How should I pump a 180 berm?
I’ve been working hard on your different pumping techniques in Pro BMX Skills (really like the detail of the different techniques). I finally have a pump track near me and there’s been a massive improvement since I started riding it. The bit I’m struggling with is my entry to the 180 degree berm, at the end of the track. I’m always losing speed on it, when others are gaining speed. Should I be unweighting over the entry roller, then one slow pump down the backside of the roller and round the berm? Or should I pump the backside, unweight again, then pump the berm?
I gotta say, riding a pump track is proving very beneficial for my overall riding. I’m off to Fort William in the morning for the World Cup, so I imagine I’ll see some good pumping technique there. 🙂
Thanks for writing, and for the kind words about Pro BMX Skills. That book has the most detailed description of pump ever published. I’m especially proud of the “Flow around the track” section that shows pro riders pumping various obstacles in different ways.
It’s challenging to build speed in a 180-degree berm — especially if you don’t already have speed. That’s why I don’t put 180s in beginner-specific tracks.
From the pumping standpoint, a turn is just like a hole in the ground, only it’s sideways. Chew on that one!
• Suck up the entry roller. Get a low as you can before you drop into the hole.
• Extend into the belly of the turn. Stand tall in the middle of the hole.
• Suck up the exit of the turn. You should be low on the exit, which lets you pump the exit roller.
This video is shot by ski technique expert Ron LeMaster. He’s using this footage to teach pump to skiers.
By this time I’d been laying down a lot of laps, and I was tired — but settling into an efficient groove.
Darn right you’ll see great pump at Fort William. Troy Brosnan (who’s a great pump track rider) for the win!
Have fun out there,
Know more. Have more fun!
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If the radius of 180 degree berm is like twice bigger than the one in the movie, then you still do the same method?
Thanks Lee, I’ll work on that, think I have a clearer idea in my head as to what I should be doing now. Good vid! Good call on Troy too. 🙂
If you have speed, yes.
If you don’t have speed, pedal.
The other option is to “scallop” the turn: To break it into smaller sections and pump each one as if it’s its own turn. More on that another time … or in a clinic!