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Mountain Bike Features

Mountain biking is a sport that has been around for years. All of the mountain biking trails have their own unique features. Features vary from smooth all the way to steep and rocky. Berm, berm’s are what the trail builders make to allow the rider to take a corner at a high rate of speed. Gaps, gaps are a feature that are natural or man-made. Gaps are a type of jump where the rider has to jump a very specific distance. Easy gaps are usually one foot long but vary to 20ft long. The longest jump ever recorded was 134 ft. Pumps. Pumps are little bumps in the trail that the rider can use, or jump, to get speed. Super common feature and really fun if done correctly. Whale Tail. A whale tail is a wooden jump that has the shape of a whale tail and is common at bike parks. The rider can get a significant amount of high off one. Wallride. Wall rides can be stone but are usually wooden. They are used at downhill (DH) events and can create lots of speed. Box jump. Box jumps are my favorite because they are easy to do and if you use them it won’t be as bad as casing a gapper. Box jumps are commonly dirt but can be wooden, They can be long, short, or tall. Drops, drops are a relatively easy feature. They can be dirt, stone, wood, or metal. The biggest drops are usually held at events like Rampage, but big drops can be found at certain trials. All of these features can be found at many if not all bike parks. Bike parks like Whistler, Steamboat, Trestle, Telluride, Snowmass, and many others.

Many features you can build in your own backyard. A kicker is a really easy ramp to build. All you need is two-by-four lumber and plywood for the ramp. You can make the kicker steep or as short as you want. There are also ramps that you can buy online. However, they are pricey. They range anywhere from $150-$400. Features can be made of many things. The features that you’ll encounter the most are dirt. Dirt features can be anything from berms to gaps. At Red Bull Rampage, most of the features are made of dirt. There are lots of wooden drops at the event but most features are dirt. Sandbags are used to help build the feature. Sandbags can also be used to help the impact of the rider. Doing a drop onto a 62-degree landing made of solid dirt never feels good. Putting sandbags underneath the dirt is like a shock absorber. Wooden features are also found in many different places. They can be wallrides, drops, and they can be berms but they are not as common. It’s highly uncommon to find metal features but there are some terrain parks in the UK that have metal and concrete features. Any feature can be built and found almost everywhere. Even on public trails like the ones at Lory State Park. There can be many different materials, dirt, wood, metal, and concrete.


Nate Meeter is a junior at Poudre High School. He mountain bikes, skis, plays baseball, and tennis for fun and for a living. But mainly for fun. This is his first year on the Poudre Press. He also runs a blogs that you can check out here!

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