Video: Jesse Melamed Takes On The Pinkbike Hot Lap

Jul 23, 2019
by Pinkbike Originals  


The formula doesn't get any simpler; one racer, one track, and a stopwatch. In our case, the racer is a mountain biker, our track is a rooty and rocky descent, and the clock is a Freelap timing system that doesn't lie. Last year saw Sam Hill and Miranda Miller, along with a bunch of other really fast people, throw down Pinkbike Hot Lap times, and we're back for the second season with a new track and new racers for 2019.

This season's first episode saw PB's Mike Levy barely survive his attempt at the Hot Lap, an effort that resulted in a "benchmark" time of 6:26:18. Next up, it's Rocky Mountain's EWS racer (and EWS winner), Jesse Melamed who, barring some sort of mid-run bathroom break, should just be able to pip Levy's time... I guess it depends on your definition of pip, eh?


The Track

The second season of Hot Laps sees us move to Cakewalk, a classic Squamish descent that has a good mix of roots and rocks, as well as plenty of different lines to choose from. And just to keep everyone honest, there are even a few brief climbs to keep the mountain in mountain biking.










Regions in Article
Squamish


86 Comments

  • 126 1
 Everyone should do a lap on a 2002 Brodie 8-ball. Smile
  • 22 2
 Thought that was what the whole thing was about! Cheap and cheerful style topgear thingy.
  • 18 1
 would be a great series but im sure a lot of people wouldnt want to risk their ews season on that bike
  • 9 1
 A la Top Gear (when it was fun to watch)
  • 18 0
 Either that or I'd like to see Mike do another run on the bike of his choice!
  • 3 0
 @inonyme: sorry I just gave you negative props for this by accidebt, but I totally agree. The newest series with Freddy Flintoff and Paddy Whatshisface presenting is too cringeworthy to watch (and I stuck with it all the way through Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc...).
  • 2 0
 That is what I said as well. Can't compare Levy's time with the pros doing the lap unless everyone is using a bike in the same era.
  • 1 0
 Or, at least something that would have come from the same period...?
  • 19 0
 Mike has an unfair advantage seeing as he's probably ridden that bike back in the day!
  • 2 0
 Awesome riding and look forward to see more pros take on that trail. Noticed he had a different type of go pro chest harness. His footage was great so I tried to replicate that angle for steep trails. Anyone know what kind of setup he is using would be much appreciated. Have almost the same angle for testing tmrw but using a few connectors, his looks way beefier and clean.
  • 2 0
 Levy wasn't in there to be competitive, he was just setting the tone and giving us a good laugh.
  • 33 2
 Mike, give it a second shot on the bike of your choice. Or at least the frankenbike you've been testing.
  • 37 2
 Yeah, for sure. I'll have to get back up there on a test bike that I like. I suspect that I'd be hard-pressed to get into the 4:30s or something similar. We'll see Smile
  • 9 0
 @mikelevy: but at least you could give it your best effort. And show just how fast you really are
  • 8 0
 Can you install Eagle AXS on your Brodie Mike?
  • 3 0
 slap that new 9spd clutched group on and spent an hour or two on the suspension and brakes and run it again! Then get some anglesets and modern tires and .... run it again!
  • 2 0
 This, mostly because it would help to illustrate just how far we have come in 17 years.
  • 6 2
 @mikelevy: Pretty sure I could 4:20 that trail...
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: do it on a mtn scooter, you'll go under 4mn!
  • 20 1
 Also, I liked Mike's piece but would have dug it more if he gave it a fair shot on a legit bike.
  • 5 0
 I would be curious to see that time, as well as the time of a dead-average weekend rider. Someone needs to data-mine Strava to find the mountain bike version of Private Joe Bauers.
  • 7 1
 @ninjatarian: The Strava segment has about 1800 times listed. The times around 180, top 10%, is 7:10.
  • 2 1
 @whitebirdfeathers: That numbed may be screwed by local riders familiar with the trail. I would like to see an average rider who’s hitting the trail relatively cold like the pros are.
  • 12 1
 I think the benefit of the Brodie run is that it gave us something to reminisce over and it kept Levy from having to possibly get flack from the net for a time he posts on Strava that people would deem lame for a product tester. You got to think of the haters in this scenario. As soon as a product tester posts a hot lap anywhere, they're gonna get thrown under the bus. I know I wouldn't.
  • 4 5
 @bizutch: I would 100% put my name and reputation out there. Its why I continue to race. Hard to tell someone the pros and cons of an enduro bike if you DON'T RACE ENDURO. Lol.

