MTB Skill & Fitness


Help us help you

MTB Skill & Fitness Rating

Help us help you


By helping us understand your riding ability and fitness we can make sure you are booking the correct product. We want to take you to the right terrain to maximize your learning in workshops or camps and ensure you have a great experience if you are on a tour with us.

We understand everyone has their own thoughts as to where they are with riding ability and fitness so below is some information to help you let us know where you are. There will always be mixed ability levels in a tour group but we do our best to group people of similar skill together to help keep the flow of the tour or workshop at the right pace for everyone.

Skill Level

Level 1 – NEWBIE

You have never ridden a mountain bike before

Level 2 – BEGINNER

You have little experience riding a mountain bike off-road

Level 3 – NOVICE

You like riding off-road and wide dirt trails (logging tracks, doubletrack), but don’t yet have the skills and confidence to ride terrain with roots, rocks, tight corners, tight trees and steeps. You have yet to experience single track.

Level 4 – NOVICE +

You have taken a few rides on real singletrack and enjoy the flowy mellow trails. You often still find that the trees feel too tight, the climbs come too quick to shift to the correct gear so you end up walking, and the obstacles have you a bit surprised as you have never really thought about riding over logs!

Level 5 – INTERMEDIATE

Terrain – At a controlled speed and on mellow trails, you are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand.
Obstacles – Comfortable and confident rolling over small obstacles (a couple of inches high) like roots, rocks and small rollable drops. You do not take your wheels off the ground.
Bike Parks – If you have ridden a bike park, you are comfortable on all green trails and easy blue trails. You roll over obstacles with ease, although keep both wheels on the ground.
Bike Skills – You are comfortable executing the following basic bike handling skills on mellow singletrack:

  • Shifting – you anticipate the terrain and shift gears accordingly.
  • Descending – you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent.
  • Speed Control and Braking – you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required.

  • Level 6 – INTERMEDIATE +

    Terrain – Comfortable riding a range of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand. You are also comfortable doing so on more challenging terrain.
    Obstacles – You are comfortable with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.
    Bike Parks – Comfortable on all green and blue trails.
    Bike Skills – You are comfortable executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

  • Shifting – you shift gears often and smoothly to keep flow on terrain.
  • Climbing – you shift your bodyweight forward to help keep traction on your front wheel. You don’t have trouble with climbing, unless technical roots, rocks or corners have you walking a short section.
  • Descending – you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent. You are comfortable with speed and letting go of your brakes as long as you can see the exit or end of the descent.
  • Speed Control and Braking – you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required.
  • Cornering – you understand effective cornering techniques although still need to work on your timing and coordination.

  • Level 7 – ADVANCED

    Terrain – You are comfortable riding tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and do so on aggressive terrain with little braking.
    Obstacles – You often hop over obstacles that others may wheel lift over. You are comfortable with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles and can hit small drops( 1-2 ft) with confidence.
    Bike Park – Comfortable on all green, blue and black trails.
    Bike Skills – You are comfortable executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

  • Shifting – you shift gears often and smoothly to keep flow on terrain.
  • Climbing – technical roots, rocks and switchbacks are typically no issue for you.
  • Descending – you use the brakes sparingly, and are happy taking some air off little rocks and roots .
  • Speed Control and Braking – you use both your front and back brakes independently of each other when required.
  • Cornering – your timing and coordination on all types of berms is solid. You are comfortable leaning your bike through the corner and exit with acceleration.

  • Level 8 – ADVANCED +

    Terrain – You are comfortable riding tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and do so on aggressive terrain with little braking. No need to walk for you!
    Obstacles – You actively seek obstacles to hop over and drops to jump of just for fun.
    Bike Park – Comfortable on all green, blue black, double black trails.
    Bike Skills – You are comfortable executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

  • Shifting – you shift gears often and smoothly to keep flow on terrain.
  • Climbing – technical roots, rocks and switchbacks are no issue for you.
  • Descending – you send it off anything you can find
  • Speed Control and Braking – You understand ratio braking and when to apply each brake.
  • Cornering – your timing and coordination on all berms and switchbacks is dialed.

  • Level 9 – EXPERT / PRO

    Hold my beer and watch this….


    Fitness Level

    Level 1

  • You are a couch potato.
  • Climbing on a bike sounds like a bad idea. You want to ride flat terrain and could probably last 30 mins.
  • You don’t do a lot of exercise

  • Level 2

  • The most physical activity you do is walking around town.
  • You could ride around on flat terrain for an hour.
  • Riding for multiple days in a row is not possible.
  • Small, short hills are challenging to climb, but are sometimes manageable.
  • You exercise for 45 mins a couple of times a week. This includes riding a bike.

  • Level 3

  • You are capable of 2 hours pedalling throughout a day but like to take lots of breaks.
  • Riding for multiple days sounds hard but you could handle 2 or 3 days at no more than 2 hours of pedal time per day.
  • You can handle one or two easy climbs of up to 300 vertical metres (985 ft.) total.
  • You exercise on average 2 hours per week. This includes riding your bike.

  • Level 4

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace with up to 3 hours pedalling.
  • You are capable of climbing up to 600 vertical metres (1970 ft.) in a day.
  • You exercise on average 3 hours per week.

  • Level 5

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 4-5 hours pedal time each day. On a multi-day trip one of those days could be up to 6 hours pedal time.
  • You are confident climbing up to a total of 1000 vertical metres (3280 ft.) in a day.
  • You exercise on average 4 hours per week.

  • Level 6

  • You are capable of riding for multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 5-6 hours of pedal time each day. You could handle adding in a day requiring up to 7 hours of pedal time.
  • You can handle steep sustained climbs of up to a total of 1500 vertical metres (4920 ft.) in a day.
  • You exercise on average 5 hours per week.

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    More info

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