Episode #41 – When to Use Your Mountain Bike in Training with Alison Dunlap

Episode #41 – When to Use Your Mountain Bike in Training with Alison Dunlap

Training on the road and trainer allows for consistent efforts but it doesn’t help with mountain bike racing specificity, especially how your body works under heavy load on your race bike. I got former XCO World Champion and now coach and CX racer Alison Dunlap on the show to discuss her ideas on how and when to use your mountain bike in training.

[buzzsprout episode=’88940′ player=’true’]

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This week I delve into the world of mountain bikes, this information is also useful for cyclocross riders, but I wanted to explore the role of the road bike in training for mountain bike events.

Find out the answers to these questions:

  • What is your coaching background?
  • Is there a particular philosophy you follow?
  • What are the specific physical demands of XC racing?
  • Other than skills, which of these elements do you typically train off-road?
  • If I run through a list training zones, can you give some off-road examples of training?


  • Should someone on a structured training plan ride the mountain bike all year round?  
  • Is there any benefit to riding an MTB on the road for training? It’s definitely harder to ride with people on road bikes, but does position or familiarity count for anything?
  • How can someone sharpen their skills at speed?
  • How often do you need to ride a mountain bike to keep your handling skills?
  • What other tips do you have for learning how to handle your bike better?
  • Putting it all together-can you talk through the last 3 weeks before a XC A race?

Tech, Hacks & Products

Kappius Components KH2 Hub

So what is it?

Large drive side engagement and bearings

Simple to maintain – disassembles easily

240 Points of engagement – minimal delay on the backpedal up steep climbs.

Price-yes they are steep-over a thousand bucks for a pair of hubs. In comparison a pair of Chris King will cost you around $600 at most, but remember his economies of scale of much better.

They are in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign-check them out even if you aren’t in the market for a new pair of hubs.




Photo Credit: hyper7pro via Flickr


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