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Gents, I'm a 48 year old rider who wants to do the amateur circuit race around Laguna Seca during next month's Sea Otter event. It would be my very first time in competition!

Around the San Luis Obispo area a 53/39 and 11-23 combo get me up most hills fairly comfortably but our terrain is more rolling than brutally steep. At Laguna Seca there's a very steep hill leading from T6 up to The Corkscrew and I'd like to be prepared for that- what sort of gearing would you recommend for a strong recreational cyclist who's 230 pounds?

Guidance on tires would be handy, too: a smooth rolling race tire that gives excellent traction on the downhill run would be great. On the road I use 700x25 Panaracer T Servs because they're durable and roll nicely, but something sportier is probably what I need in Monterey.

Thank you!
 

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Ricky J said:
Gents, I'm a 48 year old rider who wants to do the amateur circuit race around Laguna Seca during next month's Sea Otter event. It would be my very first time in competition!

Around the San Luis Obispo area a 53/39 and 11-23 combo get me up most hills fairly comfortably but our terrain is more rolling than brutally steep. At Laguna Seca there's a very steep hill leading from T6 up to The Corkscrew and I'd like to be prepared for that- what sort of gearing would you recommend for a strong recreational cyclist who's 230 pounds?

Guidance on tires would be handy, too: a smooth rolling race tire that gives excellent traction on the downhill run would be great. On the road I use 700x25 Panaracer T Servs because they're durable and roll nicely, but something sportier is probably what I need in Monterey.

Thank you!
Since it's your first race, don't over think this stuff. Ride what you brought. You'll be fine. You don't or won't need new tires or anything like that. If you like what you have already, ride it. A 12-25 might be the only thing you'd want to add.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there is a "clydesdale" category for any road races. Is there?
 

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Maybe, but the Laguna Seca race is awfully slick, especially if it rains. Your talking about a descent at 40-60mph through the famous "corkscrew" followed by 4 sweeping turns where riders commonly wash out on. A michelin pro race 2 , pro grip, or a Continental Grand Prix series in 700x25 would be nice. Bring warm clothes since the weather can be unpredictable in Monterey that time of year. The climbs are short, windy, and a little steep up top, but you don't need a 25. Stay sheltered and ride defensive on the climb, not responding to the surges until the last pitch before the windy false flat.

p.s. enjoy yourself at Sea Otter, but don't get too caught up or dejected by your result. Laguna Seca isn't a great beginner's course (good mtb course though). Enjoy watching the other events and the expo!
 
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