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December 26, 2012 : Posted In: : Comments (119)


  1. Ulrich Says December 26, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    Hi Lee,

    I love your books, especially how you put everything in a nutshell. This year, I got your new ebook “pump up the base” from my wife for Christmas. I hope I will rock the trails in summer!
    I read in your Book “Teaching Mountain Bike Skills” on page 21, that the handlebar should normally be slightly higher than the saddle. I am very tall (1,98 m, 99 cm inseam) and on my stock Stumjumper FSR Comp 29 XL (2011) the saddle is 5 cm higher than my handlebar. Should I get a monster riser bar, or does the rule not apply to very tall people, who wants to ride trails?
    (Normally, the inseam length is nearly half of the height of a person. I wonder about the small rise of the head tube length over the different sizes of a frame in relation to the suggested body height).
    Thanks a lot!

    Greetings from Germany,

  2. Ulrich Says December 26, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    P.S. My stock stem (105 mm) is already at 16° upward.

  3. Sean Says January 5, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    Hey Lee,

    I have the exact same tires on my Enduro as I do on my new SJ EVO 29er, Butcher in front and Ground Control in back. I’m also running the same PSI, 28 PSI in front and 30 PSI in back. Does PSI setting differ between a 26 and 29 tire?

  4. leelikesbikes Says January 5, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    Hey Sean, I run the same pressures on 20, 24, 26 and 29.

  5. Amit Says January 16, 2013 @ 5:06 am

    Hi Lee,

    My question is regarding balance while pedaling from the saddle.

    Should I keep my hands light while pedaling from the saddle?

    when pedaling out of the saddle keeping light hands is easy as all the weight can be on my feet. But, when sitting and pedaling the weight is distributed between the handlebars, saddle and pedals, depending on how hard I’m pedaling. So if my hands are light that means my feet AND saddle are weighted which means I’m balanced backwards. Am I getting something wrong here?


  6. leelikesbikes Says January 17, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  7. Joel Says January 28, 2013 @ 1:08 am

    Hey, just found out about your clinic coming up in San Jose, and was bummed it’s full. If there’s a wait list, please put me on it.


  8. leelikesbikes Says January 28, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    Hey Joel, thanks for writing. When I make plans to teach in NorCal, I’ll reach out to you.

  9. Stephen Cleeton Says January 30, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    Hey Lee,

    Rec’d your Pro BMX Skills book – read it cover to cover – absolutely loved it! Great to know stuff I’ve seen, some I’ve tried to emulate, and some I hadn’t even known about are simply/crisply documented with your unique entertaining style!

    As a jumper at heart – and one (fortunately) blessed with gate and straight speed – much of the very advanced manualing / jet hopping “kung fu” I have not had to pursue in the past. But those days are gone (or limited now by age ;o) – these new skills to learn are fun and rewarding.


    See you at the Sea Otter,


  10. leelikesbikes Says January 30, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    Thanks Stephen. That’s high praise coming from you!

  11. Amit Says February 3, 2013 @ 3:14 am

    Hi Lee,

    I am working on my technique with MMBSii (which is an awesome book by the way) for a few months now.

    I’ve reached a point where I feel confident in my attack position, balance and cornering skill. What currently holds me back the most is my lack of manualing capability.

    I can lift my front wheel by shifting my weight back. I can even get it pretty high (I can loop all the way over to the back), but I feel very awkward when trying to pull a manual.

    Though, I can’t really control the height of the wheel lift, nor where it will fall back to the ground. It takes me a lot of time to prepare for the move and it feels like I’m ripping my arms out of the place when shifting back, but without much happening to the bike. and the worst part – I can see on the trail where I would want to use this skill, but I just can’t pull it on the trail.

    On all the videos I watch on the web any time someone pulls a manual it seems so fluent and natural, what am I doing wrong?

    I ride a full suspension bike with a short 5cm stem, wide handlebar and a dropper sit.


  12. Kevin Says February 7, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Hey Lee….

    I’ve had your book for a couple years, have a fully tarped 225’ track, 10-11 second times….

    So, we’re making for room for a the kids ( trampoline and a sandbox), plus my 3 yo girl is shredding on her Specialized Hotwalker push-bike.

    Basically, the S-berm is going away, and we need to put in a > 90 degree berm, preferably a
    bowl/pocket berm….

    Any tips, measurements, etc… About pocket berms? We have straight up BMX clay, it’s good.



  13. Kevin Says February 7, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    Hey Lee….

    I’ve had your book for a couple years, have a fully tarped 225’ track, 10-11 second times….

    So, we’re making for room for the kids ( trampoline and a sandbox), plus my 3 yo girl is shredding on her Specialized Hotwalker push-bike.

    Basically, the S-berm is going away, and we need to put in a > 90 degree berm, preferably a
    bowl/pocket berm….

    Any tips, measurements, etc… About pocket berms? We have straight up BMX clay, it’s good.



  14. John g Says February 17, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    Hi lee – love the book, it has been a lifesaver. First mini pt was a disaster, v2.0 followed your spec. WAAAAY better. (I used the 17’ x 31’ design in your book)

    Now my questions. We’re still adjusting the track… Do you have a recommendation for:

    1. Adapting the track to 20” bmx vs 26” DJ bike? I want to optimize it for my sons on their 20”ers.
    2. Related – how might I make it easier to ride for kids? They are 6 and 9. Lower bumps? Fewer bumps?

