Austin Rattler 2024

I couldn’t find a thread for Austin Rattler 2024 so I figured I’d start one here!

It’ll be my first time at this race so I have a few questions to start and I’m sure I’ll have more as the discussion continues.

  • I’m planning to arrive midday on Friday so I don’t think I want to do an entire recon lap as it would probably be 2+ hours at recon pace. Is there any particular part of there course that is worth previewing? And if so is there a shortcut to get there so I can avoid doing the whole course? I’ve read that most of the technicality of Reveille is flat slightly sandy turns in which case I’d just want to ride a few of those to get a feel for the local dirt and I don’t need to see all of them. Beyond that, if there’s any section where line choice makes a big difference (e.g., a rough rock garden) that might be nice to preview, but not at the expense of spending a lot of time on the afternoon sun the day before the race.

  • Tire choice. Planning to run a Rekon Race rear and debating between a Rekon or Rekon Race in the front (all 2.4”). I’d been running the RR front and rear but recently tried a Rekon in front and I’ve really liked it, especially in loose turns. If it’s true that flat loose turns are prevalent at Reveille then I’m leaning towards the Rekon in front. It’s a bit of a rolling resistance penalty but I think it would be nice to have late in the race when I’m getting a little lazy with weight distribution in the turns.

2 Likes

Not really. You can pre-ride the first few miles and get a feel for the a lot of the course. The only thing that’s a bit unique that you wouldn’t see early are the granite sections. But pre-riding those isn’t that beneficial. As far as shortcuts, you do have an opportunity to cut a lap short pretty easily. About half way through the lap, you’ll end up on a road/open section (where they host festivals). From that point, there is a pretty easy/short path back to the start.

The primary value of pre-riding that course isn’t technical features so much as where you can carry momentum and/or avoid overcooking turns. I live nearby and pre-ride it a bunch every year and it’s really hard to remember all those spots unless you do multiple laps. So, knowing the course probably buys me a 1-2 minutes a lap, but that just helps offset my mediocre MTB skills that cost me more than that.

I’ve run a forekaster front out there the last 2 years (w/ Ikon rear). It’s too much front tire, but I tend to wash out the front on that course and it just gives me confidence. It’s also not an A race for me, more for fun than results. Last year, the course was in perfect shape on race day and running firmer than prior years (except maybe the rain year). If it’s like that again, I’ll run Ikons front and back. I think the rekon is a good choice though. When it’s wet, the course is faster and firmer, but is a mess and tough on equipment (it’s all decomposed granite, so very few muddy spots). The granite slabs are like sandpaper, again probably more grip when wet and you can run a really fast rolling tire with no concerns.

I was actually out there last weekend riding for the first time since the race last year. The course gets really crappy over the winter because nobody rides much of it. Lots of wash out and many very loose sections. They had just mowed/shredded much of it to make it rideable, but it’s still pretty rough in many spots. And sticker burrs like I’ve never seen (have never ridden it this time of year). There were spots where just a couple revolutions of the wheel resulted in hundreds of burrs in the tire. I would estimate I picked up hundreds of thousands of sticker burrs (not joking). It will firm up and the stickers will mostly be gone by race day (but there are always sticker burrs out there, you can’t run tubes).

Good luck at the race. Train for constant short punchy climbs.