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I took my new fat bike out for my first mountain ride and immediately got caught in mud. Before I knew it my entire drive train was caked in mud. (me too!) Thick, heavy, clay-like mud. A few minutes later, I was testing out the gears in a parking lot and the next thing I know my chain got stuck and ripped off the rear derailleur.

I've seen advice on how to clean my bike, how to ride in the mud, what kind of equipment is best for the mud, etc. Of course, avoiding mud for safety and environmental reasons is great advice. What I want to know is "what should I have done differently?" What do you do if you're on a trail and you get mud in your drive train?

  • Note that a well-oiled chain will shed mud better than a dry one. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 26 '15 at 22:31
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Mountain bikes weren't invented last time I had this problem.

Since you're already covered in mud, wipe much of it off with your hands. Be careful to keep fingers out of the parts that bite.

Use a stick where it's dangerous to poke your fingers, and get mud out of the derailleurs.

Depending on the kind of mud, and water availability

  • dunk the whole bike in a puddle or such.

  • use your water bottle to hose mud out of the important bits.

  • urine works too ...

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    Why not use twigs or small branches and leaves to clean mud ? It can scrap mud well and hands will get less dirty – JigarGandhi Oct 26 '15 at 6:33
  • @JigarGhandi, do use sticks and leaves by all means, but carefully. Getting a bit of broken stick out of your rear mech because you pushed too hard with it isn't exactly easy. Also:gloves, and already muddy hands. – Chris H Oct 26 '15 at 8:25
  • Ah, I see someone was offended. C'est la vie. – andy256 Oct 26 '15 at 8:47
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Avoidance is better obviously. That means a well lubed chain before the ride and jumping/hopping mud if you can. Splitting tracks to avoid mud is a big no-no.

Once you have mud on your drivetrain; lean the bike, turn the pedal backwards by hand and sacrifice some fabric to hold on the dragging bottom half of the chain to clean the mud of the outside of the links. the bits in between the links will come out when needed and will take up all your time.

Try not to use your gloves. It will soil your grips and cost you potential lose of control, just not worth it. Rather use anything else.

Splash water if you have to. Water from a spouted drinks bottle works a treat. If you are Bear Grylls and already had enough to drink, then you could use pee as well.

But note! Urine is corrosive. And means a much bigger chain cleaning job when you get home to ensure it's all out. Whatever you do, don't dunk your bike! Unless your bike is a jetski, dunking it is guaranteed to cause you all sort of grief later down the track.

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