David LiebAfter making the transition from BMX to mountain bikes, David never looked back recently winning the US Open at Highland Mountain Bike Park. Born and raised in Ida, Michigan David travels the country in a Sprinter van training in New England and South Carolina while competing in the FMB World Tour. We talk with this slopestyle rider about his training, bike set up, and plans for the future.
Aspiring positive thinker, problem solver, and a go-getter. I enjoy the learning curve of life and progression.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I was born and raised in Ida, Michigan. Currently I live in a sprinter van in north-eastern states like New Hampshire.
Who do you ride for?
GT Bicycles, Industry 9, and FiveTen. I also get hooked up from Kenda, Manitou, and Title MTB. Best sponsors in the world! I’m so thankful for them.
What are your strengths?
Problem solving and learning how to adapt to new situations. Van life has taught me to be ready for anything!
What are your weaknesses?
Balancing being distracted by social media and running my social media efficiently.
What does a typical day look like for you?
On a typical summer day, I wake up, eat breakfast at Highland Mountain Bike Park, then gear up and ride all day. After that, I go swimming at Knowles pond. In the winter, I usually spend time trail building in South Carolina but this fall I’ll be going to school full time to get my degree in mechanical design.
Do you have any big projects or trips planned for the rest of 2019?
I’ve been working on planning my annual Crankworx Whistler trip but my van broke down so I might be going to Spain for an FMB Gold event instead of driving across the country.
How do you set up your bikes?
I like all of my suspension extremely progressive. Super soft on top and ramps as hard as possible to not give out on steep lips. For tire pressure, I run 30 psi front and rear for DH and 55 psi front and rear for dirt jumps.
What’s been your worst crash over the years?
I’ve been extremely lucky so far. I’d say the biggest crash was actually on my airbag where I tore my shoulder up landing funky in February. It’s all good now though!
How do you train for competitions?
Highland Mountain Bike Park in NH is the place for all of my training needs. A lot of dirt jump sessions, airbag, and foam-pit sessions keep me progressing!
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
Highland Mountain Bike Park of course!
How did you get into mountain biking?
I came from a BMX background and when I was 18 began working at Spoke Life Cycles in Ohio. The guys from there pushed me into riding XC and downhill. Also, Dakotah Norton, who I knew from BMX, called me and told me I needed to get a DH bike so I took his advice!
What bikes are you riding right now?
GT Labomba dirt-jumper
GT Fury LTS downhill bike
GT Sensor 29er trail bike
Who’s your favorite rider?
Favorite rider to watch is Thomas Genon and my biggest inspiration is Brett Rheeder because of his hard work and dedication.
What’s something you believe that other people think is crazy?
Politics are rigged and meant to divide us as humans.
Who or what inspires you?
Hard work and seeing results keep me going. Watching others put in the hours and then seeing their success makes me want to do the same.
What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
I play guitar whenever I can find a second of free time. I love hearing songs and then trying to figure them out.
You and Peter Jamison have created a lot of videos together, how did those come about?
He messaged me on Instagram one day saying he wanted me to be in his movie (Passion) and we became great friends. We both have sprinter vans so all last year we traveled side by side.
What’s your favorite motto or saying?
I say “send it” way too much.
What annoys you?
Kids who would rather play Fortnite than build dirt jumps and ride bikes.
What makes you happy?
My family and opening boxes of bike parts from sponsors.
Where do you think the future of slopestyle is headed?
I hope it gets more technical. I like the free-coaster revolution and I want see more unique slopestyle courses with different line choices to express creativity.
If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?
I try not to think about back up plans or alternatives. There’s nothing else I would want to be doing and I’ve known that since I was 12.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a hard worker and someone who inspired every young bike rider to be the best they can be.
Anything else we should know about you?
I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s cookie butter. Crunchy not creamy.