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Navigating wet, polished roots?

Dog296Dog296 Posts: 84
edited March 2011 in MTB beginners
Hello all!

Freshly signed up on here after seeing a link on MTBE.

Anyways.

Was in the forest of dean over the weekend, and it was soaking.
Now, most of the single track was wet and muddy, which was awesome, but coming down through the forest, where people have ridden many times before, the roots have gone "white" and are very slick.

Now I know I don't have the best tyres in the world (Maxxies Mobsters) which I will be changing to some Panaracer Cinders.

But I found most of my "coming off's" were due to hitting the roots, slipping and away I went.

I find, I get to the root, feel it slip away from me, and apply some brake... but I always end up either going over the bars, or just falling.

Is there a correct way to challange roots?

My bike is a GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro (2011).

Ta
White Bikes, make the best bikes.

2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro!

Posts

  • fearnsyfearnsy Posts: 278
    Try and let the bike move beneath you, no sudden movements, go at it perpendicularly if you can :)
    Trek 930 singletrack 06-08
    Pinnacle Peak 2.0 08-10
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate 11-
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    It's all about the angle you approach the roots at, and unweighting yourself whilst you're on them.
  • Dog296Dog296 Posts: 84
    It's all about the angle you approach the roots at, and unweighting yourself whilst you're on them.

    Unweighting? :oops:
    White Bikes, make the best bikes.

    2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Yeah. It's a tricky one to explain. It's almost like a quick bunnyhop, except you don't lift yourself off the floor. The goal is to try and reduce downward weight on the bike as you go over the root section.
    If it's a long section, try and shift your weight between the front or rear of the bike, depending which side is on the most stable ground at the moment.
    There's a certain "feel" to it once you get it right, as though you're not weighing the bike down, and that you're allowing it to move beneath you as the roots knock it about.

    Oh, and there are no tyres that work well on polished roots!
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Carefully
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Dog296Dog296 Posts: 84
    cooldad wrote:
    Carefully
    :lol::lol:
    Noted!
    Yeah. It's a tricky one to explain. It's almost like a quick bunnyhop, except you don't lift yourself off the floor. The goal is to try and reduce downward weight on the bike as you go over the root section.
    If it's a long section, try and shift your weight between the front or rear of the bike, depending which side is on the most stable ground at the moment.
    There's a certain "feel" to it once you get it right, as though you're not weighing the bike down, and that you're allowing it to move beneath you as the roots knock it about.

    Oh, and there are no tyres that work well on polished roots!

    Ah I see now. I'll try it next time I'm in the forest. I'm covered in bruises from my many falls.
    White Bikes, make the best bikes.

    2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    hehe, over time all those bruises will make you almost invulnerable to pain, I've lost almost all feelin in my shins and forearms from various thorn scrapes, gravel rash and pedal strikes :lol:
  • Dog296Dog296 Posts: 84
    hehe, over time all those bruises will make you almost invulnerable to pain, I've lost almost all feelin in my shins and forearms from various thorn scrapes, gravel rash and pedal strikes :lol:

    haha! Think the best one I've had, I was going a little too slow, and didn't see a small root stick up, wheel hit it, and stopped the bike dead...

    Stem + balls = squeeky voice for about an hour!

    I don't mind coming off, when its "fair play" to come off, but at the sight of roots... I'd like to stay on the bike.
    White Bikes, make the best bikes.

    2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Dog296 wrote:
    haha! Think the best one I've had, I was going a little too slow, and didn't see a small root stick up, wheel hit it, and stopped the bike dead...

    Stem + balls = squeeky voice for about an hour!
    :lol:
    It's a good idea to have your weight quite rearwards on the bike unless you're actually cornering or climbing a steep incline. That way, if you hit any unseen obstacles or drops, you're less likely of faceplanting.

    Don't be put off, wet roots are an MTB nightmare that even the experts get caught out on occasionally.
  • Dog296Dog296 Posts: 84
    Doesn't help as my saddle is quite high for road stuff.
    Might upgrade to a hydraulic one tho, so i can put it down for technical stuff, and then back up for field or distence stuff.
    White Bikes, make the best bikes.

    2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Well drop your saddle for the off road bits then. MTB saddle height is a compromise between control and efficiency.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    Speed, go faster less time spent on the root to slip off ;)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Briggo wrote:
    Speed, go faster less time spent on the root to slip off ;)
    Very true. Speed helps almost all situations.
  • Dog296Dog296 Posts: 84
    Briggo wrote:
    Speed, go faster less time spent on the root to slip off ;)
    Best get some confidence then!
    White Bikes, make the best bikes.