    Any ideas or thoughts welcome. Thanks for doing what you do. We’re hooked. Boys are out there every day it isn’t raining, which in NorCal is most.


  15. leelikesbikes Says February 19, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  16. Nicholas Says February 19, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    Hello Lee,
    First, thank you for all your notes, tips, videos, tech and pictures on your website!

    A while back, I purchased your e book for pump tracks. I then jumped right in, only to have to start a job with tons of hours and was unable to finish the pump track. Sadly, I flatten everything out… until last weekend
    I constructed in three days your pump track(the one at your old house?)from your e book. Due to the weather and your words of wisdom of having patience to let water soak in over night, I have not had the time to ride it. Ugh…so hard to wait! This weekend I hope

    Now my question, after working so hard and compacting by hand for three days, I really don’t want to lose out on the work… what are good practices before and after riding to keep the track in primo form? Should I tarp the whole track? Water before, after, during? I live in a small town in the foothills of northern California, where we get high heat in the summer, and descent rain in the winter.
    Any how, thank you again. After riding this coming weekend, I hope to put the center s berms and transitions in. Got ride first though!!
    Nicholas Souders

  17. Norman Says February 21, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Hey Lee
    I’ve been jumping mtb’s for the last 3 years or so. Many years of drops, climbing, skinnies… But new to doubles. I want to progress to bigger doubles but I’m stuck due to dead-sailor issues. I’m considering taking a clinic with you but need to know how much you can help with issues I’m having re mid-air bike articulation/style… for balance and control sake.

  18. leelikesbikes Says February 21, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    Norman, I help people with this all the time. Valmont Bike Park is the ideal laboratory.

    Before we jump I’ll check your basic balance and control. Must make sure you’re safe. Then we’ll go from there.

    Here are some options:

  19. Matthew morin Says March 17, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

    Hi Lee, I just purchased your book and it looks like I have the go ahead to build a track in my back yard. I am a Snap-on tool dealer in boulder co and call on many bike shops there. The fix, Sports garage, dirt labs, ltd Cycleworx’s and I know Forrest from standard metal works. The reason I am writing is that i do not know where to start. I have a very large back yard and access to as much dirt and a tractor to spot it all. I would like to build a big track and need some input. I was wondering if you do any track layout and or any consulting on a track build. I only want to do this once and do it right. Thanks

  20. Yves conings Says March 21, 2013 @ 2:11 pm


    First of great job on the mastering mountainbikes books a friend of mine adviced it to me. And its just a great book to read. I’m an experianced rider. But still learned tons of this. I’m preaching it as the holy bible since 🙂

    Second. A friend of mine has a mental block problem when it comes to doubles. He had a heavy crash on a double at the beginning of his career and its been cramping him ever since. He slays a demon every once in a while and does a big jump after a while but still when the setting changes and there is a even smaller jump then ones he has succesfully done. The problem starts over again and he starts blocking again.

    He really wants to do the jump but every time he runs in to it he brakes at the last moment.
    He cant seeme to get over it.

    He is a skilled rider and a good jumper. But his skill level is much higher then his confidence level.

    How can i help him?

    Greetings from belgium

    Conings yves

  21. leelikesbikes Says March 21, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

    This is great question that I want to answer based on my coaching experience at Valmont Bike Park. Until I write that post, check this out:

  22. Jesse Says March 26, 2013 @ 12:50 pm


    I am from Pittsburgh, PA and just moved into a new house we have a little bit of property and are going to put in a Pump Track. We have decided we are going to bring in dirt to complete the job. The location for the track is sloped and I wasn’t sure how I should deal with this. Do I try to fill in and build up with dirt to eliminate the slope or is there a way to incorporate the slope into the design of the track. I am not sure if this matters but I am building the track for my 3 year old son who rides a strider and of course my wife and I and our friends as well. We have your book on building pump tracks but I want to make sure I do this right the first time. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


  23. leelikesbikes Says April 2, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

    Jesse, how steep is the grade?

  24. Michal Says April 8, 2013 @ 2:40 am

    First of all, thank you for all your work on books and website – it’s eye-opening regardless of skills level.

    I have a question about body position and riding techniques for short people. Being 170 cm (5’7”) I feel that some of the normal “tricks” are harder to perform, especially those requiring more movement around a bike, like correct turning (leaning the bike heavily, but not the body) or manualling. It’s just impossible or very difficult to move the weight far enough over the rear wheel to lift the front end, or in case of turning – to move the bike between your legs and stretch the inside shoulder enough to lean the bike without leaning yourself too much.

    Maybe you have some experience from coaching shorter people? Are there any smart ways of overcoming these limitations?

  25. Heath Cantrell Says April 16, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

    Hi, Lee –
    Any idea where I could get stats on the current approximate number of pump tracks in the US? Specifically, HOA approved tracks? Any quantitative numbers regarding pump tracks would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!


