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Thread: Riding thru mud

  1. #1
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Riding thru mud

    After spending copious time getting up to speed on dismounts/remounts and off camber turns, I did a race where most of that was pretty irrelevant. Instead, I had some serious problems riding through the the multi - inch mud. At several points, I simply stopped dead. (I was riding Michelin Mud2s, but they didn't seem any narrower or less beefy than what anyone else was riding, so I don't think that's it.)

    Any advice on what to do? Body / weight placement? Gearing?
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    Yeah, it's called running.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

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    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    I certainly did that in a few spots, but most of the field rode through the muck.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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    I kept trying to pick a differentl line each time but would make it about 10 or so feet and get stuck. More power next time I guess.

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    local pungee's Avatar
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    What were you running your tire pressure at?

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    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    45 psi
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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    local pungee's Avatar
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    I would run psi much lower for a course with that much mud. I would run mine 30-35 psi and I weight 200lbs. Did you feel like you were slipping in the mud or just plain being bogged down? I could strictly be a case of being able to put out enough power to ride through it.

    Make sure you keep your weight back slightly so that your rear tire doesn't slip. On crappy training day find out what works best for you in the mud. Some guys I have watched push a heavy gear in the mud and just power through the sections. I have also seen plenty of guys who use a higher cadence in the mud.

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    It's not that the mud was slippery and folks were losing traction - it was that thick crap that just sucks your momentum up. I guess lots more power and if you have them, deep section rims with narrower tires?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterken View Post
    It's not that the mud was slippery and folks were losing traction - it was that thick crap that just sucks your momentum up. I guess lots more power and if you have them, deep section rims with narrower tires?
    You could try doing a heavy gear workout once a week. That might help.

  10. #10
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Do folks stand or sit when trying to get thru mud? I might feel more balanced standing, but then the rear wheel might slip more.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    you need to sit through mud otherwise you are going to spin all over the place. if you are moving so slow you feel the need to stand to get through mud you should be running. its all about getting the proper line with the proper momentum to keep the pedals turning and the bike moving forward. once you feel yourself slowing down you need to get off the bike ASAP before you lose any momentum for a run.

    in anycase even though that race was a mud fest last year its super rare conditions for this district. last season there was an even muddier race at the end of the season but it was loose thin mud and not that thick peanut butter ****.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
    Do folks stand or sit when trying to get thru mud? I might feel more balanced standing, but then the rear wheel might slip more.
    I dont get this idea that you would have more balance standing up. You are losing a contact point as soon as you stand that helps stabilize your bike. If you are new to cross (not that I am old hat or anything) it takes time to get used to your bike squirreling around underneath you, and then realizing that if you stay calm and loose it is not going to cause you to crash.

    I would also add that in the SW mud, sand, the only way to steer without crashing is through your seat, so standing up would only make things much harder.

    I think the answer to your quandary is more power, save yourself a bit for these mud sections and give them lots of gas.
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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    todays mud was super super think sticky peanut butter type stuff so I under stand why he would think standing is something you would do. this wasnt nearly as slippery as is was thick and sucky.

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    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    thanks guys -

    I'm noob here, so I had no idea what to do; didn't know whether giving in the gas would cause my bike to spin out or whether trying to pick my way through was the way. I'm at the absolute beginning of the learning curve so everything helps. When I started to slow down, I'm sure I hesitated and that guaranteed that I'd stop dead.

    I'll have to sign up for a race next week and give it another go.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    yeah you definitely cant use that race as your typical cross experience. it will be a whole different ball game when you are not dealing with insane mud like that. dont obsess over riding in mud like that. most people here dont know how to ride it since we get so little of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
    I'll have to sign up for a race next week and give it another go.


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    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    in the b field it seemed like a lot of guys were running the mud sections at ed sander yesterday.

    if you're wearing the course, you're usually better off running.
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    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

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    The mud at Sanders was brutal. I felt like hurling a few times after that section.

    Here was my strategy. I saved energy, after the double barrier, leading up to the mud section and went all out in the mud. I dumped 2-3 gears to harder gearing, sat down, and churned the cranks. It was much easier to keep speed up this way; I tried to spin in a lower gear in practice and would get bogged down. I ran Vittoria XGs 34mm (measure ~30-31 with caliper) at ~38psi. I also talk the hell out of my tubes, if that matters. I passed a ton of people with this strategy through the mud section.
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    I was in the C race with SpongeDad and the mud was rideable at that point. It was really wet, but not too sticky (it appeared to get really thick in the later races).

    It was mostly a matter of sitting down and keeping the legs pumping. And having confidence that the bike wasn't going to spin out of control and land in a lilly pond.

    I can't comment on gear selection, as I was single-speed. I went with 39x20, which is probably on the light end for a cross, but worked well for this event - anything heavier and I would have been running the muddy bits and the final climb on the back of the course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    todays mud was super super think sticky peanut butter type stuff so I under stand why he would think standing is something you would do. this wasnt nearly as slippery as is was thick and sucky.

    Could be

    I was thinking about mud/sand riding today, and I would modify my statement to say that when it is really techy in an area that is not sure footed, but I still want to pedal through, I will raise off of my saddle less than an inch and have my thighs just to the edge of the saddle so I can still steer with the saddle when necessary.

    I think this technique allows you maintain speed and handling with out getting jarred off your line too badly.
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    Stuck in AZ so I thought I appropriately post this link to riding in the mud

    http://www.cycle-smart.com/articles/find.php?search=15

    supposedly you can translate this into sand riding by changing tire choice to something big and file tready
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  22. #22
    sweathogs kennykaos's Avatar
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    yeah i ususally drop my bike into a higher gear and keep my weight towards the back and steer through the mud and just keep going and get through, but you have to figure out what works best for you.

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    Keep pedaling. Use your body weight to keep the bike upright. But ferfecksake keep pedaling.

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