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Video: How Much Has Zoe Improved? - Full Enduro Season 1 Finale

Dec 4, 2019
by Pinkbike Originals  



It all leads up to this. Zoe has spent the last few weeks meeting with local shredders and learning new skills to take her into the world of enduro racing. Can she put it all together on another run down 19th Hole? Watch and find out.

Presented by

Filmed & Edited by Will Binamé.

Regions in Article
Diamond Head

Trails in Article
19th Hole


  • 44 2
 We're gonna need a PB hotlap from Zoe
  • 12 1
 It would be cool if they timed her lap before and after this series...
  • 41 3
 Enjoyable series mainly for Zoe's incredible attitude. She's obviously benefiting from some talented riders and coaches. The thing that stands out to me from the coaching I have had and observed is; usually you start with an assessment of body position and general technique, then you correct the errors and practice untl you are comfortable riding in the correct body position. Then you move on to more advanced features and techniques so that when you approach them you are always starting from the right place. I know there is an element of made for TV here but I'm surprised to see coaches letting her ride some pretty legit stuff still arms locked out hanging off the back of the bike. It always looks like it's a combination of her amazing confidence and obvious upper body strength that's keeping her in the bike. If the aim is to get into Enduro races, I've got to wonder how her riding is going to hold up after 5 stages mentally and physically tired.
  • 5 4
 Agreed! But then. it seems like confidence gets you further than skill most of the time
  • 3 0
 Yah, body position is so critical. It's the foundation on which to build all other skills. Confidence and strength will take you pretty far, but good body position makes everything so much easier. Regardless, it's a great series, and I'm hoping to see it come back again. Thanks, @Pinkbike!
  • 7 7
 That (her strength) and the fact that she's clipped in! To really teach her how to ride full sus, all mountain, it would be good to get her on some flats!!
  • 5 0
 This was briefly addressed in the last video, but not nearly to the extent it should have been and she continued to hang off the back of the bike. IMO it should have been video #1 and she should have it dialed in flat, mellower sections rather than shoving her down rock rolls and steep, technical trails. The coach made a comment about staying closer to center, but it wasn't really expanded on, which could have been an editing thing also.

It could also be a visual effect of her bar width. When your bars are excessively wide, you don't have the arm extension that you normally would because the bars take up so much of your arm length by pushing your hands out wider. There is a limit to preference, where you can "prefer" something, but it's still not within reasonably accepted limits of what works best. You can watch her ride and see that she lacks arm extension due to the width of her bars and it likely plays a role here, also, it may seem like she's further back than she is due to her arms being excessively stretched out to compensate for bar width. Then again, seeing some of these videos, it looks surprising to me that she isn't falling off the back of the bike.
  • 37 3
 Great series. Thanks for letting us follow along in journey. Look forward to watching for some race results next season.
  • 42 13
 about her bars ...
  • 33 11
 So pointless. Watch from around 4:33ish. She has no steering control and elbows locked because she's using all of her arm length to grab those WIDE bars! Take them in a bit and she'll still have the ability to be that far back and have elbows not locked.
  • 11 8
 Its not about the size of her bar. Its about the size of her ego.
  • 7 1
 @mtbikemccoy: that’s not the only culprit, it never is. That is also a function of staying too far back. Considering how little time she spent on the bike overall I would consider it normal, I rode like that for years. Some get it instantly, some need years of rooting it out. Pumping flat ground drills, get some cones and pump the hell out of parking lots. That also gives cues for how wide to run your bars, it becomes evident rather quickly which range of movement you want to achieve. But too wide bars do limit the available range of movement to a certain degree. Most importantly though they affect steering - too narrow: too much oversteer - too wide: too much understeer. Then getting on extra wide spectrum reduces steering feedback when riding rough stuff. One of the reason Downhillers run wider is they ride at higher speeds so forces wanting to turn your bars are higher. Compromise.
  • 5 1
 @mtbikemccoy: also not just staying too far back, not being active enough. She’ll get there, she has some good relaxation going on there overall and she goes for it all. Her mental game seems good.
  • 5 1
 too far back because of lack of upper body strength, fear, or what? Why isn't the coach addressing her body position first? It's the main thing holding her back.
  • 8 4
 @JohanG: I coach people from time to time and trust me it takes more than saying “don’t be too far back”. It takes a lot of different sorts of practice to get people to not be too far back. Position on the bike in general is a very misunderstood subject, since what you actually try to teach is to make people move right. In such way “the right” position on the bike comes more naturally. You have to develop a bag of skills/ movements that you perform virtually automatically: riding of a drop, jumping over roots, staying light over certain bumps, getting heavy in certain parts in order to get light.

