Gear that work in muddy and wet Malaysia : LUSENET : Mountain Bike Hash Forum : One Thread

Many mountain biking products are designed in temperate climes (like California), but they perform miserably in the extreme wet and muddy conditions here in the tropics. Here's my list of stuff that I've used on extremely muddy trails:
  • Time ATAC: da bomb! keeps on clickin'.
  • Speedplay Frogs: Not as good as Time in thick mud. Ok in the softer more watery variety. Good for loamy trails like Bukit Kiara.
  • Sidi Action SRS MTB shoes: good foot support and power transfer but extremely unsuitable for muddy trails. The mud clogs up the buckle, preventing you from opening your shoes! After an 11-hour epic offroad ride, the last thing you want to do is battle with recalcitrant footwear!

    What do you find works in for you in Malaysia? And what popular product have you found to be unsuited to our type of riding?


    -- Joe (, July 05, 2001

  • Answers

    muddy conditions, uhh, i would like to write something about v-brake pads. Shimano pads are lousy. Be it LX, or XTR, they dont work well. Tried all of them before, LX the worse, (worn out after one day ride of 4 hours). XTR pads lasted me two trips. Currently like using Tioga pads. I have used before Ritchey pads, very good pads, but can't find them anymore in JB. Comments anyone?

    Regarding shoes, I am wearing Wellgo off road shoes(ain't sure what model). No buckles, just plain straps. The sole is thick & stiff, two big studs (really big studs, i think bigger than the studs on my soccer boots) it's comfortable to walk on muddy conditions but when you are at the mamak, or walking anywhere on road, the feeling is weird, (like walking on high heels).

    Time pedals are expensive, $$$$$$$$$$$$ but they perform the best. Keep it going . ......

    -- vincent (, July 05, 2001.


    You're right. I wore right through a set of 3-week old XTR ceramic pads on the Janda Baik trail a few weeks back. It wore down soooo fast that I had to keep adjusting the cable on the brake arms. The wear was so bad that I couldn't take up the slack through the barrel adjusters! Then I had to change the pads in the middle of the trail with all these bees around us, which were attracted by our sweat. Got stung twice for my trouble.


    -- Joe (, July 05, 2001.

    Hey guys well i agree to all comments, but i think the old Xtr and Xt(1998-2000) brakes are better and are more responsive to the current ones,(any comments to that) thats just what i think!!

    Yeah i don't recommend the ceramic brake pads, after a few training runs for the Kajang downhill race,i had to change my pads a few days b4 the race also also it damages your rim wall due to the small pebbels in muddy sections, currently i'm sticking with tioga the funny colour ones.

    Also i guess tyres are important too, my all round favourite tire were the Continental Traction Pro, cuz in Kkb the Pertak trail that is consisted of everything, mud and really muddy parts ruts made by 4 wheelers, sand, slippery surface which u can't relly control your bike on when ure goin down fast downhills, and also stony sections, i do very much enjoy using that particular tire wether on downhills, cross country riding or free-riding. When i'm downhilling i do really depend on my tires, not my actuall race tires but when im leisure riding or goin out to an unknown trail. So i guess tire decision is important too.

    My shoes i using now is, Northwave something,I have not taken it off-road yet, coz i bought it here, and was currently using Answers and no complains at all... -Johnny-

    -- Johnny Be (, July 05, 2001.

    1.Time Atac pedal - no problem in any trail condition. 2. Shoes - Shoes should be stiff. Prefer 3 velcro strap design. Snug fit and easier to remove compared to mechanical. Get the one that straps to the outside of the shoes so they dont get stuck in the crankset. I hv a sidi and I know your problem. 3. Tires - depends on trail condition. I use hutchinson phyton light for dry, Michelin comp s for soft muddy trail. I feel comfortable in the 1.9 to 2.0 range. Round profile. I hear that continental twister is excellent for dry. On normal/recreational/training rides I often use specialized team master & dirt control, especially when I go bike hash in the palm oil plantation. No problem w/ the palm oil thorns. 4.Chain lube - I hv been using oil based for quite some time. And I often get chain suck even on my big chainring on the road ride. Now I hv switched to wax, cleaner and no more chain suck. In Malaysia, it is a good ideaa to carry a small bottle on long rides. U often hv to clean your chain and relube after riding to muddy conditions. 5. Brake pads - I hv used shimano xtr and they dont last long. Tioga is more durable but not as grippy as shimano. I hv been using Kool- stop for more than a year now and I hvnt chg yet. They r very very good. The grip is excellent and they r durable.

    -- IceCube (, July 10, 2001.

    I find that the Ritchey brake pads (made by Kool Stop) that I use offer consistent performance in both wet and dry conditions and are very durable. Changing to Mavic 618 Ceramic rims has affected pad wear slightly but with improved performance. Avid Rim Wrangler pads are just as good but are impossible to find. I'm hoarding mine.

