So, the first L’Étape Las Vegas just happened a week or two ago. I haven’t ridden any events outdoors since 2019. I’m considering doing the bike leg of a triathlon this October. But starting to think long term about getting back outside maybe next year. Maybe.
Anyway, if I do… I’m considering whether I should attempt this event in 2024, and if so whether to do the 45 miles or 75 miles.
So my biggest questions are about gearing, and secondly about my tires.
I currently have an older Ultegra 6700 group set with 53-39 on the front and a 10-speed 28-11 on the rear. My dad used these gears to climb Mt Wilson in Los Angeles, but I’m not sure they’re going to work for me.
They would probably be fine for the 45 mile route. I could also swap out my rear cassette for a 30-12 (like I have on my Kickr) or a 32-12 if I really need extra gears, but the worst section seems to only average 5% which I did just fine in my sprint triathlons on the 28-11. So I could likely get away with my current gears or the 30-11.
If I did the 75 mile route, tho, there is a significant double climb over Mountain Springs - going over from east to west and then back again (see the link for the profile) - and I would likely want easier gears. And if so, maybe it would be better to invest in a new group set with maybe a 52-36 on the front and 11-speed on the back that could possibly be as big as 32-11. Tho I’d have to save my money to do any upgrades, and also want to be able to use my gearing to do triathlons with longer, flatter, more rolling terrain, as well. I won’t have money for a second bike any time in the next 5 years.
I’ll be 48 years old and I’m currently 170lbs (hope to keep that) and my indoor FTP has varied between 230-275 depending on my training.
And then I guess my other “problem” is that I have old tires. I likely need new tires and tubes at some point. I’m still using the same wheels my dad gave me in 2017. I’m assuming they’ll be fine, but I’ll need new rubber and tubes. Currently have 25” Vittoria Rubino Pro tires and some kind of Mavic wheels. These tires got me thru 5 sprint triathlons and a couple years of outdoor training. And I only had to change an inner tube once. But I have been 99% indoor since 2020 with only a couple very short rides around the subdivision with my son.
At least I have a light titanium frame. Lol.
What I need is an equipment coach. Maybe a few good sponsors. But at my age and talent level I don’t have either, sooo… Any help anyone can give me would be fantastic. Im only 50/50 on actually riding the event. But your advice would be still be very helpful and much appreciated if not now then at least at some point in the future.