Muddy trails should be left to dry, but in races they aren't avoidable. Here are Jared Rando's tips for mud mastery.
Words: Jared Rando
Photos: Nick Waygood
The first tip to riding in the mud is try to avoid it at all costs! For the most part, riding in muddy conditions can be destructive to trails and also your bike but the reality is that at times it just can’t be avoided. These days, a good portion of trail networks will be closed down to riding in excessively muddy conditions, while others with well supported maintenance programs may stay open. Make sure you know the rules where you are riding so you don’t contribute to any excessive damage.
When it comes to racing of any kind though, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll be lining up with a muddy track in front of you. After 10 years of downhill racing in every condition you could possibly think off, here’s some of the best tips for what you can do when the conditions turn muddy and it’s time to get out and ride.
Step 1 – Tyres and Pressures
Are specific mud tyres worth it? You bet! All the major manufacturers offer a mud specific tyre for any bike but just remember that traction in the mud will come with the cost of rolling speed.
Mud tyres are generally narrower and with taller, further spaced knobs. There is one thing that no tyre will grip to though and that’s wet roots. If you don’t have mud tyres a good tip is to drop your pressure by a couple of psi. This will allow your tyres a little more contact with the trail and in most instances you’ll be going slower down the trail anyway so the equivalent tyre roll and pinch protection can be provided with a lower pressure.