Gearing for Whiskey 50 - Marathon XC Race

Hi Folks, I am upgrading my XC groupo to Eagle from a 1x11 for the Whiskey 50 MTB Race since Stages cannot get me my PM in time for the race. I normally run a 30t x 10/42 on my bike. It is usually pretty darn forgiving for climbs but for all day racing I wanted a little more. My question is should I stay with a 30t for the eagle set up 30t x 10/50 or go up to 32t x 10/50? The 30t set up would yield about 18% easier “granny gear” and keep top end the same. The 32t would give me about a 10% easier GG but would give me about 2mph more at 90rpm on the top end. Any thoughts? When I race something steep and punchy like Bonelli in SoCal the last lap can be real torture and I think I am burning matches that I don’t need to burn because of the gearing. I just wonder if 18% easier would make so I am barely moving up the hill in the GG. I defer to the greater wisdom of the group.

If this helps. I’m 185lbs 254ftp. Training with TR for 10 weeks. Almost done with SS base 2 low volume.

For 50 miles, I personally don’t think the benefit of 2 MPH more on your 32/10 outweighs the benefit of having a slightly easier go with a 30/50. If you end up putting it in that combo and feel you’re spinning too much, then you can just shift to your next cog anyway.


+1 @ncomerford

@GravelRepublic - I don’t ever recall saying to myself at the end of a long MTB race or ride, “gosh I really needed a harder gear :gear: “. Stay with the 30T.