Technique: How to build mountain bike dirt jumps, part 2
By Chris Smith, Mountain Biking UK | Friday, April 1, 2011 12.00pm
You can create a hip jump from a natural feature, or a tabletop you’ve already made Steve Behr
Earlier this year we showed you how to create tabletops and doubles to jump on your mountain bike. This time we're looking at hip jumps and step-ups. The tools and rules are the same.
A hip jump is a good way to link jumps at the end of the trails or give you more routes through sets of jump. Its landing is angled from the take-off, for turning in the air as you jump.
1 Find an area to build your jump – UK freerider Chris Smith recommends creating a hip jump by adapting a natural feature, ideally a bank rising 45 degrees out of the ground, giving you a natural landing.
2 Clear the area of debris and rake it down so it’s as smooth as possible.
3 Shape a take-off transition into one end of the bank with a spade. It’s easier to stand at the top and carve the transition, then rake away excess dirt from the bottom of of the jump.
4 Build a landing up to 45 degrees from the take-off, making sure it’s long enough for a safe landing.
5 Smooth everything off and leave it to set for a few days, until it holds its shape when you walk over it – that’s when it’s ready to ride.
Another way to build a hip jump is to add a landing to a tabletop you’ve already built – just build it at an angle to the take-off (up to 45 degrees).
A step-up is essentially the same as a double, except that the landing is built much higher than the take-off. The landing also has much a longer base. We built a big double last time; here’s how to modify the process to end up with a step-up
1 Find a suitable area for your step-up. You need one that’s clear of trees and with plenty of room for the take-off and landing.
2 Arrange logs and branches into two piles to make a solid foundation. The two piles should be about 6ft apart.
3 Pile dirt on top of logs, making sure they are completely covered, and tread it down as you go.
4 Shape the landing ﬁ rst. This time round, the landing needs to be higher than the take-off. Start off by making it about 3ft higher, so about 8ft tall overall.
5 Walk the back end down into a nice gentle slope, and use a shovel to whack it and pack it all down.
6 As well as being higher, the landing also needs to have a wider base than a double. Otherwise you’ll ﬁnd that the extra height will mean it will end up coming to a point rather than having a ﬂat, level top.
7 Next, shape the take-off. It should be about 5ft high. As with the big double, the curve of the take-off needs to be longer than your bike, and the shape should kick you in the air a little.
8 Walk it into a smooth slope, run the bike up and down it and whack it down.
9 Leave it to set for a few days – when it holds its shape when you walk over it, it’s ready to ride.
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