How to choose your chain ring on you MTB and swooping it for stage races

How do you select the ideal chain ring for your power output? Do you have advice for when to swop for a stage race … before / during?

If you spend too much time at the very top or bottom of the cassette, adjust accordingly. Or if you are spinning out on the flats often. Lastly, if you have long significant climbs and you don’t have low enough gearing.

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I can’t see needing to swap. I’ve run events with very steep long climbs at altitude, combined with lots of long fast descents and pacelining in groups on the flats on mild gravel or pavement. I pick a chainring that gives me a low enough gear for climbing, and I haven’t had an issue spinning out on the flats. Where I am spinning out on the descents, it’s faster to just put down the dropper and tuck. With that said, if you’re really looking to optimize, you need low and high enough gear, but want to spend as much time as possible in the middle of the cassette.

In terms of practically switching quickly. Make sure you test your chain length for different chainrings, as a big enough switch might require a different chain, and make sure you have all your spare powerlinks on hand. I personally also have a BBInfinite Bottom Bracket that is EXTREMELY easy for me to pop off the cranks and service without worrying about O-Rings and that crap. Last thing your want is a stock SRAM BB and damage that damn blue O-ring and not be able to get things back together. With my electric impact wrench to loosen the crank bolt, a complete BB Service is under 10 minutes for me start to finish without rushing, so swapping a chainring is an extra 5-10 minutes with cleaning everything up. I haven’t tried swapping one with the cranks still on the bike, not sure if I could, but I don’t think so.