I'm doing Dirty Kanza 200 for the first time this year. To date, my gravel experiences have tended toward drier events where crashing was the thing to watch out for rather than mechanicals.
(I've torn off a rear derailleur once in cyclocross when I crashed, bent my hanger, and then shifted into my spokes. Not worried about that situation at DK.)
Now I'm looking at how many people DNF DK by tearing off their RD and I want to be sure I'm clear on what happens. My understanding: 1) Mud packs up on the tire 2) The mud gets scraped off by the chainstays and plops onto the chain 3) Chain picks up the mud 4) Chain drop at front or 5) Gums up jockey wheels which stop turning and SNAP.
Assuming that's correct, it seems that tire clearance in sticky mud conditions is paramount. I currently run G-Ones at 40.5mm which give me about 5mm clearance at chainstays, but that seems inadequate if DK is really muddy. So I'm thinking I'm going to want something more like 35mm if it's a mud day.
Am I right about RD failure causes? Any thoughts on good tire choice for a muddy DK?