First of all, thank you for writing a great book. I’ve read Welcome to Pump track Nation several times and have been measuring out my pump track and started thinking about draining. In fact, I might have developed a problem. I’m beginning to wish it rained dirt, and every flat yard I see I ask, why no pump track?
My big question is, on the long return side (circled and labeled #1) up to my berms I will have to pump up hill (maybe a 10% grade, I haven’t measured it yet). What is the optimum pump size and spacing for going up hill? Should they be taller and closer, smaller and closer….
Another thing that you could perhaps comment on is making a “switch” spot to reverse direction. What would that look like at the location circled and labeled #2?
Thanks for you advise. I would like to build once and get it right.
Reading your book on MTB skills and have just taken the plunge and swapped out my Stumpy Elite 26 inched with a Stump Comp Evo 29er (arrives next week).
Thing is we have a nice pumptrack near us and i still want to ride it with my two boys.
It got me thinking that there’s going to be some differences now that i’m on a 140mm travel 29er! Any suggestions would be welcome – I’m guessing I can’t be the only person in this situation
I enjoy your bike wisdom on a regular basis. Something has been bothering me lately.
I’m wondering if all the plyometric-type training and weight lifting that mountain bikers are doing is actually doing that much to improve their bike riding skills.
The recent research suggests that lifting weights and doing plyometric exercises (even if they incorporate “bike muscles”) only make you better at lifting weights and better at these specific exercises.
There seems to be no significant carry-over to actual bike riding skills (aside from the obvious cardiovascular fitness and overall increase in strength and muscle mass).
The most relevant training must mimic the speed of movement that a mountain biker would need while blasting down a DH track. This is difficult to do in a gym. Do you agree that the best training is on an actual bike?
I am sitting down and planning my training program to lead up to the USA Cycling Nationals next year in Super D. I use an online strength program and am anxious to supplement that with your Pump up the Base and then Prepare to Pin it! As I started reading Pump up the Base tonight I am immediately perplexed at the Sweet Spot. Here is why:
I am 50 years old
My max recorded heart rate in competition this year was 187 bpm.
I can maintain a heart rate of 168-172 for an hour (89%-92%of maximum heart rate)…my training rides are very often that intensity…I seldom see numbers in the low 160s.
For example, I won seven cross country races this year pinning it from the line on my heavy all mountain bike and making those XC guys (in a age group younger than me) hurt really badly. I’d push the envelope up close to 95% max heart rate and then settle down into 90% and hold that the entire race for up to 1-1.5 hrs. hitting a 100% max heart rate in a sprint with myself because none was within sight.
Below is a heart rate graph of a race where I was in the “Red” zone for 51 minutes of a 51 minute race. Heart rate range in red is 168-182 bpm)
So, of course I question any gains from working in the Sweet Spot, because to me that puts me in with the group of riders you say don’t work hard enough when they work hard.
My mind is open.
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.
I thought this might be a good question for you. In this segment with Fabien I’m wondering if you could shed some light on what Barel is doing different from Tobias at 5:40 – 5:48. In watching some of the pros (Loic, Nico, etc) corner on switchbacks and really tight turns I feel like I see this action a lot. When it’s really slow it’s more like a nose manual, but at speed I’m at a loss to figure it out, other than the fact that they have mad skills.
Thanks in advance!
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…
I started your Pump Up the Base program a couple of weeks ago. Initially, I put a slick on an old mountain bike and mounted the bike on a trainer. However, the gearing on the mountain bike is too low to get to the speeds needed to create enough resistance on the trainer for some of your exercises. So, I am looking to buy a road bike for training purposes.
It appears that there are a couple of main categories of road bikes: bikes oriented to racing that have aggressive geometries and stiff frames and bikes oriented to endurance riding that have more relaxed geometries and somewhat less rigid frames. Considering that the bike will primarily be used for your training program, is one of these categories of bikes preferable over the other?
Why does it feel harder to pedal with a FOX TALAS fork in “shorter” mode while climbing? For example you’re chugging along, climbing your favorite moderate to steep (insert appropriate grade % here) fire road, you drop the fork, and it gets NOTICEABLY harder to pedal.
This one appears to have some debate around it. Physics and some good Lee Likes Bikes diagram kung fu should be able to kill it. What’s your take? Has anyone tested whether it’s perceived or real?
Chris in Australia is doing the Pump Up the Base training program, and he’s working in some pump track action, but he wants to know how he can maintain pump for the long intervals.