    Hutchinson Mosquitos work the best for me in the mud. However, they do wear quickly esp. if you ride from home to Kiara on the road a lot. Panaracer Fire XC Pros are very pressure sensitive but are good all around tires, just like the Hutchinson Chameleon and Python.

    Could never get used to the Time ATAC tension setting (non- adjustable) and so I suffer a little with my 6 yr old Ritchey pedals. Am breaking in a pair of 858's and will pass verdict later.

    Ceramic rims are the best for muddy conditions as they resist the grinding of mud and rocks by the brake pads against the surface of the rim and also improve braking performance. Well worth the cost of investment.

    Sidi shoes ar finicky if they have ratchet buckles. My next pair will most likely be one with three velcro straps.

    Black or dark socks are a must for any off-roader. Can't understand why people insist on wearing white socks.

    And let's not forget full fingered gloves, which keep your hand nice and clean while riding and fixing your bike on the trail. Also protect in the event of a crash.

    Dry lubes tend to get washed off which is why I use Finish Line XC. Got some Ice Wax recently and will try it out soon. Good idea to carry some lube with you, as well as basic tools and a chain tool. Oh yeah, and learn how to use everything first.

    Stay away from nine-speed where possible. Also, keep an eye on chainring wear as that can be a major cause of chainsuck. Chainsuck can be avoided by increasing the rear derailleur spring tension to pull the chain off the back end of the chainrings faster. Only available on older derailleurs and XTR as far as I know.

    -- fuji (, July 11, 2001.

    I am using a pair of Shimano 515 pedals (same mechanism as the 747). The trick to clicking in and out of these in all sorts of mud is to wear worn out cleats (I have been using my current one for almost 2 years). Once you click in, wriggle your feet to clear the goo. That way, it's also easier to click out in a hurry. Haven't had a stuck cleat once, even during the infamously muddy Janda Baik ride.

    I have yet to try Time pedals, then again don't have to.

    -- jamesyap (, July 25, 2001.

    Ha! I used my Continental Twister Pro Supersonics (1.9", 328 grams!) for the recent Janda Baik-Kenaboi-G Peres ride, and they were adequate, if not good! Mud performance was excellent, because the middle knobs are very shallow. The only shortcoming was traction on some of the sketchier technical descents, where they did not hold up as well as full-on knobbies. I had one puncture, caused by a thorn. Can't say what the durability of the tyre will be like though. Wait and see.

    -- Joe Adnan (, July 25, 2001.

    Recently, I hv switched my racing tires from Hutchinson Python Light to Conti Explorer Pro (front) and Twister Pro Supersonic (rear). This combination has been better for me. The combination weight of both tires r lighter than a pair of Python Lights. The grip of the Explorer Pro has allowed me to take faster and tighter corners. The traction and the rolling of the Supersonic is excellent even over roots. But I hv only tried them on dry/hardpack trail. I hv yet to test them on soft/muddy condition. I guess in that condition, I might install the rear wheel with a Conti 1.5 Cross Country instead. However, I hv read the reviews in that these tires dont lat long. So I m only using them for racing.

    -- IceCube (, July 26, 2001.

    I use cheapos. But some of them are really good. Brake pads: Tekro pads(those gray color, cheap looking pads from Tekro). Cheap and last for centuries. I have used it for both Taman Negara and Janda Baik trips. No problem. Tires: The old WTB Velociraptor(Kevlar thread). Some complains about the bigger rolling resistance. So far, they are the best XC tires I have used. Tried Michellin Wildgripper, Mythos XC, Hutchingson etc. Still Velo da best. Padels:Have been using Odyssey Magic Clik platform clipless on muddy condition. Love them! Agree with Fuji. Avoid 9 speed whenever possible. They sux in muddy condition.

    -- Turbo Snail (, August 04, 2001.

    Under boggy conditions, spds haven't been kind to me. Have used specialized and 858's and they both jammed without fail within the first hour. Time Atac pedals have so far been brilliant. The stock standard Avid brake pads have lasted me more than 1 year. I avoid wide knobbies (particularly those with uniform side knobs. They were a mistake in Kenaboi because mud just clung on and the wheels weighed a tonne). 1.8 Panaracers XC Pro seem to shed mud well and surprisingly Conti Supersonics and Maxxis 430 Minotaurs are very good in mud too. Surprising because with such shallow thread pattern they shouldn't grip at all. I have been on 9 speed for a while and chain suck has so far been minimal. I try not to shift under load. As for footwear, old boring adidas with laces because when pushing up a slippery slope (okay I dismount sometimes) racing shoes are a bitch.

    -- amir (, August 16, 2001.

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