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Thread: Pump Tracks

  1. #1
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    Pump Tracks

    I have been looking forward to riding/building a pump track for a while especially since i now have my new bike built up. My problem is that I'm still in school, and I rent my house. I don't plan on find a permanant location for a while so I have no where to put a dirt pump track. Has anyone ever seen or heard of ways to build portable or removable pump tracks? I thought of trying plywood but that would be expensive and difficult to manipulate. Any good ideas out there?

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    Hmmm... got any BMX tracks around? You can work on your flow on most BMX tracks just like you can on a pump track. Building ramps to hall around would be a pain in the azz, but I suppose it could be done. Or, what about building a dirt pump track along some dirt trails somewhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cru Jones
    Hmmm... got any BMX tracks around? You can work on your flow on most BMX tracks just like you can on a pump track. Building ramps to hall around would be a pain in the azz, but I suppose it could be done. Or, what about building a dirt pump track along some dirt trails somewhere?

    No BMX tracks unfortunatly. I've been trying to find a place along some trails some where that I could put a track together, but the rocky rooty terrain in arknasas doesn't provide much to work with. I'm considering talking to one of the lbs's around town to help out and maybe even get some properity just for a dj/pump to go up, but i've been to busy. Man it sure would be nice to have something in my back yard though...(starts day dreaming)

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    try talking to your LBS or any shops in the area and see if they either have any backyard area or would be interested in helping with putting together somewhere to ride. if you end up needing help with building the pump track....look at www.leelikesbikes.com lots of info on the subject

  5. #5
    Dex
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    Hey FalconAR, stop by if you ever in the east Mississippi area.
    Here's my pump track on LeeLIkesBIkes
    http://www.leelikesbikes.com/sweet-p....html#more-340
    I now have the flow dialed in fairly well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dex
    Hey FalconAR, stop by if you ever in the east Mississippi area.
    Here's my pump track on LeeLIkesBIkes
    http://www.leelikesbikes.com/sweet-p....html#more-340
    I now have the flow dialed in fairly well.
    Dex. Very cool. I have built a very similar looking pump track in my moms backyard (they've got 4 acres of land). The one I built looks just like yours but I'm having a problem with the berms at each end... I think I've made the turns too big, in other words not tight enough, and I have to pedal thru them to maintain speed...even after building the berms up pretty high. Do you have the same problem? In the spring I am going to rework the track and make the turns tighter so I can really use them to gain speed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMojo?
    Dex. Very cool. I have built a very similar looking pump track in my moms backyard (they've got 4 acres of land). The one I built looks just like yours but I'm having a problem with the berms at each end... I think I've made the turns too big, in other words not tight enough, and I have to pedal thru them to maintain speed...even after building the berms up pretty high. Do you have the same problem? In the spring I am going to rework the track and make the turns tighter so I can really use them to gain speed.

    sounds like you don't need to make the berms taller at that point, but you need to make the roller's/jumps just before the berm much bigger, so you hopefully carry way more speed into the berm and don't need to pedal...
    good luck, sounds like a LOT of fun.

    I won't be digging for quite a while now... ground is frozen and covered in half a foot of snow... damnit, I already miss dirt.
    Schralp it Heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeSATORI
    sounds like you don't need to make the berms taller at that point, but you need to make the roller's/jumps just before the berm much bigger, so you hopefully carry way more speed into the berm and don't need to pedal...
    good luck, sounds like a LOT of fun.

    I won't be digging for quite a while now... ground is frozen and covered in half a foot of snow... damnit, I already miss dirt.
    My rollers are already pretty big. I think its definitely the size of the turn. The smaller the radius, the easier it is to "pump" the turn just like you do the rollers. Having corners with a large radius makes this real difficult unless you are carrying A LOT of speed. I got more work to do come spring...part of the fun is learning how to build a track that flows nicely... I think my mistake was the size of the turns and I'm just going to re-work that a little.

    But yea, winter is here now so I can't do anything for several months. I really need to move SOUTH!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMojo?
    My rollers are already pretty big. I think its definitely the size of the turn. The smaller the radius, the easier it is to "pump" the turn just like you do the rollers. Having corners with a large radius makes this real difficult unless you are carrying A LOT of speed. I got more work to do come spring...part of the fun is learning how to build a track that flows nicely... I think my mistake was the size of the turns and I'm just going to re-work that a little.

    But yea, winter is here now so I can't do anything for several months. I really need to move SOUTH!!!!!

    yeah, I know what you are saying about the radius, that's why I recommended building something to carry more speed... but, if the radius is just way too long and you can't build more speed into them, try making a short less bermed straight into the middle of it with 1 or 2 rollers? would you have room to do that? it would essentially splice the berms into 4 corners on each end... just an idea.
    Schralp it Heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeSATORI
    yeah, I know what you are saying about the radius, that's why I recommended building something to carry more speed... but, if the radius is just way too long and you can't build more speed into them, try making a short less bermed straight into the middle of it with 1 or 2 rollers? would you have room to do that? it would essentially splice the berms into 4 corners on each end... just an idea.
    Thought of putting a roller in, and actually did on one end of the track and it made things very awkward. Its almost like I made the turn too large to "pump" but not quite big enuf to put a roller in the middle of it. Unfortunately I'm probably going to have to re-work the whole thing, which is not too bad since one end of the track seems to be holding a lot of water and I might just avoid that area of the yard altogether. The backyard is HUGE and go figure, I put one of the turns in a low area that drains poorly and doesn't get a lot of sun on it to dry quickly.

