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  1. #1
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Tire choice for this weekend (in the mud)

    It looks like rain this weekend, which I'm not used to. I've been on my Clement LAS tires or Kenda Happy Medium's all year. I've got Hutchinson Bulldogs (34) and Vittoria XG Pro's (32) ready to go. Anybody have experience in the muddy stuff with either of these tires? I'm flying a little blind and interested in some input.

  2. #2
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    I'd try the narrower Vittorias and run a little higher pressure than you normally do. Lotsa rain means puddles with mystery stuff at the bottom. You also want the tire to cut down to the (hopefully) firmer ground under the mud.

    Watch the transitions from dirt to pavement. As mud gets tracked onto the pavement it gets super slick.

  3. #3
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    If it all possible, run the Vittoria XG backwards on the rear - so that the chevrons point backwards when looking down on the tire.

  4. #4
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon View Post
    I'd try the narrower Vittorias and run a little higher pressure than you normally do. Lotsa rain means puddles with mystery stuff at the bottom. You also want the tire to cut down to the (hopefully) firmer ground under the mud.
    This is true, unless it stops raining and the soil is of farming quality. That stuff turns to peanut butter and your bike ends up looking like a Pugsley in no time. If you hit that, there not a lot a tire can do (other than hopefully drop the mud when you reach grass or pavement). It's often best to run the peanut butter. As for puddles, the ground at the bottom is usually firmer than the mud around the puddle -- the puddle forms because water isn't being absorbed -- so ride the puddles, but check their depth in pre-ride.

    I'd say if the mud parts when you ride through it then go with higher pressure, but if it mostly keeps its shape then go with lower pressure.

    I agree that of your two options the Vittorias look best.

  5. #5
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Yeah. With slick off camber peanut butter stuff it's very often faster to run, particularly uphill.

    If you do run finding a good place to remount where you can get some traction is key.

    You're right about the puddles too. It's usually firmer under there, and sometimes jagged and rocky. My point is if you're running clinchers you don't want to risk pinch flatting in a puddle. If it's sloppy enough to not make lower pressure an advantage, higher pressure will help you avoid pinch flatting.
    Last edited by marqueemoon; 12-13-12 at 10:53 AM.

  6. #6
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, guys, I really appreciate the help.

  7. #7
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Update. I mounted the Vittorias on my spare wheelset. I ran my Happy Medium F / LAS R combo on my race wheelset.

    Saturday turned out to be perfect conditions. I ran the smoothies and was happy.

    Sunday ended up wet/misty. I could have stuck on the Vittorias, but I ended up running the file treads again. It was slick, but they still did a pretty good job. Ultimately, it was a coin flip, but I think I made the best choice. The rain itself actually started on pre-grid, so there wasn't a lot of chance to change things anyway. The soil was pretty sandy, so the fine tread would clear itself OK and the side lugs on the tires were enough to make it grip.

    Anyway, that's the rest of the story.

  8. #8
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    There's a lot to be said for a tread that clears well. Wetness and sand can pack up some tires pretty badly.

    Sounds like the right call to me.

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