Pump roller design- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pump roller design

    So I'm not very good on pump tracks so maybe it is my technique. These rollers are a new addition to our training track. They are on 15' centers and have about, well you can see how much elevation change. Is it the roller design or the rider that needs work?

    First try at including a video. Hope it works.


  2. #2
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    I'm thinking it's technique. Looks like your seat is in the way; drop it. Then practice, watch videos, practice some more!

  3. #3
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    Thanks tb. That's good news, I'm happy you didn't say my rollers are all wrong :P

  4. #4
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    Yeah, track looks totally pumpable. Drop your seat all the way, lock your shock out (or better yet, grab a BMX/DJ bike) and work on technique.

    Go a bit faster, lots of bend in the knees and elbows, and concentrate far more on unweighting and sucking the bike up into your body for the rises than pushing down into the gulleys; it's a lot like trying to prejump the rises so you're light as a feather on the ups and top, then just coming in for a 'landing' on the downs. Kind of opposite of what you'd think and a bit of a weird timing to get the hang of, but you'll feel it when it works.

    Also, less abrupt motions that match the terrain profile. At the speed you're going and with the way you're giving those quick shoves downward, you're mostly just cycling the suspension in the video. Ever stand on a scale and kind of pump up and down to try to get it to spin all the way around as a kid? Picture trying to do that with 4 scales at a time, on for each hand and foot. It's roughly that kind of a feeling your looking for. Again, carrying a little more speed will help with this.

    Your first couple pumps look decent, but then it seems you are losing your speed and rhythm, which is super easy to do on an FS bike with a jacked seat even for people who ride pumptrack stuff regularly. You're on the right track - keep practicing!
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  5. #5
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    Agree, I'm no expert but it seems like your forcing the bike down when it's already mostly at the bottom, which just compresses the fork.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    ...Ever stand on a scale and kind of pump up and down to try to get it to spin all the way around as a kid? ...
    YES! What a delightful memory to be dredged up, and what a great way to think about it! Makes perfect sense. I've been thinking "pumping a swing" and that seems to be just half of the equation. The scale picture is different. Can't wait to go try.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ki5ka View Post
    YES! What a delightful memory to be dredged up, and what a great way to think about it! Makes perfect sense. I've been thinking "pumping a swing" and that seems to be just half of the equation. The scale picture is different. Can't wait to go try.
    Hands first the feet right on their tail, and think about letting the bike come up to you for the risers, like unloading the scales. Then a push down the landing and already coming up with the hands as you roll through the bottom, doing the pre-jump thing. Your rollers look pretty sweet for learning manuals on too as you progress.

    Also, watch how static these guys keep their upper body position compared to what's going on with sucking things up and pumping with their appendages. High level obviously but great example of how it works when done right.

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  8. #8
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    What a great video Slap! Sure makes it look easy LOL

  9. #9
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    How to ride a pump track with Jill Kintner. EDIT - Notice in the video footage she's running without a chain.

    How to pump your mountain bike and also how to build a pump track with Phil Kmetz.

    Finally, how to build a pump track from Lee McCormack. He's also got a book with pump track designs, and IMBA has published a bike park book, which is really more about flow trails and jumps than specifically about pump tracks.
    Last edited by tbmaddux; 12-19-2018 at 10:05 AM. Reason: no chain

  10. #10
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    Awesome, thanks TB!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Agree, I'm no expert but it seems like your forcing the bike down when it's already mostly at the bottom, which just compresses the fork.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    this

    work on your timing. you will know... when suddenly you are getting bursts of speed with a good pump. then learn the rhythm to repeat that for each hump. eventually you'll be able to eyeball any sized roller and know how to pump it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Also, watch how static these guys keep their upper body position compared to what's going on with sucking things up and pumping with their appendages.
    This is a really easy way to tell if someone is pumping correctly. If their head (helmet) is going up and down over every roller, then something isn't right.

    The rider in Slap's video is on a 20" bmx going over some pretty good sized rollers and his helmet is barely moving.

    Ki5ka,

    I would say your rollers look fine. On your technique (I assume that's you), re-watch your video and pay attention to what your head/helmet is doing in comparison to the top of the concrete wall. It looks like you are trying to initiate the pumping motion with your head/upper body, and as you get further down through the rollers your body weight is see-sawing forwards and back.

    In regards to maintaining a still upper body (notice I didn't say "stiff"), the best way I've heard it described is, if you built your pump track behind a 5 ft tall fence, and someone on the outside of the fence watched you riding past, all they would see is your head go by and they would assume you were just riding on level ground.


    Pumping, like virtually all other movements on the bike (with a few notable exceptions like manualing) should be done with your body weight centered on the bike.

    So, a couple tips to help with that.
    1. As you approach the rollers, make sure you centered on the bike. Good way to center yourself on the run in is to stand up, level your pedals, and gently bounce your weight up/down on the pedals with knees/elbows slightly bent. If your weight is too far forward or back, it will feel funny.

    2. Keep your eyes looking farther ahead down the trail. If you're staring at your front wheel or looking down into the bottom of the roller you are riding into, your weight won't stay centered. In the video, it looks like you are definitely looking too far downward, and I think that is part of why you are see-sawing your weight back and forth. You should be looking a couple rollers ahead at least.

    Staying centered fore-aft will go along way towards maintaining that still head/torso.

    The other thing that helps me is imagining that my head and torso are immovable objects as I pump through the rollers. Pump the bike away from your body down into the bottom of the roller and suck the bike back up into your body over the top with your arms and legs taking up the full range of motion, while your head/torso stay still.
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