29er in the mud, advantage or disadvantage?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29er in the mud, advantage or disadvantage?

    Just wondering if a 29er has any advantage over a 26 in deeper mud. A friend and I were talking about and could not come to any conclusions. I know some of the early 29er articles on such listed as being better in theory, but no real world test of experience is ever given. So, for those who have ridden both a 26 and 29er in the mud, which is better and why. I plan on riding this weekend in the mud, so we well see what I come up with too.

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    I suspect this would come down to tread pattern and psi, more than wheel size.

  3. #3
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    for me it was a huge advantage, especially when at high speed.
    The lower angle make the tyre more likely to float over mud.

    I do use large tyres, but going fast enough I skim over the mud where my wife tends to sink (she weighs half as much, but has 26)
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

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    in the mud i have much better luck with my 29er than i do with my 26.... same tires front and rear on both bikes. but on the 29er i am running 20 in the front and 24 in the back 26 i am 24-25 in the front and 28 in the back. both with tubes...
    i would say both suck in sandy clay mud but i would much rather be on my 29er

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper
    Just wondering if a 29er has any advantage over a 26 in deeper mud. A friend and I were talking about and could not come to any conclusions. I know some of the early 29er articles on such listed as being better in theory, but no real world test of experience is ever given. So, for those who have ridden both a 26 and 29er in the mud, which is better and why. I plan on riding this weekend in the mud, so we well see what I come up with too.
    The tires make much more difference than the wheel size.

    Given the same tire design the 29er is generally better.
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  6. #6
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    Which tires have you guys found to be better in the mud ?

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    I found it easier at speed, momentum helps the bike to keep the line. Once you have sunk in the mud, it's a pain because wheels are heavier.
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    I have had luck with conti mountain kings 2.4.

  9. #9
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    Just went last night through some very muddy areas. My 29" Captain Control 2.2s were noticeably better through mud than the other three riders on their 26" bikes. Not only were they slipping side to side, which I wasn't; they were sinking down further into the wet muck and making a louder 'suction' sound upon exiting.

    I love my 29er.
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    Doesn't the clag stick to your tyres? On a 29er there is more tyre for the clag to stick too which must make them slower and heavier?

    Just a thought no actual experience? My first 29er is due February so I guess I'll find out soon enough.

  11. #11
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    Given tires and sizing being equal, yes 29 er will have an edge but not ground breaking
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnr_seahorse
    Doesn't the clag stick to your tyres? On a 29er there is more tyre for the clag to stick too which must make them slower and heavier?

    Just a thought no actual experience? My first 29er is due February so I guess I'll find out soon enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by proline69
    Which tires have you guys found to be better in the mud ?
    Nobby Nic is the best mud tire I've ridden to date. That doesn't mean it's the best, but it's fantastic IMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by proline69
    Which tires have you guys found to be better in the mud ?
    Bontrager Mud X gets good reviews.

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    Much better for me. Light years better in snow.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnr_seahorse
    Doesn't the clag stick to your tyres? On a 29er there is more tyre for the clag to stick too which must make them slower and heavier?

    Just a thought no actual experience? My first 29er is due February so I guess I'll find out soon enough.
    That would make a 12" wheel kids bike the perfect mudder.

    Tall wheels/tires keep moving in the clag. Narrower is generally better.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by proline69
    Which tires have you guys found to be better in the mud ?
    My go-to 29" mudders are the Bonty Mud X, followed by the old Conti Mountain King 2.4.
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  19. #19
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    There is no one kind of mud, and no perfect universal tire. I am so lazy ( change tires, no... please) so on my wheels are Ignitor in front, and Albert on rear wheel. It is safe in mountains mud. But not perfect. Sometimes there is mud for narrow cx tires, and fat tire is still clear but rolls against glue mud power, its a clear mud, "water+grass" kind of mud. Another kind - totally different"Cementomud" used to stop everyone. But sometimes people on 26 were standing, but I was still fighting on my saddle. In really deep mud I will prefer rigid fork (more place for mud)and narrow rear - like my Albert tire... I know- there are riders on furious freds and they could be in first 20... but Racing Ralpf kills me in mountains mud, and fred is a suicide.... no knobs no rolling resistance no steering possibility.

    Crossing mud-water hole - 29" is better, its only my opinion...But 29er is not a boat, we have to remember....
    Last edited by Trym; 12-25-2010 at 03:37 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    My go-to 29" mudders are the Bonty Mud X, followed by the old Conti Mountain King 2.4.
    Mud X front and rear, or do you mix-n-match? Say, Mud X rear and old Mtn King up front?

