Clayton Vale MTB Trails, England

Clayton Vale MTB Trails, England

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Address
The National Cycling Centr, Stuart Street, Manchester, M11 4DQ
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Clayton Vale MTB Trails are based in Clayton Vale Local Nature Reserve and form part of the overall cycling facilities on offer at the National Cycling Centre, in East Manchester.

They offer something uniquely different in that this is approximately 10.5km of MTB trails in an urban setting yet they also offer trails and skills development for all ability levels which is generally only found further out in rural trail bases and centres. In addition one of the trails is specifically designed for disabled people (both the UK and World MTB first). The trails have unrestricted free access all year round. The new trails add to the already popular and established Bike Park

In addition one of the trails is specifically designed for disabled people (both the UK and World MTB first). The trails have unrestricted free access all year round. The new trails add to the already popular and established Bike Park Skills zone which has a pump track and varying graded tracks of technical difficulty.

Worth noting that The National Cycling Centre itself acts as the trail head with decent facilities. It is also the home of the Olympic velodrome and the national BMX track

The trails can be ridden separately, can mixed and matched together and consist of the following sections:

Newton Heath Sidewinder - Dark Blue Trail

  • The Newton Heath Sidewinder is a blue moderately graded trail. It starts on Bank Bridge St and gently climbs before an off camber descent that drops you into the Vale. It then climbs the main Sidewinder section with berms and short climbs, winding it's way along the vale with Red Rock-it optional choices if you prefer. Finally, it drops into the bike skills zone by Clayton Vale Visitor Centre.
  • At the end, you have two choices. Either hit the bike park or gently climb the Clayton Vale Easy Rider (see below).

Clayton Vale Easy Rider – Light Blue Trail

  • The ‘Easy Rider’ is truly all abilities. What we mean is it is a UK MTB and World first and hopefully the first of many to come that allows for a range of accessible bikes that can be used by disabled riders.
  • This section of the trail is also fun for all levels or riders. It has a progressive rhythm and pump section that can be ridden as soft or as fast and hard as your technical ability allows.

Urban Red Rock-it – Red – Difficult

  • The Urban Red Rock is a red graded difficult trail section which is the name suggests has lots of rock features like rock gardens and rock steps.The climbs are technical and it is also interspersed with drop offs.

Scorpions Tail – Black – Expert

  • This section is short, graded black and is for expert riders. Near the end is sharp, off-camber and gnarly rock sections.

Bike Park - MTB Skills Zone – Orange

  • Philips Park MTB skills area is a great starting point before attempting the trails. Graded with the traditional dot system you can encounter all the same technical trail features here before hitting the trails.
  • The orange dot system is simply understood as one dot easy, 2 dots moderate and 3 dots difficult ( good thing is they use them on the trail also for continuity, not just the bike park skills area).
  • You can find the bike park skills area round the back of the NCC.

Clubs and Groups

  • Scorpions MTB Club.

Other Stuff

  • The trails cost £894,000, jointly funded by British Cycling, Sports England and Manchester City Council.
  • The trail head is The National Cycling Centre itself. It has a café, toilets, car park, bike hire, bike washing facilities. It also offers coaching and club riding.

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  • If you have ridden the MTB trails at Clayton Vale then please share your experiences and post your reviews, pictures and videos to this listing. 
  • Also, why not check out the iBikeRide Index of the Top UK Trails to see where Clayton Vale is ranked. 

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User reviews

30 reviews

 
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1 star
 
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Overall rating 
 
3.96
 
3.84  (30)
 
3.60  (30)
 
4.15  (28)
 
4.16  (30)
 
4.24  (30)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
Comments
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Overall rating 
 
3.89
Grin Factor 
 
3.50
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
4.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
4.00

great for a quick blast

top trail

User Review

Good Points
Its amazing to have this so close to the city centre. If im stuck for time I like to use it for training for XC racing doing a few laps [3 or 4] its a good simulation of a race. Good for the cardio. I can't fault it. Considering it there for free. there are a couple decent sized dropoffs. I reckon its good for people who are new to MTB. I think it good for a family ride too with options for easy rides and picnic areas. Hardtails fine for this. Even ridden the red on my rigid CX bike which is great fun. [missing out the larger dropoffs] Cycle centre nearby with good parking and facilities
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: April 16, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Awesome trails for the location

I spend a lot of mtb time in and around the Peak District but when it gets really soggy I Have driven out and spent up to 3 hours riding the trails on several occasions, it can get little monotonous after a while but for purpose built mtb riding so close to a city centre there isn't much better , trails are tame if compared to others but can still be challenging at high speed if you're prepared to put a bit effort in.

User Review

Good Points
Quality all weather trails utilising the location very well, short n steep ish climbs then into very fun twisty descents making excellent use of what little elevation is available.
Located right by the national cycling centre which has a cafe toilets and a bike shop on site.
Bad Points
scallywags and dog walkers (not that bad really don't let it put you off)
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.91
Grin Factor 
 
3.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
3.50
Facilities 
 
4.00

Clayton Vale still holds it's own

A fantastic resource for Manchester.

