Cross-country singletrack trails at dedicated mountain bike (MTB) centres use a grading system to inform riders of the difficulty of their various trails.
As good as any grading system may be, trail surfaces will vary throughout the year - and particularly during or after heavy rain. If in doubt, speak to the rangers, or stop and walk through a section.
||Beginner cyclists and families, riding bikes with child seats or trailers, touring bikes, bikes for those with disabilities.
||Cyclists with some experience of on-or off-road cycling and reasonably fit families, riding mountain bikes, hybrids or robust touring bikes.
||Experienced mountain bikers riding mountain bikes.
||Expert mountain bikers.
||Railtrails, towpaths, reservoir trails, estate or forestry tracks, traffic quiet roads.
||As 'green', also bridleways, byways, un-surfaced unclassified roads (UCRs) and lightly trafficked lanes.
||Any usable trail, including some bridleways, byways and UCRs.
||Technical trails, with unforgiving terrain, severe climbs and descents or considerable distances.
||Shallow climbs and descents.
||Shallow or moderate climbs, possibly including short sections of steeper climbs.
||A wide range of steeper, tougher climbs and descents of a challenging nature.
||Any rideable or usable gradient, including steep, loose, and rocky descents.
||Blacktop or compacted limestone or gravel. Essentially smooth with a minimum content of loose surfaces. Normal width 2-3 metres.
||Mostly stoned surfaces with 2 meter width.
||Widths from 0.4 metre and any usable surface. Likely to include singletrack and other technical sections.
||As 'red' but with an expectation of greater and wider challenges and continuous difficulty. Can include any rideable or useable trail.
||These trails carry a very low risk but may include short, more difficult sections.
||Some loose surfaces, ruts, potholes and/or tree roots.
||Unavoidable berms, boardwalks, large stones, moderate steps and drop-offs. Cambers, water crossings and 'North Shore' may be present.
||Unavoidable obstacles with large steps and drop-offs. There will be prolonged steep, loose and rocky surfaces. Some man-made structures will be included. Can include exposed open hill sections.
5–10km (3–6 miles)
10–20km (6–12 miles)
10–50km (6–31 miles)
1–100 km (1.6–61 miles)