7 Stanes mountain biking

Trip Gradings Explained

At Trailbrakes we always try to tailor our trips to suit you in every way possible. All of our tours can be altered from the standard itinerary on our website to suit your fitness and technical ability. However, in order to help you decide if a trip is right for you, we've given all of our mountain biking holidays, gravel biking tours, road biking holidays and cycling trips a fitness grading and a terrain grading between 1 and 8. In addition, all of our mountain biking trips and gravel biking holidays have been awarded a technical grading, from green (easiest) to black (most difficult).


Here is a brief explanation of our fitness grading system so that you can choose the right mountain biking or cycling route for you.

1 - You do very little biking but some exercise of another kind, you are looking to try a bit of cycling as part of your holiday.

2 - You have a basic level of fitness from taking part in cycling based exercise once or twice a week. You are comfortable riding for a few hours per day on flat terrain.

3 - You cycle regularly and are happy to cycle for half a day on flat terrain with a few hills.

4 - You have a good level of fitness and are comfortable riding for up to 5 hours per day on gently undulating terrain.

5 - You have a good level of fitness and take part in cycling based activities regularly. You're comfortable riding for 6 hours per day on terrain that can include short, steep climbs.

6 - You are fit and active and get out on your bike whenever you can and have no problem biking for 7 hours a day on hilly terrain. 

7 - You have a high level of fitness and stamina from regularly taking part in cycling-based activities. You are comfortable riding for 8 hours per day. The route will include sections of physically demanding terrain including long, steep climbs.

8 - You have an excellent level of fitness and take part in cycling-based activities several times per week. You are comfortable riding for as much as 10 hours per day. The route will include sections of steep, physically demanding trails or roads so excellent stamina is also required.


1 - Flat as a pancake - combination of cycle paths, old railway lines or coastal roads

2 - Flat with some lumpy bits - generally flat with some short climbs, nothing too sharp

3 - Gently undulating - ups and downs but nothing too steep or long

4 - Undulating  - ups and downs with some bigger hills 

5 - Rolling hills - may include bigger hills that take longer to climb

6 - Hilly - more in the way of climbing at times, some climbs may be up to 10% gradient

7 - Hilly with some steep climbs - may include some climbs of between 10 and 15% which are longer in duration

8 - Very hilly - lots of ups and downs including some steeper climbs of up to 25% some of which may be long and challenging

Technical Grading

Here is a brief explanation of our technical grading system so that you can choose the right mountain biking route for you.

Green - Suitable for beginner and novice cyclists and mountain bikers. Biking is on flat and wide trails with no challenging features.

Blue - Suitable for intermediate cyclists and mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills. Trails may include small obstacles including small rocks and roots. Most gradients are moderate but may be steep in short sections.

Red - Suitable for proficient mountain bikers. Trails can be steep and rough with some technical sections including large rocks and water crossings. Some off-road biking experience is required.

Black - Suitable for very experienced mountain bikers. Trails can be very challenging with steep, technical climbs and descents, rocks, roots and drop offs, some pushing may be required.

Stick to quiet country roads on one of our specially designed road biking trips

NC500 cycle holiday
off-road c2c mountain biking tour

Our coast to coast cycling routes include the C2C, Way of the Roses and Hadrian's Wall C2C

Tackle some infamous passes in the Yorkshire Dales on our Tour de Yorkshire road biking holiday

Road biking holiday Yorkshire
steep gradient on mountain biking holiday uk

The climbs on some of our biking trips can include gradients of 25%!!

Our Off-Road C2C MTB route includes some rocky, technical descents!

lake district mountain biking
mountain biking holiday lake district

Hone your technical mountain biking skills on a MTB trip along our Lake District Singletrack route