MTB Trail Grading System


MTB Trail Grading System Explained

Singletrack Trail Grades

Suitable for

Trail & surface types

Gradients & technical features

Suggested fitness level

Green - Easy

Beginner/novice cyclists. Basic Bike Skills required. Most bikes and hybrids. Some green routes can take trailers

Relatively flat and wide. The trail surface may be loose uneven or muddy at times. May include short flowing singletrack style sections.

Climbs and descents are mostly shallow. No challenging features.

Suitable for most people in good health.

Blue - Moderate

Intermediate cyclist/mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills. Mountain bikes or hybrids.

As "Green plus specially constructed single track. Trail surface may include small obstables of roots and rock.

Most gradients are moderate but may include short steep sections. Includes small Technical Trail Features (TTFs)

A good standard of fitness can help.

Red - Difficult

Proficient mountain bikers with good off-road riding skills. Suitable for better quality off-road mountain bikes.

Steeper and tougher, mostly singletrack with technical sections. Expect vary variable surface types.

A wide range of climbs and descents of a challenging nature will be present. Expect boardwalks, berms, large rocks, medium steps, drop-offs, cambers, water crossings.

Higher level of fitness and stamina.

Black - Severe

Expert mountain bike users, used to physically demanding routes. Quality off-road mountain bikes.

As "Red" but with an expectation of greater challenge and continuous difficulty. Can include any useable trail surface and may include exposed open hill sections.

Expect large, committing and unavoidable TTFs. Sections will be challenging and variable. May also have "downhill" style sections.

Suitable for very active people used to prolonged effort.

Other Trail Grades

Orange - Bike Park

Riders aspiring to an elite level of technical ability, incorporates everything from full-on downhill riding to big-air jumps.

Severe constructed trails and/or natural features. All sections will be challenging. Includes extreme levels of exposure and/or risk. Jumping ability obligatory.

Will include a range of small, medium and large TTFs, including downhill trails, freeride sections and mandatory jumps.

A good standard of fitness, but technical skills more important.

Forest Road and similar

A wide range of cyclists. Most bikes and hybrids. Ability to use maps helpful. Routes may or may not be waymarked.

Relatively flat and wide. The trail surface may be loose, uneven or muddy at times. These roads may be used by vehicles and other users, including Horse riders and dog walkers.

Gradients can be very variable and may include short steep sections. Occasional potholes may be present.

A good standard of fitness can help.