Having a mountain bike jump on your trail makes cycling more fun. However, not all tracks have natural jumps, which require you to learn how to build mountain bike jumps to make the track engaging and fun to ride on. Bike jumps on trails can be constructed of hipped dirt or any filler and are in different sizes and shapes.
You can build the jump using the right tools, and you have to ensure it’s safer to ride on and of a favorable height. You can use dirt or rocks to build the mountain bike jump after identifying the right place for construction. But ensure the jump offers enough room for riders to gain speed while on the take-offs or landing. Also, plan to create an exit path and understand how the jump will affect the flow of the trail.
If you’re planning on building a mountain bike jump, this guide will help you out as we’ll discuss the process in detail.
Rules Of Building Mountain Bike Jump
Before you build a mountain bike jump, you’ve got to put some rules and considerations in mind. First, you should ensure the jump is safe for use by building it to the required standards, which will not see it downgraded within no time.
Also, before you learn how to build a jump, ensure you know the owner of the land you intend to construct it on. This will help you stick to the land-use rules set by the country or state you’re in and get permission to change an existing mountain bike trail from the owner.
In addition to that, you should know that it’s not allowed to change an existing mountain bike trail without agreeing with the landowner or the organization that maintains the track.
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How You Should Plan and Build a Mountain Bike Jump
After knowing the rules, the next thing you should do is plan for the task ahead. Identify the materials you’ll use for building mountain bike jumps. You can use dirt by piling them high up or any filler material. Some people use wood, branches, or other organic materials. However, it’s advisable to use rocks or dirt as filler since wood and other organic materials destabilize the jump over time.
Then you should identify the right place to make the jump. If it’s a place with an existing single-track trail, ensure you leave enough room for riders to gain the speed necessary for the jump. Also, provide a good exit path and consider how the jump will affect the flow of the trail to avoid forcing riders to brake hard while avoiding overshooting the jump.
Step To Step Guide on How to Build Mountain Bike Jump
There are several types of mountain jumps you can build on your trail. This guide will show you how to build mountain bike trail here to enable you to maximize fun and try new adventures every day.
- A wheelbarrow
- A gardening fork
- W gardening brush
- A gardening hoe
- A spade
- A shovel
How To Build A Tabletop Jump
This is one of the mountain bike jumps you can build on a trail. You can build it using the below process;
- Clean the working area to get rid of debris.
- Build a strong foundation that you can make using dead wood or any filler material of your choice. Make sure the material will make your mountain bike jump foundation strong.
- Then construct the center of the jump. You should lay wood across the center where you want to build the mountain bike jump.
- After that, you should start digging a hole where you’ll get soil for laying the foundation. Ensure the hole is big enough and shallow.
- Scope the soil from the hole and pour it on the wood you lay down on the foundation. Use a wheelbarrow and a spade to do this faster. The earth will help hold the logs into position. Pour the ground all over the logs until they’re all covered well.
- Then level the soil and the dirt using a rake or shovel. Also, walk over the raised ground to compress it further. Ensure you squeeze the soil as flat as possible. Then add another layer of soil.
- You should afterward shape the tabletop. Make the top flat and compact with your feet to enable it to become stronger and firm. Using your feet, make the last two bike lengths of the mountain bike jump into a slope. Walk the hill down and then level it out with a shovel.
- Shape the transitional edges of the jump. To enable you to do this, stand some meters back and check at the top of the jump, the entry, and how it meets the ground. When doing this, try to figure out how your bike will move over the jump into the landing, then shape the bike’s take-off position. It’s advisable to have the landing slope be slightly steeper and longer than your bike.
- After that, you should smooth out the transition/exit the same way you did to the entry point. Walk on it to flatten it out to enable you to create a smooth curve with a steep shape.
- Test how your bike will move on this jump. Doing this will also help you shape the lip and make it compact. After that, use a shovel to shape it further, starting from the bottom. Also, shape the ruts left by your bike’s tires until you’ll be able to ride there smoothly and experience no bumps.
- Finally, allow the jump to set. This is after you’re satisfied with its shape and compacting the top of the lip. With time it will be rideable after the rains wash away the unnecessary parts. This may take like a week requiring you to be patient.
If you feel like changing the tabletop to a double, that’s also possible. You need to lower the middle to make it less scary.
You can do that by;
- Remove the dirt in the middle of the tabletop jump.