  26. Richo Says April 17, 2013 @ 4:07 am

    I bought the latest edition of your MTB Skills book 5 years ago. Its awesome and has transformed my riding.
    Now with 20 years of riding under my belt the weakness in my skillset is jumping.
    I went on an overseas MTB holiday last month with mainly DH orientated tracks. I had a ball and tried jumping on fast trails with small table-tops, and gained some skills and confidence.
    However a long-standing issue still remains: single rollers (water bars). When I try to maintain speed I suck up the front wheel really well and get kicked hard on the back wheel. Obvious consequences are the bike pitching forward. One incident I landed on the front wheel with the bike completely vertical at about 20mph but managed to save it and became very wary of repeating this situation.
    If I can bunny-hop over the bump, no problem.

    Now that I have some basic jumping skills I tried jumping off problem bumps instead. I stay nicely balanced in the air and land cleanly. Since this is usually at speed, I get way more air than I want. Better than casing it on the nose though!

    Do you have any more advice to help me suck up bumps and stay in control. My ultimate goal is to be able to handle sharp bumps (kickers) at speed.

  27. Richo Says April 17, 2013 @ 4:12 am

    Actually I bought the 2005 edition AND your 2010 edition when it came out.

  28. leelikesbikes Says April 17, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    Heath, sorry, I don’t have pump track stats.

  29. leelikesbikes Says April 17, 2013 @ 3:09 pm


  30. Christopher Says April 26, 2013 @ 4:43 am

    I’m writing a piece where I describe the pumptrack to the general, unknowing public.
    I’d love to quickly detail where the pumptrack originated, who built the first ones that type of thing…..please advise??

    Seems like a fairly new phenomenon, thanks for helping to lead the push!


  31. leelikesbikes Says April 26, 2013 @ 6:06 am

    Christopher, that info is in this ebook:

  32. Mike Britton Says May 1, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

    Hey Lee,
    I’m looking at getting a new Specialized and can’t decide between the 29er Stumpy FSR SJ Comp or the 29er Stumpy FSR Evo Comp. I like to ride fast and hard. I enjoy techy, gnarley climbing and descending. I also like screaming down singletrack and doing moderate jumps and and drops. The Evo might make sense, but I worry about losing performance in the climbs. Also, I haven’t found anywhere to demo the Evo so that makes me hesitant to purchase without riding it. I’d really appreciate your feedback!
    Thank you,

  33. leelikesbikes Says May 1, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    Hey Mike,

    Those are both great bikes. My Stumpy sort of splits the difference, with the EVO head angle and front travel, but the normal rear travel and a higher BB than both.

    The EVO, as you know, is more DH oriented. Kind of the next step before an Enduro. It will climb just fine, but we aware of the slackness and the lower BB. If you climb rocks, you’ll have to time your strokes more carefully. On the DH you’ll be extra stoked.

    I know several very good riders who chose the EVO, and they love it.

  34. Hoki Dachi Says May 26, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    Hi Lee,

    I rode today at Demo Forest (near Santa Cruz) and saw someone teaching riding techniques to a group of riders. I think that was you, am I right? If yes, do you teach at Demo often? There was also someone from Strava I think.



    PS: Thanks for “Mastering Mountain Bike Skills”. Love that book!

  35. leelikesbikes Says May 26, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Hey Hoki! Yes, that was me. I teach in this area a couple times a year (and the sessions sell out fast). Keep an eye on the site for the nett sesh—probably in Fall. Braaap! Lee

  36. Jarel Yantes Says June 3, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    I have been studying your book for about a month now and it has opened up my riding to allot of new techniques. I would say that i am a pretty well rounded intermediate rider. I would love to get more into jumping my bike (Giant Reign X0). However every time that i jump i feel like i am always drifting sideways in the air. I try to stay loose and in the attack position, but i still seem to drift and sometimes result in a crash landing. Is there anything else that i can do? I do run crankbrothers mallet pedals. Would it help to get some flats? It is so frustrating. Even on the small jumps i just cant seem to jump straight. I feel like i am doing everything according to the jumping section of your book.

  37. Mark Says June 3, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Hey Lee,

    Why does it feel harder to pedal with a TALAS fork in “shorter” mode while climbing? For example you’re chugging along, climbing your favorite moderate to steep (insert approprate grade % here) fire road, you drop the fork, and it gets NOTICABLY harder to pedal.

    This one appears to have some debate around it. Physics and some good Lee Likes Bikes diagram king fu should be able to kill it. What’s your take? Has anyone tested whether it’s perceived or real?


  38. leelikesbikes Says June 4, 2013 @ 7:03 am


  39. leelikesbikes Says June 4, 2013 @ 7:05 am


  40. Daniel Says June 24, 2013 @ 7:45 am

    Hey Lee,

    I have repeatedly read your articles about the Stumpjumper FSR 29. I own a 2012 model and I’m quite happy with it. The only problem is my stock fork (Fox 32 Float 29). My crown always got “loose” and starts cracking (more or less always after 3 to 6 months of use). The 1st and the 2nd time I got a new crown/steerer tube. Now it’s the 3rd time I have to visit my local bike store and ask for replacing it.

    I’m pretty disappointed with this fork and I would like to change it to something with thicker legs and more travel (140) but will my problem then being solved? Is the crown/steerer part of a Fox 34 more stable than mine?

    I started biking 2 years ago in Austria (Alps), I don’t think my riding style is too aggressive for this bike (I have no problems with the frame, the rear suspension or the wheels, just with the fork).

