Clayton Vale MTB Trails

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3.9 (31)
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31 reviews

 
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(17)
 
(6)
 
(1)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
3.8  (31)
Trail Variety 
 
3.5  (31)
Skills Development 
 
4.1  (29)
Trail Quality  
 
4.1  (31)
Facilities 
 
4.2  (31)
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Ratings
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
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32 results - showing 1 - 10
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Ordering
(Updated: June 05, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
Newly Built Trail , interesting variety of turns, inclines and declines ,

as mentioned the trail is newly built as such doesn't have any permanent signs at the moment, most of the temporary trail markers have been stolen/removed , but there is a map on their website " http://www.claytonvaletrails.org/info.php" and you can pick up a guide from the reception of the NCC ( National Cycling Centre ) 0161 223224.

The trail network spans 7.5 miles and is made -up of smaller section intertwined to create the overall network with each section ranging in difficulty. All the trails are graded by a dot system and a colour system

keeps you busy for a while, plenty of seating in the middle of the Vale , few picnic tables too dotted about ,

Is not bad to say it is a stones throw away from Manchester Centre and a good place to go if new to MTB

I have had various videos of the blue runs and abit of the reds

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcFLhMSfl4QUUbbSVsH3ifvI9gesB8jNH

# # Updated Footage # #
Mainly Reds this time

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcFLhMSfl4QUMELgRwTZLgCa6K5l0Lvha

Still poor riding on my behalf though

User Review

Would you recommend?
Yes
Clayton Vale 02/06/2013 - MTB Routes , Mainly Blue and a bit of Red - Three
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Clayton Vale
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
Situated just behind the Velodrome and a few minutes from Manchester City centre, the vale trail is a surprising trail in a surprising location.

There is ample parking in the Velodrome car park and its 2 minutes from the skills area, 5 from the trails.

Reception can direct you towards the trails and skills area and even provide you with a map of the routes.

The skills area, although small has a lot of features to practise on. Rock garden, table tops, berms and pump features. But due to the location tends to be dominated by kids on bmx's. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a pit packed on a weekend or school holidays.

The trails are one big loop of blue trail, with shoot off’s of red, black and orange. The best ride seems to be to do them in order as you traverse the blue route and double back around in an ever increasing loop to get a good couple of hours riding.

~The blue is as you would expect, purpose built, hard packed, sand that is dusty and has a bit of loose gravel on the top. An easy ride and nice cycle for anyone who owns a bike. The blue does have some fast and flowy sections you can really get a thrill out of.

~The red trails are fun, twisty tight turns to make the most of the space available with some various features thrown in such as the odd 1ft drop off and rock garden. Again they are all hard pack with a bit of loose gravel in places and are pretty dusty at the moment.

~The black and orange are much like the red in regard to turns and length but obviously feature a lot more technical features. Due to the limited space the features seem to come up very quickly. For example one section features several drop off’s in a row that feel more like riding down a set of steps. Maybe this is intentional but for me it takes a lot from the flow of the course.

The climbs around the trail are good, again for beginners as nothing is too testing but you can get a sweat on!

Way markers as mentioned in the above review are missing or lying around the floor. They only tacked some laminated A4 arrows about the place and unfortunately, they have been torn down by some people. Some more permanent markings would definitely be of use, and it’s well worth picking up a map from the Velodrome.

Overall Clayton Vale is a great place to learn and advance your riding, but I think more advance and experienced riders would get bored before too long. I plan on using the trails for advancing my riding and skills. I would also like to point out that I think this trail would be great in winter. The wide tracks and surfaces should be great around that time of year.

In all honesty I am probably underselling this place as I’m new to the sport and reviewing trails.

Facilities are brilliant. The Velodrome has a café, on site bike shop, free parking and you can even get into the viewing gallery to see the riders around the Velodrome and massive bmx indoor park.

