The annual Mayhem – tyres and course thread!
My top tips for Mayhem (and all events really)
cough* My Top Tips to Shimano/Madison employees *cough
The SRAM guys were awake all night last year, fixing shimano equipped bikes for free, fuelled by nothing more than a bit of gratitude (and the occasional beer)… I even apologised for taking a bike along with Shimano components on to them, they commented “well you ain’t gonna get much luck over there are you” (pointing to the Shimano/Madison outfit all packed up for the night!)
Seriously… It’s the small things… At a 24hr event, the least people there to promote their brands can do is actually have at least one person awake the whole time. I’m far from expecting my bike to be fixed for free (and I’m capable of it myself, just neglected to take every single tool I owned along last year), but if you want good press, from I dunno, at least 2500 cyclists riding all weekend, then at least keep your station manned! SRAM had a MASSIVE moral victory last year in that respect, and I’m not the only one that noticed…Posted 5 years agoSamMember
Dugast Rhino XL in 45mm width FTW…
CX bikes are against the rules yes?
but 29ers with CX tyres are allowed?
That old chestnut. Well I don’t think there’s ever been a serious challenge to the ‘rule’ but when I rode a Gryphon with drops and won the SS cat in ’08 no one complained too much. My view is that if it’s not a UCI legal ‘cross bike then there’s really no way to argue. They don’t get specific about it like in 3 Peaks.Posted 5 years ago
mboy – Member
I’m far from being a pro (or in any way half decent), but I think you’ll gain more elsewhere on a lap running dry(er) condition tyres than you will running full mud tyres. There’s perhaps 20-30% of the course where you’d benefit from Mud tyres, the rest of it is hard enough that whatever the weather, you can ride on almost any tyre.
Got to agree with this, unless it’s a full mud fest. Last year I did one lap in 1.8 Medusas, then changed to 2.1 crossmarks for the rest of the time, much much better!Posted 5 years ago
1.5″ mud sharks if it’s really wet so the bike doesn’t jam up completely. I ran 1.5 Medusas last year for the first lap until it dried out a bit, but these were probably an over-reaction based on previous years’ experiences…
Transitioning to Ralphs as it starts to hold together again.
The 1.5s were the only way to go in the truly biblical years – 05, 07, 08… Don’t remember 09 but I don’t think it was that bad? 05, 06 and 07 had moments of utter misery, particularly the torrential horizontal rain and gales of 07.
GBPosted 5 years ago
05, 06 and 07 had moments of utter misery
06 people got sunstroke chap! I only did 2 laps, as a stand in for someone who was really ill (sunstroke), and was VERY VERY red myself come Monday morning and back to work.
2010 was so dry I did the whole thing on a pair of 90s vintage green Michelin file-treads.
2010 was lovely conditions, not too hot, but nice and dry. Shame I got drafted into a team of really quick guys as they lost someone with a few days to go, and ironically I was the next fastest person they knew! I very nearly killed myself trying not to let them down… Still, 21st out of 132 iirc in category, that’s about the highest up a field of entries I’m ever going to come in my lifetime.
Got to agree with this, unless it’s a full mud fest. Last year I did one lap in 1.8 Medusas, then changed to 2.1 crossmarks for the rest of the time, much much better!
I think the mud clearance is more important than the tread itself. Hence why the old 1.5″ conti XC’s seem to be so good, and CX tyres for the 29ers. Not heavy treads, just thin and still very fast. Thinking if it’s horrid I’ll fit the narrowest tyres I can to my full sus bike, as ironically it’s got quite a bit more tyre clearance than my HT (though the Maverick DUC32 fork helps there!) and just slice through the mud with 60psi in some 2″ tyres or thinner. Preferably still with not too much tread though, so they’re still quick.Posted 5 years agoSuperficialMember
1. Make sure your bike is actually in a ridable condition BEFORE turning up to the event. Turning up with a knackered drivetrain or brakes is just silly. Yes it does happen, more than you would imagine.
I’ve had some amazing support from both Madison (new rear mech, whole new brake) and SRAM (new MoCo cartridge) at Mountain Mayhem after various bits broke. It’s almost worth turning up with a knackered bike and getting them to fix it all.Posted 5 years ago
Course is up on the Mayhem website – Similar to last year.
Start is the same, up the zig zig hill, along the fire road, down through the woods to the lower fire road, climb up to the plasticine woods that never dry out, back up to the other end of the woods alon the edge of the field, through a little bit of trail then back down the slippy fire road to the arena. Over the bridge, up the massive grassy uphill, through the woods to the right of the obelisk, slippy off camber decent etc which is hilarious when it rains, down to the fire road over the back, up to the Somme woods, down all the way to the bottom of the next woods, climb back up through the woods (this is comedy in the wet) then down the fast rattly final decent as last year.Posted 5 years ago
Well the Somme woods and the next decent is the fun way round so that helps – that’s better than 2011. Those two one after the other are great if it’s dry as it’s a fun fast bit. Otherwise it’s a comedy slog mixed with trying not to end up pointing the wrong way down the trail whilst avoiding crashing into other riders…
Anyway, Mayhem has never been about the course. Where else do we get such an amazing atmosphere – its like a massive carnival.Posted 5 years agocollostomySubscriber
I don’t understand all this griping about the course… You can’t polish a turd after all, the topography of the area has never leant itself to being a “great course”. What is and always has been great is the atmosphere.Posted 5 years ago
I am coming back to racing mountain bikes after giving it all up after the “Malvern’s Classic” in 94. In those halcyon days of the early 90’s when the sun always shone the Malvern’s Classic offered a great event with a very mediocre course, but it was always on my list of “must do events”.
