How to ride wet and off-camber roots

It's the time of year when these friendly features take on a sinister persona

How To Video

One strategy is to avoid the trickiest routes during wet days.

Roots are part of what makes mountain biking fun and challenging. But during the wet season, these friendly features take on a more sinister persona. The problem is two-fold. First, they lose their grip with reality. Even though they hold the ground together and provide us a solid anchor for our tires most of the year, their coefficient of friction virtually disappears when saturated with moisture.

When they are perpendicular to your tire, there isn’t much of a problem. But when the root is diagonal or vertical to your tire bad things can happen.

At issue is roots can transfer your energy very quickly, your forward motion becoming downward impact on to the ground. That and they provide very little braking traction. Instead, they transfer your energy again, pile driving you and your bike into the dirt.

Blanca Lake

Plan and execute your attack to completion with soft grippy tires and flat pedal shoes. Stopping in the middle of a rooty segment is often not an option.

So listen to the tips from our friends at the Global Mountain Bike Network. Always unweight at the gnarliest segments. And stay loose and let your bike and body dance a little bit, diffusing some of that side-to-side movement induced by roots.

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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