Bike keeps washing out

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  schwim 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #98624

    So, admittedly it was a little damp (misty type weather). But, EVERY root I hit washed my tires out. I fell several times. I even spun the rear wheel on loose pine needles. 2 Questions:

    1) Will I do better to have "high knobby tires" (I don’t know the technical term)? Right now I have a 29er with small profile knobs.

    2) I’m currently riding my 29ers at 40 PSI. Can they handle less air for more grip? What’s the threashold of too low?

    Thanks yall!

    kyroush

  • #98625

    Your tires are probably fine but just inflated too high. Reduce your tire pressure to 30-35. You’ll have way more grip. Too low of tire pressure can cause pinch flats, so if you have a pinch flat, raise your tire pressure a couple of PSI.

  • #98626

    Reduced tire pressure will help, but what tires are you running? I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it isn’t your tire… if you have the wrong tire, that could definitely be the issue.

  • #98627
    "Goo" wrote

    Reduced tire pressure will help, but what tires are you running? I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it isn’t your tire… if you have the wrong tire, that could definitely be the issue.

    Continental Race King “29” Fold… I reduced tire pressure and didn’t wash today BUT I also rode beginner/intermediate trails and not the advanced. I guess this might just be a learning experience for me… I might just have to find ways to avoid my backside getting loose via better path choosing.

  • #98628

    How was your body position?

    The only reason I ask is because I noticed today near the end of my ride the bike felt very loose in some sections. I corrected my body position (re-centered myself over the pedals) and the bike settled down and handled all the roots and rocks I threw at it…or should I say the trail threw at me 😆

  • #98629
    "Jared13" wrote

    How was your body position?

    The only reason I ask is because I noticed today near the end of my ride the bike felt very loose in some sections. I corrected my body position (re-centered myself over the pedals) and the bike settled down and handled all the roots and rocks I threw at it…or should I say the trail threw at me 😆

    So, when climbing I have issues. I get up over the handlebars, saddle just behing my arss. But that takes weight from my rear wheel and I spin out…often. Should I chill out and try to climb these things seated? I’m starting to think this is just the name of the game…

    On cornering I try to keep centered, lean into it, I often find my pedals are parallel to the ground rather than staggered with the outside leg down (which is what I saw in a video).

  • #98630

    I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination…or even intermediate for that matter.

    I just know minding my body position helped me regain my traction. It was damp here also today and looks like rain tomorrow and Saturday 😢

    I put my chest a few inches from the bar going uphill and on the downhills I put my hips directly over my bottom bracket. Uphill it kept the front tire down while still giving me traction even with a slightly worn rear tire. Downhill it seems to settle the bike down quite a bit (hardtail.)

    I’m not sure if that’s the same as "over the handlebars" but the saddle sounds about right. I was still seated on mine, just barely though. I lowered the seat ~3" for the ride and it made a HUGE difference in the ride.

  • #98631

    I agree that a combination of lower pressure and a grippier tire would improve your situation, but how you handle the bike will also play into it.

    On climbing, I would recommend keeping your butt on the saddle and leaning up to your handlebars. This distributes your weight and gives you traction while also keeping the front end down.

  • #98632

    Gotcha… Thanks everyone! I’m just concerned because I’ve got clipless pedals coming in this week and, well, you can see how washing out a lot might worry me 😆 But, a combination of everything here should get me on the right track. Ya’ll have been a great help. I don’t know if I’ll go the new tire route, but if I do, any recommendations? I’ve got a 29er if that makes a difference as to what tread I can put on there.

  • #98633

    These come in 29" and they have excellent cornering:
    http://www.geax.com/en/products/?cat=2&prod=5

    I have the 26" ones, I weigh 190lbs and I run them at 27psi.

  • #98634
    "kyroush" wrote

    I’ve got clipless pedals coming in this week and, well, you can see how washing out a lot might worry me

    Awesome!

    I just started with clipless also. I was definitely concerned about having my feet stuck to my pedals. I put it down three times yesterday due to being clipped in, all three times were off-camber switchbacks (They kick my arse!) I’m running my clipless at the lowest spring tension and, at times, unclipped my uphill foot. That helped ease my "Oh crap" thoughts 😄

  • #98635

    I not an expert but i think using high knobby tires will be useful and the position of body is also importnat to regain position

