Good luck with Iron Cross this year! I did it for the first time last year and was checking the interweb to see what chatter was going on about this years version and stumbled across your blog. After a quick glance it seems you are doing well preparing for the sufferfest! I rode a Surly CrossCheck for the race with Ritchey Speedmax tires. A word to the wise, run high PSI! When searching message boards last year I saw that numerous people were going to be running 35-40 psi. During a preride a week or 2 before the race I saw several other riders out who had ridden the race before and they recommended high psi. I ended up going with 70 psi in the tires (fyi I am 6’4″, 210#). It beat me up a bit, was fast on the road sections, and prevented pinch flats on the 40+ mph downhills. I am not fast (finished in 5:45), but I passed TONS of people just because they had flatted on downhills.
Decided against doing it again this year as I have too much other stuff going on, but it was fun. Of course, during the race I distinctly remember thinking to myself that it no longer was fun after the “run-up” midway through. The sense of accomplishment afterward was great.
Thanks for the advice! I will take any I can get. I am about 220, and I planned on starting with high PSI and gradually going down to find a good pressure throughout training. I found that I didn’t mind the 70-75 PSI I was running (even
in the rockiest singletrack I trained on), so counted it as insurance against flats.
Thanks again for the advice. I think the Surley is on the heavy side. Did you find bike weight to be an issue on this course at your body weight?
If you want to read more about previous runnings of IC, check out my post with Iron Cross links. I thought it would be nice to have all of those I found gathered in one place, a sort of library of links. http://fatnslow.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/iron-cross-links/
Bike weight was definitely not an issue. I use the Surly as my everyday road/commuter bike, so in its “natural habitat” it wasn’t too heavy. The issue was that I was too heavy. If I do it again, I will likely try to be a little lighter myself so that I can do the hills a little easier. Plus I do a lot more long road rides now than I did previously, so my fitness may be better.
Some more notes on the race, I remember feeling really good about myself before the runup. I was pacing myself well in an effort to finish with a decent time. The runup killed my legs, however, and fortunately there was a fair amount of ridgeline riding afterward for recovery. A word to the wise, on the runup take small steps or risk cramping afterward. The Hogshead climb is a brute but doable, don’t let anyone freak you out. The hardest part might be the all the singletrack after the Hogshead climb. I remember just not having the power left to ride it “comfortably” due to fatigue at that point, but it to is manageable.
Hope you have fun and stay warm! The more I look at the forecast, the happier I am to be out of town and unable to ride this year.
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