Video: Aaron Gwin's Pump Track Training Tips

Jan 22, 2023 at 2:36
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesRide pump tracks and you'll become a better rider, I promise. Aaron Gwin

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,141 articles

  • 98 2
 He has become such a good communicator. Love these
  • 9 1
 That is very true.
  • 26 1
 @sonuvagun: Spot on! Aaron excels as a rider, communicator, and human being!!! Some great tips from a champion!
  • 22 3
 Would be rad to see him as a World Cup commentator when he retires
  • 18 0
 All of us have run over at least one scooter kid right right
  • 7 1
 @wheelsmith: On purpose!
  • 2 1
 @wheelsmith: scooter kids do not like to be stuck in the track every time they climb a roller hehehe. I had one pump track very close to home,never ride over a scooter kids. But I left a few times cos I wanted to ride over some stupid parents who let their children run&play inside the track or really close.
That track is only for bikes,it is in the "big rule table in the door" of the place,so when I see something out of order it is easy to tell them to read the norms (like people without helmet).
I saw few crashes like Aaron describes, front wheel over the corner,face plant into the asphalt in a millisecond. Those are terrible crashes,nightmare stuff, visit to the hospital 100%.
  • 1 0
 @homerjm: If it is tarmac, it is for everyone on wheels (and unassisted), isn't it? Gravel pumptracks may be hard on the small wheels, but the whole selling point (to get money from the city-councel to get one built) is that asphalt tracks are multi-use.

I personally don't get the hate against scooters. It may actually be better to practice pumping on a scooter than if you also have pedals. I sometimes see people pedal around the pumptrack and (aside from the fact that it seems actually more dangerous/less stable) to have moments with one pedal up and the other one down, they don't get to learn what they are to learn there. I have no experience on a scooter but I suppose you can use them to learn to pump properly. Especially as you can squat much deeper than many people seem to manage on a regular mountainbike with the saddle slammed.
  • 2 8
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jan 23, 2023 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 @BMXJJ327: . Not enough personality, would be boring. But I liked his dad advice on safe pumptrack riding.
  • 1 0
 @PauRexs I feel like he has always been. Most of the DH riders are pretty eloquent, actually. Gee, Minnaar, Gwin, Mulally, Brosnan, and even the young Frenchies are all great interviewees after overcoming the language barrier. Barel, Needles and CG were also very good communicators back in the days. And of course the born entertainer Cam McCaul and the wordwizard Rob Warner. High level Mountainbikers in general seem to have quite extraordinary communication skills.
  • 1 0
 @mazze: yes he was enough but he got better as wine with the age and experience in this area... You see him really comfortable and devoted to what he is doing now with the right balance, not easy though...The riders you mentioned it's easy when you are a super character and you are doing your thing... all good... But here is slightly different... Giving advice to larger audiences and compete with other really good communicators too...
  • 23 0
 Imagine having a pump track in your town
  • 10 0
 If you can team up with another few people, it is completely possible to get a pump track built by your town for your town. A shredder A land manager involved in a current project Someone with technical skills A mom Start talking about it and go to a town meeting to plant the seed at the public forum. You got this!!
  • 9 0
 @brass-munky: I can definitely try harder. My main hurdle is that my town is a retirement town and the people that live here prefer to keep things quiet and local. A pump track and well maintained trails would attract to many young hooligans to town. Again, I can definitely try harder to make it a reality.
  • 12 0
 I didn’t have a pump track in my town, so I built one in my yard. Of course I was lucky enough to have the proper yard.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: that's rad! Pretty awesome yard haha
  • 11 3
 Move to England. Councils have realised they’re much cheaper than building actual skateparks so we’ve got one in every town and village. Nobody uses them ether so once you’ve swept the broken glass away other than a few kids dribbling around on scooters. You’ll have it all to yourself for the 20 minutes it takes you to get bored.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: hahah perfect!
  • 2 0
 @ruckuswithani: or retired people would be happy to have something fun to bring their grandchilds to do so they visit them more often.
  • 1 0
 A nice pump track is close 100.000 € or even less if a local company can do it. My local track was build by a local company and was"cheap" compared to big playground for kids or any football/basketball thing in the same area. I have a good friend building pump tacks here in Spain,they have various teams working in different places around the country and a huge list of clients waiting for them to build their pump tracks.
  • 1 0
 Definitely! A few have popped up in Korea, but in one city, the locals have really taken advantage of it. The kids there are pushing themselves and progressing so rapidly. So awesome to see. The asphalt jumps are a wee bit of a question though haha. They even have a free foam put there. 2nd one in the country. 1st one is off in the boonies and doesn't see as much use as it should
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Interesting take, the ones in my home city (Bristol) are always pretty busy when I go and loads of people stay for an hour or more. Not got many near me now but they've usually got a good 10 or so people there when I go.

Genuinely not sure why you're so negative about them - any place to ride is amazing, especially if the council are behind it. If it's going to help people get out & active then it's great. If it's going to help people hone in their skills that's great. All good things really!
  • 1 2
 @Joebohobo: agreed but the main reason I’m so negative about them is everything time I see one pop up I know there was a decision made and instead of getting a new skatepark we’re getting the budget version pump track instead. Just went and visited a new one in Windermere it was completely empty sat next to an old metal skatepark that’s sunk into the ground, that money could have gone on a new park or at least fixed the one that’s already there but instead it’s wasted on a pump track that gets little to no use.
  • 19 0
 OK, I'll give a go !

