24hr Race Bike Setup- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    24hr Race Bike Setup

    For those of you that have raced 24hr events in the past, I'm curious about bike setup and what made the biggest difference (tires, lights, frame, kit, etc.)

    I raced the Oregon 24 last year, which got cut to 12hrs because it was entirely snowed out yet ended up 2nd in the solo open field. Had I known they were cutting it in half I would have paced myself differently.

    Anyways, I plan on racing my Specialized Epic HT again, and am considering ergo grips, a Power saddle and better tire casing.

  2. #2
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    To be honest about equipment, I think my bestest improvement was di2. Why? well at the end of the day when cable shifting goes to hell (dirty, stretched, whatever) that shit still works flawlessly. Can be spendy to implement if you don't have hookups but if you're patient you could probalby scrape up a 1x xt setup for ~$5-600.

    Otherwise, nothing special really. As I've gotten older I tend to like a bigger fork. Haven't used my sc32 much this year and am rocking a 32 x 120mm at the moment.

    imo, most of the difficulty (assuming you have the fitness to complete) is mental. are you able to recognize when you're heading into your bad place or do you only realize it after you've been there for a while. Having a good pit crew who can identify when you need a kick in the ass or a hug and a piece of pizza is huge.

    Depending on where I'm at in the standings and/or conditions, I like to change my kit at least once. Soooo damn refreshing. Saw somewhere (here? ???) that someone likes to throw a new set of bibs OVER their existing ones. That might feel neat too if you're riding a HT (which I do too mostly).

    My really loose thumbrules...

    No caffeine until after at least 8hrs - and even then I try to wait until a few hours after dark for when I REALLY need the pickup.

    I like to rotate foods - one lap CarboRocket @ ~250cal/bottle, one lap lighter drink (maybe skratch) and a gel/bar, one lap grilled cheeze and water... ...etc. but almost every lap I'll have a few ounces of some protein drink like ensure just to keep the calories coming from something other than sugar/carbs. I can do a full trip on liquid calories but I'll hate myself for the last bit of the day and most of the next. Oooooh, if you do start to get a sour stomach try some probiotics or a bit of yogurt. maybe too anecdotal.

    Music - if allowed but only when I "need" it. I can bust out 6-8hrs pretty easily. It's usually after that when things are more likely to start going South. I use the "bone conducting" headphones - trekz shokz or something like that and can hear reasonably well. Not as much of an issue at night when the lights come on.

    Remember to have fun and encourage other riders - this tends to help keep me out of the darkness as well

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrioabero View Post
    For those of you that have raced 24hr events in the past, I'm curious about bike setup and what made the biggest difference (tires, lights, frame, kit, etc.)

    I raced the Oregon 24 last year, which got cut to 12hrs because it was entirely snowed out yet ended up 2nd in the solo open field. Had I known they were cutting it in half I would have paced myself differently.

    Anyways, I plan on racing my Specialized Epic HT again, and am considering ergo grips, a Power saddle and better tire casing.
    Excellent advice from Walt Disney's Frozen Head although I can't speak to di2 because I have no need for that on my singlespeed.

    If I remember correctly I've raced a few of the 100 milers with you in the NW (...I think we've crossed paths on Strava as well) and you likely have your bike setup dialed. What I will say is there's a big difference between 12 hours and 24 hours. It's pretty easy to go to a dark place around 2-4 am when you're getting fatigued and you've got a few hours until the sun comes back up. You just have to grind through it and DO NOT STOP. It's so easy to sit down for a minute and all of a sudden you can have thoughts of taking a longer break.

    The wild card for me is nutrition. It helps to have a lot of options because absolutely nothing sounds appetizing in the middle of the night. Something hot can make a big difference on a cold night. And maybe I'm "special" but some 24 hour courses give me an upset stomach. It happened in Oregon 24 two years ago and twice in the Enchanted Forest. This year I learned having some Tums helped.

    It also helps having great support. My wife supports me for almost all races and she knows what I need better than I do and also keeps me positive no matter how much suffering is happening. And make friends with your camping neighbors before the race. It makes things a lot more fun and you can share food/tools/gear/whatever.

  4. #4
    Grip it and rip it.
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    Good replies so far but a few things I'd like to add. When is your 24 hour race by the way? Or has it been already.

    Anyways, Ergon GP3 grips work really well for me, I've used them in most of my 24's. I made a switch last year to ESI foam grips for one 24, but changed back to Ergon again this year. The only thing I don't like about the Ergons is that they don't feel great on technical descents, but other than that I can't really fault them at all. They put ,y hands and arms and body in a nice position.

    Lights - try to have lights that can last you the full night in the dark without having to switch them out, which can be time consuming. Also, if you have strong lights mounted on your bars, be sure to have the angles of the mountain bracket adjusted to your liking before the race. I've had to stop after the first night lap to adjust the angle of the light before which is a waste of time. My personal choice is a strong light on the bars and a weaker light on the helmet for cornering, which seems to be getting more common.

    Bike set up - if you have never been to a professional bike fitter before, then I would recommend going to one. You won't know what difference it makes until after you've been to one. If your saddle is a few mm off the right height, it can make a big difference. Also, if you have a spare bike, make sure both bikes have the same handlebar width, same reach, etc. And if you have spare shoes, make sure the cleat position is the same. I've never bothered or felt the need to change my shorts during a 24, even in filthy muddy conditions, but each to their own. I only change the top half.

    Not sure what a power saddle is (clearly I'm not up to date ), but never change an item like a saddle close to a 24. All contact points need to be things you're familiar with and that work with you.

    Good shorts are a must for obvious reasons .
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

    michaelmblog.wordpress.com

  5. #5
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    Bike setup....no changes from typical race bike setup, except addition of lights.

    I've found pre-taping my hands/feet with kinesio tape works really well for preventing blisters. I just wrap the spots I know might become issues. Palms/pads, back of heels, balls of feet.

    Other than that.......ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timon View Post
    Bike setup....no changes from typical race bike setup, except addition of lights.

    I've found pre-taping my hands/feet with kinesio tape works really well for preventing blisters. I just wrap the spots I know might become issues. Palms/pads, back of heels, balls of feet.

    Other than that.......ride.
    You've been f-ing awesome this year dude. Way to crush!!!

  7. #7
    Grip it and rip it.
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    I wouldn't personally recommend anyone taping up their hands or feet unless these are known problem areas from previous events. Otherwise, I see the tape possibly causing harm / friction. The whole "if it aint broke don't fix it" thing comes to mind.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride! View Post
    I wouldn't personally recommend anyone taping up their hands or feet unless these are known problem areas from previous events. Otherwise, I see the tape possibly causing harm / friction. The whole "if it aint broke don't fix it" thing comes to mind.
    fair enough.

    i'd at least recommend having it on hand to address hot spots before they become blisters. and yes, it's probably a good idea to try it during a training ride beforehand too. i found out the hard way i'm allergic to some types of latex that's in tape and it gives me itchy rashes (fortunately didn't affect the ride)

    i know with myself i'm always good on training rides with just gloves or no gloves....even long ones....but get over that 8-10hr range (especially if terrain is rougher) and i start getting hot spots on the outside of my palms and inside of my thumbs. if i don't do something quickly they'll turn into blisters and be really uncomfortable. now i tape them from the beginning and don't have to think about it. just did the CTR blister-free, despite only riding my mountain bike 5 times in the preceding 2 months.

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