  11. #11
    Dex
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMojo?
    Dex. Very cool. I have built a very similar looking pump track in my moms backyard (they've got 4 acres of land). The one I built looks just like yours but I'm having a problem with the berms at each end... I think I've made the turns too big, in other words not tight enough, and I have to pedal thru them to maintain speed...even after building the berms up pretty high. Do you have the same problem? In the spring I am going to rework the track and make the turns tighter so I can really use them to gain speed.
    Thanks Gotmojo, glad you like it.
    Well my curves are 9' radius. I was 1st planning to make them 12' but changed it to 9' in just a few wheelbarrow loads.
    The 9' radius is ok, but to gain any speed I think they could be tighter. How much tighter, I'm not sure of.
    My son can now pump the whole track, I still have to pedal in the curves to keep my speed up.
    I had to do alot of reworking on the double rollers/interchange berms. At 1st it was a single roller with a large flat section and that would slow you down, so I dug down about 6" and made the double roller and that keeps your flow going. Even with them covered with pinestraw, water was building up then washing out. So I drove a pipe into the very inside of the low spot to drain the rain into the ground. So far that seems to work.
    The yard is table top flat but very sandy, so the rain will puddle inside the berms, but then will quickly drain into the ground.
    Noxubee Hills Trail System's FB page
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    Wow great advice in this post. Just build it. Ya the landlord might get all huffy but if you fix what you change when you leave what's the big deal eh?! You can learn a lot now so by the time you buy your own place you will know how to scout for DJ's and pump tracks.

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    Its SO freaking nice to see land being used for bike tracks instead of condos or housing developments!!! I must go here... http://www.leelikesbikes.com/photos-...ump-track.html



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMojo?
    Its SO freaking nice to see land being used for bike tracks instead of condos or housing developments!!! I must go here... http://www.leelikesbikes.com/photos-...ump-track.html



    oh man.... hump those bumps.
    Schralp it Heavy.

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    Just did some measuing on my pump track. The turns at each end of mine have a 15' radius. No wonder I can't pump them LOL. I purchased that How To Guide from LeeLikesBikes.com and he said that turns with a 6-10 foot radius were the most fun and the largest he recommended were 10-12 feet.

    I basically had a 30'x60' space to work with and made the track that wide with two big berms at each end. Now I see my problem and I will tighten those up in the spring. I have MORE room to work with for next year so I should be able to get a little crazy. Lots of work to do !!!

  16. #16
    Retread soul rider
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    Just build it, but budget for clean up when you move out. A Bobcat could wipe it smooth in a day, no problem. One day rental costs between 175-300 depending on location and if you have to pay for delivery, i.e you don't have a big truck to pull it on their trailer.

    Rental houses often don't have the nicest grass anyway since renters might not want to pay for watering it, etc. Depending on time of year, you could re-seed by hand with annual rye grass and make it look nice and green again in about a 3 weeks.

    This reply is my practice for talking to my wife about a pump track in my backyard... we own it, but will want to sell it some day. How much will it suck some day to be flattening a great pump track?! The only consolation will the thought of getting to design and build a new (and hopefully bigger) one.

  17. #17
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    I've never been to a pump track. Are they really that fun?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cru Jones
    Yikes. We need to add about 10 years onto that age. Unless she's a smokin hottie, then maybe 5...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavement_hurts
    I've never been to a pump track. Are they really that fun?
    depends on who built it... good way to work on humpin' the bumps and stamina, but even funner if it is made to where you can double up some of the rollers, or even if gaps or doubles are incorporated into the mix to begin with...
    or I'd imagine if there are several different lines and transfers to choose from, but I've never ridden one that complex....

    but, I'll tell ya' one thing, sure is funner than sitting here in the snow.... resort isn't open to boarding yet, but trails are too covered to bike... this year the weather is weird.... at least we skipped a lot of the usual mud phase, but still..
    Schralp it Heavy.

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    gonna do it

    My roommate and I have decided to he!! with the land lord, we're just gonna do it. Our yard is huge, about 3 lots deep so i'm not worried about having enough room. And as mentioned it's not in the greatest shape. It is over grown with grass in the very back because we are lazy, so i'm thinking about mowing out a section toward the back. That way unless we are riding, it won't be viewable from the road. For now i'm planning a small figure 8 so I can get down the basics of building. Now if i can just convince myself to study for finals...

  20. #20
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    I've just started building one with my girlfriend in our backyard.

