Keep the mud away
You finish a ride spattered with crud while your friends look like they’ve just won the Daz Doorstep Challenge… not fair!
Keeping clean on a ride not only means you’re less miserable but you’re also not carrying around a load of excess weight. Use these top tips to stay clean on a ride:
Buy a mud guard
What’s the problem? The front of my body is spattered with droplets of mud.
Solution: Mud-spattering like this is from the front wheel. At slow speeds it peppers your legs but the faster you go, the higher it reaches. Fit a wraparound mudguard — the type that projects forward and back from the fork brace.
Use your skills
What’s the problem? I’ve got the same guard as everyone else but I’m still ending up covered in mud.
Solution: Clean riders are often skilful riders. That means bunny-hopping puddles, using natural kickers like roots or rocks to gap muddy sections, and manualling and wheelieing through the worst bits.
Testing your abilities like this is a great way to spice up flat sections of trail. Start small and try a few wheelies when you’re climbing, or just lift the front wheel so only the back dips into the mire — every little helps.
Get the right tyres
What’s the problem? I stay clean on the trails, but get hit by clods when I take to the fire roads.
Solution: Summer tyres with tight, close-fitting lugs pick up mud and hold onto it. This is released when your speed picks up on fire roads. Try a dedicated mud tyre that doesn’t pick up so much slop; the rubber spikes cut through and release as you roll onwards — you’ll get more grip too.
Give yourself some space
What’s the problem? I’m getting hammered with mud trying to follow my friend’s lines.
Solution: Following close puts you in the firing line of your buddy’s back wheel. The trouble is, if you back off too far you’ll lose their lines and maybe even get dropped. But you only need to leave an extra couple of feet to stay clean.
Also, you should also ask yourself if those lines really are the best. Dropping back will let you see if they take slow or clumsy lines, and you’ll be able to change yours in time to save yourself.