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!


Hi Remy,

Thanks for reaching out.

The best way to help you is via a live class, either public or private (even better).

Second best is remote coaching.

Easy, cheap and accessible is the Lee Likes MTB School website. It provides detailed bike setup info and tons of skills lessons.

Quick tips:

Bike setup. A shorter stem is almost always a huge improvement. A dropper seat post is always a huge improvement.

Body position. When you’re descending, hinge at your hips. Keep your shoulders low so you have lots of range of motion in your arms. Keep your hands weightless.

Those two tips are a great start. You can learn a lot more from the site.

Say hi to Lesley (world champ!). She’s one of my favorite students!


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