The good: we were extremely lucky with our equipment, we can’t thank our technicians enough at Signature Cycles who helped us prepare the bikes for the event.
We each used a different tire: Andres used the ReneHerse Steilacoom 700x38c tires, Abraham the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H (hardpack) 700x40c and Juan used the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M (mix terrain) 650B x 45. They all performed great. We also had different drive trains: Juan had the SRAM Mullet with a 44t Chainring with a 10-52 cassette, Abraham had the SRAM Red XPLR with a 40t chainring and a 10-46 cassette and Andres had a Shimano GRX/Dura-ace combo with a compact chainring and 11-42 cassette (yes, it works if you know how to use it!).
We also used different bike manufacturers, Abraham had the FiftyOne Assassin, Juan had his Custom Scarab Paramo and Andres had his Parlee Z-Zero XD. We can all tell you confidently that each bike is more than capable for the task. We didn’t use the bikes to get around this course, we absolutely abused them and they took everything we could give them in their stride.
The bad: The road conditions were 90% dry with some hard and sharp rocks, resulting in a lot of riders on the side of the road trying to fix their flats and the other 10% were extremely muddy! We all crashed at some point in the race due to the road conditions. Dismounting the bike before it’s too late will probably be the better tactic next time.