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Among South West MTBers the trails at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods are pretty famous. Perfectly positioned on the edge of the city of Bristol, they give riders in need of a quick adrenaline fix the opportunity to escape from the urban sprawl and tear things up for a couple of hours.
Ashton Court and Leigh Woods has even been featured in the Guardian as part of their Britain’s Trails feature. They described the centre as “a rare wonder” because of its combination of great location and top maintenance. If you’re from Avon, Somerset or a keen MTBer from further afield you’re going to want to check this place out and you’ll need the right bike to make the most of it.
The trails offer a few optional sections for red-level riders, but in general you’ll be looking at a lot of enjoyable blue routes – great for novices, but with a few testing elements if you’re looking to progress. Because of this, you’ll be best off with a short to medium travel bike, or even a hardtail. We’ve picked a few likely candidates from our range of great Trek, Specialized, Giant and Cannondale bikes.
looking for a fast and efficient full-suspension bike to thrash around Bristol’s
favourite trails then you could do far, far worse than the Trek Fuel. Part of
an extremely popular range from the US manufacturers, the Fuel blurs the line
between bullish trail bikes and nimble cross-country machines. SRAM gears are
smooth and responsive, while the suspension offers the right mix of comfort and
grip on the rocky, rooty sections and fast climbing without the bob.
This fierce Cannondale hardtail machine offers the perfect balance between fast and fun. The clever front-susp lockout option on the Rockshox fork means you can maximise efficiency while going uphill – great for the drop and climb sections in Leigh Woods. The full Shimano drivetrain means you’ll be able to switch easily between the full range of 30 gears.
Giant Trance Advanced
The Giant Trance Advanced has more than enough travel (at 140mm) to easily tackle the trails of Ashton Court and Leigh Woods – so you needn’t worry about coming a cropper. It’s also a great bike for those looking to step things up and start tackling more challenging downhill trails. Think of it as an investment in your future!
The Women’s Obsess by Liv is a superb quality, purpose-built hardtail bike that is an absolute joy to ride. The Shimano groupset will give you great shifting and control in tight turns, while the bike has enough travel on the front fork to deal confidently with the runs at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods.
This tough aluminium-framed Giant machine is a great first step into trail riding, with 120mm of suspension front and back. It sits at the shorter end of what’s available in terms of travel, so it’s a great choice for learning how to handle a top-quality bike. Skills that’ll transfer should you make switch to something a little more plush.
Specialized Pitch Disc
With a well-designed frame and a weight of experience in producing great mountain bikes behind it, the Pitch from Specialized is a great value option for those looking to dip their toe into MTB. You’ll be able to take this on the Blue runs of Ashton Court and Leigh Woods with absolutely no problems, while the smooth and controlled front fork is enough to instil confidence as you push things harder.
All of the
bikes featured are more than capable of tackling the trails around the
Southwest, once you’ve mastered Ashton Court you might want to check out the,
Forest of Dean or Cwmcarn, these cycle trail centres will put your skills to
the test and improve your riding no end.
We look forward to seeing you in store and out on the trails.