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MTB wheels and winter clothing to handle the rain

MTB wheels and winter clothing to handle the rain

If you have the right MTB clothing and wheels suitable for wet ground, there's no reason to stop cycling, even in winter. Indeed, mountain bikers should never be limited by the weather: it's one of the most exciting parts of the sport!

After all the Scouts founder Robert Baden Powell, said "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes”. With the right MTB gear you can continue enjoying your adventures whatever the weather. 

Read the article and discover our tips for mountain bike clothing and which wheels to choose for slippery or muddy terrain.

What MTB winter clothing you should always have

With winter MTB clothing, some items are essential to guarantee a pleasant and safe ride. 

For the cold, we recommend wearing thermal garments made in special technical fabrics. Thermal clothing will keep you warm, maintaining body temperature on cold days, while allowing sweat to be released.

One must-have item for winter MTB is a waterproof jacket. Wear it always for protection from rain and snow, but also from the wind. Again in this case, try and get a jacket made in high-quality materials with good waterproofing.

And don't forget thermal gloves and waterproof shoe covers. For safe cycling, always wear a helmet: wet ground is more slippery and requires a greater focus on safety while riding.

Watch the colours

A small extra tip, especially important if you plan to go out in the snow or to forested areas. Choose bright colours, at least for accessories: they'll help you to be visible in the event of an emergency.

Is there specific clothing for enduro?

There are no specific differences between enduro clothing and winter MTB clothing, but for enduro races some athletes prefer a waterproof bodysuit for head-to-toe protection. 

You can also wear knee and elbow pads for extra protection, especially in downhill events.

MTB wheels for the rain

We've talked about clothing; now we come to a part of your mountain bike that's really important for both performance and safety. Obviously, we're talking about wheels.

For bad weather, MTB wheels should be chosen very carefully. Here's a tip for comfortable, safe riding without sacrificing performance: whatever your style, always choose tubeless tyres and disc brakes in winter or on muddy terrain.

Tubeless wheels

Tubeless wheels are tyres without an inner tube, used mainly for MTBs, but becoming increasingly popular in other disciplines too, particularly road cycling.

We recommend this solution when you're riding in bad weather, because it has a series of advantages:

  1. Less risk of cuts and puncture, precisely because there's no inner tube;
  2. More traction and comfort on slippery or bumpy terrain, as tubeless tyres can be used at lower pressure;
  3. Better grip on wet ground and better adherence to the rim, reducing the risk of pressure loss due to the entry of water;
  4. Lower bike weight, improving agility and handling, especially on technical terrain;
  5. Less resistance to rotation, to the benefit of pedal efficiency;
  6. Adaptability to different terrains and riding styles, as the pressure of tubeless tyres can be adjusted.

Disc brakes

Disc brakes are now the most popular choice for mountain bikes, especially compared to cantilever or V-brakes, which are more common in road bikes. On mud or snow, the advantages of hydraulic disc brakes are even greater:

  1. More effective and predictable braking on wet ground; The braking action happens directly on the disc, reducing the negative effects of water and mud on the braking surface.
  2. Less wear and less accumulation of mud on the braking surface, because the disc and the brake pads are in a less exposed position than brake shoes.
  3. Braking is more sensitive and controlled, just like brakes in a car. This is particularly useful in wet conditions, where braking control needs to be more delicate to prevent locking the wheels. In terms of performance, with disc brakes you can adjust braking to suit the specific conditions or your riding style;
  4. Constant braking even on long, steep descents, thanks to efficient heat dispersal compared to brake shoes;
  5. They are compatible with wider tyres, which are preferable on wet or uneven terrain.

Wheel maintenance after muddy mountain biking

 Cleaning the wheels after a muddy MTB ride is essential to prolong their life: the accumulation of mud risks damaging the components of the wheels and leads to premature wear and tear. After a rainy MTB ride, your wheels need some maintenance.

Start by rinsing the wheels with clean water to remove dirt and mud. Use a soft brush to carefully clean the surface of the wheels. After washing and drying the wheels, check the tension of the spokes and lubricate the hub to prevent rusting. You also need to clean the brake discs with a suitable product, to remove any residue of mud.


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