South Wales MTB Weekender

Join Marmalade MTB on a multi-day bespoke trip for you and your friends that will introduce to you the sublime singletrack and classic mountain biking Wales is famous for. Read on below to wet the appetite for a classic mid-week adventure or weekender ?

Wales MTB
Saturday: Trail Centre

Trail centres in Wales are among the best in the world. Afan forest park is one of the oldest and most popular with thousands of shredders making the pilgrimage down the M4 each year. Day 1 is all about finding your flow on as much of the 100 kms of epic singletrack that Festoons the flanks of Afan as you can handle. There is almost unlimited choice of rides available at this trail centre. Our professional British Cycling Level 3 MTB leader who has many years experience on these all-weather trails, will be on hand to ensure you maximmise your Afan experience. Whether that's section by section advice or just the reassurance that he will be on hand for those remote trail side repairs. Enquire about your trip

Afan Trails

Blue Scar
Duration: 1-1.5 hours ride time
Distance: 7 kms | 4.5 miles (approx.)
Technical Grade: Blue | Moderate (any questions, please contact us)
Elevation gain: 347 m | 1,138 ft (approx.)
Description: At the bottom you can double back up the fire road climb you tackled on the way out, and pick up the final descent on the Blue Scar trail. It’s named for the miners who used to work these hills until the 80s, for whom a nick or cut would heal with a blue tint as the coal found its way in as an accidental tattoo. At seven kilometres it’s a decent length for beginners, but new riders will need to take care on it as it will flow very fast indeed. The berms are huge too, and while there is a slow and low line through them they can look intimidating at first approach. It goes without saying, then, that practised riders will be able to absolutely rip.

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Duration: 1.5-3 hours ride time
Distance: 14 kms | 9 miles (approx.)
Technical Grade: Red | Difficult (any questions, please contact us)
Elevation gain: 550 m | 1,804 ft (approx.)
Description: At 14km the red-graded Penhydd trail is an ideal introduction to the harder trails in the area — it’s relatively short and smooth and loads of fun. Gone are the muddy, slippy climbs that blemished the original Penhydd, and now you’ll gain height from a mixture of new singletrack and fire road. Two classic old sections, Sidewinder and Dead Sheep Gully, remain from the original trail, repaired and feeling like new again. The final descent is undulating natural terrain tracked with fast berms and rolling chutes and drops. There’s nothing rough here, but it’s so fast it’s really challenging to hold your speed and the line.

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Duration: 1.5-3 hours ride time
Distance: 23 kms | 14 miles (approx.)
Technical Grade: Red | Difficult (any questions, please contact us)
Elevation gain: 450 m | 1,476 ft (approx.)
Description: Y Wal is famous for its fast and long, rocky and technical descents that produce a dramatic climax for one of the oldest and most loved trails in Wales. It’s 23km long with 450m of climbing and some very rocky sections. A new standalone 2km blue section starts next to the new Skills Area, combining an easy climb and sweeping descent.

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Whites Level
Duration: 1.5-3 hours ride time
Distance: 15 kms | 9.5 miles (approx.)
Technical Grade: Red | Difficult (any questions, please contact us)
Elevation gain: 400 m | 1,312 ft (approx.)
Description: Alongside Y Wal, White’s Level is a stone-cold classic. Itl features nearly 90 per cent purpose-built singletrack that really makes the most of the contours of the valley. Beginning with a long singletrack climb that twists and weaves to the top, affording you dramatic views along the valley, it then gives you maximum enjoyment on the fast and twisty descents that snake back to the trail centre. There is also an optional black trail for those seeking a more demanding challenge.

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Duration: 4-7 hours ride time
Distance: 44 kms | 27 miles (approx.)
Technical Grade: Red/Black | Difficult (any questions, please contact us)
Elevation gain: 975 m | 3,200 ft (approx.)
Description: If you really want to test your mettle then the W2 is a signposted linking of Y Wal and White’s Level, combining both with linking fire roads to offer a huge 44km trail with nearly 1,000m of climbing. It can be started from either the Afan or Glyncorrwg centre. This trail earns its black grade through the combined challenge of the two reds, so if you’re up to those, and you’re confident of your fitness, you’ll be just fine.

