Your next all-day Epic
Coed Y Brenin, the first official mountain bike trail centre in the UK and really where everything started. It's time to make your pilgrimage!
I've been here a few times, but never ridden the same trail twice. There is a lot here, and a lot of it is very, very good. Ahead of my Tour Of Cambridgeshire race in June and well into my training, I felt pretty good and decided to tackle the Beast at Coed Y Brenin with my good friend Jack. The Beast, the only true black at Coed Y Brenin is circa 30km long with over a kilometre of climbing - read up on the trail here.
The trail head at Y Brenin is one of the best in the country. Lots of tarmac parking in and around the hillside, a big trail head with bike shop and all important caf�. It's nestled in at the bottom of the valley with the trails heading up either side. You could almost say it was like a Welsh ski town...
The trails at Coed Y Brenin are rocky. I've ridden both a hardtail round here and a full susser. You'll want the latter for comfort first, but to then avoid almost constant punctures. They also take you right from the valley bottom to the mountain top and pay you back handsomely. If you've ridden a Welsh trail centre, just imagine that just scaled up.
The Beast trail reminds me of my Mini Enduro I did at the Forest of Dean. There's nowhere to hide here as you've got big long relentless climbs that'll quickly show you up if you haven't been on the bike regularly and then equally big descents, which again will show you up if you can't handle fast, rocky and exposed descents.
Assuming you can do all of this however, you've still got yourself a 30km Enduro stage. The trail in parts is well used, as the Red's weave in and out, but overall the trails on The Beast still retain a sense of the natural. There are still rocks which are not well placed and will throw you off if you're not careful. Quite a lot of corners are flat, so your actual technique will also be pulled in to help. Saying all this though, once you get into the swing of things, the trails just flow superbly. Yes its rocky, and it's always fast and challenging but never dangerous. You come down from every long descent questioning why not more people are on this and how do I get back to the top to ride that even harder!
There is an issue though. Sign posting. Coed Y Brenin is a BIG trail centre, part of why it feels more natural than man made, however the signposting of trails is terrible. We found we cut off half of the Beast without even realising. Not a problem as we simply did the first section again. It's that good. However you'll need to bring your Duke of Edinburgh brain with you to ensure you stay on track, as sign posting is not a strong point of this trail centre.
So with all this in mind, Jack and I must head back again later this year, to see what the second half of the Beast is like. Join us, if you like.
This year, Archie has been ride the Whyte T130 C RS
Whyte T130 C RS 2019 Carbon Full Suspension Mountain Bike
The new T-130 takes the playful, do-it-all attitude of its award-winning predecessor and massively updates it with more capable suspension, latest generation Whyte OTO geometry and sleeker packaging.
- Frame - Carbon, Uni-directional Multi Monocoque Front Triangle with Internal Cable Routing
- Fork - RockShox Pike RC 27.5", 140mm Travel, 37mm Offset, DebonAir, Charger 2 Damper, Fast Black Coating, Tapered Steerer, 110mm x 15mm Boost, Maxle Ultimate
- Shock - RockShox Deluxe RT, DebonAir, Fast Black Coating, Adjustable Rebound and 2 Position Compression
- Drivetrain - SRAM Descendant 7K Eagle
- Brakes - SRAM Guide RS, 4 Pot, S 160mm Rotor, M/L/XL 180mm Rotor, Internal Routing
Blog: A Gravity Man
Riding a bike started out for me with racing my brother round the patio, to now evolving to regular trips to Wales for all day epics. Mountain biking has been with me for pretty much all my life and so has Rutland Cycling from an early age, fuelling my growing addiction for more bikes and gear.
As the saying goes, all things that go up, must come down, with the down being important. From Downhill to Trail, it's all about those descents. Keep your fingers off the brakes, pop those jumps and rail those berms. Let's not kid about, climbing is a means to an end. So be it the sandy berms of Chicksands to the rocky outcrops of Antor Stiniog, it's time to point the bike downhill and let that adrenaline flow! So, with fatherhood on the horizon I've got just enough time to see the sights, ride the bikes and get as much done as possible. Luckily Rutland Cycling are here to assist again in my final push. It's time to clip in.