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  1. #1
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    How bad is mud in Western Washington?

    I'm from Montana. Didn't go off road much, but when I did, found nice firm, dry trails with zero mud problems.

    Now, I'm looking at picking up trail riding again. Of course, it rains a lot more here than Montana, and with our dense foliage in our forests, takes much longer to dry out.

    How bad is the mud generally? How dirty do you get? Any advice?

    I've heard some people use fenders. I have a Cannondale Flash 3 and don't think fenders will work on it.

  2. #2
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    I use fenders when it is wet out. I personal like the SKS dashblade for the rear of my 29er HT, and the SKS shockblade for the front. Keep my pretty clean.

    You generally dont see thick nasty mud, but you will get pretty dirty when it is wet. There are several areas that drain really well like Tokul, Duthie and Black Diamond, so we tend to stick to those on wet rides.
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  3. #3
    That Waters Guy
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    A detachable SKS-style rear fender certainly will work on a Flash, and that's the one I feel I need more than the front.

    The one I always forget too, because I take it off and leave it at home. But hey, my Grandpa always used to say "What you lack with your head, you accrete on your *ss" or something to that effect.

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    Last edited by The Sagebrush Slug; 03-16-2013 at 09:34 AM.
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  4. #4
    Rider
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    I just use a front fork guard something like this.
    How bad is mud in Western Washington?-neoguardxc_1.jpg

  5. #5
    Rock Gnome
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    A lot more clay consistency to the mud in MT, at least east of the Rockies in the Little Belts and around the Missouri. Not so much like that here for the most part on the west side. About the only time I've gotten seriously slathered is when riding in a group. Get a lot of spray off everyone else, and hey, it's fun to splash your friends sometimes. I'm running a fender on the front fork to keep the grit out of my eyes, but otherwise it's a towel and dry set of clothes back at the car for afterwards.

  6. #6
    Dream Design Dig Repeat
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    We take pride in building really good trails here that handle our water amazingly well. That combined with a minimal amount of clay makes it surprisingly good riding here in the winter. A properly routed and built trail will have hardly any mud or puddles, but you will get a bit wet if it's raining out... of course.
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  7. #7
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    In the I-5 corridor north from I-90 the dirt is pretty good (i.e. low in clay), so you get dirty, but it's mostly rotted forest litter; not too bad for your bike, and you're not tearing up the trails unless you go out right when it's pouring. The farther north you go, the less clay (e.g. Anacortes Community Forest Lands). Around here, St Ed's/Big Finn Hill trails are pretty well-drained, Paradise Valley is getting better all the time (thanks, Woodway), etc. Come on out and get your skunk stripe.

  8. #8
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    Ride. Get dirty. Experience.

    Much more valuable data than internet feedback.
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  9. #9
    gravity fighter
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    I use a fork guard like pictured above to keep it out of my eyes. I just think of my long rain shell and camelbak as my rear fender.

  10. #10
    I got the velcros
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    Less people when it's wet and cold.

    Just dont be that guy with his fender cocked off to one side, if you run it, install it properly.
    Downtube fenders are probably best for staying in position on our bumpy trails.
    Glasses work equally well

  11. #11
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    WA has a wide variety of dirt, some higher traffic areas get really muddy, some less used better draining trails rarely get muddy all winter long. It really varies from place to place.
    I use one of those Zefal Croozer downtube mud guards in the front almost all the time, partly because the dogwalkers can't all be bothered with picking up after their pups, I seem to hit dog crap all the time. It also seems to do a good job of keeping mud (and other stuff) out of my eyes, it is quite light too. If it's raining or very wet, or even cyclocross racing when it's nasty I add an sks rear that snaps onto the seat post. It can get bumped to the side a little, especially during run-ups, but it does a pretty good job and is super fast on and off.

  12. #12
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    Re: How bad is mud in Western Washington?

    1. Fenders: seatpost grabbers rear and that wide downtube front. Extra credit rear is Ghetto mod of innertube extending from fender down through the front derailleur with zip ties along the frame.

    2. Mud: to me this a two part answer

    A. Dress for wet. Wear pearl izumi amfib bottoms. Neoprene tops but exposed to splash aft, hence the fenders.

    B. Soils and drains: rocky/stoney mineral soil shaped so water goes down away from the trail is the benchmark you disclose from Montana. Then there's clay and sand and especially black organic Goo that dries into cow patties. This is common here and its more compressible than mineral soil and the pockets this makes makes "mud".

    So mud or lack thereof is at least in part about execution of pure trail drainage design and rake and ride places generally are best for dry conditions. Since it takes more work for pure drainage execution but your trail worker friends are out here as this is a four season location and try every place and learn it like we have and create your own short list of when to ride after how many days/inches of wet.

    Perhaps a tangent but when it freezes here is the best conditions and I speculate that may be part of your Montana trail halo.

    I agree with the brother or sister that said you're here go ride it and I submit humbly I (and suspect its a "we") love these northwestern woodlands.

  13. #13
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    Maybe cycling engineer should have title this post "how GOOD is the mud in Western Washington?" Woo Hoo!!

  14. #14
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    Maybe cycling engineer should have title this post "how GOOD is the mud in Western Washington?" Woo Hoo!!

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