Pump Track Tips

Pump tracks are a super way of honing your skills on the bike. They can be fun and beneficial to anyone regardless of their age, skill set or preferred biking discipline. So, whether you're a 4 year old on a balance bike, a seasoned mountain biker or a professional BMX racer: pump tracks offer opportunities for progression and are a great, fun way of getting exercise!

We've devised this list of tips to help get you riding pump tracks safely and effectively.

1. Pump tracks are for everyone.
Take turns, when it’s your turn, take just a few laps at a time. If someone rides at the same speed as you, you can ride at the same time on different areas of the track. Be aware of other riders, hold your line when a rider is behind you, wait your turn to drop in, and ride predictably.

2. Check the bike before use. 
Ensure tyre pressures are ok, wheels and handle bars are not loose and brakes are working. For more safety tips see our M-Check page.

3. Get geared up
A helmet is always a must, and if you’re new to the pump track or working on advanced skills, you should also wear gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads. If you’re practicing tricks, like jumps, you should wear a full face helmet.

4.  Put your seat fully seat down.
Always ride a pump track standing up as you need to let the bike move freely under you, absorbing rollers (bumps) with your arms and legs. If you don’t you could get thrown over the bars!

5. Pump, don’t pedal.
To do this, as you approach a roller, unweight your front wheel on the front side of the roller. As the wheel crests the top, transfer your weight forward and push down with your arms (and then with your legs) to input power on the downslope. The upper body is mostly staying in place, its the arms and legs that are doing the work. This “pumping” motion (hence the name "pump" track) is what will generate and maintain your speed through the track.  

If you haven’t mastered pumping yet and need to pedal, only pedal on the flat sections in between the features. Keep your pedals level when rolling over the features or they could strike the ground and throw you off.

6. Rail the berms
As you approach a berm (a turn), make sure you control your speed into it, then maintain good steady cornering position through the berm, and try to exit on the other end with more speed than you entered. As you ride the berm, make sure you are looking well through the turn at your exit point, and as you approach the exit, make sure that you continue to look even beyond that.

Since you will be leaning over in the berm, its important to keep the inside pedal high to avoid it striking the ground. i.e if its a left hand turn, the left pedal should be up and the right pedal down.

These basic skills should get you enjoying the track safely but keep an eye out for our skills sessions at local pump tracks, contact us for more info.

If you are interested in progressing to BMX Racing or learning to manual or jump doubles please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you! 
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