I need some help selecting tires for my first CX race.
If all goes well, I'll be running the Palos Verdes course with the Urban Cyclocross group. I'm not familiar with that course (yet), so I'm not sure whether it's grass, hardpack, mud, etc. I'm hoping someone on this forum has been there and can lend some advice.
Wheels are 700c clinchers, and the bike has good clearance for a 32mm tire.
Palos Verdes has mostly loose and sandy corners and a few gravel over hardpack. Torrance is a combination of soft sand and gravel over hard-packed. I've run Ritchey Speedmaxes at both with good results. Both have good hill sections where you'll have to port your bike.
I run clinchers & started switching tires mid-season:
Early season: Conti CX Race. I find this tire works really well on the dry hard pack. The extra size (35) soaks up some of the beating a smaller tire wouldn't. I like to do a lot of my passing in corners, downhills, and technical sections. With the wide spacing of the tread I had my doubts this tire would hold well in corners but it's only washed out on me once in a 90deg turn at the bottom of a downhill w/ really-really loose dry dirt. Since Cali will probably be dry for most of the season I would ride this tire if you are looking for a little bigger tire to soak up the bumps. For mud this tire is a little fat and the tread seems a little light.
Mid-Late season: I've been running Michelin Mud 2's for 4 years now and you just can't beat them when it gets nasty.