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The New York City Mountain Bikers Meetup Group Message Board › Am I a Beginner, Intermediate or an Advanced rider?

Am I a Beginner, Intermediate or an Advanced rider?

user 2934514
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 31
Hey All,

Below are our NYCMTB definitions of the different levels of riders.

These are not exact hard definitions, but rather meant to be a guideline to help get people on the same page.


It’s your first mountain bike and you’ve never or almost never been biking off road before.

You've been on a bike in the last 5 years, and you know how to ride a fat tire, multi-gear mountain bike. You have ridden your bike off road a few times (trail riding or single track), can get over a few small obstacles or have the desire to try or learn how. You can ride for at least 1 hour with some stopping.

Strong Beginner
You have been on trail rides - fire roads or singletrack, you’re comfortable riding for 2 hours with some stopping. You know how to shift your weight to keep it centered on the bike. You have perhaps had some training or taken a bike training clinic. You can get over most small rocks, small logs, and fairly steep descents without getting off your bike. You may have clip less pedals.

Fast and flowey riding (Long Island (anywhere), Cunningham, Stewart, Hartshorne, Allaire) – you can easily ride for over 2 hours at a good pace without much stopping, you can get over just about any obstacle on fast and flowey trails without stopping. You likely ride using clipless pedals. You may have done a race or two.

Technical riding (Ringwood, Blue Mountain, Jungle Habitat) - you can easily ride for over 2 hours at a good pace without much stopping, you can get over most large rocks and logs without stopping. You likely have clipless pedals and perhaps body armor. You may have done a race or two.

Strong intermediate (i.e Eric Lewis led rides at Blue Mountain, Ringwood, etc)
You ride at least once a week for over 3 hours without much stopping in very technical trails at a good pace. You're comfortable with 4 hour rides on technical trails. You likely ride a full suspension mountain bike, wear clipless pedals, may have a seat dropper seatpost and perhaps wear some body armor. You know how to get over most obstacles, 3' logs, big boulders, rocks rock gardens without getting off your bike. You can go up very steep long and technical climbs (i.e. Blue Mountain Blue/green trail from the parking lot to the top) You’re able to climb and go down steep rocky trails (Blue Mountain Monster, Debacle trails, Ringwood Red trail switchback, Warm puppy trail). You may have done some downhill riding. You may do some racing. Places like Ringwood, Waywayanda, Jungle Habitat & Blue Mountain are places you regularly ride and a good pace for over 2 hours without much stopping.

You ride regularly 2-3 times a week or more. You can easily ride for 3-4 hours at a fast pace without much stopping. You can easily get over just about any obstacle – large rocks 3-4 ft diameter logs, rock gardens. You love long steep climbs. Gnarly/rocky steep descents are no problem for you at all, you almost never have to get off your bike. You may do a lot of downhill riding even downhill racing. You enjoy doing 3-4 foot drops and jumps. You may race.

You race. You have a coach. You have a sponsorship, you go crazy fast over everything.
New York, NY
Post #: 179
great post peter.
but damn it, i barely make Intermediate?!
Lafayette, LA
Post #: 1
Interesting !
I realized I could be beginner forever, though I always insist intermediate to increase my chance to join the different level of groups. ( this is what veronica taught me)

Peter finally refine the level clearly!
A former member
Post #: 1
Hello friends, I'm living in NY and I would meet people for enduro and donwhill in NY ..... !!! I want to get started in the sport, have the desire, motivation and extreme madness, I would be a strong beginner, in my country did any of this but now I want to put my 100%, I ask your help, why start from 0 here.
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