I came last year and camped for the weekend, I rode the “Sunday Munch” 100K road sportive with my brother (who has never ridden a mountain bike). “We have to do this next year” he said…. So 12 months later we are ready for whatever MM throws at us.
As Guy Martin often says “it is what it is”. Its going to be muddy and its going to have a lot of climbing, if that does not float your boat why do it!DimmadanMember
I think most of the people commenting have been to the event several times like myself. And this will be the 4th year for my team and sadly I think the course is cr@p. The courses of 2009 and 2010 were quick yet fun with reward for the climbs with some great downs. Last year was a good change to mix it up but judging by the responses here and on other sites the keeping of the same course has not gone down very well.Posted 5 years ago40mpgSubscriber
I found last years course better on a singlespeed, there was only one bit right up the top (the last bit of gravel fire road) that I regularly walked.
I think they reduced the fast decents because there were quite a few crashes in previous years – the helicopter turned up for one unfortunate. There is a huge variety of skills participating so its always going to be a compromise between a good race course, and something which is rideable and safe for relative newbies.Posted 5 years agocakefacesmallblockSubscriber
My first experience of Mayhem, or any mtb race , come to that, was last year. My mates persuaded me that running my Smallblock 8s was a bad idea, so I swapped to XC pros for the entire thing. In all honesty I think the Smallblocks would have been ideal.Posted 5 years ago
Plasticine woods will always be exactly that, like industrially processed cheese which sticks to everything unless you want it to and the stony, mossy long descent back toward the event site on the first part of the course, gives about as much traction as ice.
If the forecast for this weekend is as grim as it appears, truthfully, no matter what you run and I hate to say it, but it will be tough, no matter how perverse your idea of fun is !
Good luck to everyone.rkk01Member
You can’t polish a turd after all, the topography of the area has never leant itself to being a “great course”.
Really? It’s not exactly flat around there.Whether you like what they offer or not is down to preference, but I dont see the topo as a limiting factor…
What is and always has been great is the atmosphere.
AGREEDPosted 5 years agoveedubbaSubscriber
What mboy and Will said: full on mud tyres are a waste of time unless it really is sopping wet or you’re seriously racing.
I ran 1.5 Mud Sharks for a lap last year and the lack of grip anywhere other than deep mud cost me more time than they saved. Having to keep them at higher pressure didn’t help either.
1.8s or 2.0s I reckon for “average” conditions on 26″ rims. I’ll be seeing what it’s like before I take off the 2.25 ADvantages and sticking some Medusas on.
Course looks the same as last year, so that’ll be fun for me considering I’m even less fit than I was 12 months ago.
Useful tip? It’s not lightweight camping, so bring as much stuff as will make it a comfortable and fun weekend for you.Posted 5 years ago
I’ve seen the forecast and shall be riding this…
Mind you, you’ll need to watch out for it when you’re not riding it, that will be hot property! You ain’t seen me right… 😉
Last year was definitely not wet enough for 1.5″ tyres! I just ran Nics all the way through and they were fine.
Aside from plasticine woods, last year was almost dry! I know there was technically some precipitation, but I was running a Hutchinson Cobra rear tyre that would make a Racing Ralph look like a mud tyre, and the only place I suffered with a lack of grip was on the long landrover track style descent after plasticine woods, on the way back to the arena, because of the early morning dew. Everywhere else it was more than enough! Some people don’t half panic about tyre choice when things get even remotely wet. You’ll slide around more on something with less tread, granted, but then look at a CX tyre. They’re narrow to cut through the mud, but they don’t have an awful lot of tread on them, and they’re bloody fast!Posted 5 years agoveedubbaSubscriber
Yes, huge error of judgement on my part, but in the past I’d held off on changing tyres then regretted it, so I changed earlier…
On the plus side though, that error means that I’ll not use them again because I hate them and would sacrifice the clearance for the better stability of a wider tyre . 🙂
I’m slow as hell anyway, so a bit of extra speed in the mud isn’t really an issue.Posted 5 years agoDimmadanMember
Looking at the map and last year experience there are a few places that may catch you out.
1) the SingleTrack SingleTrack that runs between M2 and M3 cuts up lots if wet.
2) the Wiggle Woodland never dries so is always an issue (It’s like moulding clay so never sets and is always sticky).
3) Ospray off-camber is a car crash if wet and you are stuck behind slow riders
4) Weldtite wash out is slippy at the top and people go too fast down it
5) The North Face Forest is always wet but they do try to sort it out with carpet sheets where the stream crosses.
So all in all, going to fun!Posted 5 years agoScotlandTheScaredSubscriber
theredchilli – the course is quite good for SS. I rode a lap on my SS (with 2.1 Nobby Nicks on)last year to compare against my laps on the geared bike. Turns out my SS lap was my fastest. Might try the same again this year – definitely taking the SS because if it really muds up then keeping it simple works well.
STS.Posted 5 years agopedladSubscriber
A LOT of rain here (just a few miles from course) from yesterday 4pm until the early hours, with plenty more scheduled over the weekend. I think that if the trail went up the somme woods (AKA north face forest) as it has done some years then muddies would be an automatic choice. Going down you have the choice of just slithering along with gravity I guess.
Agree with Dimmadan that Osprey off-camber is the next trickiest place and if it goes through the bracken it’ll be impossible to ride on anything that doesn’t really cut into the mud.Posted 5 years agoScotlandTheScaredSubscriber
theredchilli – I think I managed most of the climbs OK on the SS. I am not the fittest or strongest. I probably had to walk a little bit but not too much. My main problem will be that if its claggy mud my SS has V-brakes so the wheels start to clog up. Hmmmmm.
STS.Posted 5 years ago
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