Bicycle Mechanical Preparation
What should I have in mind to prepare the Via Algarviana by mountain biking? Choosing the bike, the equipment and the preparation are important due to the hardness and length of the route.



  • It is essential that the bike is light and has reliable components. These should be mid/high range, ensuring greater reliability and better performance during heavy use.

  • A good suspension increases the stability and comfort of the rider on the bike (a bad suspension is just one more weight that the rider has to "pull"). Front suspension is, basically, a common necessity on any mountain bike. The total suspension depends on the preferences of each person, as long as it doesn't increase the weight excessively.

  • Bike frames may vary depending on your wallet and personal preference. The most common are:
    • Aluminium. They are physically as strong as steel, but lighter, which makes the bike more manageable. On the other hand, they are very rigid, which gives the cyclist bigger pedalling.

    • Carbon fibre models. An anti-corrosive material and synonymous with good quality, as it is very light and resistant. However, carbon fibre is very fragile in the case of a fall and its commercial cost is higher.
  • Finally, the brakes must be in perfect condition. In addition to the extensive cumulative elevation gain, this GR also has a lot of cumulative elevation loss. 



It is recommended that the bicycle be thoroughly serviced in preparation for the Via Algarviana. Pay special attention to materials that wear, as they may be at the end of their life:

  • Check shift cables and hoses;

  • Check brake pads, system tightness (for hydraulic brakes) and cable condition (for mechanical brakes);

  • Check slack in the chain, cassette and pedal wheels; if the chain already shows some fatigue/slack in the test, it is advisable to change it;

  • Clean, check and lubricate (or replace, if necessary) steering gear, wheel hubs, bottom bracket and pedals;

  • Check and correct the warping of the rims and replace rim tapes that have deteriorated;

  • Replace the tires if they show wear. Advice:
    • use tires with a tough carcass, for hard floors with stones.
    • straps or anti-puncture liquid are almost mandatory.
    • it is strongly recommended to use tubeless wheels and tires.
    • also consider using mousses.

  • The repair kit to be carried in the luggage must have:
    • 1 Inner tube;
    • 1 Puncture repair box;
    • 1 Set of dismounts;
    • 1 Chain unlocker;
    • Coupling links;
    • 1 Set of keyswitch type;
    • 1 Air pump or COpump;
    • Chain lubricant;
    • American tape or wire or rope, for any eventuality.



Do not neglect personal equipment. Wearing cycling shorts with excellent foam (foam density varies according to the athlete's weight and daily use) is an essential to avoid friction and reduce pressure from contact with the saddle. Choose quality shorts, with good seams (preferably not too visible so as not to scratch), good ventilation and flexibility, adaptability and wear resistance.

For your safety and protection, wearing a helmet is mandatory. Always choose a certified helmet suitable for the sport. If the material shows some wear, it should be replaced with one in good condition.

If you don't have a GPS, it is essential to have at least a odometer. Effort and water management, at each stage, becomes much easier.

If attaching accessories to the bicycle, they should be as central as possible. Avoid the side saddlebags (both at the front and at the back), which unbalance the bike in technical downhill and trial areas. You can divide the load between a central saddlebag and a small backpack (don't put too much weight on the backpack, so as not to cause fatigue/stress on your shoulders).

In terms of hydration, nutrition and wellbeing we advise:

  • Place 2 grids on the bicycle frame to transport water bottles (preferably with a capacity equal to or greater than 750 ml each), with water and salts, and you can take an extra water bottle in your luggage.
  • Bring energy bars (estimate 1 bar per stage or 2 in the most demanding), bananas, dried figs, salts (we do not recommend salts for those who are not used to it, as they can cause gastric problems).
  • Anti-friction cream, regenerating/healing cream and sunscreen.

Now that you have your checklist prepared, get to know the stages of the Via Algarviana that you will ride.

Here is how to plan your mountain biking trip.

Enjoy your ride!