Watch: Seth Builds a Backyard North Shore MTB Drop

Today, we build a North Shore style freeride drop in my backyard. Here’s what I used to build it.

1) 8ft treated 6×6
2) treated 2×8’s
5) 2×4’s cut 16″ each
1) box of deck screws
4) 4″ x 1/2″ lag bolts
1) bag of fast-setting concrete

You could build this whole thing with a drill, shovel, circular saw, and large adjustable wrench, but my job was made easier with some cordless tools from Ryobi.

Drill and Impact Driver
Miter Saw

I also used a level, gloves, and safety glasses.

This is Berm Creek, a tiny but steep mountain bike trail I built in my yard. Right now everything here is blue, meaning it’s of intermediate difficulty. Today, that’s going to change.

Now the title of this video says I’ll be building a North Shore drop, but that’s not entirely accurate. Having visited the North Shore, I know that most of those features are built Ewok style, from actual trees in the area. So technically, this will be a freeride drop, built from lumber that any of you can get at your local home supply store.

The main support will be an 8 foot 6×6, and the joists will be 10 foot 2×8’s. Since these will make contact with the ground I’m using pressure treated lumber, which gets nasty and slippery. For the parts making contact with the tires, we’ll use run of the mill 2×4’s. All this lumber costs under $75. I’ll spare you the details and leave a list in the description.

Step one is to survey the area. The drop will jut out directly from my front yard, as the hill falls below it. With the hill as a landing, we should be able to get about 8 feet of vertical drop with some speed. Maybe more.

I’m digging a three foot hole to sink the post into. This isn’t an exact science, so to cut the post to size I’m dry fitting it and approximating where it lines up with the top of the hill. We’ll have the ability to adjust the joists slightly later on to get them level.

If you’ve never seen a cordless mitre saw, let me tell you it’s the future. I’ll need to cut a ton of slats today, so this thing will be coming in handy.

This 2×4 is only temporary. I’m using it to hold the post in place while I position it. I want to make sure it’s standing straight up, and pointing in the right direction. This fast setting concrete will ensure it stays that way permanently.

To get the drop level I’ll need to dig the front end of the joists into the ground, so I’m attaching them temporarily with one screw each, so they can be pivoted up and down. I’ll use the offcut from the 6×6 as a post for that side, no concrete required.

This post not only helps with rigidity, but also makes it easy to level out the drop. Once things are in place, I can cut a little curve in the end to ensure that no sharp edges stick out of the ground. There’s probably a better way to do this, but I’m figuring this out as I go along.

Time to make things permanent. Two 4” lag bolts with washers should do the trick. Lag bolts are real strong, and I think they’ll make this drop look legit. It’s amazing how fast concrete can set. This thing already feels like it was born here.

Now for the slats, which will be 16” wide. This can be done with any saw, but a mitre saw sure does make it go faster.

I’m drilling pilot holes and securing these with 2 1/2” deck screws. To space them evenly, I’m using a piece of 3/4 inch plywood as a gauge. I’m not even 3 hours in, and this drop is almost complete.

To get the sharp edges and splinters off, I’m hitting the edges with a rasp. After that, there’s only one thing left to do before this drop is rideable. Berm Creek is now officially a black diamond.

With a crude measuring device I made from a 2×4, the tire marks indicate a 10 foot vertical drop. With a little more speed I think 12 or 13 would be no problem.

Building this drop has motivated me to get back to work on Berm Creek. I need to work on drainage, and the berm. We also need to put these tools to use, and bring more North Shore flavor to North Carolina.

What do you guys think? We still need to name this drop, so leave your suggestions below. I’ll make a sign for it once we choose something.

If you liked this build video and want to see more, thank Ryobi Tools for helping make that possible. This is far from the last structure we’ll build in Berm Creek. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.

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