Difficulty ratings relative to the MTB trips

Mountain bike trail difficult ratings
The identification of the difficulty of a path is expressed by the following mandatory indications:
To describe the aspect of physical commitment:

  • Height difference in m;
  • Length in km.
To describe the aspect of technical commitment:
  • acronyms/ acronyms

As abbreviations you can have: TC – MC – BC-OC, as described below.
Please note that normally these acronyms are used in pairs: for example, MC/BC. The first is for the ascent, and the second for the descent and they are separated by a bar (/).

Difficulty levelDescription
TCTouristic skills: path on dirt roads with smooth, compact surfaces, carriage road
MCFor those with medium skills: path on dirt with little uneven surface or slightly irregular (sheep tracks, driveways ...) or on trails with smooth, compact surfaces
BCFor those with good skills: path on very bumpy dirt roads or mule tracks and trails with uneven surface, but still quite smooth
OCVery good skills: as above (BC), but on trails with very bumpy and / or very uneven, with a significant presence of obstacles
ECExtreme/expert skills: path on very irregular paths, characterised by steps and obstacles in continuous succession, that requires “trial” techniques
"Disjointed" means a fund which is not compact and strewn with debris; "Irregular" is considered a non-flowing terrain marked by grooves, steps and/or bumps.The sign "+" can be added to the initials if there are significant traits with significant gradients.To identify the right acronym the average of the path is taken into account: single and short strokes, attributable to a class of higher difficulty, are not considered. Any non-cycle traits, where it is necessary to carry the bike, do not contribute to the definition of the difficulty.

Singletrail Skala (S0, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5)

The Singletrail/skala (STS) provides 6 degrees of ranking, from S0 to S5.
It evaluates only the technical difficulties (not the length, not elevation gain/loss) of a single trail path.
The value attributed to a path is chosen by mediating among the degrees of difficulty that a path presents for most of its parts. This does not exclude that an S3 classified path, for example, may include traits classified as S2 or S4. The evaluation also considers the trail in dry climatic conditions.
The parameters used to draw up the degree of difficulty are: soil type (grip, smoothness, geological composition) type of obstacles, gradient, category of curves and technical demands.
As you can see the exposure of a path and dangers are not taken into account. Sometimes you can find A + sign after the route classification (e.g. S2 +). The + symbol is simply indicating that the path is slightly more difficult than a normal path S2, without, however, falling into an S3 classification.
S0-Indicates a single trails that does not present any particular difficulty. It is mostly of sliding paths in undergrowth or in open plains that have a ground with a good grip or with little unshaken pebbles. In This type of trail you will not encounter passages on steps, on rocks or on roots. The slope of the path goes from mild to moderate and the curves are always large enough. Trail S0 can be travelled without the need for special technical skills.
In Brief
  • Condition of the route: compact and well-grip terrain
  • Obstacles: None
  • Slope: Mild to moderate
  • Curve: Wide
  • Driving technique: no special skills required

S1-on a route S1 you will find small obstacles such as little protruding roots and small stones. Often the causes of an increase in the degree of difficulty of a pathway relate to the presence of drainage channels or damage caused by erosion. In single trails S1 the terrain can sometimes be little compact. The slope reaches a maximum of 40% and will not meet Hairturns. Starting from the degree of difficulty S1 is necessary however that you know the basic driving techniques and that you always maintain a good level of concentration. The most difficult passages require a measured use of the brakes and the ability to influence the trajectory through the displacement of the body. Obstacles can all be overcome with basic driving skills.
In Brief
  • Condition of the route: possible little compact terrain, with small roots and stones
  • Obstacles: small obstacles (drainage channels, damage caused by erosion)
  • Slope: < 40%
  • Curves: Narrow
  • Driving technique: basic skills

S2-Within the S2 classification, there are paths that have major roots, stones, steps and stairs in a very difficult sequence. Often they will meet tight curves almost at the elbow and slopes that in some passages will reach 70%. Obstacles can only be overcome by a discreet driving skill. The ability to brake at any time, along with that of shifting the balance points of your body, are necessary techniques for the level S2. It is also necessary to know exactly how to measure braking and keep the body always active while driving.
In Brief
  • Condition of the route: most often not compact terrain, protruding roots and stones
  • Obstacles: Obstacles of various kinds and stairways
  • Slope: < 70%
  • Curves: tightened almost to elbow
  • Driving Technique: Advanced

S3-to the category S3 belong the single trails which have many technical passages consisting of blocks of rock and/or roots. They will often meet high gradons, bends and difficult slopes and rarely sliding passages. Often we will also have to contend with a slippery and little compact terrain. The strokes with a gradient exceeding 70% are not uncommon. The S3 steps do not yet require the use of trialistic technique, however, an excellent control of the bike and a continuous concentration are needed. Important both the ability to brake with good precision (mastery in the modulation of the brake), and a good balance.
In Brief
  • Conditions of the route: technician, frequent protruding roots and big rocks, slippery and little compact terrain
  • Obstacles: Steps
  • Slope: > 70%
  • Curves: Narrow and elbow bends
  • Driving technique: More than advanced

S4 - This category includes very technical sigletrails that have large blocks of rock and/or passages on particularly demanding roots on a terrain most often compact. Often they will meet ramps with almost extreme slope, narrow bends and steps. Special techniques such as the ability to move the front or rear wheel (for example in elbow bends), a perfect braking technique and a good balance are absolutely necessary to travel through S4 paths. Only those who love extreme driving and high technical skills can complete an S4 route. Most of the passages of the S4 type paths are often difficult to pass even on foot.

In Brief
  • Conditions of the route: frequent protruding roots and big rocks, slippery and not compact terrain
  • Obstacles: Steep ramps, very high steps (often at Crown height or more)
  • Slope: > 70%
  • Curves: Very tight bends
  • Driving technique: Perfect mastery of the bike and technical skills such as moving the rear wheel in elbow bends.

S5-The S5 grade is characterized by a very technical terrain that often presents slopes and slippery bottom, very narrow elbow bends, steps of different sizes that are succession and obstacles like fallen trees. Often extreme. The braking space is usually very short and sometimes completely absent. Often the obstacles are in close sequence. Only the really experienced and safe pilot darers S5 steps. On this type of paths sometimes the obstacles can only be skipped. In certain passages even walking with the bike on the shoulder is extremely difficult.

In Brief
  • Conditions of the route: very technical with counter-slopes, slippery terrain and little compact, the
S5 route can include short sections similar to the high mountain ferrate routes.
  • Obstacles: Steep ramps, steps difficult to overcome and in close sequence
  • Slope: > > 70%
  • Curves: Very tight bends with obstacles
  • Driving technique: Excellent mastery of special techniques; The movement of the front and rear wheel is only possible in some cases