HELP! Gravel race in the rain!

100 miles gravel race tomorrow in northern minnesota. Lucked out with temps being warmer than normal but have had massive amounts of rain in last week and again tonight. Mixed course of typical gravel, ATV trails and pavement. Have gravel king ss mounted but worried about their grip in the wet mucky gravel and atv trails. They have been so fast in all things dry to date. Read differing opinions on them in the wet. I have Renee herse steiliacoms as backup opiton. Thoughts? I know mounting tubeless day before the race is risky too. I have mounted these used steiliacoms before so they shouldn’t be an issue……

I think that is a valid concern…I personally would want something with a little more bite if it is gonna be wet.

How well do the trails / roads drain there, adn when was the last time it rained?

Not a RH fan at all, but with the information you provided absolutely put the the steiliacoms on the bike (unless you can obtain some other new tires).

I would go with what will get you to the end better. Steilacoom might throw away watts, but its better then walking bad sections.

I would go with the Steilacoms no questions asked.

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It seems like you are mainly looking for marginal gains in terms of tire choice, but I did a 100 mile gravel race in heavy rain last year, and I had a couple of additional considerations.

One is to consider bringing some chain lube. I use a wax lube (Squirt) that would normally hold up pretty well for 100 miles, but after about 60 miles, the chain was squeaking quite a bit, and I suspect accounted for a lot of drag. Hard to know how much, though, since my tire had gotten soft at some point and I didn’t notice until after the finish. Anyway, you might consider bringing a tiny bottle of wet lube.

And another is to make sure that you have appropriate clothing to stay warm, particularly if you end up isolated and in the wind. During my event, temps were in the upper 40s, not ridiculously cold, but after 6 hours and 2 1/2 inches of rain, some were not able to regulate body temp well. I had to peel off my friend’s jacket because he was shivering uncontrollably. If you expect only mud and no actual rain, then obviously this is much less of an issue.


Lots of rain 5 days ago. Possible one inch tonight overnight. Gravel is soft now. Gk ss seem to get good reviews on the wet but I have my doubts

Well, wet gravel is one thing…wet dirt (i.e. mud) is different. I would probably go with more lugs vs. the GK SS.

Whatever you do for tires, bring a little bottle of wet lube with you. A grinding, squeaking drivetrain after 80 or so miles of wet gravel and mud is a serious mental bummer. Provided you’re not in the front group about to contest the win, the time spent to stop and quickly run a bead over your chain and get back to smooth pedaling late in the race will be more than worth it. (Spoken from personal experience.)


Heck of the North? It was only moist, not wet the year I did it. Those ATV trails don’t get enough sun/wind to dry. Going to be an adventure. Good news is the mud doesn’t stick. It can be slick though, so I’d go tread option. Good luck and enjoy! One of my favorites.

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How did it go for you?

Personally, the mud sections totally killed my chances of hitting my goal. I did well on the gravel roads but lost too much time hiking my bike. Was a super epic day, though!

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