CAI – Technical range for cycle-hiking (MTB activities in the environment)


Physical / athletic effort and technical difficulty are separated:
• Physical effort: m (altitude difference); km (length)
• Technical difficulty: TC / MC / BC / OC (ascent code / descent code)
• Travel times are not reported; everyone will have to evaluate them according to their abilities.

The CAI technical range does not consider steep flank or objective risks; if necessary they are indicated with notes





Touristic type: dirty roads with a compact and smooth surface, such as gravel road. Suitable with normal cars. 


for bikers with medium ability: dirtt roads with a little bumpy or slightly irregular surface (country road, forest road that can be driven with off-road cars) or paths with compact and smooth surfaces.


for skilled bikers: very bumpy dirty roads or mule tracks and paths with bumpy and irregular surfaces, with some natural obstacles (rock steps or roots).


for bikers with excellent ability: as above but very bumpy and very irregular paths, with many obstacles.. 


maximum level for bikers: very uneven paths, with large steps and obstacles in succession. Trial and DH techniques are required.


Disconnected” = not compact and covered with debris;

“Irregular surfaces” = non-sliding, marked by furrows, steps and / or humps.


The “+” added to the CODE means that the path is very steep.

The Code refers to the average difficulty of the route: single sections of different difficulty are not considered.

The non-cycle sections, where it is necessary to walk and carry the bike, do not contribute to the difficulty.

CAI Range refers to cycle-hiking activities (does not concern DH and bike parks).

CAI describes and proposes routes with maximum OC difficulty, as far as individual cyclists can do them.


Example: + 1200m – 900m; 34 km; MC + / BC (short section OC steep flak)



Technical skill levels

To understand the CAI MTB Technicall range, the CODE skills most important for the SD cycle-trail are reported.

The Code skills refer to the CAI skills cards (Q11 CAI – download here


Requirements: basic cycling ability.

Skills: correct posture (F1), use of the gearbox (F2), use of the brake (F3).

Techniques: basic chassis, driving position (T1), flat and uphill progression (T3 basic), fast descents on the road (T11).

  • MC:

Requirements: ability to drive in forced passages, to know how to apply the off-saddle technique, a minimum of balance and active driving.

Skills: steering (F4), off the saddle (F5), active driving (basic) (F8).

Techniques: driving precision (T2), stop and go uphill and downhill (T5, T9 base), push and reach (P1).

  • BC:

Requirements: good conduction and driving precision in narrow passages, fair balance, overcoming obstacles on the flat, uphill and downhill, active driving ability, seeking maximum grip uphill on loose ground.

Skills: active driving (F8), overcoming of obstacles (F7), balance (surplace) (F6).

Techniques: overcoming obstacles uphill and downhill (T4, T7), stop and go in steep uphill and downhill (T5, T9), tight curves uphill and downhill (T6, T8), choice of trajectories (T10), low speed dowhill (specialization in the field-school of F3, F4, F5).

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