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    Notes From the land of mud and snow (Denmark, Europe)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper
    Just wondering if a 29er has any advantage over a 26 in deeper mud. A friend and I were talking about and could not come to any conclusions. I know some of the early 29er articles on such listed as being better in theory, but no real world test of experience is ever given. So, for those who have ridden both a 26 and 29er in the mud, which is better and why. I plan on riding this weekend in the mud, so we well see what I come up with too.
    29'er is by all measures the best in mud. The ability to steer/handling and get traction simply is better therefore you roll faster all else (tyres! & rider ) being equal

  22. #22
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    I think since you posted this on the 29er forum a lot of people are going to tell you a 29er is better in the mud.

    My 29er is horrible when the trails are muddy but I don't have mud tires on my Ferrous. I've ridden 29er's with a good set of mud tires on them and the ride is good. I ride both regularly but I can't tell you that one feels better than the other.

    Let us know what you find out this weekend.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin
    Mud X front and rear, or do you mix-n-match? Say, Mud X rear and old Mtn King up front?
    Yes.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by homeless junkie
    I think since you posted this on the 29er forum a lot of people are going to tell you a 29er is better in the mud.

    My 29er is horrible when the trails are muddy but I don't have mud tires on my Ferrous. I've ridden 29er's with a good set of mud tires on them and the ride is good. I ride both regularly but I can't tell you that one feels better than the other.

    Let us know what you find out this weekend.
    Well, you might find it interesting that ten years ago Carl Schlemowitz of Vicious Cycles was winning "World Mud Bog Championships" against all 26 inch comers. That on Nanoraptors.

    In my personal experiences, a 29"er is hands down better in mud. This is partially due to some of the bikes I have tried in mud which have longer rear stays. That aids you a bit, I think, in the mud. But even with that said, I have had far better experiences in the mud around here on 29"ers, and that also goes for sand as well.
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  25. #25
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    I am not a physics major or anything, but the first thing I noticed about 29ers in the mud(and this is going back to 2004 on my km) is the they sling mud higher and farther than their 26" brethern, I attribute this to the fact that the large wheel is moving faster at the tire than the smaller wheel so mud sheds off the tire more easily, less mud stuck to the tire lets the tire navigate through the mud more efficeintly.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Well, you might find it interesting that ten years ago Carl Schlemowitz of Vicious Cycles was winning "World Mud Bog Championships" against all 26 inch comers. That on Nanoraptors.

    In my personal experiences, a 29"er is hands down better in mud. This is partially due to some of the bikes I have tried in mud which have longer rear stays. That aids you a bit, I think, in the mud. But even with that said, I have had far better experiences in the mud around here on 29"ers, and that also goes for sand as well.
    Though the mud bog events were straight line competitions. Get on trails and the tread design becomes more important.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Though the mud bog events were straight line competitions. Get on trails and the tread design becomes more important.
    Of course, everyone's mud/trails are different, but you might find this interesting: The other day, Wes Williams was telling me the best mud tire for 29"er riders was a Nanoraptor!

    So, you just never know.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angus
    I am not a physics major or anything, but the first thing I noticed about 29ers in the mud(and this is going back to 2004 on my km) is the they sling mud higher and farther than their 26" brethern, I attribute this to the fact that the large wheel is moving faster at the tire than the smaller wheel so mud sheds off the tire more easily, less mud stuck to the tire lets the tire navigate through the mud more efficeintly.

    Can you explain how you arrived at the conclusion that a larger diameter tire is moving faster "at the tire" than a smaller tire? What do you even mean by that?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    Can you explain how you arrived at the conclusion that a larger diameter tire is moving faster "at the tire" than a smaller tire? What do you even mean by that?
    That's not accurate. A larger diameter tire at the same RPM will have a higher linear velocity and thus be more likely to fling something. However, big wheels or small, for a given speed the linear velocity stays the same, it's just the RPM that changes.

    Back to mud performance - for a given width tire, a 29er will have less ground pressure because it distributes its weight across a larger footprint. Think of a Surly Pugsley. A 29er will get just a little bit of that advantage to help it float over the muck. Of course, it's not uncommon for a particular 29er tire to be sold in a narrower width than its 26" variant.

  30. #30
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    Not bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    The other day, Wes Williams was telling me the best mud tire for 29"er riders was a Nanoraptor!
    Not the best, but not horrible actually. I've been stuck on a Nano rear during the course of a race a couple times and lived to tell. I sure don't recommend it as a front in those kind of conditions.

