What cjohnson saysjido said:what is the best grade/slope for a trail that climbs 2000+ feet.
except that you should have short sections of DOWNHILL trail (assuming you're going up, not down), not short flat. A.k.a short sections of uphill if you start building from the top, which I find easier. Engineer those reversals into the design, it's better than building grade dips after the fact.cjohnson said:check out the imba.com site and trail building resources. Very simply put, rule of thumb is trail slope should not to exceed half the grade.
If you run into very short sections where it is steeper it can be ok, depending on soil. Also add many, many grade reversals. Have sections of short flat trail. Design the route so the water gets off the trail quickly and in many spots.
True, at 10% average grade and limiting yourself to 15% max for short sections, your basically going down, grade reversal (which if made right, can put some air under your tires), down, grade reversal, down. There isn't room for long flats leading to a grade reversal. Each reversal is noticeable. I guess this goes to what a builder wants out of a trail. 2,000 feet, I'd like a little of everything, to break it up. I've been doing a lot of building in an area with only 100' of topo change. I've been trying to make it as difficult as possible by pegging the climbs right at 10% average slope.bweide said:My general experience has been that on grades above 7% it becomes harder and harder to design in grade reversals. The downhill section just becomes too steep and the reversals get shorter and shorter.
Just remember that water sits still on flat sections and will try to find somewhere to go. I imagine you're building with 5% outslope to shed water, but through wear and compaction, outslope is frequently defeated. Your flat gets a little berm along the edge and suddenly you have a mud hole that needs constant maintenance or a "knick". Or you wear a groove in the middle that just channels water from your flat to your next downhill without shedding it off the trail. You could create the appearance and feel of a flat, but provide a water shedding reversal if you just design your "flat" as an extended reversal with only 1% or 2% of grade. If the flat gets too extended you should it break into several smaller drainages by going something like +2%, -2%, +2%, - 2%.bweide said:If you mix it up a lot with grade reversals, short steep sections and short flat sections, the climb will be less boring and therefore seem shorter.