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
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.
- 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.
- 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.