    I've got @ 40 hours of racing 29er's in the mud/rain, the best combination I've found has been a Little Albert front and a Cont Mtn King 2.2 rear, set up tubeless w/Stans w/mid twenties tire pressures.

    The long narrow contact patches bite through the loose upper layer down to the harder soil below, and fairly aggressive side knobs combined with the low tire pressure aid grip.
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  31. #31
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    riding in the mud is bad, mmmkay?

    i used to groom motocross tracks between races, we can't do that

    having used a broad brush stroke, all mud is not created equal
    us trail advocates hate to say it, but steer clear, what is the best tire for that
    wherever you go, there you are

  32. #32
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    I've ridden this fire road and single track many time after the rain. This was a Mountain King 2.4 after 6 consecutive days of constant rain, about 6 to 8 inches worth.

    This tire rides tall and wobbly on pavement, and kind of squirrelly on rock and hardpack, but put it on loose stuff, or mud, and it really shines. Stays cleared of mud also. Another tire I've had good luck with is the Michelen AT 29 x 2.1, and the Maxxis Ignitor. Both are pretty good to great tires in the mud.


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojogonzo
    riding in the mud is bad, mmmkay?

    i used to groom motocross tracks between races, we can't do that

    having used a broad brush stroke, all mud is not created equal
    us trail advocates hate to say it, but steer clear, what is the best tire for that
    Depends on the trail. Lots of trails that should not be ridden in the wet.

    There are some that do just fine. There is a system in Oregon where the mud is basically self leveling. You leave a rut when you ride through and it fills itself in with the next rain, if not almost immediately.

    Add in muddy dirt roads and there are lots of places where it is just fine to ride in all weather.

    But in places where rain is more rare, there are generally fewer places that are ride le in the muck.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel242
    That's not accurate. A larger diameter tire at the same RPM will have a higher linear velocity and thus be more likely to fling something. However, big wheels or small, for a given speed the linear velocity stays the same, it's just the RPM that changes.

    Back to mud performance - for a given width tire, a 29er will have less ground pressure because it distributes its weight across a larger footprint. Think of a Surly Pugsley. A 29er will get just a little bit of that advantage to help it float over the muck. Of course, it's not uncommon for a particular 29er tire to be sold in a narrower width than its 26" variant.
    I do not want a tire that floats in mud. Float = no grip or directional control.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojogonzo
    riding in the mud is bad, mmmkay?

    i used to groom motocross tracks between races, we can't do that

    having used a broad brush stroke, all mud is not created equal
    us trail advocates hate to say it, but steer clear, what is the best tire for that

    I take it you don't live in the pacific northwest. If you waited 48 hours after it rained you would only ride July and August.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    That would make a 12" wheel kids bike the perfect mudder.

    Tall wheels/tires keep moving in the clag. Narrower is generally better.
    it depends if you are going to crawl through it or float across.

    At high speeds my big tyres just skim across the surface, if trying to sink to the bottom to get grip skinny would work.

    Big tyres work for me!
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms
    Not the best, but not horrible actually. I've been stuck on a Nano rear during the course of a race a couple times and lived to tell. I sure don't recommend it as a front in those kind of conditions.

    I've got @ 40 hours of racing 29er's in the mud/rain, the best combination I've found has been a Little Albert front and a Cont Mtn King 2.2 rear, set up tubeless w/Stans w/mid twenties tire pressures.

    The long narrow contact patches bite through the loose upper layer down to the harder soil below, and fairly aggressive side knobs combined with the low tire pressure aid grip.
    The Mountain King 2.2 worked a trick for me this past summer when i got caught out in a mud bog. (It was hidden by 6ft tall weeds leaning over the trail on each side, so...)
    I wouldn't say it cleared our mud all that great, but it did what you are talking about here and dug down to some more solid footing and off I went. It was amazing how much mud was packed into the frame after I got out!
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  38. #38
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    I unfortunately was not able to ride this weekend, our ride leader who was the only one who knew the area, turned up sick. So, next weekend will be the ride. I am running IRD Fire XC Pro's that have worked decently in the sloppy mud that I have ridden so far. There are two 26 inch bikes running Panaracer Fire Mud Pro's which are the closest tires to mine. I'll report back when we get to ride.

  39. #39
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    Michelin A/T is excellent

  40. #40
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    I run a Maxxis Ignitor 2.35 and a Conti MK 2.4 Seems like a pretty good combo. Depending on the mud consistency the Ignitor will pack a little mud but its not a big deal most of the time.

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