    We only have about 10 metres by 8 metres to work with in a triangular shape, but hopefully we can make it work. Dug up the grass last weekend. Gotta find the dirt now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavement_hurts
    I've never been to a pump track. Are they really that fun?
    Lots of good info here... http://www.leelikesbikes.com/categor...s/pump-tracks/

    I'm an XC racer and hardcore trail rider, not so much dj/urban/park, but built a pump track to help improve my riding skills and, to some extent, my upper body strength. I haven't got to put a lot of time in on the track yet, but once finished this thing will definitely make me a better XC racer. It is one HELLUVA workout.

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    I started work on my backyard track over Thanksgiving weekend. Slow going as I've only got 3 rollers complete. Mine is kind of a D shape with the long straight side right at 40 feet. I am building it as I go with basically no planning. I mowed in the basic shape and then just started at the furthest point from the gate building the rollers. I've been placing bricks to where I think the rollers and things need to be. The two tracks I've ridden seemed like the rollers were really close together, almost too close. The peaks of my existing rollers are 9 feet apart. Maybe 6 feet or so after piling up and packing the dirt. I think my problem is that I've not made it wide enough. The track itself is only about 18 inches wide. I figured I'd just start with the rollers so I could test ride as I went along. Build a roller, ride it, build another, ride it, etc. I've got 3 big rollers done and now am starting on 2 smaller ones that could be doubled. I'm afraid my turns are going to be too sharp. I'm just winging it and we'll see how it works out. Pickup truck full of dirt is only $9 at the local nursery. Took one load just for 3 rollers and I've still got 3 berms to build! I'm going to need at least 4 more loads of dirt. It's a beyitch when you don't own a wheelbarrow. I made a home made one out of a 2 wheel dolly, a bungee cord, and a big plastic tub.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXhucker
    I started work on my backyard track over Thanksgiving weekend. Slow going as I've only got 3 rollers complete. Mine is kind of a D shape with the long straight side right at 40 feet. I am building it as I go with basically no planning. I mowed in the basic shape and then just started at the furthest point from the gate building the rollers. I've been placing bricks to where I think the rollers and things need to be. The two tracks I've ridden seemed like the rollers were really close together, almost too close. The peaks of my existing rollers are 9 feet apart. Maybe 6 feet or so after piling up and packing the dirt. I think my problem is that I've not made it wide enough. The track itself is only about 18 inches wide. I figured I'd just start with the rollers so I could test ride as I went along. Build a roller, ride it, build another, ride it, etc. I've got 3 big rollers done and now am starting on 2 smaller ones that could be doubled. I'm afraid my turns are going to be too sharp. I'm just winging it and we'll see how it works out. Pickup truck full of dirt is only $9 at the local nursery. Took one load just for 3 rollers and I've still got 3 berms to build! I'm going to need at least 4 more loads of dirt. It's a beyitch when you don't own a wheelbarrow. I made a home made one out of a 2 wheel dolly, a bungee cord, and a big plastic tub.
    I recommend that Pump Track guide that LeeLikesBikes.com sells on his site for $9.99. Lots of good tips in there on the size to build the rollers, berms, etc. He recommends building the berms first, which I highly recommend also. Once you get those done, then its easy to figure out where to put the rollers. Just don't do like I did and build the turns too large. He recommends a 6-10' radius as the easiest size turn to carry speed thru (and be able to pump). I built mine way too big at 15' and I have to pedal thru them to maintain speed.

    I've had three 5 yard truckloads of topsoil delivered so far and I'm going to need a couple more in the spring. You gotta go buy a wheelbarrel LOL, I could not move this much dirt without one.

    Building one of these is a lot of work, but its well worth it IMHO.

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    I just may do that before I go further. Actually, last night while nursing my sore back, I was questioning if it was really worth all the work and if I should keep going. I also now see the logic in building the berms first. I'm having to re-think the placement of my next roller because of where the berm is supposed to go.. I just wanted to be able to ride it as I go. Instead of slaving over huge piles of dirt that I can't play on. I'm just worried that I'll get it done and then the home owner's association will come knocking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXhucker
    I just may do that before I go further. Actually, last night while nursing my sore back, I was questioning if it was really worth all the work and if I should keep going. I also now see the logic in building the berms first. I'm having to re-think the placement of my next roller because of where the berm is supposed to go.. I just wanted to be able to ride it as I go. Instead of slaving over huge piles of dirt that I can't play on. I'm just worried that I'll get it done and then the home owner's association will come knocking.
    One of the guys on LeeLikesBikes.com had to put paver stones down to get it past his homeowners association. Its funny when you look at his track and see these fancy stones placed in strategic areas...I guess that somehow made it legal for his neighborhood.

    And yea, definitely do the berms first, then the rollers. You will probably end up changing the design a few times along the way, atleast I have. Make your berms 6-10' feet in radius and you will be good to go...anything tighter will be too hard to negotiate and anything larger will require too much speed or the need to pedal.

    And yea, its a lot of work, but its worth it. I actually had a lot of fun designing and building it. Although the neighbors probably wonder what the f&*^ck I'm doing. When the guy was delivering the last load of dirt he commented "oh you must have kids with ATV's" and I said "no this track is for my mountain bike". He really laughed when I told him I was 38.

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