Nonethless I bet Levy is fast enough not may people would balk at his time. It won't be top 10 on that trail or anything, but it'd be respectable.
  • 3 0
 @ninjatarian: I'm guessing Jesse's ridden this trail a few times in his life though...
  • 2 0
 @bizutch: I've ridden with him and he's pretty fast. But I like your theory.
  • 7 0
 Same here, haha! But yeah, I'll have to get back up there and see how I actually compare.
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: In the video he mentions he pre-rode it once and raced it once for the Squamish enduro 2 years ago. Thinks he may have ridden it once more at some point.
  • 5 1
 And Jesse crushed the KOM by 28 seconds after riding it twice. I wonder if the hot lap is a little shorter than the segment.
  • 8 0
 @funkendrenchman: Wowza, didn't realize that, and mostly blind, too - it's like he might be fast AF or something?! The top Freelap timing cone is placed in the same spot about 80ft in from the top of the trail, and the bottom one is literally where the trail hits the access road. Zooming in on the Strava segment, it looks like the difference is just that roughly 80ft at the top that takes a few seconds to cover.
  • 5 1
 @mikelevy: This kid, though a relative unknown, is good. He could go places.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: if it’s correct that according to Strava 7:10min would get you in the top 10% then your time on the Brodie is rather impressive.
  • 1 0
 @mitochris: You also have to consider what percentage of all those riders rode the trail non-stop.
  • 3 0
 @funkendrenchman: yeah, but still. I was trying to be positive here.
  • 6 0
 @mitochris: I appreciate the positivity Smile
  • 1 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: as a former "fastish" track day motorcycle rider, there is nothing more humbling than sharing the track with a pro.
  • 16 1
 Goes to show again that the top EWS guys and girls are just on a different level. Walk the track once and then smash everyone.
  • 5 0
 Yup. It's just silly how fast they are. Top Masters men are usually in the top ten of Strava anywhere and then EWS pros come and just scorch those times. Hard to fathom really when you come down to it.
  • 2 0
 Absolutely, the speed is insane to watch, I'd be so afraid, let alone all those trees close to the trail, which are just waiting for your handlebar...
  • 12 0
 I have trails I’ve probably ridden more than 30 times and I still don’t remember the lines.
  • 11 0
 It's a skill like any other!
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: I don't know but since you're arm is all jacked up, it's weird to see you type a fluid sentence.

For some reason, I pICTur U type0ing likk theSs wifth yor bROKen whing!
  • 3 0
 Is Jesse rocking the 140mm linkage/shock or the BC linkage & 155mm shock? I think he was switching to the 140mm at one point for a while but not sure.

Nevertheless, a mid-sized bike like this and the dude is fast as all get out. I kind of think the mid-sized 29ers like this Instinct (reach is only 480mm in XL) are a bit underrated. Brings back that fun, nimbleness but still 29in wheels. Everything is 500mm reach+ in an XL now with Wheelbases getting super long. I wonder if we've jumped the shark a little for AllMountain/Enduro bikes. They are clearly fast as Jesse can go, and the small margins do matter to a guy racing that was 2nd/3rd place iirc.
  • 5 0
 I like them both and I have raced both this season! Depends where we are and what the trails are like as they each have their own positives.
  • 6 1
 Yo Mike, get your fitness up, brother! Can't let Jesse smoke you like that!
  • 11 0
 I wish it was just fitness Wink
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy BCBR round 2
  • 8 0
 @JesseMelamed: Still recovering from BCBR 2017 tbh
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: @JesseMelamed: I'll cut you a deal - you guys race BCBR 2020 I'll carry all your shit all week AND provide all your beer. Offer only valid until July 2020, so act now.