User Review

Good Points
Even the easy routes are good for building fitness, purpose built routes so challenging and varied. The friends group run a great little cafe in the Education centre, and they do their best to pick up litter and create a welcoming environment. Good if you want a quick blast for a couple of hours. Also has the national cycle centre at the other end and a skills area in Philips Park, that alone is great for kids.
Bad Points
Occasionally there are pedestrians on the routes who haven't understood the segregation. This is on the fringe of urban Manchester so there are some social issues. The site does get a bit of hammer but I have never experienced any hassle here.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.33
Grin Factor 
 
3.00
Trail Variety 
 
2.50
Skills Development 
 
4.00
Trail Quality  
 
3.50
Facilities 
 
4.00

Fun blast with some short challenging sections

Decent place for a quick blast if you live around Manchester.

User Review

Good Points
Good facilities, decent trail for a few loops. The most fun sections are the original blue drop into the vale, the orange sections and the red which starts with a drop off. I find in some sections doesn't quite flow right on the main trails.
Bad Points
I find in some sections doesn't quite flow right on the main trails.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.62
Grin Factor 
 
3.00
Trail Variety 
 
3.00
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
3.50
Facilities 
 
4.50

Worth a ride if you live locally

User Review

Good Points
Mix of blue, red & one black trail. Good for an hours or so's riding. Good facilities at the Cycle centre, Evans shop, cafe, etc & small cafe at the Clayton Vale entrance for cheap coffee and food. It's a good place to brush up and learn skills but don't be expecting anything like you would get in Wales since it's an inner city trail.
Bad Points
As it sits between Newton Heath & Clayton people tend to dump stuff from the housing estates onto the park. Also you will come across kids & dog walkers coming the wrong way up trails occasionally as they seem to think they are short cuts through the park! If riding in the evening I would recommend riding as a group and not alone.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.31
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
3.50
Facilities 
 
3.50

Excellent small scale trails, provided for free.

I would like to see a community that looks after the trails as well as rides them.

User Review

Good Points
This is an amazing set of local trails in a city environment. The place has been built with real skill to offer loads of great trail fun in a small plot of land which is shared with general public. They've done a fantastic job of squeezing so much in - and this is for free!
I hope it inspires some local kids to get into mountain biking and develop the health benefits and responsibility to the environment that goes with it.
Bad Points
Because of its location, it is prone to being used for dumping rubbish (at one entrance at least) and I get the impression that people feel the maintenance of the trail is all down to Eastlands Trust or whoever runs the Velodrome. It would be nice if people could realise that it's also their responsibility to lool after it and as much as you don't want to clean up after other people, it would be better than letting litter become a problem.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.88
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
4.00

XC ride

Epic

User Review

Good Points
Good looking trails
Bad Points
No loo roll
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: October 02, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.09
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
3.00

Excellent innercity trails

In response to a couple of other posters, my ratings are rating it for what it is (an urban biking centre) and are not done in comparison to proper trail centres.I'm a regular mountain biker. Ride in the Lakes, North Wales, Peaks, as well as trail centres such as Llandegla, Coed y Brenin, Gisburn etc. Given what they have to work with, this is an excellent little set of trails. They make great use of what little elevation they have and the reds and blacks/orange have enough going on that you need to think and have your wits about you. Probably not worth travelling to in the way that you would travel to one of the big trail centres, but for something that is local and easily accessible for Mancunians these are excellent. I've ridden here maybe 20 times and only once had any kind of issue with potential "trouble" and in fairness that was just a bunch of youth hanging out and not (as far as I saw anyway) actually causing any bother. If you turn up expecting a Gisburn or a Llandegla you're probably going to be disappointed. If however you rock up looking for a fun and relatively skills demanding set of trails (particularly if ridden at speed) that you can zip around on your lunchbreak, or after work, then you'll be happy with what you find. 

User Review

Good Points
Fast, flowy, fun trails, with enough technical bits to keep all but the most proficient mountain bikers interested.
Real climbs, it's a good old workout
Nice skills area to practice/play
Short red/orange/black bits have enough of the consequence factor to keep me interested anyway
Easy to get to from Manchester city centre
Next to Cycling centre so secure(ish) parking and facilities on hand (incl a bikeshop)
Bad Points
Not many really, other than its not a full blown trail centre in the mountains (duh!)
Maybe that it is in a somewhat dodgy area of Manchester, but I've never had an issue and never heard of one through mates who ride there or the local biking forums that I spend too much of my time on..
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.12
Grin Factor 
 
4.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
4.00
Facilities 
 
3.00

Better than a lot of people make out!

User Review

Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 

I went for a ride here with a colleague when working in Manchester, handy way to spend a couple of hours after work.

I wouldn't travel to ride here, but as a place to visit if you are close by and have time to kill it. Is pretty good.

User Review

Good Points
It's a great location,
You can do a few laps and mix it up between red and black
Good option for the centre of a city.
Bad Points
Not to long,
Not too challenging
Gets boring fast
Would you recommend?
Yes
Owner's reply

Neat review. How come no ratings?

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