Send questions to lee@leelikesbikes.com

Should I be on a medium or small bike?

Hi Lee

I just signed up for your RideLogic bike setup service. I’m 5’8″ and am a little stunned at the difference in dimensions that it recommends vs my current bike.

I have one of those long low 27.5 Whyte bikes, and I ride a medium with a 450 mm reach (The RAD on that bike is WAY longer than what RideLogic recommends, but it actually feels really good).

I was shocked when your article said I should be on a 410 mm reach bike. I am looking at 29ers (never owned one before), and I rode a Guerilla Gravity Smash medium which was at 460 mm reach and I hated it.

After looking at RideLogic, I should have demoed the small instead. Most of the bike websites out there say I should be a medium and the average reach on those is 425 mm which still have longer RAD numbers. Do I really need a small??

It looks like RideLogic doesn’t discriminate on someones proportions (arm length, inseam etc). Do those factor in or is it pretty standard that someone who is 5’8″ will fit into a certain RAD?

Matt M.

Read more

Finding a new enduro bike that fits

Hi Lee,

Because I am looking for a new bike I just got a copy of your book Dialed.

While the RAD concept fits to my current short list I see no way to get near to the recommended RAAD numbers. My current bike is a Radon Slide 160, a light Enduro. It has a RAAD of about 55.5° and I am happily riding it for 4.5 years now.

Now taking the measures of a Norco Range XL as an example would give me a perfect RAD, but the RAAD would be 53.7°. To get to an enduro RAAD of 60° I need shorten the reach from 475 to 402 mm and expand the stack from 621 to 670mm for the same RAD. Any other bike I am looking at has similar numbers.

What’s your thought?

Cheers,
Christoph

Read more

Why is my heart rate so high on descents?

Lee,

I hope all is well and RipRows are flying out of your garage! I have a quick question for you.

I have been training extensively lately with a heart rate monitor. I notice that my heart rate spikes significantly when I go downhill. I have a hard time keeping in under 160. My max is somewhere around 180. However I don’t feel out of breath or winded when riding downhill. Is this something you have seen before in riders? Any thoughts on it?

Cheers,

Rob

Read more

Minion DHF vs. Butcher

Lee,

Do you prefer the Maxxis Minion DHF over the Specialized Butcher when it comes to dry, roots, pine needles? This is for 29×2.6 on the new Specialized Levo Expert 2019 model that just came out. (I remember you had a 2012 Expert Stumpjumper just like mine.)

I want to keep the weight of the new LEVO low and the Butcher weight is about 200 grams per tire lighter than the Minion. I like the Maxxis High Rollers better than the Specialized tires I tried. Is Maxxis worth the the weight from Butcher to Minion?

Jason

Read more

How hard should I pedal during Red Intervals?

Lee,

I am a Enduro, and occasional DH racer and have been slacking on training like I should this season.  I am trying to finish out strong and get in a solid 7 weeks of training before my last race at the end of the September and am working hard on the Prepare to Pin It program, building on a base of PUTB done through winter and early spring.  My question(s) are regarding power and gearing for the red intervals:

Should we be doing all out sprints?  In the book it states 120-140% or something along those lines, but I’m putting out north of 700 W @ an FTP of 278 W, which is over 200%.  Like you’ve said, this says a lot about my endurance, plus I’m a pretty big guy (190ish lbs, a hair shy over 6’), but I wasn’t sure if I am going to hard.  To me I’ve never gone below 90% in a race so I don’t know why I would do it in a training session.

In the book, it states when power drops by 10% the session is over.  Is this over the course of the entire sprint session or during easy “set”.  My first set of 3 x 20 sec I was in the 650-700 W range, second set was 600-650 W, but the third I went from about 600 W to just below 500 W, which is over a 10% drop.  This was my sign I was toast, but if I follow the rules of 10% over the workout I wouldn’t have even made it through my second set.

