduro style trails that make BC world class. And most of those are pretty unpleasant on a smaller bike. Completely do-able, but definitely a lot funner with more suspension. You can also get by with a 160mm at the whistler bike park, which is an absolute must do if you’re in BC.


I did a 5 week trip through BC a few years back with a 100mm XC race bike with a 120mm fork.
It was my only choice and I still had a blast. I even rode the bike park!
BUT… given the choice a proper enduro bike is definitely the choice.
I also enjoy flying up climbs but I often got heckled for doing so!
Would be much better off taking the climbs slow and staying safe and having fun on the descents!!


A 160mm bike IS the locals’ XC bike in the sea to sky corridor. :sweat_smile:


Bring both :wink:

I agree with all of the above. You can ride an XC bike around here and have a good time. But the 160 will be an even better time.

@plindley Canadian checking in.

Whatever you bring, make sure you can store it inside your vehicle, or inside your lodgings. Do not, under any circumstances, leave it unattended, locked or otherwise, in any cities. [Unsure, but prob OK at trail heads, tiny towns in the mountains, etc.]

Cities in BC, as well as Toronto, ON, have one of the highest rates of bike theft in North America, and a near zero chance of recovery. [I’m in TO. Not crapping on BC, it’s amazing, great people, you’ll have an amazing time, and things are I gather even worse here, but it’s a reality.]


This is 100% true. Pretty much everyone I know in BC has had a bike stolen at one point. Lots of the great bikes towns like Squamish and Whistler are brutal for bike theft. Unfortunately many hotels do not permit bikes in rooms. I also wouldn’t avoid using the bike lockers in the hotels, those are also notorious hot spots.

@plindley @Northshorerider made a good point; don’t use the bike lockers or rooms, unless physically attended by security 100% of the time.

You can find vids of guys walking in the front door of condos, etc, with full on power grinders, cutting the doors open, cutting locks, and walking out with bikes. It’s nuts.

Thanks for the heads up @Northshorerider @Chris1982! Keeping it inside, eyes on it when locked up shouldn’t be a problem on my trip.

As a former victim of bike thefts (multiple times smh) I’m hyper 'noid these days and will heed your advice.


British Columbia?

You will need:

  1. English to Chinese dictionary
  2. About 12 million dollars

Squamish is better for bike theft than downtown Vancouver or the hotels in Whistler village from my experience.

I’ve locked my bikes up in Whistler village with a good lock a few times and it’s always been ok.

As long as you take sensible precautions, you’ll be okay.

A lot of the hotels in Whistler do provide a secure bike storage facility these days and I’ve seen plenty of people taking bikes into rooms despite the ‘no bikes in room’ signs, I think it’s accepted to some degree.

Lord of the Squirrels in Whistler is an Epic ride. Long climb up and long blue down. Start early in the day. Bring plenty of food and fluid and put bug spray on.

The Alpine land at the top is worth the climb. They close it mid August due to grizzlies :astonished:

The trail begins behind some shops at Function Junction. I think it begins with “into the Mystic”.
I’ll check with my partner later.


There’s a couple of ways to get to the start of Into the Mystic - I usually start at Stonebridge Drive and climb up a trail called Sirloin to get to the flank access trail which leads to Into the mystic.

They don’t close it every year for the grizzlies, that depends if the grizzlies get spotted in that area! I think last year it wasn’t closed for grizzlies for example.