User Review

Good Points
Free Parking
Cafe
Bike shop
Great for begginers
Great for learning
Good skills area
Nice use of space and good variety of trails
Easy to get too
Bad Points
Very busy during holidays and weekend
Not great for advanced riders in my opinion
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Awesome trails for the location
(Updated: April 16, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0
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
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Best MTB trails in Manchester
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
5.0
I have now attended the Clayton Vale MTB trails on 2 occasions, both within the last 3 weeks... And I plan to go again very soon! If you live in or near Manchester these are by far the best trails you could ride in the area. There is something here to suit everyone's ability and skill level, and unless you are after an epic cross country or downhill outing, there is much fun to be had. One of the advantages in my opinion of shorter trails is that you can simply 'nip' round for an hour or 2 without having to commit a full day to the cause. Although we'd all probably like to spend all day every day in the saddle, neither my bottom nor my wife is keen on the idea!
On my first outing I took my 7 year old son, who has only been riding a proper bike since last Christmas and although the prospect of riding the easy trail (light blue) didn't really excite me, I was looking forward to giving him his first taste of trail riding. However after spending the first few minutes riding along a paved section through the park I was starting to wonder why I had bothered to drive 25 mins across Manchester when I could have stuck to the scenic, but flat canal paths of Worsley area. But, 10 minutes in and I was very pleased and pleasantly surprised to see a little light blue arrow pointing right into the trees. This was effectively where it started getting interesting. We left the concrete for a narrow dirt path gently climbing through the trees and from then on it became a real off road trail. Despite keeping to the pace of a 7 year old, and having to occasionally help him along in the uphill sections, I really enjoyed myself, and so did my son. So much so that we went round a second time, this time stopping for a go on the zip wire which seems to be plonked in the middle of nowhere half way round the trail. Although it was a good session it was hardly a workout for me and I was itching to get stuck in to some of the other trails. Hence my second visit 2 weeks later, this time with a friend who had just invested in a half decent MTB. Neither of us ride to a particularly high standard, mostly due to lack of fitness and not so much because of technical inabilities. This time we headed for the dark blue trail which I was glad to see, starts off in the woods pretty much from the word go. Although there are no really technically challenging parts on this trail, a combination of sinuous uphill sections followed by fast downhills with berms and bumps made it a really fun experience. It was certainly enough to get the legs burning and the heart pumping. We managed to squeeze in part if the red trail but sadly due to lack of time had to cut it short. I look forward to part 3 very soon…
All in all, it is a great place to ride, regardless of level or age. For the novice it is perfect to gain experience and learn new skills, for the more experienced rider it is ideal to build up fitness and confidence, all that with a massive grin on your face! The bike wash is handy and probably a must for those who like me carry their bikes inside the car. It is not obvious to find though and at the time of writing this didn’t look like it was sign posted. Look out for a small brick wall at the side of Evans cycle shop, the washer is just behind it, and have a £1 coin at hand.
If you are reading this review and haven't yet been to test the trails, then what are you waiting for!? You can even get a pint of Stella in the café if the riding alone doesn’t do it for you.

User Review

Good Points
Good selection of trails, close to Manchester city centre
Bad Points
Too close to Man City's ground if you're a Red!
Would you recommend?
Yes
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A great surprise!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
Clayton Vale turned out to be a real surprise. A great, high quality facility in the middle of what seems to be a city suburb.
The trails are very good quality, if a little too smooth, it is mountain biking after all. The drainage is good and they looked liked they have been built to last.
Short punchy climbs, lead on to long sweeping burms and switchbacks which just seem to go on and and on. They have managed to fit a lot of action into such a small place. I ride an Orange Single Speed, and this place suited me perfectly.

User Review

Good Points
1. Good quality, very well designed trails
2. You seem to be going downhill more than climbing, a good thing for me!
3. Good mix of trails for all abilities
4. Great location and parking allowing you to take a look around of the rest of the National Cycling Centre
5. Good separation from other users of Clayton Vale
6. A load of big grins of the faces of my mates after a couple of hours on the trails. All giving the place 10 out of 10.
7. This is a great place for novice / intermediate riders looking to improve their skills
Bad Points
Not many really:
1. It could be more technical on the Red Sections. Great fun but not that challenging for an experienced rider
2. The blue route was just a little too smooth, a few strategically placed rocks would probably liven things up a bit and sharpen the senses.
3. The Cafe is a tad on the pricey side. (Manchester City Centre prices!)
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Clayton Vale
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
5.0
As a beginner to MTB I found this a great place to get on my bike and try new things. There's lots of variation throughout the trail, pump, drop offs, rock gardens and great descents.

The trail is fully sign posted up. With light blue, blue, red, black and orange zones. Drop in the cycle arena and pick up a free map.

In Phillips park next to the cycle arena there's a practice zone. Great to warm up on.

User Review

Good Points
Great for someone who wants to get into MTB
Something for everyone
Free car park ( in cycle arena )
Bad Points
People going the wrong way
Would you recommend?
Yes
D
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Clayton Vale still holds it's own
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Grin Factor 
 
3.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
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
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Not that great
Overall rating 
 
2.6
Grin Factor 
 
2.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
2.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
2.5
Good place to get into trail riding. Some fun sections but nothing compared to places within an hour or so drive away. Would be good for getting your kids into MTB riding. If you did the whole thing (including looping back so you can do the short black and orange section it would only be 7 miles and would take less than an hour for the whole thing.

People of Manchester, drive half an hour to Lee and Cragg quarry near Bacup which is 10 time better than here but not as highly recommended on this site???

User Review

Good Points
Great for getting city people into trail riding.
Bad Points
It's small and its tame. Certain red sections are barely red IMO and the (short) black section would be classed as red on other trails.
Would you recommend?
Yes
MS
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Clayton Vale
Overall rating 
 
1.9
Grin Factor 
 
1.0
Trail Variety 
 
2.0
Trail Quality  
 
2.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
We started at the skills loop were we was met with a gang of young lads smoking skunk and drinking in the arches, we carried on to the start of the trail. At first I thought, it's not to bad, but more and more I was seeing glass on the trails, the odd glue bag and kids running up the trails. The lads walking 2 staffs on the red had me slamming my breaks on. Ok trail, wrong location.

User Review

Good Points
Free parking at the velodrome, bike shop etc.
Bad Points
Glass on the trails.
The odd glue bag.
Dog walkers.
Kids messing about on the trails.
Would you recommend?
No
D
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Excellent small scale trails, provided for free.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
3.5
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
G
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