Likes Likes:  6
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
ELITE ELITE:  2
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Surviving the mud in cyclocross

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Surviving the mud in cyclocross

    Any suggestions on the best tires, shoes, pedals, and or other tips so I am able to have more success in muddy cyclocross races? I usually canít clip my shoes in and am pretty much slipping all over the place.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    what are you currently using?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Alexandria to NOMA
    Posts
    874
    Post Thanks / Like

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Springfield
    Posts
    133
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Raychelgee View Post
    Any suggestions on the best tires, shoes, pedals, and or other tips so I am able to have more success in muddy cyclocross races? I usually can’t clip my shoes in and am pretty much slipping all over the place.
    I know there's a lot of folks out there with way more experience than me but here are a couple of observations I took from BCX last weekend (after which, the process of cleaning my bike took longer than the actual race did). I've seen mud before but...DEEAAM!

    Long tail on a small kite follows (please note that I often fail to take my own advice)...

    Pedals: I currently run Shimano SPDs but on my second lap I began to envy the folks who had flat pedals. Maybe Crank Bros Candy might have been okay, but I think the mud sticking around the cleats of my shoes would've made clipping in just as troublesome.
    * I would have shelled out a few clams for Harry Meatmotor's spikes!

    Tires: I've always been partial to Clement and ran MXP on my front and back for pretty much every race this and last season, but in hindsight Clement PDX might have fared better last weekend.

    Other tips: Honestly there were some descents that I was impressed to have stayed upright on. I've just now gotten comfortable letting my back end do its thing so long as I can keep my front wheel going where I need it to knowing that if I break traction in the rear I can always stick a foot out. Fishtailin' is Racin'.

    Transitioning from the flats to the climbs (e.g. the starboard scramble) was an exercise in momentum and I only made it to the top of some of the climbs sans walking a handful of times (never the SS). Building speed is one thing, but it's difficult to maintain on the ascent if there's someone else ahead of you who likes your line as much as you do. Otherwise I found whatever patch of green I could -- no matter how small -- to get some grip. Too often it wasn't enough.

    I think there was a good section on www.reddit.com/r/cyclocross in their "Explain like I'm Cat 5" section that covered how to negotiate sand. I think some of the same thinking applies, especially when it comes to keeping momentum going....

    I sympathize with you, though. It was an incredibly slippery course. I look at those races as less of a quest for speed than a triumph of bike handling ability. That's just one more reason to love cross: it's a humbling sport where every race has a way of accentuating different aspects of bike riding (and the bikes themselves).

    Cheers,
    CT

    Edit: To, too, two
    Last edited by ChampionTier; 12-14-2017 at 01:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Alexandria to NOMA
    Posts
    874
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Also: PAM. Spray liberally (just before staging) on pedals, shoe tread and cleats, and if running disc brakes, around the chainstay/seat tube/BB junction, and around the fork crown.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I second mstone question, we don't know about your background and how long you have been cycling, or whether or not you are comfortable with using clipped in shoes and pedals. You will get more responses if you provide more information.

    With that out of the way, here are MTB pedals with sealed bearing and pins for extra traction:

    http://exustar.com/index.php/product...23-detail.html

    You can buy them here for $45:

    http://mygoods.com/exustar-pm-823-2-...ack-pedal-spd/

    The above seller is based on Owings Mills, MD 21117, next to Baltimore, and they ship the same day, so you get it in a day or so. I found these by using Google-->Shopping and searching for "mtb sealed pedals spd".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Alexandria to NOMA
    Posts
    874
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    More: regarding tire pressure, it helps to ADD pressure in wet mud so that the tires will tend to cut through the slick mud and find traction in the hardpack below it. That being said, some folks who raced in the later races at BCX could have benefitted from running LOWER than normal pressures, as the mud was "tacking up". When mud starts to "tack up" it will stick to the tire tread, making the tire a rolling ball of mud. running lower pressure will cause more tire carcass flex, which will help dislodge the mud from the tire tread's voids.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    More pedals available locally if you prefer Crankbrothers brand:

    https://www.rei.com/b/crankbrothers/...sort=min-price

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    13
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Ask Meredith Miller

    Quote Originally Posted by Raychelgee View Post
    Any suggestions on the best tires, shoes, pedals, and or other tips so I am able to have more success in muddy cyclocross races? I usually canít clip my shoes in and am pretty much slipping all over the place.
    I don't know, but Wednesday night I attended a talk by Meredith Miller, UCI world-level cyclocross racer. She works for Rapha at the Boulder store, but was at the DC pop-up store for that presentation/holiday party. Rapha might be able to provide contact information. At the world champion-level, they address the mud problem by having multiple bikes, and getting them washed between laps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    991
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I LOVE mud. Absolutely love racing in it, especially for cross. The aftermath sucks, but the race is fun.

    After doing several muddy mountain bike races (on private trails, so it was okay), several muddy cross races (one of which was just a mud run, thanks Lily Ponds...), and one very long gravel race with a pretty crazy muddy section, here is my advice:

    Shoes/Pedals: This is quite dependent on the course and the type of mud (yes, there are different types of mud). If the mud is sticky and you will dismount your bike at any point, ride flat pedals. In this same scenario, if the course is not hilly, ride flat pedals and specific flat pedal cycling shoes (ala Five Ten). If the course IS hilly and you will need to run up said hills, find some shoes with wide tread. This will help you grip. I failed to do this last weekend and rode Five Tens... It was interesting trying to run up the hills.

    If the mud is slippery, but not sticky, you can still opt for flat pedals, but if you are more comfortable clipping in, then I highly recommend Time ATAC pedals. These even work when it is relatively sticky mud. Last weekend, the folks that were running Times were still able to clip in, even with mud caking their pedals and shoes. Sure, it took a bit more effort, but one hard effort and they were in. No issues getting out either. Toe spikes are always a good idea in cross races where it is muddy.

    I laughed this past weekend and told someone that "I do not always clip in, but when I do, I use Times". During DK200 last year, I was with three other ladies when we got stuck in a pretty nasty storm. The aftermath was mud, lots and lots of mud. Two of us were running Time ATACs and the other two women were running SPD's. The only hill I had to walk during the entire race was covered in about five inches of churned up (by cattle) mud. The two women with SPD's spent about 10 extra minutes chunking mud out of their shoes and pedals. The two of us with Times just grinned and when they were done, clipped in with no problem. Even without actually being able to see the cleat through the mud.

    Tires: Wide open tread is the best. It gives you bite but (supposedly) sheds mud well. I can not really give recommendations beyond that, since I am not a tire person. I own the same set of tires for both my cross bike and my pit bike. I run them in all conditions. They are a bit beefier than most folk's cross tires, but they work for me. Ritchey Megabites. I get compliments on them at almost every race. They have great tread, are wide enough for me, and are crazy light. I am a BIG fan of "run what ya brung".

    That being said, sometimes a mountain bike tire can really help with handling in slick mud. But, it should be noted that not once did I put MTB tires back on my MTB for cross this year. And I only did it once last year for a muddy race (Hyattsville and it was mostly a confidence thing, not a handling thing).

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •