Review by: martinvimpany on 27 July 2013
Ridden 25/07/13 - Worth doing, brilliant situation, but inconsistent. The new section is awful.
Great trail, great views, worth doing, but agree with some previous comments that the 'flow' is lacking.
It's not in my nature to be overly critical, but in particular I would like to comment on the new section has been added (perhaps to avoid the traffic going to and from the huge windfarm under construction). This section seems to replace 'nil desperandum'(?) and links 'the edge' and 'omega man'.
This recent addition consists of a winding grey ribbon of about two kilometres of five foot wide tamped down slate with gutters either side. It's like a miniature motorway and as near flat tarmac as you'll get in a forest. The surface is perfectly manicured and as smooth as a baby's bum. Very impressive as a feat of engineering, but a massive contrast to the glorious, natural feeling, twisty singletrack of 'the edge' that precedes it.
Were it not for the stunning views from here (and they are beautiful) the monotony and lack of any challenge whatsoever would be hard to bear; this is green rather than red riding. I fully expect that a year from now there will be dashed white lines down the middle, street lighting and services. I sense it was designed by a civil engineer, and not a rider.
If the Ae management team are reading this; C'mon guys, appreciate the massive cost and effort that has gone in to engineering this section of immaculately manicured track, but this is NOT why we go mountain biking! This section belongs in a municipal park, not somewhere as beautiful as Ae. If it does replace 'nil desperandum' then may I suggest 'the M6' as a replacement name.
Review by: mega_waster on 12 September 2011
Not one for beginners and some frustrating flow issues but still good.
If you're a beginner and you think maybe you'll try out a red grade trail then stay away from this one. Expect to find some short difficult descents that are steep, loose and bumpy. You'll find some short climbs that are similarly tricky. The longer climbs use fire roads which are a little dull. Hardtail riders will find this trail a little bit on the rough side due to the trail's rocky surface in many places. The main issue I have with this trail is the flow is interrupted a lot. A long or short climb will often lead to what looks like a descent section. Seat dropped and high gear engaged your smile is quickly removed as you almost immediately hit more steep climbing which leaves me wondering what was the point of descending for 10 seconds only to climb for 1 minute then descend again. I like my ups to be ups and my downs to be downs. The trail itself is well made and there's fun to be had but there's certainly frustration too. Omega Man section at the end is fast but once again is interupted with climbing until you begin the final descent which is flowy and full of drops and jumps aimed at beginner level freeriders. Underestimate the last section at your own risk and expect faster riders to catch and attempt to pass you at busy times like holidays and weekends. Ae trail centre also has couple of proper DH tracks (expert & intermediate), showers, bike shop and a cafe making it a very well equipped venue.
You can session the last descent of the Omega Man section over and over using the super useful push-up path.
Review by: Leckie on 2 October 2010
Great trail, easily accessed. Not too much fire road and loads of great opportunity for a blast combined with a good grunt up the hills. Well worth a shot especially if en route up M74 as only 20 mins off it.
Review by: trumplesneaker on 22 July 2010
The best red of the 7 Stanes...?
Yes! I loved it, everything about it screams quality and adventure and speed and beautiful scenery that will have you stopping the speed fest to actually look around you. One of the best in the UK without a doubt.
Review by: twelve50 on 31 October 2009
A toughie, more like real mountain biking than tame trail centre trails!
The trails are great, but not if you don't like rocks, there's a lot on the Red trail.
Up to around the 1/2 way point I would say it was reasonably challenging (I was only on my Hardtail) with some quick, rocky descents to keep you on your toes.
There aren't any real challenges with regard to climbs, but they are ok.
The mid point marks a section that is seriously the most "UNFLOWING" section i've seen for a while, it's just rocks rocks rocks, not enjoyable!!!
Then 1/2 way onwards it's a bit more smooth and flowing, and I have to agree, the Omega Man is really a cool blast to finish the ride with a smile!!
I rode on my own, and to be honest I backed of a bit on some rocky sections due to being weary of a crash and being on my own!
Took me 1:50 mins to do a lop which was a reasonable pace, I would probably do it again, but not on the hard tail!!
Worth a ride if you are in the area and fed up of smooth trail centre trails, this is more like real biking!!! :-)
Oh, and the facilities are great, and FREE PARKING!!!