Sea Otter Classic 2024 (Schedule)

Problem is too many people are of the opinion that anything that has a drop elevation is to them obviously intended as such. The only available remedy is signage which of course will be ignored because “dude, it’s going down hill!”

At least we don’t have to worry about it on race week, and in the mean time all we can do is get the word out to folks to be on their toes and maybe not go full send between now and the end of April.

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Newbie question: 2.4 Aspens a decent choice for the conditions? thanks!

Good for the front, but I don’t think you need that wide in back. I’m going to run a Racing Ray 2.35 front and either a 2.1 (Thunder Burt) or 2.25 (Racing Ralph) out back.

I’ve been running a Barzo 2.35 F and Mezcal 2.1 out back training and that’s been a good combo too.

I think the wider front helps with the looseness in areas that are sandy and allows a bit more pushing on the downhills. I think I did a lap on 2.1 Mez F/R and it felt sketchy to me. :man_shrugging:t2:

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How is your handling and confidence with loose corners?

ok… maybe? Overall my weakness is climbing and my (relative) strength is descending. I live in BCBR territory so the trails will be very different from what I ride regularly. I’ve used Ardent Race for both HC100 (Bend) and BCBR. Enjoyed it for both of them, but that’s the only XC tire I’ve used and again, not riding dry and loose a lot.

As long as I’m not way off base with an Aspen I’ll probably give it a shot, unless you say “nooooo, terrible idea” :slight_smile:

If you feel comfortable with descending on Aspens, you should be good. I personally don’t think you need a big tire out back though, as there are quite a few fire roads up and down where a big tire isn’t going to help much if at all.

Heck the first time I raced Sea Otter I did it on a Pro-Flex 855 With a 2.1 Dart Front and 1.9 Smoke in the back. Yeah I’m old.

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Appreciate all the responses everyone. Will do the 2.4 Aspen on the front and consider a 2.2 or 2.25 for the back. (And right there with you on the old part!). Cheers

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Ha! I know what a Pro-Flex and a Smoke and Dart is so I think that puts me in the old category as well! :wink:

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I’m going to give a 2.1 Thunder Burt a try this weekend. We’ll see how it goes.

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Ran a Recon Lap of the XL course today with @Jolyzara
2.35 Ray up front 2.1 Burt out back mounted on Hollowgram/DTSwiss hoops and an Airliner Light in the rear. This was on my Scalpel HT, so the Airliner wasn’t really optional, and I did give it a test or two.

Ray was predictable as expected. We hit ALL of the conditions, wet sand, dry sand, medium wet/dry sand, hard pack, marbles over hard, mud, water, and what ever substance the bottom of “Beer and Pizza” is made out of.

Burt was only questionable in two places and not for long.

1st was trail 60 which was a sand fest. That said I think they only bike making it through there without some drama is a fat bike.
2nd was on a loose over hard downhill section. Burt just doesn’t have the lug to punch through the loose, but I took the loss of braking traction as my queue to just let go of the brake and let gravity take over.

With all that I think I’m sold on Burt being my rear for the XL.


Took a glance at the start lists and it seems like numbers are up in the XL/XC/Gravel races. 600 people on the XL course seems like a lot.

And while I was there took a look at the entry fees… $180-$190 After April 2nd seems pricey. I guess that’s the norm now :pensive:

Yikes 93 entrants in the Men 50-59 age group. That’s going to be a crowded run through Couch.

124 in Men 40-49 :grimacing:
99 in Men 30-39

That’s more than half the field right there.

Should be just enough places to pass using course knowledge. Blind downhills, better lines on gravel, etc where one doesn’t have to get off the power, but the single track is going to be frustrating for sure.

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how far into the first lap is the couch? Current goal - to use my lack of course knowledge, starting speed and general endurance to vie for the pointy end of the back third.

I’m assuming it clears out by the second lap?

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about half a mile from the start to the single track and it’s 90% climbing to get there.

Fuego XL | Strava Ride Segment in California

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90% hard start climb… check. Revised current goal - pointy end of the back quarter.

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Yep, 2.9w/kg I will not be at the front. Course knowledge is my only edge.

There is one place to attack at the end of the segment called “Beer & Pizza” @Jolyzara and I road that last weekend, and even the downhill bits of it give you no time to rest. It’s not technical, just rough enough to require you to pay attention and manage your steering, but also has some rocks, stumps, bushes that split the trail at in opportune times and break up the flow.

Once I hit Couch (Trail 47) proper, I can pretty much go full send all the way to the bridge. Yes it’s single track and has some hidden bumps, but the sight lines are wide open. So long as you keep up on the pedals and hinged at the hip, it can be a very fast section so long as the person in front of you doesn’t get spooked.

Past the bridge is another short section where you can attack. MORCA made it a track and a half on a good portion of the trail between the bridge to the last climb (scar) on 47, so there may be some passing opportunities there.

After 47 you hit Skyline (gravel road) which can be VERY fast and has at least one blind turn that requires caution through out the year but can be full gas on race day, before you hit 44, which is the next single track.

As mentioned further up the thread, Fort Ord changes from week to week, but that’s kind of par for the course when sand is the base for everything. Just because you rode it last year, doesn’t mean you know the single track sections this year.

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Had a mechanical issue start to creep up on me about 26 miles into a Lap of the Fuego course today. That had me skipping the last single track complex 80-84-85-82, so no recon on that section.

The rest of the course is drying out pretty quickly. I managed to PR Couch w/Beer & Pizza. Not sure how I managed that.

Hopefully this is the last time out on the hardtail and I’ll be on my full sus Scalpel next go. I’m going to give a 2.35 Ray F/2.25 Ralph rear a try as well as the 30t sprocket up front. I know I’ll spin out in some places, but I think I’d rather have that and be able to spin up some of the kickers.

Trail 41 has had a visit from the erosion fairy and there are some surprises to be had on the first third where it starts to pitch down hill. Highly recommend a pre-ride of at least the East half of the course if you can manage it.

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I see most discussion here is about the XC race, but anyone have any thoughts suggestions for the gravel race loop regarding bike/tires? It looks like they have taken out some of the single track from previous years if I’m seeing that right.

I’m doing the gravel race. It is mostly smooth gravel, some mud/wet spots, but not many. You will lose traction and possibly spin out on a couple of the steep climbs (i.e. three sisters) but this happens even with my mtb tires. Most is loose over hard.

Personally I like wider tires as I feel more confident and thus go faster. I have run 38, 42 and about to put on 47s. Currently my favorite is 42. There is a fair amount of pavement but nothing you need to go skinny for.

I am curious how they are going to deal with the two way traffic in some spots. Just hope people stay right? They could have made a course that avoids that and uses more gravel but that doesn’t seem to be the Sea Otter way.

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Didn’t do the course persay this weekend, but gravel roads out in Ord tend toward the loose over hard. I’d go drop bars, have one bailout gear, and 43-45 and low enough pressure to keep grip when leaned over.

With the exception of the two way traffic @Jolyzara mentioned, it should be MUCH faster than last year, but also there are a lot better options that don’t include two way traffic or bumpy single track.