Mountain Bike Grading

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The following technical grading system is used on The physical difficulty can be calculated from the distance and amount of vertical. A 60km course over 2000 meters could be considered as Hard, a 100km course over 3000 meters Extreme.

  1. Easy Relatively flat gravel road or trail. No carrying.
  2. Moderate Forest trails with some easily avoidable obstacles such as roots and rocks. May require the rider to dismount for very short sections.
  3. Difficult Single tracks with hairpins. Challenging climbs and descents with tricky obstacles and poor grip.
  4. Hard Single tracks with hairpins requiring good technique and body positioning. Steps. Obstacles that restrict the room to manouvere. Possibility to descend difficult obstacles on foot.
  5. Extreme Trial riding. Drop offs with high risk of injury if you get it wrong.
Julien Forisser Malaine ST

Puy d'Oulles, Oisans, graded Difficult

Most routes will be a grade or two harder during or after rain. Helmets, gloves and eye protection are recommended for all grades but essential for Moderate and up. Body protection may be a good option for Hard and Extreme routes. Generally fully suspended bikes with hydraulic disk brakes are recommended for extreme routes.

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