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  1. #1
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    Chain contamination from mud

    I thought I'd share this tip, in case anyone else has suffered from this problem. First off, I don't approve of anyone riding on designated trails when they're muddy. I ride trails only when they're frozen or dry. However, I enjoy fat biking in mud and I've had a lot of fun recently riding through some muddy disused land. The chain gets contaminated with lumps of mud on the rear tire sidewall being deposited on the chain when it is running close to the tire (lowest ratios). Chain contamination from the mud leads to poor shifting and in extreme cases, chain suck, which leads to a muddy walk out of the area. I came up with this tire scraper, which is a piece of plastic (frame colored ) taped to the drive side seat stay as close to the tire as the chain can run. This does a handy job of keeping the chain running clean(er).

    Chain contamination from mud-tire-scraper.jpg

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmmaloney View Post
    ...I don't approve of anyone riding on designated trails when they're muddy...
    In that case you'd only get a couple of days riding a year in this country.

    Good idea.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  3. #3
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    Hey;

    I've often thought that a tiny slotted bracket on the stay where one could fasten a small, coarse, stiffly bristled plastic brush would be ideal. Quite possibly all the way around the tire if you were a mucker like Velo!
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  4. #4
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    I like it, thanks for sharing! Do you have issues with the scraped mud falling onto the cogs or derailleur?

    I have been dealing with this myself. I had my LBS dish my wheel to the NDS as far as possible and that netted me 5mm or so extra clearance which was a huge help.
    Whatever floats your bike, dude

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin Mustangs View Post
    Do you have issues with the scraped mud falling onto the cogs or derailleur?
    I haven't really watched behind to see what happens, I only noticed a massive improvement in chain condition. My local mud (Michigan's finest quality sticky clay) tends to stick there until I remove it with a stick.

  6. #6
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    The way I look at it is chains are a regular wear item; I try to keep mine reasonably clean, but I don't sweat it too much when they get mucked up/dirty. I get my moneys worth out of 'em. They're 13 bucks new. It seems like people spend more on chain care products (degreasers, cleaners, special brushes, wax, dry lube, wet lube, blah blah) than what a new chain every 3 months would cost.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    The way I look at it is chains are a regular wear item...
    I've long been of the opinion that a dry chain is the answer to wet weather.

    The best product I've found so far is Purple Extreme which seems to leave the chain clean once it's dry. I'm not sure how good it is as a lubricant, but applying it does make me feel virtuous about looking after my chain.

    What I'd really like is a full oilbath chaincase - my hubgear 60 year old Humber is still on its first chain and original sprockets. If derailleur systems were redesigned so they didn't dangle, then the lifetime of the whole system could rival that of hubgears (but can't see Shimano liking that idea ).
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  8. #8
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    i'll stick to the dangle as hub gears don't impress me so shimano will be happy about that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    The way I look at it is chains are a regular wear item; I try to keep mine reasonably clean, but I don't sweat it too much when they get mucked up/dirty. I get my moneys worth out of 'em. They're 13 bucks new. It seems like people spend more on chain care products (degreasers, cleaners, special brushes, wax, dry lube, wet lube, blah blah) than what a new chain every 3 months would cost.
    My point is not to save the chain, but to save my ride that day. If you've ever got clay on the chain it can instantly trash it. The links become so stiff that it doesn't release off the bottom of the chainring, then chain suck, then push your ride. I suppose not everyone bikes through wet clay, but around here (West MI) there's lots of it and it can stick to the tire sidewall in huge lumps then deposit itself on the chain.

  10. #10
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    I love crashing through mud and puddles, but my joy leaves quickly when I hear all if the junk on the side of the tire working its' way onto the chain. I am less sensative to it now, but that grinding sound is like nails on a chaulk board.

  11. #11
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    Now, this is what I'm talking about... All that clay on the side of the tire would have ended up on the chain had it no been for my crud catcher.

    Chain contamination from mud-clay.jpg

  12. #12
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    I may have to duplicate this.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    What I'd really like is a full oilbath chaincase - my hubgear 60 year old Humber is still on its first chain and original sprockets.
    I had a full chaincase in my hand at a LBS and was going to fit it to a Rohloff MTB for the ULTIMATE chain protection. But then I thought to myself I run through a $16 chain each year with next to no maintenance and I never have shifting issues with IGHs rain, sun, mud or sand....

    Is it really worth improving on that?

    I put the chaincase back and decided not to solve a problem that didn't exist.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #14
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    What I found is that the rubber nipples on each lug help to transmit mud from the tire to the chain (mine rub on the chain). I cut all of them off on the drive side of the tire.

    We don't have clay like you.....just very sandy mud.

  15. #15
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    Nexus hub deals with mud very well. From my mud experience, your derailleur is more at risk than a little worry about tire cleanliness.

    Chain contamination from mud-2013-04-14-16.36.55a.jpgChain contamination from mud-2013-04-14-16.36.17a.jpg

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