    Thank you very much for helping…

  41. leelikesbikes Says June 25, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

  42. Terry Says June 27, 2013 @ 10:21 am


    Hi Lee, great site so much information packed into one site :] Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge and of course your time…

    Lee I`m searching for a Demo 8 or 9 but have trouble finding the size guide for the earlier years and there seems to be no indication of the years on the 2 size guides I have found scouring the net, I`m thinking maybe they are both for the 2010 due to a medium being sized up to a 6 foot rider :/

    Do you have access to the size guides for the demo 8 & 9 from 2005 to 2012 ? this would be a great help as there is to much controversy on the internet and most people do not know how to measure the size of a bike or what size bike fits what height rider…

    Thank you for your time and have a great day

  43. Jim Says July 8, 2013 @ 11:48 am

    Hey Lee,
    Maybe you can use this for fodder in your daily feed, too.

    I am looking for a rim/wheel to replace the dented rim that came stock on my 2010 Enduro. I don’t think I want to go with anything too burly like a downhill-specific rim, but I don’t want anything cross-country light, either. I like technical, rocky trails, but I have to ride up to the top, first. I guess I’m looking for something “All-Mountain” or enduro-oriented, to use the marketing speak of the day. (Something like Sun’s Charger Pro, or Stan’s Flow EX, or Specialized’s Roval Traverse).

    Any suggestions?


  44. leelikesbikes Says July 8, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    Those all sound like solid options. I’ve run the Charger Pro, and it was fine. Also check out the Shimano XT trail wheels.

  45. David Says July 9, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

    Hi Lee,

    Thanks for writing Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Totally changed my riding technique and bumped my fun factor by a ton! Looking forward to your ebook on sizing.

    I’m looking at a Cannondale Jekyll but having trouble with frame size. I’m 5’11” with a 34” inseam (long legs). I like climbing, xc, and descent all rolled into one 2-3 hour ride. Given that I have a shorter than average torso I’m guessing the M would be the better frame to work with. Thoughts?


  46. David Says July 9, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    Oops. Meant to write 35” inseam.

  47. leelikesbikes Says July 10, 2013 @ 6:57 am

    Hey David, nothing beats a test ride.

    I think you’ll like a large with a very short stem.

  48. David Says July 10, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    Thanks Lee. Does moving to a 50mm stem make it more difficult to keep weight on the front tire when needed?

  49. leelikesbikes Says July 10, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    No, not in a detrimental way.

  50. David Says July 10, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    Are you using Reach and Stack to determine the similarity between fits? I just measured the M Jekyll and it has nearly the same Reach and Stack measurements as my 06 Large Stumpjumper. I did not expect that.

  51. leelikesbikes Says July 11, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    Interesting. Stay tuned for the fit book.

  52. David Says July 19, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

    Trek entering the 650b race. Is the demise of 26 higher end bikes upon us?

  53. Dean Says July 25, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    2003 specialized enduro rear fox shock float r with itch switch question for you. I wanted to change the air seals but the fox shock air seal kit doesn’t have the seal for the itch switch chamber. Do you know where I can get that o-ring? Or what size it is?


  54. leelikesbikes Says July 26, 2013 @ 6:39 am

    Hey Dean, I would check with Specialized. Great bike, BTW. That was the first generation of the modern Enduro.

  55. Dean Says July 26, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Okay thanks, I’ll contact them. I’ll let you know what I find.
    You have a great site here!!

  56. Dean Says July 27, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    Okay, so I called specialized. They were no help. Very nice, and informative, but didn’t have any info on the o-ring size for the old rear Itch Switch shock. So I called Fox. They were really nice and helpful!

    Long story short, they would’ve sent me an o-ring for free, they gave me the size, AND then talked me out of using this old shock (that needs an overhaul. Damper seals blew)

    (O-ring size is 1.364 “inside diameter and a 0.070” thickness)

    SO, although specialized said that a 7.875×2.0 was not recommended for my 2003 Enduro, and Fox said that it’s also not the original size (which is 7.625×1.85), he unofficially told me that he has first hand knowledge that a 7.875×2.0 would work just fine on my bike.

  57. Dean Says July 30, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

    Finally got an email response from Fox on this. Here’s what they said;


    If oil is coming out of the shock damper this is something that would need to be sent in for a rebuild. Itch switch models being a custom OE shock use an extra seal for this function. The part number for this seal is 029-00-028 and needs to be used in conjunction with the 803-00-142 air seal kit. The estimate for a FOX factory rebuild on a rear shock is $100-130 USD. These rebuild estimates will include replacement of all wear and tear items (such as oil and seals) and small parts needed to rebuild the damper. We will bring the product back up to FOX specifications, dyno test the shock twice and then offer a 90 day service warranty. Currently we have a 4-6 business day turnaround time. You may set up a service through your local bicycle shop or through FOX directly by contacting FOX bicycle customer service at 800-369-7469×4801 or at the link below.


    310 Anna Street, Watsonville, CA 95076

  58. Shawn Says August 7, 2013 @ 2:52 pm


    My two boys (8 and 6)and I have greatly benefited from your books. Thanks. We are in Northern British Columbia and can’t benefit from one of your clinics so I have a question for you. I am mostly a downhill rider and scattered throughout many of our local trails are jumps that kick or buck you pretty hard (rear wheel ends up higher than your front). I had a good crash from one last year and am now a bit gun-shy on lower table tops. Is it going to kick me? Some say this is a matter of skill and experience. If that is true then there is a way to ride jumps so they don’t kick you? Is this true? Got any tips?


