Front suspension for a pump track bike?

Hi Lee,

I bought the book and built one of your tracks. Then bought your MTB book and the bmx book.

Now I want to buy a dedicated pumptrack bike but am trying to be cost effective.

Two questions:

Question 1: Do I want/need a front shock for pump track? Some things I read seem to say no others seem to think it is cool.

Question 2: Should I get a bmx, cruiser or dirt jump 26″? I ride my Santa Cruz Nomad on the trails and tried to convert my Kona Humu but it has too long of chain stays.

I live on an island and have dealer representation for Kona (downside), Redline (d-26) and Specialized (P.1). These are all 26″ dirt jumpers but I do rock best right now on my daughters 24″ Torker! Should I get a 24″… 20″

Let me know if you have thoughts. You are my mentor. I will learn the Kung fu…

Best Wishes,


Hey Brian!

Cheaper and more snappy than an MTB, more forgiving than a 20: A 24-inch BMX cruiser might be the ideal compromise for Brian’s new pump track bike.

Question 1
You don’t need a front shock, especially on a smooth track.

However, mountain bikers tend to like the feel of some front squish, and a suspension fork makes the bike more versatile. Also, a front-suspended pump bike will feel a bit more like your Nomad.

Question 2
That depends on your style and budget.

Most adult mountain bikers do best on DJ hardtails. Bikes like the rigid single speed Specialized P.1 deliver tons of value and fun.

If cost is a real issue, and/or you truly want to learn the kung fu, try a BMX bike. Unless you are already a black belt, I suggest learning to ride a 24 first, then manning up to the 20. One you can ride a 20, everything else feels like slow motion.

Yep, if you’re saying you want a dedicated pump bike, and cost is an issue, and you like your daughter’s 24, I say get yourself a race-oriented BMX cruiser. I have an Intense BMX Factory Alloy 24, and it is sweet.

Check out: What is the best pump track bike?

Rip it,


Know more. Have more fun!

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6 replies
  1. Brian says:

    It is pretty fun, I built my last BMX bike by chopping the frame on my Schwinn Stingray to get a higher BB. We were riding dirt jumps in dry creek beds and I rode in what I think was one of the first Northern California BMX competitions in ‘75. My Stingray was not impressive amoungst the competition even though I had cool Motomag wheels. Now I am about to turn 50 and just bought my second BMX bike, an Intense Race Pro Cruiser! Rock On!

    I built the pump track so that I can be in better shape for the few times this year I can make it to Whistler! Just riding my local, XC trails does not prepare me for the low seat, stand up, forearm burning downhill of whistler.

    The pumptrack has been a hit for the whole family, the three year old likes to run arround on it. The 8 and 9 year old are still pedaling but not for long and thier balance has really improved, they will be shredders. The thing they like the most is that the cool middleschool bmxr’s all want to ride the pumptrack at thier house.

    Thanks for all the tips!


  2. Robyn@VintageRedline says:

    Given these details, and the availability of a Redline dealer in your area, I would go with the Redline 24″ BMX. GREAT bikes! The Flight is the top of the line race bike, but if you are on a budget, get the mid line Proline 24. Very tough, still stylish, and it would ride terrifically on a pump track.

  3. Anne says:

    Thanks for posting this. For the past year, I’ve gone back and forth for what to get for a bike between a BMX cruiser and a DJ. After test riding various bikes of both types, I opted for a Yeti DJ.

    The BMX cruiser felt weird to me (steep HA / long TT) and even some of the DJs felt too weird. But the Yeti felt very flickable and fun in a way that the bike can be very versatile with BMX, pump tracks, dirt jumps, urban, trying to learn trials, riding dual slalom and even trail riding for a change-up from the full suspension.

    Truthfully, I can’t wait to finish building this sucker to take it to the pump track and the BMX 🙂

  4. Brian says:

    Hi Robyn, Thanks for the tips. I really appreciate it. I ended up with the intense and it is working great. I have a great shop here but they do not actually stock any bikes new.

    zakrzak: great video! The intense is not versatile, I can barely ride it the 50 yards to my pump track but it is awesome on the track. I love the steep ht. my slacker bikes feel like the tires are covered in mud. It even changed my work out, the bmx bike is so much faster it is way earsier to get going. I used to stop because I was out of breath but now I can go till my muscles are burning and I am out of breath. Working for my first 100. I am making the kids count.

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