Mid South gear selection

Anyone going to mid south next weekend?

I’m torn on bike selection at the moment. My choice is an old Salsa Journeyman or a Canyon Grail CF SL 7.

I’ve heard the stories of how the Oklahoma gravel/mud can really tear up a bike. I’m leaning towards riding the Salsa, since if that gets torn up, it wouldn’t be as costly as the canyon getting torn up. Also wanting to really make sure I can ride the Grail at Castell next month. I’m going to have a spare bottom bracket, rear derailleur, and derailleur hanger on hand for the Grail, so if something does happen, I could most likely have it repaired in time for castell. Thoughts?

Also, what tires is everyone running? Planning on running Vittoria Terreno wet 38’s myself

1 Like

Mud can certainly destroy things. I have replacement bearings for by bb and hubs on the ready. Going to be cold :cold_face: so hopefully some of the mud is frozen!

If it were me, I’d ride the grail with a “dry” oriented tire. Still a little too early to tell for the weather. Bring lots of layers and I think the cold might cause a lot of DNF’s at Pawnee.

I’m riding my warbird with challenge getaway tires.

1 Like

Good info, thanks man!

Forecast looks rough now, chance of snow on Friday and sub 20 degree temps at the start line :flushed:


no way i would ride a carbon bike if it’s muddy, you are just asking to destroy a frame. In this market replacement would take MONTHS. If it’s dry, then Let’r Rip! I was there in 2020, it was a common thing to see trashed bikes.

1 Like

I’m trying to decide what to do. I have no interest in riding in the muddy conditions like previous years. Especially with it so cold - that would make for a miserable, bike-destroying day. They just sent out an email saying they expect the roads to be mostly dry even with the expected snow on Friday and encouraging people to show up in spite of the weather.

Common failure points on carbon frames with mud involved? Anyway to prepare for it or just avoid it overall?

Abrasion in the area between the tire and the chain stay is the biggest concern. Also between the tire and fork. Odds are also high of ripping a rear derailleur off, in theory the hanger should break first but in the mud anything is possible. Damage around the BB shell from dropped chains is possible too. The mud is like a lapping compound, it will get everywhere and could screw up a press fit bb interface too.

If it’s muddy, the only option IMO is a steel or alloy frame SS bike, or be prepared for an expensive(and long lead time) repair(s)

1 Like

Plenty of people have raced carbon bikes in muddy conditions and survived just fine…you are making it sound like a destroyed frame is all but inevitable. That simply isn’t the case.


Sure plenty of people won’t destroy a frame, but a lot of people will. Given how hard it is to get a bike right now, it’s not worth the risk to me. If it is muddy, NO ONE(that rides) will leave Stillwater with a bike that doesn’t need parts. Plus it’s a miserable day on the bike. The red clay of Oklahoma is a special beast, it’s not just any kind of mud.

I’m not saying mud and clay won’t cause significant wear to components….I am simply pointing out statements like “you are going to destroy your carbon frame” and “ you should only ride steel or ti frames of it is muddy” are alarmist and not representative of the realities.

Are the risk factors for frame damage higher in conditions like that? Of course. But the overwhelming majority of people running carbon frames at Mid South will survive just fine.

I never made either of those statements…

I’ve been there in the muddy years, I’ve seen the carnage first hand. The overwhelming majority of people don’t know when to get off the bike in the mud, how to mitigate possible damage and avoid catastrophe.

You do you though! Maybe I am being alarmist, but I’d rather be that so people understand the risk, rather than imply damage is unlikely.

Your odds of surviving Unbound without a flat are pretty good, yet that area has the reputation of destroying tires…

Yeah, you kinda did…

Sorry, you said “alloy” instead of “ti”…my bad.

That is because a significant % of participants do flat. Do the majority survive w/o flatting? Probably but I have no idea what the actual percentage is…but those suffering a flat at Unbound are a significantly higher number than those destroying carbon frames at a muddy Mid South.

notice in both of those I stated what I would do, not what YOU should do…

your odds of destroying some bike part at a muddy Mid South is MUCH higher than getting a flat at Unbound.

If you are good with the possibility of needing to replace anywhere from a BB up to the entire bike, then have at it. For me, it’s not worth it given how hard it will be to source the parts needed and I don’t have a backup to ride for the next 1-3 months while I wait for parts.

You are now changing what you said…your original comments were about destroying carbon frames and that you should ride steel or alloy. Now you are focusing on components.

With that, I think the horse is well and truly dead.

Bobby sent out an email yesterday saying roads were dry with the exception of one section at mile 24 and he expected the Friday snow to have no impact. He said he posted a video of the muddy section but I can’t find that video on any social media site. Is it still out there? I’d like to see what he was referring to.

I haven’t been able to find the video he mentioned either.

I’ll be riding the bike purpose designed for MidSouth - Stormchaser single speed with 36x17 gearing. Can’t wait.

I’m in Tulsa watching the forecast for Friday and Saturday. Any forecast for snow is pretty uncertain. If it’s just cold then road conditions will be dry and fast. If there is an inch or more of snow on Friday it will probably be ok since the temps are cold. But it’s hard to say until Saturday morning. Any bike should be fine. Ride smart. Don’t assume you can just ride through the mud. An advantage of having lots of riders ahead of you is that snow might already be tracked down. Have fun out there!

Zooming in on the course satellite view it seems the road from mile 24 to mile 25 is not a maintained road. Google Maps shows deep ruts, etc. My guess is this is the bad section.

HELICOPTER TAPE. Easy day. I do it to every bike, period.

1 Like

Yeah, I recently started using helicopter tape as well. Great stuff.