Sappi sponsored karlkloof trails are fun for all rider skill levels.
Karkloof is just outside of Hilton KZN, so it’s weekend worthy from major centres.
The region is home to the late Burry Stander, the already accomplished Specialized rider Alan Hatherly, and the world’s most successful downhill racer, Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Greg Minnaar.
If an area and its terrain produce this many world-class athletes, then KZN and specifically Karkloof must be worth a visit.
We rode from the Karkloof clubhouse, paid a nominal trail access fee, and tried to make a dent in the vast trail network. The Bike Market riders are no slouches on their pre-owned bicycles, but one would need a lifetime to ride all these trails.
That brings us to reason number 1, the vast network of trails. You could take an easy ride around the falls loop or do follow the karkloof 100km loop. It seems endless, and the majority is purpose-built singletrack.
This our reason number 2. Whether you’re a beginner learning to ride your new pre-owned hardtail that was just shipped in from Bike Market or the brand new Santa Cruz Bronson (enduro type bike) having traded in your old bike, there are trails for you.
Often rides get cut short because the African sun comes out, in Karkloof there is a good chance you’ll have a misty start. Our 3rd reason to visit is the sometimes misty conditions. Riding in the mist is cool. Literally and makes for a different experience if you are used to the harsh middle day heat one finds in the Gauteng.
If you are used to dry, rocky riding, then the smooth forests make for a welcome change. The dirt in these regions is either tough pack which gets slippy in the pine forests when it’s mossy. Or the ground is dry and loose in the blue gum forests. In both types of forests, one won’t have to deal with sharp or marble-like rocks. So our 4th reason to Mountainbike in karkloof is the terrain, its smooth and faster rolling than upcountry. The dirt seems to be very grippy until you find a mossy hardpack corner so keep an eye out for these slippy bits.
Adding to the fun is the well built single-track trail. It’s built with flow in mind. The trails are often bermed and the jumps are easy to read if you’re riding the first time. Most of them are rollable or there is a way around so it’s perfect for riders of all skill levels. Our 5th reason to visit karkloof is the berms, jumps and general flow. Big up to the trail builders.
Our 6th reason has to be the locals. Super friendly and willing to help. We felt very welcome!
Karkloof must be on your list of places to visit with bicycles.
Great bikes for Karkloof
If you’re looking to maximize fun with friends and ride the trails with confidence then trail bikes are best for Karkloof.
Slightly slacker geometry and a dropper post are a good option. Bikes that fit into trail category are Specialized Camber, Trek fuel EX, Specialized Stumpjumper, Scott Spark.
If you are wanting to go faster and further, then have a look at more aggressive geometry bikes, that are suited to marathon or XC racing, like the Specialized Epic, Trek Top Fuel, Cannondale Scalpel.
These are the types of pre-owned bikes you find on our website. We are here to help with any bike upgrade solution you may need, from selling your old bike to upgrading. Chat to Bike Market. SA’s Best Pre-owned Bicycle store.