Holiday Biking Grades Explained

All our trip grades are designed to help you make the right choice in deciding which of our adventure holidays is best suited for you. Below we have provided an explanation of our grades although we recommend that you read the specific trip grade description in the holiday information. This will provide more detail as it is written specifically for that trip and will reflect distance, ascent and terrain.

If you are unsure about the grade we are only too glad to chat and help you make the right choice. No matter what grade of trip you choose we recommended a little active preparation before your holiday as this goes a long way in helping you enjoy your adventure.

Moderate

Our moderate trips are perfect for those with some off-road cycling experience. Routes will include a mix of quiet undulating roads, wide tracks such as forest roads and off-road tracks (double track) and occasional walking paths. Surfaces will generally be hard but, we will encounter areas of soft and loose sections. Distances of between 30-40km per day with some climbing but no major ascents.

Personal Experience
To have a really enjoyable holiday at our moderate grade, we recommend it best to have:

  • Experience of riding off-road comfortably
  • To have your own bike and ride this at least once a month
  • Know how to change your gears and how to brake effectively
  • Bike on undulating terrain both up and downhill on non-technical terrain
  • Comfortable riding for 2-3hours at a time

Fitness Level – 2-3/10

  • You exercise for at least an hour each week
  • Can ride your mountain bike for up to 3.5 hours at an easy speed including stops for snacks and photos
  • Can ride uphill for up to 200m ascent

Moderate +

Our moderate plus trips are suitable for those with some off-road cycling experience. Routes will include a mix of quiet undulating roads, off-road double tracks and non-technical single tracks. Surfaces will generally be hard but, we will encounter areas of soft and loose sections of sand, gravel and small rocks. We may also cycle across small burns (streams or small rivers) but these will never be deep or too wide. Distances of between 40 – 50km per day with some climbing but no major ascents.

Personal Experience
To have a really enjoyable holiday at our moderate plus grade, we recommend it best to have:

  • Your own bike and ride this at least once a month
  • Experience of riding off-road comfortably
  • Know how to change your gears and how to brake effectively
  • Riding on undulating terrain of double track, forest road and occasional single track, both up and downhill on non-technical terrain
  • Comfortable riding for 3-4 hours at a time
  • Looking to try and ride more challenging routes with us, under guidance and coaching

Fitness Level 3-4/10

  • You exercise for at least twice a week for up to an hour
  • Can ride your mountain bike for up to 4 hours at an easy speed including stops for snacks and photos over three consecutive days
  • Capable of riding uphill completing at least two climbs up to 200 – 400m of ascent

Intermediate

Our Intermediate trips are suitable for regular mountain bikers riding at least once a week and have gained a good level of confidence. Routes will involve some road but the majority will be on rough double tracks and non-technical singletrack. Trails will be more natural requiring the rider to choose their own riding line. The terrain may be dry and dusty or wet and muddy due to weather conditions. Although the single tracks are not technical, they will be of a bedrock nature. Because of this, we will encounter roots, drainage bars and ruts. Furthermore, it is likely to have to cross rivers or burns and you will get wet feet! There will be longer climbs, some significant ascending up to 600m and include distances of 50-60 km a day

Personal Experience
To have a really enjoyable holiday at our intermediate grade, we recommend it best to have:

  • Your own bike and have been mountain biking regularly for at least 2 years
  • Know how to change your gears, how to brake effectively and corner with confidence
  • Have good bike handling skills and are confident on riding rough double tracks and non-technical single-track terrain
  • Comfortable riding for 4-5 hours at a time
  • Ride Weekly throughout your cycling season

Fitness Level 4-6/10

  • You have good bike fitness and exercise at least 3 times a week for up to an hour
  • Can ride your mountain bike for up to 6 hours a day a moderate speed including stops for snacks and photos over three consecutive days
  • Capable of riding uphill completing at least two climbs up to 600m of ascent

Intermediate +

Our intermediate plus trips are for active mountain bikers with a very good level of bike handling skills and who are comfortable riding most types of terrain. Routes will include rough and sometimes steep double-tracks, technical and non-technical single tracks. Trails will be more natural requiring the rider to choose their own riding line. The terrain may be dry and dusty or wet and muddy due to weather conditions. Although the single tracks are not technical, they will be of a bedrock nature. Because of this, we will encounter roots, drainage bars and ruts. Furthermore, it is likely to have to cross rivers or burns and you will get wet feet! There will be longer sustained climbs, in remote areas ascending up to 600m and include distances of 50-60 km a day.

Personal Experience
To have a really enjoyable holiday at our intermediate plus grade, we recommend it best to have:

  • Your own bike and have been mountain biking regularly for at least 2 years
  • You can corner, brake and change gears instinctively
  • Have good bike handling skills and comfortable on most terrain types
  • Will tackle moderate technical features such as small drops and small rock gardens
  • Comfortable riding for 6 hours at a time over consecutive days
  • Ride Weekly throughout your cycling season
  • Looking to ride more of the moderate technical aspects of routes

Fitness Level 4-6/10

  • You have good bike fitness and exercise at least 3 times a week for up to an hour
  • Can ride your mountain bike for up to 6 hours a day a moderate speed including stops for snacks and photos over three consecutive days
  • Capable of riding uphill completing at least two climbs up to 600m of ascent