Hydroplaning a 29er?

i had the oppourtunity to try out my friends 29er today. i must say its a sweet ride, very smooth rotations as opposed to my 20". but heres the story, i was cruisin along and i flew througha huge puddle all of the sudden i couldnt slow down, i wasnt pedaling but i was still moving. unfortunately i UPD’d backwards into the puddle. so now im sitting at home soaking wet and very cold…im not going back to school today. Has anyone else ever had this happen to them while riding a 29er or coker?


Something similar. On my 20 or 24, a couple of years back, riding through the woods on a flat path of black grit and clay. It was wet. I applied sudden back pressure to the pedal to stop, and the wheel locked and I skidded a good 2 - 3 feet in a straight line before falling flat on my back.:o

This sort of thing can happen if you (rather stupidly) are riding down the leaf-litter covered clay bank in the woods near my halls of residence. It of course being far too easy on my 26" Muni, I decided to have a go on my slightly less tractive 20" trials. Once you clear the leaves, or stray onto an open patch of clay, you lose all (100%) traction, and its like riding on an ice rink. At 30 degrees to horizontal. Needless to say even my Jedi-like balance powers were overcome after 5-7ft of non-pedalling upright progress, and I ended up sliding a good 10ft on my arse. And, of course, I found a way back up and tried again. 5 times. Cos it was fun.


well it comforting to kno that my experience was not a freak accident or at all a reflection of my riding ability :slight_smile:

Well I woudn’t call it hydroplaning, more like simply skidding, but it happens.

In the winter time we do it on purpose all over the place.

I’m going to have to fall in a puddle while riding my uni at lunch today so I won’t have to go back to work.:wink:

This happens to me alot in puddles on really cold puddles and when I hit big piles of slush. I think its basically just a loss of traction.

Wheel size is not a factor. I was one of a group of 12 riders in Wilder State Park in Santa Cruz on Saturday. A beautiful day, it unfortunately started with some rain. Most of the trails are in a redwood forested area, which tends to be “damp” at the driest of times. Saturday it was mukky, gooky, wet and slippery. We all coasted with our feet on the pedals at least a little.

In relation to the original story, I guess my point is that there was probably something slippery on the bottom of that puddle. Wheel size alone is not what caused you to fall!

One of the most fun feelings you can get on a muddy MUni ride is a skid-stop. Put back pressure on the pedal to lock the wheel, and skid to a stop, then let your body’s remaining momentum carry you ahead of the balance point, and start pedaling again.

I did it a couple of times on Saturday accidentally; next time I may try to do it intentionally.

If you do that right you can sling mud on b*kers.

i saw a video someone posted in the gallery and it had people riding in the snow on small hills and they were skidding on purpose, and not falling. Im not sure who it was but it looked cool. i know this isnt hydroplaning but i thought it went with the idea.

A very fun feeling, as long as that momentum stays where you want it. As your traction can be hard to predict, the wheel may slide faster than you expect, which basically leads to more laundry. It’s not like any of us wasn’t muddy at the end of that ride! :slight_smile:

I used to practice skidding on snow and ice. Mud, like the stuff at Wilder, is easier to predict. My brother took a great super slo-mo film (super-8) of me skidding around in about 9" of snow in our front yard around 1981 or so. It shows me slinging snow around as I made hip-twist turns, a successful skid or two, and finally one that ended without the expected skid. Filmed at about 96 frames per second, you get to watch in great detail as my feet leave the pedals, go up in front of me, and my whole body comes down flat on my back. At that point, the snow is a good thing!

i did that going down a steep hill one time

The problem with the sliding effect is that when you try to stay upright, you have to lean further forward to keep the center of mass above the wheel. But if you lean too far forward, suddenly you find yourself facefirst in the mud/water/snow/ice/leaves, etc.