Mountain Biking

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Switzerland is an amazing country for mountain biking. On this site I will try to give some basic information about mountain biking in Switzerland and provide information about some bike tours and trails. To make selecting tours a little easier I have attempted to put together a difficulty rating based on physical fitness and technical skill which you can read more about below.

Difficulty Ratings

Physical Fitness:
Rated as 1 to 5. A tour with rated 1 would be one that you can take your kids on and is not physically demanding, while a 5 would be very strenuous. In terms of Physical Fitness, distance, height gained and surface all play a significant role so please factor these into your assessment. If the surface is quite loose then this would make the tour physically more demanding.

1: Easy tour mainly flat, less then 300m height gain and/or less then 15km distance.
2: Slightly demanding, between 300 and 700m height gain and/or between 15 and 30km distance.
3: Moderately demanding, 700 to 1200m height gain and/or 30 to 45km distance.
4: Demanding, 1200m to 2000m height gain and/or 45 to 60km distance.
5: Extreme, greater then 2000m height gain and/or 60km distance.

Technical Difficulty: Rated as 1 to 5. A tour mainly on tarred roads and nature streets would be graded as 1 and a downhill course requiring very long travel bikes and full body armour should be rated as 5. (Requiring is an important word here. A freeride course that most people use long travel bikes and body armour on, but is possible to ride on a hardtail or short travel bike should not be graded 5!).

1: Easy, tarred roads and nature streets.
2: Slightly demanding: Sections of easy single trail with no significant roots or rocks. Not very steep (downhill).
3: Moderately demanding: Sections of single trail with some roots or rocks, and possible some short steep (downhill) sections.
4: Demanding, Sections of trail with quite a lot of roots or rocks, steep (downhill) sections, all rideable without having to be able to jump,
5: Extreme, VERY technical, jumps, drop offs, root sections that require long travel bikes, only experts need attempt.

Tour Planning: There are many options available for mountain-bike tour planning in Switzerland. I personally find the singletrail maps very usefull, but there is also a series of bike explorer maps available for large parts of Switzerland. Both these map sets have suggestions for tours, or alternatively you can pick a route yourself. I tend to use a mixture of the both the bike explorer and singletrail maps along with various books that can be found in any good book shop to plan a route which is loosely based on a tour from a book or map, but adapted to suit my mood or the people I am riding with on the day. Get some maps of the area you ride most and go out and explore. There is a ridiculous amount of biking potential in Switzerland.
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Featured in Single Track (UK) Issue #78 "Another Side of Switzerland".

Featured in the Short Film "Pretty Sweet 2" Nominated for the viewers choice award at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival.