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Thread: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

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    Default CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Mud for days is rare in Catalunya but happens and when it does, I'm curious the best strategy for handling sloppy courses. Specifically during preview and warmup; with one bike. For example, I opt to not hose my bike before the start thinking that water might attract more mud so I usually move debris around the BB junction with a stick but start with a sloppy bike muddy from previewing the course. I noticed other bikes in the start grid were practically pristine compared to mine but to be fair two minutes into the first lap everyone's bike was equally caked in mud. So just curious any strategies for handling preview and warmup under muddy conditions - assume one pair of shoes, bike etc - for I feel compromised on these days and do little but hope for the best.

    On a side note I'm amazed how well Ultegra performs in adverse conditions. After a one hour race last weekend I hosed my bike down and both derailleurs remained completely clogged yet somehow I was able to pedal and finish without stopping to clear my drivetrain. Sometimes I think pros who have the option to pit every lap have it too easy compared to weekend warriors with no support. Riding with one set of wheels and one bike for an hour on a muddy course is racing atmo.
     

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Others will chime in. When i was mtn bike racing during the stone ages we would spray tires and pedals with pam cooking spray or wd40 when racing in mud. This kept the bike working exactly 2 mins. Lnger than guys who did not. Yikes.

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    When i was mtn bike racing when giants walked the earth ...
    ^ fixed it for you josh
     

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    Mud for days is rare in Catalunya but happens and when it does, I'm curious the best strategy for handling sloppy courses. Specifically during preview and warmup; with one bike. For example, I opt to not hose my bike before the start thinking that water might attract more mud so I usually move debris around the BB junction with a stick but start with a sloppy bike muddy from previewing the course. I noticed other bikes in the start grid were practically pristine compared to mine but to be fair two minutes into the first lap everyone's bike was equally caked in mud. So just curious any strategies for handling preview and warmup under muddy conditions - assume one pair of shoes, bike etc - for I feel compromised on these days and do little but hope for the best.

    On a side note I'm amazed how well Ultegra performs in adverse conditions. After a one hour race last weekend I hosed my bike down and both derailleurs remained completely clogged yet somehow I was able to pedal and finish without stopping to clear my drivetrain. Sometimes I think pros who have the option to pit every lap have it too easy compared to weekend warriors with no support. Riding with one set of wheels and one bike for an hour on a muddy course is racing atmo.
    I preride the course early, power wash the bike, change gear from top to bottom then warm up on the trainer. This year I converted my 29er MTB to CX as a spare bike, it is a cheap&ugly hack and not as agile as my real cross bike but it has plenty of clearance and the main goal is to be able to finish the race in case of a mechanical as I have nobody to help me in the pit. Sadly I had a freehub body failure in my second set of tubular wheels and my only CX clinchers are dry specific and worn out so I opted not to not change bike in my only really mud heavy race this year.



    What bike are you using ? I found out that using disc brakes + a single ring setup is the best option when using only one bike.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    Mud for days is rare in Catalunya but happens and when it does, I'm curious the best strategy for handling sloppy courses. Specifically during preview and warmup; with one bike. For example, I opt to not hose my bike before the start thinking that water might attract more mud so I usually move debris around the BB junction with a stick but start with a sloppy bike muddy from previewing the course. I noticed other bikes in the start grid were practically pristine compared to mine but to be fair two minutes into the first lap everyone's bike was equally caked in mud. So just curious any strategies for handling preview and warmup under muddy conditions - assume one pair of shoes, bike etc - for I feel compromised on these days and do little but hope for the best.

    On a side note I'm amazed how well Ultegra performs in adverse conditions. After a one hour race last weekend I hosed my bike down and both derailleurs remained completely clogged yet somehow I was able to pedal and finish without stopping to clear my drivetrain. Sometimes I think pros who have the option to pit every lap have it too easy compared to weekend warriors with no support. Riding with one set of wheels and one bike for an hour on a muddy course is racing atmo.

    If a second bike isn't in the cards (and I can understand why its not - I have one and don't use it as a pit bike due to the hassle of it all), then just allow extra time to hit it with a hose prior to the start of the race. I'll always take a clean, if somewhat wet bike at the start, than one that's already muddy. I cannot imagine that a wet bike attracts more mud adherence than an already muddy bike.
     

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Others will chime in. When i was mtn bike racing during the stone ages we would spray tires and pedals with pam cooking spray or wd40 when racing in mud. This kept the bike working exactly 2 mins. Lnger than guys who did not. Yikes.
    ^^^
    I am from the same era as Mr. TT and while that was fun pretending that using these products did something, as Josh mentioned they did not last any useful period of time.

    A wet bike does not attract more mud than a dry bike. If you can do a quick clean job, then go ahead and do it. If not, don't worry about it. You will need to decide how intense you want to do your pre-race laps. You can do a course inspection lap during which you can control how muddy your bike gets by avoiding the nasty parts. Or you can do hot laps to get a better sense of the course conditions but you will end up with a muddy bike (and clothes).

    End of the day...I doubt that your race results will suffer from starting with a dirty bike.
    Brian McLaughlin

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Others will chime in. When i was mtn bike racing during the stone ages we would spray tires and pedals with pam cooking spray or wd40 when racing in mud. This kept the bike working exactly 2 mins. Lnger than guys who did not. Yikes.
    I found that this worked closer to a minute and a half. :-p

    In all seriousness, I've done wd40, pam, silicone spray, etc. At best, I think these sprays might help shed mud when you spray off the bike but out on the course; I doubt it does much good. I think it's all psycological... which, any racer knows, shouldn't be discounted.

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    ^ fixed it for you josh
    I thought Josh was the Giant?
    Bill Showers

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    I preride the course early, power wash the bike, change gear from top to bottom then warm up on the trainer. This year I converted my 29er MTB to CX as a spare bike, it is a cheap&ugly hack and not as agile as my real cross bike but it has plenty of clearance and the main goal is to be able to finish the race in case of a mechanical as I have nobody to help me in the pit. Sadly I had a freehub body failure in my second set of tubular wheels and my only CX clinchers are dry specific and worn out so I opted not to not change bike in my only really mud heavy race this year.




    What bike are you using ? I found out that using disc brakes + a single ring setup is the best option when using only one bike.
    I pretty much use this routine, except no pit bike. We have 3 races, and I'm in the 3rd race, so I pre ride the course between race 2 and 3. After that, I clean the bike making sure the drivetrain has the most attention, then I hop on the trainer with my road bike. I don't bother riding the course after that - only do some quick sprints before the start on the pavement.
     

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    Questions like this make me happy I race a singlespeed belt drive CX bike.

    If it is super muddy I generally ride the trainer, lower the tire pressure, and prepare for carnage.
     

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    Default Re: CX pre-ride in muddy conditions

    I remember a few races I did in horrible muddy conditions which were so bad that we just didn't pre-ride.. there was no point. it was also fashionable to use a clip on rear MTB fender to keep ones butt clean.
     

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