Mountain biking throws up all kinds of obstacles and terrain to cross, with wet roots being one of a long list of obstacles that require concentration and skills to negotiate safely. Wet roots provide the ultimate in unpredictable surfaces to ride on, and wet roots provide the perfect storm of dangers - they are wet and slippy, there can be a lot of them, and they follow random angles and paths.
Success in negotiating wet roots depends on doing a few basic and simple things right - looking ahead to the line you need to take, and committing properly. Below, we run through a few simple tips and things to remember when riding over wet roots.
Plan a Route
Look ahead at the route you want to take. Make sure that your wheel hits roots head on as well, providing you the most stable angle to cross roots with. Try and avoid larger roots at diagonal angles, which can force your wheel to slide off a trail.
One of the best ways to deal with roots, is to minimise the amount of time that your tyre is in contact with them. The only way to do that is to hit the roots with more speed, getting off the roots in extra quick time.
Try not to focus too much on the roots you are about to ride over, look ahead of the trail to maintain momentum and balance.
Get some Air
You can relieve the pressure of the bike on the roots by moving the weight off your wheels. Achieve this by carrying out small manuals and rear wheel lifts across these sections. At higher speeds, more experienced riders can bunny hop over some root sections - providing they land clear of the roots.
Lose some Air
Lower tyre pressures to provide better grip in wetter, slippery conditions.