I'm (under) employed in the auto industry, so you can guess how well my finances are doing this year.
So I have the funds to run one race this year with all my college friends, the Ore to Shore in MI's U.P.. The race course consists of a few miles of pavement (6 total?) and maybe 22 miles of sand, deeper sand, wood chipped hills, and about 300 yards of hardpack. My bike is a '98 Trek 8000 and I weigh 175 lbs. I live in S. MI where the trails I ride on are clay, gravel, and loam. I have no sand on which to test the tires myself before the race.
Currently I'm running a Maxxis Crossmark on the rear and I have the OEM Bontrager Revolt ST2 on the front. The other option for a front tire I have is the Hutchison Spider 2.3 air light I have on the front of my SS bike.
Since it's an old tire, here's a pic and data on the Bontrager Revolt ST2:
So here's my issue: Last year I missed my goal of completing the 28 mile race in two hours by just two minutes. In addition to training harder this year, I'm looking to maximise my set-up w/o spending any money. The difference in volume betwen the two tires is significant. I run the Revolt at about 38+/- PSI while I can run the Spider down to about 28+/- PSI w/o fear of pinch flatting. Should I retain the revolt ST2 at 570g, 2.1 inches wide and fairly dense tread or should I go with the Spider at about 680g, 2.3 inches wide, and fairly open tread?