Mountain Biking and Marginal Gains

Mountain Biking and Marginal Gains

The idea of marginal gains goes hand in hand with endurance races like the Leadville 100.

With two of the three of the Marginal Gains hosts also doing a weekly podcast on the Leadville 100 MTB race, you knew it was just a matter of time 'til we dragged the topic of Leadville into this show.

And that time...is now.

The fact is, the idea of marginal gains goes hand in hand with endurance races like the Leadville 100. It’s over long days in the saddle that little changes start making a big difference.

We cover a lot of very practical topics in this episode, and while we’re focusing on one particular race, a lot of it is about techniques any cyclist — on dirt or pavement — can use.

Got a question you’d like to ask? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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9 comments


  • Ty Fitzgerald

    Hey Guys, I’m still catching up on back episodes,

    Just a quick question, have you guys ever looked at BMX racing? it’s super short races (sub 60 seconds) but the power output and speeds are really high. There are currently lots of myths and common practices around setups too, like my 30kg son races on 1 1/8th 20 inch tyres @ 100 to 110psi, while I (75kgs) ride 1.75 inch wide 24" tyres @ 60 to 65psi. Most tracks in Australia are hard pack with a glue and sand coating which is about the consistency of 800 grit sand paper.

    Ceramic bearings are standard for the lighter riders. Carbon frames, forks, rims and cranks are common too.

    Besides playing with tyre pressure are marginal gains worth it for such a short and explosive race?


  • Michael Hotten

    yep, that’s the one – Hottie


  • John

    I am not sure of the correct term, but i wonder about aero shadows? To clarify what i mean by that term i just made up… we know a lot about the distance behind a rider you need to be to get drafting benefit. (For example the minimum distance you are allowed to follow someone in triathlon does give some drafting benefit). Closer is better. But how far back can you go, and more importantly, how much does this distance change with speed? Say 20km/hr vs 30 vs 40? I presume you need to be closer the slower you go.

    To complicate this question, i am not thinking about drafting another cyclist, but rather how much your rear wheel drafts your frame, or how much your seat tube drafts your stem/downtube, or how much your stem drafts your front mounted computer. How much drag is your seatube playing in the equation of frame drag at say 20/30/40 km/hr? I presume it plays a larger percentage of frame related drag at lower speeds.


  • Scott

    Can anyone confirm this is the NFS chainlube that was mentioned in the podcast (and the hosts said they’d include a link in the show notes)

    http://www.nixfrixshun.com/


  • Max

    I’m riding waxed chains since 18 months now and I don’t look back. If you are worried about the initial cleaning process, you can buy them fully prepped.


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