- Tom Danger
BCBR Bag Team Manager
  • 5 1
 I think it's a bit of a shame you guys didnt continue to use Creditline. Would be very cool to continue to compare all the riders times against each other.
  • 3 1
 Tough to say they would be equal after a year though, given changing trail conditions. Credit line is riding way different now then it was at the start of last summer after it got a huge amount of work to buff it out. It is honestly like a completely different trail.
  • 2 0
 @sheldonuvic: I mean you could make the same arguement day to day. Some of the hot laps were in the wet, some were in the dusty dry. However they at least give a good general idea of comparison.
It would certainly be closer to comparing them on Cakewalk to Creditline.
  • 2 0
 There wasn't much left in the way of seeing how I would ride the trail. All the good lines had been spotted and done. Check out strava if you want to compare the times!
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: I hadn't thought of it that way. It does keep it interesting seeing how each rider interprets the trail. Cheers thanks for the reply!
  • 2 0
 Hey Levy, its impressive that you could just ride that period...let alone on an old bike. Well done man. Respect. I'd have a hard time walking down that trail! On the flip side, its comedy watching Jesse talk about his lines acting like we could just jump right over that super scary shit and duck around that tree with a little nose manual. Lol. To be immortal on a bike like that.... Jesse is one cool dude, even off the bike. I've heard his parents are pretty great people too.
  • 3 0
 Great video, I really enjoyed the way you guys ran through this. Jesse is damn fast watching him blow through things like it was a day at the beach was cool.
  • 3 0
 You know its fast when he says he doesnt want another shot at it.
  • 8 0
 Really stoked with how it came together, it shows a bit of insight into how I would approach any race stage.
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: If you plan on threading the needle with your rear wheel off that huck into a massive compression ... you're a twisted man
  • 4 0
 Awesome that Jesse participated. Enjoyed hearing his thoughts and watching him ride! Thanks Jesse!
  • 5 0
 Glad you enjoyed it!
  • 4 1
 Mike needs to do it on a bike of his choice, or others need to do it on the Brodie 8-bal
  • 5 0
 Nice cameo @sieneke!
  • 1 0
 sneaky
  • 1 0
 @sieneke: insert meme of the butler from Mr. Deeds>
  • 1 0
 Is that third section leader difference off? Maybe was supposed to say 2:04? No offense to Levy but i can't imagine he did that section in half the time as Jesse.
  • 1 0
 Am I the only one geeking out on that helmet and glasses combo? What Smith products are those? Do the glasses "lock" in that helmet groove?
  • 2 0
 Go to Pinkbike. See 10 new items. See Jesse Melamed in title. Always open first. Sponsors take note.
  • 2 0
 I would have died at least 5 times for sure! Practice was wild.
  • 1 0
 I skipped to to the results and LOL'ed at the time gap, fully acknowledging that I couldn't do any better than Mike.
  • 2 0
 GET MIKE ON A PROPER BIKE!!
  • 2 0
 Did Jesse ride this before his EWS crash? Or he is better already?
  • 2 0
 Was before, he mentions leaving soon for Italy I believe
  • 16 0
 This was before, I wish I was better already!
  • 8 0
 @JesseMelamed: Heal up soon and all the way!
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed Shredding! Just before you fell on that dry berm I was thinking hes railing that thing!!! Great riding man.
  • 4 3
 Great piece, but put a gimbal on the rider (or at least head cam!)
  • 1 0
 When do we get to see them going uphill?
  • 2 0
 I've crewed a couple of races where the feed stations are on the uphill. The top races go through as fast as I go downhill. It's unreal.
  • 1 0
 Hot Lap series is sick, glad its back!
  • 1 0
 That music during his race run was perfect . How fitting !
  • 1 0
 Wow, that is one steep, sketchy lap. Pink Bike picked a tough one.
  • 1 0
 He's a mind melt listening to him
  • 2 5
 Bit unfair, he's broken!
  • 10 0
 Guessing this was done before he was hurt.

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