- Then pull out the logs in the middle carefully without interfering with the rest of the jump.
- Then smooth out the double jumps you’ve made.
- After that, you’ll have ready-to-use doubles. Remember, you can re-use the logs you’ve removed in the middle to make another jump.
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How To Build A Bigger Mountain Bike Doubles
After using the tabletop jump for some time, you’ll be ready for a more challenging and adventurous jump. To achieve this, you need to construct a big double jump that will allow you to have more landing room and employ ambitious tricks.
You can do that by following the below process;
Plan Out the Design
Develop a plan of what the jumps should look like. You should target having jumps that are 6 feet apart and a width of about 10-12 feet. Then also plan to have run-ins with no trees and a smoother ride. The run-outs should also have spaces for constructing follow-up jumps.
Arrange The Logs
You should then collect the branches and logs and cut them into the right lengths. After that, arrange them in two different piles 6 feet apart to create a strong foundation.
The next thing you need to do is pile the dirt on top of the logs and branches. Cover the logs well and fix the dirt down while also building the landing up. Make it around 5 feet high, 8 feet long, and 10-12 feet wide.
Shape The Jump
Start making the mountain bike jump so that it creates a shape. Walk over the pile to help you create the right form.
Pack The Jump
You should, after that, use a shovel to make the jump compact. Begin with the back of the landing and ensure it’s your bike’s length to have room for errors.
Build The Take Off
The next process is to build the take-off. Also, ensure it’s packed well to have it bear any weight.
Shape The Take Off
When creating the shape for your bigger jumps, make it have longer curves than your bike to make you fly in the air while riding over them.
Smooth The Take Off
Ride over the take-off to smoothen it out. Make several trips up and down to create a curve, then level it down with a spade and not a shovel.
Leave The Jump to Set
Give the jump some days to allow it to set and create the desired shape.
A set-up jump is similar to a double jump, with the only difference being that its landing is higher than the take-off. The set-up landing also has a longer base.
You can build it by;
- Locate the ideal area for building the set-up. It should be a place with no trees and bigger enough to allow take-off and landing.
- After that, create the foundation using logs and branches. Have them into two piles to make the foundation stronger. Don’t forget to create room between the two piles by leaving about 6 feet between them.
- Then start building the set-up jump by arranging the logs and covering them well. Also, tread the surface to level it down.
- You should afterward shape the landing. Make the take-off lower than the landing. You can have it about 8 feet taller.
- Level up the landing by walking up and down on it to create a gentle slope. But a shovel will help you smoothen and level it further.
- Create a broad base for the landing that corresponds to its tall height.
- Then shape the set-up’s take-off to have it at 5 feet high. The curve also should be longer than your bike to have you fly higher in the air.
- Allow it to set for a few days. After that, you can test if it’s in perfect shape by walking over it. Then try it by riding your bike over it.
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How To Build Mountain Bike Hip Jumps
This is another type of mountain bike jump you can make on a trail. The hip jump will help you connect jumps at the end of a track or provide you with alternative routes where there are several jumps. The hip jump’s landing is positioned from the take-off and will help you make a turn as you jump.
You can build it by;
Identify The Best Location to Build It
When building hip jumps, you should first identify the right spot to create them. It’s advisable to make it where there is a natural feature like a bank that’s 45 degrees higher off the ground. This will help you create a natural landing.
Clear The Area
You should then clean up your work area where you want to build the mountain bike hip jump. Remove dirt and debris using a rake to smooth and clean the area.
Create A Take Off
After that, you need to start creating a take-off transition on one end of the bank using a spade. You’ll have an easy time curving the transition while standing at the top. Finish up by raking away the remaining dirt starting from the bottom of the jump.
Build The Landing
The next step entails building a landing of about 45 degrees from the take-off. Let it be longer to allow you to have a safe landing.
Smooth The Jump
Finally, you should smoothen the jump and allow it to set for some days. Let it create a shape by walking over it, then try riding your bike on it.
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Building mountain bike jumps should be part of your plans if you want to increase the fun of cycling on specific trails. Before you set out for this task, ensure you seek permission from the relevant authority. Then create a plan and build mountain bike jump of your choice.
If you’re in for a real challenge, you can consider building a big double jump or a set-up. But small doubles will also give you a worthy experience on the trail. As a beginner, though, a tabletop jump will allow you to practice for the other types of mountain jumps and make you a pro.