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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another beauty from VG
Another month, and another brilliant mountain bike guide from Vertebrate Publishing. Wales Mountain Biking is the latest addition to what is rapidly becoming the definitive series of British MB guidebooks. Author Tom Hutton is the man behind the pull-out route guides in MBR magazine and has used his encyclopaedic knowledge of Welsh mountain bike trails to produce an...
Published on 11 Jan. 2010 by John H

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some great rides. Usually OK, but avoid of the trails
I bought this book having bought 2 others in the series and found them very useful and informative. This one had promise but disappointingly only had a few routes near where we were staying in North Wales.
We tried 2. One was in the Clowydian Range. This was made longer by chucking in a few extra loops along the Clowydian Way.. This route is a very muddy one, we rode...
Published on 9 Nov. 2012 by Manxcakegirl


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another beauty from VG, 11 Jan. 2010
By 
John H (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
Another month, and another brilliant mountain bike guide from Vertebrate Publishing. Wales Mountain Biking is the latest addition to what is rapidly becoming the definitive series of British MB guidebooks. Author Tom Hutton is the man behind the pull-out route guides in MBR magazine and has used his encyclopaedic knowledge of Welsh mountain bike trails to produce an authoritative volume.

Following the tried and tested Vertebrate formula, the guide breaks Wales down into three distinct areas and details twenty one rides that run the entire gamut from old favourites to the relatively obscure. The Brecon Beacons Gap Road ride will be familiar to many mbers, (it was in fact my first ever proper mountain bike ride way back in 1993), and the increasingly popular Doethie Valley makes an appearance in the Mid-Wales section, but there are less familiar areas covered too. The Preseli Hills and Llanbedr Hill are not well known for the quality of their singletrack, but that could all change thanks to this slim volume.

As you would expect from Tom Hutton, the route descriptions are comprehensive without being verbose. The maps are superb and there's a wealth of extra information contained in the route summaries that ensure that you don't miss any of the local colour, landmarks or historic sites. There's some real gut-busters included such as the 50km Berwyn Hills circuit but for those of a more leisurely bent, there are a number of introductory rides to tune you up for the epic ones.

A good guidebook should get you to the ride and round it without too much hassle, but this guide does this and a whole lot more. It has inspired me in the depths of this cold winter. All being well, I'll see you in the Doethie Valley or the Brecons or Carneddau next summer because this isn't a guide for the bookshelf, it should be stuffed in the top of a hydration pack while you enjoy the delights of some of the best mountain biking in the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!, 20 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
If you are looking to do some amazing riding in Wales and you're fed up with the monotony of trail centres then you won't go far wrong with this book. Following this guide will take you to places you would never expect to see in the UK, from mountaintops to deep valleys and all surrounded by stunning scenery. Be warned though, this is real the thing, give yourself plenty of time for completing these routes, take a fully charged mobile phone, a hand full of cash and don't go alone.

This book is so easy to use and has bags of information including a very useful OS-map for you to follow with difficulty level grading marked along the way. I found that by plotting the routes from the book using digital mapping software (I like to use Memory Map) and uploading it to a GPS device it's virtually impossible to get lost! Having said that, I still carry a map and compass as gadgets have a habit of failing just when you need them.

The pictures in this guide are a really nice touch too and should give you a taster of each route with the added bonus of being able to see the profiles, which have also been included, to give you an idea of what your legs and lungs will endure.

Simply put, here is a collection of some utterly breathtaking rides, informative in an easy to use guide and I look forward to the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book in a great set of books., 11 Jun. 2011
By 
C. J. Maden (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
I love this series of guides and have ridden rides from them in the Lakes, Peaks, Dales and Wales. They are reasonably easy to follow and do all the research for you so that you can enjoy the best of a region.

My only complaint about this book in particular is that Wales is too big to have just a single book devoted to it. Surely North Wales deserves a guide all to itself for a start?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of routes, 18 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
Wales Mountain Biking has the production values you would expect if you've ever read a Vertebrate Publishing mountain bike book in the past. Each route has a section of genuine OS map annotated with numbers that correspond to the accompanying description, and there are numerous action shot photographs illustrating some of the great views and technical riding sections you'll encounter on the routes. Each route has an altitude profile, stats on how much time to allow for the ride, and the all important details on cafe stops. The route directions are divided into small chunks to help make navigation easy and the small book size is convinient for throwing into a hydration pack.