If I don't post anything in next 24h.
That means didn't go well Wink
  • 2 0
 Or it went really well!
  • 2 0
 Where is that?
  • 17 1
 Can confirm riding pumptracks is great training for everything else. Didn’t quite make me Gwin, but you know.
  • 8 0
 No truer words have been spoken, "if you want feel like you're out of shape..." pumptracks definitely put you at the limit really quick.
  • 2 0
 My first day back on a bike post-COVID was a trip to the pump track with my boys. Was embarrassing how winded I was after just one lap.
  • 1 0
 BMX race tracks will do nicely also. Just got back into BMX racing with my 9 y.o. son, and one of the drills we do is to pump the straights, pedal the corners, and then pump the whole track from the starting hill. I've noticed my top end be a lot better which have been beneficial for short punchy climbs on the XC bike.
  • 1 0
 @XC-Only: That's how I got a DJ bike. My oldest (7yo) was into BMX for a while and I'd accompany him to practice, so I got a DJ bike for BMX practice with him, and occasional trips to the pump track (closest one to use is an hour away). He lost interest in BMX, and we haven't been back to the track in quite some time.

When I was going to practice with him I would tell him to pedal and I would pump, and have him try to keep up with me, or I would give him a head-start and leave the gate after he reached the first turn, and have him try to beat me to the finish. Towards the end he was getting to where he almost kept up, on regular starts, and would beat me to the finish with a head start, but then we stopped going. He still enjoys riding and rides his mtn. bike fairly often, but he doesn't do well in a competitive environment, so he was kinda turned off by BMX. His little brother, otoh, is *very* competitive, but he has yet to graduate to pedals. We might try again with BMX if he shows interest in it.
  • 1 0
 @SoCalTrev: DJ bike would have been a wiser choice for being out of BMX riding since 2015. The worst crashes I've had were always on a BMX race or freestyle bike. It's taken me a couple of months, but the precision and response you get out of a 20" BMX race bike makes all my other bikes feel like driving an old Cadillac with blown shocks.

I don't have a childhood BMX background, but I raced a full season in my mid-20s, which is pretty much all year save for December and January in California, as you know. We have 5-week long, exclusive race leagues here in Napa for beginners, so I think that helps to keep the kids in the game, so to speak, without having to combine races with higher skilled racers.
  • 9 0
 Pump track is best medicine.
  • 8 0
 Come on new Intense DJ bike.
  • 2 0
 Can't wait for a longer, lower, slacker DJ-bike.. oh wait..
  • 6 0
 Aaron is a great bloke, rider and tutor.
  • 2 0
 Is he still on the Specialized P3 frame from back on the day? no Intense? I thought Jeff made some new Pumptrack hardtail frames?
  • 6 3
 He should really be doing this chainless with his track record
  • 3 0
 If you do it right you never pedal anyway, so having a chain doesn’t really matter. Other than it might provide a touch of tension to push against.
  • 1 0
 Super-legit!!!! Awesome vid!!

Q: how do you "set-up" the fork, i have heared go "full lock"....... any comments on that?

  • 2 0
 Will this still be a 26” wheeled bike, hard to tell…
  • 5 3
 As if pump tracks are common
  • 3 0
 Come to the UK, I live in a pretty basic village in a rural county and we’ve got about 3 pump tracks in a short drivable distance. There are also 3 I know of just in the nearest city.
  • 2 1
 Pretty common in the States at this point. Fortunate for sure. That said, You guys and some shovels can easily make one in the dirt
  • 1 0
I’m not a million miles from you, have you any locations for pump track nearby
  • 1 0
 @pimpin-gimp: so jealous haha
  • 2 0
 @bman33: anyone know of some in SoCal?
  • 3 0
 @nvranka: Temecula, menifee, sapwi bike park, soon to be Inglewood (Elliot Jackson’s project). Think there are some closer to San Diego too.

The fact that there isn’t a pumptrack in LA county yet blows my mind.
  • 1 0
 @Longroadtonowhere: oo Inglewood actually not far from me
  • 1 0
 @pimpin-gimp: I dont think they're that common in the're just lucky! Pretty much sweet FA in's all about skate parks down here
  • 1 0
 @Longroadtonowhere: People are talking about building one in Corona, but we'll see. Feels like every new pop up neighborhood has a skate park now (which is good), you'd think putting in a pump track in place of one wouldn't be hard.
  • 1 0
 @ralph5250: I’m up in somerset, we have north Petherton, cheddar and puriton all within 20mins
  • 1 1
 @dirtyburger: dang, it sounds like you're bitter because you don't have a place to ride and haven't made a place to ride yourself.
  • 2 0
 hmm, how to pump would have been helpful.
  • 3 2
 This really gets me pumped
  • 1 0
 More downhill videos plz!!
  • 3 2
 Legit expected an ebike
  • 1 2
 Tell me you have a bmx background without telling me you have a bmx background
  • 3 2
 That guys pretty intense
  • 1 0
 Solid content. Thanks.
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