- Ae Forest
I like it, but my last two visits were tainted with diversions and closures, but that couldnt be helped.
Some of it doesn't "flow" like other places… which is why I think a few people tell everyone is crap.
The ruttedness of the second section of Granny Green love is absolutely Ace to be honestPosted 8 years agocynic-alMember
I did it at the opening weekend. It's different and I liked it, esp that bit down to the river with the bermed g-out thingies.
The top of last descent was odd/pooor in that there were lumps in the trail that were too rounded to be jumps or were just before corners etc and you couldn't jump off them (all this a little vgue in memory)Posted 8 years agoStonerSubscriber
Last time I went wasnt great.
2x trail closures (one yomp through the wood over the top, in the bog) the other was Omega man.
Also the rubble section on the top was pretty brutal on a hardtail – had to ride it all standing up to avoid pinches.
That was a year or so ago, so guessing its open again and settled down.
Agree I like the descent to the river with the berms.Posted 8 years agoamatuerSubscriber
One of the more technical of the 7stanes, almost up there with Inners and definitely better with a full sus. Good variation throughout the trail, although some parts are often washed out "that bit down to the river with the bermed g-out thingies".Posted 8 years ago
Not good for trying to make the step up to red graded trails, esp for my missus who thinks the blue run is too easy even for kids.
Personally, I really like all the natural trails and features but could use a bit more single track if the FC have some time & cash to spare.
Last time I rode it (nearly 2 years ago) I really liked it. Its all a bit vague after that amount of time, but remember really enjoying the ride, espically the last couple of sections. Remember some really rough stuff (which I like) at one piont as one of group had a big off and smashed his nose up a bit. We're supposed to be off there the end of August (if I can find somewhere to stay), if you still want opinions then we'll gladly pop in and tell you ours.
I saw a review of it in MBUK by that guy who seems to think he know everything about trail building. Bearing in mind he has had a hand in the Northface in Grizdale (2nd worse trail I've riden) and I think the Wall at Afan (another one on my dont bother again list, IMO), wouldn't take his opinin on any trail.
Bottom line is I must have enjoyed cos I am planning to come back.Posted 8 years agoahwilesSubscriber
i really like the first climb – all switch-backy, simple single track fun.
but after that it not as good as it could be;
there's too much climbing on fire road, too many banked corners, and there's a horrible flatish climb downhill bit in the middle which is like riding over rubble. wtf?
actually, that comment applies to most of the 'singletrack' – it's like it's been surfaced with broken bricks.
considering the height there is to play with, i'd like to see a loooong swoopy singletrack descent – which makes good use of the height.
the omega man final descent is good fun, but too short considering the height avalable – and it's got no corners in it. (how about a long singletrack alternative to the omega man bit…?)
summary: it's alright, but not enough singletrack, not enough CLIMBING on singletrack, not enough flat corners, the surface is horrible, and it doesn't make very good use of the height.
I won't be going back unless there's another round of the Avalanche Enduro – i heard that was good – some of the climbs became descents.
And i'm a fan of trail centres…Posted 8 years agoStonerSubscriber
glad Im not the only one who didnt rate the rubble surfacing – the problem is the angular bricks/concrete pieces just hadnt settled by the time Id been up there so they all sat up as angular edges – it's a slog over the top requiring lots of pedalling which couldnt be done sat down on the HT.
I appreciate it was probably a hasty surface laid down after the FC had been through harvesting and leaving the Somme behind, but it could really have done with a bit more finishing and forming.Posted 8 years agoeat_more_cheeseMember
I can understand why some people don't like Ae forest trails. Some of the trails don't flow….i'm refering to the new section that starts from the top of the steep climb and rejoins the old ST few hundred yards furhter on. I can't understand why the trail builders put bermed corners and small doubles up there when it's mostly a climb.
Speaking for myself though, I like the place (been twice in last month). Now that it seems forestry ops have finished the lack of diversionsmakes the trails flow. It's remote, it's hard, there's some great fast/steep descents and there's some long climbs but these very facts attract some riders whilst others will be put off (the lack of mobile phone coverage may put off some). The new section of boardwalk is excellent IMO and links up to The Edge well. Only grumble is the 'sanitised' section after the Edge as I used to like the eroded ST between the trees. And a great descent in the Omega Man/Shredder option to finish off the route. Oh, and the cafe is the best at any Stane IMO.Posted 8 years ago
I used to ride Ae line at least once a week, sometimes twice. I loved it as its a perfect length for a good blast (Sometimes in my sneeky extended lunchbreak). It didnt have too much to catch you out from a technical perspective other than the last mile so i always felt quite safe to put the hammer down even when riding solo which at somewhere like dalbeattie i wouldnt be so confident of.
