SDW over Winter. Green slime, no such thing as a “good tyre” etc… So….

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  • SDW over Winter. Green slime, no such thing as a “good tyre” etc… So….
  • Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    What they heck do you local riders do for riding over the winter?

    I’m guessing the sdw is ridable over Winter but a bit “crashy” and bog-like?

    Just formulating a plan is all.Lol😁

    So you guys that ride the SDW all year round, you have tyres that “don’t work”, green slime that is like ice…. But I’m guessing you still get out there and ride it, yeah? Not necessarily the whole SDW. The Sunday ride with mates or whatever?

    It can’t be “that bad” can it?😁

    Or is it like some chalky version of Deliverance but with more mud and banjos?

    Premier Icon Bez
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    It’s fine.

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    I just stick with my ‘summer’ combo of Vittoria Morsa and Mezcal.

    They grip enough in the claggy  bits without packing too much with it as there’s not a lot of deep tread on them.

    I think the graphene mumbo jumbo in them has an (at least psychological) effect on the harder/greasier bits too.

    TBH the SDW itself gets so much traffic all year that certainly at the Western end where I ride most there’s not actually much of the fabled green chalk of death left; it’s more pools of gravel and water mixed, or 3” slurry of liquid chalk that welds itself to everything it can!

    Premier Icon muddy@rseguy
    Subscriber

    well, the only really horrible bit would be across Harting Down which offers up a few rather “interesting” chalk descents which can be very slippery if the ground is wet/slimy , the run into the Arun Valley could be the similar but only if you go really fast down it (in which case if anything goes wrong, it serves you right TBH) as well as a few field crossings that would potentially be of the claggy clay variety.

    Best advice to do the SDWIAD in winter is to go slow and steady, just like in the summer…

    My winter combo round here is a High Roller on the front and a narrow-ish mud tyre like a Bonty MudX 2.1 on the back

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
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    Spesh Storm Control out back when it’s wet (bit like the MudX in pattern and volume I think). I then run whatever fat and knobbly front I’ve been running all summer because I’m too lazy to change it. Best if it’s a tyre that sheds mud well (note here that neither my Butcher or Purgatory does that so maybe I should be looking at the front tyre suggestions here).

    Yes the green slime is like ice in places but you just need to go easy. Yes it gets ridden all year or at least as much of the year as work and family allows, which on current diary means mostly in the winter.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Muddy Mary, Hans Dampf is a popular comobo

    tbh, there’s very little exposed chalk that sits under trees and goes green – the stuff in the open is washed clean by rain and even then there’s not that many sections of pure chalk.

    Mud – sticky and or/claggy depending on whether you’re on clay or chalk.

    for example, this chalky climb is pretty good all year round (it’s been resurfaced a bit here, used to be far more gullied) – even when it’s wet traction isn’t that much of an issue.

    mud, however can be a real issue both for traction and well, this;

    I’ve fallen off far more hitting mud and sliding than chalk.

    [edit]

    I nearly just abandoned the bike and walked home – I’d cleared the tyres 4 times in 100m.

    and then there’s you…

    dovebiker
    Member

    The run-off down Old Winchester Hill means it can be an ankle-deep slop-fest after heavy rain – I’ve had to pedal downhill there at times.

    DrP
    Member

    What they heck do you local riders do for riding over the winter?

    Ha! We just get good at riding the unridable!
    Many moons ago my local riding group entered a 24 hr race event (can’t remember which)… were mid pack all the time the sun and shines were out..then the heavens opened and the course became a slippy mudfest… they climbed the ranks every lap and were second (or winning?) at some point…then the sun dried up all the rain, and the “fast boys” took over teh lead again!!

    I think you try your best with a variety of tyres, but in teh end, there’s no holy grail of tyre…just practice and looseness…

    DrP

    Premier Icon Paceman
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    Magic Mary / Hans Dampf all year round… but choose your routes wisely through the winter months to avoid the chalk/clay clag.

    As DrP said, it really hones your skills for the rest of the year.

    lardman
    Member

    I just sling some Maxxis Shorties on around November, then take ‘em off around April.

    willalone
    Member

    Can only agree with what others have said, nothing works on green chalk, you just learn where it is and ride accordingly. I think the green chalk is worst in the western sections? Arun valley, north of Chichester etc..
    The gloop fest off/up Old Winchester hill is comical when your pedaling downhill just to keep moving.. 🙂

    Premier Icon mattbee
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    If it’s that bad on OWH I just tend to divert round it along the road from Sustainability Centre down to Station Lane and the start of the old railway line to link back up with the SDW.

    Did a winter night ride once over Kingley Vale on the gravel bike with WTB Horizons. Amazing how a tyre that is basically slick and has so little grip on the sticky chalk can also collect enough of it to stop the wheels rotating…

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    LOL and them pics are why i don’t do the SDW or the Ridgeway in winter, i’ve learned that lesson a couple of times…

    SDW down Wendover, at the Eastbourne end can be treacherous, large polished flints, lots of slimey chalk and cross winds.  The rest is OK and rideable, some of the nearby climbs/descents can be bad as well, Old Kiln Bottom on Lullington Heath has been ruined by contractors smoothing it over with crushed, rollered chalk, I dragged the bike up it after the fresh wet chalk clogged both wheels, a 20lb bike weighed about 40lb!

    My go to winter tyres are Michelin Muds with Enduro casing to survive the flints.

    But I consider wet chalk a blessing as you develop cat like reactions and balance skills and any other surface is super grippy!

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    Ok….

    Not done a real mudfest in years to be honest, got lazy and became a Summer rider.

    My dumb/cunning plan is to ride the SDW over 2 days. Bivvy/ b and b overnight… riding into the night too as I need as much time as possible as I’ll be goading sloooowww.

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    If I was doing it as a winter ride I’d be aiming for Jan/Feb when there’s a good chance it will be frozen rather than mushy.

    Icy chalk isn’t much worse than wet chalk but the frozen mud would be much easier to cope with!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Personally I find January/February the worst time of year on the Downs – the mud just seems endless and it’s rarely frozen all day. I tend to get my cross bike out and stick to the gravel/road.

    October and November can be surprisingly dry.

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