1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Levels of Riding?

    I have always enjoyed single track trails but have never payed attention to difficulty level. I was just curious at what type of terrain is classified as easy, medium, hard, and expert. I have always just found a trail and taken off. I am just interested to see what level I am at. Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
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    It would be steepness, width, smoothness, corners. In no particular order.

    Easy grade, wide, smooth trail would be easy for beginner.

    Med grade, double or singletrack with some obstacles and tighter corners would be intermediate. It vary all the way to Advance.

    Steepness would separate the easy beginner trails to an intermediate or advance. There's a trail in Socal that's pretty much a fireroad but because it's steep many rank it an advance trail.

    Witdth, it's it a fireroad even it's a bit rough it's still easier than a smooth but very narrow with drop off. One of my nemesis trail is pretty smooth but very narrow and got some scary drop off. I don't consider that an easy trail even though it's smooth.

    Smoothness, rocky/rooty trails can be quite a challenge. nuff said.

    Corners, wide or berm corner are fun and easy enough but more advance trails are filled with tight switch backs.

    Mix them together at a good balance makes a fun memorable trails. If you want to improve your skills you should be riding a trail that challenge you enough even have to walk a few parts til you can master each section then move on to the next challenging trail.

  3. #3
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    This varies greatly depending on the region. An easy trail in Utah might be considered hard in West TN due to some climbs or drops, and when comparing trails in the same region you'll find that what one person considers expert you'll have another rider rate it only a medium difficulty. Quick example: I'm not fond of skinny bridges so I'd personally describe a place with a few of them to be harder than a more technical trail that may have 10x the roots/drops but no skinny bridges to contend with.

    Here's a chart from IMBA that shows a basic classification system:


    Here is a link to their webpage with a more detailed explanation

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