    2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Hydro!
  • mak3mmak3m Posts: 1,469
    Dog296 wrote:
    haha! Think the best one I've had, I was going a little too slow, and didn't see a small root stick up, wheel hit it, and stopped the bike dead...

    Stem + balls = squeeky voice for about an hour!
    :lol:
    It's a good idea to have your weight quite rearwards on the bike unless you're actually cornering or climbing a steep incline. That way, if you hit any unseen obstacles or drops, you're less likely of faceplanting.

    Don't be put off, wet roots are an MTB nightmare that even the experts get caught out on occasionally.

    just be careful where you put that weight rearwards and position on bike

    first time on trail i nearly lost my seat up my backside:? :? :shock: :?
  • CraigXXLCraigXXL Posts: 1,852
    Try and pick your route so that any slip is going up the root rather than down it. Hit the roots square on when you can but like others have said shift your weight to minimise slip.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    mak3m wrote:
    just be careful where you put that weight rearwards and position on bike

    first time on trail i nearly lost my seat up my backside:? :? :shock: :?
    I don't see how a rearward weight shift would cause that, unless by rearwards, you mean "behind the handlebar"
  • SquarepantsSquarepants Posts: 1,019
    Dog296 wrote:
    I find, I get to the root, feel it slip away from me, and apply some brake...

    Surprised this hasn't been picked up on. Often the worst thing you can do on a wet root is brake. You want to try and avoid breaking as braking/locking a wheel will slip away far more easily and braking will slow you down and as said you want to spend as little time as possible on the root, roll over it rather than slowing down and braking over it.

    I tend to try and ignore them whilst knowing they're there (if that makes sense) it's like 'missile lock' if you concentrate on 'not hitting that tree' or 'avoid that root at all costs' you will hit the tree and slip on the root. Think about what you want to happen not what you don't want to happen.

    hth
    Cube Hanzz Pro FR
    It's not that I'm over over biked, my bike is under personed...
  • Arkady001Arkady001 Posts: 201
    I tend to try and ignore them whilst knowing they're there (if that makes sense) it's like 'missile lock' if you concentrate on 'not hitting that tree' or 'avoid that root at all costs' you will hit the tree and slip on the root. Think about what you want to happen not what you don't want to happen.

    hth

    Agreed - the best way to hit something is look at it - try and look 'past' the obstacle...
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Often the worst thing you can do on a wet root is brake.

    Always, I'd say... There's little enough traction as it is without wasting it with braking, and you won't actually slow down anyway because the wheel will slide. Sometimes you'll have no choice but you've got to be very clever about how you do it. But riding into a standard issue shiny root with the brake on is going to make it 10 million times worse than without, in most cases.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Ideally aim your wheel towards the top of the root or at 90 degrees, so that the momentum counteracts the slide or try to hit it at the bottom where you can slide no further. Try to avoid riding over at any other angle that 90 degrees.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    big soft tyres help, as does riding smoothly.

    the new mud tyres which are of the big spiky and low PSI roll over roots with some ease while the old mud tyres that needed to be high PSI unless you hit dead on, they slide.
  • Luke-DobLuke-Dob Posts: 121
    .... unless you hit dead on, they slide.

    THIS

    Hit them dead on and with some speed, you will sail over them :)

    Softer compound tyres will help more when it comes to full on root sections, but using the technique above has yet to fail on me. 8)
    "If I Was Falling, YOU BETTER FREAKING CATCH ME!!!"
    6 years riding bikes, 8 broken bones, gravity can be a b**ch
    http://dobby.pinkbike.com/album/My-Bikes-D/
  • I had this kind of trouble two years ago. Best advice I read was "hit them square on" and the best advice given in person was "it is all about commitment, commit and you will get through it, brake, slow down or think and you are off!" Whilst ultimately correct, the latter required confidence building helped along by the former. The more experience you get the more surprised you will be about what your tyres will simply roll over. I have started repeatedly going over problem ares on my local trails and now find myself accelerating hard, where once I would be braking and wobbling. If only i wasn't so slow!
  • bunyipbunyip Posts: 52
    as fast as you dare, as straight as you can and definately unweight the bike and hope your over them by the time the weight/corner comes back to haunt you
  • bunyipbunyip Posts: 52
    oh yeah and dont brake or steer what ever you do
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