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RIDEING TECHNIQUE LEVEL - SELF ASSESSMENT

Find the level that suits you.

You assign yourself to your personal level based on the various explanations of levels 1-5. You can then assess which tours are tailored to you and which you can enjoy.

Image by Miles Loewen

LEVEL 1: BEGINNER

Mountain bike beginners with little prior knowledge of riding technique or little single trail experience. However, you can ride a normal street bike without any problems. You can navigate long curves and forest paths fluently, as well as brake safely. You enjoy nature, love the trails, but don't really dare to ride yet.

  • Reference to Singletrack scale S0

  • Surface: forest paths, firm, wide trail, slight gradient, wide curves

  • Physical requirements: up to 500 meters altitude per day. Uphill speed approx. 6 km/h, climb 250 m per hour.

Level 2.jp2

LEVEL 2: ADVANCED BIKERS

with more than 2 years of bike experience and confident control of the bike on single trails, balance, braking skills and basic position on trails. Riding wide bends and some rocky or rooty trails with slight gradients is fun and largely successful.

  • Reference to Singletrack scale S1

  • Surface: solid trails, mobile serpentines, small water channels, stone and root ledges up to approx. 30 cm high, gradient approx. 30%

  • Physical requirements: up to 800 meters altitude per day. Uphill speed approx. 8 km/h, climb 300 m per hour.

Image by Tim Foster

LEVEL 3: VERY ADVANCED BIKERS

Confident bikers with more than 5 years of trail experience and fun on bumpy descents over hill and dale. Serpentines are almost always successful unless you have to move the rear wheel. You want to achieve even more safety and perfection when driving on demanding lines.

  • Reference to Singletrail scale S2 / S3

  • Surface: narrow trails, mostly unpaved, larger roots and stones, flat ledges and stairs, gradient 50-60%, hairpin bends

  • Physical requirements: up to 1300 meters altitude per day. Uphill speed approx. 9 km/h, climb 350-400 m per hour.

Image by Graziano De Maio

LEVEL 4: THE BIKE EXPERT

Spends “half his life” on single trails, enjoys traveling in the Alps and is looking for grip on all steep slopes. Rear wheel shifting, off-road jumps, steep descents and the occasional stretch are the icing on the cake. The skills: excellent balance, delicate braking maneuvers, confident eye control and good nerves should be practiced and available.

  • Reference to Singletrack scale S3 / S4

  • Surface: blocked single trails with many larger boulders and/or root passages, high steps, hairpin bends and tricky diagonal rides often occur, relaxed rolling sections are rare. Slippery surfaces and loose scree are often to be expected; steepnesses of over 70% or 35° are not uncommon.

  • Physical requirements: up to 1,500 meters in altitude per day, occasional stretches uphill. Climb 400-450 HM per hour.

HOW CHALLENGING CAN IT BE?

What can I expect on the tour?

The difficulty of a trail is rated using the single trail scale. With the definition of the individual categories, you can find out in the tour description what to expect.

The single trail scale (STS) is divided into three difficulty classes: easy (S0 & S1), medium (S2) and difficult (S3, S4 & S5). These difficulty classes are based on the riding ability of an average biker with a technically up-to-date mountain bike.

For the specific classification and more precise differentiation of the trails (and difficulty classes), six relatively well-defined difficulty levels (S grades) from S0 to S5 are used.


For an average biker, the lower end of the scale (S0) is equivalent to "easily rideable" and the upper end (S5) is equivalent to "unrideable".

 

S0 VERY EASY

S0 describes a path that does not present any particular difficulties. These are mostly flowing forest and meadow paths on non-slip natural soil or compacted gravel. No steps, rocks or root passages are to be expected. The slope of the path is gentle to moderate, the curves are wide.

Image by Kenny Sexton

S1 EASY

On a path marked S1, you should expect smaller obstacles such as shallow roots and small stones. Very often isolated gullies and erosion damage are the reason for the increased level of difficulty, and the ground may also not be solidified in some cases. The gradient is a maximum of 40% or 22°. No hairpin bends are to be expected.
From S1 onwards, basic driving knowledge and constant attention are required. More demanding passages require measured braking and body shifting. You should always drive while standing. Obstacles can be overcome.

Image by Backroad Packers

S2 INTERMEDIATE

In difficulty level 2 you have to expect larger roots and stones. The soil is often not consolidated. Steps and shallow stairs are to be expected. There are often tight curves, with the steepness being up to 70% or 35° in places.
The obstacles must be overcome by shifting your weight. Constant readiness to brake and shifting the body's center of gravity are necessary techniques, as are precise dosage of the brakes and constant body tension.

Image by Ashim D’Silva

S3
DIFFICULT

Blocked single trails with many larger boulders and/or root passages belong to category S3. High steps, hairpin bends and tricky diagonal journeys often occur, while relaxed rolling sections are rare. Slippery surfaces and loose scree are often to be expected; steepnesses of over 70% or 35° are not uncommon.
Passages that have the 3rd level of difficulty do not require trial techniques, but very good bike control and constant concentration are a prerequisite for mastering S3. Precise braking and very good balance are necessary.

Image by Yaroslav Maltsev

S4 DIFFICULT

S4 describes very steep and heavily blocked single trails with large boulders and/or challenging root passages, often with loose scree in between. Extremely steep ramps, tight hairpin bends and steps where the chainring inevitably bottoms out are common in 4th grade.
In order to ride in the 4th level of difficulty, trial techniques such as moving the front and rear wheels (e.g. in the hairpin bends) are absolutely necessary, as are perfect braking technique and balance. Only extreme riders and exceptional bikers can tackle S4; even carrying them down these passages is often not without danger.

Image by Anuj Yadav

S5
DIFFICULT

The difficulty level S5 is characterized by blocky terrain with counter climbs, scree fields and landslides, eyelet-like hairpin bends, several high, consecutive ledges and obstacles such as fallen trees - all often extremely steep. There is little, if any, coasting or braking distance. Obstacles must e.g. T. can be managed in combination.
Only a handful of freaks try to master passages with difficulty level 5. Some obstacles have to be jumped over. Moving around hairpin bends is hardly possible. Even carrying the bike becomes almost impossible here, as you have to hold on or even climb while walking.

Image by Cesar Cid
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