How do you deal with "root kick"?



  • I spend a lot of time riding on single-track mountain bike trails, and on the East Coast, that means lots of roots. I try to pick a line through them where I can and take them square under the tire, when I can't. When I do have a fall caused by roots, it's usually not the initial hit that causes the fall, but what I call "root kick".

    As the onewheel reaches the top of the root, (sometimes) the wheel really grabs the root and accelerates forward, running out from under your center of gravity. If you know that root kick is a possibility, you can sort of prepare your stance for it and often, but not always, recover. If I take a good 5 mile trail ride with lots of roots, it probably happens two or three times. Root kick seems to happen as frequently with either of my best root techniques ("flair" by pushing the board a little in front of you while tilting front up a bit to take the root impact in the knees, while forcing the board up and over the root; or staying level, but hopping a bit, not so your feet leave the board, but just so you're weight on the board is decreased when it hits the root to encourage the board up and over the root).

    Anybody else run into "root kick"? And, if it's reproducible enough, could this phenomena be isolated and removed by the software in a "trail" mode that would make trail riding more accessible?



  • I understand what your saying and I experience it as well. I prep myself for the big ones and with proper balance I ride them out. I'm not sure if software can fix this. I really think it is a balance thing. I have gotten a lot better with time and riding technique for traversing roots. There are still times when I hit a large root and don't quite recover...LOL



  • I used to get this a lot, especially in elevated mode, the best solution I've found is to really focus on carefully controlling the throttle, at the point where the OW would typically jerk forward, I slow down to prevent that overcompensation. Also, keep it in extreme mode, the added torque of elevated mode makes the throttle a bit tricky at low speeds.



  • @adubberley Keeping your knees bent and learning to deweight the board (slightly hopping without letting your feet leave the deck in order to take most of your body weight off the board) are two things that are going to be key to getting over roots without that happening.

    If the board is deweighted when you hit the root and your knees are bent, it'll simply roll right over it. The quick change in speed occurs because the motor is trying to move all of your body weight as the surfaces go from high-friction to no-friction.



  • Along with what Dude and No have said...I do a little lift up with my body, almost like I'm jumping up to take some of my weight off of the board so that it can get over the root better. This slight jump also seems to help me avoid the "kick" that I've gotten with other objects. Also, I'll have my arms out away from my side kind of like I'm flapping my wings. This helps me stay balanced.

    I ride a lot in my back yard, which is like a pump track with the rises and roots and inclines. I used to nosedive after hitting roots, and doing a slight jump helps me get over them. I'm also about 260lbs, so I need less weight on the board to get over these types of obstacles.



  • Yep

    @thegreck said in How do you deal with "root kick"?:

    @adubberley Keeping your knees bent and learning to deweight the board (slightly hopping without letting your feet leave the deck in order to take most of your body weight off the board) are two things that are going to be key to getting over roots without that happening.

    If the board is deweighted when you hit the root and your knees are bent, it'll simply roll right over it. The quick change in speed occurs because the motor is trying to move all over your body weight as the surfaces go from high-friction to no-friction.



  • @shaunabe Haha... I realized when you quoted me that auto-correct had changed "all of your body weight" to "all over your body weight" which sounds really weird, so I fixed it in my original comment.



  • Deweight da board



  • Ditto.. gotta pop a little at the right time.. Easier said than done.. lol



  • I expect the worst and hang on lol.. a hose full of water will do it too.. bugged me out the first time it happened ..





  • @thegreck said in How do you deal with "root kick"?:

    @adubberley Just do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrWe-_SAHw4

    Yes Mike has it down. Good off-road technique.



  • I get this daily as well. Lower pressure is the easiest solution. Deweight is a word I've never heard but for sure what you wanna do. I was gonna call it more of a float above the board for a split second. If you're familiar with riding a bike on these trails you'll know that sometimes you want to lean into the bike like banked turns and be one solid object and other times you want to almost separate yourself from the bike's mass vertically so only the bike is riding across the train whereas you are sort of flying through the air loosely grasping the bike most minimally if at all. Do that. Absolutely the most you can while leaving only the weight of your shoes and laces on the grip tape for a fraction of a sec. If that makes sense
    I've found that full faith in the board often comes out triumphant when it gets bad. Just STAY ABOVE THAT WHEEL. I've ridden out of absolute bail moments where I was too afraid of falling to bail but by the time I had a few thoughts run thru my head I found myself past the incident without incident.



  • Thanks for chiming in everyone, but I mentioned "deweighting" in the original post. So, I don't see that as a complete solution to the problem.

    I will go back and investigate lower tire pressures, again. When I tried that before, I noticed a real decrease in the total distance I could get out of one battery charge. But maybe I can find a happy medium that decreased root kick a bit without overly impacting range.



  • @adubberley It's not a complete solution, you still have to practice. Riding through the woods on anything is a learned skill, especially when you're riding a one-wheeled see-saw.



  • @thegreck said in How do you deal with "root kick"?:

    @adubberley It's not a complete solution, you still have to practice. Riding through the woods on anything is a learned skill, especially when you're riding a one-wheeled see-saw.

    I completely agree, a skill indeed. I love riding in the woods.



  • Great topic! Riding on trails in the woods is one of the greatest joys of the OW experience. I agree with lightening the board before obstacles, especially abrupt sidewalk ramps at high speed.



  • @adubberley said in How do you deal with "root kick"?:

    Thanks for chiming in everyone, but I mentioned "deweighting" in the original post. So, I don't see that as a complete solution to the problem.

    I will go back and investigate lower tire pressures, again. When I tried that before, I noticed a real decrease in the total distance I could get out of one battery charge. But maybe I can find a happy medium that decreased root kick a bit without overly impacting range.

    I would say, deweighting just before the root and then press down hard so the tire gets back grip asap


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