This section is here to help all you newcomers. We understand that if you haven’t taken part in mountain biking before the whole thing can feel a bit daunting and maybe you’re unsure where to start! It’s easy, start here, understand the basics and join the revolution!

What equipment do I need?

Obviously you’ll need a bike. There are different types of bikes each with different specifications (more about that later). You’ll need a helmet, some gloves and it’s always a good idea to take a water bottle. These are the four essentials.

What if I don’t own a helmet or bike?

No problem. Equipment can be hired at different locations near the trails.

At Afan Forest Park contact:

Skyline Cycles

Web: www.skylinecycles.tumblr.com

Tel:  01639 850011


Afan Valley Bike hire

Web: www.afan-valley-bike-hire.com

Tel: 01639 893661


Afan Valley Bike Shed

Web: www.afanvalleybikeshed.co.uk

Tel: 01639 851406

At Cwmcarn contact:

PS Cycles

Web: www.pscycles.co.uk

Tel: 01495 246555

Do I need a special bike?

There are lots of different bikes and they range in price. To ride the Cognation trails it is advisable that you have some form of front suspension. These bikes are known as ‘hardtails’.

What does the trail grading colour code mean?

The colour coding system identifies how difficult each trail is to ride. It categorizes the trails. Basically, you start on the green trails, then try the blues and when your competent enough try the reds and even black trails. It’s a great framework for progression and to monitor your skill level.

It is important for you to assess which trail you think is most suitable for your ability. For full explanation of the trail grading open the trail grading guide

Is there anywhere that I can improve my skills?

A skills area is being built in Afan Forest Park as part of this project; this will be open by April 2012.

Follow the forest cycle code?

Mountain biking is fun but you must also take care, follow these tips to help you on your way: