Top tips for riding your mountain bike in the rain
Wet, muddy and slippery trails can sometimes feel best left to the pros, but there are benefits to wet weather riding – especially when you’ve got the right Michelin mountain bike tyres fitted. Going out and getting sideways will not only make you into a better, more confident rider, it can also be a lot of fun!
Our latest article outlines top tips for mountain biking in the rain, as well as our top recommendations for Michelin MTB tyres that’ll help you get the job done.
Check your trails
Before heading out, no matter how keen you’re feeling, it’s worth considering which trails in your area will hold up to being ridden in wet conditions. If none of your local outdoor trails are rideable during or after a rain, have you considered checking out an indoor trail centre? These are surfaced and designed to drain well so it should never be a problem to find somewhere to ride.
With the Endurotyres HQ being based in South West England, we’ve got our fair share of highly-rated mountain bike trails just a stone’s throw away. Read our guide on the best UK mountain bike trails.
Aim for woodlands
Plotting the route for a wet weather ride is best done with a bit of cunning. If you’d rather ride outside than in a trail centre, we recommend you stick to the sheltered forest or woodland areas – the more densely packed, the better. These are nature’s version of an umbrella, so they tend to be slightly less muddy than open areas. Mountain tops, scenic parks and riverside routes are best saved for a day when you can actually see the view to appreciate it!
Prepare your bike
It’s not only the rider that needs to be prepared for the weather. If you haven’t already fitted your bike with a front and rear mudguard, then you need to! This will stop half as much mud and spray flying up at the rider and will prevent some of the wear and tear on the bike.
Additionally, choosing a suitable set of mountain bike tyres for the weather conditions and running them at a lower air pressure will increase grip and rider confidence in slippy conditions.
Already know the Michelin mountain bike tyres you’re looking for? Browse our broad selection of tyres and accessories and order online with FREE next day delivery today.
Pay attention to your brakes
It’s important to brake in the right spots – especially in wet weather. Try not to brake on slippery rocks and roots, but rather control your speed going into the technical sections and then let go of the brakes over the technical stuff to get better traction. One great tip is to brake a little more than usual beforehand to have more control going into the slippery section. Don’t slam on the brakes if you want to avoid ending up in the mud!
Keep the momentum
You don’t want to get stuck in a mud hole or lose all of your speed when riding over obstacles like tree roots. Try to keep your eyes up and body position nice and low to be able to pump and jump over things that are slick. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping, simply try to take the weight of the front wheel over the slippery sections.
Trails change completely when they’re wet, and there are a few different features that become even harder to ride and more dangerous – so just go at a pace to suit you and focus on control.
The best Michelin mountain bike tyres to do the job
Michelin offer some of the best wet-weather tyres on the market which is good news as we move into a lovely British winter! There are 4 tyres to choose from depending on quite how much the heavens have opened.
Michelin DH Mud:
This is the tyre to go for when things get messy. It’s designed to be able to tackle the worst of conditions and has proven itself multiple times on the downhill world cup circuit. At the recent Downhill World Championships in Leogang, Austria (an absolute mud-fest) we even saw some pro riders including Loic Bruni moving away from their regular tyre sponsors to use these Michelin DH Mud tyres.
What make these tyres so good is their tunability. They come with “cuttable blocks” which allows you to customize the tread pattern depending of the terrain or conditions. It means you’ve effectively got 2 tyres in 1! The only downside is that these are a mud only tyre, if it dries out, you won’t want to be riding the hard pack berms of a bike park on them. Best saved for a rainy day!
Michelin DH 22:
This a great all-round tyre for your downhill bike. This tyre performs extremely well in all conditions. The perfect tyre for the spontaneous British weather, it really is fit and forget. This tyre doesn’t seem to care whether you’re riding the dry dusty berms of Morzine in the middle of summer or the dark sloppy trails of the Forest of Dean in the depths of winter, it will find grip where you didn’t realize it was even possible!
Michelin Mud Enduro:
This tyre uses the same concept and the Michelin DH Mud. It features the same “cuttable blocks” but with a slightly lighter, more pedal friendly casing to make the climb back up less of a slog. Pedaling these tyres is certainly not going to be as pleasant as a set of Wild Enduro’s for example but when conditions get really sloppy the extra grip you’ll get on the downhills will make the little extra effort needed on the climbs well worth it.
If things begin to dry out during the day and you feel you no longer need the biggest most aggressive spikes, you can cut the blocks on the fly and give yourself a faster rolling tyre as the conditions get better.
Michelin Wild Enduro:
This is the go-to, all-season tyre for your Enduro bike. Much like the DH22, these tyres perform amazingly in all conditions. They grip remarkably well both in the mud and dust.
Unless things get seriously wet, this is the choice of tyre for our team rider Lewis Ranger all year round. It has the perfect ratio of grip to pedal efficiency meaning you can still hold all the off-camber rooty lines on the way down and it doesn’t take legs like Chris Hoy to get back up the hill!
Buy from Endurotyres.com today…
Ready to kick up some mud? To purchase the best tyres to get the job done, check out our full range of Michelin mountain bike tyres and accessories.
Don’t forget, we offer FREE next day delivery if you purchase before 1pm Monday – Friday, so save yourself a trip to the shops and purchase from Endurotyres today.