If you ride your mountain bike in the UK, there’s a few guarantees when it comes to riding conditions - you will have experienced unpleasant weather, and you will also have experienced riding across muddy, boggy conditions. Whether you like and enjoy riding in the mud, is down to your personal preference - with some mountain bikers loving it, whilst the more fairweather mountain bikers, hating it - choosing to keep their mountain bike free of the gloopy stuff.
The muddiest months are not surprisingly during autumn, winter and spring, however rainfall in the summer months can also cause widespread mud - especially across trails and tracks which are shared by walkers, bikers and horse riders. In this article, we look at some of the good reasons you have to ride in the mud, and a few different things that you can do with your mountain bike, which can improve the way your mountain bike handles the brown stuff.
Your bike is designed for it - First of all, your mountain bike has been designed for punishing off road use - and they have been engineered to withstand mud and grime. All that’s needed to protect your bike from any damage, is a wash after you have finished riding.
Quieter Riding - The worse the riding conditions, the less people which will be out riding - allowing you to enjoy the trails at your own pace. There will also be less people out walking and enjoying the countryside, allowing you to have the trails to yourself.
Improving Your Riding - If you are looking to improve your mountain bike riding skills, riding on mud is an excellent way of doing this. The slippery surface that mud provides, can really test your skills with extra concentration being required, making riding on dryer firmer surfaces a piece of cake.
You can do it in comfort - Although in years gone by, riding in poor weather could be a really gruelling, freezing and miserable experience - enough mountain biking clothing exists today, to keep you completely comfortable, dry and out of the wind.
Satisfaction - Nothing beats a warm fire, a warm bath and an alcoholic beverage after a day out in the elements - the tougher it is, the more rewarding it is - so get out there!
Cleaning Products - At Westbrook, we have people in the office who drive cars which are permanently dirty, who always ensure their mountain bike is cleaned after every journey. Although cleaning your mountain bike can feel like a chore, keeping your mountain bike clean not only keeps it looking it’s best, a good clean also protects your bikes moving parts and components from premature wear. Buying the right mountain bike cleaning products, is preparation well worth doing!
Mountain Bike Mud Tyres - If you ride your bike a lot in muddy conditions, it’s well worth investing in a set of mud tyres. These tyres have a more aggressive tread pattern, compared to other types of mountain bike tyres - providing extra grip and traction across muddy conditions.
Suspension Adjustment - Many riders choose to stiffen their suspension slightly for riding across muddy conditions, helping remove the risk of maximum suspension travel if you hit boggy areas, which can make riding difficult.
Lower Tyre Pressures - If not using a dedicated mud tyre, lowering the tyre pressure on your mountain bike can provide massive benefits. A lower tyre pressure allows the tyre to grip better, and if you have a pump with you on your ride, you can adjust the tyre pressures as you go.
Mudguards - Front and Rear mudguards are an excellent choice for winter riding, reducing the amount of mud that flies up into your face, as well as the amount of mud which splatters up your back.
Goggles & Glasses - With so much mud on the ground, it’s easy for the mud to end up covering your face - distracting you, and becoming dangerous when riding at speed. A good set of mountain bike glasses or goggles, provide enough protection to allow the route ahead to remain clear.
At Westbrook Cycles we stock and supply everything you need to enjoy riding your mountain bike in the mud - covering everything needed for both the rider, and the bike. You can find the full range across our site.