Send questions to lee@leelikesbikes.com

Retracting your shoulders on the RipRow and bike

Hey Lee,
seeing some good progress with the RipRow so far.
I’ve been struggling with my right shoulder after a crash (as well as the common rolling forward problem due to office work), my physio has given me exercises to adjust my positioning of the scapula and my shoulders in general better.

I showed him the RipRow and the lowrow exercise in particular. He likes the machine and suggests I always pull my scapula’s close to one another (which in turn brings my shoulders back), except when i reach the point of trying to push the bar away as far as possible, IOW he suggests at the end of the push away to also release the scapulas to extend the reach at the end of the spectrum, and when pulling back, start with the scapulas before bending the arms to pull.

What are your thoughts on shoulder/scapula positioning in the shredlift, lowrow and straightrow exercises or on the bike in general? Are there rules of thumb like “always try to keep shoulders back” ?

thanks!
Dieter

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Should I get a short-travel trail bike or a long-travel trail bike?

Hi Lee

I don’t know if you answer these kinds of questions but I thought I’ll give it a try. Feel free to deny to answer ;-).

As mentioned above I’ll be getting a new bike and I actually ordered a 130mm trail bike. I’ve been a bit insecure lately if I did the right choice or if I should try to change my order to a 150mm bike which is a bit more towards Enduro (I rather have only 1 bike than 2).

I don’t want to be one of those quys who is overbiked, on the other hand I don’t want to risk damage of the bike because I’m doing stuff which the bike can’t take.

The skill level I’m hoping to achieve:

  • Good flow on trails with berms etc.
  • Being able to go down technical terrain with some “blocked” passages safely (I don’t want to go down fast)
  • Doing drops of maybe 1m
  • Jumps: clearing tables of maybe 2m safely. Not sure if I have the balls for attempting gaps.
  • Pump Track. With increasing skill, I’d love to include some jumps.

As most of my biking is without shuttles and more like tours rather than bike parks I opted for a nice, light high-end trail bike, but as said, I’m not sure if it would take the above mentioned loads.I’m about 74kg of weight. What does your experience say?

I’m looking at a Canyon Neuron (130mm rear/130mm front) and a Canyon Spectral (140/150mm).

Stefan

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Quick tips for an XC/Xterra racer

Hi Lee! I’ve been poking around your website and it’s great. So much stuff! Also, listened to your interview on the Nourish Balance Thrive podcast (super!) and my coach Lesley Paterson suggested I reach out to you.

Here’s my deal…
I just bought a new bike. It’s awesome. I know I’m going to love it. When I figure out how to handle it. I’ve been riding a full-suspension bike forever (with very small wheels). What I lack in skill and technique I make up for with determination and squish. My new race bike (for xc and xterra) is a 29inch hardtail. It feels like a big change. I do ride cross and have some experience with a more rigid bike…but I feel really out of my element all of a sudden.

My back end pops up, jams me in the rear, chatters my teeth and I simply feel my riding is cringe-worthy.

I want to learn how to handle this thing with finesse and speed. I’ve got GOALS.

I am wondering if you might have a couple simple tips I can take with me when I hit the trails next..or point me in the right direction with your videos, products, online coaching etc. I’d be very grateful.

Thanks Lee!

-Remy

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Is the new geometry worth a bike upgrade?


Dear Lee

I have a Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er from 2014. I really like this bike BUT I know the the newer bikes of the same type changed quite a bit in terms of the geometry. They have shorter chainstays and a slacker head angle for example. What are your thoughts about this? I don’t have a lot of money to spend for a new bike but I’m asking myself whether I would improve my riding with a longer and slacker geometry.

Hopefully you can help me quickly with some insights.

Thanks a lot and kind regards,

Reto

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Question about RAD bike-setup number

Lee,

I wanted to discuss your RAD number idea a little more.  I read your article on Pinkbike and used the suggested ratio to calculate my RAD number and then went out to the shop and checked all my bikes.  It was interesting.  My BMX and 4X/dirt jump bike both were spot on the number.  My medium Yeti SB66 with 50 mm stem was 20mm longer and my Specialized Epic WC was 70 mm longer.  I found this interesting as did not set up any of these bike with RAD.  I got to thinking and have an additional question.  Both the BMX and dirt jumper you ride standing up all the time.  However with the Yeti and Epic I spend and increasing amount of time sitting and pedaling.  I put a long seatpost in the dirt jumper and got my saddle position set and that made the reach to the bars feel way to close for seated riding.  Your thoughts?  As a side note one thing that I have noticed in the past on my bikes is that I tend to tuck the front wheel in corners as apposed to a front wheel slide.  Could this be due to to much weight on the front wheel?  Also with regards to “new” bikes out there I would typically be a size M, but with longer reach numbers maybe I need to look at size S as you suggest.

