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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Who's racing the Barn Burner this year? Deferred my entry from last year due to a broken collarbone, excited to race it this year (esp cause I'm in way better shape!). Will be my first 100 so expect to learn a lot.

Have a few BB-specific qs that I was hoping people who have previously raced it could give some insight on:

Gearing, I'm on 11sp and typically run 32 x 10-42t, do I need to be worried about spinning out a bunch given it sounds pretty fast? Or the opposite on the couple climbs?

It's supposedly a 'roadie XC course', that said is it not particularly rocky or should I be running tires with some volume on a stiff HT? And is a dropper completely unnecessary?

Any tips on strategy? I hear drafting is a thing? Thinking I'll be targeting 7ish hours, but really don't have too great a sense.

Chase
 

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Cat Herder
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Hey all,

Who's racing the Barn Burner this year? Deferred my entry from last year due to a broken collarbone, excited to race it this year (esp cause I'm in way better shape!). Will be my first 100 so expect to learn a lot.

Have a few BB-specific qs that I was hoping people who have previously raced it could give some insight on:

Gearing, I'm on 11sp and typically run 32 x 10-42t, do I need to be worried about spinning out a bunch given it sounds pretty fast? Or the opposite on the couple climbs?

It's supposedly a 'roadie XC course', that said is it not particularly rocky or should I be running tires with some volume on a stiff HT? And is a dropper completely unnecessary?

Any tips on strategy? I hear drafting is a thing? Thinking I'll be targeting 7ish hours, but really don't have too great a sense.

Chase
7 hours would be an epic finishing time. There is one somewhat rocky downhill that kills a lot of tires, beyond that some people have competed in this race on CX bikes.
 

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It ain't easy being Green
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7 hours would be an epic finishing time. There is one somewhat rocky downhill that kills a lot of tires, beyond that some people have competed in this race on CX bikes.
As regards gearing there's nothing steeply uphill; last time I raced there I was still on 2x up front and I did one lap on the big ring just because I could so yeah, you might want to go up a few teeth on the front ring (36?). The flat fire roads are fast so you will need a bigger gear than normal to hang onto the pack. Yes, drafting is a thing on this course. I highly recommend tires with sidewall protection; there's only one rock garden but it's long and will shred unworthy tires. Hardtail is fine but I always used full suspension, it makes it easier to navigate the rock garden .

When is the race this year? It seems to vary between June & September which means either a dustbowl or a mud pit! I really like the event; you can get into a groove and just hammer away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great info, thanks all. Definitely will be on something with sidewall protection, and will look into gearing longer. With respect to 7 hours, like I said, don't really have a great sense, could just as easily roll in dead tired after 10 :0
 

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It ain't easy being Green
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Great info, thanks all. Definitely will be on something with sidewall protection, and will look into gearing longer. With respect to 7 hours, like I said, don't really have a great sense, could just as easily roll in dead tired after 10 :0
If you're in decent shape and young you should be able to get close to 7, provided that the weather cooperates. Make an effort in the Le Mans start, get with a good group once you get onto the fire road and then when the first climb starts just ride your own pace. Do you have someone to crew for you? It makes a huge difference, maybe minutes per lap if it's muddy. If you are by yourself you could ask someone on "solo alley" to look after your pit; the one year I had no crew, people there were very cool about crewing for me.

One thing I always do for Barnburner is slam my bars all the way down to the headset, I reverse the stem too so that the bars as low as possible; makes it easier to get aero on the long flat sections.

Someone mentioned that you will see guys on gravel bikes there; I was riding with such a guy one year on the fire road who said "I can ride anything on this bike"; he was right, he just couldn't ride very fast once we got to the rock garden...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you're in decent shape and young you should be able to get close to 7, provided that the weather cooperates. Make an effort in the Le Mans start, get with a good group once you get onto the fire road and then when the first climb starts just ride your own pace. Do you have someone to crew for you? It makes a huge difference, maybe minutes per lap if it's muddy. If you are by yourself you could ask someone on "solo alley" to look after your pit; the one year I had no crew, people there were very cool about crewing for me.

One thing I always do for Barnburner is slam my bars all the way down to the headset, I reverse the stem too so that the bars as low as possible; makes it easier to get aero on the long flat sections.

