I am a fairly experienced roadie who will be riding his first cross race in December (i live in Florida) my bike had been assembled from extra parts I found lying around the bike shop where I work. To make things easier i am running a single speed, and I have spent a stupid amount of time trying to decide on a gear ratio. here are my thoughts:
-I have a 40 tooth front chainring.
-The wheel set I am using is an axis front wheel that came stock on a specialized allez, and a mavic wheel with a flip flop hub. I have been riding these steel bead 38s I got off the shelf at work.
-most of my training is done at the rediculously flat singletrack loop by my house and with barriers that are hidden at the conclusion of this loop.
-right now i am using an 18th freewheel.
As i typically am overgeared when I ride road, this gear ratio is working for the singletrack, but I am little worried it wont be enough to carry me with the head of the Novice or single speed pack. Also, i cant help but feel that my tire choice may come to be a mistake a little later in the season. I was thinking that maybe I would buy some of these cheap tires from Nashbar (13dollar Kenda Kwicks/30mm/folding bead) and put them on a pair of extra road wheels I have, and run them with a 16tooth cog. This way, if the conditions are super muddy, I can run the 18 with a thicker tire, but if they are relatively dry, I can use the thinner tires, lighter wheels and harder gearing.
I am sure i will probably down a couple beers before the race and all of this will become quickly irrelevant, but i was wondering if my head was in the right place.
thanks for the advice.