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This race season has been very muddy. I would like to know what the best way to handle mudd is. I normally don't ride in muddy conditions but most of the races this year happen to be on muddy days.

I would like to know if any one has any tips for racing in mudd. Is it better to ride with a high or low tire pressure? Is it better to have big knoby tires or thin less knoby tires? I have been using the panaracer xc's and they seem to pick up a lott of mudd. would pythons work better? has any one tried using a tefflon cooking spray to try and stop mudd build up? it seems like iv'e heard of this before. Are there any handleing tips that any one knows of?

I tried to find an old post about this but i couldn't find one.
 

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most of the mud racing ive done has not proved to be worth the effort. its fun, but it decreases the life of you drive train ten fold. It also gets into every bearing/pivot/part on your bike.
If your preregistered for an event and it is calling for rain, typically, skinny tires with sparse, pronounced knobs work best at getting through to solid ground and keeping you on track. they also shed better than densely knobed fat tires.
mud eats break pads of all types. if your going to a team event with mud, have extras.
your lube should be super thick. motor oil is quite good. I have had modest success by degreasing my chain really well, cooking it in the toaster oven at 400 for about 10 minutes and then quenching it in a bowl of motor oil. wipe it down really well and go.
you mentioned teflon cooking spray. dont know if ive ever heard of that. theres cooking spray with different oils. you can spray those on your rings to help with chainsuck, but there are other preventative measures that can be taken that improve your chances of avoiding it even more. google chainsuck.
now, do all this. go do a muddy race. then ask yourself if it was worth it.
do i sound bitter?
im not, i did my first dry race of the season today. it was great, thanks for asking.
 

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best tip I got for riding in the mud was to go where the water is flowing.

This gets you down to firmer ground than trying to go around it where the mud is much thicker.
 

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I ride Maxxis Medusa's for muddy races. Plus use some cooking spray. I just by some generic cooking spray, not even sure what kinda oil it is.

I think I have teammates that used hutchison mosquito tires in the mud. I've been happy with my medusas and didn't see a need to try the other ones. especially what you spend on tires when you have several sets for various trail/race conditions.
 

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I did a six hour race about a month ago in the rain. It rained all night, and didn't let up on race day. Things I recommend:
1. Don't be afraid to get off and run. It can be faster and easier or boggy climbs.
2. Go where there is water flowing. ashwinearl is dead on with that.
3. Be smart when really turning on the power hard. Standing up and mashing through thick mud and spinning the rear tire a lot is a waste of effort. Get off the bike and run.
4. Have Eggbeaters on your bike. Nothing else works as well in the mud.
5. Use a really thick oil as a lube.
6. Lube everything that moves really well
7. Be prepared to do a ton of work on your bike afterwards. I won the race, and got $100, but barely broke even once I had paid the entry fee and replaced all the stuff I wore out.
 

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Shaman
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ashwinearl said:
best tip I got for riding in the mud was to go where the water is flowing.

This gets you down to firmer ground than trying to go around it where the mud is much thicker.
Going where the water is also keeps your tires clean giving you much better traction and reducing your rotational mass. Cooking sprays work great for shedding mud, I coat my shoes, cleats, pedals, frame and fenders. Once it starts raining do a rain dance so that it continues to rain thoughout your race. As mud dries to "peanut butter" it gets really slick by coating your tires.
 

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E-DUB said:
Is it better to have big knoby tires or thin less knoby tires? I have been using the panaracer xc's and they seem to pick up a lott of mudd.
The problem with the Fire XC in mud is that the knobs are so square. Ideally you'd have knobs that are more rounded and (more importantly) tapered, so they're wider where they attach to the tire casing and narrower at the end of each knob. Also a wider spacing between knobs helps shed mud so it doesn't pack in too badly.
 

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EGGROLL!!!
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I'd agree with most of the other posts here, so to beat a dead horse:

a thick lube
narrower tires (I like 1.8s)
cooking spray helps for a little while
don't be afraid to dismount - as long as you have pedals/cleats that shed mud well. It sucks trying to click back in when everything is packed with mud.
Glasses even if it's not sunny - no one likes mud in the eye.
 

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i worship Mr T
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my favorite mud tips:

1. Tires: i like hutchinson mosquitos. they roll well and shed mud beautifully. pythons suck in mud IMO. however, you may not like mosquitos or you may find that the mud in your area isn't amenable to the mosquitos, but i can assure you that they'll work better than the panaracers.
i don't change my tire pressure for mud races.

2. Lube: lots of it and the goopier the better. i generally opt for the layered look: a layer of finish line cross country (green cap), then a layer of tri-flow, then a layer of finish line cross country, then a layer of tri-flow, then a layer of... you get the idea. believe it or not, this seems to work like a charm in preventing chain suck. granted, you have to throw your chain away after the race but chances are, if the mud is bad, you were going to have to replace your chain anyway (that is, if it didn't break due to chain suck).

3. Pam: i have tried spraying my frame down with pam cooking spray to prevent the mud from sticking. in general, i haven't found this to work all that well but it's worth a try. just remember not to get it on your brake pads/rotors.....if you want to stop.

4. Fenders: get some. they'll keep mud from flying up into your face, reduce the amount of mud hitting you in the butt and, if you get a fender for you downtube, reduce the amount of mud clinging to your cranks/rings/front der. you can make fenders out of plastic soda bottles, duct tape & zip ties. just be creative.

...or, you can do what i've chosen to do: stay home and watch it rain. :D

rt
 

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E-DUB said:
This race season has been very muddy. I would like to know what the best way to handle mudd is. I normally don't ride in muddy conditions but most of the races this year happen to be on muddy days.

I would like to know if any one has any tips for racing in mudd. Is it better to ride with a high or low tire pressure? Is it better to have big knoby tires or thin less knoby tires? I have been using the panaracer xc's and they seem to pick up a lott of mudd. would pythons work better? has any one tried using a tefflon cooking spray to try and stop mudd build up? it seems like iv'e heard of this before. Are there any handleing tips that any one knows of?

I tried to find an old post about this but i couldn't find one.
Pythons and Fire XCs are not good mud tires.
It would be worth getting specific mud tires if you are racing in it a lot. They are more open to reduce the picking up you mention, plus they usually have taller, spiky tread knobs to give traction.

Pressure - it varies, if there are a lot of roots/rocks, I like lower pressure so the tires can get *some* grip. If it's mostly dirt/mud, then higher pressures might reduce foldover on any of the firmer stuff.
 
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