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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about the 'cross season.
Last year was really wet and several of the races were in thick sticky clumping mud.

The Cross-in-the-park in buffalo saw at least 20-30 broken derailleurs. You had to run much of the course. Your wheels would pack with mud and had to be cleared so they would spin.

For these conditions would anyone do anything different?
Larger tires (eg knards) - but that reduces clearance..
How do you prevent your rear derailleur from gunking up , getting sucked into the cogs and breaking?

I coated everything with Pam and was reduced to a single gear but didn't break the derailleur by luck.

Any thing else?

Dave
 

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singlespeed :)

Its counterintuitive but in deeper mud I find I like a skinnier tire to cut through it.

Not sure what I know though - I keep my v-brakes on for muddy races.
 

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singlespeed :)

Its counterintuitive but in deeper mud I find I like a skinnier tire to cut through it.

Not sure what I know though - I keep my v-brakes on for muddy races.
Not counterintuitive, it is common sense. The narrower tires slice through, keep moving and find traction. Increase clearances and reduce clogging.
 

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Once the muddy starts to get sticky, it's important to have a tread pattern that will shed the mud effectively. I like the Clement PDX in this regard.

Of course, when the mud is really clumpy it'll stick to anything and build up. Usually there are just a few sections on the course where most of the build-up happens. It's often best to just dismount and run there, even if it is rideable.

If you do have to ride a clumpy section wider tires gather more mud, regardless of clearance. There was a race here last year with a section that went through a motocross infield. For other reasons, I decided to try riding it on my mountain bike. It went well in pre-ride, but the conditions changed before my race started. After one pass through the clumpy mud of the MX infield the tires picked up so much mud I could barely lift the bike. I was very happy to have left a proper cross bike in the pit I can tell you.

Singlespeed really is the way to avoid broken derailleurs.
 

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Not counterintuitive, it is common sense. The narrower tires slice through, keep moving and find traction. Increase clearances and reduce clogging.
Suppose it is common sense, had people look at me sideways trying to explain it a few times though :-/

Singlespeed gives you less room for mud to clump up and suck your power too - enough mud and everyone's a singlespeed anyway - may as well be the lighter, more efficient one :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After a couple seasons I find I use my large chainring very little , but I really don't think I have enough power to go ss.
 

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Once the muddy starts to get sticky, it's important to have a tread pattern that will shed the mud effectively. I like the Clement PDX in this regard.

Of course, when the mud is really clumpy it'll stick to anything and build up. Usually there are just a few sections on the course where most of the build-up happens. It's often best to just dismount and run there, even if it is rideable.

If you do have to ride a clumpy section wider tires gather more mud, regardless of clearance. There was a race here last year with a section that went through a motocross infield. For other reasons, I decided to try riding it on my mountain bike. It went well in pre-ride, but the conditions changed before my race started. After one pass through the clumpy mud of the MX infield the tires picked up so much mud I could barely lift the bike. I was very happy to have left a proper cross bike in the pit I can tell you.

Singlespeed really is the way to avoid broken derailleurs.
In 'cross, knowing when to run is the best way to reduce mud build up. Plus having a pit bike and crew to clean bikes every lap.
 

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Even though tubeless is finally starting to come around, I might try the recommendation of a Challenge Limus Open Tubular (which is a clincher) with latex tubes. I have heard this is a very supple set up. For mud, I wouldn't need the bigger volume tires I want to try to smooth out hard bumpy courses.
 

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If the course is super muddy, I will just race my single speed.
 
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