Mountain Bike Trail Difficulty System Explained: What Is Your Current Skill Level?

Jun 27, 2021 | Lifestyle | 0 comments

Mountain biking is an invigorating sport, but it is also a difficult one. Developing skills takes time and consistent practice on the trail. When it comes to trail riding, understanding the difficulty system is essential. By learning about the bike trail difficulty system, mountain bikers will know how to proceed and which trails to take to hone their skills effectively.

Why Is There a Mountain Bike Trail Difficulty System?

Before delving into a full explanation of the difficulty system, 100 Percent wants mountain bike riders to understand why the system exists. The system was put into place to assist mountain bike riders in choosing the right trails for their experience level.

Some trails are much more difficult and require better bike handling and greater strength. Mountain bike riders need to be aware of their strength levels, so they can decide on the right trail. Taking a trail that is too difficult could lead to frustration and even danger for the biker.

How Are Mountain Bike Trails Rated?

The mountain bike trail difficulty system is an integral part of the mountain bike industry. Without this system in place, there would be no system to rate trails, leaving bikers to place themselves in danger by taking the wrong trail unaware.

The International Mountain Bike Association has developed a mountain bike trail difficulty system that cuts down on the confusion bikers had in the past. It provides highly accurate trail ratings based on the following.

·        The width of the trail

·        The surface of the trail

·        The maximum and average grade of the trail

·        Any natural obstacles or technical trail features

This system rates trails with an easy to identify colored shape system, alerting mountain bikers of the trail difficulty ahead, so they can prepare. Trails are separated into five difficulty levels, based on the parameters above.

·        White circle is the easiest

·        Green circle is easy

·        Blue square is more difficult

·        Black diamond is highly difficult

·        Double black diamond is extremely difficult

Trail ratings are based on other trails in the area, biker input, and a common-sense approach. The trail system will be of no use if the icons are not clearly marked throughout trails, on maps, and on visitor information sites.

How to Improve a Mountain Biker’s Skill Level

With such an integrated trail system, it stands to reason mountain bikers are going to want to steadily improve their skill levels, so they can advance on the trail. Thankfully, there are some helpful tips that can assist mountain bikers in honing their skills and progressing.

·        Before even approaching improvements in skills, mountain bikers need to rest assured their mountain bikes are set up properly. There are many additions that can be purchased to upgrade mountain bikes, making them fit the rider more intuitively and offering a higher level of comfort.

·        It is helpful if mountain bikers ride in groups with a common goal of improving. A group pushes each member to be their best. A good group of encouraging friends can help mountain bikers improve immensely.

·        Mountain bikers should not give up when faced with a trail that is too difficult. Instead, it is important bikers keep trying because they will eventually overcome the challenges and master the trail if they do not give up.

The mountain bike difficulty rating system is an important safety measure to help mountain bikers progress in trail riding without putting themselves and others in danger. It is important to know your skill level and choose a trail based on your limitations.

Image by Fabricio Macedo FGMsp from Pixabay

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