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Hey Lee—just read the post Are you pumping too hard?. Great post. It brought up a question for me too.

I just got BMX Skills and read the pump chapter and it got me thinking about trying to hop frontsides altogether since I hadn’t really thought about doing that before. Instead I’ve been trying to absorb them in most/all situations and stay in as much control as possible, which is tough at high speeds.

So I’ve given it a little practice on a couple different pump tracks and haven’t been very successful. On both of these tracks the rollers are fairly close together and it feels like there’s not enough space/time to hop the frontside and like my fork is already compressing into the next roller when I’m trying to hop. Am I just not going fast enough? Is it something where pulling the bike towards me on frontsides will eventually turn into hopping them naturally? Or is this technique better suited for tracks that are a little more wideopen or on the trail when there’s space to set up? Or do I just need to practice more, haha.

One last question: is it always faster to hop the frontside if you can (excluding the suspension issue)?

Sorry for all the questions. Any more detail on this technique in general would be awesome!!

Ps. Got the MTB book for my cousin for Xmas. He has recently got into riding and I know this will get him Riding and hooked…now i’ll have a partner in crime on holidays :)


December 24, 2012 : Posted In: Ask Lee,BMX,Pump tracks,Skills/training : Comments (3)



I was browsing your site and saw the book and training program Pump Up the Base. It looks like it is predominantly geared towards MTB but I was wondering if it might be something that I could use for my winter BMX training? From the outline that I’ve read and some of the example pages and the comments it may be useful for some basic skills work on just about any type of riding. I do not ride MTB and I’m a novice in BMX so I also wanted to make sure that it would be something that I could apply to my sport as well.

Thank you,
John V



Here are some quick, easy gifts for the riders in your life. Prices start at $9.99. Electronic delivery makes them perfect for late and/or distant gift-giving.

Remember: Knowledge and skill last forever.

December 21, 2012 : Posted In: Skills/training : Comments (1)



When I am jumping my bmx bike I have a tendency to get off balance in the air if I try and push the face of the jump. If I do not push the face of the jump and just let my momentum carry me off the lip I fly straight as an arrow, but I would like to continue to build speed off the lip and also go a little further to clear some of the larger jumps. I am not not sure if I am to tight on take off, or if I am pushing to late on the jump face, etc. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?

If I can get this together I may see you at Colorado Indoor BMX this year. Thanks.


December 19, 2012 : Posted In: Ask Lee,BMX,Skills/training : Comments (7)


Lately Mike Levy at Pinkbike and I (Big suspension and big sine waves) have told you that downhill bikes are too unwieldy and gnarly for average riders. That most of us are best served by mid-travel bikes. Well, that might be true, but let’s look at the opposite side of the travel chip:

December 13, 2012 : Posted In: Downhill,Equipment,Skills/training : Comments (17)


Yeah har har.

Most riders are way too passive on their bikes. For most of you I say attack all backsides. Crush them!

If you’re already an aggressive pumper, especially on a suspended bike, consider this:

December 12, 2012 : Posted In: 29ers,Skills/training : Comments (3)


Dear Lee,

I bumped onto your site whilst desperately seeking info on a jumping technique that seems to be difficult to find on the web, at least if one doesn’t know the name of it. So in this video that is attached, Mike Day uses it as per text book example in the first jumps after the gate: he pumps the rear wheel mid-air.

My question then is, what does this achieve: I think that it is to scrub speed so as to allow for taking the lip of the jump with more speed and then scrub off some mid-air so as to not land too far. Am I correct in my thinking?



December 11, 2012 : Posted In: Ask Lee,BMX,Skills/training : Comments (6)


Hey there, Lee – how are things? I just have a quickie bike question for you. I don’t know much when it comes to DJ bikes, but I do know that I would like to be in the market. I’ve been going to Valmont Bike Park when I can (why is it so addicting?), and I have been annoyed that I can’t get my seatpost any lower on my trailbike. So I went over to The Fix and rented a dj bike for an hour. There was a pretty big difference…the right tool for the terrain I guess. Even though I need a lot of work keeping my weight on the flat pedals. Anyway, I was kind of into the Specialized P.2 pro (I believe, one of the P’s with front susp) do you think it compares to the Kona type version?

Not sure if you have any input – the only thing about the bike I rented was it doesn’t corner like my trailbike, it felt slow and wide, unless I just have to get used to the much wider bars or something. My trailbike feels great and sticks hard to those banked corners. I wonder if the Kona would feel any different than the Specialized? Thanks for any info!
Hope all is good – Dawn

December 5, 2012 : Posted In: Ask Lee,Equipment : Comments (8)


Mike Levy at Pinkbike posted a must-read article:
The Argument For Short Travel Bikes – Opinion

Levy speaks a lot of truth. Here’s an additional thought:

December 1, 2012 : Posted In: Equipment,Skills/training : Comments (8)


I got a Command Post this year and absolutely love how it changes the riding experience. Even here in Minnesota on primarily cross country trails I end up using it all the time.

I have noticed a couple of “issues” using it though. The first is pretty minor, more of an annoyance than anything else. With the post dropped all the way it throws off the angles between your arms, hands and brake levers. I only really notice it on longer downhills, but I would imagine out west that it may be something to take into consideration-maybe “split the difference” in your set up.

The other issue is a bit more of a problem. As a cross country rider with a thoroughly mediocre fitness level I have noticed my quads reacting poorly when pedaling with the seat lowered or if just “hovering” over the saddle when it is dropped. Yesterday while climbing out of the bottom of an extended downhill stretch my quads just locked up with cramps. I had to get off the bike for a few minutes. After that if I dropped the saddle I could feel my quads start to freak out again. Twice more in just a couple of miles I was off the bike trying to get my legs to uncramp so I could get back to the trailhead.

I am wondering if you have heard of, or even felt these effects yourself, and if you can suggest ways to mitigate the issue.


November 28, 2012 : Posted In: Ask Lee,Skills/training : Comments (6)

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