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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'd like to build some really simple free ride ramps and bridges on my local mountain bike trail. What's the cheapest way to build these? I'm pretty new to the sport (about 5 months) Me and my riding buddies just finished watching ROAM and we're totally stoked to ride on those dangerous looking bridge things (I'm not sure what the correct term is) There was a pretty bad storm here a while back and there are tons of logs and small trees all over the trail. Does it have to be high quality wood? or could I use plywood cut into planks?
 

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VP/ Terrain Designer
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Using anykind of manufactured lumber, is a bad idea. Plywood will delaminate the first time it gets wet. You should maybe check out the IMBA freeride build standards, or the Whistler Trail Standards are a great source of information. You may also want to think about getting permission from the land owners; before you start constructing anything.
Here in Oregon, we are required by the Forest Service, to use high quality natural materials
only. Below, is a link to a thread about wooden features we have built, and are building.
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=519877
 

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Out there
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KendrickSnyder said:
Hi,

I'd like to build some really simple free ride ramps and bridges on my local mountain bike trail. What's the cheapest way to build these? I'm pretty new to the sport (about 5 months) Me and my riding buddies just finished watching ROAM and we're totally stoked to ride on those dangerous looking bridge things (I'm not sure what the correct term is) There was a pretty bad storm here a while back and there are tons of logs and small trees all over the trail. Does it have to be high quality wood? or could I use plywood cut into planks?
You should not use anything less than 2x4 for anything. I use 2x6 for stringers and 2x4 for decking, and build up the supports as burly as they need to be.

Outdoor grade ply can be useful for building the odd ramp here and there but overall it is much easier and longer lasting to build with dimensional lumber.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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Unless you own the land, you can't move a rock without permission. If you build without permission, you can potentially have the trail closed to ALL mountain bikers. You don't want to be "that guy".
 

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NOT Team Sanchez
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agreed with BP, so just go and build your own trail, that way if it gets shut down no biggie :D
Where do you live? Some spots are really hip to trail builders, ask the right people (BLM) and find out if it's ok. And since it appears you're new at this, you might want to go and ride a trail that has some of what you want to build to get an idea of how it's done, the correct methods, safety. etc etc etc.
 

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Also find out who maintains the trails. We don't care much when other people make changes to the trails. The land owner has expectations about permanent structures and we have a plan to keep trails at certain difficulty levels.

Like others, we use 2x4 and 2x6 for ladder bridges and other features. The cheapest way to build a ramp is to use what is available, dirt and logs. We have a ton of clay, building dirt features is labor intensive and takes some maintenance, but it's free.
 
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