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OldTeen
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After some recent severe rains, one or two of the short (40-50 ft) steep (>30 degrees) climbs on a heavily wooded local trail now have more exposed roots than dirt. Those big roots (esp. when wet) really kill any momentum! What are the fav ways to attack heavily rooted short severe climbs?
 

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depends on what kind of bike you have but i've always used speed to keep moving though stuff like that. If they are rather short ups then sprint before than in a hard pedaling gear and then shift to an easier gear. Its a good way to slip on a root and land face down in the mud but if you don't you can usually blast up hard hills like that. When i take my specialized P2 trail riding (i know its completely retarded to do but i love that bike), and i get stuck near the top of a hill like you discribed. I sometimes clamp on my breaks and just start hopping up the hill four to ten feet untill i can pedal again. this is much more tireing and harder to do then just getting off and walking, but it looks cool when you are with your buddies. Another option is swapping your rear tire for something with better grip, but thats expensive and won't make a huge difference unless your tires are worn down.

I would just use good old momentum and pick the smoothest way up this hill. there really isn't an easy way up a hill... thats the fun of it.
 

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I stand up, so I can "lunge" to get the back wheel over the bigger roots, and keep some momentum like was mentioned. Tire choice is a factor, but I'd say rear tire pressure is more important, keep it a bit lower than you might on hardpack (say 25-30psi instead of 35+) to give the tire a chance to grip the roots (especially if they are wet).
 

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roots and climbs

OldTeen said:
After some recent severe rains, one or two of the short (40-50 ft) steep (>30 degrees) climbs on a heavily wooded local trail now have more exposed roots than dirt. Those big roots (esp. when wet) really kill any momentum! What are the fav ways to attack heavily rooted short severe climbs?
I ride in northern maine where this is often and issue. A couple of tricks is to jam hard on the pedals for a 100 feet before the climb to get the wheel speed up as much as possible and then slowly ease up pressure as you pedal. Try to feel your wheel as it hits the ground and move as far forward on the seat as you can without losing traction. Another technique is to ride up to the roots and slowly pedal over them jaming the pedals as the wheel falls off the root quickly letting off when the next root is incountered. You must have enough momentum to keep moving and the ability to balance the bike while moving slowly. It works best to be in a higher gear than normal to prevent lose of traction and allow maximum power when the wheel does engage the ground. tom
 

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fsrxc said:
I stand up, so I can "lunge" to get the back wheel over the bigger roots, and keep some momentum like was mentioned. Tire choice is a factor, but I'd say rear tire pressure is more important, keep it a bit lower than you might on hardpack (say 25-30psi instead of 35+) to give the tire a chance to grip the roots (especially if they are wet).
Hmf...
I'm not sure that I agree (but hey! I guess it is a personal thing, ;) ). I have tried the "stand up and use a high gear approach", and find that it is quite difficult not to slip on the root with the back wheel. I have significantly more success using the "low gear sitting down" option. It is far less masculine, but at least I make it to the top, with-out having to run with the bike on my back
 

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OldTeen said:
After some recent severe rains, one or two of the short (40-50 ft) steep (>30 degrees) climbs on a heavily wooded local trail now have more exposed roots than dirt. Those big roots (esp. when wet) really kill any momentum! What are the fav ways to attack heavily rooted short severe climbs?
What I do is get in a real easy gear and spin like a mother. Works every time.
 

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In that situation on my local singletracks, I usually swear a lot, crash a lot, and try to just keep on pedalling in a low gear with my chin almost touching the bars and my bum on the front of the seat.

If all else fails, I just get off and walk it. Uphill steep rocky rooty slippery narrow wet singletracks are great for showing you just how much you have to learn and usually blow your ego to bits.. :)

It's all good experience though.. :)


R.
 

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I use a technique where I use low gears but not all the way.I keep my psi the same(45rear,40front) but instead of (example) granny 1 I'll use granny 2 and it keeps from overpowering and losing traction.I also stay seated and will alternate my upper body forward or back as needed. its really a practice, practice, practice, try out different ways. its SLOPPY here and if I was no good at climbing before ,I have improved 100% or more this year.it was bad last year too but Isabell made the trails here in central va.worse than last year. it helps to have a confident balance which comes from practicing on areas and going back and doing them again. then when you go to a new spot you will find that even though its different it will have similarties.the main thing is not to overpower and slip cuz it hurts like heck to hit the crossbar.I can hit most roots slow or fast depending on how high the hill but slower is more controllable for me.anything over 10' tall and I will use speed and control but shorter stuff I will use control more than breakneck speed.its a real confidence booster to conquer a hill that has plagued a person for a while so keep going at it.my new Panaracer Cinders have made a HUGE difference too but its still alot rider as well as equipment
 
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