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So... Is Glentress red easy, or is Innerleithen red hard?

NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
edited May 2009 in MTB general
Just had a bit of a wakeup call :lol: I've been feeling quite comfy with GT red, picking up the pace, and today "Let's do innerleithen." "Sure, it's red right?" "Yeah!". Either glentress's red is a bit pink, or inners' red is a bit on the purple side :shock: I swear there's chicken runs on caddon bank that are bigger and scarier than any of the main lines at GT.

Sooooo... Have I been lulled into a false sense of security by GT red? Or is Innerleithen red just hard?
Uncompromising extremist


  • shin0rshin0r Posts: 555
    There's no doubt about it, Inners is a beast. Glentress black is more comparable with it than the red. Up there in 4 weeks, can't wait!
  • gregory397gregory397 Posts: 1
    After getting back into biking and finding myself puffing and blowing on the GT red up to spooky wood, i was amazed that the first time down i was alive. Although finess and style was alot to be desired i had made it and after more runs of the red i was getting quicker and smoother (incuring fewer injuries) and confidence was building quite fast.
    I decided to take a trip to Innerliethan and blast around the red only to find that my confidence was shattered, was i suddenly reverted to complete novice overnight or was inner red a wee bit cheeky? the answer is yes to both. GT is good of a place as any but the well trodden path has made it too easy. i have seen kids as young as 6-7 with their parents riding the red on tiny little bikes

    At inner the 5 mile assent is both technical and steep, the downs are both flowing and rewarding. i was stumbling on the rocks and finding myself riding the chicken runs on more than the odd occasion and have yet to see any children with parents slowly making their way down. Inner is red through and through its GT which has the lighter shade of red.

    If only the same facilities were at inner as they are GT what a place it would be? (until the path becomes trodden)
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    So if GT is an easier than usual red, is Innerleithen typical or is it harder than usual?
    Uncompromising extremist
  • pirwin1pirwin1 Posts: 248
    I would say that Inners red has more of a downhilling influence to it (with Inners being a primarily downhill venue) than most red routes I have ridden. I'm pretty sure that some of the hard options on the trail are graded black and personally I don't think some of the harder lines are very achievable on a XC bike.
  • So you're saying that GT is easier than normal, *and* Inners is harder than normal?
  • swssws Posts: 81
    Been to GT loads and love Spooky and the rest of Red back down. Went to Inners about 3 weeks back and was totally blown away. GT is where I cut my teeth, Inners is where I put what I learnt into practice. Never had so many oh sh!t moments before diving into a bombhole the likes of which I've never seen at GT. Fabulous. Problem is my limited experience on trails elsewhere, only ever been on the Pentlands, Glentress and recently Inners.
    2010 Trek 1.2
    2013 Merida Scultura Comp 903
  • LiftmanLiftman Posts: 55
    We did Inners for the first time on Saturday and it is certainly more challenging than GT Red, i did a nice over the bars fall on the way up.

    Will definatly be going back, the climb for the first half seems like it will never end but the down hill second half is awesome especially the Minch Moor descent.

    I can agree with a previous poster in that some of the chicken runs are fairly challenging.

    It is also extremly quiet compared to GT, dont know why more people dont use it.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Until about this time last year, Innerleithen was a black XC route - not sure what they did to get it downgraded to a red, added in extra lines I suppose. Cee in another thread said:
    cee wrote:
    Do the XC route at innerleithen....about 5 miles away....somewhere in between a red and a black, but with some optional black+ options....

    So yeah, think Inners is a bit more taxing than most reds!
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Yep, whatever it is, it's bloody brilliant... And I swear, i popped out the bottom a better rider than I was at the top. Maybe not from skill (though maybe) but just from confidence and commitment.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553

    GT is a proper red.

    inners used to be a black, but they downgraded it after adding a red part that avoids the worst of the rocks in the woods, but the descent to that is harder than GT.

    Remember too that the final descent down the caddon bank is part of the Make or Brake DH track....fair enough its one of the easier DH tracks out there, but is definately a bit above red.

    Then there are the optional black+ features....some big old drops and what not....

    well worth the effort though, as it is really rewarding.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    This is the whole problem with route grading, there's no consistency because there's no criteria to adhere to.

    The Forestry Commission are however working on a blanket grading system which will apply across all FC operated parks. So obviously it won't apply to privately run operations like Llandegla. But it's a start.
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  • blablablacksheepblablablacksheep Posts: 1,377
    sorry to hijack this thread, but i wondering, is there a place where you can find all "trails" in England?

    ie, rated trails like black/red ect. tried a few sites but just get pushed to places like epping forest which isnt a proper trail.
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    sorry to hijack this thread, but i wondering, is there a place where you can find all "trails" in England?

    ie, rated trails like black/red ect. tried a few sites but just get pushed to places like epping forest which isnt a proper trail.

    this isn't bad......
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    That is a fairly good site, put together by one of the guys who posts on here.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

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  • BurkieBurkie Posts: 28
    Just to add my tuppence worth, Inners was a black as stated earlier, until recently, and having ridden a few reds in the 7 stanes and in north Scotland, it is definitely a tough red now that it has been downgraded. GT is a great route and probably on the slightly soft side of red but still tricky and techy in places and definitely not easy.

    TBH, it's all about what you feel good to take on, and the grading just gives you a general idea. I've ridden some black trails that have been fine and yet others where i have dodged round stuff and walked past stuff cos I'm too old and chicken to take it on so I don't think anything is set in stone.
    Ride, fall off, ride some more, fall off some more. I will get better...
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    Schmako wrote:
    I go by the rule of the club roost would die at inners.

    nah.....i have had my hardtail round the xc at inners. that really makes you think fast!

    agreed about the grading systems....its different to skiing, because the required level of fitness is taken into account, so a 100mile loop would be graded above a technically similar 5mile loop.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • myopicmyopic Posts: 692
    I rode Inners red for the first time this year after meaning to go down for a while. I would definitely have compared it to the GT black run rather than the red, though it is shorter. I'd say if you can cope with the Inners red, you should also be able to manage GT Black.
    You don't need eyes to see, you need vision
  • bungalisticbungalistic Posts: 543
    Did Inners red route on Saturday for the first time, and I loved it. The climb was a certainly taxing and a lot of hard work but the downhill was well worth it.

    All of it was ridden on a hardtail, full suss isn't needed for the route, though some sections would certainly be easier and smoother with a bit of cushion in the back.

    Where the trail comes down and joins the make or brake track is amazing. In fact it were so good we pushed back up and rode the full make and brake run again, I think I could easy spend one day just running that route down.

    It certainly is harder and more challenging than most other red routes i've ever ridden and it definately benefits from that, looking forward to going back.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    I figure if I can ride it on a HT, anyone can! Though I didn't do the bigger drops on caddon bank, that's me not knowing the trail rather than the bike not being up to it. And the bike's a bit XC weight-weenie too, carbon seatpost, 717 rims, 90mm stem :lol:
    Uncompromising extremist
  • crimsondynamocrimsondynamo Posts: 246
    I was down there this morning..

    The weather makes a big difference to difficulty of Inners. Still, hot day, bone dry = ascent to Minch Moor, rocks & roots no problem. Wet, blowing a gale = a whole world of hurt.

    GT Red mixes up its ascents and descents so you get a constant drip feed of reward for your hard work. Inners Red is up, up, up, down, down, down.

    I'm techically inept and not very brave, but barring a couple of drop-offs which are beyond me I thoroughly enjoy the place.
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