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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a little single track in soft mud in a group ride and I couldn't get over how hard it was to keep the bars stable. Is this basically a speed issue or muscle too? I couldn't go all that fast without following too closely. I kinda envy guys with their long torsos and heavier upper body so that they are over the bars and more in control. Me, well, the weight's more toward the other end...anyway, I've got riser bars and am thinking of putting the old stock flat bars back on my GF hardtail. Should that help? I never really knew why the bikes went from riser to flat and back to a slight rise over the years.

(I know--ride, ride, ride.)
 

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MTDirtGirl said:
I did a little single track in soft mud in a group ride and I couldn't get over how hard it was to keep the bars stable. Is this basically a speed issue or muscle too? I couldn't go all that fast without following too closely. I kinda envy guys with their long torsos and heavier upper body so that they are over the bars and more in control. Me, well, the weight's more toward the other end...anyway, I've got riser bars and am thinking of putting the old stock flat bars back on my GF hardtail. Should that help? I never really knew why the bikes went from riser to flat and back to a slight rise over the years.

(I know--ride, ride, ride.)
are a bit squirrely in soft mud, dirt, sand. It's not the bike although the tires can have an effect. Flat bars won't help. The best way to go through soft soil/sand/mud is to unweight the front end just enough to keep it in contact with the ground(this means your weight has to be back a bit) and don't try to steer. Just let the bike find it's own way. Takes practice and trust.
 

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Picking the proper line is a very valuable technique in mud. Many times most riders follow the same line creating a muddy mess. So if you can ride on the edge of the trail, without going of the trail, there is sometimes less mud, and its easier line to ride. Like the post above said, unweight the front end and try not to turn, just power through using speed.
 

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yep...

think surfing or skiing or whatever, the weight is OFF the front, let the tire be gently guided by the skilled rider (you). Be prepared to bail, mud ain't predicable stuff.


racer at Siverstar BC - 24 hours of mud, er, Adrenalin
Jim
 

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I'm with Jim and Fred, you want less weight up front, not more. You want you front tire to float in mud, sand, and other loose stuff. Getting in a gear where you can spin and apply consistent power to the drive wheel is a big help too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
cool! Sitting back more is completely counterintuitive for me. (Is it like skiing powder? )

I was trying to stay in the track but there was a strip of firmer ground on each side. I went for that at first and then remembered my hosts were part of a low-impact crowd here and something told me I was supposed to stay in the track and not help erode it.

also I had some commuter tires on--knobby but only 1.75 with that that little road strip down the middle. I picked up some 1.95 tires with wider spaced tread. Should that help?
 

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1.75 tire is

a recipe for hard times riding. If you ride mud a lot, consider moving up to, at the very least, 2.1. Lots of mud and descents? 2.35. FR/DH a bit? 2.5 or bigger. The back tire need not be as large, but 2.1 is the standard. I don't know where you live and ride though? It differs if you're in a dry area, I live in the Pacific North Wet.

It makes a huge difference. Yes...like powder skiing, except you're doing powder on some XC skis, and that's why there's no control. Too skinny to "float".

Oh ya, what's a "woobly" ;)

Jim
 

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it is a LOT like skiing powder. If you lean forward, your tips don't stay on top of the snow...same with the bike. You want the front tire on top of the mud...not plowing through it.

It's the same for anything unstable. Sand, gravel, etc. We have a ton of dry riverbeds on our trails and I'm so far back, I'm only using fingertips on the handlebars.

Also, don't coast through the muck...keep pedaling. A lot of people concentrate so much on their line that they forget to pedal...and you'll just sink in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JimC. said:
a recipe for hard times riding. If you ride mud a lot, consider moving up to, at the very least, 2.1. Lots of mud and descents? 2.35. FR/DH a bit? 2.5 or bigger. The back tire need not be as large, but 2.1 is the standard. I don't know where you live and ride though? It differs if you're in a dry area, I live in the Pacific North Wet.

It makes a huge difference. Yes...like powder skiing, except you're doing powder on some XC skis, and that's why there's no control. Too skinny to "float".

Oh ya, what's a "woobly" ;)

Jim
I'm in Western MT, not too far but not as wet as where you are. But right now if you want to ride, it's muddy. In summer it dries out considerably, but I have a feeling we may be locked out of the woods this year like in 2003.

Thanks for the tire info. I kind of thought they should be at least 2.0 but cheaped out. I haven't put them on yet so I'll exchange for something bigger..cheers.
 

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Those guys have it right, just try to keep the weight back and the front tire just in contact and let the bike steer itself. If you think muds hard, try some good ol soft, deep sand - had my first lesson about this on soft, deep sand and had a "topple". Also try to keep ina gear that's easily managable/you can pedal easy/ spin if need be. Keep on riding, the more you ride in it the easier it gets to trust to yourself and the bike.
 
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