The 10 Best US Colleges and Universities for Mountain Bikers

Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina

"LMC team riders, Phil Kmetz and Hailey Sarausky, ripping the slalom course." Photo: Skills with Phil
“LMC team riders, Phil Kmetz and Hailey Sarausky, ripping the slalom course.” Photo: Skills with Phil

Closest Singletrack: Lees-Mcrae College, 0mi

With just over 1,000 students (in 2015), Lees-McRae (LMC) easily has the smallest student body of any institution on our list. Yet despite its diminutive size, LMC has had a major impact on the sport of mountain biking over the years. For one, LMC has managed to consistently rank as one of the best USAC Division I mountain biking schools, capturing the #4 MTB spot in the 2016 rankings and the #8 spot overall. Lees-McRae has also produced industry employees and personalities, such as Phil Kmetz of the “Skills with Phil” Youtube channel. Check out some of his work, here:

To help their athletes train, LMC has singletrack right on campus, as well as a short track and dual slalom course. Need to train for DH? Head to Beech Mountain, just five miles down the road, which has hosted the Gravity National Championships several times! LMC may also help with tuition for cyclists, as they provide an average ~$6,000 athletic scholarship per year. (Source)


Despite being such a small school, LMC still offers “traditional majors like Biology, English, and Psychology, as well as pre-professional majors like Nursing, Business, and Education.” But they also offer some specialized programs that are tough to come by, such as Wildlife Rehabilitation, Cycling, Creative Marketing, and Performing Arts Studies. (Source)

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