Have you ever built a pumptrack surfaced with concrete? I’ve seen a few videos from Europe showing one or two but nothing I can see in the U.S. I asking since I may be trying to approach our city about installing a pump track in a public park and something that would be lasting and require little to no maintenance would be ideal.
I live in La Crosse, WI and even asphalt doesn’t last more than 4-5 years without upkeep/replacement. By the way I like your design and thank you for your website.
This must be what you’re talking about:
Sweet! But expensive. A trailbuilder friend told me this Velosolutions track in Zurich cost seven figures. A similar skate park in the U.S. would cost at least six figures.
Because of small budgets and the practicalities of getting projects done, we have not yet built a concrete track. We wanted to asphalt the Mitch Park Bike Park in Gardnerville, NV, but that would have added $40,000 to the project. No way.
We have used these methods:
SoilTac. This polymer binds dirt particles together to form a sort of pavement. It’s used by many BMX tracks and pump tracks. I used some on my pump track to stabilize loose corners. Warning: SoilTac can create runoff issues, and it can pothole just like asphalt. It was used heavily at Valmont Bike Park, but they’ve gotten away from it in favor of good dirt and proper drainage.
Soil cement. This is a mix of Portland cement and dirt. In our last project, 15 percent cement worked well. It gives a natural looking track that’s rather durable (and inexpensive).
Magnesium chloride. Have you ever been on a dirt road that was hard packed and seemed almost a little moist? They might have mag chlorided it. This chemical attracts water from the air to maintain a harder surface and reduce dust. It’s best used in dry areas.
Good dirt. This is still my favorite because it delivers very high value per dollar. With good material and design, pump tracks don’t need very much maintenance. The tracks we’ve built here in Colorado go full years between work sessions.
Paving stones are another option. We have not used them because of expense.
Some day American pump tracks will get the same budgets that skate parks have, and we’ll be shredding the ‘crete. For now, try a lower-cost option or start pushing for more money. The more money you need, the longer it’ll take to get your project finished.
The best pump track in the world …
… is the one that gets built. We recently finished a low-cost track at Denver Green School in Denver, CO. With good dirt, clean design and smart drainage, this track will last a while.
Measure twice, build once!
Know more. Have more fun!
Join the leelikesbikes mailing list: