Blog / Mountain Bike Trail Grading in Nepal


Mountain Bike Trail Grading in Nepal

Nepal's Trail Grades: From Easy Joy to Fearless Challenge!

Written By

Laxman Sunar

Published on:

08 Jun 2024

Nilgiri and Tukuche mountain peaks.

Every individual has different level of riding styles and mountain biking preferences. The trail grading system for mountain biking is different in various parts of the world. Our trails are different because we have no bike parks in Nepal and our Cycling Association has not conducted the official grading of the trails yet.

So we tried to keep it simple so that our participants will have an idea of how we are labeling our trails. We are always here to cater to the needs of every participant no matter what their physical and technical level! We have already crafted all kinds of tours from easy family style, moderate rides for intermediate riders and moderate to hard rides for intermediate to advance riders. We can make arrangements for all levels of participants to make sure all our guests/riders are happy based on their physical, technical and social needs while with us on their holiday.

It is always hard to judge the grade of the route even for us when heading to a different location and different country. However, no matter where we go there are some important factors that determine the grade of the trails for uphill and downhill with technical sections, high altitude and distance.  We tried our best to keep it simple by installing Four grades which are explained below.

1. "Easy" Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal

Group of mountain bikers are cheering raising their hands in the air to take picture during their easy mountain bike tour in Pokhara.

Mountain biking Trail Graded as "Easy" in Nepal means a delightful experience for riders of various skill levels, including beginners. The Easy trails have fast and flowy sections which provide a smooth and straightforward ride. With gentle climbs and descents, they don't demand significant physical effort. The trails considered Easy lacks complex obstacles or difficult maneuvers, making them accessible and enjoyable for mountain bikers of all skill levels.

2. "Moderate" Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal

Group of mountain bikers all of them in red T-shirt are pedaling through single track while heading to Sarangkot in Pokhara.

The trail grade in Nepal referred as “Moderate” is the perfect fit for intermediate riders. Mountain bikers have to go through series of features and terrains that require some skills and physical effort. Expect varying steepness and lengths on climbs and descents, with sections featuring small rocks and loose gravel. The mountain biker needs to have precise handling and balance while navigating the minor switch-backs along the trail. While not as technically demanding as advanced trails, Moderate trails still offer a rewarding experience amid the beautiful landscapes of Nepal.

3. "Hard" Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal

Four mountain bikers are descending down through steep trail on their mountain bike in Upper Mustang.

Trails categorized as "Hard" in Nepal are perfect fit for experienced adrenaline-fueled mountain bikers. These “Hard” trails are exceptionally challenging which demand a high level of technical expertise and physical endurance.  The mountain bikers have to go through series of intense and steep climbs, as well as descent through the trails which feature bigger boulders that require precise lines and expert control. There are also slippery sections near water crossings which add more difficulty, and the trail might be  occasionally exposed to open cliffs, demanding caution and fearlessness. The categorized as "Hard" also feature rugged sections with rocks and roots, putting riders' handling skills to the test.

4. "Challenging" Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal

A man in his blue top is carrying his mountain bike during his tour to Manaslu Circuit.

The trails that are graded as "Challenging" are the ultimate test and are suitable for pro seasoned mountain bikers. This trail referred as "Challenging" is demanding and encompasses extreme features and technical terrain which requires advanced riding abilities and physical prowess. High-altitude climbs demand significant strength and endurance, while technical descents with loose gravel and slippery sections challenge bike-handling skills to the limit. These trails defined as "Challenging" are exposed to high cliffs and add danger and requires nerves of steel. There are sharp switch-backs and steep gradients which further push riders' agility and fitness. Maneuvering through the series of technical sections, with loads of rocks and roots demand expert skills to conquer the rugged terrain of Nepal.

Mountain biking in  Nepal, offers a spectrum of exhilarating experiences for riders of all levels. While official grading is yet to be established, the simplicity of the four trail grades - Easy, Moderate, Hard and Challenging - caters to a wide range of abilities. The range of trail from smooth-flowing paths for beginners to heart-pounding challenges for seasoned experts, Nepal's trails weave through breathtaking terrains, demanding respect for nature, technical prowess, and personal limits. The mountain bikers riding through Nepal's trails, not only overcome physical challenges but also build a deep bond with the rugged splendor of the country's mountains.

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