Categories and Ratings
To help you decide if a destination suits your desires and skills a quick rating of different aspects is provided at the beginning of each regions description. We have tried to recommend the best season and classify fitness- & technical requirements as well as the food & culture offering of the area.
Our recommendation for the best time of year to visit the area. Mostly self-explanatory… 😉 This category serves as indication when you´ll likely find the best conditions for riding bikes. Some regions might be covered in snow for several weeks/months of the year which prohibits riding. Similarly some places will likely be too hot in summer to enjoy sports activities.
Of course recommendations are not carved in stone as the weather can always change and individual factors also play a role. Some people might be really heat- or cold tolerant…
The average fitness required to comfortably ride most of the tours/trails in the region. Fitness requirements mostly depend on tour length and typical climbs, i.e. surface, gradient, altitude difference. Availability of public transport and cable cars also has an impact on the fitness rating as these often allow effortless access to trails and bail-out if a tour becomes too long.
Tougher or easier rides can also be found in the area as this represents the average fitness requirement only. Make sure to plan your ride according to your skills and read tour descriptions carefully!
– Suitable for absolute beginners and young kids (<10 km, <250 m vertical)
– Beginner to intermediate riders (>10 km, <500 m vertical)
– For intermediate to advanced riders (<30 km, <1000 m vertical)
– Very good riders, occasional push- or hike-a-bike sections (>30 km, 1000-2000 m vertical)
– Only for expert riders, frequent push- or hike-a-bike sections (>50 km, >2000 m vertical)
Our rating of the average technical requirements to comfortably ride most of the tours/trails in the region. Technical requirements refer to the riders´ technical skill, not the bike category! An enduro bike can “flatten” trails but may become dangerous as it only partly compensates for a lack of skill/experience! Technical difficulty mostly depends on length of trail, gradient, surface, size of obstacles, frequency of obstacles and weather conditions. Exposure is not really a technical factor but adds to the overall requirement of skill.
Rating technical difficulties objectively is a difficult thing others have tried before (and failed?)… A widely accepted rating is the “Singletrail Skala”, we´ll use it as basis for the technical requirements on this website. Check their descriptions and photos (bear in mind: it often looks easier on photos!) to get a feel for technical difficulties. Short, more difficult sections can sometimes occur.
– Suitable for absolute beginners and young kids: flat gradient and surface, wide curves (S0 – green in Trailforks)
– Trail suitable for beginner to intermediate riders: not too steep, expect small roots and rocks, partially loose surface (S1 – green in Trailforks)
– For intermediate to advanced riders: occasional loose surface, short steep sections, larger obstacles (many roots, steps and stairs), tight curves (S2 – blue in Trailforks)
– Trail for very good riders: frequent large obstacles in steep terrain, requires excellent balance- and braking skills, tight switchbacks (S3 – black in Trailforks)
– technical requirements suitable for expert riders: constantly very difficult trail, requires trial skills to tackle the large obstacles (tight switchbacks, steep and rough sections (S4/5 – double black/pro in Trailforks)
Our attempt to rate the off-bike offering of a region. The focus is on culinary options and possibilities for “non-sportive” activities like theatres, museums, shopping… Naturally remote regions with only a few small towns offer less than destinations around large cities with a long history. Note: This category does not rate the quality of individual restaurants!
While every region has tasty traditional food which is worth trying the cuisine might become too heavy or dreary after some days. Special dietary requirements may also be challenging in some regions.
– Remote and rural region with very limited offer for food and cultural activities. Ok, if you do not need any off-bike entertainment and are not picky about food. Consider self-supply.
– Small towns and villages with a simple offer for food and cultural activities. Ok, if you do not need much off-bike entertainment and big restaurant choice.
– Region with an average offer for food and cultural activities. The town and villages offer some variety of local and international cuisine and cultural activities.
– Larger cities in the region offer a good variety of restaurants and interesting cultural activities.
– Outstanding combination of cultural- and eating options in cities or regions with long history and big diversity of population.