Lastly, is it normal to not to be shifting during the middle of these sprints?  I start out with a somewhat challenging gear but I’m spinning too quickly to feel like I’m delivering good power pretty quickly and shift 2ish times during each sprint.

Thanks for the great programming, both on skills and fitness.  My riding has improved immensely over the last 2 years despite being pretty inconsistent about training.

Brian Rowbotham

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Read more

Buying the wrong size bike sucks

Here’s a comment thread from the Lee Likes Bikes MTB School (www.llbmtb.com – membership required). This poor guy was advised to buy the wrong size bike. I see this happening a lot — and it’s not cool.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Read more

Elbows in or out?

Hi Lee and thanks for all the great info online.

Last year I got some instruction at Whistler and my instructor kept on stressing elbows out – “chicken wings.”

Then I bought the book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills 3rd Edition and learned that elbows out used to be taught but is actually wrong, hold elbows behind grips.

This week I’m riding sweep for my son’s DH camp and the instructors stress elbows out. I even spoke to one great, extremely experienced instructor after and he doubled down on elbows out.

Can you clarify the thinking behind in and out and why you changed? I haven’t been this confused since girls in high school.

Andrew

Read more

What size Ibis Ripmo should I ride?

Today a RideLogic bike setup client reached out wondering which size Ibis Ripmo to buy. I did a fit for his Mojo HD3 a while back — and he loves it — so I have good numbers for him. 

The results:

Read more

DH tire recommendations for my son

Lee,

I’m looking to replace my sons 26×2.3 tires. He rides mostly DH and at bootleg which is rocky. Looking for a tough tire. I see the minion dhf seems to only come in 2.5. Being fairly new to all this I was looking for some recommendations and information. How do I know if the 2.5 will fit the rim/bike ok?

Thanks,

Joe

Read more

Lap timer for bike training?

Hello Lee i have checked out the DMC Moto Trainer lap timer on your site. Do you have it in stock and can send it to me in Sweden?

Kind regards  Emil

Read more

RipRow: Tired lower back plus leaning in turns

Hey Lee,

I’ve done a several “big” workouts on the RipRow™ now. They usual consist of 60-90 minutes of Trainer / Rip Row — swapping 5 minutes on trainer at Threshold, then 5 minutes on Rip Row, set to 3, wash, rince, repeat. Usually 10 minutes of warm up and cool down as well.  When I do these bigger sessions I find that my lower back is pretty tight and a little sore the next day. Not to the point that I can’t function. Really just feels like I spent 4-5 hours moutainbiking the day before. I’m wondering if this is normal, or the result of bad form, or just my back trying to make up for a weak core?

The second question is with the cornering rows. I don’t feel very coordinated when I do these, and they feel super awkward. I guess my biggest question is, are you leaning the RipRow™ with your upper body? I think part of my is wanting to try and weight my outside foot, which makes the machine rock in the opposite direction of the actual corner, which makes the balancing feel awkward. Curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks for making an awesome machine! It’s great to be able to do an indoor workout that makes me feel like I’ve had a big day on my mountain bike when mixed with the road bike trainer.

Really looking forward to having the trails dry out, so I can see how the bike feels after RipRowing. I haven’t ridden on dirt since I got back from New Zealand! 🙁

Gerrit

Read my reply at RipRow.com >>>

 

Pump Up the Base workout B is kicking my butt

Hi Lee,

When I do Pump Up the Base intervals, workout A is pretty straight forward sweet spot training. My power level and heart rate stay pretty stable. Workout B is a different animal. Climbing, ladders, etc. blow me out pretty quickly. My heart rate goes anaerobic fairly fast and it generally ends in a beat-down. In a good way.

So here’s the question: did you and Lester intend for “B” workouts, the drills, etc. to be aerobic capacity intervals? That’s more or less what they have become for me. I keep the power out put in range of my FTP, but damn everything else is brutal, and by the end of the workout, I’m a wreck.

I sold my Pivot 429 and am building up an Evil Following MB. Stoked.

Best,

Dave F

Read more