Skill Ratings

The SMBC ride ratings!!! All riders are requested to study before they join a ride.

SKILL LEVEL 1 - BEGINNER

Never ridden off-road before or have limited experience.

SKILL LEVEL 2 - NOVICE

Enjoy riding off-road and wide dirt trails (doubletrack), but don't have the skills and confidence to ride terrain with rocks, tight corners, Singletrack, trees, and steps yet.

SKILL LEVEL 3 - STRONG NOVICE

Dedication to mountain biking led you to your first handful of rides on real singletrack. You enjoy the smooth mellow singletrack, although often the trees feel too tight, the climbs come too quick to shift and have you walking, and the obstacles have you a bit surprised!

SKILL LEVEL 4 - INTERMEDIATE

TERRAIN

At a controlled speed and on mellow singletrack terrain, you are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand.

OBSTACLES

You are comfortable and confident rolling over small obstacles (a couple inches high) like roots, rocks and small rollable drops (a couple inches high). You do not take your wheels off the ground.

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following basic bike handling skills on mellow singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate the terrain and shift gears accordingly.

Descending - you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent.

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required.

SKILL LEVEL 5 - STRONG INTERMEDIATE

TERRAIN

You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on more challenging terrain.

OBSTACLES

You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 15 cm) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable. 

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears often and smoothly.

Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing is typically successful, unless technical roots, rocks or corners have you walking a short section.

Descending - you are comfortable and balanced standing up off of your seat and can maintain level pedals for the entire descent. You are comfortable with speed and letting go of your brakes as long as you can see the exit or end of the descent.

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes when required.

Cornering - you understand effective cornering techniques although still need to work on your timing and coordination.

SKILL LEVEL 6 - ADVANCED

TERRAIN

You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking.

OBSTACLES

You can hop over obstacles such as small roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over.   You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 15 cm) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears often and smoothly.

Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing that involves technical roots, rocks and switchbacks are typically no issue for you.

Descending - you use the brakes sparingly, and are open to taking some air off little rocks and roots . 

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes independently of each other when required.

Cornering - your timing and coordination on all types of berms is solid. You are comfortable leaning your bike through the corner and exit with acceleration.

SKILL LEVEL 7 - EXPERT

TERRAIN

You are comfortable riding a variety of singletrack which may include tight trees, mud, loose rocks and sand and are comfortable doing so on aggressive terrain with little braking. You rarely, if ever, walk.

OBSTACLES

You often hop over obstacles such as roots and rocks that less advanced riders may wheel lift over.   Small drops are no issue for you and you are comfortable with having both wheels leave the ground.  You are comfortable and confident with a front wheel lift and rear wheel lift to get up and over larger obstacles (up to 6 inches) such as roots and rocks that are not rollable.

BIKE SKILLS

You are confident and successful executing the following bike handling skills on a variety of singletrack:

Shifting - you anticipate hills by shifting gears often and smoothly.

Climbing - you shift your bodyweight forward in efforts to keep traction on your front wheel. Climbing technical roots, rocks and switchbacks are no issue for you.

Descending - you use the brakes sparingly and air off of every rock, root and drop you can find.

Speed Control and Braking - you use momentum to climb rolling terrain and are comfortable using both your front and back brakes independently of each other when required.

Cornering - your timing and coordination on all types of berms, switchbacks and corners is solid. You are comfortable leaning your bike through fast corners and exit with acceleration.

SKILL LEVEL 8 - PRO

You can handle the most technical terrain imaginable, eat up steeps for breakfast and can hit all the gaps, drops and jumps any park throws at you.