Breathtaking views, historic castles and picturesque half-timbered houses. Endless forests, steep cliffs, juniper meadows and peregrine falcons. And you're smack-bang in the middle of it all, with your bike in tow and ready to start a real challenge: 405 kilometers (251 miles) and almost 9,200 meters (30,000 feet) of elevation gain. Welcome to the Swabian Alb.
"Spätzle Cross", "Trans-Alb" or officially "Bike Crossing Schwäbische Alb"- there are many names for crossing the Swabian Alb from Aalen to Tuttlingen, a stage trip that is a real challenge even for bikers with serious Alpine experience. And while you might ask why you would opt for the lower mountain variant when the Alps are a short drive away, the fantastic views, diverse nature and culinary specialties will you make you glad you did. And that's before you enjoy the incredible, hard-earned descents.
"Bike Crossing Swabian Alb" is the official version of this ride which inspired us to build our own. The original is technically a relatively simple ride, however, choosing smoother paths over proper singletracks, which is why have added plenty of additional Highlights here and have exchanged many of the dirt tracks for singletrack. And while this means it might be more strenuous in parts, we guarantee it'll be more fun. If it does get a little much for you after some time on the trails, though, you can always revert to plan B: switch to the official route, which is well signposted throughout the length of this ride.
Just bear in mind: A trip through the Swabian Alb is always challenging. Constant ups and downs are typical for this low mountain range, so you'll need to be physically prepared. Your effort will be handsomely rewarded, however, as glorious views over the Albvorland are always a given. Thanks to the "Albtrauf", a unique sort of cliff-edge that skirts along the side of these routes, you'll always have a great view over the landscape.
If you want to start the rides in stages, a little planning is important. Book your accommodation in advance at each destination and make sure you have enough clothing, food and spare parts. In order to minimize your luggage, you can also send small "sweeping packages" with clothes to change in advance to wherever you'll be staying when you need them. This requires some effort, but those who have already had the pleasure of wearing fresh clothes after several days on the bike know that this is guaranteed to pay off. The best way to and from your arrival and departure point is by train. Both Aalen and Tuttlingen are well connected to the rail network.
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Last updated: December 14, 2021
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The Spätzle Cross starts in Aalen, one of the largest cities in the Swabian Alb region. High on the northeastern edge of the low mountain range, Aalen is ideally suited as a starting point for a stage trip due to its top accessibility.
The first stage shows you with almost 63 kilometers in length and…
From Geislingen it goes straight into the terrain. You can easily remember the following topography: Hoch follows down. And very often in a row. That means: many vertical meters and crisp driveways. But that also means great trails, fun runs and great views.
For wide views of the foothills of the Alb…
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"Tour de belle vue" could also be called today's stage of our crossing of the Swabian Alb. Because today it is really nice. And today you can fully enjoy the viewpoints, because with just under 34 kilometers and 680 vertical meters, this tour is easy to master. In addition, there is a relatively flat…
This tour takes you on really nice trails up and down through the Swabian Alb. In the sense of having as much fun as possible we have allowed ourselves to install some extra trails. This results in one or the other loop, which does not necessarily seem plausible at first glance. At second glance (preferably…
Each stage trip has its "queen stage". With these 83 kilometers from Pfullingen to Burladingen it is today: With an uphill, which has it all, it goes directly sporty. For this you climb up a long climb today, then the route leads along the Albtrauf and remains more or less at 800 meters altitude. A flowiger…
Trails, Trails, Trails! We had nothing else in mind when we laid the route from Burladingen to Balingen. And that's why the route leads you straight into the bike park Albstadt, which is located on the edge of the beautiful district Albstadt-Tailfingen and is operated by mountain bike downhill veteran…
The grand finale of the Trans-Alb tour. You start in Balingen and take a bit of culture on the way by cycling along the impressive moated castle, the Zollernschloss. Then the first thing is to finish with urban flair, because now about 60 kilometers of mountain biking in the typical style of the Swabian…
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