When I google "ramp for MTB", I get some rather serious products

MTB ramp

and other lavish constructions.

homemade MTB ramp

Do you have other, simpler, ideas to build a beginner's ramp to practice elementary jumps on a mountain bike? I'm looking for:

  • "a few screws joining these two pieces of wood with these dimensions served me well for this purpose," or
  • "you likely already have these objects hanging around, and you can assemble them into a makeshift ramp."

Ideally, it's just the 101 of jumping—something that I can discard or donate a month later.

For those who are going to ask the obvious question ("why not just go to trails and practice there?"):

  • you block the trail when you practice there;
  • falling on a trail can be hazardous, whereas I can select a patch of grass where falling won't be that serious (and can itself be useful practice on how to fall);
  • trails typically require hauling the bike, whereas many nearby spaces are suitable for practice.

2 Answers 2


For training purposes a club mate built something portable just out of a sheet of sturdy weather-resistent ply and a length of 4"/100mm fence post (horizontally) under the downstream end. I seem to remember an option to make it taller, with another piece of fence post and longer bolts or maybe dowels. Call it maybe 150-250 mm high, and 600-750 mm long, from memory.

This was mainly for introducing beginners to little drops, on a slight downhill, and practicing shifting weight around. With a bit more speed it's good for practicing your timing for jumps. It works better on slightly soft ground than on paved surfaces. On a hard surface, either chamfering the underside of the entry end, or packing dirt against it, would make it smoother to roll into and less likely to move.

The same sort of thing could be made bigger.

If I was making it longer, I'd double up the plywood, with a step on the underside so it only had a single thickness at the entry.

If I was making it much taller, I would want to make some properly sturdy frames for the sides/drop-off. It would also get longer for a sensible slope. Just adding more fence post pieces is very heavy, awkward to join, and not actually very strong. This would approach the 2nd picture in the question, but without the curves.

One thing to note is that bolting right through is better here than woodscrews, given the movement that can be expected. Use coach bolts to avoid heads sticking up, and recess the nuts on the back or use. Alternatively countersunk machine screws or furniture bolts could be used with T-nuts (examples).

A portable wooden structure is good if you don't have access to a big enough space you can dig up.

  • 1
    BTW I have a feeling the one I saw could be rebolted to make a sort of see-saw, as a confidence-building toy for MTB beginners
    – Chris H
    Jun 17, 2023 at 15:03

Shovel + rake + dirt.

Pick an area of your own property where you have a run-up and runout space, then pile the soil into a pleasing shape. Use the rake to compact the ramp.

If you find the shape unsuitable, then change it. The technicques of trailbuilding are well documented.
This page covers most of the basics.

Obviously, avoid doing these unauthorised landscaping changes on public land, or land you don't own. And when you're done with the jump, simply spread it back out and lay some grass seed or plants.

  • 2
    First, buy some land! I don't reckon many urban properties have that kind of space in a straightish line. Even my semi-rural place would need the run up to be diagonally across the road, with the jump in the front lawn, landing on the drive and stopping immediately - and my friends nearly all have less land than me
    – Chris H
    Jun 17, 2023 at 15:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.