Anyhow, i digress. I absolutely refuse to go back to Ae Line these days. I am a riding buddy of Trekster off here who i believe is quite pally with you guys. I have let him know what i think of the trail on many occasions. He seems to stick up for the trail but i think what was done to it about 2yrs ago ruined it. All of a sudden they imported the largest aggregate i have ever seen used at a trail centre and decided to cut out some fire road. Commendable, however, all they did was make a section of sheer boredom and pain. They used no soil to bed it in and it has always felt like they just dumped it and ran. Didnt even think about how the trail flowed. So on a hardtail you cant speed up because you just end up with punctures. If you slow down you lose any momentum you have tried to gain and it gets even harder.
Then we get to the original trail which you have to be honest has been neglected (I last rode it about 6mths back and vowed never to return, i was gutted). The berms are none existant and that massive bermed S shape has washed out to such an extent that if you carry speed into the bottom you again are guarenteed punctures. It used to be so good to leave the brakes off and carry enough speed through to freewheel up the other side.
As i say, i am gutted it got to that stage because it was one of my favourites. Now i choose not to go.
I would love it if you can correct me and say that its not like that.
BTW i am not as fit as i was, and i ride a steel hardtail now. I always said Ae line rewarded those that attack it hard but even at my fittest i would still have the same opinion.Posted 8 years agoclareymorrisSubscriber
I have to agree with the majority on the top/new section. It is the only time I have ever wished I was on a full suss. MrCM was on single speed hardtai and I was just riding along thinking "Oh poor Tom this must be doing his head in"! It is not that I don't like it rough (ahem) it's just I couldn't get any flow going…….reading your responses makes me feel a bit better about that!
Love the shop and the vibe of the place though.Posted 8 years agosteel4realMember
Ae is the the second to last Stane I would visit again, GT/Inners, KTree, Mabie & Dalbeatie all seem to be better for me, the variety and most importantly the flow just doesn't seem to work at Ae. It appears that is a common concern so maybe there will be an improvement. Ae line doesn't compare to Spooky Woods (IMHO of course)
How does the popularity compare to the closest 3 Stanes ?Posted 8 years agoDaddyFoolMember
I rode this trail for the 1st time earlier in the year and I revisited a few weeks ago. Gotta say I like it a lot. Agree that its a bit of a stop/start lurch from one section to another along some pretty tedious fire road. But other than that, I love the roughness of it. It feels way more expansive than Glentress and fair bit more technical comparing red for red. The 2nd half of Green Granny Love is a blast.Posted 8 years agoforge197Member
I need to get back there might try this weekend, I rode it a few weeks back but was not well half way round so rode the second half in a I need to get back un-broken way rather than worrying about the flow.
From what I recall I found the caution new surface signs amusing as the surface appeared to be anything but, though certain sections of trail were excellent.
The shop though 10/10 had a pair of shoes in the right size (to buy) for Mrs Forge when she alledgedly left hers at home 🙂
The cafe is also very good.Posted 8 years agokennypSubscriber
Things I like about it:-
Nice singletrack climb to get you warmed up.
Good forest singletrack twisting through the trees leading to my favourite bit of all, the Granny Greenluv bit down to the river.
The lungbusting climb after the bridge.
The second half (the original bit) of the top section ie where you used to have to go round the fireroad to get to it.
The new bit after the boardwalk, just before the Edge.
The Edge, particularly the bit down to the river.
The Omega Man. I can't ride this without a smile on my face.
Lots of berms. I'm a bermaholic.
Things I don't like about it.
Too much fireroad.
That new "top" bit of singletrack that just seems to have been a load of rocks chucked down in an ugly area of tree stumps.
The boardwalk, but then I hate all boardwalk.
The fact the trees have all been cut down on the Edge.
It's been sanitised in places eg that rut you dropped into on the Edge has gone, and the bombhole on the Omega Man has been smoothed out.
All in all I still like Ae, but the tree felling has detracted from the look of the place, and the trail needs toughened up in a few places, plus more singletrack put in. Still one of my favourites though, and I plan to try nightriding there this winter.Posted 8 years agoSpacemanMember
Completely agree with Kenny P, apart from the bit about the boardwalk.
