How to Build a Mountain Bike Ramp

How to Build a Mountain Bike Ramp
Mountain biking is a challenging outdoor sport, and jumps add an exciting dynamic to each ride. Building a mountain bike jump requires you to scan the landing area for hazards before constructing the ramp. You also must have a rough idea of the speed you will be riding and any turns after the jump. The ramp can be built at any incline, but beginning riders should begin with a low incline and gradually add material to increase the incline as the skill level improves.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Shovel
  • Dirt compacting plate
  • Mountain bike
Step 1
Choose a ramp area with a straight run to gain speed, followed by a clear landing area. Begin shoveling a hole and pile the dirt directly behind the hole.
Step 2
Use the shovel to shape the pile of dirt at the incline of your choice. Beginning riders should start with a 20 to 30 degree incline. The incline can be adjusted once you are comfortable making the jump
Step 3
Pour 3 or 4 buckets of water on the dirt and stomp the dirt repeatedly with a plate compactor to harden the ramp. Allow the ramp to dry and walk the ramp to test for soft spots.
Step 4
Add water to any soft spots and hit the soft spots repeatedly with the compactor plate. Allow the spots to dry and walk the ramp again to test for more spots. Repeat the process until the ramp is dry and hard.
Step 5
Test ride the ramp at a slow speed. Test the landing area and look for potential hazards before making a full-speed jump. Once you have tested the ramp at a slow speed and you deem it safe, you are ready to make a full-speed jump.

Tips & Warnings

Add sticks and natural debris to the ramp for durability. You can also layer the ramp with 2 x 4s to create a hard base for a permanent jump.
Wear a helmet and safety gear when attempting to jump on a mountain bike. Only place the ramp in a legal area that does not obstruct public trail systems. If you are a minor, only use the ramp under supervision.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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