Questions, comments and criticisms

Descend like a predator chasing prey

Our friend Ryan W just posted some very nice comments on my private coaching page.

“I am excited to go fast and under control. I fear nothing.”

“… the best investment I’ve ever put into mountain biking.”

And more. Check it out:

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Top 5 pump track mistakes

I am an intern with the City of Temecula’s Planning Department, and we are currently in the early phases of researching and planning to build a pump track. I have been tasked with compiling research and gathering information regarding important “do’s and don’ts” of designing pump tracks.

We’ll be ordering a copy of your Pump Track Nation book soon, but I was wondering if there are any specific things you would say a city should prioritize, avoid, or otherwise keep in mind throughout the design/build process?

Thank you,

James Thomas
Planning Department Intern
City of Temecula

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How to get a pump track in your city

Peggy, a 10th grader in Eastern Washington, wants to build a pump track in her city.

Let’s try to help her out.

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Expanding your quiver from 2 to 3 bikes


Here’s what I am thinking – would like your input as I am getting a new bike [Mikkel, a Specialized ambassador, has been riding a Stumpy 6Fattie for the past year].

Epic – for XC racing and long rides

Camber 29er – perfect for the Santa Monica trails

Enduro 29er (with a 6Fattie wheel set) – for bigger riding (mount Wilson and shredding)

I am thinking of getting rid of the stumpy in favor of the Enduro.

What do you think of having those three bikes?


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Tricks for tight switchbacks

I have an interesting question for you.
You are coming down a single track on the side of the mountain, and there is a typical tight switchback, narrow and 330 degree turn.
How do you tackle this without loosing too much speed and not going down the hill 🙂

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Custom frame and seat tube angle

Greetings Lee. I am in the process of having a custom hardtail frame built, I have some questions about fit, seat tube angle, pedaling efficiency & comfort. Seems like a lot of makers are going with shorter stays and steeper 74* seat tube angles to keep the rider weight centered. My Builder thinks that a true 73* seat tube angle will work fine with short stays. Of course I want to be sure about the geometry.

Wondering what your take is on the steeper seat angles paired with shorter stays – certainly for short rides they can keep the rider in a good spot, but does that come at price – less engagement of the glutes & lower back, and thus less ideal for longer days in the saddle, for example?

Thanks for any input.

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Improving grip endurance for downhill and enduro


I’m currently following PUTB and will be moving onto PTPI to prepare for next race season. I race DH and Enduro and have trouble with my grip in extra long runs. I have been tweaking my brake and cockpit setup over the last 4 months but know I will still have issues come race seasons on some of the longer descents. I am registering for a race in June with a 3500′ stage and I’m wondering if you have any advice on exercises to add in the gym (I already do lots of KBSs, Deadlifts, Chinups, and basic movements) to up my grip endurance.


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Measurability of the Pump Up The Base training program?

Hi Lee

I was wondering about your Pump Up the Base program. Have you developed any indicators of training progress? Any sort of approximated chart of how much output one ought to be delivering? I don’t care how scientifically accurate it would be, knowing you I make am sure that you have enoug base of references. I just need some good point of reference and I am generally interested in your spinning. What I need is 1. A measuring tool. 2.Training program for pedalling that will compliment my lifting of metal objects.


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1x drivetrain for bikepacking?

I’m a fit 52 old on a 2007 3×9 26” Ibis Mojo planning to bikepack the Colorado Trail in July. The drivetrain has considerable wear, and probably needs to be replaced. Do I just stick with it or move to a more modern setup? I’m considering moving to 1X11, 30t front, 11-46 back. I know and don’t have issue with 50% HAB on this trail.

Any thoughts?


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Straight seatpost verses setback post on Specialized bikes


I noticed that you always run a straight seat on your Specialized bikes that come stock with setback posts. How does this affect your knee/pedal position and the size of bike that you choose? It seems to me that your knee would be pulled well over the front of the pedal (especially with shorter cranks) and you might choose a larger bike size because the cockpit is 3/4 inch shorter which is about 1 size. Am I wrong?

Thanks for your time,

Rob Linnenberger

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Cul de sac kung fu: Eights of ignominy

Lee, besides off-season training/crosstraining, can you recommend some winter time bike related training that can be done so that we don’t lose skills? Considering that we have 18″ of snow on the ground?

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I’m in great shape, should I skip base training?

It’s getting time for me to begin the Pump Up the Base/Prepare to Pin It workout programs again.

This year, I put about twice as much time in the saddle as last year, and I think overall, my basic cardio/threshold endurance is still in good shape. I’m finding, though, that where I get gassed riding on the trails is riding up steep, technical terrain, where I have to really crank out multiple series of short bursts of pretty high-effort pedaling. Little efforts where you really have to red line it to clear rocks and roots, etc., while pedaling uphill.

So I was wondering what you think of this: Since my aerobic/threshold endurance has held pretty well over the last year, I was thinking that maybe I could double up on Prepare to Pin It. I was thinking I would do each week twice. (e.g., Do the first week, then do it again the following week; do week two, then do it again the next week, and so on, through week 12 for a total of 24 weeks.)

I know P2PI gets really intense, and that last four weeks have the potential to be miserable. Would I be hurting myself more than helping with this plan? Just wondering what your thoughts were on this.


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