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Advice for a Rain Race?

Aggie_Ama2012-03-05 21:16:03 +0000 #1
It appears my Sunday mountain bike marathon may be my first rain race. We don't ride in the rain in Texas, with 300+ days of sunshine we tend to let the courses dry out. The exception is races are not postponed but I have never done one.

The forecast is 30% chance of rain. But it has been raining small amounts all week and I am expecting the course to be muddy. They are potentially removing the portions that have a lot of red clay that is the worst draining part of the trail. This is a course with a lot of small roots, some gravel rocks (none bigger than softballs) and some sandy. It is very twisty and turning, some roller coaster style sections.

What do I need to expect? I know mud is horrible for drivetrains, anything I can do to limit the damages? I anticipate if it is raining during the race my brakes will possibly go through a set of brake pads.
Becky2012-03-05 21:23:40 +0000 #2
Some random thoughts, completely off the top of my head:

What chain lube are you using? What tires are you running? Those are the two areas I'd give some consideration to. Otherwise, the bike should be ok.

Watch out for wet roots! It's easy to lose traction on a wet root, moreso than a wet rock IMO. I try to hit them perpendicular as much as possible, and do any turning before or after the root.

We try not to ride in the rain here either, but it does happen. Good luck, ride smooth, and keep the rubber side down
Anelia2012-03-05 21:51:42 +0000 #3
Hi, I've raced in bad conditions, even in rain and mud during the night in a 24h race. I use disc brakes: they are not influenced by weather. If the race is not too long, you shouldn't have problems with the derivation. In case you have, you can try to wash it, even in the middle of the race with some water. There are lubrications for extreme conditions: try to obtain one. And of course: the tires are the most important part. Use ones with a lot of space of the grooves.

If you can, preride the track and practice on the specific moments. If you can't preride, do not risk if you are not secure. Slow down and stay on the safe side, rather than risk an injury.

Good luck and share with us what hapens.
SpeedyChix2012-03-05 21:31:03 +0000 #4
Consider running slightly lower tire pressure than you may typically use. When possible cross roots and other damp ground obstacles perpendicular vs. at an angle. Sand improves when wet so that won't be an issue. Relax. Stay 'loose' on the bike. Clay can be very slick so aim to have the bike more upright vs leaned over for any corners / turns that are on that. Most of all, have fun!

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