Pacing and the Powerline, With 6X LT100 Champ Dave Wiens

06.19.2018 | 9:14 am

I’m brutally sick today (I think it’s a bad cold; The Hammer thinks it’s the flu. She’s a nurse, though, so I’m probably right.).

Luckily, before I got sick, Hottie and I got together and recorded a really fantastically incredible new episode of the Leadville podcast.

I’ll describe the show in a second, but really you should just listen to it.

Download on Apple Podcasts Stitcher

In the Show
Six-Time Leadville 100 Champ Dave Wiens joins Hottie and me to talk about strategies for racing the Leadville 100, from pacing yourself to pacing others to just trying to not blow up halfway through the race.

We deep-dive on the first dirt descent in the race: The Powerline, teasing apart one of the most treacherous parts of the race

And In our Questions for the Queen, we ask Rebecca Rusch about food logistics. Bottles! Camelbaks! Food! Wrappers! Where do you put it all for easy access, and how do you manage it when your heart is going fast and your brain is going slow…if at all.

Finally, coach Jonathan Lee is back ramping up your workouts and planning out your week for a proper build to the second Saturday in August — just eight-ish weeks away now.

Thanks to Our Sponsors
We went out of our way, for this podcast, to reach out exclusively to companies we actually love and buy stuff from ourselves. Which is to say, you won’t find ads here for life insurance companies or mattresses or cooking kits that come to you in a box. These are all companies I buy stuff from and use pretty much every damn ride.

Please support them, because you should. And also so they will love me and want to keep supporting me. It’s the circle of advertising, folks.


Shift early, shift often… when it comes to changes in terrain, that  is the mantra of mountain biking. And with the right drivetrain on your side, shifting early and often is no problem.

one thing we keep hearing from every expert we’ve talked to in this podcast — the nutrition expert, the blood and oxygen expert, Rebecca Rusch, and we’ll be hearing this from Dave Wiens too: you just do NOT want to go burning matches you don’t have to. The thing is, on the Leadville course, it is super easy to burn match after match clearing little rises or powering up when an easy climb becomes a hard climb. Or passing people. All those are easy places to go into the red zone when you don’t need to.

And I am making a concerted effort in my training to stay in the right gear by making really frequent shifts. It’s an adjustment because of my singlespeed mentality, but I’m having an easier time with it than I would because I’m using Shimano XT Di2 for my shifting. I set it up for fast shifting and for unlimited shifts, and I can get to the right gear for the moment so easy, under pretty much any load. I’m burning fewer matches with Shimano XT Di2.

And I like the way it beeps when I’m at the top or bottom of the cassette, so I don’t go looking for that extra gear that just isn’t there.

The Feed:

Hottie and I have been using Maurtens drink mix, and both of us are totally sold on it. No stomach issues, goes down easy, super easy to mix. Hottie’s super anal about stuff like this, so he loved the package precision; they tell you exactly how much water to use, no guessing with scoops and different sized bottles.

My overarching impression is that it’s a ridiculously non-intrusive way to get down a lot of calories. One bottle, 320 calories — it’s a little sweet, it’s a little thick, but there’s no aftertaste and I felt great — my stomach was fine, I didn’t feel that weird energy spike you get with some energy drinks. It tastes smooth, and it burns smooth. I am a fan.

And our podcast listeners can get a great price on a training and racing packs custom curated for Leadville racers. Go to for the race pack, and there’s a link on that page to go to the training pack. And be sure to use the code LEADVILLE15 for a 15% discount on either of those boxes.

Banjo Brothers

At Leadville, and at any race, you will see riders with all sorts of crazy ways to carry their bike repair essentials. People tape or velcro stuff to top tubes, stems, seatposts and seat tubes. We say do yourself a favor, use our sponsor, Banjo Brothers, to get your flat fixing goodies strapped properly  to your bike.

And not just your race bike, but your commuting bike and your bikepacking bike…and they’ve even got great backpacks and messenger bags for when you’ve got to carry bigger stuff.

I’ve got a Banjo Brothers Bag  on every bike I have, and have been for a dozen years. They’re simple and they’re bombproof. They just work.

To get 15% off your order, go to


We talk a lot about the Powerline descent in this episode, because it’s a crucial part of the race. In my twenty finishes of this race, I bet I’ve passed more than 200 people on this section of the race, all of whom are faster than I am. Because they’re all stopped on the side of the road, coping with pinch flats.

But neither The Hammer nor I have pinch flatted even once since we’ve been riding with ENVE M525 wheels. It’s the wide hookless bead that really does the trick here. ENVE has a really wide leading edge for the hookless bead, and this broad surface creates a more forgiving platform on which the tire can bottom out, and proves extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of “pinch” flats. And with a lower risk , you can ride with lower pressures, which gives you better traction and rolling resistance.

For example, I’m currently 167 pounds and running 19lbs in front and 20 in the back. The Hammer is running 18 in front, 19 in back.

I mean, wow.


  1. Comment by Dylan | 06.19.2018 | 11:47 am

    Hey Fatty,
    The link for Banjo Brothers isn’t correct. It needs to be

    Fixed! Thank you for pointing that out. – FC

  2. Comment by MattC | 06.19.2018 | 1:47 pm

    Hey Fatty…what size tires are you and Hammer running? (I ask because of your rather low pressures, I’d think they must be rather large tires to run that low). And are you not running tubeless? (you talk about pinch flats, but I wasn’t aware anybody was still running tubes in this day and age).

    We’re running Continental X-King Protection 2.4 for training, but will race with Specialized Fast Trak 2.3. You really don’t need to run huge tires with low pressure — the rims are really that good. As far as pinch flats go, we are racing tubeless but you can still get a pinch flat with tubeless, by pinching through the tire itself. – FC

  3. Comment by Bob in Denver | 06.20.2018 | 4:41 pm


    Did Nails run the marathon last weekend? I kept an eye for her but missed her if she was there.


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