  59. leelikesbikes Says August 7, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

    Hey Shawn,

    Check these out:

  60. Shawn Says August 7, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    Thanks Lee.

    I have work to do on the jump fu.
    I’ll be at the park at lunch tomorrow.

    I definitely have issues with low, long table tops and I can see myself shifting back thinking I need to change the angle in such a short steep lip – usually you are riding down into it which makes it seem worse.

    I see you mentioned an ebook on building and riding jumps. I’m looking forward to it.

  61. Dustin Says September 14, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Hi Lee, I switched to a short stem (55mm) and wide bar (750mm) setup on a pivot firebird and since have experienced wrist pain. I like the feel of the wider bars would like to remedy the wrist pain with keeping the wider bars. Do you think going with more sweep like 12deg instead of 9deg would help? Some coaches feel that much sweep hurts handling. Would you mind giving your thoughts? Thanks!

  62. Neil Says October 2, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

    Dear Lee,

    After nearly 6 months of pain and rehab i am about to get back on my race bike in the next month or so.

    I have a prolapsed (ruprutured) disc and had minor whiplash. As I am 36, I am not doing anything stupid. I will not look to race for at least 6 months – maybe more. I will just start out maybe doing some light sprints in the street and one or two of the smaller straights at my local track at 50-75%.

    I just built a Supercross envy with sinz elite xxx cranks. I am going to go back to my SE Floval Flyer as the cranks and frame had more flex in it. Was also thinking of putting more inner soles into my shoes to help with impact.

    I am looking for suggestions or advice on training and bike setup please to help with my injury ?

    Should i even look at getting a dirt jumper mtb with front suspension to help me ?


  63. Leif Winstead Says October 11, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Dear Lee,

    I would like your opinion on what would help increase ability and eventually speed on a mountain bike. MX or BMX? I wish I had the time and money for both but I’m a poor college kid who spends the majority of the time racing MTB Instead of doing homework. Moto would be more expensive but I’m more curious about which would make you a better rider in a quicker amount of time. Or which would make you learn better technique if done properly.

    Thanks for your time, I love your books too.

  64. leelikesbikes Says October 11, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  65. Amit Says October 13, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    Hard tail XC or BMX for improving skill on the trail?

    Hi Lee,

    I’v been making some real progress on my (can’t really call it that yet) Kung fu riding my 6” trail bike. I can manual and I am much better at cornering and hitting it on the pump track.

    Until now I didn’t have an available pump track near by so I’ve been riding the pump track only every now and then. Now I have a brand new pump track near work and I’m planning to train there a few times a week. I’ve been wondering if it would be better to use an old XC hardtail (my first bike – Specialized Hardrock), or to get my hands on a 20” BMX.

    From reading your posts and books I assume BMX will help me gain more skill, but I fear it will be too hard to control. never rode on a BMX before.

    I would really appreciate your input on this.


  66. Clint Says October 16, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    Hi Lee,

    I have been teaching myself to ride either foot forward for riding punchy corners and bermed corners faster. Recently i have been told that you can drive a corner like that better if your outside foot is at the back as opposed to forward? What is your take on this?

    I have until now thought that is better to have your outside foot forward as it opens your body up to the direction you are turning into and your not twisting through your legs as much when you push your hips outwards through a corner. This to me, feels more natural as i can keep my knees alittle more open, giving more freedom to move(lean) my bike under me through a corner.

    But then the flip side is that i know alot of people talk about cornering like a skier (which carve with their outside foot back), and i know a few DH riders that can get lots of drive by attacking a corner like a moto rider with their inside foot forward(outside foot back).
    I do realise that when riding a moto, to change your weight distribution you need to move your weight alot more than on a mtn bike, so to get front wheel grip in a corner on a moto, you need to get your weight further forward in comparison, which putting your inside foot quite far forward helps with. Where as on a mountain bike to achieve the same front wheel grip you only move you body position on the bike an inch or two forward. So im assuming that putting your front foot forward on a mtn bike may not be necessary to achieve the same effect, which gives you the freedom to use a different body position if you want?

    I hope this doesn’t sound like a few paragraphs of whitenoise.
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts, i appreciate it heaps!

    Cheers and beers

  67. Efi Says November 19, 2013 @ 2:11 am

    pumping corners – Hi,
    I have a question about pumping corners. To explain my problem I need to get into physics a little bit – When a body moves along a circle, it is a result of a force that acts toward the center of the circle. In our case this force is generated by the tires. Ok, so pumping is great because it can make you heavier and increases your traction. This means that your wheels can generate more force toward the center of the circle. However! Being heavier is a result of the rider accelerating up relative to the bike, which means he’s accelerating up and sideways relative to the ground. The upward acceleration increases your traction, but your sideway acceleration increases the sideway force required from your tires. So which effect is more dominant?
    Is it possible that pumping help us while the bike is tilted less than 45 deg relative to the ground, and is even harmful when the bike is tilted more than 45 deg?

    Thanks, and thanks for your books, they really upgraded my confidence and skill.