Someone mentioned that you will see guys on gravel bikes there; I was riding with such a guy one year on the fire road who said "I can ride anything on this bike"; he was right, he just couldn't ride very fast once we got to the rock garden...
Nice, have a Syntace stem to slap on for just that purpose. Will have GF to help out in the pit too. Just need to figure out what the heck I'll be taking in, typically rely solely on tailwind type mix, but have found at the ~5hr mark it just isn't sufficient.
 

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It ain't easy being Green
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Nice, have a Syntace stem to slap on for just that purpose. Will have GF to help out in the pit too. Just need to figure out what the heck I'll be taking in, typically rely solely on tailwind type mix, but have found at the ~5hr mark it just isn't sufficient.
Race nutrition is such a personal thing, I can't really make any recommendations. My own preference is to eat as much solid food as I can early on and then rely on liquids later when my stomach starts to shut down. Solid food tends to be soft & easy to eat; bananas, egg sandwiches, etc. I carry several "bite size" payday bars too, something sweet & salty to chew on while I'm riding.
 

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sdcadbiker brings up a great point with regard to pit and crew. The last time I was there was to crew for the wife and a bunch of friends. Due to injures and other issues, we ended-up with three people crewing in our 'pit'. This turned out to be extremely helpful to our racers. This was 2017 and it was wet and muddy. Our riders would wheel in dazed and confused... some laps hot and some laps cold. We had everything at the ready...one person would grab the bike, clean and lube... and another person would attend to nutrition and bottles. Some laps it was an on-the-fly hand-up and other laps a full pit. Have any and everything ready... clothes, bottles, lube, tools. Weather changes fast there, especially after lunch. I recommend you set-up a pit at the entry to the start/finish loop. This way you see the riders coming in, and they can give you a shout out as to what they need... on their way back out, you'll have had a couple of minutes to grab whatever they asked for and hand it up on their exit. In case of rain, bring an easy up for the crew. It would suck to have to sit out in the rain all day... or couped up in a car.
 

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Is the race still gonna happen with the recent fire?
The Museum fire was just north of downtown Flag, the race is 20 miles further north so I don't expect that the Barnburner will be affected. The Mt Elden trails might be messed up which sucks because they were a primary reason for me traveling to Flag in the first place; maybe a local could chime in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
rockman has provided a lot of great info on the fire in this thread:

https://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/fire-spotted-7-21-19-a-1109221.html

Short summary as I understand is that there's still much to be assessed, but outlook on impact to trails is better than it could have been.

Race organizers sent out an email saying specifically that fire doesn't impact it, and it is far removed from where it is as mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Went really great, thanks for all of the tips, they definitely helped me to do as well as I could! Ended up just under 7:10, pretty happy with it as I had another bonehead crash that lost me like 3 weeks of training ~6 weeks out. Got a Leadville entry so going to do it next year for the experience and to get to spend some more time in CO.

The 25mi lap format was definitely different for me, felt like much more of a mental game than the other races I've done, I enjoyed it. Nutrition seemed to go sufficiently well as I never really tanked, did a combo of tailwind, gu w/ caffeine, and bananas.

The drafting was pretty crazy, I was like 10+min faster my first lap because I was able to work with a group of like 8. I had to learn my roadie etiquette on the fly, I've never done a group road ride!

Weather was really great too, the trails seemed to be a great compromise of not super dusty and not too muddy given what I've heard from previous years.

Overall a really great experience, only bad thing I can say is that Historic ran out of beer before they had gotten everyone their finisher drinks!
 

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Went really great, thanks for all of the tips, they definitely helped me to do as well as I could! Ended up just under 7:10, pretty happy with it as I had another bonehead crash that lost me like 3 weeks of training ~6 weeks out. Got a Leadville entry so going to do it next year for the experience and to get to spend some more time in CO.

The 25mi lap format was definitely different for me, felt like much more of a mental game than the other races I've done, I enjoyed it. Nutrition seemed to go sufficiently well as I never really tanked, did a combo of tailwind, gu w/ caffeine, and bananas.

The drafting was pretty crazy, I was like 10+min faster my first lap because I was able to work with a group of like 8. I had to learn my roadie etiquette on the fly, I've never done a group road ride!

Weather was really great too, the trails seemed to be a great compromise of not super dusty and not too muddy given what I've heard from previous years.

Overall a really great experience, only bad thing I can say is that Historic ran out of beer before they had gotten everyone their finisher drinks!
Sounds Awesome! Well done.
 
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