Racing heart, racing bike: Mountain biking in Innsbruck

23 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Known as “The Capital of the Alps”, Innsbruck could probably also be named the Austrian capital of mountain biking. Behind the breathtaking mountain views surrounding the city hide some of the most thrilling mountain biking tracks a rider could hope for. Whether you are just starting to maneuver a mountain bike, or you have proven experience in riding down the tracks, Innsbruck will become your new Alpine paradise.

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Innsbruck’s trail areas

Innsbruck’s mountain biking heaven is divided into four main areas, each offering a variety of trails for all to enjoy. Let us break them down for you.

Bikepark Innsbruck

Innsbruck’s very own bike park offers six trails from beginner level to intermediate.

  1. The Wild One is a great track for intermediate riders, offering banked turns and easy jumps with a breathtaking backdrop of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains. It is a very curvy trail, so great to practice your technique!
  2. The First One is a single trail also suitable for intermediate riders. It is not too steep but still offers challenges such as two wall rides.
  3. The Chainless One is great for the whole family or group, from beginners to advanced. It offers 180 turns, wooden bridges to cross, and countless small jumps to get your heart racing while keeping everyone safe.
  4. The Straight One is rougher and better suited to experienced and intermediate bikers, who will be delighted with the big jumps and very steep sections making this route a fun and fast downhill trail to tackle. This is the track on which the Downhill Cup main event takes place – read more about this event a bit further in the article.
  5. The Rough One is similar to The Straight One in regard to challenges as it also offers roots and off-camber sections as well as technical jumps. 
  6. The Simple One is, as its name might suggest, a great track for beginners and families. It is a relatively easy gravel road that will allow you to improve your technique and become confident on your mountain bike, before tackling some of the other trails.

The Bikepark Innsbruck is also where the Crankworx event will take place, so get familiar with the area, and maybe sign up for one of the races to take the challenge to the next level!

Innsbrucker Nordketten Bahnen

This area offers three trails, for intermediate to expert only riders.

  1. The Nordkette Singletrail is probably the most iconic of the three, as it is considered as one of Europe’s most challenging downhill routes. The steepness and tight technical switchback last for 4.3km and will take you down 1020m, making for an unforgettable experience with one of the most beautiful backdrops in the Alps.
  2. The Arzler Alm trail is a fun option for riders of all levels, taking you through a 3km track full of technical challenges such as banked corners, jumps and root sections. Different routes can be taken while on the track, some more challenging than others.
  3. The Hungerburg trail is great for intermediate riders and especially for those with a knack for downhill riding. It is short, it is sharp, and it is a lot of fun for anyone ready to tackle it, with both natural and artificially built obstacles and jumps. After the first 500m, the trail joins the lower part of the Arzler Alm Trail. 

Elferbahnen Stubai

This track area started with the popular EinsEinser trail but has since followed up on its success by opening a second challenging track. 

  1. The EinsEinser (11er) trail is a very popular trail near Innsbruck and in the whole Tirol region. This 4km natural trail located near the Elferbahnen station alternates between rooted and flow sections, requiring riders to have a minimum of intermediate riding skills. 
  2. After noticing the success of the EinsEinser trail, the municipality decided to expand its mountain biking area. In 2017, they inaugurated the ZweiZweier (22er) track, a downhill trail with a myriad of jumps and steep curves. Technically wise, it is a bit easier than the 11er trail as it presents less root sections, which will allow you to ride down even faster.

Bikepark Tirol

Located approximately 20km to the South of Innsbruck, this area is easy to reach, and the two downhill tracks are a delight for bikers of all levels. 

  1. The Crazy Heart Freeride trail is a good option for anyone wanting to improve their technical skills and will take you through a gravel path strewn with step-up jumps and Northshores. 
  2. If you are looking for a more intense adventure, try out the Red Devil Freeride Trail. 2.5km long and with a 380-meter vertical drop, this is the dream of adrenaline junkies.

Taking it further: Crankworx and Downhill Cup

You have been riding all week long, but it is still not enough for you, and you would like to push your passion for mountain biking a bit further? Again, you are in the right place. 

Every year, Innsbruck brings together mountain biking amateurs like you and professional athletes for one of the most exciting mountain biking events in the world – Crankworx Innsbruck. Originated in Whistler, Canada, Crankworx has expanded to Austria since 2017. Offering elite-level competitions in several disciplines, events for children, and overall an incredible opportunity to be a part of the mountain biking community, Crankworx is a must stop if you want to be inspired by gravity-defying tricks. The event’s date varies every year between June and September, so check beforehand and make sure you attend!

If downhill racing is your thrill, you cannot miss the Innsbruck Downhill Cup event – generally organized in September. Attracting professional racers and amateurs alike, the race is open to all those confident enough to descend ‘The Straight One’ course in Mutters’ Bike Park. Other disciplines include slopestyle, dual slalom and pumptrack, all in the Bike Park and for all to watch.

Whether you have been riding a mountain bike for years or simply want to try it out, Innsbruck will give you your adrenaline fix and more. Not only will you experience one of the most exciting activities the region has to offer, but you will also be able to admire the valleys and mountain ranges from a completely new perspective. That is – if you manage to take your eyes off the road!

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