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  1. #1
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    Traction Problems

    So I have a Giant Talon 29er hardtail and I ride singletrack. I am using stock tires, with 35psi.
    Now my problem: Traction on normal climbs are not a problem, but if it is a climb with roots on the hill, my rear tire slips a lot which causes a tumble most of the time. I've tried taking the hills with more speed, different lines, higher gear, etc. but it still tends to slip.
    Is my psi right? Should I get more aggressive tires? What could my problem be and how could I fix it?
    Thanks in advance.
    Joshua
    "Impossible is not a word, it's just a reason for someone not to try."

  2. #2
    ijd
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    Try running a lower pressure. Don't go too low as you will get pinch flats. Try 30psi and go up or down in 1psi increments.

  3. #3
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    What tires are you running? Are you using clipless pedals? What are the trail conditions (wet, loose over hard)?

    Best traction on climbs will be a knobby tire (gotta dig in), running lowish pressure (spread out that contact patch and conform around the obstacles), pedaling circles (this will reduce power spikes), and body english (get weight over the rear tire while keeping balance). The knobby will help beginners like me. Running lowest pressure possible for rider weight, least rolling resistance, and trail conditions will benefit anyone. Clipless helps pedaling in even cicles. Clipless won't do this alone for you. It takes a lot of practice to learn to pedal efficiently. Body english is also a learned technique. Getting as much weight as possible driving the rear tire into the dirt to compensate for the power you're putting into the pedals will give you maximum traction. But, you have to do this while navigating obstacles and controlling your bike.

    As you can see, there is many things that will help you increase traction. Pro's can get max traction on skinny tires with micro knobs just because of their skill of putting all of these factors together. Practice, practice, practice. If you're practicing, then that means you're riding. Thats a good thing. Enjoy it.

  4. #4
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    Before I even opened this I knew it was a high-pressure issue! .... unless you're pretty far over 200lb.

    Drop pressure. Remember when climbing to pull your elbows down towards your hips and not up. This helps so enormously.

  5. #5
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    Re: Traction Problems

    I run my tires around 60 psi. Lol. What is wrong with me?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    I run my tires around 60 psi. Lol. What is wrong with me?
    Your 350lbs and riding a commuter with slicks?

  7. #7
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    OP - when you lose traction, are you by any chance standing to power over the obstacle? If you pull yourself forward as you stand up to pedal, it can move your COG forward and make the rear tire spin out.

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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I am clipping into the pedals, and standing up to get over the obstacles. That makes sense about the COG though. I'm going for a ride tomorrow morning, so I'll experiment some with it. I'm 195lbs using 35psi, which I think going down will reduce the speed to much on downhill or flat land. I only ride the trails when they are dry. They usually close them when it rains. I'll see how tomorrow goes.
    Thanks
    "Impossible is not a word, it's just a reason for someone not to try."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua75W View Post
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I am clipping into the pedals, and standing up to get over the obstacles. That makes sense about the COG though. I'm going for a ride tomorrow morning, so I'll experiment some with it. I'm 195lbs using 35psi, which I think going down will reduce the speed to much on downhill or flat land. I only ride the trails when they are dry. They usually close them when it rains. I'll see how tomorrow goes.
    Thanks
    I assume you're tubed. Since you haven't pinch-flatted, at 35 psi, I would not try to go lower. Pinch flats will be the bigger concern.

    (this is one of the reasons why many, including myself like tubeless)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua75W View Post
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I am clipping into the pedals, and standing up to get over the obstacles. That makes sense about the COG though. I'm going for a ride tomorrow morning, so I'll experiment some with it. I'm 195lbs using 35psi, which I think going down will reduce the speed to much on downhill or flat land. I only ride the trails when they are dry. They usually close them when it rains. I'll see how tomorrow goes.
    Thanks

    you ride pretty much the same type trails i do and your tire pressure of 35 lbs is good. A good lite tire with good traction and low rolling resistance is hutchinson python air lite. the only thing they are bad at is mud shedding but like you I only ride in dry conditions. have used pythons since 2002 and have tried others but the pythons are the best.
    they are light 500 grams for a 2.0, and I also use Foss tubes to prevent pinch flats. On the climbs just sit on the seat with a little pull up preasure on the front wheel and you'll have no problems.

  12. #12
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    My thoughts.
    Peddle with more finesse.

  13. #13
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Traction Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua75W View Post
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I am clipping into the pedals, and standing up to get over the obstacles. That makes sense about the COG though. I'm going for a ride tomorrow morning, so I'll experiment some with it. I'm 195lbs using 35psi, which I think going down will reduce the speed to much on downhill or flat land. I only ride the trails when they are dry. They usually close them when it rains. I'll see how tomorrow goes.
    Thanks
    Mostly technique. Your profile says you started riding last year. You are still learning and your skills will improve.

    When I started riding mtbs I struggled climbing trails with full knobbies and low gears. Several years later I had no issues cleaning the same trails on my road bike with 23mm slicks.
    mtbtires.com
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