  • #98636

    I am fairly new to this MTB thing and have experienced the same issue with the front washing out. frustating and still have the scar tattoos… After searching, reading, and more riding, the best solution I found is what I have read here in this same thread.
    1) lower front tire presure. I am running the fronts on my 29er at 28psi, the rears at 32psi.
    2) for hill climbing, staying seated and just lowering my chest just inches from the handle bars has really helped, as well as learning to maintain momentum up the hill and being on the right gear when attacking the hill.
    3) learning to look ahead at the trail and not just ground in front of the bike… the later has really helped since now the trail doenst surprises me as much…
    4) also learning to use the front brakes… use them while on the straight and level portion of the approach and this helps load the front tires to get a bit more bite. just make sure you are off the brakes while turning…
    5)last pushing down on the oustide pedal has helped as well since this increases the load on the tires

    The last thing, read the sidewall of the tires… mine were installed so that the lugs were oriented for speed vs traction. Remounting the tires so that the lugs were oriented for traction seems to have helped as well…

  • #98637

    Simple answer…..get WTB Velociraptors. Best tire I’ve ever ridden. I’m 5’11", 230 lbs, and had the same exact problem. I know, I know, roll resistance. The guys that are super duper crazy insane on here will tell you the have a high roll resistance. If you are over 180, I’d say try them. Forget body position, even though it will help (you’ll eventually learn it from just riding), and get some raptors. You can peddle up a vertical wall and no wash out. Trust me, just read the reviews. You won’t find a bad one. I’ve already tried.

    P. S. You can thank me later….

  • #98638

    I ran velociraptors for 5 years and they are great tires, at a great price.

  • #98639

    Assuming your riding at least a hardtail and not a fully rigid bike, I’d suggest playing with you compression and rebound as well. As tire pressure and tire type play a big role here, you fork has equal importance. When tire pressure and fork rebound and compression are dialed in right, all your washing out will go away.

    I’d also suggest using a wider tire in the front. I ran 2.1 on both front and back at first and read an article somewhere about going fatter up front. Now I run 2.35 in the front and 2.1 in the back. After switching I saw a noticeable difference. Your contact patch is the same length, but now wider, therefore increasing your stability.

  • #98640
    "kyroush" wrote

    So, admittedly it was a little damp (misty type weather). But, EVERY root I hit washed my tires out.

    One of the big things to consider when riding on wet roots is positioning. Because they are slick you want to make sure you are as straight up and down as possible. If you are taking roots on an angle and leaning your bike your tires are going to slide on them – no matter the tread on your tire. So you want to take them head on if possible and keep consistent pedal cadence… if you cruise into them and then hammer down you are going to spin out, but if you keep a constant speed and pressure on your pedals you are less likely to cause a spin out.

  • #98641

    Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and to Mountain biking. I am from NE Ohio.

    We have a local single track trail that has lots of leaves on the trail and roots coming out on the side of a hill (inother words at a pretty steep angle rather than across the trail. Everytime I get to that I slide and have to put a foot down or stop completely because mainly the back tire slips and causes me to lose my balance. Is this from my position on the bike or just because I am new and the terrain is tough?

  • #98642

    Welcome, Litig8r15!

    It’s probably both your position and being new that is causing you to lose traction.

    Going up and over a root is tricky.
    Going up and over a root with little to no traction because of leaves/wetness is trickier.
    Going up and over a root with little to no traction while applying power is even trickier.

    You’ll want to wheelie/manual your front wheel over the root, along with anything else that gets in your way. If you can get your front wheel over the obstacle without losing momentum, you’ve already won half the battle.

    When hitting the root with your rear wheel, you want try to coast/hop over it. If you’re putting power down, 99 times out of 100 you’ll spin out.

    As for body position, you almost always want to be directly over your bottom bracket. This spreads your weight over both wheels. When going uphill, this means you’ll be forward of the seat when you’re standing. If you’re still seated, you’ll want to lean forward with your chest close to your stem. When doing downhill, you’ll want to be behind your seat. A good mental image "trick" is if you remove the bike beneath you, you’ll want to land on your feet.

    I hope that helps!

  • #98643

    Thanks for the reply. I am pretty good on most roots when the ground is flat whether up or downhill. This one is so tricky because the roots come out of the side of the hill and down to the path. I will try your tips next time I run this route.

  • #98644

    double check you lockout on your front shock. I was hung over as hell while visiting an old high school friend one day at Monte Sona in Huntsville, and had about a 3 mile up hill road ride and locked out the front and rear. i unlocked the rear when we got to the trails but forgot the front, about half way through the 10 miles or so, several spills and wrecks later i realized the front was still locked. I felt stupid, i just thought i was riding terribly as i was sooo hungover.

  • #98645
    "Johns96ss" wrote

    about half way through the 10 miles or so, several spills and wrecks later i realized the front was still locked. I felt stupid, i just thought i was riding terribly as i was sooo hungover.

    Nobody give this man a rigid frame. No matter how politely he asks.

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