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The Gap - Brecon Beacons

What a treat we have in store for you on Day 2. The Gap ride in the Brecon Beacons National Park is consistently voted in the top 5 of 'Must Do Big Mountain Bike Rides in the UK'! It is one of our favourites too and pretty much has everything. Starting from Talybont-un-Usk, we climb gradually with stunning views across the reservoir before crossing the moorland to take on our first rolling descent of the day. Up next is the journey to the famous mountain pass, The Gap' cuts betweeen the peaks of Fan-y-Big and Pen-y-Fan before topping out at +600m. A well earned lunch stop before the epic reveal of the glacial valley vista. Simply spectacular! All this before the descent that will leave you speechless at the bottom. Want to know more about this natural ride? Read our blog about 'The Gap'.
Day 2 - Vital Statistics
Duration: 3-5 hours ride time Distance: 34 kms | 21 miles (approx.) Technical Grade: Red/Black | Moderate/Diffcult (any questions, please contact us) Elevation gain: 770 m | 2,460 ft (approx.) Description: I think it is best to just read our blog about this ride
Is this MTB weekend for me?
You will be at least an intermediate mountain biker who is looking to experience a new type of terrain and riding on adventurous trails in remote areas. You will be confident with core mountain bike handling skills and profficient with operating your bicycle in the correct manner on a variety of terrain which in places will graded Red to Black – Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further The variety of trails we will be riding on this weekend, will include features such as roots, rollable drop-offs and loose rocks of varying sizes You have your own suitable mountain bike (Hybrid and budget bicycles are not suitable for this weekend schedule of riding) The rides do contain a number of moderately steep long climbs that will be technical in places You have the personal fitness to ride for at least 3-5 hours per day at a social and comfortable pace You are aged 16 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on this ride Still not sure? Please contact us here and we will give you a call
What do I need for these rides?
Equipment & Accessories Suitable mountain bike in good working order* Gloves and glasses Backpack, spare inner tubes, spare chain links (e.g. PowerLinks), at least 2 spare spokes specific to your wheels, puncture repair kit and bicycle pump Spare rear derailleur hanger for your bike* Helmet* (IMPORTANT: your helmet must be within the warranty period from the date of manufacture to take part in any of our guided rides. See the table below. You will be asked to submit this information via our riders consent form) Clothing & Extras Clothing & shoes appropriate for cycling and weather conditions on the day Padded cycling shorts for comfort Personal choice of drink and ride snacks per day Knee and elbow pads are recommended * without these you will not be able to take part in the guided ride Our guides carry an extensive kit to assist with trail-side repairs Please contact us if you have questions about the above
Terms & Conditions
To secure your booking a non-refundable deposit of £50pp is required when the reservation is made, either by bank transfer or PayPal, with the balance payable within 30 days of the date of your trip/booking commencing. Payment must be made in pounds sterling (£GBP). The safety and enjoyment of the group is our number one priority. You will be requested to take no further participation in the group ride, if our guide believes you are not capable of safely riding sections of the trail, that will compromise your personal safety and the group. The guide will take appropiate action to manage the group which could result in the route being changed to suit the ability of the individual or group. Marmalade MTB is not responsible for your expenses nor will a refund of your booking be offered if you are asked to take no further part in the guided mountain biking rides of this trip. Booking terms and conditions will be sent to you by email on receipt of your enquiry. Bookings will be confirmed by email once your deposit payment has been received. If you cancel your booking more than 60 days before the first day of your trip, you will receive a refund totalling 50% of the monies paid at the time of booking. If you cancel your booking less than 60 days before the first day of your trip you will receive no refund on monies paid. Marmalade MTB reserves the right to cancel the guided rides or the weekend trip within 24 hours notice due to illness, extreme weather conditions or the minimal number of bookings is not met. Marmalade MTB will honour your booking (based on availability) if the ride is cancelled or you cannot take part for what ever reason. The minimum number of bookings required is 4 riders and the maximum number of riders per guided ride is 8 riders. On completing your booking, you will be accepting the terms and conditions above.

Discover Awesome Today

The Gap MTB Ride Brecon Beacons

Alison Schulte, Brighton

​I had been meaning to go on a Wales MTB trip for a while, but always got stuck at the planning stage... Going with Sean and Marmalade MTB, therefore, was perfect - it probably saved me hours of map staring and certainly made it a lot easier and a lot more fun. The Gap is a stunning place. The view from the top and the fantastic descent are just a few of the highlights of this trip. Totally recommend it and I'm already looking forward to repeat trip.

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