Unlike many of the other Vertebrate guidebooks, which are centered around a single national park (or even part of one), this book takes on the ambitious task of covering all of Wales. The author's approach is to divide the country into three distinct regions: South Wales, Mid Wales and North Wales (and a bonus section over the border - the Long Mynd), with roughly seven routes in each. Each route could easily be described as a Welsh classic (although some are definitely very modern classics), and although I've not (yet) tried them all, the ones that I have, such as the Gap Road in the Brecon Beacons, the Gower and Snowdon Ranger's Path should be on every serious mountain bikers list. One feature of the book I particularly liked is the addition of small tips on how to make a day, or even a weekend, of a route.

So, why not five stars for the review? It's a matter of managing expectations. As a collection of classic routes in Wales, it's hard to imagine a better book. But, if you're comparing it to other Vertebrate books you might notice how many of the rides are pretty remote with no other routes close-by. This might make it harder to plan an extended break in one area based on this book, although there are groupings around Abergavenny and Builth Wells. So, in summary the book fits its description perfectly, but the broad nature might not be what some people are looking for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, 7 Nov. 2009
By 
Ms. S. Duits "Steph" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
What an absolutely fantastic book! Brilliant routes, awesome pictures, and easy to follow map and descriptions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but let down by minor niggles., 5 Aug. 2014
By 
R. Wightman (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
Generally this is an excellent guidebook but is let down in the details. Some of the problems are partly to do with the format of the series itself, in particular the grading of sections. Whilst it's hard to get a consensus, it's not too hard to be reasonably accurate. On one ride, a blue/easy ascent was unrideable for virtually its entire length whilst a black/difficult ascent noted as being a "ten minute hike-a-bike" was entirely rideable. This inconsistency means that you start to mistrust the guide. On a related note, the shade of blue used is too close to black to be easily distinguished - though this is a problem with all the VB guides and not related to the previous point.

We used the guide for a recent trip to mid-Wales which was an area new to us so we were more reliant on the descriptions in the book than would be usual. Let's just say we had a few detours! Some of this wasn't the book's fault: marker posts being uprooted and cast aside by local landowners or farmers for example, but obvious physical landmark signposts such as streams or rock outcrops at turning points were ignored in favour of these posts. Quite often what was described as "faint" was blindingly obvious and vice versa. I know the Snowdonia area very well and there are similar discrepancies there.

The routes chosen for the guide are good, we had the benefit of visiting after a prolonged dry spell so sections noted as being "boggy" were almost dry which does help in the pleasantness stakes. As other reviewers have noted, these aren't manicured trail centre rides, some get off and push is to be expected. They are none the worse for that. The estimated times for the routes are pretty well spot on, without rushing round the routes my GPS noted riding times as being at the bottom end of the range but our "extensions" and guide reading tended to add an hour or so.

In summary: well worth getting but don't rely on the estimation of the difficulty of any given section, best just to get out and ride the routes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Backpack perfect!...., 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
Great little book this with some great trails.... some well known others less so, and that's its appeal. This is now the 'go to' starting point book.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Biking enthusiasts, 20 Jan. 2013
By 
P. Jaynes "blues man" (Tredegar, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
I bought this for my husband who is new to mountain biking. He finds the book informative, and the maps are very useful.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a Book for Mountain bikers!, 15 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
Bought this book on a whim as planned to visit Wales and take my bike along.

What can I say but just fab, screnery you just wouldn't see any other way, trails and tracks to challenge all.

If your a trail centre or fire track rider this might not be for you (the give away is in the title "Mountain Bike"), this is the propper stuff, be prepared for mud and typical British weather and you'll love the trails, I have ridden 9 of these trails and fully intend to complete the book.

Detail descriptions pictures and OS extracted maps, but worth taking an OS map or GPS (I take both) to confirm your route.

I repeat these are not routes to take your kids or grandmother on, but real Mountain Biking!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for any MTBer visiting Wales, 15 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Wales Mountain Biking (Paperback)
Brilliant collection of wild Welsh rides, wether your a Wales newbie or a regular visitor, this book is filled to the brim of classic scenic and exhilarating rides the locals don't even know about, if you don't buy it your seriously missing out!
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Wales Mountain Biking
Wales Mountain Biking by Tom Hutton (Paperback - 10 Oct. 2009)
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