A beginner will almost always look at a rooty section (like one Zoe is riding) as one big patch of roots with a few spots to hit with their front tire. As we progress we start to see everything as a set of patches where we load the bike to get light, or brake or change direction. The bag of skills/movements is ability to almost subconsciously perform those movements in between those patches of grip or sure footed ground in general trying to stay above more than around stuff you don’t want to hit or at least skim over them. The experience will tell you which sort of rocks and roots you can ride over while being heavy.

Yes at all times one should remind themselves stay forward which I do, I need to remind myself that. But there is no good body position without being profficient at row/anti row movement that Lee McCormack teaches. Then to apply that movement to various features no matter what.

For achieving that “position” one should do various drills, learn to jump, learn to drop off, pump on a pump track, do S-turn drills with cones on parking lot.

Someone told me once: deadlift is stupid, it doesn’t teach people anything more than “proper hip hinging” - oh baby, that is the first step to be a better rider that many never take. How can they then even dream about good rowing? Which is the foundation of virtually every single move on the bike from jumping steep BMX lines to riding off-camber corners

What I am trying to say is: to be good at riding roots and rocks, you have to be good at quite many other things and sayin “don’t be too far back” does not do much, in fact it is a stupid cliche by poor coaches who try to sound awake as fk by saying to not lean back, which is bollocks as well. You won’t be good at jumping or railing berms without leaning back and driving with hips. All other skills lift your rockgarden game. My rockgarden game went up this year thanks to dirt jumping and learning to table top and whip. That is because my brain and muscles got familiar with leaving an edge of something at a weird angle and landing at a weird angle. Popping rocks mid-turn or landing straight to turning became not only easier, but an obvious way to tackle sets of obstacles
  • 3 0
 @JohanG: Too much time racing XC hard tails. That's how you ride a hard tail over rough stuff, especially if it has a traditional steep head angle... She's not had enough time to get used to the capability of a good full sus rig.
  • 4 4
 @mybaben: whow whow whow wait! Do you mean that hardtails don't teach proper technique? That they don't necessarily make you better at riding fullies? Half of UK riding scene is offended! Steel is real! Just mention that riding clipped in allows you to be more forward and pump rough stuff better, have more active legs and you are banned from this site for life!
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: LOL! Don't spill your tea mate! Wink What i said was, descending a hard tail down rough stuff requires you to be back more on the bike, especially with a steep head angle of a traditional hard tail. You don't have a choice unless you want to go OTB. Zoe is an XC pro, so I assume she has spent a huge amount of time on that kind of bike, which is prob why she rides so far back. She hasn't learned you don't have to do that on a slacked out, full sus, trail bike.
Regarding pedals....I ride road, cycle commute to work, race CX and XC ALL clipped in! But when I ride all mountain MTB on my big full sus rig, it's FLATS FOR LIFE BABY! Smile For real.
  • 2 1
 @mybaben: Funny I do exact opposite with flats/clipping in Smile
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Really? Are you kidding around?
  • 2 0
 This video comes to mind. Start at 0:00 if you haven't seen it yet. Start at 20:15 if you want to see the advice.
We all can use the reminder about rider position. All I really wanted to say is that now that she's riding STEEP stuff where she needs to get weight back/low, minor changes to bike setup will help. I'd also like to say that I love how she's progressing. 19th hole is a LOT steeper than it looks! Good job!
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: Probably not. I'm the same. I like moving my feet on the road/gravel bike. Keeps my knees happy. I hate being loosie-goosie on my mtb. I want to be locked in and fully committed.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: all good points bros. I admit I've never coached anyone mtn biking.
  • 1 0
 @mtbikemccoy: Interesting! I see where you're coming from though. I think most are focused on the efficiency piece when riding road/gravel/CX, so we prefer clips. MTB is just personal preference. MTB clipped in scares me actually. it's just one more thing to think about. I've seen my mates take a few nasty spills bc they couldn't unclip fast enough...
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: no. I don’t race road and try to limit my road rides to 2h so any potential benefit if it is there any at all is around 1minute... and I find clipping in for roads uncomfortable. Same in XC in terrain, no increase in performance on ups, on the contrary, J K Weed kind of mashing around on tech climbs - on flats anyday. Flats just rule tech climbs. Now downs? I want to feel comfortable and confident staying in front of the bike. Focus on looking ahead and doing what needs to be done, not devote a tiniest point of my attention to keep the feet on pedals. I rarely need to dab with my foot.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Personal preference is all good. Whatever makes you feel good on the bike.
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: yes, but you guys did talk in a way of “better than anything I have tried and you better get on one, X and Y are crap compared to EXT” even though I am someone who expressed healthy scepticism after riding it. Scepticism in the ways of: “not sure if it is that much better, didn’t make me Greg Minnar”
  • 18 5
 I want to watch but my boss is still too close by and I can't turn the volume up anymore. Have to wait until he has a meeting or something.
  • 12 1
 Stoked about Zoe's stoke after hitting that gap jump at 8:22. Smile
  • 3 0
 Yes, there were a few times she was smiling like a little kid. Love that.
  • 10 0

