Give Pump Track a Crack with Top Tips from Rotorua Legend Dan Butterworth

Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by Torpedo7 is the ultimate stripped-down skill showcase, with riders competing without chains or pedalling on a course that demands near-perfect flow and explosive power. The track sponsored by Torpedo7 consists of a maze of berms and rollers which, when used in conjunction with pumping techniques, allows riders to create the momentum needed to carry as much speed as they can through turns. When the chains come off, strength, momentum, and skill are the name of the game!

Rotorua legend Dan Butterworth has been holding his own on the Pump Track circuit this year, securing fourth in SilverStar Pump Track at Crankworx in Canada and fourth in Pump Track at Crankworx Cairns last month. Dan is passionate about the next generation of shredders, coaching young groms at Rotorua BMX Club. Dan also built the Log Yard Dirt Jumps in Rotorua giving kids an epic place to practice and hone their skills.

Dan is out for a podium finish to round off the 2022 Crankworx World Tour season in front of home crowds and as we countdown to Crankworx Rotorua we asked Dan for his top tips on getting a bike ready for Pump Track.

What sort of bike do you personally ride for Pump Track?        

“My bike of choice for Pump Track is always my jump bike, which is a Trek Ticket with 26-inch wheels and 100mm of front suspension.”                                                                                        

If I was going to start riding Pump Track, what sort of bike could/should I ride?

“I would definitely recommend riding a jump bike on Pump Tracks, like the ones we race on at Crankworx. These bikes are ideal for going fast, but you can use any sort of bike on a Pump Track and still have lots of fun.”

What kind of tyres do you use? Is this what you’d recommend to a beginner?

“My choice of tyres for pump track are low rolling resistance, good self-damping, and low weight which I use for most Crankworx Pump Track races and general pump track riding. I would suggest any tyres with minimal tread. Look for a tyre that will be fast rolling while also giving you grip in the turns.”

How should you set up suspension for Pump Track?

“Jumps bikes only have front suspension. For Pump Track, I always like to run lots of pressure, nearing the max to make the fork nice and firm so that I can hold speed and not lose any pump to soft suspension. To sum this up, run the suspension hard.”

What kind of protection should be worn?

“A full-face helmet is always a good idea while riding Pump Track. Along with some knee pads, and appropriate riding clothes.”

Any tips for someone wanting to improve their Pump Track riding?

“First tip is to always push with your legs and not your arms! Second tip is to push/pump all downsides of the track! Third tip is always to stay smooth and relaxed, because smooth is fast!”

What would your ideal Pump Track look like?

“My ideal Pump Track would have deep techy rollers and jumps with steep 180-degree corners and some tight rollers making for fun triples. You could even throw in a gap jump in the mix to make it interesting having to jump in the middle of the lap. All built out of some fresh Rotorua hero dirt.”

So, feeling inspired to get your bike sorted and get cracking on the Pump Track? Talk to the friendly Torpedo7 team in the Crankworx Rotorua expo area who can help you pick the right tyres, whip off your chains and get you out there.