Master Singletrack Like A Pro

Photo: Zoon Cronje

Photo: Zoon Cronje

Pro cyclist Max Knox shares his tips for riding singletrack in a race situation:

  1. EYES FRONT: Where you look is where you’re going to go, so probably best not to enjoy the scenery too much. Singletrack can be tricky, with an obstacle around every turn. When racing, stay focused on the trail.
  2. HANDS ON: Keep both hands on the bars. Don’t wave at the cameras.
  3. PASS RIGHT: When overtaking a slower rider, be sure to warn them with a gentle ‘on your right’, or ‘passing right’ so as to not scare them into the next bush. Don’t be rude, ask for a gap to pass.
  4. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP: Never overtake when there is long grass on the sides of the trail, as anything may be hiding in there.
  5. GO LOW: On steep singletrack descents, it’s best to keep your centre of gravity low so you don’t go over the bars. Lean a little off the back of the saddle and keep your eyes on the trail ahead where you want to go.
  6. LEAN INTO IT: On steep singletrack climbs, it’s best to lean slightly forwards to keep the front wheel down and traction on the rear wheels.
  7. MOVE OVER: If you are a slower rider and there are faster riders coming through, try to move over where possible.
  8. DON’T BE THAT GUY: If there’s a bit of a bottleneck or a hold-up at an obstacle, don’t be a hero and jump through the bushes to overtake. What you gain in seconds you lose in trail cred.
  9. IT’S A VIRTUE: Last and most important – never get impatient with your fellow riders on the singletrack; you are all there to enjoy your day.

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