Skip to Content

How to Build a Dirt Mountain Biking Berm

If you are an experienced mountain biker eager to elevate your riding abilities, constructing a dirt mountain biking berm is key. If so, then learning how to build a dirt mountain biking berm is essential. Constructing a berm can be challenging but, when done correctly, offers the most thrilling rides imaginable. In this article we’ll walk through all the steps necessary for building a successful berm including preparing the site, constructing the actual structure, mastering techniques for riding it and maintaining its condition over time. So if you’re ready for an adventure that will have your heart racing in no time – let’s get started on building a dirt mountain biking berm.

Preparing the Site

When it comes to mountain biking, preparing the site is key for a successful berm. Knowing how to choose a location, clear the area, and level the ground are all essential steps in creating an enjoyable experience for riders of all levels.

To begin constructing your berm, select a site that offers open terrain with ample sunlight and efficient drainage. Look for areas with open terrain that have access to plenty of sunlight and good drainage so water doesn’t accumulate during wet weather. Avoid any spots near trees or other obstacles as these can be dangerous when riding at high speeds. Additionally, make sure you check with local authorities before beginning construction on public land as some areas may require permits or special permissions before starting work.

Clearing the Area:

Once you’ve chosen your spot, it’s time to start clearing away any debris or vegetation from the area so you have a blank canvas to work with. Depending on what type of soil you’re dealing with this process could involve anything from raking up leaves and twigs to using heavy machinery like excavators if there are large rocks or roots in your way.

Before getting started on shaping your berm, it is important to take care of leveling out any bumps and dips in order to create a flat surface where dirt will settle evenly when pushed around by shovels and rakes later down the line. This process can be done manually by hand but having access to tools like laser levels makes things much easier as they help ensure accuracy while also saving time.

Once the site is prepared, construction of the berm can commence. Gather your materials and get ready for some serious dirt work.

Building the Berm

Building the Berm is an essential part of creating a successful outdoor space. Gathering materials, constructing the berm, and adding finishing touches are all important steps in this process.

Gather Materials:

Before beginning any construction project, it’s important to gather all necessary materials. When building a berm, you’ll need soil or sand, rocks or gravel for drainage purposes, shovels and rakes for excavation work, landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth and erosion control material like straw or wood chips. Gather additional materials for your desired aesthetic; think about incorporating plants or stones to complete the look. Make sure you have enough supplies before starting your project.

Constructing the Berm:

Once you have gathered all necessary materials it’s time to begin constructing your berm. Start by excavating the area where you plan on building the berm – remove any grass and weeds from the area so that only bare dirt remains. Next add a layer of landscape fabric followed by soil/sand mixture which should be packed down firmly with a tamper tool if available (or use your feet.). Then create mounds using either soil/sand mix alone or combine with other elements like rocks/gravel for added texture – these will become your berms. You can shape them however you please but make sure they are stable before moving onto step three.

Finally, if desired, plant flowers around the base of each mound. Choose something low maintenance like sedum succulents which require minimal care while still providing plenty of visual interest. With this final step completed, your berms are now ready for whatever outdoor activities come their way.

Once the berm is complete, you can start riding it and perfecting your skills. Before taking to the berm, make sure you know a few essential safety techniques.

Riding Your Berm

Riding a berm can be an exhilarating experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Knowing the proper safety tips, techniques, and skills is essential to make sure you stay safe while having fun.

Prior to attempting a berm, it’s essential to comprehend how to ride securely. First off, always wear protective gear such as a helmet and knee pads when riding berms. It’s also important to check the terrain before attempting any tricks or jumps on your bike; look out for obstacles like rocks or roots that could cause an accident if not avoided. Additionally, make sure you have enough room around you when riding – don’t attempt anything in tight spaces where there isn’t much room for error. For optimal safety, bring along a knowledgeable companion to ensure you can get assistance in case of any mishap.

Techniques for Riding Berms:

To get started with riding berms properly, practice basic turns first on flat ground until you feel comfortable with them before trying them on berms. When turning on a berm, lean into the turn by pushing down slightly on your outside pedal and shifting your weight towards the inside of the turn – this will help keep your tires from slipping off the edge of the berm during turns. As you become more confident in your abilities start practicing more advanced maneuvers such as wheelies or bunny hops over small bumps within the berm itself; these are great ways to challenge yourself without risking too much danger.

