Magic roots – how do you deal with them?
ride them, then ride them, then ride them some more 😆
local trails for me are Mugdock, much of which is root fest – those of us who ride there a lot get the hang of the roots, although they still do throw us in the bushes a lot ! Very noticeable though if we get some folks out who are not used to roots, they see even more of the bushes !
hit them squeare on, bike upright, unweighted….hope for the best 😛Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Yeah, if you’ve got one root you can do it at right angles, but they don’t generally run parallel and they hunt in packs.
Seek out better roots- slippery inners roots are proper asbo material but cultured, gentlemanly Drumlanrig roots or sophisticated french tarantaise roots are not so quick to maim you. (other good guy roots are available) Then once you’ve built up some trust and confidence with those, go and hurt yourself on the slippery ones.Posted 4 years agoSprocketJockeyMember
Lay off the brakes if you can. Try to keep a bit of speed on the approach to a rooty section – Attack position – weight back, arms loose, pedals at quarter to 3 and heels down a bit. Try to unweight the bike and float it rather than drive the front end through the roots which will only end in tears.Posted 4 years agoKevaMember
yup, go for as square on as possible, lift up and unweight bike. Some of the ones in the woods I ride are at funny old angles which makes it interesting. Also go as fast as possible so there’s no time to slip up. I did get caught by one sometime ago though, the slippery snake was hiding in the grass, I was on the deck in an instant 😐Posted 4 years agochiefgrooveguruMember
There’s an excellent diagonal root that catches an awful lot of victims here – it’s on a narrow straight-ish off-camber bit of fairly flat singletrack and it runs with the camber. You’ve rarely got the speed to hop it, it’s on a clay on chalk mix and if it does catch you then it tends to slide your front or rear tyre into some pretty solid foliage which stops you dead. One’s natural inclination is to take it high and expect to get knocked a bit off line but then it’s easy to catch your bar on some tree trunks on the high side. So many different ways to crash!Posted 4 years agoRoter SternMember
I love riding roots! The wetter the better! 😈 All the above advice is good. I think speed really is your friend when riding the things. It does take a bit of courage and you have to try and stay loose so you can react if the front wheel does start to slip sideways.Posted 4 years agoGaryLakeMember
With the right tyres they’re a very fun challenge. If I’m fortunate enough to have something like a Hans Dampf on, they’re good fun!
Generally you should be thinking about what’s after the roots rather than the roots themselves – I generally try to unweight the bike and focus on the half decent bit of trail ahead of them where I can plant/chuck the bike into.
Another one I find is that if you can ride them higher up and closer to the base of the trunk where they’re wider then that helps. Generally it’s not the tread that slips but if you get enough root in contact with the tyre carcass. So the narrower the root, the more likely it is to get between the nobbles and slide on the carcass. Baring that in mind, I find tyres with a more MX style tread pattern (Blue Groove, Hans Dampf) tend to go better on roots as there are less horizontal lines/gaps all the way along the tread.
Obv 90 degrees if possible but not always possible.Posted 4 years ago
Who else thinks that roots have a magic ability to ruin a ride?
I’ve got a near permanent fear that as soon as it becomes slightly damp any touch of rubber on wood will have me on my backside quicker than quick.
I’m sure this is partly unfounded but I seem to be super cautious and need to overcome this stupid fear.
Anyone got any suggestions / advice?Posted 4 years agoScienceofficerMember
riding wet roots is like riding wet limestone. You can guarantee that your wheels will not end up where you wanted them to be.
The trick is to accept that the bike will move under you and plan where you will slide in such a way that your wheels will catch at some point.
That and hitting them square where possible. With those two techniques, you should have it right two thirds of the time. The other third is made up of blind luck with splashes of brute force and ignorance.
😉Posted 4 years agomolgripsSubscriber
+1 for unweight, or just anticipate which way you’re going to slide and go with it.
Not wishing to sound like a gear-freak but tyre choice is quite significant here too. If you have lots of wet roots or rocks it may be worth sacrificing mud performance to go with something with finer stickier tread.Posted 4 years agogears_suckMember
Tyre choice is ballcocks. Hit a wet root wrong and I don’t care what tyre you’ve got on. I love the idiot advice about clearing one root. Most often there’s a series of them in varying directions. Get the front over one and yes the back may follow until you hit the next.Posted 4 years ago
If tyre choice is so important, how is it I know several CX riders who run near slicks over the whole winter?
You either get it or you don’t.
As said previously, your biggest problem is fear. That’s not anything you’ll get help with here, you have to sort it yourself.
Also, ignore additional idiot advice to go faster. Speed is never your friend if you’re low on skill. The faster you go, the more it will hurt if something goes wrong.
Steady with confidence, light and positive. Look at the way in and then the way out. Never look at something you’re trying to avoid… You’ll hit it! Practice again and again.molgripsSubscriber
Tyre choice is ballcocks. Hit a wet root wrong and I don’t care what tyre you’ve got on.
It’s not bollocks at all. Wet roots are one of the most difficult things for tyres, and the type of rubber has a significant effect.
You talk as if I’ve never ridden wet roots in 20 years of MTBing. I wish that were the case 🙂 I’ve ridden a lot of roots, with a lot of different tyres, and it makes a difference. As to why CX riders run slicks, well I have no idea. They’re weirdos. Perhaps it’s because they like to run carrying their bike.Posted 4 years ago
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