Bike School Bentonville

Skills Levels

White Level

White level riders are riders who can ride their bike comfortably on pavement but have limited experience riding trails. White level riders will focus on mastering the 3 essentials while becoming comfortable with easy trails.

White level riders should be comfortable:

  • Starting and stopping on their bikes
  • Using the brakes to stop and control speed on pavement
  • Pedaling their bikes on flat ground

Three Essentials: 

  • Pedals level with equal pressure (light hands heavy feet)
  • 1 finger on each brake lever at all times
  • Eyes scanning ahead 20 seconds

Green Level

Green level riders have experience riding easy trails and on multiple types of surfaces. This ability level will practice the fundamental bike skills on the single track trails along with learning more intermediate bike skill progressions.

Green groups will focus on the following skills:

Fundamental Skills 

Neutral/Ready position - Key teaching points - Crouched/low, deep bend in the elbows and knees, elbows out, weight on feet - used for cornering, dodging trees, rocks, descents

Braking at medium speed and coming to full stop in control without skidding using both brakes.

Front/back body Separation

Bike/body separation  

Side/side Bike/Body separation 

Shifting - surge, soft, shift before uphill climb

Cornering skills on grass through tight slalom course 

Ratcheting on grass

Stewardship Skills

Basic knowledge of rules of the trail

Ride open trails - open, legal and not wet

Leave no trace

Control your bike - ride within limits, don’t skid

Yield to others

Never scare animals

Mechanical Skills

Bikes -ABC Bike safety check 

Helmet check -  Ears, Eyes and Mouth check

Blue Level

Riders in the blue level have considerable experience and comfort riding the trails. Riders in this level will work on both skill and speed on cornering, climbing, and descending on a variety of intermediate single track trails. They have comfort with all the green level skills.

Bike Skills

High speed braking

Dismount skills - climbing dismount, descending dismount, restarting on a climb

Climbing skills - seated climb, standing climb, crouch climb=

Ratcheting on tight corner and skinny on grass

Cornering progressive skills - Switchbacks on steep uphill and on steep downhill, riding berms, high speed cornering

Beginner jumping

Mechanical skills

Must be able to reset a dropped chain


Trail work on the local trail system

Black Level

Riders have comfort on all kinds of bike trails and are looking for a challenge. Riders can safely ride advanced trails at a fast pace along with riding over rock gardens and obstacles using correct bike/body positions. Riders in this ability group have a desire to improve both their fitness and technical riding skills.

Bike Skills

Rock Dodge

Basic front wheel lift

Basic Back wheel lift

Level Lift (front and back at same time)

Track Stand

Pedal assisted front wheel lift 

Riding raised skinnies on the trail.

Riding 18-20” natural log pile on trail.

Riding a flat rock garden terrain.

Mechanical skills

Demonstrate removing and replacing bike wheels


Trail work on the local trail system

Red Level

Riders in this ability group have passed all of the black mountain bike skills and have a desire to race and improve both their fitness and technical riding skills. Riders will be challenged to ride a variety of expert level mountain bike trails with extreme descents, raised skinny logs, large obstacles, and difficult climbs.

Riding Skills

Riding uphill rock garden

Riding downhill rock garden

Riding 18”drop

Level lift off of raised skinny

Lifting rear wheel on tight switchback corner 

Track stand for more than one minute

Ride up steps or rock ledges on a steep climb.

Mechanical Skills

Demonstrate fixing a flat tire                                                                


Volunteer trail work on local system of single track trails.

Being a mentor for a newer rider.

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