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What do I need?
Riding a bike off-road on the network of trails requires different skills as well as different equipment from road riding. There are now many bikes that have a dual purpose, both on and off-road capability and these usually have a tall upright riding position with suitable modifications to the suspension and gearing to allow sufficient progress when the terrain gets tough.
Most Trail riders have separate riding kit for when they ride off-road as you WILL get WET and you WILL get muddy. A good quality helmet would be top of the list since you would be more likely to need it when riding off-road.
Sturdy boots are also strongly recommended, Trials or Motocross styles are the most popular since they provide sufficient protection to the ankles and shins. Body armour is generally recommended but many riders prefer to use armoured jackets.
The answer to this question depends entirely on the rider. We have trails in our district that are perfectly suitable for the large adventure type bikes such as the BMW GS or KTM Adventure and we have riders of these machines that can manoeuvre them as if they are pedal cycles.
The most common type of bike used by the majority of members are the enduro type or the smaller capacity dual sport. The smaller engined dual sport bikes are ideal since they have more than sufficient power for all likely obstacles but also they are capable machines on the roads too.
Other considerations with bikes should be the weight - Remember, you will be
Do I need to buy a different bike?
expected to lift and carry this bike should you run in to difficulties.
All trail bikes need proper tyres and having the right type can make or break your day out. It is a certainty that proper knobbly tread-block tyres are required. Certain trails can be accomplished with dual sport compound tyres, but when the weather changes and it gets wet, cold, icy and dark you need to be confident that you have sufficient traction to get you through to the end.
If you are not sure whether you have the right bike or kit then don’t be shy about asking us for advice - most riders have spare kit and would happily lend a few items for you to try out. We also have auctions and sales of our own equipment where you could potentially pick up a bargain.