Once you’ve gained proficiency in fundamental techniques like turning and wheelies, it’s time to push the envelope by refining these skills further. Try taking sharper turns at higher speeds by leaning deeper into each one; this will give you better control over your bike while still allowing plenty of speed through corners. You can also work on increasing airtime by jumping off small ramps within berms – just remember not to go too big right away since it takes some practice getting used to being airborne while still controlling your bike mid-air. Lastly, try linking multiple jumps together into combos which will require precise timing but will look amazing once perfected.

Once you have mastered the techniques for riding berms, you can start to enjoy them more and progress your skills even further. Now let’s look at how to maintain and upkeep your berm so that it remains in good condition for years of use.

Maintenance and Upkeep of Your Berm

Regular Inspections and Repairs:

When it comes to maintaining your berm, regular inspections are key. Periodically examine the berm’s surface for any signs of deterioration or harm. Look for any cracks or exposed roots that could cause a rider to lose control. Also check the sides of the berm for erosion from water runoff or wind exposure. If you find any issues, repair them immediately with soil and/or mulch as needed.

Adding Features to Your Berm:

Adding features to your berm can be fun and challenging at the same time. You can add jumps, rollers, berms, whoops (small bumps), tabletops (raised flat areas), step-ups (raised platforms) and more depending on what type of riding experience you want. Just make sure that all features are safe before allowing anyone to ride them by testing each feature yourself first.

To protect against rainwater runoff eroding away at the sides of your berm, try planting some vegetation around it such as grasses or shrubs. This will help hold back water flow during heavy rains. Additionally, use an organic material such as straw mulch on top of the surface which will help prevent erosion due to windy conditions and provide cushioning in case someone falls off their bike while riding over it.

FAQs in Relation to How to Build a Dirt Mountain Biking Berm

How to build a berm for a mountain bike?

Building a berm for mountain biking is an advanced skill that requires careful planning and execution. To begin, mark out the area where you want to build the berm using stakes or flags. Dig a trench on one side of the designated area and mound up the soil onto the other to form an incline. Once you have created your desired shape, pack down the dirt with either your hands or feet until it’s solid enough for riding. Finally, add any additional features such as jumps or rollers if desired. With these steps completed correctly, you will have built yourself an excellent berm for mountain biking.

What is a berm for a MTB trail?

Berms are constructed from various materials to provide mountain bikers with an obstacle that adds excitement and challenge. Berms provide riders with an exhilarating and demanding experience, giving them the chance to go quickly around it in one direction while also being able to slow down swiftly when approaching from the opposite side. Berms can be constructed out of dirt, sand, rocks or logs depending on the terrain and difficulty level desired.

How do you corner a berm on a mountain bike?

Cornering a berm on a mountain bike requires skill and practice. To start, you should approach the berm at an angle that will allow you to stay balanced while cornering. As you enter the turn, shift your weight towards the inside of the turn by leaning into it slightly with your upper body and hips. This helps keep traction as well as maintain balance throughout the entire cornering process. Finally, use light braking to control speed while keeping both wheels firmly planted in order to make a smooth transition through each curve of the berm. With enough practice, anyone can become proficient in cornering berms.

How do you make a mountain bike jump out of dirt?

To make a mountain bike jump out of dirt, it is important to first get the right speed and momentum. When approaching the ramp or lip of the jump, shift your weight back slightly while simultaneously pedaling hard to build up enough speed. At the peak of the lip, pull up on your handlebars and compress into your suspension to help launch your front wheel off the ground and gain extra altitude for bypassing any impediments in front. Lastly, use an aggressive body position with arms straight and legs bent as you land safely away from any potential hazards.


Building a dirt mountain biking berm is not an easy task, but with the right preparation and execution you can create something truly unique. You will have to be prepared for some trial and error as well as maintenance in order to keep your berm looking its best. Constructing your own berm may take effort and perseverance, yet the payoff of riding on a track that you crafted yourself is worth it.

Discover the best tips and tricks for building a dirt mountain biking berm with our expert-led tutorials. Learn about top outdoor products from experienced outdoorsmen to find what works best for you!