  68. Willy Waks Says December 17, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    First things first: I learned a lot – and had FUN - at the clinic last Sunday at Soquel Demo. I was intimidated by some drills, but won’t be pretty soon.
    Second: I ordered and paid for 2 books from you: MASTERING MOUNTAIN BIKE SKILLS 2ND EDITION and PREPARE TO PIN IT. You even refunded me $5 shipping as both books could fit in one envelope. Lo and behold, I received PREPARE TO PIN IT today, but not MB SKILLS. Bummer! I hope to get it – with your autograph – before a long flight to the Farts East on 12/30 so I have something to keep my spirits up on a long flight to the Far East, Dec 30.
    Cell (972) 740-4651

  69. mike Says January 3, 2014 @ 1:01 am

    Hi lee. Just been reccomended your website and it looks awesome. I have been biking for just under a year and am starting to think about jumps. I was advised to start by building a small table top to practice then increase the size, add another etc. Have you got any info on Here about building table tops or jumps of any kind?



  70. leelikesbikes Says January 3, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Welcome aboard. This site has lots of posts about jumps and jumping. Google is the best search engine. Also, the book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills 2nd Edition has a diagram of a perfect learning jump.

    Rip it,


  71. Joe Deschamps Says January 6, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

    I always wondered how did you get the skill to build pump tracks , did it just take practice trial and error at building. I have one spot to build so would I just build one thing get good at it then build something else to get the most out of my building skills?

    Thanks ahead of time!!

  72. Eric Arbour Says January 19, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    Hi Lee !

    heart rate question…

    I am now in week 4 of your awesome pump up the base program. For the last couple of years i’ve got some concern about target heart rates, that gets me confused. I am 46 so my 85% heart rate should be around 148bpm ( 220-46X85/100). But here’s the thing, at this heart rate i can sing “we are the champion” at full volume and i can spin that for days, barely sweating. I’ve followed you guide lines, and shoot for an effort that let me talk only in short sentence, and that bring my heart rate value around 162bpm.Wich is more like what i am used to. That value is around 95% of my maximum HR for my age ! that gets me nervous, am i pushing too hard ? I’ve been ridding for 25 years and feel better than ever, i ain’t no world class athlete but not definitely not your average forty something guy either. Any thoughts ?


  73. leelikesbikes Says January 19, 2014 @ 10:50 am

  74. Philomena Says January 31, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

    ” Some pass them by, but some stop and engage them, despite the merciless sexual cacophony of sound effects that usually accompany an Adult Entertainment Convention. All of this will make sex more interesting for both of you, you’ll start and he’ll follow.

  75. Joe Says February 16, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

    Hey lee,

    I have been building a pump track today from your welcome to pump track nation instructions and it is going great except for this one corner. It is a 180 turn and I enter the turn at about 10 to 15 mph but I exit the turn going 1 mph and I can almost not make it up the roller. The turn is about 6 feet from the enter to exit, it isn’t very tall and when I am in the turn my bars are close to the ground. Can I gain more speed out of the turn if I build it taller. I have little trouble making the turn but it slows me down and all the other berms I gain speed and they are taller. Or would I just have to change the berm?

  76. leelikesbikes Says February 17, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

  77. Tim McGee Says February 23, 2014 @ 1:56 pm


    I have been riding a full suspension StumpJumper for about five years. I am 6’2” intermediate rider whose existing bike is a large frame. My riding is evolving towards free ride or more emphasis on gravity assisted riding and I am just kicking tires for the moment but one bike store guy said maybe I should look at a medium frame. Do riders generally change frame sizes for different types of riding?

  78. Jim Says March 3, 2014 @ 9:54 am

    I just bought a set of new, wider handlebars for my old (2002) Stumpjumper hard tail. My old set-up were 580mm bars (ugh, righ?) with a 90mm stem.

    With the new bars I have to buy a new stem, because my old stem doesn’t fit the 31mm-diameter handlebars. Would you recommend I go with another 90mm stem with the wider bars, or drop it down to 70mm? I see the new Stumpys all have 100mm stems, but they’re also 29ers. I’m just not sure about this bike as it has pretty aggressive geometry. I don’t want to make the bike too twitchy.

  79. leelikesbikes Says March 3, 2014 @ 2:56 pm


  80. Matt Iannuzzi Says March 4, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

    I bought Prepare to Pin it in September and started the Turbo plan 2 months ago. I just finished my Red Intervals 30/30 3×10. Since I have a signed copy of your book I am thinking of hiring a witch doctor to make a Voodoo Doll of you for revenge! Just thinking of week 10 is freaking me out so I guess I am doing it right. However, this training plan has moved my cycling to a whole different level. My thanks to you and Lester!

    I am preping for NUE #2 Cohutta 100 which is actually 65/35 gravel/singletrack with about 15,000 feet of elevation gain. I use a heart rate monitor with my Garmon and Strava. I know everyones heart are different but my threshold is 153. How much time in general should I spend in just say threshold, tempo, moderate? I know everyone is different but just in general.

    I took a 58 mile ride 2 weeks ago and 25% of the total miles were at or above threshold with 7,000 feet of elevation gain. That was a tough ride, not quite soul crushing but tough. Last week I took a 64 mile ride and only 12% of the total miles were in threshold (purposely) and most of the ride was in tempo/moderate and my speed was actually increased because I suppose I was more consistent. I felt like the second ride was not a soul crushing effort by any means even though it was about 8,000 feet of climbing.

