Here’s how to hit roots with confidence, and ride faster and safer
- Keep the front wheel off the roots if possible — steer round them or pick up your wheel and hop over.
- Move your weight back and do not touch the brakes.
- Stay loose on the bike. It’s more than likely the rear wheel will slide, but it’s no big deal; it’ll find grip again as it reaches dirt.
- Roll into the section slowly, plot your route and drop your saddle a little to keep low.
- Move onto the nose of the saddle or even stand up to get more power.
- Feel for that balance point between keeping rear-wheel traction and the front wheel grounded.
- Apply the power smoothly, but back off whenever the rear wheel touches a root.
- Aim for the smoothest line you can see, and pick the front wheel up and over the first few roots.
- Keep your weight back on the rear wheel in case the front wheel deflects.
- Stay off the brakes if at all possible — only use the rear if you really have to.
- Pick the line you want to take — the higher, less-ridden line tends to be grippier.
- Keep your feet level so you can weight and unweight the bike with ease. Move your weight back slightly.
- Keep your feet on the pedals; as soon as you remove your inside foot, you’re asking
to slide out.
- Do not touch the brakes! Momentum is your friend so keep your speed up.