Difficulty levels of mountain bike routes

Moeilijkheidsgraden van mountainbikeroutes c

What MTB difficulty levels are there?

Each mountain bike trail can be given a gradation. This official gradation indicates the degree of difficulty of the mountain bike route. The system was developed by ambitious sportsmen and women and provides information about how challenging a route is. In this way you know exactly what to expect on your tour, which also makes you more enjoyable. This scale is also an important indicator and is recognized by official associations.

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What is a mountain bike trail?

As the name “single track” suggests, an MTB trail is a path that you ride alone. Often these are narrow mountain roads. A mountain bike is really needed to overcome these trails. Depending on the level of difficulty, a suspension fork and/or additional suspension can also be quite a help.

What gradations are there?

The trails are classified into 6 different levels of difficulty. The scale is based on the technical difficulty. When determining the scale, we always start from the ideal conditions, i.e. in daylight and on a dry surface. In less than perfect conditions, the degree of difficulty can change quite a bit. A trail can therefore be more difficult in practice than on paper.

S0 - very easy

This is the easiest trail. Mostly flat or slightly undulating with faint turns and firm ground. No special skills are required to complete it.

S1 - easy

On these trails there are already some smaller obstacles such as rocks and stones. The surface is a bit less stable and the bends are a bit narrower and sharper. The maximum slope is 40%.

S2 - medium

Some larger stones and grooves already occur here. The ground is rarely firm and stairs occur. The turns are sharp and the gradient can be as high as 70%.

S3 - difficult

In this terrain, you will encounter boulders, long roots, and large obstacles. Sharp turns and deep pits lie on the road. The loose soil makes it even more difficult. Slopes of up to 70% occur.

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S4 - very difficult

Here we are talking about steep trails with a lot of obstacles. You have to overcome solid roots, rocks and loose ground. Sharp turns and elevation changes mean you have to have a lot of technique. Often stairs are included.

S5 - extremely difficult

The most difficult category. Think loose ground, lots of obstacles, sharp and narrow turns, fallen trees and tough climbs and descents. There is little room to run and this is for very experienced mountain bikers.

This classification is very useful for foreign bikers who can thus estimate the difficulty of the track. This system also comes in handy for races.