Austin Rattler 2023

It’s that time of year again, Austin Rattler MTB race on Nov 5th (edit - make that the Nov 4th).

Figured I’d start this thread, we had a nice group of TR athletes at the race last year. If you are looking for a fun late season event, I’d highly recommend the Rattler. Weather is usually awesome this time of year and the venue has a great vibe. The course is not very technical, but lots of up and down and certainly not a gravel race. It’s a leadville qualifier, but couldn’t be more different than the leadville course.

I’m local to the area and I got a couple laps in yesterday. The course is pretty well marked (but can still be confusing in spots), just watch carefully for the orange arrows and make sure to load the map on your computer. Despite recent rain, the course is pretty loose/sandy and lots of loose rocks. The course typically improves quite a bit as we approach the race and more people are pre-riding. Hopefully we’ll get a bunch more rain in the next few weeks to firm things up. See ya out there.


I’ll be riding this year. I’m heading down from DFW Friday afternoon.

Any advice for a first time rider?

If you’re able to get there in time to pre-ride it, I’d definitely recommend it. The course is tight and twisty and you’ll have an opportunity to learn it (3 laps) but knowing what’s ahead in some of the sections can be very helpful. There aren’t any scary surprise sections but you can move much much faster if you have a sense of where you’re going.

The course is generally looser than most, a lot of small rocks over a harder surface. The main race line should pack in nicely as grwoolf mentioned. It’s pretty demanding, not from any one area but just relentlessly “tough” - there are very few sections where you are able to mentally relax and just cruise (as in, there is no pavement and minimal simple smooth fireroad)

Also @grwoolf, it’s November 4th, not 5th, I believe.

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I’m planning on getting there early enough to get at least one lap in on Friday. I could also drive down the weekend before and get more laps. Do you think that would be worthwhile?

I read through all of the previous Rattler threads and I think I’m pretty well sorted on tire selection.

Any other advice?

Yes, the event is November 4th this year.

I’d highly recommend coming down the prior weekend if you have the time. It’s a course where you can shave a good bit of time if you know where you’re going. It’s a really tough course to keep momentum, so it’s helpful to know what’s coming. A single lap the day prior can be helpful, but it takes me more than that (and I’ve ridden it a bunch since I’m local). Also, depending on your fitness, a single pre-ride lap can be over 2 hours of pretty hard riding (it’s not a course you can slow-roll around). Some folks are OK with that the day before a race, some might want to rest. I’ll be camping out there Friday night and will likely ride the first 1/3 of the course on Friday. I personally wouldn’t pre-ride the entire course the day before.


Agreed, if you’re able to get a significant pre-ride in the weekend before, it will help you a lot come race day. I’m contemplating coming into town Halloween weekend as well to get a pre-ride and see some friends. Would be happy to meet up with TR folks out there if there are a few that want to preride together.

Ok, I’ll plan on riding Sat 10/28. I wouldn’t mind some local knowledge!

I’ll be out there on the 28th or 29th for a last “dress rehearsal”, not sure which day yet. Happy to have some company and can help w navigation. Pace will be 1:50ish laps.

Planning on being there but just for the 20 miler. I wanted to step up to the 40 or 60 this year but having some weird problems with my legs not responding normally to exercise for the last couple months…whole 'nother story. Had a blast here last year though and looking forward to hopefully another beautiful morning out on the bike.

Time to open the tire pressure can of worms…first time racing tubeless, what kind of pressures are y’all going to run? I got beat up last year on my tubed 30psi tires, so looking forward to a little more cushion and grip this time around.

Last year I think myself and several others around me got off track at least 3 times. Felt like too many conflicting markers (different markers for run and MTB?) and I don’t remember any of the organizers specifying which markers corresponded to the MTB course.

As low as you can go without pinch flat risk. Helps w traction on the loose climbs and helps maintain speed on the chunky stuff. I’m leaning toward ikon 2.35’s front and back with psi in the high teens at ~170 lbs. I may run an insert in the rear to push a little lower psi.

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Has anyone ridden the course over the weekend? How’re the conditions?

I was out there last Tuesday, trails closed Wednesday through Sunday noon last week for another event. The course is very rideable, just loose and sandy (running pretty slow).

I’ll be out there again tomorrow for a couple laps, course should be firmed up a bit after decent rain this morning and more rain expected tonight/tomorrow. Current forecast is rain and cloudy for the next week and clearing and cooler heading into race weekend. If that holds, it should be great conditions for the race, but we’re still a long ways out.

I’m planning on riding Sat morning. Anyone else pre-riding this weekend?

I’ll be out there Saturday or Sunday, watching weather for best day (currently looking like rain both days). Course is fine to ride in rain, just messy.

I’m planning for a couple laps Sunday morning.

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How is the course looking? I saw somewhere that they wanted to get the full distance for the run and bike, did they change anything on the bike course to get another mile or so out of it?

I was out there Saturday for a couple laps and the course is in great shape. The heavy rains really helped, hopefully it won’t totally dry out before Saturday. I didn’t see any course changes, but they were just starting to put up tape when we were out there. I think the lifetime folks came in over the weekend, so maybe they plan to make adjustments, but I haven’t heard anything about it. It’s running ~19.4m per lap based on the markings we were following (which is same distance and just very minor changes from last year).

I am returning from last year, and I thought I would join in the thread. I am coming down from Fort Worth tomorrow. Looking forward to Saturday. Weather should be great (although probably going to get a little warm at the end). Last year I had questions about tire selection. I changed my tires up to a Forekaster in the front and Ikon in the back this year. Hopefully the course is good with the rain last week. I went out too hard last year and ended up with cramps towards the end and finished at 6:42. Hoping to keep it under control at the start this year [it is so difficult not to go out super hard].

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I rode the first ~ 6 miles today, course conditions are really good. Might be getting a little warm by lap 3 depending on cloud cover. Good luck everyone.