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Chain/front mech full of mud, is this normal?

NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
edited October 2008 in MTB beginners
Just got myself a new-to-me 08 Carrera Kraken, first new bike I've had in 16 years and things have moved on! Loving this thing, but one thing I found on a long ride on saturday was that because of the mud clearance on the frame and the position of the transmission, the first things to get covered in mud are the front mech and chain, especially on the smallest front wheel. So, after really not a lot of mud riding, the thing was grinding and scraping like it was about to die, and not shifting properly. I cleared the mech as far as possible but without water there wasn't a lot I could do about the chain or the mech internals. Ironically, on my old bike this never happened because the frame was so tight with big tyres, that most of the mud got scraped off at the rear triangle.

Soooo... Is this normal? Is it just a drawback of buying a halfords bike or is this commonplace with mud riding on XC bikes? Is there anything I can do about it?
Uncompromising extremist


  • I find this on my Spec Stumpjumper FSR. I was thinking of rigging up some old inner jube over that area to try deflect some of the mud but haven't had an old tube to try with.
    Road - Volagi Liscio
    MTB - Santa Cruz TallBoy
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    I'm thinking beans tin 8) Never yet owned a vehicle that can't be improved with a bit of tomato sauce.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Must admit it seems any old censored gets thrown in there, some kind of guard would be ideal.
    2008 Rockhopper Disc (Silver)
    2009 RockShox SID Race forks.
    XT Drivetrain
    Continental Speed Kings (PR) Traction
    Garmin 705 Navigation
    Fat bloke on a bike engine
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I have seen rubber guards. Is a vulnerable area.
  • Shimano used to make a rubber protector that fitted over the front mech. Never saw anyone with one - and I think it may have been withdrawn. Similar to this: ... LLEUR+BOOT

    However, I'd say that if you return without your derailleur being bunged up with mud etc it's been a tame, disappointing ride!
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Hmm, there may be something in that :) But I'd sooner do the exact same ride and make it home with all my gears still working I think!
    Uncompromising extremist
  • pemseypemsey Posts: 107
    there was something in the top tips section of last months MBR I think - a collar someone knocked up out of rubber sheet. Might have a go at making something similar myself as Northamptonshire mud sticks like the proverbial and is formulated like ready mixed grinding paste :shock:
  • oily67oily67 Posts: 24
    I use a section cut from a rear tyre off one of my old R/C cars, held in place with a tie wrap. It's very similar to the tip mentioned in MBR.
    2008 Rockhopper

    2009 FSR XC Comp
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    I decided to have a pop at something a bit more thorough last night, I'm thinking of it as a hugger since that's what it'd be called on a motorbike, basically a mudguard that runs between the tyre, and the top chain run and front mech. Somewhat to my surprise it may actually work :D

    I did a quick prototype out of cardboard but I'll probably get some thin ally sheet and pound out a working prototype next week some time. The idea is to attach it to the cross-spar between the rear triangles, using either a jubilee clip or more likely 2 cable ties or a strong o-ring, and likewise attach it around the downtube. Perhaps a third around the bottom tube of the right hand triangle (sorry, my jargon is very weak with MTBs) I can extend it easily enough to cover the bottom chain run but I don't think that's needed.

    The only question I'm asking myself is whether it'll be better to taper it in towards the tyre, so that it basically slices the mud off and directs it down the outside, or whether to taper it out so that any excess mud gets forced into the tyre. The first sounds better on paper but in practice I think it's barely going to reduce the mud clearance so it just means that the mud hits something slightly earlier, but at the same point.

    More on this if I ever take it past the carboard stage ;) If I can keep the design to curves in only one plane then it'll work easily in plastic too, but I'm better with metals so I'll do that first. Fibreglass is the other option but I can't be bothered with that just now.
    Uncompromising extremist
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