pic of Zoe Racing here in Squamish, She wins everything Smile
  • 1 0
 Was curious, checked her Roots and Rain results page - so fast!!!
  • 1 0
 Tim Zimmerman always told me “Do what feels good on the bike, and it’ll probably look good on the camera.” That seems like good advice to me, but lots of photographers do the opposite, making riders exaggerate everything for the camera: go extra slow, stick your elbows out, square off turns, and SPRAY BROWN POW - Team Robot Quote thats applicable here
  • 9 1
 I think I speak for the masses when I say that was really cool. Pretty badass to go from racing XC to being very comfortable on a big ole enduro bike.
  • 8 1
 Zoe - this is fantastic. It was awesome to watch you progress, and I was so pumped to see you do the gap! Thanks for sharing. Smile
  • 10 2
 Brandon Semenuk used to have a serie called “ life behind bars ” should that one be called “ life behind wide bars“?
  • 17 0
 "Life behind the seat."
  • 9 3
 What does "race" mean in your land?
  • 8 6
 All the respect to the progress she's done, but the race word in the title was a clickbait. I know she's used to race, but something different and I believe she will be as nervous as before her first xc race when she's in the ews start gate and everyone who ever raced even once knows the shit gets crazy when you have a race plate in bars and the clock is ticking
  • 2 0
 Title changed, hmmm
  • 7 1
  • 6 2
 For the lazy amongst us, I mean, not me, I'm asking for my friends - what was the first time?
  • 4 1
  • 3 0
 I'm thinking the Pdent bars and stem and cut them to 760...would greatly benefit her position and loosen her up... she's to stiff.
  • 1 0
 Nice work Pinkbike, more next season please! Enjoyed the tutorials and it has certainly made me analyse my own riding. The only bad point all series was the Go Pro footage onboard for the timed lap, apart from that all good Smile
  • 6 1
 Awesome improvement!
  • 3 0
 Hey @cyclesdevinci , why can't we get any Devinci branded gear here in the US? That jersey looked pretty sweet.
  • 2 0
 I've enjoyed this series a lot. It's cool seeing some who is as nervous on jumps as me progressing and crushing them. It gives me hope.
  • 3 0
 I enjoyed the series, it was well done! But more importantly ... what does arm day consist of?! Daaaannnngggggg
  • 1 2
 LOL! I know. Baby girl is ripped to shreds! Benches more than me, i bet! Wink
  • 2 1
 @mybaben: baby girl? Very next sentence: bench press.
Really? Effortless creeper level 11 and looking the part, I might add
  • 1 3
 @emptybe-er: Don't be a moron. She's an elite athlete and is super strong. She prob hits the bench press numerous times during her work out week, and I'm sure she can press more than I can. Piss off.
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: uh I’m pretty sure the only person surprised by the fact that she’s stronger than you, is you.. and your sharing this realization is not a compliment, it’s attention seeking behavior. Nobody is gonna ask how much you’re benching these days.
  • 3 0
 @mybaben: And would you address her as “baby girl” in person? Wtf is that all about? I’d love to hear your insight.
  • 1 0
 Such a great series! It reminds me of how much I personally struggled to learn to ride on my own, keep it up Zoe!!! Excited to see how much more you can accomplish next season!
  • 1 0
 Uh huh, please get her a gopro 7 or 8, after getting used to hypersmooth, it's not fun watching those endlessly shaking videos.
  • 3 1
 so rad to see your progression. I loved the series!!
  • 2 0
 Need to point that GoPro up a bit.
  • 2 1
 For next season I want an episode of "into the gnaaarrr" featuring Zoe ! that could be a lot of fun !
  • 2 0
 No bum bag = partial enduro
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