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The next CCCX XC race is at Toro Park and since I’ve never ridden there I was hoping to get some pointers on the course and bike/tire selection. I’ve been searching around and from what I gather, the course is generally about 5 miles long, half of which is a straight up climb, the other half is the CCCX Super-D downhill course with berms and drops, etc.

Just how technical is the downhill section of the XC course? Based on pics of past XC races at Toro I see people riding hardtails and other XCish bikes, but at the Super D events I see people with full on DH bikes w/ dual crown forks catching air, etc.

I’m trying to figure out if I should bring my lightweight sub 5” travel 29er or my heavier ~6” travel 26er… it seems like either will do but I guess the question is should I choose a bike that’s the better climber (i.e. the 29er) or the better descender (i.e. the 26er)? For a regular XC race I’d default to the 29er but since there’s a fair amount of sustained (technical?) descending at Toro and given the fact that I feel more comfortable riding at places like Demo on my 26er, should I go with the bike with more travel? Then again, on a single lap ~2/3rd of the time is spent climbing, so perhaps I should optimize towards the climbs and suck it up on the downhills with my 29er?

Also, what are the trails like at Toro Park, e.g. soft and sandy like Fort Ord or more hardpack and rocky? Would Racing Ralphs front and rear be asking for trouble on the DHs or should I beef up the front tire with something chunkier?

Note: I’m a Cat 3 poseur and while I suck at climbing, technique, and downhills, I probably suck the least at climbing.
 

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If it is the same course as it was a few years back, you can descend it on anything. 26" light hardtail with Racing Ralphs was just fine, did not notice anything particularly "technical".
 

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I was wondering what the SS racers are running for gearing compared to Fort Ord, I'm currently running 34-16 on my 29er at fort Ord. It sounds like the descent at toro is steeper so less opportunity for geared riders to pedal away so I could go with shorter gearing for the climb without sacrificing my downhill speeds. What do you guys think?

I'm on a SS but racing PRO so that's why I worry about the geared bikes getting away from me on the fast stuff.

Anyone interested in pre riding the course plus other fun stuff at the park this weekend? I'm not from the area so I don't know my way around but I'd take the trip down there if someone wants to ride.
 

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If you're racing on your SS, why not race in the SS category? I think they all start at the same time. But yeah, not as much pedaling on the descent at this race. The pros who wisely chose gear will still gain seconds pedaling where they can.
I was getting some flak from freinds because I kept winning a few earlier races by larger margins so I figured I try Pro. It worked out good, now I'm damn near last every race with a large margin just to catch up to the next rider :madman: It's all good since I'm always looking at improving my overall result in the whole field.

As as for those small burst of pedaling on the descents, I find my skill of greater corner speed and minimal use of brakes covers that quite well. Honestly it is the climbs I'm at the biggest disadvantage when compared to the pro class.

I was was just starting to learn the fort Ord trails and now I've got to start all over at toro so it'll keep things challenging.
 
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