    Although my second ride was faster, should I train to improve on keeping the amount of time/miles at my threshold or train at a more moderate pace like my 64 mile ride? I am just trying to work on my pace for the long haul. I have done 100 miles before but you would call it locomotion and I just sucked. Yes I admit it! I am just trying to improve and this plan you and Lester put together is the real deal. Just a little more advice needed. Thanks and you books are just awesome!

  81. leelikesbikes Says March 8, 2014 @ 5:09 pm


  82. Chuck Pound Says March 10, 2014 @ 11:15 pm

    Hi Lee,

    My wife, who is a great athlete, is wanting to pick up mountain biking and I’m very excited as it’s been my “thing” for years. I ride SPDs but she’s nervous about not being able to click out and crashing. I know a lot of people are riding flat pedals now but what would you recommend a new rider start on?


  83. leelikesbikes Says March 11, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

    Hey Chuck,

    Flat pedals all the way. Get her a decent pair with metal pins ($40+) and a good pair of shoes (the best ones are made by FiveTen). This will give her plenty of control plus extra confidence while she learns. If she wants to “upgrade” to clip-in pedals later, she can do that, but you should not push that switch.

    Rip it!


  84. katie Says March 19, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    Can you tell me where you got this picture? Is it from a study?

  85. leelikesbikes Says March 19, 2014 @ 9:04 am

    Katie, I created the image. The data is from the cited study.

  86. Leif Winstead Says April 9, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

    Dear Lee,
    I am in somewhat of a predicament. I am traveling to Oregon by plane for a ten week internship. I am curious about what is the best way to fly with your bike? I want the bike to arrive safely but I don’t want to spend unnecessary money to do so. this is because I am a poor college kid that most likely can’t afford the excess baggage fees that can come with flying.

    love the website, books and the pumptrack I’m building in my back yard! thanks, cheers.

  87. leelikesbikes Says April 10, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  88. Jim Says May 2, 2014 @ 10:05 am

    Hi Lee,
    I don’t know if you saw this photo yet:

    Can you explain how this is even possible? It might make for a good lesson on cornering for all of us who can’t come close to this. The only thing I can think of is he must be going like Mach 10.


  89. Christian Says May 13, 2014 @ 12:35 am

    Hi Lee!

    I bought your Ebook PumpTrackNation a couple of weeks ago!

    Accidentally i lost the link as my Spam clears every 30 days!
    Could you send me a new link?

    I live in a small town in Germany where there is nothing else than soccer for the kids to do.
    as i see my kids (8 and 6) and their friends hanging around
    on their bikes all day i got thinking about a place for them to practice.
    Now i got hold of a place to build a track and got a farmer that supports me with truckloads of clay ground.
    Only thing missing now is your book to make a plan as i already got a couple of friends to help building!


  90. leelikesbikes Says May 13, 2014 @ 6:45 am

    Christian, that sounds great!

    I just re-sent your ebook.

    Measure twice, build once …


  91. Errol Says May 18, 2014 @ 8:21 am

    Hi lee. Im looking for some help from you.Are you able too have a crew come out and build a track or have someone assist with the building of one .If so is there a number I may contact yourself or someone in my area.I live rural Ontario,north of Toronto.IF you can help that would be fantastic

  92. leelikesbikes Says May 18, 2014 @ 9:21 am


    Yes! Please email me more info—size, shape and slope of site; desired terrain; drainage and other project requirements—at


  93. leelikesbikes Says May 22, 2014 @ 9:12 am


  94. Joe Deschamps Says July 9, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

    Hey Lee,

    I was just wondering, how often should a downhill Racer cross train with bmx and moto. I saw the other article about how you should do bmx when young and moto when older, but how often should you do that?

  95. Ugga Says September 15, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

    How you going think I might have the same problem as everyone else just started racing Bmx haven’t done it in 20 odd years but love the sport when I’m jumping over step ups or table top or anything for that matter my bike tends to pull to the left and I always have to put my put down other wise I will crash I do my gate starts with right foot first but been jumping with left foot front same as manueling what should i do to work on this should I change to right foot and see how that goes cause u skate and water ski and I’m always left foot forward any advise would be great cheers guys

  96. leelikesbikes Says September 16, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

    Hey Ugga, that sounds like tension.

    Check this out:

    Also, check out the F6 off-bike training program. Work on creating force from the bike stance.


  97. Daniel Marzani Says October 24, 2014 @ 10:04 am

    Hello. I recently converted my 2000 Specialized Enduro Comp to a 1×9 drivetrain. It’s got a 32t chainring and shimano HG61 11-32 cassette. I do find myself needing lower gearing at times and was going to get an HG61 11-34 or 12-36 cassette. Then it just occurred to me that I really should be about 15-20lbs lighter than I am now. Would losing this body weight negate the need to have lower gearing? Sometimes I like to spin, but I also like to ride at lower cadence and push harder-forcing me to keep momentum on inclines. There must be some relation between power/weight ratio and gearing. I am 45 and would like to avoid any knee problems. What do you think? Thanks.

