It doesn’t matter whether you are new to mountain biking or very well experienced, at some point you should try the sport in Wales. There are many downhill, freeride and back country riding in the Black Mountains and Brecons as well as brilliant singletrack trail centres at Coed Y Brenin, Cwmcarn, Afan Forest Park, Coed Llandegla, Nant yr Arian and Gwydyr Forest. You haven’t really tested your cycling skill unless you have ridden in the Welsh valleys!
Our team at bike360 feel so passionately about mountain biking in Wales that we have made a list of the 3 places you should check out for great biking experiences in Wales.
Nant yr Arian
If you head just past Aberystwyth you will find a great cycling place in Nant yr Arian forest. From there the trail takes you straight into the epic Cambrian Mountains and is the sort of place suited to people like the team at bike360, who love a more offroad and rugged style of mountain biking. This is not for the faint hearted which is made up of an exhilarating combination of technically difficult rocky descents, river crossings and steep mountain ascents.
The Syfdrin trail was built in partnership with the company Continental tyres and gives riders a 35 km looping track that features some of the best Summit trail singletrack riding and backcountry mountain tracks in the UK. The 16 km Summit and 9 km Pendam trails are both sponsored by the company Summit Bikes and are singletrack routes that are carved straight out of the deep valleys and high ridges of the forest. This produces shorter, but just as demanding route options.
The quickest way to get a taste of the type of singletrack and downhill action that Wales is famous for, head to Cwmcarn. It only takes about half an hour from the Severn Bridge to get some track action.
The Twrch trail is a singletrack that is sponsored by Whyte Bikes and looks out over the stunning Bristol Channel. One of the things that we love about Cwmcarn so much at bike360 is the downhill. The centre is noted as being the only in Britain to offer riders uplifts at any time of the year.
What’s more is there is a freeride park that features blood pumping jump packs, berms, wall rides and a complete corkscrew that you can enjoy before taking on the challenge of the offroad singletrack or downhill.
Afan Forest Park
The experience at Afan Forest Park rivals anywhere else in Britain. Excellent singletrack routes roll in and out of the forest, while rugged doubletrack trails take riders over the open and wide hills. The Forestry Commission Wales owns Afan Forest Park and is the fastest growing area for mountain biking in the UK and is just minutes from the M1, so is the fastest and most direct way to get onto some perfect riding terrain.
There are 2 centres at the forest park, the Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre and the brand new Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre which also has the Skyline Cycles Shop and Dropoff Café. Between the two centres there is 130 km of trails that are always being worked on to improve the experience for riders.
If you are after a singletrack trail that is made up of some stunning descents and views, then the 24 km loop of the Y Wal trail is perfect. Our favourite part of this trail at bike360 is the section known as Graveyard that finishes with a fast and huge descent.
For those looking for a technical challenge, head over the White’s Level Trail. What begins as a tricky but enjoyable singletrack climb; turns into a theme park white knuckle ride. A crazy mixture of rock drops, step sections, berms and cliff traverses, has the added bonus of the black run descent section which turns the trail into the most insane 17 km loop we have ridden at bike360.
The 46 km Skyline Trail is the best Welsh all weather trail with more than 2000 m of steep climbs and descents. The route combines twisting, ascents and descents that turn into single track finishes along the ridgeline before leading you to a real workout for your arm with plenty of rock and steps.
The W2 is newest addition at Afan Forest Park and links the White’s Level trail with the Y Wal trail for an awesome 44 km route on high ground. A real adrenaline junkies dream mix of tricky descents and single track sections that are second to none and feature some of the most beautiful scenery to ride through in the UK.
“This article was brought to you by www.bike360.co.uk”