PM or more gears? Best upgrade for Whiskey 50 Race

Hi Folks. I am new to structured training but have been mountain biking for 20 years. I am training for the Whiskey 50. I am in SS Base just starting part 2 next week. My trainer is a Kickr with my Trek Emonda. I have a PM on my gravel bike but not the bike I will be racing for the Whiskey. I have already started to see the benefit of a PM on the gravel bike for pacing. The XC race bike is a 23lb 11 speed full suspension. There is a TON of climbing on this course. I have the money for 1 upgrade. Should I get a PM for my XC bike or should I upgrade the gearing to a 12 speed (eagle). I am 47yrs old. 5ft7in 186lbs with an FTP of 260 at the start of the SS Base. Yes, I know, lose weight. That is easier said than done with my work schedule type of job / motivation. I am not looking to win this race by any stretch. I just want to be able to enjoy it as much as possible.

PM or Gears???

@GravelRepublic - I too am without a PM on my mountain bike, but have it while training on TR. I’m using the opportunity to focus on RPE on the MTB - a skill i need to refine.

Did the Whiskey 50 last year and doing it again this year - you’re going to love it, Epic Rides makes the whole weekend fun. Upgrade your gears, you can do the PM later. The Skull Valley climb drags on a bit and you’ll appreciate the extra gearing.

Good luck - see you out there!

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Sweet!!! Thanks for the input and I do hope I get to meet you out there. Gears were what I was thinking as well.

I agree that more gears is going to serve you better than the power meter at this point. If you have a good power setup for training, you can definitely go by feel on race day.

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If you already have high level components, which it sounds like from the bike weight, you can get an e*thirteen 9-46 cassette for your 11 spd drivetrain to get more gears if you have an SRAM XD driver hub. The less expensive one (30g heavier) is $250, just a little more than a GX eagle cassette.