I quite like Ae, but don't get there very often unfortunately, the lengthy closures/diversions were a pain but seem to be over now. A bit of work, a few bits of new trail, smooth out the rocky bit over the top and it would be mint.Posted 8 years ago
I was in the shop/café this morning and found the guy working in the shop to be friendly and helpful, sorted me out with some grub and a much needed coffee, even before the café was open, Many Thanks!
I really like the Ae line, I was there today and got soaked and very muddy but still had a grate ride.
There is a quite a bit of fire road, but for some rezone it doesn't bother me as much as is does at other trail centres i visit. The fire roads at Dalbettie do my nut in.
There are some really fast flowy single track to be found there and it can be quite challenging if you want it to be, My favourite section is near the end of the red trail before you get to the free ridy bit, really fast flowy jumpy single track, in my mind you just cant beat it, Next fave. the part that climbs up the hill with the crazy cliff type drop to you rite then zig zags back down. I also like the roughness of the place to, the first time I went there I didn't like it at first but I soon got in to it, The second time I went I got into the groove of the place and now I love it, It reminds me of Carron Valley, but much much longer.
I also like the remote vibe you get from this trail, it's fast becoming one of my favourites.
And the best bit is its a 10min drive from my parents. So when I'm down I kill 2 budgies with one stane!!
I do have a couple of gripes about the trail, I found today that some sections where very very over grown with grasses nearly 4ft high, there where places you could hardly see where you where going, I did find that a bit annoying, and also the caution sign up at the stane give you falls expectations, I was expecting some really sketchy stuff and Its just not there, so why the caution sign ?? I also agree with every one one about the section with the dodgy aggregate, it does kill the flow a bit
My Fave stanes OrderPosted 8 years ago
1) Kirroughtree / red and black
4) Glentress (Just to busy)
5) Mabie (not been for a while)chakapingSubscriber
I liked it and I'm looking forward to going back – both on a 6in FS bike to ride the XC and a DH bike for an uplift day hopefully.
Also impressed by cafe, good food/drink and friendly service.
Really hope the motive for the question isn't the desperation of somebody who's forking out for the franchise of a bike shop at a trail centre that nobody is visiting.Posted 8 years agobungalisticSubscriber
Quite simply it needs some money spent on the trail, to bring it back up to standard, but it isn't the only stane trail needing to have this done.
Love the last section of Ae line, spent so many weekends last summer just sessioning that last run down, in fact I was there Sunday gone doing just that and also running the Shredder. It sure is harsh on hardtails and tubes but bloody good when you have a good fast day.Posted 8 years agoOrangeChammyMember
I went through an Ae phase, loved it, then realised my hardtail would probably snap son this trail soon… went back to glentress.
I want to love it more as it is fairly easy to get from Glasgow to here… the first bit is good, climbs are nice… until fireroad 🙁 then the infamous middle section, i love a tough trail but comment about broken brick surface sums it up. Last descent is nice but had a few hairy moments that might end someones biking fun. Overall my fave is still Kirroughtree, even though it bust my rib! Always got time for glentress, rode red three times in a row on Sunday and still smiling. Mabie next, different, fun in bits – fairly average. Ae, amazing in bits but fireroad and boulder trails are a downer and not so much fun on hard as nails hardtail. Dalbettie… last out of all stanes I have ridden, didnt flow well at all, not my cup 'o tea.
Maybe give Ae a chance – not been since cafe opened though. A coffee and cake always adds a star to the score!Posted 8 years agoaebikeshopMember
Sorry I havn't got back earlier!
Amazed at the response and all the positive feedback.
We are doing well at Ae but as some of you who may have read another mtb magazine the trail got a negative report so I wanted some real world opinions.
Speaking to various people within the forestry and 7 Stanes they are aware of the issues and have plans to do things in the nearest future. These plans will sort out most of the problems the Ae Line has.
I do not have details but things look positive.
Glad you like the Cafe and the shop too! We aim to do our best!
We also have a website with a forum for comments http://www.ae7.co.uk so please feel free.
Also we have comments cards near the entrance of the building and we send people a FREE t-shirt in a prize draw.
Thanks again!! Singletrack do attract a good class of biker!!Posted 8 years agobungalisticSubscriber
I find that the trail master reports in mbuk are often contradictory to each other, where one trail is praised for a certain quality or feature others are put down by it.
As with anything though it is all personal taste and as chakaping says above the trail master does have a more xc based preference. He was right in his report about Cwncarn red trail though, it is superb, feels quite natural and is one of the best trails I've ever ridden.
Nice to see the 7 stanes folks are aware of the problems and wear & tear of some of the stanes though.Posted 8 years ago
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