  98. Joe Says December 1, 2014 @ 12:21 pm


    I’m looking at the SJ Evo 29er. Can’t decide on the size, L or M. I’m 5’11with a 30” inseam. I like riding with a smaller stem 65 mm the medium is at a good price point being 2014. I ride a L Cannondal Jekyll which had a 23 mm effective top tube.
    So I think I fall right smack in the middle of M and L. I have ridden other models such as the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the large fit the best.
    So when it comes to the SJ EVO 29 I can’t decide.
    Any thoughts?

  99. leelikesbikes Says December 1, 2014 @ 1:03 pm


    If you’re between sizes, I think it’s usually best to go with the longer frame and a shorter stem.

  100. Joe Says December 1, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

    Thanks!! That’s what I was thinking

  101. Rory Macomber Says January 8, 2015 @ 8:46 am

    Hey Lee,
    There is a 20ft, nearly vertical, rock on a trail I visited recently. I really want to hit it, and I know it’s rideable. Are there any tricks to tackling a big obstacle like that?

  102. leelikesbikes Says January 13, 2015 @ 9:02 am


  103. Mark Says March 19, 2015 @ 6:43 am

    HI Lee
    I’m on week 10 of pump up the base but its now nice enough to ride outside and I don’t know if I can mentally handle riding the trainer when the trails are money. Don’t you think it’d make more sense training-wise to get out for trail rides now even though I’m not all the way done with the program?

  104. leelikesbikes Says March 19, 2015 @ 9:47 am


  105. Stefanie Gore Says May 5, 2015 @ 6:19 am

    Hey Lee-
    Met you at the Georgia high School mountain bike league Summit last summer with Dan Brooks and got some good riding in there. I have a serious question about cornering and the techniques that IMBA is teaching. I find that I do a combination of flat footed for easy turns and outside foot down for aggressive cornering. What is your recommendation after the recent IMBA teaching of “flat-footed” through turns.

    Stefanie Gore
    North Georgia Mountain Bike Club (founder and junior mtb coach)
    Georgia High School Mountain Bike League coach

  106. Jeff Says May 16, 2015 @ 3:26 pm

    Great to hear your coming our way. tried to reg for the event on May 30th and the site will not accept my CC. I do not want to go through Paypal. Any suggestions? And yes, this is our company Visa, no issues with credit, used all the time (and paid all the time) so I am not sure why it is not being accepted. Thanks, Jeff

  107. leelikesbikes Says May 19, 2015 @ 9:02 am

    Jeff, I will follow up by email.

  108. leelikesbikes Says June 26, 2015 @ 6:21 pm


    Sorry this took so long!

  109. MaryKay Buckner Says August 24, 2015 @ 12:52 pm

    Hi Lee,

    Just wondering, do you teach children? I have a 10 – soon to be 11 – year old boy who rides motocross and just recently discovered how much he loves mountain bike riding and pump tracks, etc. If you don’t, can you recommend someone who does?

    Many thanks,
    MaryKay Buckner

  110. leelikesbikes Says August 24, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

    Hi MaryKay,

    Coach Kevin Stiffler is awesome with kids. You can learn about him here:

    Rip it up,


  111. Maxime Beaumont Says January 24, 2016 @ 9:44 am

    Hi LEE, Got your PRO BMX SKILLS book couple of years ago and loved it thanks.

    Being a draftsman the local BMX club where I race asked me to design pumptrack transportable rollers and doubles for indoor training during cold canadians winters. Anyway, i’m having trouble figuring out angle to be used for faces (front of jumps),angle for backside. radius for top of roller. Any tips? thank you


  112. leelikesbikes Says January 24, 2016 @ 11:06 pm


    Thanks for writing.

    The ebook Welcome to Pump Track Nation contains all the critical numbers for designing a great track:

    Measure twice!


  113. Bruce Says February 1, 2016 @ 3:10 pm

    Hi LEE, I go to school in a relatively flat area, Southern Illinois, which only has easy crosscountry trails around. I feel like I prefer Enduro riding style and want to ride more trails with drops and jumps. But in this area there are no places I can even practice jumping and I can’t ride jumps or drops well when I actually travel to some places occasionally. What do you think I can do to practice my jumping skill? I can’t afford buying another bike or something.


  114. leelikesbikes Says February 1, 2016 @ 4:01 pm


  115. Jeff Says April 1, 2016 @ 7:38 am

    Where can I find a shock linkage for a 2003 specialized stumpjumper fsr comp

  116. leelikesbikes Says April 1, 2016 @ 8:41 am

    Jeff, I would start at my local Specialized dealer.

  117. Carolin Janik Says May 13, 2016 @ 6:50 am

    Hi Lee, I am so pleased to find this page and you, I can learn a lot from you, I train youngsters from age 5 to 16 some MTB skills, although my experiences are also limited since I started cycling only at the age of 45. I live in Namibia, Africa, so one day when you have urge to travel around the world, please come by and teach us kids here some skills.

    Greetings from here
    Carolin Janik

  118. Mike Says December 12, 2016 @ 12:48 pm


    I recently purchased a Steel Reserve 1.1 and am looking to replace the shock on a budget. What do think about the RS Recon Silver. I’m an old man who just likes to have fun on the pump track and jumps with his son. I am 225 lbs. though.

  119. leelikesbikes Says December 12, 2016 @ 10:27 pm


    That fork should be just fine. Make sure you get a model that fits your Haro’s front hub.

    Have fun!


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