In any case, thanks for you input as always.  You have been great to both Susan and myself in the past.  I have also gotten the pump track built in the back yard, so if you ever make it up to Spokane you have a place to stay and rip some laps. 

Greg S

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Base training on the RipRow

Hi Lee,

I hope you are doing well!

I am interested, how you structure your endurance training this winter.

I started the Pump Up the Base off-season training program last week and I did half the intervals on the bike trainer and the other half on the RipRow. After each interval, I switched to the other machine.

Later in the program, when the intervals get longer, I will probably also alternate within the intervals.

I read that you are not pedaling at all at the moment!? Are you doing all the PUTB protocols on the RipRow right now or do you adapt anything (the number/lengths of the intervals)?

Thanks!

Lars

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Questions after reading Dialed

Hi Lee,

First of all, thank you for all your work on the blog – it really is a standout in the bike-internet-knowledge base. As well as Dialed e-book that I bought today.

After reading it, I have some questions. Perhaps you will find time to answer them?

1. How can I access the rider-and-bike calculator (I always get a “This page requires a membership to view” notification when I login with my e-mail: wooyek@gmail.com)?
2. “RAD, RAAD, Reach and Stack Table” – are these actual frame dimensions (“official” reach/stack used by manufacturers) or do they include cockpit dimensions?
3. If handlebar rotation should not be used to dial-in the RAD, what method should be used first, give the stem spacers are not enough?
4. What is your method to measure RAAD?
5. How would you describe rider’s “average proportions”? Do you know the average inseam-to-height ratio?
Thank you in advance, best regards!

Michal

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RipRow for endurance and vs. a rowing machine?

Hi,

I am seriously considering purchasing a RipRow. I can’t purchase both a rowing machine (which was original plan) AND the RipRow. So I thought you may be able to help with some info about me as a rider.

I am 61, female, started mountain biking about 4 years ago. My confidence waxes and wanes depending on how much i get to ride. I live in Iowa. From now until March or April our trails are under snow and ice. 

I have a Cycleops trainer, and i admit it’s not easy to do all my training sitting on a bike. I practice yoga regularly. I was considering the rowing machine because i want a good all over body workout and endurance training as well.

I have been intrigued by the RipRow since you introduced it. I would love to increase my skills so i can ride more, ride well, ride fast, learn to corner, navigate drops, boulders, jump etc.

Can the RipRow provide me with an aerobic workout as well as strength building? everything a rowing machine can do?

thoughts to help me decide? I have hardwood floors..will i need a mat or something to limit the rocking of the RipRow?

thanks for any insight.

Mary A.

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BMX or plus hardtail on a pump track?

Hey Lee – quick question. I am on a 27+ hardtail. This is the little pump track I use. Almost the whole track is in the frame. The bumps and corners come up so fast and it is sometimes hard to not run off the edge. When I put my 4 year old on it his tiny balance bike seems to fit so much better on the track than my bike. It makes me wonder – would i be having more fun or learning faster if I used a bmx bike instead?  I am very beginner – only my 4th time on a pumptrack.

Zach

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Berms in a very narrow pump track

Hey Lee,

First off id like to say i love your building style and your website.Recently i have been reading up on pump tracks when i came across your website which i might add is amazing.Whilst reading i noticed that you said a backyard pumptrack could be as small as 20 x40.Ive been wanting to build one for the longest time yet only have about 15 feet x 42ish feet.Do you think this could work and be fun?Also what kind of roller spacing and berm radius do you use?

Many thanks
Fraser

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Dialed bike setup and front/rear weight distribution

Lee,

We at Trail Werks Cyclery are trying to use your Dialed theories to fit body/bike but I have some questions that I’m sure you’ve thought about.

Front/rear wheel attack position weight distribution – auto racing wants 50/50. What’s the theory on two-wheeled sports where body weight has such a huge impact? Is it 60/40 on flat ground? How does your RAAD affect that, if at all? We want to be able to set up suspension along with rider position. Does the front/rear weight balance shift with RAAD from xc race to dh? How? Is one more important than the other?

I hope this doesn’t drive you nuts. I’m hoping you tell me they are just two different things.

Thanks again. You’ve made me very busy thinking, talking to customers and measuring shit… Nice work.

Michael K

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Pump track design tip: Simple is good

Hi Lee

I’ve read your ebook “welcome-to-pump-track-nation” and it’s really great.
I’d like to build a pumptrack in my garden.
Attached you’ll find a picture of the total footprint.
Could you give me maybe a suggestion for the track?……I mean about the berms, rollers, interchanges……..It would be really great.
I can extend the length of the footprint if necessary (59 feet up to 63 feet).

Cheers
Stefan

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