We’re off to Cwmcarn for the first time this weekend, got a few questions?
What’s the condition of the trails at the moment?
What facilities are open at the visitor’s centre this time of year?
Any decent pubs or food places in Cwmcarn village?
Thanks in advance
PacemanPosted 9 years ago
Hi. Not sure about cwmcarn village but you will be within 15 mins of Newport city centre and only 5 mins from the spar and a few pubs in Risca.
the visitor centre isn’t very good.
As for the trail. It never seems to get wet even when it hammers down. Drains very well. Lovely gentle climb for you to enjoy 🙂Posted 9 years ago
The trails will be wet with some icy sections (locals on here can confirm this), mostly rocky with a few loose patches. Great views from the top of the “climb”.
It’s short, less than one hour round even for average riders. So multiple laps is a must.
Facilities are pretty poor to be honest, even though im sure someone on here will disagree.
I would drive the 1 hour up the road and ride Afan, that’s just me though. It’s definatly worth a visit if you’ve never been before.
Enjoy!Posted 9 years ago
it was defrosted and getting a bit gloppy on sunday
surprisingly grippy though
the cafe only does ‘all day’ breakfast until midday at weekends, after that the food of choice is sausage, eggs, chips and beans
do not visit the cafe before your second lap, you will not leavePosted 9 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
“less than one hour round even for average riders”
Presumptuous. Haven’t been for a couple of years but then the climbing took the best part of 1.5 hours! Now I’m a bit fitter I could probably do a complete round in 1.5 hours.
I think it’s one of the better hand-built singletrack climbs going with some worthwhile challenging bits that are far more interesting than the usual gravel roads. The descents didn’t seem particularly special, I preferred the stuff at Afan.
Must go again soon tho!Posted 9 years agomolgripsSubscriber
‘s short, less than one hour round even for average riders
Average riders won’t do it in an hour, especially as the climb is strenuous enough to make most people stop for several breathers. I’d say at least 1.5 hours for average riders. My personal best is 54 minutes and that’s really hammering it. ‘Course, I’m not an elite athlete or anything but I do ok in Master.
It’s way better than Afan IMO – Penhydd was dead boring by comparison. It’s technical, rough, fun and damn hard work. And you can do the DH course if you like after the climb, for a bit of variety 🙂Posted 9 years agogeetee1972Member
Pub food is reasonable at a pub called The Darran, in Cross Keys. Directions are thus:
At the end of the forrest drive, turn left.
After about .5km, you go over a railway bridge and then down to a set of lights that sit underneath another bridge. Turn left at these.
The Darran is then about 3km down the road on the left, next to a garage. Carparking out front.
The new visitors centre there is a bit of a contentious issue. They knocked the old one down only to replace it with something more or less the same just newer. You will que for ages for food if its busy at lunch time but it is at least warm. They also have showers which are more or less free – you only have to make a voluntary contribution.
Bike wash is the ubiquitous ‘ruin your bearings’ 100bar jet wash. Pound a go or thereabouts.
The DH course is pretty good if you’ve not done it before, very fast in anything but the worst weather and all perfectly rollable as long as you take it steady. You can also get single trips up on the lift on the day without having to have booked – this is dependent on availability but you can almost always get at least one lift.
Anyone that can ride the cross country loop in an hour or less is clearly sh**t hot fitness wise and I doth my cap to them.
Anyone who can do the DH in under 3.5 minutes is similarly blessed.Posted 9 years ago
LOL at average rider doing it in under an hour. I ride CwmCarn a lot and I’d say average riders, as in most real people, do it in 1.5 – 2 hours. It’s a short loop but the climb will make or break you and pretty much dictates your time round.
I’ve never timed myself but I’d fancy having a stab at sub 1 hour “in season”Posted 9 years agomrmoMember
I can lap it in comfortably in 1:10, never tried a fast lap. under an hour is perfectly reasonable but you need to be fit to do it, the climb is where you get a good time. Also depends on weather, the first bit along the river, and the bit across the top suffer, either wet or wind respectively.
and i hate the concrete ramp as well.Posted 9 years agomamadirtMember
People ride up that concrete slope??? I thought the sticky uppy rocks along the side were to help you claw your way up 😉
Riding it non-stop is a bit of a waste of playing time imho. The freeride area at the top is easily accessible for another go by looping back up the double track out of the top car park, similarly the alternative x/c twisty track. Also the bottom of the d/h track is worth a couple of sessions too (just ride back up the x/c start as far as the fireroad.Posted 9 years agoFROGLEEKMember
Cwmcarn was superb over xmas really cold but trails were hard packed and rode fast.Posted 9 years ago
All you xc jeyboys timing yourselves on the Twrch is all well and good but the real beauty is to have a good play in the freeride area once you reach the top and bulk up on snacks for the second half of the trail. The descents are fantastic taken at full pelt and you have the option of going back down the top part of the DH run and joining the Twrch further down for the fantastic last section. I rate Cwmcarn prefer it to Afan / Glyncorwg it just needs more uplift options or a cable car and we’d be set
People ride up that concrete slope???
🙂 thats what i used to think. Just select one of your easiest gears and put your chest on the handlebars. Its quite easy really (on a full suss) I think it would be tough to maintain traction with a hardtail. Bet ppl on here have done it though.Posted 9 years ago
under an hour,
only timed myself once and 1hr 20mins,
i’ve never been passed by anyone and only ever pass people,
so would think the average rider should be around that time
My average is 1hr and 5 to 1hr10. Best of 56m but i really went for it! I’ve heard of racing snakes on here doing it in 40-45 mins!!Posted 9 years agoflatfishMember
rode it on sunday and yesterday and both days were fairly dry even after the rain on monday, just a few slippery roots on the climb but other than that it’s riding well.Posted 9 years ago
jetwash is two quid nowadays, token from centre.
visitors centre is pants imo.
no porta cabin now.
my best lap is between 60-65 mins my average nowadays is around 90 mins but i don’t get to ride as much after the wife popped out two sprogs, was just lucky this week to get out twice.KevaMember
normally do a lap in 1hr 10mins, quickest is 58mins. I think if I remember correctly, the climb takes about half of the lap time. I usually do one lap then stop at the car for a quick bananna and munch bar then do a second lap which I usually find easier up the climb but harder towards the end. There are three or four points on the climb I’ve never been able to clean, and I love the concrete ramp bit.Posted 9 years agonjee20Subscriber
I did 3 laps in 2hrs 26 at the BUSA champs in March, think my quickest was 44 mins or something. I’d definitely say under the hour is quick, particularly if you want to enjoy yourself.
The concrete slope is very doable, but it’s a proper little barsteward!Posted 9 years ago
I’ve done the concrete slope only once and that was the last time I went – the new high roller 2.1 62as were feeling nice and sticky and the bike felt much lighter without the Kenda 2.35s and I thought what the hell! Was surprised at how well the bike went up in the end! 😀Posted 9 years ago
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